Pitch@Palace – it’s voting time + a great short video on wearables
Our previous item on Pitch@Palace introduced this brilliant pitching event for entrepreneurs. Now the pitches have been put on the web for everyone to vote for.
We highly recommend readers to have a look at the pitches and vote for your favourite for the “People’s Choice” award – there are lots of health-related start-ups to choose from…overall the pitches give a great feel for what is hot just now.
And whilst you’re in video mode, have a quick look at this very short, excellent summary of recently launched wearables that Prof Mike Short kindly made me aware of today – a “must watch”!
Engaging with the UK Digital Health Industry: Getting Health Data Analytics onto the Map
The Health KTN and UK Health Data Analytics Network (UK-HDAN) invite practitioners and industry experts to attend one of their regional workshops to contribute to a UK health data analytics roadmap for funders and policy-makers.
There is general recognition that health data analytics will play a critical role in transforming health and social care, but relatively poor understanding of the current UK landscape, research priorities and barriers to translation. Their aim is to provide a clear statement of opportunities and challenges that will help shape a national action plan for health data analytics.
The UK-HDAN is a newly formed community of health data scientists (current membership 350) working together to map the landscape and inform a national strategy for health data analytics research. They are particularly keen to (more…)
Deloitte’s consumer view of technology acceptance in home health
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (DCHS), the research division of Deloitte LLP’s Life Sciences and Health Care practice, conducted six focus groups late last year to gauge the acceptance of technology in home health. They tested two main home health scenarios among 42 younger (<44) and older (45-64) adults, both drawn from healthy and chronic condition patients and with a mix of demographics.
In this qualitative study, the two scenarios tested were: technology that would help manage chronic conditions and tech to promote healthy living. The first scenario gives a very advanced vision of chronic care management that involves telehealth, telemedicine and residential monitoring in the management of chronic conditions (diabetes and CHF). The second involves lifestyle factors including eating, activity and exercise management and managing travel.
Some findings in the report summarized and linked for download here, including implications for companies:
- Overall they were open to and optimistic about using technology to enable better home care of older adults who require it–including embedded sensors.
- ‘Smart home’ has appeal, but there is a preference for the less intrusive (stove burner/cooking range sensors, fall detectors) and resistance to perceived invasions of privacy (sleep, bathroom and activity monitoring).
- They understood the balance of reward and risk in consideration of broad categories of nutrition, physical activity, prevention, and dealing with an acute episode (see quadrant below, click to enlarge)
Center Director Harry Greenspun, MD’s in his Health Care Current blog notes that TECS has the capability of providing services formerly provided only in a doctor’s office or hospital in the home, but “One question remains, “How quickly will consumers adapt and accept new technologies that bring care into their home?”–then answers his own question.
All of these innovations have given us a level of insight and capability we could not have imagined even a few years ago. At the same time, each raises privacy concerns.
So why do we do it? Because we get something out of it.
‘VC tourism’ in Health Tech Land is over (updated)
The ‘silly money’ is packing its bags and taking the next flight from the Coast. An exceedingly tart take out of Fast Company confirms what your Editors have noticed in Rock Health and other year-end reports. Funding for digital health may have surpassed $4.2 billion in 2015, but it barely eked over 2014’s total of $2.3 billion despite rising geometrically since 2011 [TTA 16 Dec 15, revised by Rock Health since then]. Since then, we’ve had the Trouble Every Day of ‘unicorns’ (overreaching) Theranos and (ludicrously) Zenefits [TTA 17 Feb]; EHR Practice Fusion stalled out and cutting 25 percent of its staff, hoping to be acquired by athenahealth–or anyone (Healthcare Dive); shaky Fitbit shares [TTA 20 Feb]. Perhaps the high point was last year’s ‘Corvette Summer’ with yet another big round to a company yet to fulfill its promise, ZocDoc [TTA 15 Aug 15]. Even Castlight Health with decent revenue (still at a loss) has been dubbed an ‘absolute horror show’ when it comes to its share prices, if you were foolish enough to buy it at or near its IPO.
Fortunately a large dose of sanity may prevail among VCs with a sobering realization–no different than five or ten years ago–that investment has to be strategic and far longer than the usual 18 month-and-out time frame. Too many companies have systems which work the same niche–you don’t need 50 companies doing these things: data analytics for care management, patient engagement platforms, med reminders or diabetes management. [We’ve already noted the ‘sameness’ in companies getting funded in 2015, almost as if investors were seeking reassurance in similarity, a sure sign of a coming fail–TTA 30 Dec 15.]
Developers must fill a need–uniquely. And have a superb business plan, squeeze the nickels till they squeak and forget about the party culture. Investors: Dumb Money For Digital Health Will Vanish As Quickly As It Came In
Telehealth reimbursement: a major growth obstacle overcome this year?
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Hurdle.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Will 2016 be the year where the hurdles are jumped? Telehealth systems and platforms are becoming more comprehensive and compatible with mobile technologies. While there are still discussions (arguments!) as to telehealth remote patient monitoring effectiveness in care models, with the occasional naysaying short-term or IVR study ‘proving’ RPM doesn’t work, the long-term positive VA Home Telehealth results since 2003, and the large body of research prove otherwise when integrated within a chronic or transitional care model. Yet at $14 million or .0025 percent, it was in 2014 a tiny part of Medicare payments because of CMS’ emphasis on rural telehealth at that point (and still). Medicaid (state programs for low-income children and adults under CMS oversight and administered through private payers) is more generous, with most states providing some payment and some having parity (with in-person visits) regulations.
A retrospective look at telehealth reimbursement is in a just-published paper by the Health Care Cost Institute (full PDF of report) which analyzed thousands of claims from four major insurers (Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare).to track trends in telehealth billings from 2009-2013. Key findings are summarized by senior counsel René Quashie of leading health tech law firm Epstein Becker Green in this article. It’s evident that the private payer sector didn’t exactly lead the way on commercial adoption of telehealth and telemedicine.
Here, the public sector is forcing change. Medicare rules on chronic care management changed for year 2015 to permit telehealth integration, and while complex (and not especially generous), CMS has further expanded them for ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and for new Next Generation ACOs. Yet only 20 percent of ACOs in the 2015 MSSP program actually used telehealth in care programs.
You can understand why from practices’ past experiences with payers. Becker’s Hospital Review cites from excerpts that while telehealth claims reimbursement on average rose 2009-2011 from $60 to $68/visit, in 2013 they dropped precipitously to $38. For all the hand-wringing over mental health, psychiatrists get the short end once again: a diagnostic interview exam (which is generally 1-2 hours if not more) cost $200 via telehealth (telemedicine) and $288 when the exam was conducted in person, but reimbursement was $77 and $105 respectively. After needing to invest in equipment and software, it’s understandable why physicians don’t look forward to getting paid less for their trouble.
But the argument is that things are changing for the better, and that is advocated by Nathaniel Lacktman, partner of tech law firm Foley & Lardner in his optimistic article in Advance Executive Insights, which maintains that 2016 is going to be the Year of Telehealth and remote patient monitoring. (more…)
Chubb Care System adds communities (UK)
Chubb Community Care launched the Chubb Care System at the end of last year [TTA 13 Dec 15], and following up, they have already become the approved technology adviser and provider for the Northern Housing Consortium and the Knowsley Housing Trust’s Bluebell Park Apartments. KHT provides housing for 27,000 residents in Knowsley. The Chubb Care System is a hybrid communication/monitoring system for residents in sheltered and extra care housing to communicate with staff and integrates with TECS, telehealth and fire/safety devices and systems. As Editor Charles put it, some have portrayed Chubb as the weakest of the ‘big three’ telecare providers, and it is heartening to see them move forward quickly.
Tunstall and Boots go High Street with retail PERS (UK)
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Boots-Main-Logo.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Boots has entered the direct-to-consumer PERS business with Home Assist, supplied by Tunstall Healthcare. It’s a conventional (non-mobile) base unit and pendant with 24/7 response to Tunstall’s call center and a temperature sensor that will alarm at cold temperatures. The basic PERS is priced at £34.79 ($49) inclusive of VAT for the unit and a £19.99 ($28) monthly charge. Adding fall detection, the prices rise to £46.79 and £25.19. The most expensive option adds a smoke detector, reassurance calls and a bogus caller alarm for £58.79 and £31.19. Some end users may qualify for VAT-free pricing due to a qualifying disability or long-term illness, which lowers rates by £7-9. According to our former Editor and occasional contributor Mike Burton, this is a first for any High Street chemist and ups the game for all PERS and alert systems. It’s also a natural move, given that the US outpost of the Walgreens Boots Alliance has direct sold Tunstall (and earlier, AMAC) PERS units for 10 years. (Walgreens’ base monthly rate is about the same at $29.99 monthly for the same unit, but no unit cost on an annual contract.) Home Assist website (Tunstall UK/Boots). The in-store leaflet link on the Boots website features Boots locations in London and Leeds only, along with a full application.
Care Innovations’ ‘record growth in 2015’; replaces CEO; GE departs partnership
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Care Innovations‘ recent (undated) press release (discovered as a LinkedIn update), if read without a Gimlet Eye, could be read as another one of those ‘good news’ releases that build company awareness and get it picked up on websites such as TTA. Certainly there’s a nice spin of positive news for remote monitoring technologies, particularly more complex ones in vital signs monitoring and broadening out their applicability. (More on those below.) But the observant eye will pick out a couple of ‘aha!’ moments at this company that got slipped in, but not slipped by, the Eye.
The first is that GE has departed the building. Always the junior partner except for the very beginning in 2009, GE apparently exited sometime after December based on the last press release with Intel-GE identification issued 1 Dec 2015. The boilerplate company description is no longer ‘Intel-GE Care Innovations’ but now ‘Care Innovations, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation’. Lift your eyes to the company logo at the top left of the web page, and there it is, ‘An Intel Company’. GE is not fully cleansed, still to be found on product pages such as Health Harmony and QuietCare, as well as the copyright line at the bottom of each web page. (More work to be done)
The second is the appearance of CI’s new CEO, Randy Swanson, in the executive quote and on the ‘team’ website page. His bio notes that he’s a 17-year Intel finance/business development veteran, at one point with responsibilities in the Digital Health Group. Tea leaf readers might well surmise that Intel will now emphasize profitability at CI after the major repositioning and partner expansion during the 2.5 years of Sean Slovenski’s tenure (a non-Intel’er departed in January to Healthways, TTA 13 Jan).
The release also has a few more interesting moments. (more…)
ATA 2016 announces keynoters
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ATA2016Bannerv2-1.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /]American Telemedicine Association 2016 Conference and Trade Show
Sat 14-Tues 17 May, Minneapolis Convention Center
ATA 2016 is the world’s largest and most comprehensive meeting focused on telemedicine, digital, connected and mobile health. Over 6,000 healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth area are expected to attend the 75+ sessions and visit the over 300 exhibitors in the main hall. Keynote speakers announced are:
- Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab
- James Peake, former US Secretary of Veterans Affairs
- John Noseworthy, MD, President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic
- David Shulkin, MD, Under Secretary of Health for the VA
- Jack Resneck, Board of Trustees, American Medical Association
- Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, President, American Hospital Association
- Reed Tuckson, President, Board of Directors, American Telemedicine Association
Register today through 15 April to save $150. More information here on schedule, keynotes, housing and Minneapolis (which is lovely in the spring when the snow is all gone!). TTA is again a media partner of ATA’s annual meeting.
UK Telehealthcare’s London MarketPlace
UK Telehealthcare is organizing its first MarketPlace for 2016 at the LFB to commemorate its 150 years of service to the community. About 30 exhibitors will be presenting the latest in assistive technologies for the home including telecare, sensor-based and safety/alert. Best of all, it is free to professionals in social care, healthcare and security. See PDF attached or contact Gerry Allmark.
Technology for Aging in Place 2016
- In communication, internet non-usage among 75+ has declined to 50 percent over the past 15 years.
- The tablet form factor is losing ground as smartphones get bigger. Older adults and smartphones are beginning to ‘get along’ partly as they grow larger, but also that feature and simple phones are becoming less available.
- Also losing ground is senior housing–residents are delaying entry to assisted living until they are mid 80s and frailer. Savings and debt in the boomer group is low and high, respectively.
- Investors are caring more about home care, with large investments ($80 million) in three regional home care worker startups: Honor (San Francisco), Home Hero (Los Angeles), and Hometeam (New York/New Jersey), caregiving apps and chronic care management (CareSync, with an $18 million raise).
- Dementia care support tools are (finally) developing into its own category.
Surprising conclusions: PERS alerting stays strong, but changes to be mobile-enabled and more cosmetic; a lot of convergence of categories and forms; and the term ‘health tech’ will replace ‘digital health’. Oh my!
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