Ford disconnects research on heart attack-sensing car seat

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]The Gimlet Eye returns and hopes that Ford has a better idea, because this wasn’t it. The automaker announced over the weekend that it is abandoning research on car seats that would detect cardiac anomalies such as a heart attack and then (presumably safely) bring the car to a halt (and also presumably, call for medical assistance). A corporate statement to the FT stated that Ford was ‘transitioning’ to other projects, based on advances in consumer wearables. No indication of spend out of a $5.5 billion budget. Undoubtedly, the potential for sensor problems in seats and the danger of shutting down a car while driving were insurmountable. No tears though…. (more…)

A fully loaded telehealthy clinic-on-wheels for rural medicine

[grow_thumb image=”×379.jpg” thumb_width=”275″ /]The WellCar concept vehicle is mobile health on wheels. Based on a Ford Transit Connect wagon, this ongoing design project from the University of Kansas (KU) Center for Design Research incorporates technology practically in every corner to create a compact clinic that goes to patients rather than vice versa. The WellCar can be used by a nurse-practitioner team who can treat onsite, using onboard mobile telehealth devices sending to an EHR and virtual consult connectivity. A prototype is being constructed for test in 2014 to obtain National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation funding by fall 2014.  Partners include Ford, Abbott Point of Care, HealthSTATS, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Kansas City Plant, Sprint (Wi-Fi), Voalté (telemedicine); KU Medical Center partners include the Diabetes Institute, Midwest Cancer Alliance and the Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth. According to MedCityNews, the WellCar is a reaction to ObamaCare in reducing readmissions, improving rural care and promoting telehealth/telemedicine–which is perhaps an overstatement. Also ‘Back to the Future’ (MedCityNews) and KU’s article. (Photo from MedCityNews)

Ford and WellDoc give a new meaning to mobile health (US)

As a postscript to yesterday’s post on mHealth apps, WellDoc Health have introduced BlueStar, a prescription-only, reimbursable app that majors on encouraging improved self-care by those with type II diabetes. Apart from being the first prescription-only app in the US, it is apparently also downloadable directly into a car (Ford).

Editor Donna comments 29 August: Aside from WellDoc being the only mHealthy company I can think of located in Baltimore, MD (for our ex-US readers, a city perched uneasily between Washington and Philadelphia), wasn’t the idea (or one of the ideas) originally behind Happtique a process to certify health apps, with a prescribing tool (along with patient ed) via their mRx platform? In June, they sought primary care physicians to beta test their catalogue, formularies and mRx prescribing tool [TTA 28 June]. With Happtique now firmly under the GNYHA Ventures wing [TTA 17 May] and a much lower profile, there may be plenty of room for a private competitor with an established name and its own FDA-cleared apps to establish a prescription app model.