Update: healthcare/digital health conferences canceled/postponed due to COVID-19 include SXSW, Naidex, EPIC (updated 13 Mar).

Your Editor has been offline since Monday to this afternoon (EDT) due to a Fios network outage, not a health outage due to COVID-19. Since last week and the HIMSS20 cancellation, major conference and meeting cancellations and reschedulings are multiplying like fig buttercups in the spring. And yes, WHO has declared it a pandemic as Italy closes down and the US bans travel and even trade from Europe for the next 30 days, but not the UK. (There are additional relief measures including a requested payroll tax reduction, tax deferrals and assistance to small businesses. Many schools and businesses are going remote and long-term care residences, a nexus of infection, are being strongly encouraged to defer non-medically necessary visitors.)

Below are some of the majors and of interest to Readers in the digital health area. Most are the largest conferences with international attendees:

What’s on? The DHACA Day on 18 March at Brown Rudnick in London. Agenda and registration hereUpdates at @DHACA_org.

Additional updates 13 March

Running lists are up at Forbes (including sporting events such as the NBA, Broadway, and every major St Patrick’s Day parade; happily the NY International Auto Show is moved to 28 August) and MedPage Today. Healthcare IT News has a list of government and academic information resources led by the CDC, the WHO, and the NHS. We’ll repeat the NHS pages from our earlier article:

The UK Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England has provided the following links to coronavirus guidance (hat tip to DOHSC via LinkedIn):

👩‍⚕️ Health: http://bit.ly/37qkWaV
🚂 Transport: http://bit.ly/2HDOFBW
👩‍🎓 Education: http://bit.ly/38KT41O
👨‍💼 Employers: http://bit.ly/2TfwpUT
🏡 Social care: http://bit.ly/2VhBIG9

Events: MEDICA App Competition 15 November (DE)–not too late to enter!

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MAC_logo_474x133.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Wednesday 15 November, Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, Hall 15, 3-5pm

MEDICA 2017 (13-16 Nov) will be hosting the sixth annual MEDICA App Competition on the stage of the Connected Healthcare Forum. This is featured as the “the world’s largest live competition for the best App-based Medical Mobile Solution for use in the daily routine of a patient, a doctor or in the hospital.” 15 contestants will pitch on stage for three minutes each with an additional two minutes for the jury to submit questions. First place solution will be awarded €2,000, second €1,000 and third €500, along with the winner going to SXSW and the top three receiving Startupbootcamp (SBC) Digital Health awards.

Featured on the jury are Ashish Atreja from Mount Sinai in NYC and Ralf-Gordon Jahns of research2guidance.

Application submissions are being accepted through 30 September with notification early in October–scroll down the page for the link.

Wearables: it’s a journey, but is it really necessary?

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/is-your-journey-neccessary_.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Increasingly, not in the opinion of many. We’ve covered earlier [TTA 21 Dec, 6 Feb] the wearables ‘bust’ and consumer disenchantment affecting fitness-oriented wearables. While projections are still $19 bn by 2018 (Juniper Research), Jawbone is nearly out of business with one last stab at the clinical segment, with Fitbit missing its 2016 earnings targets–and planning to target the same segment. So this Washington Post article on a glam presentation at SXSW of a Google/Levi’s smart jeans jacket for those who bicycle to work (‘bike’ and ‘bikers’ connote Leather ‘n’ Harleys). It will enable wearers to take phone calls, get directions and check the time by tapping and swiping their sleeves, with audio information delivered via headphone. As with every wearable blouse, muumuu, and toque she’s seen, this Editor’s skepticism is fueled by the fact that the cyclist depicted has to raise at least one hand to tap/swipe said sleeves and to wear headphones. He is also sans helmet on a street, not even a bike path or country lane. All are safety Bad Doo-Bees. Yes, the jacket is washable as the two-day power source is removable. But while it’s supposed to hit the market by Fall, the cost estimate is missing. A significant ‘who needs it?’ factor.

Remember the Quantified Selfer’s fascination with sleep tracking and all those sleep-specific devices that went away, taking their investors’ millions with them? Fitbit and many smartwatches work with apps to give the wearer feedback on their sleep hygiene, but the devices and apps themselves can deliver faulty information. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine called “Orthosomnia: Are Some Patients Taking the Quantified Self Too Far?” (abstract) by Kelly Glazer Baron, MD with researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “The patients’ inferred correlation between sleep tracker data and daytime fatigue may become a perfectionistic quest for the ideal sleep in order to optimize daytime function. To the patients, sleep tracker data often feels more consistent with their experience of sleep than validated techniques, such as polysomnography or actigraphy.” (more…)

AI as patient safety assistant that reduces, prevents adverse events

The 30 year old SXSW conference and cultural event has been rising as a healthcare venue for the past few years. One talk this Editor would like to have attended this past weekend was presented by Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research Laboratory Technical Fellow and managing director, who is both a Stanford PhD in computing and an MD. This combination makes him a unique warrior against medical errors, which annually kill over 250,000 patients. His point was that artificial intelligence is increasingly used in tools that are ‘safety nets’ for medical staff in situations such as failure to rescue–the inability to treat complications that rapidly escalate–readmissions, and analyzing medical images.

A readmissions clinical support tool, RAM (Readmissions Management), he worked on eight years agon, produced now by Caradigm, predicts which patients have a high probability of readmission and those who will need additional care. Failure to rescue often results from a concatenation of complications happening quickly and with a lack of knowledge that resemble the prelude to an aircraft crash. “We’re considering [data from] thousands of patients, including many who died in the hospital after coming in for an elective procedure. So when a patient’s condition deteriorates, they might lose an organ system. It might be kidney failure, for example, so renal people come in. Then cardiac failure kicks in so cardiologists come in and they don’t know what the story is. The actual idea is to understand the pipeline down to the event so doctors can intervene earlier.” and to understand the patterns that led up to it. Another is to address potential problems that may be outside the doctor’s direct knowledge field or experiences, including the Bayesian Theory of Surprise affecting the thought process. Dr Horvitz discussed how machine learning can assist medical imaging and interpretation. His points were that AI and machine learning, applied to thousands of patient cases and images, are there to assist physicians, not replace them, and not to replace the human touch. MedCityNews