The GET Project to grow EU startups/SMEs

Associated with the international Health 2.0 organization, the GET Project provides four services to promote the growth of eHealth start-ups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in four different phases: opportunity identification, business model definition, fundraising and internationalization. Health 2.0 is managing the “GET Funded” service, which provides SMEs looking for Series B or follow up investment (between € 0.5-2M) with training, resources and networking opportunities with VCs and investors at the European level. (Perhaps a way around the Series B crunch?) More information. Contact Pascal Lardier, International Director at Editor Donna notes that the focus here does not appear to be UK, though one of the five Advisory Board members listed is from Scotland (and interestingly, two are from the US): Jan Rutherford, Partner, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP); Sandra Bates, Founder and CEO Innovation Partners; Dave Whitlinger, Executive Director, New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC); Ron Michael Liebkind, Founder and CMO, Laastari Retail Clinics; Rajendre Khargi, Chair, OneWorld International Foundation.

Telefónica buys strategic stake in Saluspot

Telefónica Digital today announced a strategic agreement with and a financial stake in information/medical community website Saluspot to extend the latter’s content and network in Spain and Latin America. Saluspot is an interesting cross between health information (WebMD) and physician locators (in the US, ZocDoc and Vitals) in that it provides free, anonymous contact with registered (on their site) physicians via the website to answer consumer questions in areas where healthcare access is limited; through this matching it also provides visibility for doctors as well as a professional exchange and purchasing collective. The benefit for Saluspot is to increase their coverage beyond Spain and Chile, and for Telefónica to add health tech services in major markets such as Brazil, where they acquired chronic care management company Axismed last year. Telefónica’s eHealth reach, according to the release, is over two million eHealth service customers in Latin America and its media networks include Eleven Paths, giffgaff, Media Networks Latin America and Terra.

Tunstall welcomes you to ‘my world’

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Tunstall unveiled its tablet-based integrated system for supported housing at this week’s Housing LIN Extra Care Housing Annual Conference in London. ‘my world’ groups applications for residents in an easy-to-use way for communication (email/messages), scheduling care visits, booking meals, home maintenance, finding out about community events, weather and the like. These features are all somewhat reminiscent of other systems such as GrandCare and the original concept behind Waldo Health. It appears to this Editor that Tunstall has designed my world/my clinic as Tunstall’s World–a fully proprietary ecosystem, as seen in their model installation with Herefordshire Housing. The release notes that it is integrated with Tunstall’s ‘my clinic‘ multi-user telehealth system and the Communicall Vi reporting system, as well as Contour Homes. Certainly when a system is complex, having it ‘closed’ is assurance that everything works together. But is a closed system the best quality, most economic and effective arrangement for individual, a community’s or a council’s needs? Press release, brochure

Apple patents health monitoring headphones with ‘head gesture’ control

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Another reminder of Apple’s growing interest in the health monitoring and fitness space is the news that the company has just been granted a patent for a “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets” (U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004). The biometric headphone system can sense a number of metrics including temperature, heart rate and perspiration levels. It also contains ‘head gesture’ control which could allow users to change music tracks and adjust volume by tilting or rotating their head. Read more in Apple Insider.

Related TTA posts: Sensor-based monitoring coming to an iPhone near you? /  Wearable technology – so much choice, so much data to sell? / Turn up, tune in but don’t drop out with health monitoring earphones


Aerotel’s HeartView ECG goes mobile and personal

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]For those attending GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week and interested in how a more traditional telehealth provider incorporates mobile technology, stroll over to the Israeli Pavilion (Hall 5, Booth #5C81) to see Aerotel‘s new (debuted at Medica Dusseldorf last November) HeartView P12/8 Mobile, an extension of their existing 12-lead ECG line that incorporates a 3G module for patient data transmission to either a call center or to a physician’s email. Aerotel claims that it is the smallest and most accurate 12-lead mobile monitor on the market. We thank Boaz Babai of ARPU~UP,  Aerotel’s marketing agency, for the heads-up–but it would have been helpful to have a link to the (nonexistent?) product web page. Release (

International Digital Health Congress (UK): call for papers

Call for papers due 31 March

The King’s Fund’s International Digital Health and Care Congress has opened their call for speaker papers which showcase new ideas in telehealth and telecare. This year the Congress has widened its focus to include ehealth, mobile health and digital health innovations. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations should be targeted to one of the main topics below:

Sustaining independence as people age.
Preventing and managing chronic illness effectively.
Supporting people with mental health issues.
Digitally enabling service transformation.
Innovations in technology.

Formats for presentations (including PDF) are available at the Congress’ page. More information for the Congress on 10-12 September is available here.

Geonovo ceases trading (UK)

Geonovo has ceased trading. They won the TSA’s Innovation Award in 2011; their Home Health Hub seemed to be exactly what was needed to overcome Next Generation Network issues.  Confirming recent rumours, Mike Dillon of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group (at a different branch than that shown on the website) informed Telehealth & Telecare Aware today that parts of the business including their intellectual property had been sold off; creditors have been notified.

A sad end to a most exciting company – as the products were so highly regarded, let us hope that phoenixes will, appropriately, rise from the ashes.

Wearable technology – so much choice, so much data to sell?

Vandrico has recently updated its List of Wearable Devices which now features (at the time of this post) 118 such items, plus some interesting analysis.  It is indeed a most comprehensive and impressive listing, that underlines the growing importance of this sector. And still there are others, such as Apple, apparently still to join.

One aspect not mentioned by Vandrico, which is becoming increasingly concerning is the extent to which the business models of such apps might involve selling persona fitness data.  In spite of denials, this Mother Jones article suggests that worries persist. iMedicalApps reports that the practice is already well established with medical apps used by physicians in the US (more…)

Pulse of Telehealth 2013

A study analysing survey data taken at the 2013 American Telemedicine Association conference has been published this month by the market research company Frost & Sullivan. Pulse of Telehealth 2013 presents drivers and restraints, 5 and 10 year areas of opportunity, environmental points (e.g., gamification), accountable care organisations (ACOs), and predictions.

The surveyed markets include home and disease management monitoring, personal emergency response systems (PERS), video diagnostic consultation, remote doctor/specialist services, tele-imaging, activity monitoring, wellness programs, remote cardiac ECG, and tele-mental health.

The report is available for purchase at the Frost and Sullivan website (link above).

Mapping assisted living and integrated care & support work in the UK

We don’t normally draw readers’ attention these days to items of news unless we have a comment to make, as Twitter, and most notably Mike Clark’s excellent & timely tweets (@clarkmike), fulfils that role well.

However the Assisted Living Capability Map is just so good it perhaps merits an extra mention to readers. Click on any region on the map and it will give you details of all assisted living activities in that region known to the HealthTech and Medicines KTN.

The same is true of the Integrated Care & Support exchange (ICASE) map with shows integrated care & support pioneers, initiatives & case study exemplars. It is not, sadly, designed with the 10% of men who struggle with red/green colour blindness in mind, although that’s a small criticism of an excellent piece of work.

$1.2 million in digital health funding from Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation has earmarked $1.2 million to fund digital health, including mobile health, specifically to support public health in “vulnerable and minority populations.” The grants will go to 23 organizations in 13 states, including regional hospitals and grassroots efforts. Cited in the release (reprinted in HITECH Answers) as an example was the Institute for eHealth Equity (IEHE) and Text4Wellness. The $1.2 million grant is part of a three-year, $4 million commitment to technology innovation in public health. Aetna is also supporting a call for papers to be published in the American Journal of Public Health. Deadline is 1 March, so get your skates on!

Now three medical device maker networks hacked

St. Jude Medical, Medtronic and Boston Scientific targeted. The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this week, from what they termed a source close to the companies, that all three companies had data intrusions that lasted for several months during 2013, and were not aware of them until alerted by Federal authorities. None of the companies, nor the FBI, confirmed or commented on this for the Chronicle. The attacks were “very thorough” and the source stated that they showed signs of being committed by hackers in China. The attraction of all three companies–Medtronic being the world’s largest– is their intellectual property and of course patient data, with the article mentioning confidential patient data collection from clinical trials. Also iHealthBeat.

Previously in TTA: US health data breaches hit record; backdoored?

Inexpensive reusable portable sensors for diabetes, UTI

Responsive holograms that change colour in the presence of certain compounds are being developed into portable medical tests and devices, which could be used to monitor conditions such as diabetes, cardiac function, infections, electrolyte or hormone imbalance easily and inexpensively, according to the University of Cambridge. It is claimed that the technique can be used to test blood, breath, urine, saliva or tears for glucose, alcohol, drugs, bacteria or hormones. Clinical trials are said to be underway to test glucose and urinary tract infections (UTI) in diabetics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

It is estimated that the reusable sensors could cost as little as UK £ 0.1 (about US 15 cents) to produce, making them affordable for use in developing countries. A prototype smartphone-based test suitable for both clinical and home testing of diabetes and clinically relevant conditions is under development.

If this is a commercial success this could form the basis of a multi-purpose portable tester suitable for telehealth use.

A research paper, Light-Directed Writing of Chemically Tunable Narrow-Band Holographic Sensors, has been published in Advanced Optical Materials.

CUHTec courses in March–updated (UK)

CUHTec has announced two additional telecare strategy courses for March, adding two at Coventry University in addition to the two previously scheduled at University of NewcastleTopics are Learning Disability Services, Fall Prevention and Digital and Mobile Telecare. These strategy courses are for commissioners, service development managers, trainers and others with responsibility for telecare and AT service planning and delivery.

CUHTec telecare strategy course: Learning Disability Services, HDTI, Coventry University, Thursday, 6 March 2014

CUHTec telecare strategy course: Learning Disability Services. Culture Lab, University of Newcastle, Thursday 20 March 2014

CUHTec telecare strategy course: Moving to digital and mobile telecare. Culture Lab, University of Newcastle, Friday 21 March 2014

CUHTec telecare strategy course: Fall Prevention and Management, HDTI, Coventry University, Tuesday 25 March 2014

To find out more and to book a place, please visit CUHTec’s website. Thanks to reader Prof. Andrew Monk, director of The Centre for Usable Home Technology (CUHTec), for the update.

Powerhouse DC lobbying for telehealth, telemedicine

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]The Gimlet Eye observes from a houseboat anchored at a remote Pacific island, with coconuts and occasional internet to Editor Donna.

Telehealth and telemedicine have reached a US milestone of sorts: the formation of a Washington, DC-based ‘advocacy’ (a/k/a lobbying) group constituted as a business non-profit. The Alliance for Connected Care is headed by three former Senators (two of whom were ‘amigos’) from both sides of the aisle and backed by a board including the expected (giants Verizon, WellPoint, CVS Caremark, Walgreens)–and the surprising (much smaller remote consult provider Teladoc and HealthSpot, the developer of the HealthSpot Station kiosk–hmmm, must be a fair chunk of their marketing budgets there) flanked by six well known ‘associate members’ including Cardinal Health and Care Innovations (another hmmm). There’s also a hefty ‘advisory board‘ including the American Heart Association and the NAHC (home care). The leadership team members are all members of major Washington law/lobbying firms. Tom Daschle is recognized as one of the most influential former Senators in town via DLA Piper, though himself not a registered lobbyist ( Trent Lott and John Breaux hung out their own shingle and were recently bought by mega-lobbyist Patton Boggs. To put a fine point on it, more high-powered one does not get. The Eye sees that the time is prime for the Big Influence and…

What the Eye sees is Big Financial Stakes: Private insurers are required to cover telehealth in 20 states, as does Medicaid in most. The VA is a major user. But the great big trough of Medicare is new territory; covering 16 percent of the population, the use of telemedicine and telehealth is limited to certain geographic areas. (MedCityNews) This marks the infamous tipping point: the clarion call to ‘build significant and high-level support for Connected Care among leaders in Congress and the Administration’, ‘enable more telehealth to support new models of care’ and ‘establish a non-binding, standardized definition of Connected Care through federal level multi stakeholder-input process’ (whew!) Big companies want in, insurers want reimbursement, and they want it from somewhere as well. Toto, we’re not in the Kansas of Small anymore with ‘connected health’–we are now in the Oz of Big Money and Power Players. Alliance release (Oddly the website looks preliminary despite the big announcement and backing.)

More on this strategy: It’s called ‘soft lobbying’ and it is the latest thing in the Influence Wars. The Alliance for Connected Care is a 501(c)6 non-profit, similar to a business league like the Chamber of Commerce, and this has become a popular tactic. It’s also a less regulated, less transparent way to shape coverage, public opinion and exert influence on legislators. See this well-timed examination from the Washington Post on the corn syrup versus table sugar wars. ‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence