Telehealth & Telecare Aware does not often find itself parroting big company press releases. However we are making an exception for Chubb which some have portrayed as the weakest of the ‘big three’ telecare equipment & service providers. It’s therefore nice to see the launch of their Chubb® Care System, announced on 11 December, described as “an enhanced assisted living solution that uses industry-leading, easy-to-use technology to protect individuals in the comfort of their home.”
The Chubb Care System is claimed to enable residents of sheltered and extra care housing to communicate quickly, clearly and securely with on-site and remote staff, as well as off-site monitoring centres.
The housing management portal included within the system is apparently accessible to estate and housing managers through a smartphone, PC or tablet. This enables them to view, add and edit resident call history, telecare and telehealth information, as well as video and speech capabilities.
One of the major benefits claimed (more…)
The next DHACA Members’ day will be on 11th January at the Digital Catapult Centre, 101 Euston Rd. NW1 2RA, Membership of DHACA continues to be free; members are welcome to arrive from 9.30, Proceedings will begin promptly at 10am and end at 4.30pm at the latest.
DHACA is still finalising the order of the agenda, however the following have kindly agreed to present:
Deborah El-Sayed, Head of multi-channel development for NHS 111, will talk about NIB Workstream 1.1 – Enable me to make the right health and care choices – an area of really key importance to DHACA members as this is where patients will increasingly interface with the NHS electronically. This will include a discussion when attendees can raise key issues with Deborah, and the Workstream more generally.
There will be a similar arrangement for Usama Edoo, a senior member of the Accelerated Access Review team who will (more…)
This year, on the 10th Anniversary of Telehealth and Telecare Aware, we invited industry leaders to reflect on the past ten years and, if they wish, to speculate about the next ten. We are pleased to publish the following item from Steve Sadler, who has been Chief Technology Officer for the Tunstall Group since 1996.
My reflections on the last decade describe a laying of the foundations for ‘connected care’.
The decade has seen continued and huge pressures on health, care and housing, driven by our living longer and with increasing prevalence of long-term conditions.
We have also seen major disruptions to economies worldwide, affecting their ability to continue funding traditional models of care. The resulting public sector budget constraints are daunting, pushing us to explore technology-enabled transformation of services.
At the same time we are experiencing helpful developments in technology, prompting questions as to how we can do more with IP-connectivity, health apps, internet of things, cloud and big data analytics, to help us to shape solutions that bridge the gap between our needs and our resources.
An Exciting Beginning: So what was so special about the last 10 years? (more…)
The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act (Senate Bill 2343), a bipartisan bill to expand Medicare coverage of rural telehealth, was proposed last week by Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Gary Peters of Michigan. It would authorize Health and Human Services (HHS) to test new telehealth programs through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. CMMI would then evaluate new telehealth models on cost, effectiveness and care improvement. Senator Gardner’s intent is to permanently expand rural telehealth. The bill has moved to the Finance committee. Another Senate bill may be proposed before the holiday break by Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz to integrate telemedicine technology into alternative payment programs including Medicaid Advantage, a service of great utility in his state where 70 percent of the population is on one island, Oahu, and about 30 percent is scattered over four other islands. iHealthBeat, mHealthIntelligence.
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/alp-mountains-peaks-in-winter.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]An app developer and a healthcare/digital health innovation lab get into the certification game. Can they fly over the treacherous peaks this time? Social Wellth made good on their promise (or threat?) to get into the app vetting business this past week through announcing a partnership with Columbia University-based HITLAB at the HITLAB Summit this week to develop a certification organization known as Xcertia. Last year, Social Wellth acquired the remains of Happtique from GNYHA Ventures [TTA 12 Dec 14]. The Xcertia principles center around privacy, security, operability and content–as Happtique’s did. The intent is to not only develop a program to certify apps based on established standards, but also form a Signature Steering Committee to ensure they maintain “their definitive set of criteria for evaluating mobile health apps.” MedCityNews, release
Possible conflict of interest. It all sounds positive, but the head of Xcertia, David Vinson, is also the CEO of Social Wellth, which despite its nonprofit-ish name makes its living by developing consumer apps and “dashboards” for insurance companies, a task grandly called (from their press release) “the curation of digital health experiences by leveraging mobile health technologies that allow for integration and aggregation of all digital assets.” Social Wellth also makes quite a bit of hay on its website about app curation for its clients. (more…)
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/08ELDERBOT1-master675.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]A Saturday Robot Fix! Short article in yesterday’s NY Times about development of tiny household drones to fetch medications and do other simple tasks around the house (like cleaning). These ‘Bibiddi Bobbidi Bots’ are under development at the University of Illinois. This Editor will take several to go clean. But do they do laundry? I’d rather take the new iteration of a 4′ Robby the Robot under development in Seattle by an ex-Microsofter who founded Hoaloha Robotics. Practical? Perhaps not, says Laurie Orlov of Age in Place Technology, who’s been up and down a few hype curves. And will it help older people stay connected, even though help around the house is always appreciated? The withering comment on the Jibo robot from a 91 year old at the end of the article does put a damper on it. Still, Robby could make me a dress of sapphires any old time (as did his namesake in Forbidden Planet). As Aging Population Grows, So Do Robotic Health Aides
Our Readers are likely well aware that older medical devices may present a Hacker’s Holiday, but putting a very fine point on it was Kevin Fu, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at University of Michigan, speaking at a Healthcare IT News healthcare cybersecurity forum this week in Boston. Mr Fu pointed out that many hospitals are actively using old devices and old PC systems; one local hospital had 600 supposedly unpatched Windows XP (!) boxes deployed. Older medical devices were not designed with security in mind, which he likens to basic sanitation:
“If you’re using this old software, these old operating systems, you’re vulnerable to all that malware – that garden-variety malware – that has been out in the wild for more than 10 years.” and “This is not rocket science; this is basic hygiene. This is forgetting to wash your hands before going into the operating room. Here we have medical devices where, if malware gets through the perimeter, there is very little defense.”
The press has been concentrating on the big breaches and external hacking (they do make good copy–Ed.), and we’ve expended a lot of air on things like the EHR Wars, but the real threats are more mundane, as Ponemon and others in the field have warned for years. Software updates and infected USB flash drives can spread malware. A vendor can be a regular Typhoid Mary unintentionally corrupting systems and devices down the line. (more…)
20-21 January 2016, FDA White Oak Campus, Silver Spring Maryland
Attend this free and public two-day workshop hosted by FDA on cybersecurity and medical devices highlighting “past collaborative efforts, increase awareness of existing maturity models (i.e. frameworks leveraged for benchmarking an organization’s processes) which are used to evaluate cybersecurity status, standards, and tools in development, and to engage the multi-stakeholder community in focused discussions on unresolved gaps and challenges that have hampered progress in advancing medical device cybersecurity.” Registration required (information and form here), but there is also a webcast (link available after 13 Jan) if you cannot make it to FDA.
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Lively-sensors-600×327.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]GreatCall
, which markets the popular Jitterbug simple phones and ancillary safety/security services (5 Star, mPERS) targeted to older adults, has acquired the assets of home activity personal monitoring system Lively.
According to GreatCall’s press release
, Lively’s technologies will be integrated into GreatCall products. These include a tastefully designed brace of self-installed in-home motion sensors, which made quite a splash when introduced in 2012, and a fairly stylish mPERS watch introduced last year. From the announcement, it’s easy to deduce that Lively was largely inactive despite partnerships led by Care Innovations
: the press release on both Lively and GreatCall’s site was issued from GreatCall only and not joint contact; Lively’s last round of funding was in 2013 (only $7.3 million total, another Series A to B casualty) and there are no Lively employees transitioning to GreatCall for the good reason that there are none left (Mobihealthnews
). No word on founder Iggy Fanlo’s next plans save a squib on LinkedIn
saying that hardware was hard and his next move would likely be in software. With last year’s sale of AFrame
Digital (with no further word from the purchaser) and BeClose
now Alarm.com Wellness
(not a surprise as it was built on an Alarm.com platform), as we close the year it is further confirmation that it is No Country for Small Players in digital health. Photo: Lively.
Update: Tart take from seasoned Aging Tech business observer Laurie Orlov on Lively’s rise and fall, with additional history. Her POV is that as attractive as Lively’s concept was, its business strategy should give pause to the Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur crowd thinking this is just another kind of direct-to-consumer hardware-service sell, the long payout of any tech in this field and the opposed short time frame of VCs. It’s also not like there haven’t been a few predecessors fallen on the field, either. Aging in place tech firm Lively is out of business – what can we learn?
One of the most logical places for telehealth, remote care management (RCM) and transitional/chronic condition management (TCM/CCM) is with home health providers and post-acute care, yet perennially it has been on the ‘maybe next year’ list for most telehealth providers. That ‘next year’ may be getting a little closer with the news that Intel-GE Care Innovations has inked a multi-year deal (no pilot-itis here) with major (~400 facilities) home health provider Amedisys using their PC/tablet-based Health Harmony platform.
The initial focus is an ambitious one: reducing hospitalizations and ER/ED visits among patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, depression as well as patients who have two or more of these conditions (co-morbidities). The most interesting to this Editor is the parenthetical mention of analyzing ADLs (activities of daily living) with clinical data. Does this imply the engagement of their venerable ADL monitor QuietCare? (It’s something the founding company worked on circa 2006 while this Editor was there; one would think the analytics have advanced since then.) Another aspect is that Care Innovations will manage Amedisys’ complete RCM program from recruiting to logistics, data analytics and application integration services. Business Wire
What this means: Telehealth (and telecare) companies are now increasingly obliged in these big wins to provide a plethora of additional related services. Health care providers demand services beyond the monitoring technology. They want the turnkey package, from nurse evaluations, care coordination/management, to analytics and logistics.This ‘service creep’ implies alliances and mergers to add on to technological monitoring capabilities–and beaucoup financing. (more…)
Flo–the Florence Simple Telehealth text messaging system–is well known to our UK Readers as a successful initiative of the NHS. Over the past five years, starting from a test with NHS Stoke on Trent, it has been used by more than 30,000 people in over 70 health and social care organizations to help them monitor their health in areas as diverse as managing diabetes, living with COPD and managing breast feeding. Flo is customized by the clinician for the individual patient on questions, information, and speaks to the patient with a sometimes sassy ‘voice’ to help keep him or her on track. The Health Foundation has spotlighted Flo (named after Florence Nightingale) in ‘The Power of People’ with an overview page here and the video ‘Telehealth with a human touch’.
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/1109151630.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]nhssimple, a Social Enterprise is now tasked with developing the Flo program and since 2013 has partnered with the Veterans Health Administration in the US to develop a counterpart. Named ANNIE after Lt. Annie G. Fox, Army Nurse Corps, who was the first woman awarded the Purple Heart for her actions at Pearl Harbor, the VA is shortly testing it at four sites with intent to roll out nationally in 2016. This Editor has seen two presentations by Neil Evans, co-director of VHA connected health, in 2014 and this year at mHealth Summit (HIMSS Connected Health–see left). The Health Foundation video also includes an interview with Dr Wyatt Smith, prior Deputy CIO of the US Military Health System, and mentions the VHA. Hat tip to Phil O’Connell, Global Lead of nhssimple, for the update.
Health tech as perceptual barrier. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine-Online First (limited content) found that patients were noticeably less satisfied their care when the physician used the computer (e.g. EHR) during the appointment. According to Reuters, only half of the 25 visits with high computer use were rated as “excellent care” by the patients, compared to more than 80 percent of the 19 encounters with low computer use. iHealthBeat cited that physicians who spent more time on the screen:
- Spent less time making eye contact with patients
- Tended to do more “negative rapport building,” such as correcting patients about their medical history or drugs taken in the past based on information in their EHR.
The researchers (primarily from the University of California–San Francisco) used data from two years of visits by 47 patients to 39 doctors at a public hospital. The patients had Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or congestive heart failure, with some having multiple chronic conditions. What is downplayed is that the patients were considered ‘safety net’ patients with communication barriers–limited health literacy and often limited English (primary Spanish speakers). But even this special population may be pointing to an overall problem (more…)
Let’s go to the video. Monday’s Medstartr Momentum/Health 2.0 NYC event was a Broadway Showstopper at Microsoft’s NYC Tech Center. Now available is a (so far) uncut video on medstartr.tv (scroll down to 11/30). There’s no play/skip bar on this, only a pause, so you may want to investigate a linked Health 2.0 NYC Livestream video page which has segmented the sessions and these have a play/skip bar.
Speakers included Susannah Fox, the CTO of HHS as well as 24 panelists, and 5 Momentum Talks representing Patients (Regina Holliday) Providers (Cheryl Pegus, NYU), Partners (Amy Cueva, MAD*POW), Institutions (Wen Dombrowski, MD, Northwell), and investors (Peter Frishauf.) There were four pitch sessions through the day featuring early-stage companies organized around Wearable Health Tech, Hospitals 2.0 and Pharma Tech 2.0. Hat tip to founder Alex Fair, his team, Steve Greene and the 15 sponsors who made it happen. TTA is a long-time media sponsor of Health 2.0 NYC.
Innovate UK’s Tech Inspired Innovation Feasibility Studies Competition originally planned for January has now been delayed
Their intention is to invest up to £2 million in technical feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four enabling technology areas: advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics; and information and communication technologies (ICT).
The aim of the competition is to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK are equipped to respond to market opportunities across a range of economic sectors. They are seeking proposals that will kick-start the delivery of genuinely new products and services, with substantial and scalable commercial potential. Projects must be led by a small or micro company, working either alone or in collaboration with one other small or micro company. Companies could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs. Projects should last up to 4 months and not exceed total costs of £33,000.
The opening of this competition and related briefing event have been delayed so that Innovate UK can take account of the recent announcements in the Spending Review. Further information will be available in due course.
Briefing event registration is still open for you to register on the waitlist for when the briefings are rescheduled, for Manchester, Edinburgh, London and On line.
More information is available here