Tuesday’s Alert: Telehealth and Telecare Aware Updated

Our adoption of a new Alerts emailing system is not yet complete, so we are unable to send out the usual Alerts email today (see apology above). We appreciate your patience. In the interim, please spread the word by retweeting our Alert.

Highlights:

Home telehealth projected to outpace ‘telehospital’ by 2019
(Pick your forecast!)

Telehealth for Motor Neurone Disease
(Sheffield Institute trial patient monitoring report)

Last week in TTA:
Ebola and health tech: where it can help, where it failed (updated)
Life expectancy up, but so is death from falls (US)
Google testing telemedicine program via Helpouts
12 percent of US veterans now using VA telehealth services
Faux Glass: not just a knockoff, but a sendup
TSA appoints new chair (Heraclitus’ comment a must-read)
Telemedicine getting out of the waiting room–perhaps
Three seminars on negotiating IP licensing, IT procurement and services (US)

Home telehealth projected to outpace ‘telehospital’ by 2019

click to enlarge2019 share of the market 55 percent for telehome versus 45 percent for telehospital. If it’s October, there’s some new research for sale out there. BCC Research of Massachusetts is projecting a global $43.4 billion total market for both by 2019. Home telehealth, or what they call ‘telehome’, would lead the way with growth from $6.5 billion in 2013 to nearly $24 billion in 2019 with a 24 percent CAGR. ‘Telehospital’ clinical services, defined by the study as those provided within or between hospitals, clinics or other healthcare providers–which would include telemedicine and clinical monitoring–would grow at a 12 percent CAGR to $19.5 billion in 2019. Even allowing for differing ‘what is telehealth’ definitions, this is far more expansive than earlier estimates, and is interesting more for the trend than for the hard numbers.

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Telehealth for Motor Neurone Disease

In a recent article (Wearables and mHealth: a few observations, TTA July 13, 2014) editor Charles Lowe reported on the click to enlargesuccessful uses of telehealth to manage those with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Australia. Now we have a report from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), part of the University of Sheffield, of a trial in the UK of a patient monitoring system to ensure that aids and assistance can get to patients at the right time.

According to the news release from SITraN the system consists of an App on a tablet and a website. The App provides weekly updates on mobility and general well-being to the patient’s specialist MND care team. The website provides guidance on the use of breathing support for people with MND.

SITraN has received funding from the National Institute for Health Research for a trial of 40 patients to assess how well the telehealth system works.

Friday Alert: Telehealth and Telecare Aware Updated

We have been unable to send the alerts email today (see apology above) but these are the main features of what it would have said…

Today’s alert is brought to you by:

2014 Digital Health Conference | November 17-18, New York, NY
Join the NY eHealth Collaborative at the Digital Health Conference
10% registration discount with code TTA.

Five articles posted since last Tuesday, plus a comment on the TSA chair appointment announcement

Ebola and health tech: where it can help, where it failed
(Disinfection, temperature measurement, crowdfunding research help–but EHRs failed the test)

Life expectancy up, but so is death from falls (US)
(From hopeful early 2000s Telecare Time to ‘curb feelers’ )

Google testing telemedicine program via Helpouts
(One way or another, they’ll help you…and help themselves to your data)

12 percent of US veterans now using VA telehealth services
(Growth in a good way, but much more to be done)

Faux Glass: not just a knockoff, but a sendup
(All in fun, and not a ‘scampaign’…we get to those later)

Earlier this week in TTA:
TSA appoints new chair (Heraclitus’ comment a must-read)
Telemedicine getting out of the waiting room–perhaps
Three seminars on negotiating IP licensing, IT procurement and services (US)

Ebola and health tech: where it can help, where it failed (Updated)

 click to enlargeIgnore the sign…come on in, we can be quarantined together! Everyone is on Ebola-overload, so we will keep it short and sweet. The Gimlet Eye (recovering after an argument with a box, see below) advises a calm, adult-beveraged, low-media weekend with Mantovani, Bert Kaempfert or Percy Faith on the stereo.

  • Yes, digital health is addressing the needs that Ebola screening and care are generating. MedCityNews spotlights Medizone International’s AsepticSure peroxide/ozone aerial mist sterilizer which was originally developed to kill MERS and MRSA in field hospitals, to be tested by Doctors Without Borders in a 40-bed unit. Startup AgileMD launched a free mobile app for clinicians containing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Ebola prevention treatment guidelines (for what anything from CDC is worth….) Text message alerts used first in Sierra Leone are being expanded to seven West African nations for use by the Red Cross and Red Crescent (also BBC News). Sanomedics International has the TouchFree InfraRed Thermometer which is being used at US airports which are screening for passengers originating in West Africa, and Noninvasive Medical Technologies is promoting their ZOE fluid status monitor because it applies electrical currents externally to determine hydration levels.
  • Even crowdfunding’s getting into the act. Researcher Erica Ollmann Saphire and her colleagues at Scripps Research Institute 
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Life expectancy up, but so is death from falls (US)

click to enlargeThe Gimlet Eye falls outside the box, and is writing this from recovery. Our companion in curmudgeonliness, Laurie Orlov, whacks us upside the head with first the good news then the bad. US life expectancy is up: if you are 65 today, on average you will live to 83 (men) and 86 (women), even with the rise in chronic conditions that affect quality of life, such as diabetes and heart disease. But the bad is that death from falls is also up. This is despite all the systems and gizmos the Digital Health Industry has concocted to detect falls beyond 1970s PERS technology. Once upon a rose-colored Telecare Time we thought we could infer falls purely by sensors detecting lack of activity (the basis of QuietCare, GrandCare, Healthsense, the late WellAWARE). Then with accelerometers, fall detection would be automatic,

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Google testing telemedicine program via Helpouts

click to enlargeIf Sergey and Larry don’t get your data one way…they will another. Google has quietly devised another use for Helpouts, its languishing live video help service. In given (but not disclosed) markets, you may be searching for information on a medical condition, and get the option to connect to a live doctor for a virtual visit. It was enough under the radar that it was stumbled upon; a developer searched via Google for ‘knee pain’ and found this (left), posted it to Reddit and it was later confirmed by Engadget. The cost is free (for now). According to iHealthBeat, via Modern Healthcare (subscription required), Scripps Health and One Medical Group are the reported participants. The Washington Post adds that not every medical-related query

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12 percent of US veterans now using VA telehealth services

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has some good news (for a change)–that during the just-closed Federal FY 2014, 690,000 veterans, or 12 percent, used telehealth services. This was a 13.3 percent increase over FY 2013 (608,900). While this report is preliminary (beware!), we see a slowing of growth in the number of veterans accessing telehealth and a concentration–not dispersal–of telehealth services in rural areas (+ 10 points). This chart compares the numbers:

click to enlarge

Chart: EIC Donna. Please note that percentage of telehealth users add up to over 100 percent due to usage (one patient could access two or three forms of telehealth. FY14 telehealth user breakout is estimate based on FY13 percentage, to be eventually compared to official figures.)

Telehealth as defined by VA:

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Faux Glass: not just a knockoff, but a sendup

click to enlargeNeed to impress your Silicon Valley/Alley buds, but the exchequer is low? Didn’t get to be a Glass Explorer on the first round? Fret no more! Faux Glass is here. It’s missing a few things that Glass has–like a phone, photo/video camera, a GPS, internet search access smack in your eye–but does have a magnifier, a spotlight and eight LED indicator lights which light in sequence to a “crack me up” command, like Where the Faux (the product’s built in GPS to nowhere), Faux-to Shop (for fixing photos never taken), and What the Faux (for general searching). All on Indiegogo for $1,480 less than Glass! “They’re not fake anything; they’re real Faux” says Faux-In-Chief Robin Raskin (who’s also a tech journalist, author and founder of Living in Digital Times and FashionWare). The full court press on Faux Glass is of course leading up to International CES in January and their conferences including the Digital Health Summit. Ms Raskin through this also reminds us that crowdfunding and digital tech is not to be taken too seriously. PRWeb release. Website.

Of course there’s the possible faux that presents itself as seriously real, or what’s been dubbed ‘scampaigns’ on crowdfunding sites like…Indiegogo.

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TSA appoints new chair

Following their earlier request for applications that we covered, the Telecare Services Association today announced the appointment of Andrew Gardner as its new chair, saying that by appointing from among the giants of the healthcare industry it has taken another big step towards making its vision for health, housing and social care a reality.

The statement continues: “The move came shortly after TSA set out a bold 3-year growth plan to challenge the ‘status quo’ in health and social care by leading, representing and promoting Technology Enabled Care & Support (“TECS”) services including telecare and telehealth. New Chair Andrew Gardner has worked as CEO for the largest independent provider of primary care to the NHS, and is currently Managing Director of a group including Careline UK, Cirrus Communication Systems and Appello Telehealth.  He will help to drive the growth of TECS in his new position as Chair at TSA:

“TSA’s focus on solutions for the 21st Century and improving self-management really excites me.  It’s in everyone’s interests to get

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Telemedicine getting out of the waiting room–perhaps

Will reimbursement by insurance payers and private employers (presumably self-insured) and a greater comfort level with the video consult mean that telemedicine will finally step out of the waiting room? This Economist article (free registration may be required) with high points from a recent Rome conference seems to not be able to make up its mind, though it tries to be positive. Taking a comparative view, Israel leads with ‘relatively lax guidelines’, with doctors able to e-prescribe and perform referrals to specialists online. China’s health-care reform focuses on telemedicine“, but Peteris Zilgalvis, a health official at the European Commission pointedly states “If you have a chaotic system and add technology, you get a chaotic system with technology” (Editor’s emphasis). The US is somewhere in between

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Three seminars on negotiating IP licensing, IT procurement and services (US)

If you negotiate IP licensing or deal with IT procurement or services in the US, now or in the future, which are all part of anything digital health or TECS,  you might want to schedule in one of Mark Grossman’s three upcoming speaking engagements. Mark has written four articles for TTA as a guest columnist (index here), has 30 years as an attorney specializing in business law and IP, and is with Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt in New York City.

  1. Savannah, GA, CAUCUS IT Procurement Summit 2014,’ SaaS Deals Without Pain’, 21 October (2:45-3:45pm).  More information
  2. New York City, Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) Advanced Licensing Agreements 2014, mock negotiation of a licensing agreement, 4 November.  More information
  3. San Francisco, American Conference Institute’s IT Service Agreements and Licensing-Cloud, Open Source, and Software Summit, 17-18 November. Co-chairing and hosting ‘Planning Your Exit Strategies When Terminating a Contract While Maximizing Your Resources’. More information

Can’t make them? Mark’s online seminar ‘Negotiating Tech, Telecom & Outsourcing Deals’ is available on demand here at Lawline with setting up a free account.

4 year telehealth study charts ~40 percent CHF readmissions reduction

Finally an encouraging long-term, large N study on telehealth reducing same-cause hospital readmissions. Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health Plan, the managed care arm of integrated health system Geisinger Health, has released findings from a four-year (2008-2012) study of 541 GHP Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with congestive heart failure. Hospital readmissions after 30 days were 44 percent lower and after 90 days 38 percent lower. Return on investment: “for every $1 spent to implement this program, there was approximately $3.30 return on this investment in terms of the cost savings accrued to GHP.”

Patients were assigned case managers and provided with a relatively simple program combining Bluetooth-connected weight scales and interactive voice response (IVR) calls to answer questions such as shortness of breath, swelling, appetite and on prescription medication management. The case managers used a platform to aggregate the data

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Philips enters hospital readmissions reduction fray

Perhaps this Editor has attended too many new-company pitches of late, but there is another US ‘gold rush’ similar to EHRs (2009-12). This time, the gold glinting in the stream is reducing same-cause (disease) readmissions after the patient departs through the hospital doors. The latest prospector with pan, pick and shovel, quite amazingly, is Philips USA with the Transition to Ambulatory Care (eTrAC) (!) post-discharge program. Their first two applications, eCareCoordinator and eCareCompanion, just received FDA 510(k) clearance.

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IBM Watson decision tools expand, lands at NYC HQ

Confirming that New York metro’s once-devastated (post-dot.com bust) ‘Silicon Alley’ is increasingly attractive to healthcare and tech firms, IBM this past Monday opened its new NYC downtown headquarters at Astor Place for the IBM Watson Group. Our readers have been following the development of Watson in the healthcare decision-making process since 2012 [TTA's article index here], primarily in oncology (breast and lung cancer), in the UK (via the RSM’s 5 June ‘Big Data’ conference) as well as the US. IBM Watson has smartly created Ecosystem Partners where third parties integrate Watson. The spread is fairly wide: travel (your Editor’s former industry), retail, veterinary care, IT security and support, cognitive computing and of course healthcare. Spotlighted were three companies: @PointofCare, Welltok and GenieMD.

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The ultimate ‘comfy sensor patch’–an implant

click to enlargeJohn A. Rogers and his ‘skunkworks’, take notice. From the design shop that brought you Fitbit, NewDealDesign (FDR would be puzzled), comes the next big step in wearables–a sensor patch concept which would be implanted in your hand and multi-task till the cows come home. Project Underskin would detect fitness levels, vital signs such as blood glucose or body temperature, unlock your door or pre-authorize your credit card. The curved implant

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