A gallimaufry of short digital health items to start the day with

The WHO has produced an excellent report on the state of eHealth in the European region, including a review of telehealth readiness. Ericsson have produced a very interesting report confirming what I guess anyone will have realised if they’ve traveled by public transport or have children: young people downloading video content are driving a surge in data usage: there’s much detail here though. Both are well worth the read.

Mentioning Ericsson reminds that the Telegraph recently produced a summary of the 20 best-selling mobile phones of all time – takes you back, with the substantial number once produced by Nokia.

The Royal Society of Medicine has it’s fifth annual medical app conference on April 7th – numbers booked have already well exceeded last year’s sellout so they are expecting to fill this year’s much larger conference venue. The focus this year is on the many legislative, regulatory and voluntary measures being introduced that will impact medical apps – there’s still room for old favourites though, such as Richard Brady’s always-topical Bad Apps slot.

For those for whom the joint Institution of Engineering & Technology and Royal Society of Medicine’s “Future of Medicine; the doctors’ role in 2025” on the 19th May is not enough, the next Southern Institute of Health Informatics (SIHI) conference is on the day after and entitled “Safe and effective medicines: Informatics for best practice”.

(There is also a call for abstracts in poster form as part of the Future of Medicine conference programme. Abstracts are welcome from all professionals working in healthcare and related fields with younger members of the community particularly encouraged to submit their work. Those submitting accepted abstracts will have reduced price entry to the event. Abstracts should be submitted to telemedicine@rsm.ac.uk – the deadline is 29th March.)

The third Royal Society of Medicine event will be entitled “Big data, clouds and the internet of healthy things” and is on June 2nd. Call Charlotte on 0207 290 3942 if you want 10% off for booking all three RSM events.

The Young Engineering Professionals conference organised by BSI and the Institution of Engineering & Technology among others is on 28th April, and at which this editor is speaking (on smart health). Entrance is free.

Avid readers will have seen the comment added to our piece on the Boots Home Assist announcement, which suggests that the message has still to be got out to those stores that will be offering it – hopefully this won’t be a repeat of the problems O2 Health had selling via pharmacies. In this context it’s interesting to see the Mobihealthnews item that Target will be setting aside a section in 500 selected stores in the US to sell digital health kit. Will 2016 be the year that digital health & care becomes a retail sale?

Oxfordshire-based Medelinked has launched a programme to enable partners to write medical apps that use their platform to deliver EHR interoperability. The article also includes a good summary of medical app stats from IMS.

This editor was recently invited to give a presentation on the nearly-finalised General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at a highly prestigious digital marketing conference. When asked how many people in the 200+ audience had heard of it previously, some five people put their hands up, which is a little frightening given the huge penalties for non-compliance and the sweeping changes coming in. Doubtless readers of this blog will be much savvier as the impacts on medical apps, and other digital health products, will be very significant, including for companies doing business in the EU although not EU resident. What is perhaps even more frightening though is how facial recognition software is now apparently actively used in commercial premises for all sorts of reasons, worldwide. Somehow it seems it escapes current regulation.

A couple of sleep items that may interest readers are that the American Sleep Apnea (sic) Association and IBM have launched a sleep-focused ResearchKit app and that Pzizz, the app that claims to be “the world’s most advanced sleep and power nap system” is now apparently available free (watch the video).

Bournemouth University are holding an event entitled “Big Data in Health and Care – ‘Using data to gain new insights’” on April 19th in Southampton.

Apple has just announced a smaller (and cheaper) iPhone and iPad Pro. Perhaps more important for digital health considerations, the Apple Watch – at least in the US – has been reduced in price too.

The Start-up Europe Bootcamp on eHealth takes place in Stockholm on 4-6 April – confusingly the blurb says that “10 European startups will have the opportunity to meet for four days in Stockholm to accelerate their ventures”. Applications must be in by 28th March.

And one late addition – a smart self-propelled baby stroller controlled by a smartphone app, coming shortly, that keeps a constant distance in front of you as you run! Features include wireless speakers, a bottle warmer, three retractable canopies, a rocker and a temperature-controlled bassinet, as well as wheels that will only unlock for authorised users. (No it’s not yet the 1st April.)

Hat tip to Prof Mike Short & Dr Nicholas Robinson for pointers to some of the above.


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