Friday’s Alert: Telehealth and Telecare Aware Updated

Owing to an elusive problem on our server our adoption of a new alerts emailing system is still not 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 tweeting this post. Thank you.

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. www.digitalhealthconference.com

Five new articles including further commentary on the TSA chair selection and a look at the worldwide black market in medical ID theft

TSA chair selection critiqued
(Paul Harper’s article in Roy Lilley’s newsletter reviewed)

Health apps presently of little use, says Australian telehealth expert
(CE Dr George Margelis debunks current state of the art)

Panasonic enters telehealth, debuts On4Today
(USA unit goes social, plus pilots a TV telehealth interface)

The sheer screaming attractiveness of medical ID theft
(Harry Lime would find this new black market more lucrative than stealing off Army trucks)


Roundup: data breaches ’round the world

(Hungary’s CEU takes a long hard look at it, and even FDA is vulnerable)

Earlier this week:
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
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)

TSA chair selection critiqued

Today’s Must Read  Published today in Roy Lilley’s influential NHSManagers.net newsletter (by free subscription, click on link) is Paul Harper’s commentary on the appointment of TSA Chair Andrew Gardner. Mr Harper’s view is informed by considerable experience in the UK health services concentrating on telehealth and telemedicine. His key point is that an ‘independent chair’ should be exactly that. Moreover, standards of public governance should apply (the Nolan Principles of Public Life), as these private companies are largely doing public sector business. Your Editor will let Mr Harper state the rest; a PDF of his article is attached.

In the US, where your Editor is from, it is commonplace to have an association chair from ‘inside the industry’ whether healthcare or in other areas where I’ve worked,

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Health apps presently of little use, says Australian telehealth expert

click to enlarge“Immature” and “focused on low-lying fruit such as fitness tracking and not focused on the big issues of management of disease” are also two of the compliments that Dr George Margelis of the University of Western Sydney’s TeleHealth Research & Innovation Laboratory (THRIL) has bestowed on the current state of health apps. Until the collected data ‘plugs into other digital platforms’–he mentions the Australian government’s PHR, eHealth–apps will not help those who need it the most. “Unfortunately, managing these diseases, in particular the chronic diseases that are a major part of the current burden, requires more than just tracking a few physical parameters which is what the app world is up to.” Dr Margelis called for collaboration between app developers and healthcare professionals; while he scores Apple’s HealthKit, that may be the means to make his vision come true. It should be noted that Dr Margelis

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Panasonic enters telehealth, debuts On4Today

click to enlargePanasonic’s new Health and Wellness Solutions group has tossed their cap into the socialization ring with tablet-based On4Today. The Wi-Fi connected tablet is targeted to senior housing communities to assist residents, especially those with cognitive impairment, in staying connected and managing their daily activities. Launched this week at the LeadingAge annual meeting of non-profit housing and long-term care providers in Nashville (IAHSA internationally), the tablet features a calendar, provides reminders, receives messages and lets the user view photos, videos and video chat. It does not, at present, do any clinical monitoring. This Editor received a preview at the Aging 2.0/New York meeting in New York earlier this month showcasing Jewish Home Lifecare and Panasonic.

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The sheer screaming attractiveness of medical ID theft

click to enlargeHarry Lime Lives!  It’s the 1949 Vienna of ‘The Third Man’ when it comes to the black market of medical identity theft. Data breaches are easier than heisting penicillin off an Army Medical Corps truck and far less noticeable–there’s always a lag time in discovery as more than one health system (Community Health System) found. And protected health information (PHI) has value down the line. According to a report cited by FierceHealthIT:

  • Simple data comes cheap: names, birth dates and health insurance contract with group numbers fetch a pedestrian $20.
  • Add Social Security (SSI) numbers, banking and credit card information, and these ‘kits’ fetch $1,500. These can be used for financial fraud of multiple types or alternate identities.
  • Add medical data, and direct marketing data brokers and pharmacy benefit companies are willing to pay. They use it for legitimate (but annoying) purposes, such as targeting those with specific diseases.
  • Add physical identification, and the value goes through the roof for fake passports, driver’s licenses and visas.

The ways PHI can be accessed are many: EHRs, paper records, stolen laptops, CDs, accounting systems, provider, insurer and supplier systems, and simple ‘friendly fraud’

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Roundup: data breaches ’round the world

Following on our review of recent articles on why medical identity theft is so attractive, here’s our review of data breaches in the news, including a new (to this Editor) report from Europe.

  • It’s not Europe, blame the UK! That is one of the surprising findings of a meta-review of all types of data breaches released earlier this month by the Central European University’s Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS). While not specific to healthcare, it is the first study this Editor has seen on EU data breaches and is useful for general trends. 229 verified incidents were analyzed by the CMDS across  28 EU member countries plus Switzerland and Norway, 2005-3rd Quarter 2014, and includes unusual healthcare breaches such as Danish HIV patients’ personal information included in a PowerPoint presentation later published online. Key findings:
    1. 57 percent of breaches were due to insider theft, mismanagement or error; 41 percent were hacker-instigated
    2. It’s common: “for every 100 people in the study countries, 43 personal records have been compromised”
    3. In terms of impact, the UK by far, then Greece, Norway, Germany and Netherlands were the top five countries for incidents and numbers of records breached (report page 9)
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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

Significant comments follow, including a response from the TSA’s Managing Director

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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