TTA’s Week: Albertson’s Amazon Effect, Hidden Signals, partnering right, three telehealth/telecare studies, print your own smartphone microscope!

 

Retail health convergence, the bumpy Road to Utopia in three telehealth/telecare studies, DHS’ epidemiology challenge, partnership challenges, snap on that microscope, and a newsy week in the health tech biz.

Retail health convergence and ‘Amazon Effect’ continues with Albertsons and Rite Aid (And Albertsons goes public to boot)
Telehealth alternatives to in-person consultation found lacking in effectiveness: Alt-Con Study (UK) (GPs reluctant despite NHS encouragement. It needs work.)
CNBP develops a 3D printed microscope to clip on to your smartphone (AU) (A really useful and inexpensive breakthrough from Down Under using iPhone flash) 
Updated–Rounding up this week’s news: VA budget, Shulkin’s troubles, ATA’s new CEO, Allscripts’ wheeling-dealing, Roche buys Flatiron, Nokia out of health?, NHS Carillioning?
How do digital health partnerships happen? Where do you go with them? Views from a developer and an app security provider. (Keep your connections warm and current–and look ahead)
DHS’ Hidden Signals Challenge to improve tracking of biological and epidemiological threats (Applicable for both health and security)
Telemedicine’s still-sluggish adoption in health systems revealed in survey of health system executives (So far to go on starvation budgets)
The UTOPIA Project evaluation of telecare in social care report published (UK) (Where it fits in social care and how it’s delivered)

Big steps forward? Google’s predictive health, Virta’s diabetes reversal, remote patient monitoring’s €$. Baby steps for Medicare telehealth parity, Japan’s social care. Scary Monsters scare less in the morning but the cyberhacks continue. And Happy 60th DARPA!

Google ‘deep learning’ model more accurately predicts in-hospital mortality, readmissions, length of stay in seven-year study (Predictive health’s possible giant step)
Scary Monsters, Take 4: further investor thoughts on CVS-Aetna, the Amazon Threat–and Aetna’s skeleton in the closet? (CVS may be the smarter partner in the merger)
Rounding up what’s news: LindaCare, TytoCare funding; Medicare telehealth parity, Norway’s big cyberhack, Virta reversing diabetes, DARPA’s 60th birthday
Japan as aging bellwether: experiential VR, claim that robots increase activity by 50 percent (Coping with an aging population develops)

Will the Amazon/Berkshire/JPMC venture really be a ‘meaningful disruptor’? And as expected, CVS-Aetna bears more merger scrutiny by DOJ. 

Scary Monsters, Take 3: one week later, JPMorgan Chase takes heat, Amazon speculation, industry skepticism (Boo Again! There’s fallout with this disruption.)
CVS-Aetna: DOJ requests additional information at deadline (updated for CVS earnings)
(As predicted, DOJ takes the lead. And CVS is quite healthy and nimble.)

When Giants decide to transform healthcare, it puts advertising that didn’t deliver masquerading as ‘behavior change technology’ in the unshuddery shade. Continuing the debate on the efficacy of health apps. Are we getting to the tricorder on the back of a smartphone? And are we getting to collaborative virtual care through the vendor door? 

Scary Monsters, Take 2: Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase’s addressing employee healthcare (Boo! Seriously, there are issues)

Another unicorn loses its horn–Outcome Health finally loses the CEO and president (Just what healthcare needs–another ‘transformer’ which didn’t deliver)
Get happier, lose weight, be fitter–the efficacy of apps debated in studies present and future pilots (Set goals, pay money, dear patient)
5 vital signs, one ‘heavyweight’ device on the back of your Moto X smartphone (Are we getting to tricorders through smartphone mods?)
InTouch Health launches a three-way collaboration on virtual acute care with Jefferson Health, Mission Health (Finally, information sharing–and it took a vendor to do it)

Of continued interest….

What’s up with Amazon in healthcare? Follow the money. (The Scary Monster parsed away from the hype)
MediBioSense and Blue Cedar take a new approach to secure medical wearable data (UK/US) (Protect the app, protect the data)
Hip-protective airbags get another entrant from France. And fall prediction steps forward. (Oui and sí for airbags to cushion the blow, tech to determine fall risk)
Robots, robots at CES: ElliQ, Sophia the ‘humanoid’, companions, pets, butlers, maids…and at a supermarket near you? (The Parade of Cute–And Not Working)
Robots, robots, everywhere…even when they’re NHS 111 online algorithms (NHS’ continued difficulty with Digital Times)

Iron Bow’s uncertain future with $258 million VA Home Telehealth contract (A Federal ruling against partner Vivify Health stops the program–can Iron Bow save it?)
Babylon Health’s ‘GP at hand’ not at hand for NHS England–yet. When will technology be? (Is there ‘Life on Mars’? Is there?)
CVS-Aetna: It’s not integrated healthcare, it’s experiential retail! (A different look at a complicated merger proposing another reason why it may set the pace)
Babylon’s ‘GP at hand’ has thousands of London patients in hand (A hit with Londoners indicates pent-up demand for virtual care)


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Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

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Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief, donna.cusano@telecareaware.com, @deetelecare

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The UTOPIA Project evaluation of telecare in social care report published (UK)

click to enlargeAn important and comprehensive evaluation of telecare in use in UK social care has been published this past week by King’s College London. The UTOPIA Project (Using Telecare for Older People In Adult social care) surveyed local authority telecare managers (114 valid responses or 75 percent of responders) November 2016-January 2017 to find out how telecare is being used by local authority adult social care departments in England to support older people.

This study springboards from the £80m Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) and its “curious neglect” by those engaged in UK telecare. The WSD’s findings contradicted earlier research in finding that telecare did not have long-term improvement of outcomes, gauged after only 12 months. It created, in the UTOPIA’s study’s terms, a ‘policy problem’ among major stakeholders. “The WSD remains an important study and its neglect is curious. The research team wondered why the findings had been overlooked and what, if any, consequences might have flowed from this.” The study thus looks at local authority aims, how local evidence is being collected, and how telecare is operationalized and delivered.

The areas surveyed and some highlights of the findings are:

  • Use of research: 33 percent were informed by research and 47 percent were aware of but did not agree with the WSD’s findings which were negative on the long-term value of telecare.
  • Where does telecare fit in?:  “Telecare ‘fitted’ best if it was provided alongside social care (77%), to support reablement (77%), for people eligible for and funded by the adult social care department (75%) as well as for people who pay for their own care (75%).” Only 24 percent collaborated with the NHS or other partners. There was full (100 percent) agreement that telecare helps to reduce risk and promote safety and 81 percent agreement that it supports unpaid carers. 
  • Achieving strategic aims and monitoring of progress: Over half (53 percent) of respondents said their local authority was accredited to the Telecare Services Association (TSA) Codes of Practice for Telecare and Telehealth. 
  • Barriers and facilitators: Barriers mentioned were skill deficits among professionals and installers, as well as contract inflexibility with suppliers. There was also concern about the reduction of face-to-face contact and care. Access to telecare and availability of advice and support were good for both users and family carers, but levels of awareness about it were only average.
  • Financial commitment: Not surprisingly, funding is scarce and usually cobbled together from several sources including local authorities, CCGs, and users. 24 percent felt it saved money but many found it difficult to provide hard evidence.
  • What’s considered in telecare assessments?:  Nearly all (92 percent) agreed that a key assessment included the user’s ability to move around, their memory status, the person’s ability to communicate, and their daily routines. Flipping the script, “40% of respondents said that their local authority’s telecare assessment focused on what it was hoped would be achieved through using telecare.”
  • Who are the assessors, and is assessment always required?(more…)

Impact of IP telephony on UK telecare systems

The Telecare Services Association (TSA) in the UK has recently released a white paper addressing the impact of a fundamental change to the click to enlargeUK Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) that is now being contemplated. This change will eventually see the replacement of the current PSTN and Integrated Services Digital Network landline networks with IP telephony (the type of phone connectivity that has been commonly used in most modern office environments for some years).

Two years ago BT, who essentially owns practically the whole of the UK PSTN, proposed that the change of their network would be completed in 2025.

This has an impact on the telecare services to the extent that many telecare alarm devices in use connect to the call centres via the PSTN and hence such devices and/or the infrastructure used by suppliers of such services will need to be upgraded when the underlying network is changed. There are, according to the TSA paper, 1.7 million users of such devices in the UK.

The TSA is essentially the UK industry body for telecare and telehealth and as such it is understandably trying to raise awareness of the need for both the commissioners and suppliers of these services to prepare for the change. This paper is said to be a result of gathering views from “key stakeholders” related to this change.

The potential impact, however, seems to be somewhat exaggerated. It should be remembered that the UK very successfully underwent another major switch-over not that long ago in 2012 – from analogue to digital TV. It required every analogue TV in the country to be either fitted with a set top box or replaced with a digital TV.

TSA also suggest that this changeover be used as an opportunity to roll out more internet based digital health functionality to end users. Of course, such functionality is already widely appearing in the form of health monitors, exercise and medication reminders etc. and are not dependent on the switch over. So it is unfortunate that the paper flips between the two topics and asserts a dependence of internet based digital services on the PSTN switch-over.

The document feels more like marketing material than a white paper with about 1/3 of it taken up by irrelevant photographs of random happy smiling or laughing (mostly older) people. It reminded me of some of the material that came out the the 3 Million Lives project. If only our elderly people living alone or in our care homes were as happy as this!

The paper is available to download here.

TSA’s International Technology-Enabled Care (ITEC) Conference 16 & 17 October 2017

The TSA is holding its annual conference on 16 & 17 October – one of their key issues will be the analogue to digital phone service shift which poses huge risks and opportunities for the TEC sector. The TSA will be unveiling their white paper on the topic at the conference – a great reason to attend! 

Even if that’s not uppermost on your mind, ITEC has much to offer – from politics to health science, demographics to robotics, many factors combine to shape new models of care nationally and internationally: find out how TECS fit into the bigger picture and how the sector can flourish within this complex and uncertain landscape!

Book here.

(Disclosure, this editor is presenting at the conference on a very important topic – be sure to say hi after his presentation!)

 

The King’s Fund 2017 Digital Health Congress: videos, presentations now posted

click to enlargeThe King’s Fund’s annual two-day Digital Health and Care Congress now has videos and presentation decks posted on the event page.  If you missed it, or want to see the sessions you could not attend, here’s your opportunity to review and share with staff. All the plenaries and keynotes have both video and presentations. Selected workshops/breakouts have video along with PowerPoints on nearly all, including posters. Attendance this year was between 400 and 500. On Twitter: #kfdigital17, @TheKingsFund TTA was pleased to be a marketing supporter of the 2017 conference as we have for several years. Many thanks to events coordinator Claire Taylor.

For planning ahead, The King’s Fund Annual Conference will be two days this year, 29-30 November. Early bird registration is available until 1 September and sponsorships/exhibit opportunities are open.

TSA appoints new chair

Paul Shead has succeeded Andrew Gardner as Chair of TSA. He has worked closely with the TSA and its membership since the organisation’s inception, and has been on the TSA’s board of directors since May 2012. He will chair the board for the next 12 months, working to develop strategy, monitor performance and extend the organisation’s sphere of influence. Paul’s experience of the telecare industry spans more than 20 yearsCurrently he is Managing Director of Verklizan, supplier of the UMO telecare and telehealth monitoring platform to housing associations, local authorities and private companies in the UK.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: ‘Social care and health are facing unprecedented pressures. The need effectively to commission, procure and quality-assure technology enabled care (“TEC”) has never been greater. The shift of analogue to digital also presents huge opportunities and risks. The fast-changing pace of TEC means that a new audience of digital health companies is springing up alongside more traditional telecare organisations. I’m keen to ensure that TSA can support and inspire every part of the UK’s diverse technology enabled care sector. I look forward to working alongside the TSA Board, Chief Executive, President and staff to ensure that we respond effectively to challenges, make the case for TEC and work to shape future policy. We must provide our growing and diverse membership with the knowledge, intelligence and ideas to sell their products and take the sector forward.’ (more…)

North West Telecare event, 23 November

Wednesday 23rd November 2016, 9:15am – 4:30pm
Village Hotel Club Ashton Moss, Pamir Drive, Ashton-Under-Lyne UK (close to Ashton Moss Metrolink Station)

This is a free event for housing and healthcare professionals with a full day of workshops on telecare in supporting independent living, case studies of best practices and demonstrations of the latest products. There are four workshops which run both in the AM and PM sessions. There are also three guest speakers: Dr Malcolm Fisk, Director of the Telehealth Quality Group, De Montfort University, Leicester; Gill Drummond, Dementia Lead for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive of the TSA. More information and registration here. Hat tip to reader Dawn Thornber of Contour Homes. UPDATE If you have last minute difficulty booking, please contact directly Andrew.Townsend@contourhomes.co.uk

TSA’s 2016 International Technology Enabled Care Conference (UK)

click to enlarge18-19 October, the ICC Birmingham

A reminder than in a few short weeks the annual International Technology Enabled Care Conference will take place at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, hosting UK organizations across health, housing, home care, social care, industry and more.

The event will focus on TEC with the theme ‘Connected Care, Connected Homes and Connected Communities’, and feature a packed programme with, as they put it, “challenging debates, thought-provoking presentations, interactive workshops and brand new interactive zones to inspire, inform and drive forward sector collaboration.” The draft programme is here. Find out more at the conference’s home page and register at the full website here.  There are also a few exhibition booth stands and sponsorships left, looking at the interactive floor map, so your company may want to check here as well.

If you are a Reader and attending, please feel free to send Editor Donna your thoughts for publication on where the industry is going and what is it doing. (Please indicate if it is for attribution under your name or a nom de plume)

Put them on the calendar: autumn/winter UK health tech events

click to enlargeSeptember means that we come back from our holidays. Those smartphone calendars come out and the gaps are filled for the last part of the year into 2017 (gasp!) Here’s our (now separate) starter list for UK.

The RSM’s Telemedicine and e-Health Section (which is chaired by our own Contributing Editor Charles Lowe, who will be updating them as usual)…Event listings here and surely more to come (All at the RSM)

Point of care testing: disruptive innovation – is the NHS ready for it yet?   22 November

Recent developments in digital health   28 Feb 2017

The King’s Fund’s upcoming meetings involving healthcare technology (All at The King’s Fund)

Designing digital services around users’ needs   6 Oct 2016
Learning from clinician and patient-centred service design

Integrated Care Summit 2016   11 Oct 2016
Improving local population health and delivering accountable care (more…)

Put them on the calendar: upcoming US IoT, connected health events (updated)

September means that we come back from vacations and holidays. The calendars come out and we start to fill in the gaps for the next few months into (gasp!) 2017. Here’s a forward look through to next August for US healthcare and IoT  conferences, including International CES.

If you’re in Dallas this coming Thursday, the Health Wildcatters accelerator is premiering their new office at Pacific Place with a bash starting at 5:30pm. Reserve tickets quickly and find out more #HWGrandOpening Hat tip to Hubert Zajicek

Since TTA’s been a media supporter of Parks Associates’ Connected Health Summit for the past two years, here’s a sample of their other IoT and connected home events.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe  (Smart home, IoT and the connected consumer)
November 2-3, 2016, Amsterdam     www.connectionseurope.com

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES
January 5, 2017, CES, Las Vegas    www.connectionssummit.com

CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference
May 23-25, 2017, San Francisco   http://www.connectionsus.com

Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers
August 29-31, 2017, San Diego  www.connectedhealthsummit.com

December is a big month for US conferences; three of note (and likely partners again) are:

MedStartr Momentum (MedMo16) (more…)

Catch-up: what you may have missed whilst on holiday

This was the month when the UK Press seemingly finally woke up to the existence of STPs (Sustainability & Transformation Plans). This article by Derek du Preez and this in Digital Health are two one of a few that pick out the hope that digital health can help with making the NHS more sustainable. Sadly the headlines were grabbed with concern over closing hospital beds, which politicians in the UK still seem to consider to be a Bad Thing. Even though hospital beds have been reduced in most European countries over recent years, and those such as Denmark now trumpet reductions in hospital beds as progress, we have still to break the connection in people’s minds in the UK that beds are a good surrogate for health service delivery volume, (even though when pressed no individual seems keen to spend longer in hospital than absolutely necessary, or would prefer a treatment as an inpatient over treatment as an outpatient.)

Though not directly connected, the NHS offered over £100m to acute care trusts for “global digital excellence” – in line with the previous comments, perhaps the money could alternatively be spent on the UK building on its excellent primary care IT with the specific intention of moving more treatment out of hospitals…and follow that up with a proposal to put the hospital that is judged to be the least “globally digitally excellent” (more…)

Telecare Awareness Day (UK) – June 1st 2016

This Wednesday, June 1st, is National Telecare Awareness Day in the UK for 2016. This is promoted by the industry body click to enlargeUK Telehealthcare.

To mark the day, CAIR, the UK based telecare products supply company, is holding an event at their headquarters in West Yorkshire. According to information available from the Telecare Services Association, twelve of the region’s leading voices in Telecare will gather to “tackle some of the challenges facing the industry”.

Last year several activities took place to mark the day, then called National Telehealthcare Awareness Day, with events being held by CAIR, University of East Anglia’s Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology Centre (NEAT), Welbeing (an independent-living service provider) and many others.

A summary of last year’s events is available via the UK Telehealthcare website here.

TSA Conference – dates for your diary

The TSA’s 2016 Technology Enabled Care (TEC) and digital health sector conference will be taking place on 18 & 19 October in the ICC in Birmingham. It will be chaired for the second year by former Minister of State for Care Services, the Rt Hon Paul Burstow.

It will focus on the theme ‘Connected Care, Connected Homes and Connected Communities’ bringing together organisational leaders and audiences across government, health, social care, housing, home care, industry, third sector and more.

A “packed programme” is apparently being developed with “challenging debates, thought-provoking presentations, interactive workshops and brand new exhibition zones to inspire, inform and drive forward sector collaboration”.

Earlybird booking here.

TSA appoints Paul Burstow as Senior Adviser (UK)

The former Minister of State for Care Services, Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Sutton and Cheam, Rt Hon Paul Burstow, has been appointed as Senior Advisor for the TSA to help drive forward strategy across the technology enabled care industry and shape the organisation’s future work programmes.

He said: “My role with the TSA is to bring my knowledge of the wider health and social care sector, the key players in the National Health Service and use that information to help connect the Association into conversations.

“TSA don’t operate in a vacuum, they have to be put into a context of people’s everyday lives, and also in the context of what other commissioners and service providers in the NHS and in social care and in housing need. What I bring is expertise and knowledge of that landscape and I can help TSA navigate it.”

There’s more here.

TSA’s International Technology Enabled Care Conference (Wales)

click to enlarge16-17 November, Celtic Manor Resort Hotel, Newport, South Wales

This Editor notes that the Telecare Services Association will be ‘Inspiring Change and Progress’ in its second annual International TEC conference at the Celtic Manor. The website mentions a host of high profile speakers to give the ‘need to know’ sector picture, with a two day programme packed with stimulating presentations, challenging debates, informative parallel sessions that will include masterclasses and interactive workshops. More information and registration. Chubb Community Care has noted to us that it’s Europe’s largest TEC conference. They will also be featuring at the conference their jewelry-like alert pendant, Onyx, was developed by CAIR of West Yorkshire. It’s also fitted to work with Chubb’s new Care System and CareUnity® assisted living solutions

Chubb also will exhibit its new Chubb Care System, an assisted living solution where Chubb is a single-service provider for installation, service and monitoring, tailoring system features and functionality to the specific requirements of residents. They are at Booth 19.

TSA Annual Conference 16th & 17th November: reminder (UK)

Logo - TSAWe have been asked to post a reminder for the TSA’s Technology-enabled Care Event of 2015. Taking place on the 16th and 17th November 2015 at the Celtic Manor Hotel, South Wales, this is a ‘must-attend’ annual event in the sector calendar.

This year’s conference is entitled Inspiring Change and Progress. It will carry three main themes throughout the two days:

  • Entrepreneurship: How to think differently to make things happen for you, your business and the sector.
  • Education: Preparing for the future of the sector, what do we need to know?
  • Evolution: What’s next for the future of technology-enabled care?

The conference will feature a host of high profile speakers who will be tasked with giving attendees the ‘need to know’ sector picture, including ministers, sector leaders, innovators, business motivators, technology gurus, and the people who benefit from using technology-enabled care.

The two day programme will be packed with stimulating presentations, challenging debates, and informative parallel sessions that will include masterclasses & interactive workshops.

The complete programme is here. A limited number of Early Bird booking rates are now available; book here.