Further ‘virtualization’ of industry meetings: DHACA Day, HITLAB, NAACOS, HXD, now ATA 2020 (updated)

Practically all events that this Editor has noted on the calendar for the next few months have been converted to virtual events or postponed due to emergency restrictions around COVID-19. 

Close to our Editors’ hearts is DHACA Day–a must-read update. Originally set for tomorrow 18 March, it is now planned as a virtual event on Wednesday the 25th starting at 10am. Editor Charles Lowe has an update on the DHACA website in his mid-March newsletter. The tentative theme is ‘The silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud’.

  • Charles is also compiling a list of “all the products that members make and services that members provide that will help the health services and patients cope with Covid.19 and the subsequent lockdown.” There are more ‘calls for assistance’ in the newsletter for everything from ventilators to technical help at Public Health England.

HITLAB is going virtual indefinitely. Dr. Stan Kachnowski’s emailed update today notes that the Women’s Health Tech Challenge on 16 April is on as a virtual event, and virtually free. Remaining Seminar Series events will be virtual–and these extend into August. This Thursday’s (19 March) seminar will be a virtual town hall to discuss digital solutions which can help patients and physicians in the age of the coronavirus, with an international cast–panelists from Scripps Translational Institute, Ugandan Health, and more. Registration here (free).

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) has officially converted its annual meeting scheduled for 1-3 April to a virtual event, date TBD.

MAD*POW Health Experience Design Conference 2020 (HXD) 14-15 April will be fully virtual. Quite relevant is a webinar being held noon ET Wednesday 18 March on Interventions to Encourage Social Distancing, based on a 12 March survey of Italians to gauge the effectiveness of government communications on staying at home and social distancing.

UPDATE: The sole outlier up until mid-week was the American Telemedicine Association’s ATA 2020 that was going to be in Phoenix 3-5 May. It won’t be a cure for cabin fever in the sun, as ATA’s announcement of a 100 percent virtual conference is up here. Details to come.

News roundup: Kompaï debuts, Aging Tech 2020 study, Project Nightingale may sing to the Senate, Amwell, b.well, Lyft’s SDOH, more on telehealth for COVID-19

Believe it or not, there IS news beyond a virus!

France’s Kompaï assistance robot is finally for sale to health organizations, primarily nursing homes and hospitals. Its objective, according to its announcement release, is to help health professionals in repetitive daily tasks, and to help patients. It’s interesting that the discussion of appearance was to achieve a ‘slightly humanoid’ look, but not too human. The development process took over 10 years. (Here at TTA, Steve’s first ‘in person’ with the developers was in May 2011!) Kompaï usage mentioned is in mobility assistance and facility ‘tours’ and public guidance. Here’s Kompai in action on what looks like a tour. Press release (French/English)

Not much on robotics here. Laurie Orlov has issued her 2020 Market Overview Technology for Aging Market Overview on her Aging and Health Technology Watch, and everyone in the industry should download. Key points:

  • In 2020, aging technologies finally nudged into the mainstream
  • The older adult tech market has been recognized as an opportunity by such companies as Best Buy, Samsung, and Amazon. Medicare Advantage payers now cover some tech.
  • Advances plus smart marketing in hearing tech–one of the top needs in even younger demographics–is disrupting a formerly staid (and expensive)
  • The White House report “Emerging Technologies to Support an Aging Population” [TTA 7 March] first was an acknowledgment of its importance and two, would also serve as a great source document for entrepreneurs and developers.

The study covers the demographics of the older adult market, where they are living, caregiving, the effect of data breaches, optimizing design for this market, the impacts of voice-driven assistants, wearables, and hearables.

Project Nightingale may be singing to some US Senators. The 10 million Ascension Health identified patient records that were transferred in a BAA deal to Google [TTA 14 Nov 19], intended to build a search engine for Ascension’s EHR, continue to be looked into. They went to Google without patient or physician consent or knowledge, with major questions around its security and who had access to the data. A bipartisan group of senators is (finally) looking at this ‘maybe breach’, according to Becker’s. (Also WSJ, paywalled)

Short takes:  b.well scored a $16 million Series A for its software that integrates digital health applications for payers, providers, and employers. The round was led by UnityPoint Health Ventures….Lyft is partnering with Unite Us to provide non-emergency patient transportation to referred health appointments. Unite Us is a social determinants of health (SDOH) company which connects health and community-based social care providers….What happens if you’re a quarantined physician due to exposure to the COVID-19 virus? Use telehealth to connect to patients in EDs or in direct clinic or practice care, freeing up other doctors for hands-on care. 11 March New England Journal of Medicine….American Well is finally no more, long live Amwell. Complete with a little heart-check logo, American Well completed its long journey to a new name, to absolutely no one’s surprise. It was set to be a big reveal at HIMSS, but we know what happened there. Amwell blog, accompanied with the usual long-winded ‘marketing’ rationale They are also reporting a 10 to 20 percent increase in telehealth consults by patients (Becker’s)….Hospitals and health systems such as Spectrum Health (MI), Indiana University Health, Mount Sinai NY, St. Lukes in Bethlehem PA, and MUSC Health, are experimenting with COVID-19 virtual screenings and developing COVID-19 databases in their EHRs. The oddest: Hartford (CT) Healthcare’s drive-through screening center and virtual visit program. Is there an opportunity to cross-market with Wendy’s or Mickey D’s? After all, a burger and fries would be nice for a hungry, maybe sick, patient before they self-quarantine.

Update: healthcare/digital health conferences canceled/postponed due to COVID-19 include SXSW, Naidex, EPIC (updated 13 Mar).

Your Editor has been offline since Monday to this afternoon (EDT) due to a Fios network outage, not a health outage due to COVID-19. Since last week and the HIMSS20 cancellation, major conference and meeting cancellations and reschedulings are multiplying like fig buttercups in the spring. And yes, WHO has declared it a pandemic as Italy closes down and the US bans travel and even trade from Europe for the next 30 days, but not the UK. (There are additional relief measures including a requested payroll tax reduction, tax deferrals and assistance to small businesses. Many schools and businesses are going remote and long-term care residences, a nexus of infection, are being strongly encouraged to defer non-medically necessary visitors.)

Below are some of the majors and of interest to Readers in the digital health area. Most are the largest conferences with international attendees:

What’s on? The DHACA Day on 18 March at Brown Rudnick in London. Agenda and registration hereUpdates at @DHACA_org.

Additional updates 13 March

Running lists are up at Forbes (including sporting events such as the NBA, Broadway, and every major St Patrick’s Day parade; happily the NY International Auto Show is moved to 28 August) and MedPage Today. Healthcare IT News has a list of government and academic information resources led by the CDC, the WHO, and the NHS. We’ll repeat the NHS pages from our earlier article:

The UK Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England has provided the following links to coronavirus guidance (hat tip to DOHSC via LinkedIn):

👩‍⚕️ Health: http://bit.ly/37qkWaV
🚂 Transport: http://bit.ly/2HDOFBW
👩‍🎓 Education: http://bit.ly/38KT41O
👨‍💼 Employers: http://bit.ly/2TfwpUT
🏡 Social care: http://bit.ly/2VhBIG9

Breaking News: HIMSS20 canceled; Naidex update; what is the outlook for other major conferences? (updated)

UPDATED 5 and 12 March

At 12.25 pm today, according to an email visible on HISTalk, HIMSS has canceled HIMSS20. This cancellation is the first in the 58-year history of the conference.

Quick facts are on HISTalk at the link above, on the HIMSS announcement, and on their FAQs.

The advisory panel recognized that industry understanding of the potential reach of the virus has changed significantly in the last 24 hours, which has made it impossible to accurately assess risk. Additionally, there are concerns about disproportionate risk to the healthcare system given the unique medical profile of Global Conference attendees and the consequences of potentially displacing healthcare workers during a critical time, as well as stressing the local health systems were there to be an adverse event.

Also from the announcement: “HIMSS20 exhibitors and attendees will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts and registrations. Please contact exhibitors@himss.org for immediate booth concerns.”

The CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives)/HIMSS CIO Forum symposium on Sunday 8th-Monday 9th is also canceled, per a comment on HISTalk. The only indicator on their website as of now is a large ‘CANCELLED’ on their event list. Later this month is the 5G Executive Forum on 25-26 March in Plano, Texas; is that now being reevaluated?

Neither will be rescheduled for this year. Further chatter on the 3/6 HISTalk centers on what to do with all the promotional items and after-action assessments of losses to marketing and sales. There are companies which center their annual budget and marketing efforts on HIMSS, perhaps not the best ‘eggs in one basket’ strategy, but one that many follow. Hat tip to HISTalk and their ace staff

For our UK and European Readers, Naidex is one of the largest conferences for independent living and healthcare. So far, it is on at Birmingham NEC from 17–18 March, they are taking a long list of precautions based on guidelines set by the WHO and local authorities, but according to their site statement by the event director, it is a fast-moving situation and may change based on those advisories. POSTPONED 10 March–see 12 March update.

Original article follows:

There is a growing list of exhibitor and attendee cancellations for HIMSS20 in Orlando, Florida, starting next Monday the 9th. HIMSS is one of the largest global healthcare conferences, and is a ‘must attend’ for a wide swath of healthcare-related companies, including clinical and monitoring technologies, software from the giants (Microsoft, Cisco) to the startups, hospital systems, payers, telecoms, and all sorts of governmental entities like CMS. (When the opening keynote speaker is President Trump, you know it’s important.)

Health IT website HISTalk, a regular exhibitor at HIMSS, has been tracking the cancellations as of today, doing their own research and following reader leads and public announcements, with a follow up article dated tomorrow. It’s well above 50, with major companies like Humana, Siemens, IBM, and the aforementioned Cisco and Microsoft, on the list. Modern Healthcare has an update.

Based on the comments and HIMSS’ own advisory, HIMSS is accepting cancellations from the CDC’s Level 3 or 4 alert countries, but other cancellations are not being refunded (likely pushed to 2021). Hotels/airlines may not be refundable based upon policies and the clout of travel bookers. Onsite, HIMSS is preparing onsite medical offices for care and screening, as well as promoting the HIMSS elbow bump in lieu of the handshake. It’s regrettable as there are hundreds of staff involved year to year who are responsible for all the planning, marketing, logistics, and security for HIMSS and any conference of this size.

The major reason? Many companies, including healthcare companies, have indefinitely canceled non-essential travel across the board for the next 30 to 60 days as a matter of institutional policy. The large destination conferences taking place March-June are the most affected by this. Consider that for the immunocompromised, attending any large conference is dicey, but COVID-19 is one large red flag.

IBM has canceled Think 2020 in May, which regularly attracts 30,000 attendees to San Francisco. Mobile World Congress Barcelona, the largest in the telecom sector which crosses over to mobile-based healthcare, canceled two weeks before starting on 24 February. The American Physical Society (physics) canceled this week’s conference in Denver the day before it started. The LA Times has a roll call of canceled conferences including Facebook and Google I/O. Others remain on, but monitoring the situation:  the American College of Healthcare Executives Congress on 23 March and EPIC 2020 in Croatia 19-21 March [TTA 16 Jan].

Small, local conferences and meetings are the least affected, so you’re probably safe in London and NYC. The King’s Fund has a full roster of London meetings, including the Digital Health and Care Congress 2020 on 20-21 May. Upcoming are also DHACA Day on 18 March and the NYC meetings listed last week. (Don’t go if you’re sick, steer clear of the inconsiderate, avoid buffets, and wash your hands!)

HISTalk’s 5 March article (scroll down) reports on the findings from the leader of the WHO team which spent two weeks in China studying their COVID-19 response. China is moving patients from their best hospitals to ‘routine care’ to accommodate COVID-19 patients. Children do not seem to become infected or be carriers. The trend in infection there is trending down. Overall, it seems to be a series of global outbreaks, not a global pandemic. And they came away with a fatality rate in China of 1-2 percent, which seems low based on other reports.

A potpourri of upcoming NYC events

Thursday 27 February, 6-8 pm, WeWork Soho
Behavioral Modification and Big Data: How Digital Health Helps Patients with Medication Adherence

HITLAB, which is a digital health research, teaching, and advisory services organization with the objective to improve healthcare delivery worldwide, is presenting a talk on digital health, eye care, and medication adherence. The featured speaker is Dr. Thomas Wong, an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of New Technologies at SUNY Optometry. Cost is $6.93 including Eventbrite’s take! Event information and tickets here.

Upcoming in HITLAB’s Seminar Series are When Patients Lose Patience: The Healthcare Consumer in 2020 (19 March) and The New Clinical Trial: Medication as a Core Business Strategy to Improved Drug Trials (23 April). Future events and notification signup here

Friday 28 February, 8 am to 6.30 pm, CONVENE West 46th Street
Columbia Business School’s 16th Annual Healthcare Conference

Speakers at this CBS conference will focus on the transformative impact New York City is having on the healthcare industry, and are from a cross-section of established healthcare organizations, emerging companies, and investment firms will present informed views. The Conference includes four panels, an inaugural CBS Start-up Showcase, and a Sponsor Expo. It also includes a buffet breakfast and lunch as well as a networking happy hour from 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Cost is $350, $200 for Columbia alumni, and only $75 for students. Conference information and tickets here.

Tuesday-Thursday 12-14 May
Columbia Business School Digital Health Executive Education Course

This three-day intensive executive education course sponsored by Columbia Business School Executive Education and HITLAB is an industry-first program that distills how digital technologies can transform life science research, clinical development, patient experience, operations, and business models. Upon completing the program, participants will earn three days toward a certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Application and additional information here.

Tuesday-Thursday 1-3 December, Bryant Park Ballroom
2020 HITLAB Innovators Summit

Mark your calendars for this three-day conference which will focus on the diffusion of digital technologies in the healthcare system, with speakers and attendees who are on the front lines of identifying, validating, integrating, and scaling emerging technologies that are improving patient outcomes. Preliminary conference information and 2019 information here.

Hat tip to HITLAB chair Stan Kachnowski, Ph.D., MPA

Calling all digital health entrepreneurs: DHACA Day on 18th March is for you!

If you’re struggling with the many challenges of how to grow your digital health business fast, DHACA, sponsored by the AHSN Network, is at hand to help. Specifically on 18th March we have assembled an outstanding group of speakers to help you get to know NHSX and its priorities, to build AI into your product or service, to position yourself to benefit most from the current emphasis on longevity, to understand how the cabinet office can help, how data privacy legislation may change post Brexit, what Babylon is doing, how the AHSNs can help and much, much more. You only have to pay for lunch! You will also get to hear how you can access a wide range of in depth business services free, due to the generosity of our sponsors.

The event is being held courtesy of Baker Botts in their offices very close to Bank Tube station in London. 

Please click here to see more detail and to book.

(Disclosure: this Editor is also CEO of DHACA)

European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress (EPIC 2020) invites world health tech to Croatia

European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress (EPIC 2020)
19-21 March
Valamar Lacroma Hotel
Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of our Readers from Croatia is the CEO of the Bagatin Clinic in Zagreb. In cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic, they are organizing this first-ever pan-European conference focusing on health tech and how it will impact the patient experience. This Editor has previously noted the growth of medical and healthcare tech in Central and Eastern Europe in places like Hungary and Estonia–and now, Croatia.

Ognjen Bagatin was kind enough to write me before the holidays and has since filled in some of the highlights.

  • Centered on the patient experience, it will explore the relationships among healthcare delivery, technology, private enterprise and the human beings who need and want these services.
  • Encompassing the scientific, clinical, behavioral and social perspectives, ranging from the futuristic, highly theoretical to current, best-in-class practice.
  • A high-energy, stimulating event for everyone, from c-suite executives, to clinical practitioners, clinic owners, scientists, and investors, EPIC will bring together some of the most influential physicians, med-tech startups and health professionals from Europe and beyond to the table to improve how your patients will experience healthcare in the near future.
  • As technology continues to help us achieve previously unattainable results in healthcare, the conference will bring an insiders’ look at which technologies, ideas, and innovations are improving the patient experience 
  • And, of course, there’s Dubrovnik
  • Speaker list here

Early registration closes on 19 January. More information here.

Texas Healthcare Challenge WISH-es on women in February hackathon (Dallas TX)

The latest phase of the Dallas-based Health Wildcatters Texas Healthcare Challenge series is the Women in Science & Healthcare (WISH) Hackathon, taking place Friday and Saturday, 21-22 February at the Health Wildcatters office in Dallas. The program includes keynote talks, problem pitching, mixing, team forming, hacking, mentorship, feedback, idea iteration, pitch practice sessions, final presentations, judging panel, and prizes. Teams will use design thinking to create products, iterate business models, map out go-to-market strategies, and potentially build new healthcare ventures. It’s not for existing companies; you can register your group individually to form a team working on a problem that may result in a new product or company. There are several tiers of prizes, with the top prize of $1000, with four finalist teams winning $250 per team.

This women-only event is partnered with the Small Business Association and SoGal. Registration deadline is 14 February. FAQs are here. More about WISH.

CES roundup: what happened to the excitement around ‘innovation’, robots, VR, and voice assistants?

What’s missing? Some sense of excitement. It may be your Editor’s back-to-work deluge after the holiday, but it’s hard not to have a sense of Déjà Vu All Over Again when reading the reporting from CES Las Vegas. So much of it seems lukewarm, a variant of what felt exciting, new, and transformative Back When. And so little of it seems to break through to a wider market. Let’s pick through and see what a Gimlet Eye might.

AARP’s Innovation Labs had yet another showcase of technologies from largely small companies from its own Hatchery and other accelerators with which it works. This year it highlighted VR developer partnerships with Rendever, which creates experiences for LTC residents, and VRHealth’s physical therapy at home. SanaHealth has a pulsed light/sound pain reduction device and the VoiceItt speech recognition device which translates the speech of the severely impaired into intelligible language.

Robots continue to seek a market, albeit tinier and we confess, occasionally more amusing.

  • Samsung’s Ballie robot, about the size of an orange, will roll through your home minding your pets, monitoring your safety, and interfacing with your smart devices and apps to make absolutely sure you get enough exercise and track your fitness. That is, if you don’t step on it, mistake it for a tennis ball, or your dog doesn’t mistake it for a chew toy.
  • The Charmin Rollbot will deliver a pre-loaded roll when you most need it, navigating through your home, although no capability of climbing stairs in its current concept.
  • The Misty II robot is yet again one of those tabletop robots which are developer toys. This one propels itself and has a camera, a microphone and 3D sensors, and could be repurposed for fall detection, companionship, or to bring you a hot towel.
  • The Lovot is a Japanese robot at its second CES which moves around, responds, is red and quite cuddly-looking (except for that weird thing on the top of its head). This ‘happiness robot’ will set you back over ¥299,000 ($2,700) when it finally hits the market.

Babies need both monitoring and changing, and combining the two may actually happen. P&G’s Pampers and Verily Life Sciences brought to CES the Lumi smart diaper with a connected HD video monitor plus an activity sensor in the diaper. It will detect baby’s sleep, feeding and diapering patterns. (But no changing by the Charmin Rollbot)

Voice assistants are getting more ubiquitous to find a way into the home. The war between Amazon Alexa (and siblings) and Google Assistant continues with new applications in cars (a/k/a computers on four wheels) to appliances and a host of third-party devices like garage door openers. A lot of this is ‘sneaky tech’ to get past the hard core of people who have already realized that both always-on Alexa and Assistant collect a lot of behavioral data which one does not necessarily want collected, and that many of these connected devices like Nest have been hijacked through compromised passwords.

More in Fierce Healthcare 7 Jan, 9 JanMobihealthnews

The CES circus opens its largest tent yet in health tech, AI, 5G, and more

CES kicked off today in Las Vegas (7 Jan), taking over the town in multiple locations, and will be making news through Friday 10 January. Like the circus, there are three health tech ‘rings’ at CES this year: Accessibility, Digital Health (Digital Health Summit), and Fitness and Wearables.

  • Digital Health Summit over the two days of its conference has shifted focus from the gadgets and wearables of their past conferences to prevention, health data, voice tech, machine learning, AI, bioelectronics (low current devices for treatment), behavioral health, and passive monitoring. There’s also a soupçon of star power with Katie Couric and Dr. Mehmet Oz, and some Grizzled Pioneer speakers and moderators such as Laurie Orlov, Chris Otto, Sean Slovenski, and Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. The Digital Health Summit is itself a Grizzled Pioneer as it goes back at CES to 2013–and my, how the players have changed. (Whatever happened to Sonny Vu?)
  • The Wearables Tech Summit is about the form and function of wearables, plus VR, AR (augmented reality), and of course Peleton.
  • Accessibility is sadly a mismatch (mish-mash?) of home networks, 5G, IoT, and a pitch competition.

What’s big? 5G, AI anything, and autonomous vehicles. What’s faded in the stretch? Robots.

Back to health tech…here’s some highlights:

  • Philips has several new or tweaked products at CES this year
    • A smart version of the Sonicare toothbrush that collects and shares real-time toothbrushing data. The BrushSmart program works with Delta Dental of California to analyze the data for insights into oral care. Users get benefits such as exclusive dental care offers, the Philips Sonicare ExpertClean toothbrush and free brush heads when they brush regularly.
    • The Avent mother and childcare app adds a new feature called Baby+ to track baby’s growth and receive ongoing advice specific to each stage of their baby’s development.
    • The SmartSleep system adds the SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband 2 to actively improve deep sleep with features such as Fall Asleep Sounds, SmartAlarm, and the SleepMapper app. Release
  • OMRON is adding to its heart monitoring services with HeartGuide, the first wearable blood pressure monitor, and Complete, the first wearable that combines a blood pressure monitor and EKG. The company is also launching this summer a heart health coaching and incentive app, OMRON Connect 2.0, that states it changes behavior, combining its two existing apps HeartAdvisor and OMRON Connect. Release
  • Withings’ newest is the ScanWatch which will be able to take an ECG and monitor for sleep apnea. The ECG has three leads on the watch on the side of the watch’s bezel and an SpO2 sensor to monitor apneic episodes and oxygen saturation. FDA and CE approval are pending, and when released later this year will cost $249 to $299 depending on size.  ZDNet
  • ZDNet and TechRepublic have a running special feature on CES’ big trends for business. The annoyance factor you’ll have to endure is the running CBS commercials for various programs.
  • Mobihealthnews rounds up interesting devices and software such as the Nanit baby sleeping bag that monitors an infant’s breathing, Reliefband’s low current anti-nausea band, Samsung’s Ballie rolling robot plus collaborations with Kaiser Permanente (cardiac rehab) and IrisVision (low vision/macular degeneration assistance), and more.
  • John Lynn, another Grizzled Pioneer, in Healthcare IT Today typically diverts from the mainstream coverage in spotlighting smaller companies in atypical areas. Examples are France’s Adok smart projector with the potential to be used collaboratively in practice offices, new connected apps for Neofect’s smart gloves for arm/hand rehab, two air filters to monitor both inside and outside air quality (as a social determinant of health!), Xenoma’s wired pajamas for fall detection, the Mateo bath mat which can measure weight and body mass, and a smart diaper from Smardii.

More to come in the next days!

Calling all pitchers! Join us at Baker Botts on 5th February for a great evening

Baker Botts (UK) LLP, in association with the Digital Health & Care Alliance and Ascendant Corporate Finance, invites you to join them for the DHACA/HTF fourth annual pitch event on Wednesday 5 February 2020 at their London office close to Bank tube station. The evening will feature a number of healthtech/medtech sector companies presenting their business for five minutes each, followed by two minutes of Q&A from the audience and panel of funders. Prizes will be awarded by Baker Botts Partner, Neil Foster, to the most fundable company and best presentation (as voted on by the panel and audience). Attendance is free.

Stuart McKnight, Managing Director of Ascendant Corporate Finance, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss key venture investment trends in the digital health and medtech sectors including highlighting the biggest deals and the most active investors.

We are particularly keen to have the best companies pitching so if your company would like an opportunity to pitch at this event, please download a copy of the pitch form by clicking here and return it as soon as possible it to Abigail Brookes at abigail.brookes@bakerbotts.com and definitely by Friday 10 January 2020. This event is also a great opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people, organisations and investors.

In order to qualify to pitch, you should be a private company within the healthtech or medtech sector, seeking funding within the next year. Successful applicants will be informed no later than w/c 13 January 2020.

Finally just to add that the Digital Health and Care Alliance is also running our next DHACA Day at Baker Botts on 18th March – you can book here, now. The agenda is in active development so keep checking.

Call for abstracts extended: ISG’s 12th World Conference of Gerontechnology (Norway)

ISG’s 12th World Conference of Gerontechnology, to be held on 18-20 May 2020 in Trondheim, Norway, has extended its call for conference abstracts to Friday 15 November. There are two types of abstracts:

  • Format No.1 – Free Paper, Poster, or an individual presentation as part of a symposium
  • Format No.2 – ONLY if you are the Convener of a Symposium

The link to the call for abstracts is here on their site. 

The conference will be held at the Clarion Hotel & Congress, located at Brattørkaia 1 in historic Trondheim. The conference theme is “Measures to achieve better quality of life and active healthy aging”. From the website, the conference “addresses the potential power of technology to both enhance quality of life older people and prevent age-related disabilities through health promotion. Technological solutions can also support independence and meaningful activities, and they can prevent loneliness, boredom and helplessness. This aligns with the main goals of gerontechnology which is divided into seven achievements: Satisfaction and enjoyment; Prevention; Support; Compensation; Caring; Care support; and Care organization.” More information is here. To register, see this page. Hat tip to Professor Anthea Tinker of the Institute of Gerontology, King’s College London.

News and event roundup: Amazon PillPack, Humana joins CTA, NH’s telemedicine go, Fitbit Lives Healthy in Singapore, supporting Helsinki’s older adults, events

Now that we are past the unofficial end of summer, it’s time to spin that lasso and rope us some news.

Amazon’s PillPack loses a critical data partner. Electronic prescriptions clearinghouse Surescripts terminated their data contract with ReMy Health, which supplied PillPack with information on patients’ prescriptions. Surescripts found fraud in several areas of their relationship with ReMy Health including medication history, drug pricing, and insurance billing. Now PillPack has to obtain it the old-fashioned way–by asking the patient. This can lead to errors and inaccuracies in things like dosages and whether a drug is brand-name or generic. Now PillPack, in the lurch, is seeking a direct relationship with Surescripts. Seeking Alpha, CNBC

Health plan Humana is the first payer to join the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Humana has been building up his data analytics and digital health capabilities with new ‘studios’ in Boston and hiring USAA’s CTO.  It’s piloting an app for Medicare Advantage patients to connect them with pharmacists and medication management via Aspen RxHealth plus working on a virtual digital primary model with telemedicine provider Doctor on Demand. Fierce Healthcare

New Hampshire is joining the telemedicine reimbursement bandwagon, with its legislature and Gov. Sununu approving primary care providers and pediatricians to bill Medicaid and private insurance for telemedicine visits starting in January 2020. This also ties into rural telehealth. AP, Mobihealthnews

Internationally….Fitbit is partnering with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) for the Live Healthy SG behavioral change program, based on the Fitbit Premium program, starting in late October. Mobihealthnews A-P   In Finland, Digital Service Center Helsinki is creating digital tools and virtual care systems to enable older adults to safely and independently live at home, including socialization to prevent loneliness. It’s a significant challenge as over 22 percent of Finland’s population is over 65. Mobihealthnews Europe-UK

Events:

The 9th International Digital Public Health Conference series (#DPH2019), 20-23 November, Marseille, France. This conference is billed as the digital health partner of the 12th European Public Health Conference and brings together the areas of public health, computer and data science, medtech, and NGOs. Conference information here.

Aging 2.0 New York Global Innovation Showcase 4 December, NYC. One of a series of global Aging 2.o events, startups will present aging-focused innovations. Want to pitch? It’s still open–apply here. Register to attend here. Additional information on this and on CREATE’s Design for Older Adults Workshop on 21-22 October at Weill Cornell is here.

 

News roundup: The state of Finland’s health tech, American Well-Cisco team for TV consults, Tech for Quality Care in Manchester 9 July

Finland shows its sisu in health tech startups. It’s a country you wouldn’t think of readily as hospitable to startups, but they’ve leveraged their tech skills (think the pivots that Nokia has accomplished) to create patient outcome and remote patient monitoring companies that are making an impact in Europe. Some which are making an impact are Meru, Kaiku, and Navigil. Venture capital is ‘thinnish’ which leads to companies seeking seed and development funding from government sources and later on, foreign investors. Mobihealthnews is profiling these companies in conjunction with Business Finland, a government entity. HIMSS and Health 2.0 also had their European conference in Helsinki, and this article discusses how their national health service, Kanta Services, leverages digital health in e-prescribing, they have a national database called the Patient Data Repository that collect patient data records to make them accessible to providers and patients, and the My Kanta patient portal.

Back to the 1990s? Tech device maker Cisco is teaming up with American Well to convert TVs to a video portal via a set-top unit. This is targeted to older adults and those with multiple chronic conditions who may not be comfortable with laptops, tablets, or smartphones, but wouldn’t mind using their TV to connect to a doctor. How it work seems to require a ‘smart TV’–the patient would activate the device on the TV, connect it to Wi-Fi, and initiate the video consult with the doctor and caregiver. No information on timing, markets, or pricing at this time. CNBCWhy does this sound like a klutzy non-starter to this Editor, who went through the fad of interactive TV in the Mad ’90s? It seems to need more than just consults.  Mobihealthnews notes that Quil Health, a Comcast-Independence Blue Cross joint venture, is targeting pre- and post-care support through the TV. Comcast is also rumored to be working on an Alexa-like ambient sensor based device to monitor basic vital signs and fall detection.

Using Technology for Quality Care on 9 July is a free half-day conference/workshop at Kings House Conference Centre, Manchester. It is the first of a series of regional workshops in the North West region to learn from local areas where councils, care providers, and suppliers work together using technology to support care. More information is on this PDF and on the Local Government Association website. Hat tip to Reader Adrian Scaife who just recently joined Alcuris Ltd. as Business Development Manager.

Global news roundup: Italy’s digital health summer school, GSK Impact Awards, Propel@YH for Yorkshire & Humber digital health, Aging 2.0 engages seniors

Smart Homes for Healthy Ageing, 24-27th June 2019, Artimino, Florence (Italy) might be just the thing as an learning adjunct to enhance your summer holiday. The four-day conference concentrates on supporting people living with dementia (PLwD). It is designed for early career researchers and delegates who are focusing on the research and development of smart homes and health services for PLwD. Registration deadline is 31 May. 2.5 ECTS equivalency and conducted in English. See the attached PDF for session information and the website for more detail on the conference. Hat tip to Cristiano Paggetti of the Medea Project via Editor Steve.

The King’s Fund, which is having its Digital Health and Care Congress as your Editor is writing this, announced on 16 May the outcome of one of its projects: the GSK IMPACT Awards to ten charities which have improved health and wellbeing. Each company receives a £30,000 donation, two places on a free training and development program, and an invitation to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Development Network with free meetings and events. The overall winner, Suffolk Carers, as the lead receives a bonus £10,000 to use in its work supporting unpaid carers of all ages across Suffolk. The other awardees are: The Children’s Sleep Charity,East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services,Grassroots Suicide Prevention, Healthy Minds, Off the Record Youth Counselling Croydon, Positive Life, Rape Crisis South London, Refugee and Migrant Centre Black Country and Birmingham, and Support in Mind Scotland. Nine runner-ups received a £3,000 donation. Congratulations to all!

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) announced their first-ever digital health accelerator, Propel@ YH, at the ‘Transforming Lives Through Innovation’ Annual Conference 9 May in Leeds. It targets building a relevant business case for the NHS. The six finalists are DigiBete, Healthcare Engineering, HeteroGenius, Medicsen, Medicspot and Scaled Insights. The Leeds-based program is in partnership with mHabitat, an NHS-owned specialist and expert in the application of digital to health and care.

And closer to home, Aging 2.0 Atlanta and Kansas City are conducting a free webinar on Driving Senior Engagement with Education & Socialization on 30 May, 11am-12.30pm ET. From their notice, “Social isolation, loneliness, lack of engagement, a shrinking world and a diminished sense of purpose are all issues effecting (sic) seniors today.” Presenters are Lynne Beachner of Senior Learning Network and Amber Carroll of COVIA Well Connected.  More information here. Registration direct link. 

Next DHACA Day 9th July, London – seeking new members (psst–it’s free)

DHACA, the Digital Health and Care Alliance, with some 850 members currently, is having a new membership drive among SMEs working in the UK’s digital health & care space, following the kind offering of new sponsorship by Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN and UCL Partners. 

The organisation’s objective is to help members develop their innovative products and services commercially, to achieve successful sales to the NHS. DHACA works right across the UK.

If you aren’t a member, you can sign up here to ensure you are kept aware of important news and of DHACA events. Membership is entirely free and members’ details will of course never be passed on to any other organisation.

Whether or not you are currently a member, booking is now open for the next DHACA Day. This event is primarily aimed at informing members working in the digital health & care sector of the major recent changes they need to be aware of, and how best to navigate them to make greater sales to the NHS and other health & care organisations. There is a small charge of £30+VAT to provide lunch, otherwise all other costs will kindly be covered by the event Sponsors, Baker Botts, in whose premises at 41 Lothbury (the opposite side of the Bank of England to the Bank Tube) it will be held.

The draft agenda includes talks by Luke Pratsides, Clinical Lead, Digital Development, NHS England about NHSX, Sam Shah, Director of Digital Development at NHS England and James Maguire, Clinical Advisor in Digital Innovation & AI at NHSX on NHS England’s digital development strategy, Mark Salmon, Programme Director, NICE on their HealthTech Connect and Evidence Standards, Neil Foster, Partner, Baker Botts on Finance for digital health start-ups, Neil Coulson, Partner, Baker Botts, on IP protection and the GDPR, Rob Berry, Commercial Director, UCL Partners on how the AHSNs can help SMEs and much more. Neil McGuire, Clinical Director of Devices, MHRA, has also been invited to update attendees on MDR implementation – a most important topic.

DHACA is keen to get members’ views on how they’d like it to be organised and governed in order to deliver what members want, so there will be time in the middle of the day for this too.

Should be a great day!

(Disclosure: this Editor is also DHACA CEO)