“Events, dear boy, events” (UK)

Harold Macmillan probably never said that in response to the question “What is most likely to blow a government off course?”, however we thought we’d use the quote to highlight a few cracking events coming up.

The Wearable Technology event, is being hosted by the Digital Catapult Centre, on 18th November, in London. On the topic of wearables, the BBC’s “the Bottom Line” had a great programme on 30th October on the subject. In the UK (at least) you can download a podcast or listen on iPlayer. There’s also an update on new Jawbone releases which seem now to be going for different form factors to the original UP, whose unreliability resulted in this editor being on his fourth such device in some 15 months. Info on Microsoft’s Band is here. The recent PWC report on Wearables is here.

At the same place starting on Monday 8th December there is a whole week of incredibly valuable assistance in the Digital Health Pit Stop, which is free! Events include a design day (8th), a business day (9th), a health day (10th), a data day (11th) and on 12th December (more…)

Integrated care – how can technology help? (+ earn 12 CPD points)

There has been a recent rush to book for the Royal Society of Medicine’s two day conference entitled “Integrated Care- how can technology help” on 24th & 25th November, so we are featuring it one more time, especially as it looks to be only one of two health & care technology events this autumn that also offers CPD points (the other is the TSA conference next week).

With a wide range of speakers from across the world, including Adam Darkins (ex VHA, now Medtronics), Robert Wah (President, American Medical Association) as well the UK’s very own Cathy Hassell and Tim Kelsey,  this conference will explore the many ways in which technology can assist in the effective delivery of integrated care to improve patient outcomes, at reduced cost.

The event will cover all the principal care disciplines which so often end up failing to work together to deliver holistic care: primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care and third sector engagement. Even within each of these areas, coordinating care can be challenging when people have to rely on paper and word of mouth to communicate. Technology offers a way of (more…)

mHealth vs Ebola – more

Following on from our previous item that included links on how mHealth is helping in the fight against the Ebola virus, and our subsequent item on a virus-killing robot, Prof Mike Short has kindly shared some  more links with a GSMA healthcare focus.

The first of these items explains how the GSMA, the ITU and the Internet Society are joining forces to fight against Ebola. The three organizations will bring together the global telecommunications and Internet communities, to leverage their extensive reach, capacity and respective memberships to increase the effectiveness of information and communications technologies (ICTs), especially mobile communications and the Internet, for better preparedness, early warning and response.

The sharing of mobile phone data is particularly important as (more…)

Concise analysis of mHealth regulatory environment (US)

If you–like most rational people–have some confusion in deciphering the current FDA state of affairs as it applies to mHealth, this summary from major law firm Foley & Lardner will be helpful. Written by special counsel for healthcare/mobile health Monica R. Chmielewski, it defines in few words FDA’s classifications, which mHealth technologies are, and which are not, subject to FDA oversight. In particular, MDDS (medical device data systems) were recently downgraded from Class III (the greatest oversight with pre-market approval) to Class I. FDA has also recently finalized recommendations in a guidance document for medical device manufactures for managing cybersecurity risks. mHealth Technology – Development in an Uncertain Regulatory Climate (Health Care Law Today)

A Canadian view of ‘Healthcare Systems of the Future’

Do we wait for the interconnected, seamless future of consumer-driven healthcare, or work with what we have now? Michael Smit of Canadian virtual consult provider Medeo argues for the latter: “The component pieces for a connected healthcare system exist today. We simply haven’t connected them yet.” He argues that Medeo’s Equinoxe platform, because it uses simple PC equipment, retains patient records securely and creates a health record, is a step more advanced than what Canada has seen in fixed telemedicine settings. Mr Smit also draws a picture of health management, the “3 D’s”–Data, Device, and Decision, integration with telehealth and the increasingly mobile-driven patient group, advocating that the health record should not have to be actively managed by the patient, but be a byproduct of cumulative patient interactions with the healthcare system. The Catalysts Of Virtual Care

Now a (virus) killer robot

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Xenex-robot.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]And it’s not a computer virus, either. The US Air Force’s 633rd Medical Group (MDG), based at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia has adopted Saul The Virus Killer Robot. Developed by Xenex Healthcare Services, it zaps viruses human cleaners can’t reach or disinfect. According to the article, Saul sweeps the room with “pulses of high-intensity, high-energy ultraviolet rays 25,000 times brighter than florescent lights to split open bacterial cell walls and kill dangerous pathogens commonly found in hospitals”. The pulses are verified in killing 22 microorganisms including single strand ribonucleic acid (RNA), like that of a virus similar to Ebola, at a range of two meters out in any direction, within five minutes, and at an efficiency rate of 99.9 percent. A useful fighter against more common and nasty MRSA, C.diff and other hospital-borne infections. Armed With Science

Australia’s med device ‘Fast Track’ changes–webinar

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Australia-flag.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]For over a decade, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has had a ‘fast track’ expedited review program in place for medical device importers–including mobile health–with existing CE Marks. Now this program, after a long campaign, will be extended to Australian manufacturers–and there are other changes. Arthur Brandwood, who spearheaded this effort, will be conducting a free webinar on Tuesday 18 November, noon Eastern Time (US). It will cover Australia’s aggressive deregulatory agenda, their tax incentive (43.5 percent for R&D expenditure), the simple process for regulation of clinical trials and TGA’s web based submission process for device approvals. (more…)

Short Tuesday takes

Alere, Optum, Wyss, Proteus, Soreon Research, Baywater Healthcare

Alere Health to be acquired by Optum. Alere is selling its condition, wellness and case management group for $600 million to the health services subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. The surprise is that Alere Health, which presently serves 22 million patients in 29 states, includes two service lines considered hot: analytics and connected health. Alere Connect, the former MedApps, is included in this sale. Alere (the parent company) will be concentrating on rapid diagnostics. Alere Health release, fact sheet….Vibrating insoles may help to guide the balance-impaired, eventually. Research on stochastic resonance as an aid to balance and gait has been researched for nearly ten years–our earliest article on it was written by former EIC Steve in 2006. The current study tested ‘white noise’ to help lower the level of buzzing needed to generate stimulus in the feet. Conducted by the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, and Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Consumer Care. (more…)

Philips finally gets to GoSafe

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/img-gosafe-button.jpg” thumb_width=”160″ /]At long last… the Philips Lifeline GoSafe mobile PERS with fall detection and GPS, announced with fanfare at International CES 2013 and delayed well over 18 months from its original debut date, has quietly entered the market. The chunky and somewhat ‘cartoon alien’-ish pendant, while connected in-home to a conventional base station communicator, also uses GPS, ‘intelligent tracking’ to determine the user’s last known location, Wi-Fi, audio beaconing and voice response via cellular to alert for assistance. Pricing has settled at $149 for the device and a $54.95 monthly subscription. GoSafe joins the Philips Lifeline mPERS smartphone app introduced in August [TTA 28 Aug] and Lifeline with AutoAlert extensively debated here. No indication of distribution outside the US. PRNewswire release, Lifeline website, Mobihealthnews.

Tunstall Americas finds a Mountain Home

Gold in dem der hills? Tunstall Americas, Tunstall Healthcare Group’s US subsidiary, on Monday announced the acquisition of Mountain Home Medical, a Denver, Colorado-based telehealth provider of medical alarm and medication manager systems for the home market. In its announcement, Tunstall Americas gave the reason as “The acquisition demonstrates Tunstall’s commitment to expand its service footprint across the United States through acquiring or partnering with highly regarded regional, state, and local providers… ” Mountain Home is certainly the latter with business only in the state’s 53 counties, serving Medicaid eligible and private pay customers. Industry estimates put their subscriber base at under 5,000 customers.

A change in US strategy? Unlike Tunstall in the UK and Europe, the Americas subsidiary has maintained a low profile since the 2011 acquisition of AMAC, which at time of sale (more…)

The sun is in his heaven and all’s well with the world?

It’s tempting to think that nothing much has changed in the world of telehealth & telecare recently. For example the quality of healthcare PR looks to be unchanged, if the recent announcement by Telehealth Sensors is anything to go by. They claim to have developed  an incontinence sensor that is “a revolutionary advancement in the home healthcare and post-acute care monitoring market.” Careful reading suggests this “revolutionary advancement” is based on the property of water, apparently only recently recognised by Telehealth Sensors,  that it conducts electricity (especially if its impure) – so advanced in fact that such sensors with a rather longer lifetime than the 30 days claimed by Telehealth Sensors, have (more…)