An essential link to mHealth devices and apps?

Guest columnist Lois Drapin thinks so. She shares her insights on Validic, an emerging company in data integration for payers, providers, preventive wellness companies and pharma;how it evolved from its original concept in consumer health engagement, along with a few pointers its founders have for fellow entrepreneurs.

One of the keystone aspects of “ecosystems” is interoperability and this also applies to the data pipeline that flows from health apps and devices to the appropriate segment of the healthcare delivery system, and eventually, to the users—patients, consumers and/or medical professionals such as physicians and nurses or other clinicians. By now, we all know that the capture and analytics for both “big” and “small” health data are business imperatives for healthcare in the US. With data of this nature, we can embrace our understanding of behavioral change at the individual and population levels. The anticipated outcomes of behavioral change may power operational and cost efficiencies in the healthcare industry.

But data will no longer come from just inside the healthcare delivery system. In addition to the changing technology enablement within the health system, as we all know, data will flow from many things—in fact, The Internet of Things (IoT). This means that data that relates to our lifestyle, wellness and health will pour from the many types of wearable devices not now connected to the heath delivery system. In addition to our computers, tablets, phablets and smartphones, are the many sensors paired with tech innovations such as the wearables— from wristbands, smartwatches, clothing (from shoes to headbands), glasses, contacts, and pendants — to things such as refrigerators, clocks, mattresses, scales, coffee pots, cars, and even, toilets…all of which are predicted to become an important market in the coming years.

Validic, based in Durham, NC, has put itself smack in the middle of that market (more…)

The CES of Health preview

International CES in Las Vegas will be the annual ten-ring circus it always is, but this year even the tech watchers are concentrating on health. There appears to be no blockbuster consumer electronics debuts this year, so what you will see in the rinse-and-repeat cycle are the connected categories of Wearables and The Internet of Things. Basically everything will be connected, automated…and gathering lots of data on you (what ZDNet’s Jason Hiner in his CES preview article has dubbed Contextual Computing, and he likes it). Lisa Suennen of Psilos Group, writing in MedCityNews, coins her own slightly dismissive term, ‘The Internet of Wearable Things’, and makes the entirely sensible point that sensing your fitness is one thing, doing something about it another. But the critical health app that soars over her goal posts is the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter account. If you’re in Western Australia and hitting the water, you want to know where the sharks are. This gives it to you. This Editor also sees that Samsung received FDA 510(k) approval for their heavily hyped S Health app built into the US-released Galaxy S4 smartphone. While the UK enjoyed third party device connectivity back to the S3, the US version of S Health, according to Mobihealthnews, only connected to three unreleased Samsung peripherals and relied on manual entries. This undoubtedly will change–expect there to be buzz about where Samsung will now take this at CES. And there’s always hay to be made with sleep analysis tracking–high-end multi-sensor fitness watch Basis Science has now added advanced sleep tracking to its BodyIQ analysis of running, walking and biking, as well as upgrading its looks (VentureBeat).

Certainly more to come out of CES and conferences within CES this coming week!