CES Unveiled’s preview of health tech at CES 2018

CES Unveiled, Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC, Thursday 9 November

The Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) press preview of the gargantuan CES 9-12 January 2018 Las Vegas event was the first of several international preview ‘road shows’. It’s a benchmark of the ebb and flow of health tech and related trends on the grand scale. Gone are the flashy wearables which would change colors based on our sweat patterns and heart rate, or track the health and movement of pets. Now it’s the Big Issues of 5G, AI, machine learning, AR/VR, and smart cities. Entertainment, especially sports, are now being reinvented by all of these.

The developments this Editor gleaned from the mountain of information CEA plies us keyboard tappers that are most relevant to healthcare are:

  • Wireless 5G. As this Editor has written previously from Ericsson and Qualcomm, 5G and 5G New Radio will enable amazingly fast mobile speeds and hard-to-believe fast connectivity by 2019. It will enable IoT, self-driving cars, cars that communicate with each other, reconstruction of industrial plants, electric distribution, multimodal transport, and perhaps the largest of all, smart cities. The automation of everything is the new mantra. Accenture estimates the impact will be 3 million new jobs (nothing about loss), annual GDP increased by $500bn, and drive a $275bn investment from telecom operators.
  • AI.  Society will be impacted by machine learning, neural networks and narrow (e.g. calorie counting, diagnostics) versus general AI (simulation of human intelligence). This affects voice-activated assistants like Echo, Alexa, and Google Home (now owned by 12 percent of the population, CES survey) as well as robotics to ‘read’ us better. These conversations with context may move to relationships with not only these assistants but home robots such as from Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri (which this Editor attempted to interact with on the show floor, to little effect and disappointment). Oddly not mentioned were uses of AI in ADL and vital signs tracking interpreted for predictive health.
  • Biometrics. This will affect security first in items like padlocks (the new Bio-Key Touchlock) using fingerprint recognition and smart wallets, then facial recognition usable in a wide variety of situations such as workplaces, buildings, and smartphones. Imagine their use in items like key safes, phones, home locks, and waypoints inside the home for activity monitoring.
  • AR and VR. Power presence now puts viewers in the middle of a story that is hard to distinguish from reality. The pricing for viewers is dropping to the $200-400 range with Oculus Go and Rift. At the Connected Health Conference, this Editor saw how VR experiences could ease anxiety and disconnectedness in older people with mobility difficulties or dementia (OneCaringTeam‘s Aloha VR) or pain reduction (Cedars-Sinai tests). The other is Glass for those hands-on workers [TTA 24 July] and heads-up displays in retail.

CES is also hosting the fourth Extreme Tech Challenge. Of the ten semi-finalists showing down on 11 January, three are in healthcare: Neurotrack to assess and improve memory; Tissue Analytics that uses smartphone cameras to assess wounds and healing; and (drum roll) the winner of TTA’s Insanely Cute Factor competition, the Owlet smart sock for baby monitoring [TTA’s backfile here]. One of the judges is Sir Richard Branson, who will host the finalists on 28 February on Necker Island (which hopefully will be rebuilt by that time).

After the nearly two-hour briefing, CEA hosted a mini-show on the ground floor of the Metropolitan. (more…)

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

Walgreens partners with Chicago health tech incubator MATTER (US)

Walgreens, the US retail pharmacy part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, on 20 December announced its own alliance with Chicago healthcare incubator and innovation community, MATTER. This Editor believes it is the first retail partnership with a health tech-focused incubator or accelerator in the US; most of these partnerships are with angel networks, VCs, health system venture arms or large commercial healthcare partners such as Qualcomm, Allscripts or GE Healthcare. Walgreens’ contribution will be to mentor and collaborate with MATTER entrepreneurs. Reportedly they have or have had more than 150 startups in their program. They are also part of Chicago’s push to slice itself some health tech cake versus cities like San Diego, Palo Alto, Dallas, Boston and New York via the recently launched Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), which was co-created by MATTER and Leavitt Partners. Hopefully, Walgreens will get some of their $140 million back via their Theranos lawsuit ending their blood testing misadventure [TTA 17 Nov, Ch. 24] and spread their bets with legitimately promising startups. Press release, ChicagoInno

Telegraph takes a quick look at CES 2016 trends, including wearables (updated)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CES-GX-p25a2_400x400.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]It’s hard to believe that with the end of the year, the Next Big Event for many is the Consumer Technology’s Association‘s CES 2016 in Las Vegas 6-9 January. The Telegraph notes six trends in this breezy overview of what’s going to be The Next Big Things at the show: connected cars (lots of automaker concepts including the hush-hush Faraday electric), cybersecurity (especially irking this year with healthcare taking three of the top seven-Healthcare IT News), drones (buzzing at a location near you, despite the FAA), wearables (most impacting digital health), virtual/augmented reality (with utility in rehabilitation not mentioned here), and the ever-annoying, ever-cloying Internet of Things. On wearables, the show floor has apparently tripled in size since last year, and the article highlights the Mimo baby sleep monitor and the Qardio ECG monitor. (Unfortunately this Editor missed the November New York CES preview as she was attending HIMSS Connected Health, and due to other commitments won’t be going to Vegas, Baby.) Six predictions for CES 2016: drones, cybersecurity, wearables and more (Telegraph)

Update. During CES, Parks Associates will hosting their 7th annual CONNECTIONS Summit on 6-7  January (Wednesday – Thursday). The most health tech related session is ‘Wearables: Healthcare, IoT, and Smart Home Use Cases’ on Wednesday 10:30am-11:45am, with a panel including executives from Honeywell Life Care, Care Innovations, Qualcomm, Independa, IFTTT and Lumo Body Tech, hosted by director Harry Wang of Parks whom this Editor counts as a Grizzled Pioneer, Research Division. Separate registration required. Information and full agenda here.

To our Readers: Are you attending CES? Interested in contributing some insights? Contact Editor Donna.

Scanadu raises $35 million in Series B, develops for China market

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Scanadu-Scout.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Eric Topol’s Doctorless Patient takes one step closer to reality. The Scanadu ‘tricorder’ vital signs diagnostic ‘hockey puck’ received a major vote of confidence on Monday where it counts–funding. Their Series B of $35 million came from nine investors, led by Tencent Holdings, Fosun International and including Three Leaf Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Redmile Group, Relay Ventures, I Globe Partners, Fenox Venture Capital and CBC Capital. Three Leaf, AME and Relay also invested in their Series A. Tencent, Fosun and CBC are Chinese; I Globe is from Singapore. Why the Asian interest? It turns out that China is extremely interested and forward thinking in mobile healthcare–it has a lot of rural area to cover, all health-underserved, as is the rest of Asia. The introduction of the company was made by Jerry Wang, a Yahoo founder and former CEO.

Scanadu is also nearing market: Fortune reports that a $199 consumer version of the Scanadu Scout will be released in 2016, pending FDA approval, and in development is a urinalysis test, Scanadu Urine, an app that would analyze the color of a testing stick. (more…)

Scanadu, Intelesens team for Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE (US/UK)

Does it seem that the run-up to the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE has been going on forever? Perception is reality since its various stages have been taking place since 2013 and the $10 million award won’t be until early 2016. This past August, the finalists were narrowed to 10. Now two are teaming up: the best known, California-based Scanadu and (known to our Readers) Belfast-based Intelesens zensor in what will now be known as Team Scanadu/Intelesens. Team zensor also includes Northern Ireland-based Randox clinical diagnostics, CHIC (Connected Health Innovation Centre) as facilitator and CIGA Healthcare for self-test products. Scanadu shipped the Scout as a non-FDA-cleared working prototype (more…)

34 to 22 to 10: the Tricorder XPrize finalists

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize has arrived at the ‘Final 10’ for the $10 million prize going to the best (and working) “precision diagnostic technolog(y), making definitive health assessment available directly to “health consumers.”” . Less than one year ago, 34 companies had made it through from the initial 255 [TTA 12 Nov 13]. Further reductions brought the next stage to 22. Making the Final 10 are, as expected, Scanadu, but the UK/NI favorite has to be zensor (Intelesens) with its sensor-based patient monitoring in home, hospitals and assisted living (which your Editors have been following since 2010). Four are American companies with one Canadian (Cloud DX), one Indian (Danvantri), one Taiwanese (Dynamical Biomarkers Group), tw0 from the UK (zensor and SCANurse) and one from Slovenia (MESI). Next steps? Supplying X Prize with working prototypes sometime this wenter, 30 complete devices which will be tested at a medical center (not disclosed) May-October 2015 and the award in January 2016. Press release, Mobihealthnews.

Not X enough for you? There’s another, little-noticed XPrize–the Nokia Sensing XChallenge (more…)

UK-centered review of mobile health tech

Perhaps it’s the focus of this US-based Editor, but other than the occasional feature in the Guardian, Times or Telegraph, there are few articles on digital health written as general audience overviews of problems to be solved and relative capabilities of devices, rather than whiz-bang gadget fests. Thus this Editor’s attention to one just published in TechAdvisor/PC Advisor. Springing off of Quantified Selfer Dr Larry Smarr’s early diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, and based on his principle of ‘devices can help us notice trends before they become serious’, the writer reviews enabling tech such as mobile ECG AliveCor; Azoi’s Wello iPhone case/Android peripheral measuring heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and lung capacity; the overabundance of unproven health apps leading to the NHS’ Choices HealthApps library [TTA 9 May 13, RSM meeting summary 22 Apr] and web-based Vitrucare from Dynamic Health Systems for long-term chronic condition management. Oddly the article mentions Qualcomm and the Tricorder X Prize without in the same (heavy) breath, Scanadu. (Ed. Note–a check of their blog indicates no update on their delayed shipments due to production problems, TTA 5 Apr) Medical apps and devices are placing the future of healthcare in the palm of our hands

The CES of Health: post-scripts

It’s Everywhere, Everyday, Disruptive, Not Impressive and Still ‘Bicycles for Fish’.

Neil Versel’s first major article recaps the Digital Health Summit ‘Point of Care Everywhere’ panel with Dr. Joseph Kvedar of Partners HealthCare/Center for Connected Health, Walter De Brouwer, founder and CEO of Scanadu (the tri-corder everyone’s waiting for) and Laura Mitchell, VP of business development at ‘grizzled pioneer’ in telecare and telehealth GrandCare Systems. The key is integration–for Dr. Kvedar, making it ‘about life, personal and social’; for Mr. DeBrower, bringing digital health into the home; for Ms. Mitchell, persuading long-term-care providers that technology provides useful, actionable information. Some surprises here: Scanadu will be shipping 8,800 units in March to its Indiegogo supporters and is going into a Scripps Health clinical trial; Dr. Kvedar admitted that the latest CCH startup, social wellness site Wellocracy [TTA 30 Oct] is “still searching for its audience.” The headline is “Mobile health has a lot of power, but it’s raw and new”–but is that helpful in positioning it to the Big Users–payers, pharma, providers–who are not all that daring? Mobihealthnews 

Everyday Health with the Digital Health Summit announced on Thursday their 2014 awards for innovation to five US companies for ‘achievement in technology innovation aimed at improving health outcomes.’ They include Scanadu but also four less heralded companies: (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…)

Additional views on the mHealth Summit

HISTalk:I’ve been at the conference for two days and it still doesn’t have a clear identity in my mind. Others told me the same thing – it’s unfocused and hard to describe, much like “mHealth” itself.” The anonymous editor of this hospital HIT-oriented blog scores the conference for lack of provider-oriented content and participants, being a ‘speed-dating’ event for companies and investors (the original governmental/NGO/non-profit focus utterly swamped by the commercial), and the event management (which is largely out of the organizers’ hands and in the site’s). Part of the confusion may well be the fact that mHealth is 1) exploding and 2) transitioning (‘m’ going the way of ‘e’ in Health). A second article underneath the main from an anonymous CIO criticizes many of the sessions for being mislabeled, the Executive Breakfast for being underserved–and Tuesday was an improvement over Monday. Food a major complaint!

You do have to wonder if the GSMA writer attended a different conference because he resolutely focuses on wireless and NGO/social organization mHealth frameworks. An interesting but limited perspective. And the article includes a major error: Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm did not deliver the opening keynote as originally listed, but Rick Valencia of Qualcomm Life. One Qualcomm as good as another? Commercial Models to the Forefront: Key trends at mHealth Summit 2013 (GSMA.com)

Sunday’s WIPJam (Wireless Industry Partnership) with 20+ speakers seems to have been the in place for the mobile developer crowd, with Mobile Development 101, mobile trends, 10 ways to fail in first-time app development and more. Seventeen of these presentations are available to view at a Dropbox link here.

Another House bill supporting telehealth and telemedicine (US)

One of the two US House representatives behind the expansion of telehealth services for active duty and veteran military members [TTA 19 Nov], California Rep. Scott Peters (San Diego area), has just introduced a bill, HR 3577, the ‘Health Savings Through Technology Act,’ to “create a commission to inventory existing data, examine the cost-savings that can be achieved by increasing the use of wireless health technologies, and develop a comprehensive strategy for integrating these technologies into federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, which often serve the mobility-impaired and elderly.”  What is notable is the backing that the bill has from health tech ‘heavy hitters’ such as Qualcomm, American Telemedicine Association (ATA), CONNECT (a San Diego-based innovation catalyst and accelerator) and CHI-California Healthcare Institute, as well as life sciences industry groups BIOCOM (San Diego area) and BayBio (its Northern California counterpart). However, this commission will be studying a rapidly moving target and best get its skates on, fast. Not helping matters is that there is a long, long road between the introduction of a House bill and its joint passage by both House and Senate–if it ever passes. Release (Rep. Peters’ website) Hat tip to ATA (@AmericanTelemed) via Twitter.

An incredible 34 teams for the Tricorder X Prize

The qualifying round of the Qualcomm Foundation-sponsored $10 million Tricorder X Prize has winnowed down the rumored 255 teams to a mere ($5-10,000 paying) handful. And not all of them are named Scanadu–they are included along with 33 others including Smart McCoy (named after ‘Bones’ on Star Trek), Phrazer and Photon Institute. Mobihealthnews has snap profiles of all 34 from Arkansas to South Korea and Aegle (from a Johns Hopkins University team) to Zensor (Intelesens) from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Delays in ‘game-changing’ PERS

Both Philips GoSafe and Lifecomm have apparently blown past at least two in-market dates.

Philips Lifeline GoSafe: Announced at CES in January [TTA 11 Jan], it is a mobile, souped-up PERS chunky neck-worn pendant with the fall detection features of Lifeline Auto-Alert plus GPS detection through multiple systems such as Skyhook, Wi-Fi and ‘intelligent bread crumbing’. The CES-announced debut was March, reconfirmed in February to Leading Age [TTA 14 Feb]. Then a small blog, The Senior List, confirmed with Philips in June that in-market would be delayed till fall. Now that fall is here, an industry insider tipped us to the further delay till December, confirmed by a later article in the The Senior List blog. Notably Philips is beefing up its website and video demo presence, apparently building up to an announcement near the end of the year. In the PERS category, one of the peak selling seasons is post-New Year’s, after holiday get-togethers bring the realization that a loved one is getting frailer and in need of some protection.

On the polar opposite, the Lifecomm PERS (from the Qualcomm/Hughes Telematics-now-Verizon/AMAC-now-Tunstall JV) seems to be hanging in limbo–again. (more…)

Philips, Accenture examining Google Glass

Philips and Accenture announced their test of a proof of concept which seamlessly transfers Philips’ IntelliVue patient monitoring data into a Google Glass display. The test is on how a surgeon could simultaneously view vital signs data while performing surgery and not having to turn away. In addition, the surgeon could consult with doctors in other locations in real time. Ready of course is a glossy YouTube video simulation (02:57). For the trend-spotters, (more…)

The Internet.org initiative and the real meaning for health tech

Internet.org — Every one of us. Everywhere. Connected.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Much has been made of the Internet.org alliance (release). The mission is to bring internet access to the two-thirds of the world who supposedly have none. It is led, very clearly, by Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. Judging from both the website and the release, partners Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia (handset sale to Microsoft, see below), Opera (browser), Qualcomm and Samsung, no minor players, clearly take a secondary role.  The reason given is that internet access is growing at only 9 percent/year. Immediately the D3H tea-leaf readers were all over one seemingly offhand remark made by Mr. Zuckerberg to CNN (Eye emphasis):

“Here, we use Facebook to share news and catch up with our friends but there they are going to use it to decide what kind of government they want, get access to healthcare for the first time ever, connect with family hundreds of miles away they haven’t seen for decades. Getting access to the internet is a really big deal. I think we are going to be able to do it”

Really? The Gimlet Eye thought that mobile phone connectivity and simple apps on inexpensive phones were already spreading healthcare, banking and simple communications to people all over the world. Gosh, was the Eye blind on this?

Looking inside the Gift Horse’s Mouth, and examining cui bono, what may be really behind this seemingly altruistic effort could be…only business. (more…)