Redesign of Kinect to detect, prevent Parkinson’s freezing of gait (UK)

Two researchers at London’s Brunel University have repurposed a common Microsoft Kinect game controller to detect and help prevent the freezing of gait (FOG) that is a common result of Parkinson’s disease. FOG strikes without warning–the muscles freeze and the sufferer generally falls. To both detect falls and help prevent them, the Brunel researchers mounted a laser projector on the ceiling controlled by the Kinect. If a fall happens, it initiates a video conference call to assist the person. The prevention comes in with projecting visual cues–lines ahead on the floor, which has been found to help unfreeze the muscles. According to the Brunel release, it has passed proof of concept stage and is moving to patient trials. The further proof will be if this can scale. Brunel University News

ATA trend #2: is this the ‘second generation’ of remote patient monitoring?

Guest columnist Dr Vikrum (Sunny) Malhotra attended ATA 2015 last week. This is the second of three articles on his observations on trends and companies to watch.

During the course of the ATA conference, I was inundated with the concept of “dumb” data whereby biosensors track patient clinical data and will alarm to clinical staff if outside designated parameters. However, the call center filter between the patient’s data and physician is often a primary cause of increased unnecessary admissions. The Sentrian Remote Patient Intelligence Platform (Sentrian RPI) received recognition for its advancement in utilization of sensors, enabling healthcare providers to utilize this “dumb” data and make it “smart”. For clinicians like myself, this was a new way of looking at an age old problem: “How do we safely and comprehensively support physician decision making at a standard high enough to detect pathologies earlier and more accurately?”

Sentrian has used machine learning to support the work of a dedicated clinical team by monitoring patient data 24/7 to detect subtle signs that warn a family member or care provider of future problems through biometric patterns of thousands of patients, comparing their medical histories, vitals and health information. This novel approach to remote monitoring won Sentrian the ATA President’s Innovation Award. (more…)

ATA trend #1: Is a sustainable RPM infrastructure fact or fiction?

Guest columnist Dr Vikrum (Sunny) Malhotra attended ATA 2015 last week. This is the first of three articles on his observations on trends and companies to watch.

The advancement of remote patient monitoring is a visible trend from the American Telemedicine Association’s 2015 meeting, with care moving from the doctor’s office and being shifted to the patient’s home. A more diverse range of data is being collected for patients to facilitate more informed decision making at the patient visit and after the patient is away from the practice. As information is being collected and monitored on a more comprehensive basis, we have seen creative modalities to view a broad array of data points that would typically have been collected in a doctor’s office with the hopes of early diagnosis and preventive care, versus reactive care.

Patient autonomy has now come to the forefront and network infrastructure is being built to support that shift. Wearables, implantables and home based lab/ urine diagnostic kits are becoming smaller, cheaper, less invasive, wireless and cloud-based so that patients can be monitored without interfering in day to day living. (more…)

BSI publishes medical apps code of practice – PAS 277

After some six months of consultation and hard work, the BSI has produced PAS 277, which can be downloaded free, here. The purpose of the code, which is not mandatory, is to provide guidance to app developers on the key issues to be aware of when developing and delivering medical apps. This editor, as Managing Director of DHACA, was a member of the team developing the code.

PAS stands for Publicly Available Standard – to quote Wikipedia, the objective of a Publicly Available Specification is to speed up standardization. PASs are often produced in response to an urgent market need.

Again representing DHACA, this editor is now also a member of the drafting committee of the EU’s voluntary code focusing (more…)

ATA 2015: Day 1 news

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ATA-15-show-floor.jpg” thumb_width=”250″ /] HealthSpot/Xerox, Sentrian/Scripps, American Well, Honeywell, vitaphone, more

HealthSpot unveiled the first results of its partnership with (and investment by) Xerox, leveraging their HIT cloud infrastructure and back-end for the HealthSpot Station. The telehealth/virtual consult walk-in kiosk has targeted over 30,000 retail pharmacies with a newly developed consumer retail pharmacy personal health record (PHR). Upgraded patient and portal interfaces process insurance claims through a payment data feed and integrates with EMRs. Release….The US/UK predictive data/remote patient intelligence company Sentrian, winner of this year’s ATA Innovation in Remote Care award, is a part of a year-long 1,000-patient COPD remote patient monitoring study by the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) with members of Anthem’s CareMore health plan. The goal is to use the Sentrian platform data to accurately detect COPD patient decompensation in advance to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, which on average in the US is 1 out of 11 within 30 days of discharge. Release….American Well launched a platform for individual physicians to connect with current patients (more…)

Teen inventor develops video communicator, med dispenser debuting at ATA 2015

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/dispenser.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Teen inventors come up with interesting designs and apps at science fairs and codeathons, but it’s unusual when a 15 year old brings to market an assistive technology product targeted to remote caregiving and socialization of much older people. This is the case with iC Loved Ones, a smartphone/tablet + independently controlled med dispenser for remote caring. A desktop PC, smartphone or tablet loaded with the iC Loved Ones app remotely controls the dispenser, delivering medications in pre-loaded dishes. A separate smartphone or tablet, which can be positioned anywhere in the home on the provided stand, is used for video chat and virtual visits. The auto-answer setup (more…)

Ford disconnects research on heart attack-sensing car seat

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]The Gimlet Eye returns and hopes that Ford has a better idea, because this wasn’t it. The automaker announced over the weekend that it is abandoning research on car seats that would detect cardiac anomalies such as a heart attack and then (presumably safely) bring the car to a halt (and also presumably, call for medical assistance). A corporate statement to the FT stated that Ford was ‘transitioning’ to other projects, based on advances in consumer wearables. No indication of spend out of a $5.5 billion budget. Undoubtedly, the potential for sensor problems in seats and the danger of shutting down a car while driving were insurmountable. No tears though…. (more…)