WLSA merger with PCHAlliance: the digital health conference scene contracts a bit more

Over the weekend, the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) and the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) announced that the San Diego-based WLSA would be combining its operations with the PCHAlliance. This follows on the earlier announcement [TTA 21 Oct] that the Boston-based and Partners HealthCare- owned Connected Health Symposium would be folding its operation into the PCHAlliance. Both Robert B. McCray, co-founder and CEO of WLSA, and Dr Joseph Kvedar of Partners HealthCare are now Senior Advisers to the PCHAlliance, with Mr McCraw heading Thought Leadership and Dr Kvedar now Program Chair of next year’s event.

WLSA has been largely inactive on the conference scene since 2015, when it staged its last Convergence Summit in May and the Wireless Health event in October of that year. The Convergence Summit has been merged into PCHAlliance’s Connected Health Conference kicking off today near Washington, DC. The Wireless Health event will continue through a collaboration with IEEE/EMBS cooperating with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In their release, PCHAlliance emphasized WLSA’s experience in research within engineering, computer science, biomedical and health disciplines. Patricia (Patty) Mechael, PhD, Executive Vice President, PCHAlliance in the release was quoted that “Their focus on medical and health research communities is a perfect compliment to our commitment to accelerate the adoption of clinical grade technology in consumer-friendly health outcomes- based business models.” Life science companies will be welcomed for membership in the PCHAlliance. PCHAlliance also includes Continua, which for well over a decade has been promoting engineering standards for device interoperability.

As this Editor looked back in October, when most of these organizations and events started about 2007-8, there were few Big Health conferences that took what was then dubbed eHealth and mHealth (later Digital Health) seriously. Now, of course, they do. There are also multiple events, large and small, expensive and popularly priced, every month in many cities–we attended and reported on #MedMo16 which will be branching out to multiple cities in 2017.

In looking back at our articles, the WLSA was engaged with the conference almost from the start, when the mHealth Summitwas one of the first ‘big name/big support’ conferences. Its tack then was governmental policy and what international NGOs were doing as a model for developed nations. It was organized by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Health and the mHealth Alliance up to 2012, when HIMSS took it over.

Grizzled Pioneers, and even the non-grizzled, can testify to the multiple phases in a decade up and down the Hype Curve: device-driven, mobile-driven, sensor-driven, telehealth, wearables, Big Data, population health, patient engagement, analytics, data integration, outcomes-based and a few others. This move confirms that many factors are blending: academic, engineering, software, biotech, genomics, social, behavioral, governmental–and that technology is not standalone or sitting in isolation, but is integrating and manifesting itself in all sorts of interesting places both behind the consumer scene and in policy, and to consumers on mobiles and in the home (IoT, which hasn’t resolved its multiple and obvious security problems).

Also Neil Versel in MedCityNewsTTA is a media partner of the PCHA CHC for the 8th year, starting in 2009 when it was the brand new mHealth Summit. Conference tweets on #connect2health.

TripleTree iAwards: applications open

Applications are now open through 13 March for the seventh annual TripleTree iAwards, which recognize the most innovative companies in connected health. Finalist CEOs present at the 10th annual Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) Convergence Summit 26-28 May in beautiful (and warm) San Diego. Previous finalists are a chronicle of the changing connected health scene: marquee names still with us (Qualcomm Life, AliveCor, GreatCall, Proteus)–and those vanished from the scene (Healthrageous, WellAWARE, Diversinet, Zeo). Information and application.

WLSA announces global adoption theme for Convergence Summit

The Wireless Life Science Alliance’s Ninth Annual Convergence Summit, 14-16 May at beautiful San Diego’s Omni Hotel, will be themed around greater global adoption of technology-enabled healthcare. This marks a change from the technology-heavy early days (your Editors have been covering since at least 2010) to worldwide institutional adoption (too slow), outcomes (public health still deteriorating) and consumer engagement (limited). The Wednesday sessions are for members only, the following two days are general sessions and exhibits. Featured speakers include Jeff Arnold, founder of WebMD and now CEO of Sharecare; Dr. Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology; Ralph Simon, CEO of Mobilium Global Limited which is active in Africa; from the UK, Dale Athey, PhD, CEO & Founder of OJ-Bio Ltd. Another feature of the Summit is the announcement of the TripleTree iAwards for Connected Health winners. Twelve finalists were announced earlier this month. More information and registration.

It’s iAwards time again!

As the US East Coast faces low temps (down to 12 degrees again tonight) and another dumping of snow Monday, a small sign of spring, like flash-frozen daffodils and crocuses (crocii?), is the annual application call for the Triple Tree iAwards for Connected Health to be presented at the Wireless-Life Sciences Association (WLSA) 9th Annual Convergence Summit 14-16 May at the Omni in San Diego, California. Twelve finalists will be selected from applicants based on

criteria including the uniqueness of their solution; marketplace traction; clinical, operational or consumer relevance; size of addressable market and international presence across three categories:

    • Operational Effectiveness: Solutions that address the financial, compliance or operational needs of a healthcare organization.
    • Clinical Effectiveness: Solutions that address the care delivery and clinical effectiveness for a patient.
    • Consumer Engagement: Solutions that empower consumers to make better healthcare decisions.

Finalists attend not only a dinner, but also for the first time this year a private business review session. Online applications can be accessed at the TripleTree and Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance websites along with a $195 fee. Registration for the conference is here. Hat tip to Editor Charles and reader Mike Short.

iAwards winners announced today at WLSA

TripleTree’s iAwards were announced this afternoon (US) at the finale of this year’s Wireless-Life Science Alliance’s (WLSA) annual Convergence Summit. From a field of 12–AgaMatrix, AliveCor,  Asthmapolis, Carenet Healthcare Services, CareTicker, Change Healthcare, Cyracom, Etransmedia, Evive Health, Healthsense, Qualcomm Life and Trice Imaging–the winners are in three areas plus one: Clinical Effectiveness —Healthsense (telecare, at long last!); Consumer Engagement–AgaMatrix (diabetes management technology); Operational Effectiveness–CyraCom (on-demand language services.) In addition, special recognition was given to Asthmapolis as the recipient of its 2013 Horizon Award, recognizing ‘their unique advancements in chronic disease management via connected health’. The annual iAwards at WLSA, sponsored by healthcare investment capital firm TripleTree, honor companies demonstrating, insight, innovation, and initiative in healthcare technology. TripleTree release.

mHIMSS Convergence Summit coverage starts with the interesting conundrum of the person who will be readmitted for his/her diabetes:

Three people who’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes are discharged from the hospital on the same day. Who’s most likely to be re-admitted soonest? That would be the one with the worst credit rating. Someone who can’t keep track of his or her finances probably won’t be able to keep up with his post-discharge regimen.–Harry Greenspun MD of Deloitte

This Editor hears Big Data calling…After all, healthy people have more fun….Putting the “fun” back into healthcare

Plus…Live/podcasted coverage of the Convergence Summit:

  • HIBC.tv (Health Information Broadcasting Consortium). You will have to search through the lengthy menu of thumbnails below for later coverage (look for WLSA) but the first group of keynotes featuring Dirk Stanley MD, Rob McCray (WLSA), Joseph Kvedar MD (Center for Connected Health) and Chris Penrose (AT&T) is here (53:34). A second 3: 20 video with Bruno Leroy (Sanofi) is here.
  • mHealthZone Live on BlogTalkRadio: Ben Chodor has been continuing his radio podcasts on the mHealthZone now live from the WLSA: Day 1, Day 2 (today). All broadcasts approximately 35:00.