The tech world is built and rewarded on hockey-stick growth, wild valuations, beta launches and speed: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber. The faster, the better. This culture collides with mobile health; the Zuckerberg mantra “move fast and break things” is great for social media, but in medicine when we move fast, we break people.
While countless companies have emerged with important missions that are solving real problems, there could be serious implications when these technologies and businesses are not vetted properly. Plenty of companies have rushed to market — claiming to screen for cancer or decrease depression, only to be proven wrong or inconsistent — using unverified methods or a loophole to make claims that the technology can’t back up.
Among the keynote speakers at this year's symposium was Academy Member Ambuj Tewari, PhD, of the University of Michigan, who gave a talk on "Personalized Mobile Health Interventions." In particular, his talk focused on the potential for mobile health interventions-things like smartphone apps that help patients with cardiac issues or diabetes to manage their health-to meet the health needs people living in developing countries. In much of the developing world, where cell phones (and increasingly smartphones), are widely used, Tewari believes that mobile health interventions might help increase access to certain kinds of healthcare when the number of doctors and medical professionals remains very low.
Back constantly playing up? Prone to frequent headaches or stiff joints? If you're nodding in agreement, then you're far from alone. Just over one third of the UK population live with chronic pain and it's a similarly big issue Stateside and in other parts of the world.While conventional medications may dampen down the symptoms for many people, sufferers are always on the lookout for ways to calm their aches that don't involve nasty side effects or a risk of dependence.
China’s healthcare sector is dogged by several challenges. Can tech companies and digital healthcare ease out the situation?In late January, a video clip shot at Beijing’s Guang’anmen Hospital went viral on Chinese social media. In the video, a girl accused scalpers of charging RMB 4,500 to get her an appointment with a specialist, 15 times the actual fee for consulting that doctor. The girl had come to Beijing all the way from northern China just to meet a reputed doctor face-to-face. But getting a consultation was impossible. She was furious at how hospital scalpers, guards and counter staff were all bullying hapless patients into coughing up large sums of money.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York is tapping mHealth for asthma treatment, recently developing its own app. The Asthma Health App, which lets patients conduct self-monitoring of symptoms and disease triggers, and fosters positive behavioral decisions, is also helping patients adhere to treatment regimens. What's more, it's providing researchers with invaluable data aimed at helping the 25 million U.S. residents suffering from the chronic disease.
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?
Adopting a digital transformation strategy in the face of tight budgets and cuts could save the NHS from becoming increasingly burdened and possibly collapsing as the healthcare service we know.Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has committed £4bn to invest in technology for the NHS, but the level of digital transformation and its maturity across 239 trusts is mixed at best. Achieving a data-sharing, paper-free NHS appears a little way off.However, it's not all doom and gloom. Solid projects have been undertaken recently to adopt more digital services over traditional on-premise IT systems in public healthcare.
From FitBits to Apple Watches, wearable tech is becoming part of our daily lives. But now that we can track our steps and how well we’re sleeping, what’s next? To find out, I asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
Just like in the presidential campaign, a new guard is rising up against the establishment in digital health — and healthcare in general. Entrenched interests, of course, are fighting back any way they can to retain their grip on the industry.At the American Telemedicine Association annual conference in Minneapolis this week, lots of telehealth and digital health companies, as always, were showing off their wares in the exhibit hall. Presenters in the 100 or so breakout sessions discussed practical applications of their technology.
In giving Google access to the healthcare data of nearly 1.6 million patients, the NHS has used a loophole around "implied consent". It did not require patient consent for direct care, and the great unknown is how much Google is going to extend the definition of implied consent to fit its purpose. There's a sense of inevitability when it comes to patient privacy and the use of innovative technologies such as AI in healthcare. We also know that in order to realise the full potential of an information society, personal and confidential data must be used and must also — at times — be shared.
A PwC survey finds that consumers are enthusiastic about the future of wearables, especially in health and wellness, but they're still having issues staying motivated. A new report finds that healthcare providers are going to have to solve the patient engagement paradox before the wearables market opens up to them.
A PwC survey of some 1,000 consumers this past March shows solid support for wearables, with almost 60 percent seeing value in connected fitness bands, watches, eyeglasses and clothing. And health remains the No. 1 reason that consumers are buying these devices.
e Apple Watch recently celebrated its first birthday. While Apple won’t say exactly how many units have been sold, we estimate the number is in the 13-15 million range, bringing in $2-3 billion in revenue. That’s not bad for what some consider a failed product.I recently spent time with Apple executives involved with the Watch. I asked them to explain the real motivation for creating the device. Although Apple has made fashion and design a key cornerstone of its existence, it turns out that this was not at the heart of why they created this product.
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.
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