Resources dear boy, resources – useful stuff TTA has been sent recently

During this editor’s brief holiday, the interesting reports really piled up, so here is a selection of what look to be the best, including a few that never got blogged previously:

G3ICT & AT&T have published an excellent new report entitled ‘The Internet of things: new promises for persons with disabilities

The European Parliament has produced an extremely useful compendium of articles and statistics on the silver economy: well worth reading (or at least bookmarking for writing that next EIP AHA project proposal).

If like me, use of the ‘Euro’ prefix always brings to mind the Eurosausage episode of Yes Minister, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by this new online database of digital services for carers of older people jointly produced by Eurocarers and the EC’s Joint Research Centre, and hosted by Eurocarers. This offers access to 78 good practices of digital services for older care at home.

Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report is essential reading for anyone working in (more…)

After a long absence, a What the Blue Blazes award…or is that two?

blue-blazesThough recently threatened, the Telehealth & Telecare Aware What the Blue Blazes award has not been presented for some while, so it was kind of PC Magazine to draw our attention to an AT&T Innovation Day special of a Connected Car Seat that texts the car’s owners if it detects a child has been left in the car when the car temperature exceeds a pre-set level. When this editor’s two daughters were babies, leaving a dog in a car on a hot day was considered unacceptable, let alone a child, so to introduce a facility that may notify car owners of children at risk of overheating would seem to be the ultimate in irresponsible encouragement (most text messaging services of course guarantee neither delivery, nor maximum elapsed time to delivery, even if a parent happens to have their phone handy, & it’s switched on, & not on silent).

Now if the car was to persist in blowing its horn if it detected a car owner trying to leave a baby alone still strapped in the car on a warm day, or automatically phoned the police to report an overheating child left alone in a car, that might make more sense. (In Europe, the latter option – calling the police – couldn’t be simpler, as an add-on to eCall, the new automatic car emergency service being introduced across Member States in the next two years.)

Meanwhile in Jordan, a woman recovering from a caesarian section operation on April 24th, troubled by persistent vibrations in her womb (more…)

Dr. Topol in the AT&T house: a reboot of ForHealth?

HIMSS14 will tell. The big news that kicked off this snow-bound week in large parts of the US was Dr. Eric Topol joining Dallas, Texas-based AT&T ForHealth as Chief Medical Advisor. Well-known for his personality and evangelism of all things mHealthy, certainly Dr. Topol lends a certain star power to Big Blue’s efforts in this area–a shine that went completely dark in 2013 after a promising start in 2011 and strong partnering moves in 2012 (Alere and WellDoc diabetes management TTA 10 Aug 12VRI monitoring in May). The quietude of 2013 deserves a closer look. Dr. Geeta Nayyar joined with fanfare in September 2011 as Chief Medical Information Officer and departed exactly two years later to join engagement company PatientPoint with the same title. ForHealth made no waves at International CES save for being an example in the controversial ‘sponsored data’ plan announcement (GeekWire). Even finding ForHealth on the AT&T website is not easy. It is buried under ‘Business>>Enterprise Business‘ and then in a dogpile of footer links as ‘Healthcare Solutions‘–not ForHealth. In marketing, this is a state usually termed ‘dead in the water.’ The fact that Dr. Topol is remaining as Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health also indicates that he is no direct replacement for Dr. Nayyar, despite being cited by AT&T SVP Chris Hill as a “change agent” who will help “drive our competitive strategy”. We’ll see if HIMSS14 on 23-27 February where AT&T will be exhibiting and their subsequent activity marks a genuine reboot for ForHealth, putting Dr. Topol’s impressive abilities to work beyond a twinkle. AT&T press release, MedCityNews article

WellDoc raises $20 million from Merck, others

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/BlueStar-promo-image-WD.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]WellDoc, developer of a prescribable Type 2 diabetes management smartphone app (BlueStar), announced today a $20 million Series A round from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Windham Venture Partners. The interest by Merck is understandable in several ways. Pharma companies are moving beyond the meds into other management models as blockbuster drugs become scarce (those cuts in R&D do hurt down the line), operating costs higher and profitable drugs go off patent. Because it is prescribable, BlueStar is reimbursable by US insurers (not disclosed by WellDoc); it is currently offered as a pharmacy benefit by Ford Motor and major drugstore chain RiteAid. In addition to these, WellDoc has developed strong partnerships (AT&T, Alere) since their founding in 2005 (see below). BlueStar also can be considered a strong fit for a Merck subsidiary, Vree Health.  (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…)

Vitality GlowCaps go retail (again)

Vitality, with a rebranding and new graphics, is testing the retail waters again with direct sales of pill container-reminder GlowCaps through pharmacy giant CVS. GlowCaps are connected via AT&T’s mobile network for activation and reminders. In beta is the GlowPack–a zippered pouch for those medications such as liquids and blister packs that don’t fit into a pill container. CVS Caremark is also testing GlowCaps as part of a randomized control trial on medication adherence among CVS Caremark members with suboptimal control of their LDL cholesterol levels. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) database ClinicalTrials.gov, a series of three incentive programs plus GlowCaps will be measured versus GlowCaps use only. GlowCaps now sold through CVS, new randomized control trial launches (Mobihealthnews)