News roundup: of logos and HIMSS roundups, Rock Health’s Digital Health Consumer Adoption survey, and the millennial/Gen Z walkaway from primary care

HIMSS19 was last week. Onsite reports to this Editor declared it ‘overwhelming’, ‘the place to be’, ‘more of the same’, and ‘stale’. With a range of comments like these, everyone’s HIMSS is different, but HIMSS is well, a place that for most of us in digital health, have to be (or their companies have to be). It is still a major commitment, and if you are small, a place where you might be better off with no display and simply networking your way through. 

HIMSS must be conscious of a certain dowdiness, because HIMSS is ‘reforming’ with a preview of a new logo and graphics here that changes out their Big ’80s curvy lettering and muted colors to hard edges in typefaces and equally hard blues.

Mobihealthnews (a HIMSS company) delves into blockchain (Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM Canada) and Uber Health’s continuing foray into non-emergency medical transport. Dimensional Insight’s blog takes some of the sessions from the data governance and healthcare business intelligence perspective, including the opioid crisis, AI to detect cancer (the link between falling hemoglobin rates and a cancer diagnosis), and pediatric disease registries. And there is the always incisive HISTalk with last Monday Morning’s Update, their 2/14/19 roundup, and Dr Jayne’s Curbside Consult on John Halamka’s world travels, including nascent care coordination in China and interoperability in Australia.

Rock Health’s survey of consumer attitudes towards digital health adoption leads with these insights:

  • Wearable use is shifting away from fitness toward managing health conditions
    • There was a 10% increase in use of wearables to manage health, corresponding to a 10% decline in physical activity tracking
  • Telemedicine adoption is climbing, with urban consumers more than twice as likely to use live video telemedicine than rural consumers
    • Paradoxical but true, in terms of adoption of at least one form, it was 67 percent for rural residents and 80 percent for urban residents.
  • Highly trusted entities like physicians and health plans lost credibility in 2018—consumers were less willing to share data with them than they were in 2017. There’s an increasing distrust of ‘big tech’ and confidence in their ability to keep private data private–a wise takeaway given the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandals.

More acceptance of healthcare tools, less intermediation–and not trusting that data is secure spells trouble down the road unless these issues are addressed. Rock Health surveyed 4,000 respondents of US adults age 18 and over.

They’re not trad, dad. Accenture’s survey (released at HIMSS) also tracks the rejection of intermediation and gatekeepers when it comes to millennials and Gen Z in choosing non-traditional modes of healthcare, such as retail clinics, virtual and digital services. They are two to three times more likely than boomers to dislike in-person care; over half use mobile apps to manage health and use virtual nurses to monitor health and vital signs. Over 40 percent prefer providers with strong digital capabilities. Also Mobihealthnews 

‘Tis the season of mellow fruitfulness..and consultations

Suddenly it seems there are consultations all over the place that are important to the digital health world. If you can spare some time, you will be doing society a great turn by responding to as many as possible. They include:

The Accelerated Access Review (disclosure, which is editor is very involved with) is holding a consultation on pricing & reimbursement schemes. This is important because in the area of digital health (one of three areas covered by the AAR, the other two being medicines and medtech), selling at scale almost always involves a competitive tender (either at the time or previously in establishing framework contracts, or sometimes at both stages). We therefore have much to learn from the pharma sector in particular who have established a wide range of price-setting, and thus tender-avoiding, mechanisms. We are very keen for the digital health and medical technology voices to be heard.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 20th November.

Next we have an EC consultation with a characteristically long-winded title Public consultation on the preliminary opinion on ‘Disruptive Innovation. Considerations for health and health care in Europe’. For this, the EC is partnering with an organisation previously unknown to this editor: the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH). Having learned about disruptive innovation at the feet of the man himself, Clayton Christensen, this editor gets just a little uncomfortable when experts seek to impose order on the process (especially ‘taxonomies’), as by definition it is chaotic and opportunistic. However the four areas that the survey seeks views on are:

1. New models of person-centred community-based health delivery that allow a decentralisation from traditional health care venues like hospitals to integrated care models (e.g. transfer of records to patients);

2. New technologies that allow early diagnostics, personalised medicine, health promotion, community-based therapy and care and the empowerment of patients/citizens, as well as potential curative technologies (e.g. regenerative medicine, immunotherapy for cancer);

3. Person-oriented approaches for the treatment of patients with multiple chronic diseases, situations of frailty and/or of loss of functionalities in a multi-cultural context;

4. Education of the health workforce and transfer of skills and tasks from highly trained, high cost personnel to personnel that have less specialised trained and are more affordable; (e.g. from specialists to generalists, from generalists to nurses, from nurses to health care assistants and to other care providers such as pharmacists, and ultimately to citizens themselves.)

The preliminary opinion is just 95 pages long, and here. The consultation closes on 16th December.

Closer to home and potentially of more immediate significance is the consultation on the draft EU Code of Conduct on data privacy for medical apps which is now being opened up for general consultation prior to a meeting in Brussels of the group producing the Code (of which this editor is a member) on December 7th. Please send your comments directly to charles.lowe@DHACA.org.uk and I will pass them on.

Finally, London’s Southbank University is planning to establish a set of qualifications for digital health-related topics and is keen to understand the likely willingness to pay for them. They are currently in discussion with the Royal Society of Medicine regarding use of educational material. They have produced this short survey which they would appreciate as many TTA readers as possible completing.

Hat tip to Dee O’Sullivan for alerting me to the disruptive innovation consultation.

 

Facebooking health: good for communities, not for privacy?

In a Reuters exclusive, Facebook is reportedly considering creating online communities which will support those with various medical conditions, as well as ‘preventative care’ applications for those minding their healthy lifestyle. According to Reuters’ sources, Facebook representatives have been meeting with medical industry experts and entrepreneurs. They are also starting a research and development unit to test new health apps. It is not a far reach to assume that Facebook, which is always seeking to maximize its profitability dependent on digital ad revenues (second only to Google), yet finding its younger audience on the decline, is attempting to grapple with the concerns of its older-skewing audience–and also seeking a way to monetize another slice of data. Yet the 55+ audience is wary of Facebook given (more…)

Driving up medical app usage in the UK – part I

Our recent post on ‘the last mile’ for medical apps in the US is a great introduction to some work I have been doing over the past three months: attempting to answer the question of how best to improve the perception by clinicians and patients of the efficacy of health-related apps. This work has been done for the i-Focus project, part of the Technology Strategy Board’s dallas programme.

As the research is quite detailed, and as I’m keen to get as much feedback as possible, I have split the work into three parts, to be delivered over the week – comments to this article or a direct email to me (on charles.lowe@btinternet.com) on errors, omissions or additions would be hugely gratefully received.

This post aims to answer the question of what regulations affect the development, sale and usage of health-related apps and, in particular, when an app is a medical device. (more…)

mHealth data privacy: a worrying finding

We reported last August on a YouGov poll that found nine out of ten people not knowing what the term ‘telehealth’ meant.  Now they’ve been at it again, this time looking at mHealth, sponsored by Pinsent Masons.  From a poll of 2000 people, they found that:

“Prior to being given a definition of mHealth, the majority (73%) of respondents didn’t know what the term meant, and when explained 90% stated they never used mHealth services, despite the examples given including established applications such as fitness apps.”

Perhaps there’s a little encouragement (more…)

Mainly mHealth: a few predictions for 2014, and some speculation

Editor Charles on what to watch for in 2014

As we have covered previously (and here), there’s no shortage of forecasts that the mHealth market will continue to grow faster, or of penetrating comments like that that won Research2guidance a What in the Blue Blazes award that smartphone user penetration will be the main driver for the mobile health (mHealth) uptake. mHealth apps continue to proliferate – there’s even shortly to be a Pebble apps store. There are a few straws in the wind that not is all well though – for example, as we covered recently, Happtique ceased, at least temporarily, its apps approval process, citing security concerns.  Elsewhere Fierce Mobile described serious data privacy issues with the iPharmacy app, and the ICO recently produced security guidelines for app developers in the UK.  The EU is also strengthening data privacy, moving from individual country directives to a pan-EU regulation. This leads us to our first prediction (more…)