A collation of recent items received – something for everyone

Thanks to Professor Mike Short, Mike Clark and Dr Nicholas Robinson, the following are items that have been drawn to the attention of this editor, plus a few he spotted himself:

We begin with a post from Dr Richard Windsor, aka Radio Free Mobile, a person whose opinions I greatly respect, arguing that Fitbit has chosen the perfect moment to float.

Next is an invitation to a Healthcare App – Peer to Peer Session at Swansea University on 20th May at The Institute of Life Science 2 – attendance is free, booking is here. Hours are stated  as 10.45 am – 12.00pm (ie noon).

Then we have a gentle reminder for the Royal Society of Medicine’s event on the 4th June entitled “Should patients manage their own care records?” As the RSM is a charity, our charges for a whole day of excellent speakers are a tiny fraction of what a commercial event would charge, and there’s no hustling.

After that we have the latest Morgan Stanley North American Insight, summarised as saying that “Our AlphaWise survey of US consumers post Apple Watch launch in early March indicates wearable penetration doubled and purchase intention tripled in the past three months. Apple Watch demand also increased 60%, pointing to a stronger than expected product ramp with production the only bottleneck.” An article by Levi Shapiro misleadingly entitled “The end of wearables” points out that there are more Google search links for “wearables” (25 million) than the number of units sold last year (19 million) and then goes on to suggest that, as per the previous item, Apple will change everything – the end of wearables hype.

Next app is a speech from Vice President Andrus Ansip, bemoaning the fact that only a fifth of the global app economy is generated in Europe, although seemingly making few concrete suggestions as to how that figure can be apped. Rather more exciting is an infographic of how digital the EU really is, comparing Member States, and regions…

…and talking of infographics here is a nice map of the key companies in digital health space, and here is another of “the 20 most embarrassing health care statistics from the US”.

One potentially useful resource is the M2MNow-Black-Book-2015 – see P63 on for M2M health-specific stuff.

Staying with mobiles, here’s an interesting way of saving lives using a mobile to provide a microscope to identify worms in a drop of blood (there’s another article on it here, too) – doubtless it will have many more uses.

Getting close to a “What in the Blue Blazes” entry is Ernst & Young’s adoption model for telehealth which required the combined resources of health leaders from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Duke University Health System and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, among others, to create. Unlike the US lift system, it begins at level 0 (emerging telemedicine programme) and rises to level 7 (full interoperability).

Moving to the more intellectual, here’s an interesting paper from the Dove Press looking at ethical issues of remote monitoring. It begins with what this editor gets tired of reading about: that remote monitoring involves less human contact so encourages loneliness (to which one wants to respond: what about the greater telephone contact; why not use the technology to promote  more people caring for each other; and anyway with the demographic changes where might all the careworkers come from who would otherwise make these house calls?) and starts exploring interesting alternatives, such as intergenerational living. Food for thought.

Next, the Cullen Project has shed light on perhaps one of the earliest significant remote monitoring & treatment practices in the world. This has involved the transcribing online of the consultation letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790), at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Dr Cullen was widely consulted by post from around the world, and in turn monitored and advised his patients…by post. Picking a case at random, some of the questions asked aren’t that far away from those that clinicians use in telehealth monitoring today:

  • Had he been liable to any degree of Cough or spitting before the same period?
  • Was he ever before liable to any swelling of his Ancles at night?
  • What has been and what is the present state of his Urine with respect to quantity and colour?

Worth dipping into, if for no other reason than the delightful style of writing. Whose telehealth protocols will be being brought to light in two hundred years’ time, one wonders?

And finally, some readers may have seen the headline for last month’s Med-e-Tel 2015:

IHE Symposium at Med-e-Tel 2015 welcomes Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of Health.

What one wonders would it take to get David Cameron to address a healthcare technology conference in the UK? Now the election is past, perhaps it is the right time to point out that there is still a serious lack of strategic UK leadership in telecare & telehealth – where it will it will come from and where? Readers’ thoughts most welcome.

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