To be honest, the patient adherence app market is feeling a bit crowded these days. So the pressure is on for companies to develop apps and web-based programs that can add value or unique features. Israeli startup MediSafe Project launched its mobile health app for Androids and iPhones to help people keep track of their medication dosages. But it is also designed to provide potentially valuable insights for pharmaceutical companies tracking patient adherence.
The app’s homescreen looks like a pillbox. Medication icons represent the different drugs patients are prescribed, according to a company statement. When users add medication, they are prompted with questions on the amount, the frequency and time of day and whether or not it should be taken with food. When users take their medication, they drag these pill icons into an animated image of a mouth swallowing meds. If users forget to take their medication or don’t register they have taken it with the app, family members receive a text message notifying them.
Users can key in the generic or brand name of their medications or photograph the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s universal National Drug Code number displayed on the package. The drug name, manufacturer and medication strength gets recorded automatically
Open health refers to a set of developing information technologies that make it easier for patients, professionals and administrators to access health-care information or make it anonymous and open to the public.
This is done by integrating existing health-care records and data. It is hoped the result will be more health information for more people to access more easily.
Open health requires online access. It’s easy to think of this as a background issue because the national broadband network is due to roll out in Australia over the next few years. But the so-called digital divide is a real concern in Australia and around the world.
What’s more, the world isn’t just divided between those who have internet access and those who don’t. We also need to consider the staggering differences between the quality of access, individual internet literacy, and how these variables can be leveraged to create good outcomes.
Although the digital divide is closing, a large number of vulnerable individuals still don’t have basic internet access. And technological literacy is a necessary part of using open health services.
Open health will hold data on vulnerable populations that those populations may not be able to use through lack of access. The elderly, for instance, are major users of health-care services so we need to ensure that they have the technological access and the capacity to engage with open health.
New technologies can bring huge benefits to those with the resources, education, and opportunity to access them. Open health is no exception.
Perhaps the most obvious concern for open data policy is the privacy of individuals. If there’s enough identifiable information in a data set that has become public, then individuals can be picked out and potentially targeted by private businesses, government agencies, and even by police in ways they might not want.
Even if the intentions of the viewer are good, we still have the right to expect that our personal information remains anonymous and our privacy is protected.
Linked data can be very useful to citizens and businesses alike, but carries with it the risk of de-anonymisation. There’s a concern that primary data, which hasn’t been interpreted or aggregated, can be used to identify individuals.
The important thing about linking data is that individual data sets, such as age, height, car model and postcode, are not considered overly private. And a lot of this sort of innocuous personal information can be accessed online – through sites such as Facebook, and census data, for instance.
We should also be concerned about who can exploit the data, and how much control we have over access. Some of us may not want even our anonymised data being used in ways we don’t agree with.
Open health should make opting out simple. While large scale opt-outs are likely to diminish the utility of data, we have to weigh the trade-off between privacy and potential innovation carefully.
Finally, to whom do we turn if something goes wrong? With a move towards more automated and rapid release of data, there’s more urgency around what options individual citizens and groups have to question, comment, or contest the release and use of open data.
It's always fun to meet new people at DIA and see what new products and innovations are being offered by our compatriots in the eClinical field. Plus it offers me the opportunity to demonstrate BioClinica's products to a lot of people without traveling across the country. No surprise, the big hit this year was our Express EDC and OnPoint CTMS Metro apps running on a tablet using the upcoming Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft. I can't wait until the WIN8 release!
Readers of my blog will know that Microsoft's technology is a major part of the BioClinica suite of eClinical solutions, which includes OnPoint CTMS. In fact, our relationship with Microsoft led to one of the most exciting events of the week: the presentation of a 2012 Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award to BioClinica and C.R. Bard.
NEUSS, GERMANY (JUNE 28, 2012) – Janssen-Cilag GmbH (Janssen) today announced it has completed the acquisition of Corimmun GmbH, a privately held drug development company in Germany, for an undisclosed upfront payment and a contingent future clinical milestone payment.
Corimmun’s lead compound, COR-1, is a small cyclic peptide currently in early clinical development for the treatment of heart failure. COR-1 has been shown in preclinical studies to improve heart function by decreasing autoimmune, beta 1 receptor-simulating antibody effects. Under terms of the agreement, Janssen and its affiliates immediately assume full development and global commercialization responsibilities for the compound.
Heart failure is generally a progressive disease characterized by the heart muscle’s inability to adequately pump oxygenated blood through the body. An estimated 23 million people around the globe have been diagnosed with heart failure, a number that is projected to increase. For most causes of heart failure, there is no known cure.
“The prevalence of heart failure is rising rapidly, and COR-1 is an early stage development compound with a novel mechanism for treating heart failure that has the potential to improve heart function by suppressing antibodies that can exacerbate this condition,” said Peter M. DiBattiste, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolism at Janssen Research & Development. “This acquisition demonstrates Janssen’s commitment to investing in innovative science in an area of great unmet medical need, where new therapies can improve the quality of patient care.”
A T-shirt fitted with sensors promises to greatly improve quality of life for the chronically ill, as well as ease doctors' workload and reduce healthcare costs. EU-funded researchers have developed the innovative system to measure heart rate, breathing and physical activity, which is backed up by in-home monitoring devices and intelligent data processing technology. It may even help in training regimes for elite sports like rugby. As Europe's population ages, chronic diseases are becoming increasingly widespread. Characterised by gradually deteriorating health and recurring incidents often requiring immediate medical attention, chronic illnesses have a severe impact on patients' autonomy and life quality and are putting increasing strain on over-stretched healthcare systems. 'Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease' (COPD), for example, is expected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, while 'Chronic kidney disease’ (CKD) affects one quarter of people over the age of 65. Patients suffering from those and many other incurable chronic illnesses require long-term care to ease their symptoms and slow the deterioration of their health. 'Currently, treating such diseases requires patients to visit their doctor or specialist frequently for check-ups to monitor their progress. This is inconvenient for patients and doctors, it's costly for healthcare providers, and the treatment may not always be optimal because of insufficient or inaccurate data,' explains Roberto Rosso, R&D Manager at telehealth provider TESAN in Italy.
Cancer patients with lower incomes are markedly less likely to say they're willing to take part in a clinical trial, a researcher said here.
In an Internet-based survey, 9% of people with newly diagnosed cancers said they were taking part in a clinical trial, according to Joseph Unger, MS, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
That's higher than the 2% to 3% who take part in National Cancer Institute-sponsored trials, Unger told reporters at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting here.
Despite the continued excitement and hype over mobile healthcare, a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows an audience--patients and physicians--divided over how ready they are for mHealth advancements.
Cost Savings Still the Number One Reason Behind 60% of Outsourced Pharma and Bio Manufacturing by Pharma IQ - While there is normally more than one factor behind the decision of a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical organisation to outsource its global...
The meeting was a moderated discussion among an invited group of participants including developers, health plans, providers, EHR vendors, VCs, government representatives, patients and other experts. This expert ...
Swiss drugmakers Novartis International AG and Roche Holding AG, as well as privately held Seaside Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, all have drugs in late-stage tests targeting Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability and the most common known genetic cause of autism. And though Fragile X accounts for only a small percentage of autism patients, early studies suggest the drugs may work in other forms of autism, too.
If the current trials show enough benefit to satisfy U.S. regulators, the first drugs could be available in a few years. And if that happens, they will serve a growing population. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that as many as 1 in 88 children in the United States has autism, a near-doubling of the rate reported in 2002.
Even so, the number of studies of the drugs remains small, and the trials themselves have been relatively small. Of those that have been completed, the effect has been dramatic in some patients but negligible in others..
Just a decade ago, if someone had said that Steve Jobs would have a huge effect on how medical professionals administer care, that prediction would have been met with an eye roll.
But the reality is people increasingly access healthcare services via mobile, or “mHealth.” The result: Mobile is having a transformative effect on the way physicians and nurses care for patients. It’s also impacting how consumers manage their own health and well-being.
Unconvinced? The following statistics might change your mind.
By the end of 2012 mHealth apps will have been downloaded 44 million times. By 2016, that number is expected to increase to 142 million downloads.
By this summer, 13,000 consumer health apps will be available for download on the iPhone. About half of those (6,000) are for medical professionals.
More than 80% of physicians own a mobile device, compared to 50% of the general U.S. population.
About 30% of physicians are using smartphones and tablets to treat patients.
So exactly how are these devices shaping healthcare? Here are five ways companies are adopting mobile technologies to improve healthcare delivery.
There are between 20,000 and 30,000 healthcare related apps available for Apple and Android platforms, and 17,000 of those are geared towards purely medical use. Pharmacist Timothy August, for example, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he uses a pill identification app on a daily basis, inputting the shape, size, and color of a medication and receiving the name of the pill almost instantly. The technology has become invaluable to him during his community outreach work when a patient has her pills in hand, but hasn’t brought the prescription bottle. Medical calculators and reference information are also popular among doctors and students who need to check symptoms or want a quick refresher on a procedure. Epocrates, one of the oldest companies developing mobile apps for medical professionals, has over one million users of their drug reference software, and is now branching out to educational apps, like Anatomy on the Go and an echocardiography atlas, for use on standard smartphone devices as well as the iPad. Patient education is one reason some physicians use smartphones in the exam room. John Cox, CEO of Visible Health, notes that “somewhere around the order of 80 percent of all information communicated between a physician and a patient is lost when a patient walks out of the room.” With Visible Health’s drawMD software, physicians can create personalized diagrams to explain tumors and other injuries without needing to take out a sketch pad and pencil. The diagram can be printed or emailed afterward, or added to the patient’s medical record, ensuring that the patient can retain the information and its context.
The Mobile Revolution continues to change how industry after industry goes about day-to-day business. Yet one industry has been surprisingly slow to embrace the benefits of mobile: healthcare. Many observers find that strange, since healthcare could clearly benefit from the power of smartphones and tablets attached to the cloud.
Jonathan Schwartz's startup announces a third partnership, part of an effort to promote his company, gain insight into patient needs, and of course attract subscribers.
CareZone, a startup for organizing and sharing personal information, announced a promotion that grants free access to those with a family member with epilepsy. Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz, who previously led Sun Microsystems, said a partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation will match what CareZone has done with groups dealing with autism and Parkinson's disease. (For a look at the executive and his views on Oracle, Apple, Amazon, and Intel, check CNET's accompanying Q&A with Schwartz.) Schwartz hopes CareZone will catch on as a way to let people privately share information such as instructions for babysitters, emergency lists of online banking passwords for family members, medication schedules, and treatment records from doctors and pharmacies. It'll cost $5 per month or $48 per year per person being monitored, but for now the service is free during an introductory period and for cases where a person has a particular affliction.
At the healthcare track, this year we will be sharing the latest news and upcoming plans for OSEHRA, the Open Source Electronic Health Records Agent.
This young organization was set up last year by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as:
"...an important milestone on its joint path with the Department of Defense (DoD) to create a single electronic health record [EHR] system for service members and veterans."
OSEHRA's mission is to:
"facilitate, through the use of the best practices in open source software development, the improvement and maintenance of EHR information systems. These systems will be freely available for all medical beneficiaries"
In our talk, OSEHRA - Building an Open Source EHR for All, we will summarize the many things that have happened in the first year of this endeavor, and will also describe plans for the second year of activities.
One of the most exciting events of OSEHRA's first year was the VA's contribution of: "...its current EHR, known as VistA (Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture), to seed the effort. OSEHRA will oversee the community of EHR users, developers, and service providers that will deploy, use, and enhance the EHR software."
Lilly Expands Strategic Partnership with Chinese Manufacturer Novast to Serve Chinese Patients with High-Quality Branded Generic Medicines Lilly will increase equity position in Novast by $20 million Novast will set up a platform to supply Lilly-branded generic medicines
INDIANAPOLIS and NANTONG, China, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In support of its commitment to maximize growth opportunities in China, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced an increase of its network of manufacturing capabilities in this key emerging market country through an expanded collaboration with Novast Laboratories, LTD. Novast, a generic and specialty pharmaceutical company based in Nantong, China, has established high-quality systems and manufacturing facilities for the global and domestic Chinese markets. Lilly expects its expanded collaboration with Novast to greatly enhance its efforts to build a portfolio of Lilly branded generic medicines in China. The collaboration may also ultimately result in Novast providing local and regional manufacturing capabilities for Lilly's own pipeline of potential new medicines in development.
As part of the agreement, Lilly will increase its equity position in Novast by $20 million. Lilly made an initial equity investment in Novast several years ago through the Lilly venture capital unit, Lilly Asian Ventures. Novast has committed to set up a platform to support Lilly branded generic products and increase the manufacturing capacity at its Nantong site over the next several years, with Lilly providing technical support to enhance quality standards. The additional capacity will support the collaboration, but will not be solely dedicated to Lilly products. The two companies have selected an initial list of medicines across multiple therapeutic areas that will be manufactured by Novast once the facilities are operational. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has prolonged their proposition to acquire Human Genome Sciences (HGS) without increasing their $2.60 billion offer, after barely any shares were offered.
The UK drugs giant has delayed the expiration date to June 29th for their unsolicited tender offer to acquire all the remaining common shares of Human Genome Sciences at $13.00 each. The offer was formerly planned to expire on June 7th and by then just in excess of 474,000 shares had been tendered.
Even though the bid has been continually rejected by HGS’ board, GlaxoSmithKline maintains that the proposal “represents full and fair value and is in the best interests of both companies’ shareholders.”
The organisation also asserts that they provide “immediate liquidity at a substantial premium while eliminating further exposure to the significant execution risk inherent in HGS achieving its future growth objectives.”
The Defense Department has put the theater version of its AHLTA clinical information system into the open source community that is supporting the development of the joint electronic health record (iEHR) to serve DOD and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Open source will take an important role in the development of the iEHR, said Dr. Karen Guice, the principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Military Health System’s CIO. The software code for the theater AHLTA is available now for download at the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA).
Here at iMedicalApps, we are strong believers that mobile technology can make a significant, measurable, positive impact on medical education. From the enhanced visuals for anatomy, to medical journals, to the proliferation of interactive textbooks such as those offered by Inkling and more recently, the iBook.
One of the first medical iBooks was prominently featured on iMedicalApps and highly successful in demonstrating the power of Apple’s iBooks Author as a platform. iMedicalApps is pleased to announce that another free medical iBook created by UK medical student, Stuart Stewart, is helping prove that interactive iBooks can make a measurable difference. His iBook on the subject of the Brachial Plexus.
For investors concerned about a tech bubble, digitial health -- serious digital health -- could be just what the doctor ordered.
I confess to believing that health is different: I’m overwhelmed by the extent of real, unmet need – by the need for meaningful innovation to impact the lives of people and patients. The fundamental human need is there – and a market for innovative products exists; there’s real money here, and real business opportunities for companies that are able to deliver and demonstrate value.
To this point, as I’ve previously discussed (see here and here), a lot of the activity in digital health seems to have taken inspiration (understandably) from the efforts in the tech space more broadly – there’s a lot of interest in consumer tech and wellness apps, and what seems to be an ever-increasing number of incubators that have popped up to support this emerging ecosystem.
The emphasis of health entrepreneurs and incubators on what I’d describe as “small ball” is understandable; the upfront investment tends to be small, and the initial development cycle time tends to be short – you often can go from concept to prototype extremely rapidly (not a bad thing, incidently – see here). You also avoid a lot of the complexity of healthcare, the potential need to deal with multiple stakeholders including regulators and hospital systems that seems to have frightened so many VCs.
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