Nokia’s history as the world’s biggest mobile phone maker is becoming a distant memory, but it’s not out of the gadget business just yet. To build out its health technology business, the company today announced that it has acquired Withings, makers of smart scales, activity trackers, and other health gadgets. Withings is based out of France, and with Nokia in Finland, the transaction was in euros: €170 million to be exact, or around $192 million in U.S. dollars.
Some 42 percent of insured consumers who use mobile-enabled health applications or devices said their biggest motivator to use digital health tools is knowing their numbers, according to a survey of 500 insured consumers fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) and sponsored by online health and wellness program vendor HealthMine.About 52 percent of respondents said they are enrolled in a wellness respondents and 66 percent of these people said their program offered incentives for using digital health, though that was not a big motivator for respondents.
As Britain’s National Health Service struggles with an unsustainable mismatch between resources and demand, health leaders are making the case ever more insistently that technology will be key to allowing it to do more with less.Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS in England, has sketched a future in which patients will, more and more, interact digitally with the health service.
Harvard University has partnered with Sage Bionetworks to launch TeamStudy, a ResearchKit app that aims to gather data from former NFL players as well as the general public to study and better understand the impact playing football has on professional athletes.The ResearchKit app launch is a part of Harvard’s Football Players Health Study, which is a series of research initiatives the university launched in 2014 to learn about the health of football players over the course of their lives. The research is funded by the NFL Players Association.
You can now use an app to summon a GP to your home, in the same way you would order a takeaway. We have come a long way since 1977, when a cardiologist named George Diamond pitched the idea of a primitive health app to predict heart disease to Steve Jobs. Jobs turned it down. Scroll forward to 2016 and there is a burgeoning field of what’s known as mHealth, medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. There are more than 165,000 mHealth apps in a market worth $489m (£346m).
Almost every week brings the announcement of another health system opening a center to commercialize innovations or a business accelerator to work with digital health startups in the region. Providers are encouraging electronic health record (EHR) vendors to open their proprietary systems to offerings from app developers. In addition, digital health companies received $4.5 billion in venture capital funding in 2015. What are the driving forces behind these developments and why do health systems now see investment in innovation centers as a vital component of their broader organizational strategies?
Normally found in the hands of gamers rather than medics the Microsoft sensors could be used to assess the respiratory function of patients.Researchers at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick and the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) have developed a method of using the devices. The system consists of four Kinect sensors which are capable of quickly creating a 3D image of a patient's torso. This enables physicians to measure and assess how a chest wall moves. In tests it has proven to be as accurate as a patient breathing into a spirometer - the current method used - but providing additional information about the movement of the chest, which could help in identifying numerous respiratory problems.
Apple announced today the launch of CareKit, a new open source software platform that allows people to develop their own health care apps. The software's design is similar to that of Apple's ResearchKit, a software platform that lets scientists run studies through apps available in the Apple app store. However, CareKit seems to be a distinct platform separate from ResearchKit. The software will be available in April.CareKit was introduced by Apple's COO Jeff Williams during the company's "Loop you in" event today. He showed off an example of one of the apps created through the system that helps patients with Parkinson's disease track the effectiveness of the drugs they're taking or the exercise regimens they're on. That app was developed by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester using data gathered from mPower — an app developed through ResearchKit that gathers health data from people with Parkinson's.
High-performance sportswear company Under Armour has gained a reputation for chasing down established giants like Nike and Adidas, but now it has ambitions to lead the pack in digital health.For founder and chief executive Kevin Plank the rationale is clear. "Our belief is that data is effectively the new oil," he told technology conference South by Southwest in Austin, Texas on Monday.Over the past two years the Baltimore-based company has spent about $US700 million ($928 million) on a portfolio of digital health start-ups including diet and workout monitoring app MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, which started as a mapping app for users to track their jogging routes and performance.
AliveCor’s Kardia Band is an Apple Watch wrist strap with an ECG sensor attached. Tapping on the sensor triggers a reading, and allows users to dictate symptoms and other relevant information. The results then go straight to a doctor over email, Re/code reports. The sensor is meant to detect arterial fibrillations, a type of arrhythmia that can increase the risk of stroke and cause chest pains or heart failure.
Whether they are done by drawing blood, taking blood pressure or conducting other diagnostic tests, many routine medical assessments haven’t evolved much in recent years. Patients still rely on care providers to perform them, and they still wait days or weeks for results.Sure, wearable devices such as FitBits have made it easier to track simple physiological activities, such as heart rate and sleep patterns. But medical-grade biosensors — devices implanted beneath the skin and designed for more serious applications — have been slow to reach the market.By 2020, however, the global market for biosensors will reach $22.7 billion, according to estimates from MarketsandMarkets research. The firm cited advancements made in just the past few years as reason for the growth.
Last year digital health funding reached $5.8 billion, leaving no question that the potential is aplenty for ambitious health-tech innovators. Still, it takes more than seed funding to bear fruit in this market. While innovating in digital health may truly be something, integrating in digital health—well, that’s everything.According to Catalyze’s cofounder and CEO Dr. Travis Good, establishing longevity in the digital health space will become wholly dependent on how well startups aim to integrate with existing legacy systems. And what system has more legacy in healthcare than that of the electronic health record.
A company owned by Google has been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by a major London NHS trust.DeepMind, the tech giant’s London-based company most famous for its innovative use of artificial intelligence, is being provided with the patient information as part of an agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, which runs the Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals.
Digital healthcare, a discipline with enormous potential to dramatically improve healthcare and healthcare delivery as we know it, is no longer an experiment or a novelty. It is a budding industry attracting not only major new players and consumers but, most important, investors – the key to ongoing adoption and growth.Even five years ago—a relative blink of an eye in historical terms—this would not have been true. Venture capital investing in digital healthcare in 2011 totaled less than $1 billion. Two years later, it more than doubled, to $1.9 billion – better, yes, but still modest. Then along came 2014, when funding more than doubled again, to $4.3 billion, followed by yet another record—$4.5 billion—in 2015, according to investment tracker Rock Health.
James Park is on a mission to make you fitter, faster, stronger and more productive. His company Fitbit has put its activity trackers on millions of wrists in the nine years since it was founded, and won endorsements from US presidents, real and fictional: Both Barack Obama and Kevin Spacey, of US political drama House of Cards, are devotees.Fitbit’s wristbands track everything from heart rate to steps walked to hours slept in any one day. Fitness addicts use them to log every aspect of their life, and they are a common incentive for those looking to shed surplus pounds.
mPower, a Parkinson’s disease (PD) iPhone app developed by Sage Bionetworks and a team of neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), marked the first year of its release by being highlighted in Apple Inc.’s “Loop You In” special product launch event on March 21, 2016.sagelogoCoinciding with the event, Sage Bionetworks, a Seattle-based nonprofit biomedical research organization, released an updated version of its mPower (Mobile Parkinson’s Observatory for Worldwide, Evidence-based Research) app with an improved user interface and enhanced functionality based on user feedback. Sage also announced that mPower will be the first app incorporated into a new Apple platform called CareKit, making the mPower app an even more valuable tool in keeping Parkinson’s patients better informed about their symptoms and care status, and as a data collecting medium for clinical studies should the user wish to participate.
An engineering executive from a wearable cardiac monitoring company muses on the future of wearables and remote monitoring in healthcare. Arundhati Parmar Wearables and digital health technologies are spurring the remote monitoring of chronic patients, forever transforming the brick-and-mortar model in healthcare and improving its delivery.These technologies have the power to bend the arc of healthcare costs by reducing hospitalizations, amont other things.
23andMe announced this week that it would add access to genetic information to ResearchKit, an open source framework introduced by Apple Phone Iimagethat allows researchers and developers to create powerful apps for medical research.
As an update to their existing studies, scientists at Mount Sinai and Stanford will be the first to use 23andMe’s module to incorporate genetic information from 23andMe in their research.It is 23andMe’s first foray in what will likely be many efforts to leverage mobile technology for collecting more than just survey data as we currently do. In this case, it will be used to study asthma and heart disease.The updated apps developed for the studies also allow 23andMe customers to easily participate after a simple informed consent process.
While 2015 was a solid year for digital health, with $4.5 billion in total venture funding, healthcare startups also made headlines for other reasons when reports emerged that much-hyped companies like blood-testing startup Theranos and brain-training app Lumosity were unable to prove the accuracy and effectiveness of their products.Like Beth Seidenberg from KPCB states, digital health startups are increasingly seen as a vehicle to help reduce costs, increase revenues and cut red tape for consumers, healthcare practitioners or service providers. With the laser focus on KPIs and growth, digital health startups often overlook an important factor: Trust.
The big HIMSS 2016 annual conference has come and gone, but if you were worried you may have missed some of the digital health news, trends, or memorable quotes that surfaced at the event, MobiHealthNews has you covered.
In recent years, a type of artificial intelligence known as “deep learning” has allowed tech companies to vastly improve computer vision and speech understanding. Now, interest in applying this software to medical data is growing as health systems look to reduce costs and take advantage of large amounts of information generated by internet-connected consumer-health trackers and medical devices.The Wall Street Journal talked with Brandon Ballinger and Johnson Hsieh, the developers of Cardiogram, a consumer heart rate-tracking Apple Watch app aiming to use deep learning to detect atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heartbeat—and a cause of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart troubles in 2008.
While mobile apps are new enough on the care delivery scene that many providers have only begun dabbling, consumers are sending a strong message that forward-thinking hospital executives can translate into an opportunity for improving population health management programs.Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine is conducting clinical trials that use mobile health apps to do much more than just communicate with patients — the software teaches mental health patients cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, techniques designed to improve population health and reduce mental healthcare costs.This story is part of a reporting package on the rise of population in health in healthcare IT management. Stories include our analysis of health system strategies, an overview of the work done by Essentia Health and a look at how mobile apps are supporting initiatives.Designed by Northwestern's Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies, the ThinkFeelDo website (a responsive design site built to render effectively on any device) and the IntelliCare suite of mobile apps (available in the Google Play store for Android devices, with Apple iOS apps in the works) break up the various CBT techniques into separate modules to make learning the techniques and applying them in situations an easier task.The modules include text, animation and video. Caregiver coaches, on the other end of the mobile site and apps, review patient progress and can intervene during lessons to help patients with any challenges or issues and to provide encouragement."Costs can be saved by giving depressed patients these kinds of tools, decreasing overall health care utilization for an individual," said Kenneth R. Weingardt, scientific director at the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. Weingardt also is a licensed psychologist."We are now saving more money because the cost of the app is much lower than the cost of face-to-face. For some folks who are fairly well-functioning and can go it alone, these types of technology may provide them with what they need so they do not have a long depressive episode that impacts their health and costs a health plan money."ThinkFeelDo and IntelliCare are still in clinical trials at Northwestern, though CBITs is in discussions with Kaiser about deploying IntelliCare through its patient portal."Mobile interventions have much farther reach than individual providers can have," Weingardt said. "They can reach many more people beyond those we can see in our clinic. And a health system that adopts these kinds of tools can improve their bandwidth and their ability to address these problems beyond the capacity of their workforce.”[Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook]In the Northwestern’s clinical trials, Weingardt added, that means giving participants tools to get symptoms under control and making it less likely they will come back with complaints.Providers such as Northwestern and other simply cannot ignore the trend toward mobile tools any longer, said population health management vendor Enli Health Intelligence chief medical officer Joseph Siemienczuk, MD."We have to follow the communication preferences of the community and and it is clear that their communication preferences have moved to mobile technology,” Siemienczuk said. "As we pursue effectiveness, moving patient engagement activities to mobile technology is an imperative."Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Nothing is more important between a doctor and a patient than communication. The more you communicate, the healthier people get and the more knowledgeable doctors become. Without open lines of communication, important details can be missed, patients might put off appointments for too long and trust can’t be built.Cloud-based patient relationship management (PRM) systems are one of the latest ways for offices and clinics to keep the lines of communication open. This new digital health technology is providing avenues for two-way communication that makes discussions between doctors and patients easier to initiate, monitor and document.
Every year, 470,000 babies die in Africa on the day they are born. In effort to address this avoidable tragedy, a team of doctors from the UK and Kenya have developed a mobile game to train healthcare workers across the continent.The scenario-based mobile gaming platform, called Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE), will teach healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies, using game-like training techniques to reinforce ways to save the life of a newborn in distress.
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