Something for (almost) everyone – a digital health gallymaufry

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) is looking for companies to share the British Pavilion at the CMEF trade show from 15th – 18th May 2015 in Shanghai, China. It is apparently the the leading Healthcare trade show in China and is now the largest Medical Equipment exhibition in the Asia Pacific region attracting over 60,000 visitors. Details here.

Still need to see some more predictions for 2015? – try these 12 for telecoms, which does include the odd interesting nod towards subjects we cover, including interconnection of wearables and connected homes.

Prompted by our mention of V-Connect in our review of our 2014 predictions, MD Adam Hoare has pointed out that his company also won the Medilink ‘partnership with the NHS’ award for their renal project with The Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Congratulations!

Accenture has produced an interesting (more…)

Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) Online Resource for Commissioners published (UK)

Long in development, the NHS Commissioning Assembly’s Technology Enabled Care Services (“TECS”) Online Resource for Commissioners has just been launched.

It was developed by NHS commissioners, with input from a wide number of organisations including DHACA and the TSA, to help maximise the value of technology enabled care services for patients, carers, commissioners and the whole health economy. Its purpose is to help raise awareness of how the wide range of TECS can support commissioning intentions and benefit patients, commissioners, families, health and social care professionals and provider managers. It also addresses the demand from commissioners for information on how to commission, procure, implement and evaluate these types of solutions effectively.  For more information visit the NHS Commissioning Assembly home page.

In view of its importance, this editor has elected to post this document without subjecting it to a full review – that will come in due course – however first impressions are positive: the style is short and to the point, and the pages very informative. The one additional thing this editor wanted to see, ideally in 72 font or bigger, is a clear statement at the beginning that, as the WSD proved beyond doubt, the benefits of TECS are only fully realised by changing the model of care: whilst there are comments that together make that point, my one concern is that it is not stressed sufficiently so we risk repeating history…or did I miss it in my haste?

Hat tip to Clive Flashman.

Dr Topol’s prescription for The Future of Medicine, analyzed

The Future of Medicine Is in Your Smartphone sounds like a preface to his latest book, ‘The Patient Will See You Now’, but it is quite consistent with Dr Topol’s talks of late [TTA 5 Dec]. The article is at once optimistic–yes, we love the picture–yet somewhat unreal. When we walk around and kick the tires…

First, it flies in the face of the increasing control of healthcare providers by government as to outcomes and the shift for good or ill to ‘outcomes-based medicine’. Second, ‘doctorless patients’ may need fewer services, not more, and why should these individuals, who represent the high-info elite at least initially, be penalized by having to pay the extremely high premiums dictated by government-approved health insurance (in the US, ACA-compliant insurance a/k/a Obamacare)–or face the US tax penalties for not enrolling in same? Third, those liberating mass market smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t clinical quality yet–fine directionally, but real clinical diagnosis (more…)

An interesting COPD telehealth pilot, mangled in the reporting

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Our first ‘Blue Blazes’ of 2015 is the kind of press coverage that makes a PR pro or marketing director cringe.

Intel-GE Care Innovations along with OSF (Order of St. Francis) HealthCare and the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Peoria, the latter which have an interestingly named collaborative called Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center, are using the home telecare activity tracker Lively in a COPD patient tracking pilot. Reading the two articles found to date, one can eventually glean that vital signs like weight, blood pressure, O2 levels, lung capacity and qualitative feedback questions, as well as activity, is being tracked. The combination of activity + vital signs is interesting and different, but it takes detective work–viewing the video on the website (which charmingly turns sensors into senors in the headline)–to discover that the activity tracker is Lively, a CI partner. Lively does not report vital signs. How they are being collected remains a mystery as the Peoria Public Radio website article doesn’t furnish details other than a picture with an unidentified desktop hub/display (Health Harmony? It doesn’t look like it). Lack of detail + abundance of typos = bad reportage. In any case, the pilot of 30 patients continues into March, when it will be expanded to 200. Related: OSF/Care Innovations announcement from June 2014.

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’

Call for papers: King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress June 2015

Deadline is Friday 13 February for abstract submissions

The King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress will be taking place on 16-17 June at The King’s Fund in London, with the theme Enabling patient-centred care through information and technology. Interested presenters should see below:

You are invited to present current or latest research results and/or report on the progress and impact of innovative projects. Authors are encouraged to submit papers to one of the main themes indicated below.

Accepted papers will be presented at the congress by one of the authors and published in a special congress supplement. Acceptance will be based on quality, relevance and originality.

Conference themes
Authors are invited to submit under the following themes:
*sustaining independence as people age
*preventing and managing chronic illness effectively
*engaging health care professionals and commissioners
*digitally enabling service transformation

More information is available on The King’s Fund web page here. (Please also see the PDF in the sidebar)

TTA has been a media partner of The King’s Fund conferences in 2014.

Looking back over Telehealth & Telecare Aware’s predictions for 2014, part II

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Editor Charles has treated you to a look back on his 2014 predictions, daring Editor Donna to look back on hers. Were they ‘Decidedly so’, ‘Yes’, ‘Reply hazy, try again’ or ‘My sources say no’? Read on…

On New Year’s Day 2014, it looked like “the year of reckoning for the ‘better mousetraps’”? But the reckoning wasn’t quite as dramatic as this Editor thought.

We are whipping past the 2012-13 Peak of Inflated Expectations in health tech, diving into the Trough of Disillusionment in 2014.

There surely were companies which turned up ‘Insolvent with a great idea’ in Joe Hage’s (LinkedIn’s huge Medical Devices Group) terms, but it was more a year of Big Ideas Going Sideways than Crash and Burns.

Some formerly Great Ideas may have a future, just not the one originally envisioned. (more…)

Two triennial reviews that need your URGENT attention please!

We have just found out that the deadline for receiving responses to the NICE review we covered before Christmas has been extended to 6pm on 9th January. As we also understand that there have only been two submission so far to the DH expressing concern that NICE’s remit does not include medical apps (or indeed any wearables or point-of-care-testing devices etc.), can we please urge you to put in a response, even if it is only a few lines? Details are here (ignore the deadline on the website – we have been assured by the DH it is extended by a week). In addition, if you want to see the DHACA submission, it’s here.

We have just discovered that responses for an MHRA review also close at 6pm on 9th January as well, although we are hoping for an extension as happened for NICE (watch this space). Details are here. It looks altogether simpler to complete – again  I’m happy to share DHACA’s submission (when completed) if anyone wants to see it (email For the MHRA, specifically for medical apps, the key issues you may wish to raise include: (more…)

Two free CES overview webinars on 7th & 8th January

Courtesy of Futuresource Consulting:

Wearable Technology at International CES, 15.15 GMT on 7/1/15 – to register click here

  • The killer apps on show from smartwatches, head-mounted displays and other emerging categories.
  • Will health and fitness tracking remain the primary application in the short run?
  • What are the emerging new wearables categories?
  • Are smart garments becoming a competitive reality?
  • The latest headphones trends including health tracking, sports and wireless.
  • What competitive trends are on display – prestige brands from the worlds of jewellery and fashion?
  • Beyond GoPro – the roadmap for wearable cameras and imaging beyond sports and evidential.


2015: a few predictions (UK-biased)

As intimated in our review of last year’s predictions, we feel little need to change course significantly, however some are now done & dusted, whereas others have a way to go. The latter include a concern about doctors, especially those in hospitals, continuing to use high-risk uncertified apps where the chance of injury or death of a patient is high if there is an error in them. Uncertified dosage calculators are considered particularly concerning.

Of necessity this is an area where clinicians are unwilling to be quoted, and meetings impose Chatham House rules. Suffice to say therefore that the point has now been well taken, and the MHRA are well aware of general concerns. Our first prediction therefore is that:

One or more Royal College/College will advise or instruct its members only to use CE-certified or otherwise risk-assessed medical apps.

The challenge here of course is that a restriction to CE-certified apps-only would be a disaster as many, if not most, apps used by clinicians do not meet the definition of a Medical Device and so could not justifiably be CE-certified. And apps are now a major source of efficiencies in hospitals – (more…)

2014: a few quotes

As a coda to yesterday’s review of our predictions for 2014, here are a few quotes that particularly struck this editor as of interest in 2014, sometimes because of what was said and sometimes because of who was saying it – it’s left to the reader to decide which.

Arthur L. Caplan, Director of Medical Ethics at the New York University Langone Medical Center at the end of an interesting piece in the New York Times on the finer points of genetic testing said:

If you want to spend wisely to protect your health and you have a few hundred dollars to spare, buy a scale, stand on it, and act accordingly.

Three months later, Anne Wojcicki, the founder of 23andme – one of the genetic testing organisations mentioned in the last clip – was quoted in this Medcity News piece as saying: (more…)

Looking back over Telehealth & Telecare Aware’s predictions for 2014

Looking back over our predictions made on 31st December last year, it’s hard to quibble with any, and worth hanging on to those that didn’t come good this year.

Our first was

Security and data privacy issues will become a serious mHealth issue in 2014; developers failing to take great care over security and privacy issues will risk very adverse publicity and worse.

Job done: that certainly proved correct, with many being exposed as either selling or potentially selling private information. Clinicians were not immune from privacy invasion eitherHere is a US summary of the issues. Attention was drawn to an EU Article 29 data protection opinion (actually published in 2013) that sought to clarify the legal framework applicable to the processing of personal data in the development, distribution and usage of apps on smart devices, and the obligations to take adequate security measures.   Many apps got hacked too, including FDA-approved ones. There were also items, such as this one, demonstrating how complex the law is in this area in the US. In the EU, the arrival of the Data Protection Regulation in 2015 (now some say 2016) will undoubtedly improve data privacy significantly, though the failure to treat data used for health purposes differently from (more…)