Pilot Health Tech NYC winners announced (US)

Last Thursday, the 11 winners of the second annual Pilot Health Tech NYC program were announced at Alexandria Center, NYC. A joint initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Health 2.0, it provides early-stage health tech companies based in NYC a ‘test bed’ in partnership with many of the most prestigious metro area healthcare organizations, and another platform to keep health tech growing in the city. Each project represents a distinct need in the spectrum and a common theme is integration of care into workflow. Some needs are obvious: senior care, pediatrics, rehabilitation, cardiac disease and diabetes management. Others are less so: vision, medication adherence, data analytics, blood donation and social support.

The winners are supported by $1 million in funding to operate and report results from the individual pilots which will take place starting in late summer through end of year. An interesting fact from the announcement release is that the Pilot Health Tech inaugural class companies [TTA 1 July 2013] have raised over $150 million in private investment since their win: AdhereTech, eCaring, Rip Road, Vital Care Services, BioDigital, Flatiron Health, Sense Health, Bio-Signal Group, Opticology and StarlingHealth (acquired by Hill-Rom).

The winners (some of which we’ve been following like GeriJoy, NonnaTech and eCaring) and their partners are:

  • Smart Vision Labs / SUNY College of Optometry
  • GeriJoy / Pace University
  • QoL Devices, Inc. / Montefiore Medical Center
  • Urgent Software, LLC / Mount Sinai Health System
  • Nonnatech / ElderServe
  • Fit4D/ HealthFirst
  • AllazoHealth / Accountable Care Coalition of Greater New York
  • Canopy Apps / Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)
  • Healthify / VillageCare
  • Tactonic Technologies / NYU Langone, Rusk Rehab Center
  • Hindsait, Inc. / NY Blood Center

More information in their release. Many thanks to NYCEDC and Eric Vieira of ELabNYC (another NYCEDC initiative) and CUNY.

Related reading: ELabNYC Pitch Day in March

CEWeek NYC (Part 1): health tech moves to the front

CEWeek NYC, Metropolitan Pavilion/Altman Building (@CEWeekNY)

Part 1

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) stages events in New York twice yearly–at the start of both summer and winter, the latter as a preview of International CES in January. CEWeek NYC is a bit of an overstatement–it’s Tuesday-Thursday. It was apparent on today’s main day (Wednesday) visit that beyond the lead dogs of ever-larger HDTVs, in-car audio/smartphone integrators and marvelous audio speakers small and large, something else was different. Health tech was right behind them in prominence, including related areas of robotics and 3D printing. (This builds on CEA’s own trumpeting of the 40 percent growth of the ‘digital health footprint’ at this year’s CES. Hat tip to Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.)

Presentations got the Gordon Ramsay treatment and were re-plated as bite-sized sizzling steak tips. Also different was the format. Instead of a long, dozy general press briefing several flights up at the huge top of the Met Pavilion at 9am, then rushing to the show floors before the crush of buyers, the floors opened to press only for a generous two hours. Then fast-moving keynotes and conference presentations of no more than one hour started at 11am in an intimate downstairs room. Alternatively, the centrally located demo stage between the show floors hosted 15 minute presentations. Other than occasionally having to wait in a narrow hall as the downstairs room emptied between presentations, both were wise moves. Very workable and very low on the Tedium Scale. Three of the eight Wednesday presentations were robotics or health tech-related, not including the closing FashionWare wearable tech show. The proportion is the same on Thursday.

Notable on the show floor:

click to enlargeThe latest fitness band/watch is not a brick, mercifully. Withings formally debuts tomorrow the Activité watch (left) which looks like a fine Swiss analog chronometer, not a slab on the wrist. It’s a man’s watch size on a woman, a bit slimmer and simpler than a Breitling, and connects to your smartphone using the Withings HealthMate app to track activity, swimming and sleep monitoring. You also get time (analog, yes!) and alarm clock, all powered by a standard watch battery so none of the recharging shuffle. Available in the fall at $390, but if you are a dedicated QS-er with style…. Also VentureBeat. (more…)

CEWeek NYC (Part 2): wearables, robots, telehealth gone to the dogs!

CEWeek NYC, Metropolitan Pavilion/Altman Building (@CEWeekNY)

Part 2

Over in FashionWare-ville….

click to enlargeThe Healbe GoBe 100% Automatic Body Manager turned out to be a big draw at this pavilion, for reasons that to the casual visitor were not apparentIts claim: it automatically estimates both calorie intake and calories burned through measurements taken by an impedance sensor to measure tissue resistance, based on blood glucose being converted to liquid in tissues and the amount of liquid released. Having been through the now-vanished-into-thin Airo affair (with its fictional mini-spectrometer for detecting nutritional blood metabolites from food consumption, TTA 23 Nov 13), I was skeptical of Healbe’s claims and told co-founder and managing director George Mikaberydze (left) just that. He patiently explained how it works to me and seemed to be sincerely understanding of my skepticism. He briefly demoed the display on his smartphone, which was hard to track as it indicated negative caloric burn and was partly in Cyrillic, but these numbers were relative to…?

It turned out that I was not the first to question, and he was well prepared.

Healbe turns out to be quite controversial. The company raised over $1 million on Indiegogo this March/April, prominently featured in its well-produced GoBe materials and in its PR communications. It’s promising delivery in September. On researching this, (more…)

A random walk through ATA 2014

click to enlarge Editor Donna attended ATA 2014 on Monday only. This article is a set of impressions (mainly) of the exhibit floor and visits to a number of select booths.

Donna, it’s Baltimore. You’re not in NYC or Las Vegas.

Arriving after a long trip to a city you used to visit regularly, but haven’t been to in over 30 years, is disorienting, especially when you are heading on a fair spring day to a section that didn’t exist then. The Inner Harbor and Camden Yards resemble Atlanta, not necessarily a bad thing since the parts of ‘Charm City’ they replaced were largely past ‘gentrification’. The Baltimore Convention Center was unexpectedly huge, the distance to registration made longer by a taxi driver who dropped me off at another entrance two blocks away. Any resolve I had to drop in on the many educational sessions was dissuaded by the sheer length of the halls. The thick Exhibit Guide confirmed that the show floor filled two city blocks–a challenge to cover and spend time with my appointments before the close of the day.

Was it a hardware show, a software show or somewhere in between?

You could make a case for both views. One observer I walked with at the start compared it to a radiology trade show–all hardware. Yet a closer look indicated that the hardware–the PCs, tablets and smartphones–was there to show software that integrated: systems to track patients, distribute information, workflows, store and forward images and reports. It was about enabling secure consults, platforms, interoperability, two-way data flows, mitigating readmissions and putting telehealth, telemedicine and education into provider and patient hands. It was also about making the business case. It was most definitely NOT about gadgets and single purpose peripherals, though the latter were still quite visible. The old picture of telehealth closed systems, of proprietary monitoring devices feeding data onto a proprietary PC platform where it’s seen by a care manager, is so 2011.

Noteworthy: the growth in specialized services like telepsychiatry, teleneurology, teleradiology and teledermatology. Contrast: despite VGo‘s ubiquitous telepresence robots accosting you on the floor, a tablet-faced robot following a nurse down the hospital hall and ‘consulting’ with patients will likely still be a rarity.

Patient engagement on top

Traditional telehealth device makers are connecting their devices and opening up their reporting platforms to be accessible to patients. But there are bumps along the way in this transition. A&D Medical has gone ‘Wellness Connected’ with a mobile app (more…)

‘Brain Games’ on preventing, diagnosing sub-concussive brain trauma

Tuesday 13 May, presented at NYC MedTech-the NYC Medical Technology Forum, at Troutman Sanders LLP, Chrysler Building, New York City

In a packed (agenda and attendees) two hour evening meeting, three presenters detailed the latest research on the clinical signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), along with new technologies for detecting it as it happens and diagnosing it plus monitoring recovery: Robert Stern, PhD, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and a leading clinical researcher on CTE (as our long-time readers know) ; Isaiah Kacyvenski, head of the sports segment of electronics designer MC10 which developed the Checklight head impact indicator for Reebok; and Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, co-founder of Oculogica which presented at ELabNYC a few weeks ago.

Dr. Stern’s presentation reviewed his clinical work with primarily NFL players in how CTE manifests in both behavior patterns and the brain. His focus remains on sub-concussive trauma, the ‘bottom of the iceberg’ in his analogy, and its cumulative, long-term effects.  Repetitive brain trauma–neuronal shearing which is produced by linear, lateral and rotational forces to the head–produce a cascade of brain changes leading to destruction of brain tissues that show as dark patches on post-mortem samples and scans. These differ from Alzheimer’s disease in the abundance of tau protein distributed fairly early in life around the brain’s blood vessels and in the depths of the cortical sulci, where Alzheimer’s signature beta amyloid does not locate. Dr. Stern’s research also incorporates the behavioral changes that precede diagnosis: the emotional ‘short fuse’, the difficulty in memory, accidents, suicide, drastic changes in behavior and impulse control. There are many examples of degeneration and early death among players [TTA 6 Dec 12 which also refers to Dr. Stern’s research published in Brain; also see TTA 5 June 2013 on his German Center presentation which has additional background on his and his team’s research.]

In addition to the work he has done relating to (American) football (he is on the NFL Players Association brain injury committee and his research was instrumental in the PA’s lawsuit against the NFL), he studies other contact sports such as hockey (brain injury clusters (more…)

Playing games, using apps, promoting wellbeing – RSM event summary (UK)

This is a brief summary of the main points made at an event on medical apps held at the Royal Society of Medicine on 10th April 2014.

First up was Prof Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre of Public Health at NICE who spoke about how apps could change behaviour. He described what he called “system 1”, the rational reflective system that he associated with Apollo, and “system” 2 the impulsive automatic system that he associated with Dionysus. System 1 is most often targeted by behaviour change, however most people find thinking hard so spend most of their time in system 2 mode, so it is  much more effective to “nudge” the automatic system 2, if you can.

Humans are relational creatures, not billiard balls, so (more…)

ELabNYC Pitch Day

10 April, Microsoft HQ, NYC

The Entrepreneurship Lab NYC (ELabNYC) presented its second annual class of companies to nearly 200 life science funders, foundations, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare organizations, universities and the occasional Editor. Of the cohort of 19 companies finishing the three-month program, 56% are now funded and 25% had first customer revenue by the end of the program. Each company pitched for five minutes on its concept, its current state of advancement (including pilots/customers), its team and a funding timeline. This Editor will concentrate on the five companies with a digital health component; she was intrigued by their diversity and focus on difficult problems of compliance and diagnosis, especially dementia and concussion. (more…)

Medical Innovations Summit at the Royal Society of Medicine April 5 2014

The RSM held another of its innovation summits last Saturday. In addition to the 13 stimulating presentations, the morning was excellently hosted by past RSM President Robin Williamson whose stand-up comedy skills are surely a close match for his well-known surgical expertise.

The first presentation, from Big White Wall, an online provider of personalised mental health services, was begun by founder Jen Hyatt. She quoted hugely impressive statistics of how 95% of users report feeling better, 80% feel able to take control of their lives and 73% share their feelings for the first time when using the wall. She described how they use a ‘social media scraper’ and algorithms to assess people’s state of mind and suggest treatment plans. Dr Simon Wilson, Clinical director, said there was good evidence that online mental health therapy is as effective as face:face.  He went on to explain in more detail how the service was provided and what steps were taken when people posted genuinely concerning material. This is a superb innovation.

This was followed by Dr Farid Khan, CEO of PharmaKure, a company that looks for  (more…)

European Knowledge Tree Technology Group Conference summary (UK)

This conference was held in a very salubrious conference facility at the LSE on March 24th & 25th. The organiser – Maggie Ellis – delivered her customary eclectic selection of contributors: there was a very broad range, from telecare and telehealth stalwarts through to insurers specialising in the financial issues of older people, management gurus and broadcasters advising on how best to get a story on radio or TV. In short it is like no other, and so has a faithful following among a certain group of assistive technology professionals, many of whom travel from continental Europe and beyond to be there.

Almost no-one talked about proving benefits of assistive technology; the focus was on how best to deliver those benefits that no one doubted were achievable. The highlight for me was (more…)

One pearl found at the Wearable Technology Show 2014 (UK)

They say if you open enough oysters you’ll find a pearl, which was certainly true of the Wearable Technology Show 2014  held in Olympia on March 18-19. Perhaps I should have paid up to be a delegate, because to me the exhibition was fairly underwhelming with little to excite. Clearly some of the exhibitors felt that way too, as at least a couple of booths had been deserted by midday on the second day. There was one star though.

Unfortunately not all the exhibitors were recorded in the “Exhibitors A-Z” in the show guide so as I had been relying on that for writing this report, I do not have a complete list. For those wondering what they missed, here are a selection (more…)

National Health Summit Ireland–Special Report

Reader Andrew Macfarlane, Commercialisation & Centre Manager, CASALA at The Netwell Centre of the Dundalk Institute of Technology, stepped forward to report on this past Wednesday’s Summit. (Please note the excellent cross-references for those who may not be familiar with Ireland-specific programs.) Many thanks Andrew from Editors Toni and Donna!

From an Industrial Age to Information Age Healthcare – National Health Summit, Ireland

The 10th National Health Summit, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, saw a good attendance and an impressive range of speakers. The event is primarily targeted at decision-makers involved in leading and managing the delivery of healthcare services in Ireland.

The morning session outlined the changing landscapes of healthcare delivery both in an Irish and International context. Next up, separate tracks covering Health Insurance (as the Irish government seeks to introduce Universal Health Insurance), Hospital Management & Digital Healthcare (the primary topic covered by this post). The final session covered helping patients stay healthy at home and an insightful panel discussion on reform of the health service.

Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Services Executive (HSE) provided the opening address, entitled “Choices for our health service”. The HSE is a large organisation of over 100,000 people, whose job is to run all of the public health services in Ireland. He highlighted that like most health care systems, they are facing rising demand and costs (current budget €13.6bn), and that at the same time has endured significant health budget cuts, 26% since 2008, with €600+m planned savings in 2014. The annual National Service Plan sets out key priorities.

Key takeaway from a digital health point of view is the policy aim of A New Model of Care Treatment at the Lowest Level of Complexity that is Safe, Timely, Efficient and as Close to Home As Possible. The HSE envisages transforming from an industrial age healthcare to information age healthcare, with cost-effective use of ICT. Challenging perhaps with a historical under-investment in ICT at 0.85% of budget vs EU average of 2-3%, a number of speakers referenced the “Ghost of PPARS” as reason for under investment.

Professor Aidan Halligan, Director of Education, University College London & Principal, NHS Staff College, England in a lively storytelling highlighted that the Cathedrals to Disease  (more…)

mHealth Summit 2013: Verizon’s role in the HIT ecosystem

Peter Tippett, MD, PhD Talks Verizon’s Role in the Health IT Ecosystem

Lois Drapin, Founder & CEO of The Drapin Group, in the third of her post 2013 mHealth Summit insights, speaks with CMO and VP of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Peter Tippett, MD, PhD to share his insights on expanding Verizon’s role in the health IT ecosystem during the 2013 mHealth Summit. This article is courtesy of HIT Consultant.

I was happy to hear that Peter Tippett, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Verizon Enterprise Solutions put aside thirty minutes for an interview with me at the mHealth Summit. I arrived at the large Verizon booth and was immediately greeted by one of my favorite women in health technology, Nancy M. Green, Managing Principal of Healthcare Practice at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. Disruptive Women in Health Care, a group founded by Robin Strongin, just announced their list of Disruptive Women to Watch in 2014 and Nancy is on that list. Congrats goes out to Nancy… and to Dr. Tippett for having one of these top women on his team. We like that.

I always ask people to share a little about themselves before we talk business. (more…)

mHealth Summit 2013: The Velocity of Big

Lois Drapin, Founder & CEO of The Drapin Group, provides her post 2013 mHealth Summit insights on how IMS Health plans to move mHealth into a more ‘industrialized’ environment for mHealth apps. This is the second of her dispatches, courtesy of HIT Consultant.

The first time I heard Stefan Linn, Senior Vice President in Strategy & Global Pharma Solutions at IMS Health, pair the words industrial and mHealth in the first few minutes of his address in the Potomac Ballroom as part of the Executive Spotlights session on December 10th at the 2013 mHealth Summit, it made me sit up and listen more carefully. The words seemed to be odd companions, and oddly out of place in a healthcare conference. During the course of his speech, I heard those words three more times in some of its iterations— industrialized, industrializing, and industrialization with mHealth. It went something like this:

“What’s really needed here is to take on a large scale… to take mHealth forward into a kind of industrial world where we have standards, where we have safety and where we have adequate measurement of outcomes of mHealth applications.”

“So… there are a lot of folks taking on the world to a more industrialized environment, but certainly physicians [are] experimenting with this.”

“So… where does IMS fit in all of this? You may know that IMS Health is considered one of the best in the world around industrializing health informatics and analytics.”

“So…we think that this can make substantial contribution to the industrialization of mHealth.”

If you have ever seen Terry Gilliam’s 1986 film Brazil, (more…)

Around the mHealth Summit in 70 pictures

Courtesy of mHealth Insight/3G Doctor, David Doherty takes the LIFE magazine approach and delightfully, you feel like you are there. He hosted a get-together at his booth on Monday (many pics), stops by AliveCor, Alere Connect (hello Kent Dicks), the Venture+ Forum (see Lois Drapin’s earlier article; hello Richard Scarfo, director of the Summit and Pat Salber of HealthTechHatch crowdfunder and the DoctorWeighsIn), VNA Health Group, investor in many things Esther Dyson, Google Glass Explorers, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the ‘panini generation’ courtesy of AT&T ForHealth. But you’ll have to page all the way down to see the last shot of an ‘wild, wooly and yo-ho-ho’ AliveCor demo in My thoughts on the 2013 mHealth Summit as it happens…

mHealth Summit 2013: Sunday Venture+ Forum

Lois Drapin, Founder & CEO of The Drapin Group, provides a recap of the Venture+ Forum held the day before the official start of the mHealth Summit 2013. This is the first of her dispatches, courtesy of HIT Consultant.

click to enlargeYes, it’s true. Sunday’s Venture+ Forum, one of the day-long events that takes place before the official start of the mHealth Summit 2013, was a lot like living Gartner’s Hype Cycle in one day. Before I tell you why, let me first offer my sincere apologies to Gartner Inc. (I’ll reference the Gartner methodology in underlined italics). Absolutely no offense is meant, but this borrowed framework could be the assist I need at 1 a.m. to offer up my POV.

Keynote Speaker: Jack Young, Director of Qualcomm Ventures

The day began with Jack Young, Director of Qualcomm Ventures and head of the Qualcomm Life Fund. He talked about trends that we should all know by now— the rising costs of healthcare (at $8K per human per capita, health is the most expensive subscription in our home); the aging population (a company in Japan reported that it had sold more adult diapers than baby diapers this past year). Qualcomm sees the Technology Trigger in the emergence of wearables or “mini working computers” and with big data in health such as claims data, EMR data, genomic data, consumer and social data. The wearables industry is emerging, having come into our lives connected to our smartphones. In this way, if you will, our social-ness is changing too. When you wear a wearable (watch, glasses, shoe, shirt, pin—whatever item(s) we choose), we are more likely to accept that “I’m on the journey” to health, wellness and well-being. We’re involving our friends, families and co-workers. The data that is, or will be coming from our use of wearables and other sources, will give us meaningful insights that can change behavior and health outcomes. It sounds a bit like ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, yet who doesn’t love an investor with ‘California Dreamin’’ on his mind. I know I do.

But I already could feel the climb toward the Peak of Inflated Expectations. It really didn’t seem too far away or too high up. (more…)

CATCH Launch Event 19 November: report

Drs. Kenneth Law and Mutaz Aldawoud, GPs at the Hillside Bridge Health Centre in Bradford, attended the 19 November launch of the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH). Here is their report, with your Editors’ appreciation and thanks!

The Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) was officially launched on 19th November in Millennium Galleries in Sheffield. The launch offered an opportunity to explore the exciting research being undertaken at CATCH, based at the University of Sheffield, to help people live independently. (more…)