How much would you pay to live longer? What if Google were making the pill to do it?
On Tuesday, Calico, the medical research company Google incubated in 2013, announced it had cut a deal for access to genetic information from Ancestry, the largest family tree website. It’s among the first public moves from Calico, the secretive division born to (gasp!) extend human life. With its new DNA data — properly anonymized — Calico will look for genetic patterns in people who have lived exceptionally long lives, then make drugs to help more of us do that.
The deal also marks another step in the next chapter of tech’s ambitious experiments with biology: After collating medical data, it’s marching the research to market. In January, 23andMe — the Ancestry.com competitor run by Anne Wojcicki, now ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin — inked a similar deal with Genentech to parse the genomes of Parkinson’s disease patients. Genentech is the former company of Arthur Levinson, the CEO of Calico. (It’s a small world.)
The mobile health technology field has been expanding throughout the entire medical care industry within the United States. With the widespread use of the Internet, laptops, smart phones, and tablets became standard mobile devices to communicate and access relevant information among physicians, healthcare providers, and the patient community at large. As mobile health technology continues to advance, new developments are uncovered such as smart glasses, wearable monitors, and new telehealth solutions.
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) reports on the future of the mobile health technology field. One potential problem within the healthcare industry is the possibility of medical care inconsistencies and inequalities due to differential access of virtual and mobile health technology like telehealth platforms or wearable devices.
We’ve been talking on and on about how the process of Quantification can actually help in a comprehensive analysis of the data that is gathered. When the process of Quantification meets the brains of Context, it leads to the creation of an ecosystem like none other: informative, interesting and intelligent.But the true backbone of this entire system is not the complex software algorithm which analyses the data, nor the design suites which display the data to the end user. The main component of this entire structure comprises of the gamut of sensors which take in data intelligently and efficiently, while at the same time not being a hindrance to the daily activities of the user.
If you are happy and you know it… Do not bother doing anything because Hitachi is already aware of how you feel.The Japanese multinational conglomerate announced Monday it has developed a wearable device that can wirelessly measure whether a group of people is happy or not.While the formula for happiness–or at least how it is gauged–remains a trade secret, Hitachi says the technology works by having users wear a card-size device equipped with an acceleration sensor that monitors a group’s behaviour and sends data to cloud-based servers.
As mobile health technology continues to transform the medical industry and the workflows of healthcare providers across the country, the need for secure and safe transfer of data among multiple medical facilities and throughout the patient population becomes imperative. Mobile health security is a concept that must be addressed among healthcare providers in order to avoid data breaches and lapses in high quality patient care.
The Vitality Institute as well as the Microsoft Corporation and the University of California, San Diego have published industry guidelines specifically for addressing mobile health security within the healthcare industry, according to a company press release. The guidelines address the legal and ethical standards of the mobile health field and provide some best practices. A proposal for the guidelines was released recently and a public comment period was opened for the next three months to gather more feedback on mobile health security.
Once again, social media proves its mettle among young people with health issues. Preliminary results of a study of asthmatic teenagers at Boston’s Partners HealthCare found significant improvement in engagement and in symptom control when patients received reminders and encouragement from clinicians and peers via Facebook.
Dr. Joseph Kvedar, vice president of connected health at Partners HealthCare, presented these early findings at the mHealth + Telehealth World conference in Boston this week. Kvedar told MedCity News that Partners is working on publication of the study in a peer-reviewed journal.
Partners Connected Health, formerly known as the Center for Connected Health, teamed up with the Department of Pulmonology at Massachusetts General Hospital and the pediatric asthma group at Partners Community HealthCare to create a private Facebook group for asthma patients aged 14-17. Partners paired the “secret” group, only viewable by invited users and not listed in Facebook search results, with a password-protected website called Connect 2 My ACT, where study participants could take the Asthma Control Test (ACT), a survey intended to measure asthma control.
In my blogs over the last few weeks, I took a high level look at what is included under the hood in newly introduced Apple ResearchKit. I also touched upon functional details on the three out of box modules provided in the ResearchKit software framework – Surveys, Informed Consent and Active Tasks. You can get into more implementation level details for these modules here.
Today in the final blog on this topic, I am going to touch upon issues and concerns that have been raised about ResearchKit in the last three months. Many medical researchers as well as some eminent healthcare ethicist have raised these concerns. I want to acknowledge my reference to these as a source for this blog.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) is funding a pilot testing the use of a vital sign monitoring, wearable patch in hospitalized patients to detect & intervene on signs of clinical deterioration faster.
The device being used in this pilot is the SensiumVitals wearable patch. The device is a low-power patch sensor that goes on the chest and includes ECG electrodes and what appears to be an axillary temperature probe. The device can measure heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature. That information is then sent via a bridge to the SensiumVitals system where alert thresholds can be set. So if you set a threshold for a temperature of 38.0 C and your patient hits 38.2 C, then an alert is sent to nurse via a page or through secure text messaging solutions. This information can also be fed into the hospital’s EMR.
NEW YORK, N.Y. & DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medidata (NASDAQ:MDSO), the leading global provider of cloud-based solutions for clinical research in life sciences, and Validic, the healthcare industry's leading digital health platform, today announced a collaboration to propel connectivity and innovation in clinical research by expanding access to patient-generated data from a broad range of consumer and medical grade mobile health (mHealth) devices and apps. By integrating Validic’s digital health platform with the Medidata Clinical Cloud®, Medidata and Validic are providing the technology infrastructure needed to transform clinical trials through the use of patient-generated data that is secure, regulatory-compliant and actionable.
“Through our complementary technology platforms, Validic and Medidata are making it possible for companies conducting clinical trials to easily and efficiently access mHealth data, and glean valuable insights that have the potential to significantly enhance patient engagement and improve patient outcomes.”
The collaboration significantly increases the breadth of mHealth tools that can be used to support clinical research, giving trial sponsors greater flexibility to select sensors, wearables and apps based on specific study endpoints and patient needs. Data generated by the more than 175 devices and apps in the Validic ecosystem—including those from Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings and others—can now be integrated into the Medidata platform. Once data is transferred through the secure, regulatory-compliant environments of Validic’s platform and the Medidata Clinical Cloud, patient data from the mHealth tools is then mapped to the clinical record and unified with traditional clinical measures.
Chinese internet companies that have strong interest in investing in the health sector have not been able to address several challenges linked to mobile applications for medical services, according to web portal Sina's technology blog.
The mobile health business is a gold mine for mobile service operators, medical equipment manufacturers, chip makers and software developers, given the great potential of mobile technology in the health sector, Sina said.
Along with the launch of its Apple Watch in March, the American tech giant Apple also unveiled apps that monitor and test people's vital signs, and launched ResearchKit, an open source software platform for medical applications.
Being pegged as the ‘Instagram for Doctors’, Figure1 for iOS and Android is a growing hit among medical professionals and lay people alike.The photo-sharing network, aimed at health professionals, is free to download and lets health care workers upload photos, X-rays, scans, charts and other details of patients’ illnesses or maladies to get advice or pose questions on diagnoses and care.Figure1 gives workers in the medical industry instant access to clinical information from centers and hospitals all over the world, as well as the expertise and experience of the staff that goes with it.
Healthcare is the next growth frontier for software solutions because of the benefits and cost-savings it brings to a traditionally paper-run industry. Healthcare providers and their partners are increasingly adopting digital healthcare software platforms, and this is ushering in an era of rising healthcare quality and falling healthcare cost. It’s about time. We’ve all heard the infamous reports lambasting the healthcare systems for excessive spending while failing to live up to high standards of care. Well, digital healthcare solutions have come to save the day! The digital health solutions I am referring to in this article include all types of interconnected health systems that aid healthcare professionals and patients manage illness and health care risk as well as promote health. These include Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), ePrescribing where prescriptions can be sent directly to pharmacies electronically, patient portal where patients can access their health records and communicate with doctors etc. Having said this, the adoption of digital healthcare solutions has been bumpy because many platforms are complex and difficult to navigate. To smooth out these bumps, digital healthcare software must become more user-friendly and healthcare professionals must know how to use these platforms correctly.
A pilot involving wearable monitors is in its second week of a three-week test within the University of Pennsylvania Health System and early feedback is positive, according to a project leader.
The pilot is a "proof of concept" to determine how patients and clinicians view mHealth technology, Penn Medicine Associate CIO Jim Beinlich told MedCity News.
The monitors are being tested by medical surgical cancer unit patients. Beinlich said the device is a Food and Drug Administration-approved hospital product being worn on the arms of inpatients. The goal is to determine if such technology would prove valuable to patients and clinicians,
Do healthcare providers offer sufficient mobile health applications to connect with their patients? According to a global survey from Kentico Software, there may not be enough capabilities among medical facilities when it comes to patient portals, secure messaging, and general mobile health technology. At least half of survey takers issued a C rating with regard to the use of mobile health applications to communicate with healthcare professionals.
The Kentico Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web Survey shows that about one-third of survey respondents said that it was complicated and often difficult to access or navigate medical-based websites via mobile devices and 43 percent stated that they only use desktops when looking at health-related sites. Also, the majority of users prefer to communicate with their primary physicians via mobile texting, but only 19 percent are offered this opportunity through their healthcare providers.
Every once in a while an Apple patent application will surface in Europe that has bypassed the U.S. Patent Office for reasons unknown. Late yesterday Patently Apple discovered a patent application covering Apple Watch that specifically discusses a multi-modal physiological sensing system. In plain English, the patent is covering the Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor. And, it looks as though Apple may be introducing a new method for compensating for motion so that users could perhaps one day jog and swing their arms without affecting the heart rate readings as they do today.
A Manhattan company that focuses on managing chronic conditions in the home is working with Verizon to provide broadband to low-income patients. The firm, eCaring, contracts with payers and home care agencies to provide care management software to reduce avoidable readmissions among their patients.
But because many patients served by eCaring's product don't have high-speed Internet, access to broadband has been an issue.
The company now supplies patients with a Samsung tablet and a Verizon data plan so that home health aides can send alerts and communicate with care managers.
The eCaring software is now designed specifically for Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, although that agreement could expand to include other Samsung devices. The company's clients include insurers and home care agencies; Samsung ships its tablets to those clients and provide tech support. The tablets will be leased by eCaring insurance clients, such as Manhattan insurer Healthfirst.
ere has been a push within the pharmaceutical industry to move “beyond the pill” — in other words, to build and deploy complementary services and solutions to diversify revenue sources. The rationale is simple and elegant: A company with experience selling pharmaceutical products should be able to successfully and profitably sell its large customers (health plans, delivery systems, and governments) other health care offerings.
The impetus to move beyond the pill typically arises from one or two realizations: 1) medicines alone are often not enough for patients to achieve optimal clinical outcomes, and 2) as pharmaceutical pipelines dry up, beyond-the-pill businesses can be valuable new sources of revenues.
However, many beyond-the-pill efforts have sputtered or died. During my years working as a pharmaceutical industry executive and advisor to senior management, I have observed that these initiatives typically fail because of one of three challenges:
Leadership. Many pharmaceutical companies make the mistake of transitioning outstanding leaders from their sales operations to head their beyond-the-pill businesses. However talented they might be, these individuals often lack experience building non-pharma service businesses. In addition, pharma companies occasionally acquire new services and solutions companies and try to integrate them. These integrated businesses are also typically led by pharma managers who don’t fully understand the acquired businesses and their markets
Approximately one of every three Americans is older than 50, and they're remaining active and living longer. Meanwhile, roughly one in every 10 Americans owns an activity or sleep tracker – while seven out of 10 know what they are. But only one of every four people using an activity or sleep tracker is a senior.
Any guesses as to where the market might be heading?
A new report from the AARP cites the "great promise" that activity trackers hold for the senior market – for which health monitoring is and will continue to be essential. "The quality of their years is just as important as the quantity," the report notes, "and they are searching for tools to help them stay healthy and productive as they age – specifically tools that monitor progress toward wellness goals (steps, distance or elevation walked, for instance) and alert them to negative health developments (such as abnormal glucose or heart rate readings)."
It’s hard to know where to start with this article as it’s peddling so many myths but a key thing to appreciate is that Apple’s ResearchKit endeavours are coming with ratings.
“This past April, Apple launched ResearchKit – a framework used to develop apps that allow patients to participate anonymously in medical research studies. While these apps have the potential to advance medical research, there are concerns about privacy and security. In addition, the accuracy and integrity of the data being provided by participants is being questioned”
I can’t understand why anyone thinks that a key feature of Researchkit is that medical research volunteers will want to be anonymous? I thought the opposite would be true eg. treat me like a statistic but if the efforts I go to help University College Hospital find the cure for cancer, or Oxford University understand depression so that thousands of lives aren’t lost to suicide every year I want my name in the history books thank you very much.
Mobile health (mHealth) is a branch of the digital health market that specifically uses mobile technologies. Data from mHealth can inform, assess, anticipate, and aid in interventions while monitoring and coordinating patient health status and care. The vast majority of American adults own cell phones, and innovators in mHealth have been developing platform-agnostic, validated instruments for patientcentric realtime mobile data capture. With high technology access in place and mHealth tools emerging, the potential exists to revolutionize the way health services are delivered and experienced. To date, mHealth applications and devices have been used within the areas of epidemiology, general public health, and clinical trials. As mHealth can collect and analyze multifaceted data in near real time, these technologies may dramatically alter the speed with which evidence-based practice can be customized toward achieving the triple aim of high-quality care, improved out-comes, and lower costs. Challenges to achieving this revolution are seen in the complexities of integrating new technologies into the existing health service record systems, the needs of multiple and diverse healthcare stakeholders, and the research burden of producing high-quality evidence to demonstrate the clinical and economic outcomes enabled by mHealth.
In many emerging markets, reliable data on healthcare systems is limited or nonexistent. This makes it difficult to address urgent healthcare challenges in some of the world’s least developed countries. But a growing number of tech entrepreneurs and public health activists are finding ways to fill the data gaps.There are many gaps to address. Such healthcare systems and supply chains are not typically powered by modern IT systems. Large quantities of health data end up in paper records that are lost or forgotten. Undocumented cash transactions at hospitals and pharmacies are common—and sometimes preferred by those seeking to avoid regulations or taxes.
In March of 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges took a look at our nation’s population and predicted that by 2025 the United States will have a shortage of between 46,000 to 90,000 physicians. The shortage is already apparent in many states, or in many areas of states. According to a June report by Kaiser Family Foundation, Connecticut only has 15% of their needs met, with Alaska and Rhone Island coming in next at only 35%.
Many colleges are busy expanding their educational programs for students in all areas of medicine as well as recruiting to the medical filed. While both are essential, others are thinking of ways to maximize the current medical workforce by exploring how telemedicine can help to fill this gap. It is for this reason that by Christian Assad, M.D., Paul Lee, M.D., and entrepreneur Joshua Hong joined together to create Curely.
St. Jude Medical has announced that it received FDA 510(k) clearance for the St. Jude Medical Invisible Trial System, which is a mobile-enabled discreet spinal cord stimulation (SCS) trial system.Patients who need spinal cord stimulation therapy, which helps them manage chronic pain, can have small device implanted in their body. The implant connects to thin wires, called leads, which deliver low levels of electrical energy to mask or interrupt pain signals. This reduces the sensation of pain for the patient.But, before receiving a permanently implanted SCS device, patients are first given a minimally invasive trial device to evaluate the therapy. This trial device, though, is often connected to controllers and bulky programming cables, which can disrupt the trial experience and may be a barrier to SCS therapy.
The hype behind the Internet of Things (IoT) appears well-founded. According to the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills the world market for smart city technology services will be more than £250 billion by the end of the decade. Products, however, that come with fanfare means there is always a lot of space for disappointment. The ludicrous launch of Google Glass and the mounting desperation of smart people at a smart company when showing off an unfinished product was an early mistake. Even earlier was the overused example of the ‘internet fridge’ that was supposed to transform grocery shopping and still hasn’t reached critical mass. We also have the latest anticlimax; sales of the Apple Watch are alleged to have been underwhelming and it may take a new version to catch consumer attention. The IoT’s dazzling future appears to trailing a little behind, but there is one area where the hyperbole is justified and that is in the field of healthcare. The IoT is going to influence, even dominate, the way humanity will exist.
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