CHC breaking news: Qualcomm on 5G’s $1T impact, Think Fast stroke VR

From the Connected Health Conference in Boston

Qualcomm announced today two releases: an analysis on the effects of 5G mobile on the healthcare sector and the Think Fast virtual reality (VR) simulation program for stroke diagnosis.

5G Mobile: Qualcomm’s study, “5G Mobile: Impact on the Health Care Sector”, found that 5G’s increased data speed, reliability, and security will have a substantial and positive impact on healthcare both in quality and financially. 

  • It will enable the ‘personalization of healthcare’ through permitting the continuous real-time gathering of healthcare data through sensors and on the back end, to process that data usefully. Qualcomm calls this the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) which works for this Editor as long as the devices and apps are secure. (Having worked in telehealth where network drops and latency in many areas, particularly rural, often made check-in via tablet connectivity a matter of the stars aligning right, this is good news–Ed. Donna)
  • It will better support remote diagnosis and imaging, including the application of VR
  • It will facilitate distributed computing, which is data processing closer to the patient, for the greater use of predictive analytics 
  • Faster and more data will help in the transition from volume-based to value-based/outcome-based care
  • Financial impact is estimated by IHS Markit at more than $1.1 trillion in global sales in healthcare by 2035. broken down as follows:
    • $453bn in the healthcare vertical: hospitals, doctors, medical equipment, pharma
    • $409bn in supply chain and related
    • $253bn in added value sectors: payers, data analytics providers, cloud data services

The study was authored by Prof. David J. Teece, Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, and supported by Qualcomm. Study PDFPreviously in TTA: Ericsson’s less rosy 5G international healthcare survey [TTA 13 June].

Think Fast VR: FAST–Facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties and time to call emergency services–is the acronym for what to watch for when someone is having a stroke. But if you could observe it in reality, it would be far less ambiguous and more memorable. Think Fast is a VR simulation program that lets the user (a med student, nurse, healthcare educator, or average person) observe a stroke’s effects as if it was happening to them. By stepping inside a stroke victim’s world, it educates on warning signs and critical steps for care. It was designed by ForwardXP using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR SDK and Unity 5.6 plugin. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability–which can be minimized or prevented with quick response within three hours. Video below. Hat tip to Ashley Settle of Weber Shandwick

Telehealth patient engagement program improves orthopedic outcomes

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/orthocare_06.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]VOX Telehealth‘s patient engagement program with Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, which was announced back in January [TTA 12 Jan], published results for its pilot last month, and they appear to be outstanding. VOX’s model is ‘episode of care’, over a 90-120 day span starting 30 days prior to surgery to 60-90 days post-procedure; the online/tablet platform delivers educational content, reminders and notes on potential symptoms that ties into a customizable by patient alert escalation and notification system. The goal is to reduce post-discharge complications and readmissions, in this case for hip and knee replacement patients, through managing expectations and better preparation by the patient. And the results reported are encouraging:

  • 92 percent of enrolled patients were discharged directly to home–the US average is only 30 percent
  • Length of stay dropped to 1.6 days, nearly 50 percent lower than the US average of 3.7 days. It is lower than Bon Secours’ average of two days.
  • There were 0 readmissions after 30 days, compared to the US average of 6 percent
  • Patient satisfaction was also high: (more…)

VOX Telehealth rolls out orthopedic pre/post-procedure service

Pre/post-procedure education and monitoring service VOX Telehealth launched their OrthoCare Program at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. OrthoCare was developed in conjunction with The St. Mary’s Orthopedic Institute for total hip and knee replacement procedures and provides a ‘patient care plan’ with specific educational content for the patient to prepare for the procedure and what to expect during recovery. The plan also includes patient reminders and symptomatic observations tied into a customizable alert escalation and notification system. The goal is to reduce post-discharge complications and readmissions. If this sounds ‘soft’, Stephanie Baum at MedCityNews makes two excellent points: joint replacement surgery is one of Medicare’s largest expenditures, and that ‘companies centered on navigating healthcare systems was the third largest target of digital health investments last year, according to stats from a StartUp Health report published in December.’ VOX release

Related: Patient engagement meets ‘palliative care’

WebMD’s Avado acquisition and meaning (US)

Early-stage company Avado’s acquisition by content Goliath WebMD has rocked the small world of New York health tech, with both companies being located (or co-located) here. First is the acquisition price estimated by TechCrunch in the $20-30 million range. Co-founded by Dave Chase (whose Forbes articles we’ve occasionally commented on here), Avado developed its patient portal PRM (Patient Relationship Management) system, including direct messaging and the highly touted Blue Button, on relatively limited funding with a $1 million raise in March plus an earlier $300,000 from New York Digital Health Accelerator in addition to angel funding. Second, for WebMD, it is their first foray into anything that bridges from the patient to their physicians for messaging, reminders, and appointment scheduling. (more…)

Medivizor patient info site goes public with additional information

Medivizor, which was one of the better discoveries of our CE Week (NYC) coverage and the H20NYC/Healthcare Pioneers evening back in July [TTA 3 July], has moved out of what was a largely private beta to what they interestingly term a ‘public beta’. The site provides individualized content, understandable by the layman, for subscribers on a larger group of diseases which were on track for this fall: lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, as well as melanoma, diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension and stroke. The goal is to improve doctor-patient communications by better patient education. Another important feature is a “personalized system for matching individuals with specific clinical trials available worldwide.” Company release, Xconomy article.

A related New York Times article is an appreciation of how physicians are overwhelmed by information and that “doctors also need a skilled docent to help walk them through all that curated data.”  Healing the Overwhelmed Physician