Short takes for a spring Friday: wounds, babies and ‘frequent fliers’

Starting off your spring weekend….WoundMatrix, which uses generally older model smartphones to take pictures of wounds which are uploaded either to their own or to a destination clinical platform, with proprietary software that helps a clinician analyze the wound remotely and then to track healing progress, has gone international with Honduras’s La Entrada Medical and Dental facility run by non-profit Serving at the Crossroads, and in Rwanda in the care of nearly 1000 patients by the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program, established by their Ministry of Health with the cooperation of several American universities. At ATA they also announced a new release of software. Release (PDF attached)….A BMJ (British Medical Journal) article critiquing the surge in what we call ‘telehealth for the bassinet set‘ scores the Mimo onesie (Rest Devices), the Owlet sock and the Sproutling band as taking advantage of concerned parents. It’s too much continuous monitoring of vital signs that can vary and yet be quite normal, and no published studies on benefit. A reviewer did find that Owlet is in clinical tests at Seattle Childrens and University of Arizona. MedPageToday (BMJ requires paid access)….A surprise from Philips, which we in the US associate with the Lifeline PERS. They have quietly moved into telehealth focusing on post-discharge programs that target the most costly patients, often dubbed ‘frequent fliers’ based on their frequent stays in hospital. The ‘Hospital to Home’ telehealth pilot with Banner Health in Arizona, dubbed for them the Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) program, focuses on the top 5 percent of complex patients which are the highest cost and most care intensive. IAC results among 135 patients over six months reduced hospitalizations by 45 percent, acute and long-term care costs decreased by 32 percent and overall cost of care by 27 percent. However, is this program continuing–or transitioning their patients?  iHealthBeat, PR Newswire

More telehealth for the bassinet set

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/3019806-poster-1280-sprouting.jpg” thumb_width=”160″ /][grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/product_sock-Owlet.png” thumb_width=”160″ /][grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/0ca96884.MimoKimono.png” thumb_width=”160″ /][grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Sensible-baby.jpg” thumb_width=”160″ /]Industry talk is that wearables are no longer the hottest things on the hype curve because of smartwatches and smartphones getting even smarter, but one area is the exception: baby wearables. MedCityNews has an overview of four, three of which we’ve noted since late 2012: Sproutling, Owlet, Rest Devices’ Mimo Turtle (which fastens into Kimono, a/k/a the ‘onesie’) and (new to us) Sensible Baby SmartOne. All have some combination of heart rate, skin temperature, movement/sleep position monitoring from sensors into a smartphone app. Form factors: Sproutling and Owlet are anklets, Mimo Turtle’s monitor fits into a designated secure pocket in the lower (baby’s) left of the onesie, Sensible Baby goes into a pocket or attaches to clothing so it’s likely more suitable up to toddler age. Last December’s FastCompanyDesign article on Sproutling targeted its debut for this summer [TTA 10 Dec 13], but there’s no trace of a website so it’s still in development. Owlet’s been in market since fall 2013 [TTA 27 Aug 13] as has Mimo Turtle which is now sold through major retailer Babies ‘R’ Us.  Sensible Baby is still inviting beta testers and pre-orders at $99, projecting $149 when on sale later this year. There’s also no reassurance on the site that the SmartOne can be safely chewed — and of greater concern, its size appears to be small enough to swallow. With pricing between $150 and $300, they are at the Velocity of Cute as ‘ooh-ahh’ gifts for those baby showers which are coming up on many calendars and for your favorite Quantified Self Moms. (Just hold the obsessive smartphone checking.)

Also: Investor/engineering lab Lemnos Labs’ blog posting on Sproutling’s development from application/prototype to a scalable production model will be interesting especially if you are being challenged in the hardware development process.

Previously in TTA: Wearables on the hype cycle: a ‘Fitbit for babies’Owlet baby monitor sock exceeds funding goal (But Huggies Tweet Pee seems to have stayed in Brasil…), Owlet baby monitor sock moving to marketCute sensor fashions now for baby

Pacifying baby, taking temperature

UK developer BlueMaestro has announced a temperature-sensing baby pacifier with the somewhat obvious name Pacifi. According to Mobihealthnews (but frustratingly not on their website), the pacifier sends temperature data via Bluetooth Smart to an iPhone or Android app. Parents can record medication dosing and reminders, track temperature and medication over time, and set up an alarm when baby runs a high predetermined temperature. It’s also dishwasher safe. Pacifi joins Raiing Wireless‘ body thermometer FDA cleared in 2012 (now iThermometer) and Kinsa’s plug-in smart thermometer which took a crowdsourcing approach to local public health. It is not cleared for sale yet in the UK or US, but was shown at last month’s Mobile World Congress Barcelona and the Smart UK Project in London. Unfortunately, it may be a while before Quantified Self Moms can put it on the list for their baby showers, along with the Owlet monitoring sock, Mimo onesie and iTeddy [TTA 10 Sept]. Related: MedCityNews compares Mimo to adult sleep monitor Lark, awarding the matchup to Mimo. The real matchup is Owlet versus Mimo (see this Editor’s comment). (Also see our comments here discussing the safety of RF monitoring around babies.)

Owlet baby monitor sock exceeds funding goal

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Owlet-closeup-small.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]In late August, we followed up on the major league cute ‘n’ useful Owlet monitoring sock and its effort to self-fund development. It’s now exceeded its $100,000 crowdfunding goal at over $121,000 with 721 pledged supporters. Along with this of course is the obligation to deliver products in November. What this points to is the appeal of a product addressing the powerful concern of baby wellness and sleep–a ‘job to be done’–and that it can be done outside of the usual East/West Coast accelerator, cocktail party and D3H hype loop in decidedly unfashionable, abstemious Utah. Congratulations in order! Website/pledge tracker.

There’s a bit of a boomlet in baby monitoring products, with Mobihealthnews lining up the Rest Devices’ Mimo onesie plus ‘turtle’ monitor, Croatia’s iDerma Teddy the Guardian teddy bear [TTA 22 July], Pixie Scientific’s Smart Diapers which not only detects wetting but also UTIs or kidney problems and the simpler Huggies Tweet Pee that alerts to changing (and reminds to buy diapers) which is in test in Brazil but reportedly will launch this month. Baby showers and their concomitant oohing and aahhing will never be the same. 6 baby activity trackers announced this summer

Owlet baby monitor sock moving to market

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/product_sock-Owlet.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]About nine months ago [TTA 6 Dec 12], the Owlet baby monitor in prototype won a student competition at Brigham Young University. It definitely ‘socked it” to this Editor at the time as an elegant way to monitor baby vital signs or signs of distress; it is a sensor-rich sock transmitting to a smartphone. While it still had pending patents, needed further prototyping and of course no FDA approval, I recommended “if you’re an angel looking for a highly marketable telehealth item–and with adult uses in hospitals and nursing homes–a trip to Utah may be in order.” Owlet is now seeking $100,000 in crowdfunding directly via its website and Amazon checkout (it was rejected by Kickstarter for being a baby product!) and will ship the device at an early bird rate of $159 once the funding is achieved. (more…)