Next DHACA Members’ Day 27th April – come for free!

The next DHACA members’ Day will take place on April 27th at the Norcroft Conference Centre at Bradford University (Tumbling Hill St, BD7 1DB) starting at 9.30 am – all members are invited, free, and membership currently remains free, too.

The principal focus of the day will be five projects that members of DHACA special interest groups (“SIGs”) are beginning work on – the intention is to engage all DHACA members in at least one. The five projects are:

  • Testbeds for digital health
  • Developing mHealth Apps
  • Wearables for Self-Care
  • Defining the digital platform for citizen engagement with the NHS
  • A Programme of Education to promote apps and other digital technology in self care

To start the day, we have invited Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology at NHS England, and Bill McCarthy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations), and Honorary Professor of Health Policy at the University of Bradford, to speak.

Join DHACA here. Book your place for April 27th here.

Radiation from smartwatches, wearables: real, alarmist, or the NY Times?

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]The Gimlet Eye has that certain half-baked radioactive ‘glow’. The healtherati are all aTwitter over a New York Times Style (!) section article that does the unthinkable–it dares to raise the question of the possible harm of radiation that wearables, including smartwatches as well as smartphones, might present to both adults and children. The writer, Nick Bilton, is a regular tech columnist.

After an unfortunate baiting for attention at the start, making an analogy of cellphone/wearable radiation to 1930s adverts with doctors ‘endorsing’ cigarettes, he for the most part tries to take a balanced approach. By the end, he lines it up like this. Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi–no evidence of harm in adults. 3G/4G cellphone radiation–you may want to be careful. He points out that studies aren’t definitive. Older studies, such as the WHO’s, a Swedish and some European studies point to harmful (carcinogenic) effects from phones held extensively too close to the head, but nothing is definitive in causality as the CDC pointed out and additional studies have proven no conclusive evidence of harm. Conclusion–use anything 3G/4G with caution, away from the head, limit exposure by children or pregnant women. Cautious enough?

Oddly, he advocates Bluetooth headsets but doesn’t mention using speakerphone settings–and then, for the smashing windup, won’t put the Bluetoothed Apple Watch near his head. It’s a weirdly sourced (an alternative doctor the only one cited? Old studies?) and half-baked, partially tossed salad article. Consider: most wearables are–surprise, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connected. But it does bring up the inconvenient question, only partially answered, of All Those Rads and What (If Anything) Are They Doing To Us.

What’s really interesting? The immediate, twitchy and prolonged press response. As they say in New Jersey, they are ‘jumping ugly’. (more…)

Scotland invests £30M over 3 years on telehealth (UK)

In a news release this morning (19 March 2015) the Scottish Government said it is to allocate [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/scotland-gov-logo1.gif” thumb_width=”150″ /]£200m over two years to support the implementation of health and social care integration.

According to the release the investment will extend the current Integrated Care Fund into 2016/17 and 2017/18, and comes on top of £100 million of funding already allocated for 2015/16. The money will be distributed among the 32 local NHS and social care partnerships that have been set up as part of the move towards integrated services.

The Integrated Care Fund forms part of over half a billion pounds of Government investment over the next three years that will be used to support integration, including £100 million over three years for delayed discharge, and £30 million over three years for Telehealth.

The Integrated Care Fund supports the implementation of plans to  bring together health and local authority care services by 1 April 2016.  This will give the partnerships the resources to focus on preventative care and early intervention as well as support for people with multiple and long-term conditions. (more…)

Recent developments in digital health – RSM event report

The third successive year’s sellout “Recent developments in digital health” event, hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in London, UK, attracted prestigious speakers from across the NHS, industry and academia and provided delegates with a comprehensive overview of digital healthcare advancements in 2015.

Organised by Dr Andrew Harper, from the Telemedicine & eHealth Section at the RSM, the meeting provided insight into how the NHS is lining up to integrate and deploy digital health technologies to advance patient care.

Attracting senior NHS England members including: Paul Rice, Head of Technology Strategy; Dr Mahiben Marruthappu and Dr Harpreet Sood, Senior Fellows to the Chief Executive, the vision for digital health integration and deployment throughout the NHS was finely characterised and explained to delegates.

These sessions were supplemented by real-world experiences from Dr Dominic (more…)

A mélange of short subjects for Tuesday

ATA accredits American Well, Apple ResearchKit, diabetic contact lenses, Hackermania Falls on Indiana, patent trolls get a haircut, and more

The ATA (American Telemedicine Association) has gained more than 200 applications for their US-only Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations [TTA 17 Dec 14]. First past the post in accreditation is American Well’s Amwell virtual visit app, which will shortly be listed on the ATA consumer website SafeOnlineHealth.orgRelease, MedCityNews….Stanford University, one of the five academic centers using the Apple ResearchKit, had a mind-boggling 11,000 signups for a heart health study–in 24 hours. The downside is that they may not be representative of the whole population [TTA 10 Mar, see 11 Mar update] including us Android users. 9to5Mac….The Google-Novartis glucose-measuring contact lens [TTA 17 July 14] for diabetes management just gained some Canadian competition–Medella Health in Kitchener, Ontario, founded by a team of (more…)

EHRs can’t exchange patient records? $$ in workarounds.

Some of the Excedrin/Panadol Headaches (#11, #14, #23 and #54) in healthcare are around the very ‘miracle technology’ that was supposed to make it all seamless, non-duplicative, time/cost-effective and coast-to-coast–EHRs. The exchange of patient records between hospitals, within health systems between sites and with medical practices plus vice versa–works haltingly if at all. It works best within well-established, highly integrated delivery systems –the VA, DOD, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser, Geisinger, Intermountain Healthcare. But once you’re away from it–good luck. Where are the problems? The closed standards of the major hospital EHRs–Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, McKesson and brethren; the extreme customization most health systems demand (nay, a major Epic selling point!); structured versus unstructured data and how handled; a lack of a secure interoperability standard are but a few. Where is the gold? Getting patient health records exchanged, accessible and transportable, among systems that were essentially designed not to speak with each other. (more…)

University of Mississippi telehealth center to expand (US)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ummc_aerial.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]A Baton Rouge, La.-based data company set its sights on Jackson, Mississippi, and announced on Tuesday (10 March 2015) it will build a technology center that, in part, will house one of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s fastest growing services – telehealth, according to a news release from UMMC. UMMC entered into a lease agreement with Venyu Solutions, LLC, which will construct a stand-alone, 16,000-square-foot facility to accommodate the increase in the services UMMC’s Center for Telehealth provides to hospitals, clinics, corporations and patients across the state.

Venyu CEO Scott Thompson is quoted to have said construction would start in April or May and take a little less than a year. The hospital’s lease will begin on or around July 1, 2016. (more…)

Sweat analyzing sensor patch flies high at USAF Research Lab

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/USAF-sweat-sensor.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Call them ‘sticky sensors’, biosensor tattoos or as you like, but there’s been a lot of research happening in the past three years around gathering biometrics from skin contact. Whether it’s the John Rogers ‘skunk works’ at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign measuring ECG, EEG and cardiovascular conditions; University of California-San Diego’s lactate and blood glucose monitoring; MC10’s Biostamp for infant temperature, head impacts and neurological disorders plus NewDealDesign‘s multi-purpose implants, skin is in. Though the Apple Watch was flummoxed (for now) by biometrics due to hairy arms and sweat [TTA 18 Feb], these sensors thrive on the latter. The US Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory has been working on sweat analytic sensors for some time now [TTA 24 Apr 14]. (more…)

State telemedicine legislation update (US)

Here’s some brief updates on US telemedicine legislation scene to hit the news recently.

Florida

Florida is progressing the telehealth bill we reported on 12 Feb 2015. The Florida Senate [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Florida-House-of-Representattives.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Telehealth Policy Committee revised the draft bill on 18 Feb 2015 so the need for Medicaid reimbursements to be the same for telemedicine and face-to-face consultations is removed.

Mississippi

We have reported many telehealth initiatives from Mississippi and the state is now considered to be “a leader in telemedicine” according to a recent report in Politico. “Mississippi’s telemedicine program, ranked among the seven best in the country, has inspired neighboring Arkansas to take bigger steps in some areas of the field, and the impact of its success is making waves in Washington as well” continues Politico.

Mississippi is also helping to move telehealth at a federal level. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan bill in July last year to expand telehealth services under Medicare. The bill called Medicare [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/mississippi-logo1.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Telehealth Parity Act 2014 starts to move face to face and telehealth consultations to be on an equal footing.

(more…)

‘Rotting In Place’

Laura Mitchell, who was one of the key people behind GrandCare Systems and now is a marketing consultant and healthy aging advocate, has written an interesting article on LinkedIn Pulse, now on her website, springing off an AgingInPlaceTech article by Laurie Orlov.  Like the latter’s article, it commented on the Washington Post profile of Prof. Stephen Golant, whose POV on ‘aging in place’ was mostly that AIP is oversold–that in many cases, it’s ‘rotting in place in their own homes’. It’s a highly provocative topic with equally provocative statements and Ms Mitchell does take him to the woodshed, as does Ms Orlov in a different way. Prof. Galant seems to take a more moderate tone in his book (publicity perhaps?), citing (in the Amazon summary) that “older people often must settle for the least imperfect places to live. They are offered solutions that are poorly implemented or do not respond to the totality of their unmet needs.” a statement with which this Editor finds it difficult to disagree.

This Editor will largely cite her previous LinkedIn comment with a few embellishments/edits: (more…)

3rings Plugs in to reassuring families

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/3rings-plug-default.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] Stoke-on-Trent’s 3rings, which we noted over a year ago [TTA 6 Feb 14] as a smartphone/call/text-based family alert system based on the older person’s phone check in, has developed a plug that will do this check in automatically. It’s based on behavior–an older person turning on or off an appliance as part of their daily routine (a tea kettle or TV), based on rules that the family sets up. The plug goes into the wall outlet with the appliance plugged into it. Usage sends a wireless signal to the 3rings portal and notifies family or neighbors that the person is active and moving about. Presumably this is a small appliance–there’s no tech spec that gives maximum wattage. (The plug may short out if Dad likes to get up to ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ on his McIntosh amplifiers driving two Klipschorn floor speakers.) A subscription service at £12 per month, with the plug at laddered prices of £79 inclusive of the first month, £183 with a 12 month subscription with the plug at half price plug and £288 with a two year subscription. Interestingly this Editor received this news  (more…)

Integrating mobile apps between clinicians and patients

Your Editors have noted many well-funded companies working in the wings to link up and find meaning in the hugeness of Big Data generated by a gazillion medical systems and devices (Validic, the recently seen QpidHealth at HealthIMPACT East). However what’s been scarce on the ground are companies that are front-end, point of service, integrating mobile communications between clinicians, then with consumers/patients, then with EHRs, operations and patient portals. We noted ZynxHealth at HealthImpact, interestingly part of media giant Hearst, but they confine their secure messaging to clinicians. Now spanning both worlds is an early-stage company, Practice Unite, out of New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT–metro NY-ers of a certain age remember it as Newark College of Engineering!) NJ Innovation Institute accelerator. Inspira Health Network, located in southern NJ, is adopting their single clinician/patient platform. In conjunction with Futura Mobility, this will facilitate clinician/patient secure texting, voice communications, patient-directed communications and delivery of EHR data. Practice Unite has previously developed apps for at least ten health systems and home care providers. Their three-minute demo here illustrates a very wide span among clinicians, hospital operations, home care operations and patient engagement. (This Editor will be finding out more on Friday when visiting their offices at the NJIT Enterprise Development Center in Newark.) Release.

The hypealicious, hyperluxus Apple Watch debut–what the healtherati are interested in

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]L’œil de Gimlet eyes the Apple Watch. What’s down the road is more important than Monday’s unveil. Certainly The Eye, an adorer of all things over-the-top, would love to have the $10,000-and-up 18 karat, Daddy Warbucks, Solid Gold Cadillac edition of the Apple Watch. It is the sheer hyperluxus, Mercedes-Maybach S600-ness of it all that races my pulse. Stop at $4,000? Nein! $10,000 and up lends a golden glow to all those ordinary, plastic-banded, Mickey Mouse-faced $349 and up versions for the Applepolloi that take that pulse, burp your wrist when you’re not moving enough, open the garage door, play tunes and let you draw little thingies on the face that you can send to your friends. (Urp) What’s even better than a Merc-Maybach in Conspicuous Consumption-Ville? That it will be out of date in a year, unless Apple has a trade-in policy.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Tim-Cook-previews-the-App-008.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /] Cue Tim Cook and the Happy Dance of the Watches. (Photo: Zuma/Rex via Guardian)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Apple-Goldfinger.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /]Cue Shirley Bassey. (Gigaom via Twitter)

Ah, but let us get down to business and cut our swathe through the fog d’hype. (Editor Donna just walked in the door…)

As predicted and projected, the Apple Watch in stores 24 April in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, UK and US goes light and standard on health measurement features: accelerometer, heart rate sensors, running and weekly activity reports. What’s different? Wrist burps you if you’re a lazy, sitting sod. (Not a great feature for deep meditators or napsters.) The leak from two weeks ago feinted health through downplaying the functionality of the Watch. Back in September, claims included blood pressure and stress monitoring. [TTA 18 Feb]

Now for the right cross. It’s not the Watch, it’s the ResearchKit. Apple gets serious in health apps beyond HealthKit, partnering with the stars in the medical research firmament. As reported: (more…)

MWC 2015 Part II – a few companies, some of potential interest

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona does, as the name suggests, cover the whole mobile world. It can come as a disappointment then to find quite how insignificant Health is when compared to items like hardware, payment or even ‘4G backhaul’ (whatever that is). There certainly now seems to be a case for a sparate health stream, as finding the pearls proved very challenging for this reviewer. Relying on the search engine on the site too often revealed a company where too many boxes had been ticked. There was also an alarming number of healthtech ‘no shows’ on the when I reached the country stands of eg Finland, Greece & Italy.

However, there were a few exciting finds. These included:

Coros which are offering incredibly low-priced wearables: washable vests that do HR, respiration, temperature & ECG. If the prices I was quoted by Ethan Wu, Sales Director of a few $10s are good, and the kit works, they’ll be struggling to meet demand.

Dr Security offers an app that enables you to track all the people in your party, call for help, find your mobile device and more. Impressive and I’d have thought most welcome particularly for teachers with school parties or those with really any large outings.

Essence is an Israeli company that has been around for 20 years that offers an activities of daily living (ADL) monitoring service similar to (more…)

New alliance for m-health in Europe

Swedish telecommunications company Tele2, with operations in nine European countries, has announced that it is to partner with HCL Technologies to develop Machine to Machine (M2M) [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Tele2.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, particularly those within the m-health [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/HCL.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]market. In an announcement on their website, HCL Technologies, which employs over 100,000 people worldwide, said “by focusing on the Healthcare segment in Europe, the two companies will jointly address one of the fastest growing areas of the M2M/IoT market. For example, in healthcare the two companies are planning to develop remote patient monitoring systems that are enabled through smartphones. HCL and Tele2 will work together in an effort to reduce transactional and operational costs for their partners, whilst tapping into the lucrative revenue opportunities that exist within the European IoT/M2M market.”

The news article continues “HCL will be responsible for the implementation, integration, roll-out and ongoing support of M2M/IoT solutions, in addition to device connectivity through its flagship Device Gateway product – Aegis. This becomes feasible through Tele2’s Control Center, which is the market leading M2M/IoT connectivity platform in the world.”

Participate in the 2015 Global mHealth App Developer Economics Study

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-mHealth-App-Developer-Economics-study-banner.jpg” thumb_width=”250″ /]TTA readers are invited to participate in the fifth annual mHealth App Economics survey, sponsored by research2guidance in collaboration with mHealth Summit Europe and HIMSS. The study will look at the mHealth app market, how apps generate revenue, how behavior could be changed by apps, the use of APIs and sensors as well as other related topics–and is the largest industry survey on mHealth app development.

Click here to go to our exclusive link and participate in the survey. The survey is available till 26 April. Share your opinions and experience on how mHealth apps impact healthcare delivery now and in the next five years. Plus, every participant will receive the chance to win one of five free entry tickets to the mHealth Summit Europe in Riga, Latvia 11-12 May, where the results will be presented; a free copy of the 2015 report as well as the possibility to see initial results after completing the survey. Download link for the 2014 study (PDF).

TTA is a media partner of the 2015 Global mHealth App Developer Economics Study, and was a media sponsor of this year’s US mHealth Summit.