After decades as a technological laggard, medicine has entered its data age. Mobile technologies, sensors, genome sequencing, and advances in analytic software now make it possible to capture vast amounts of information about our individual makeup and the environment around us. The sum of this information could transform medicine, turning a field aimed at treating the average patient into one that’s customized to each person while shifting more control and responsibility from doctors to patients.
The question is: can big data make health care better?
“There is a lot of data being gathered. That’s not enough,” says Ed Martin, interim director of the Information Services Unit at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. “It’s really about coming up with applications that make data actionable.”
The business opportunity in making sense of that data—potentially $300 billion to $450 billion a year, according to consultants McKinsey & Company—is driving well-established companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and IBM to invest in technologies from data-capturing smartphone apps to billion-dollar analytical systems. It’s feeding the rising enthusiasm for startups as well.
Venture capital firms like Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as the corporate venture funds of Google, Samsung, Merck, and others, have invested more than $3 billion in health-care information technology since the beginning of 2013—a rapid acceleration from previous years, according to data from Mercom Capital Group.
In 2012, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a walking biological robot powered by cells from the heart. The heart cells proved capable of generating movement in the small bio-bots (measuring less than a centimeter in height), but controlling the bot proved difficult as the cells are programmed to beat continuously. In addition, it was difficult to turn those robots on or off.
Without a doubt, 2014 will be declared the year mobile became mighty in healthcare. No matter where in the world you live, whether you are talking about patients, consumers, or healthcare providers, mobile is revolutionising the future of healthcare – so much so, that it's worth taking a closer look at 10 powerful trends emerging throughout the mobile health space. We'll also be showcasing our findings on mobile health user experience at the Mighty Mobile seminar at the inauguralCannes Lions Health festival.
Qmed (formerly Medical Device Link) is the world's first completely prequalified supplier directory and news source for medical device OEMs. Find medical device suppliers and IVD suppliers who are FDA-registered, ISO 13485- and ISO 9001-certified. Qmed is also the home of Medical Product Manufacturing News and the most relevant breaking news for the medical device industry.
Richard Satava calls himself a “technology harvester” when it comes to his work as a senior science advisor at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command. It helps when you’re representing an outfit that knows how to keep secrets. “People will trust us with their information,” Satava, an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Washington, told a gathering at the 10X Medical Device Conference, which LinkedIn’s Medical Device Group help just outside Minneapolis last week.
And while specific uses for technologies are secrets, Satava was happy to discuss the general technologies he’s investigated over the years, technologies that could prove to be real game changers.
Tools that keep us active while we work could give companies much needed productivity gains and reduce the costs of keeping employees healthy. By Pierre Chandon, L’Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing, Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD Take a walk with me. We don’t need to go outside. I’m writing this on a treadmill [...]
Rowan Norrie's insight:
What other ideas are out there that keep you moving when you woudl otherwise be sitting still?
Digital solutions are going to aid the modern consumer in the future for an experience that's more in-line with their digital lifestyle, convenient and offers a surplus of information on an individuals health. Individuals will soon be able to lean on digitally connected solutions to not only diagnose, but prevent health problems.
According to a survey of thousands of patients in Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, the adoption of digital healthcare services remains low because existing services are either low quality or not meeting patients’ needs. The survey, conducted by consulting firm McKinsey, included responses from at least 1,000 patients in the three countries.
“Many healthcare executives believe that, due to the sensitive nature of medical care, patients don’t want to use digital services except in a few specific situations; decision makers often cite data that point to relatively low usage of digital healthcare services,” McKinsey analysts Stefan Biesdorf and Florian Niedermann wrote in a recent blog post. “In fact, the results of our survey reveal something quite different. The reason patients are slow to adopt digital healthcare is primarily because existing services don’t meet their needs or because they are of poor quality.”
McKinsey found that more than 75 percent of respondents would like to use some kind of digital health service. Many are interested in “mundane” offerings, the firm wrote.
After attending OPEN Health's inaugural 'Health Innovation: Big Ideas' event in London, Paul Tunnah outlines some of the concepts that could be game changers for the pharma industry and the broader future of healthcare.
The non-English speaking patient population in the U.S. accounts for an estimated 30 million people. Navigating our health system is challenging enough for native speakers, but what about for those for whom English isn’t their first language?
Searching online for a travel destination or a recipe is simple enough. But what if you wanted to diagnose a medical condition? 35 percent of US adults say they’ve used search tools to find a diagnosis.
Perhaps not surprising to physicians, of these “online diagnosers” less than half (41 percent) got their diagnosis right.
Rare Diseases and Online Community
For rare disease patients, finding others with the same unusual set of symptoms can be a lifeline. With a confirmed diagnosis, patients can connect digitally in a way that is often impossible in real life.
Rare disease is defined in the US as having less than 200,000 patients; in the EU it is one in every 2,000 people. Inherently, patients are sparse for the7,000+ known rare diseases. Only about 50 percent have advocacy groups or organizations fighting on their behalf.
Rare Disease Patients Are Power Internet Users
The Pew Research Internet Project found rare disease patients use the internet to connect with others in far greater numbers than other patients. Overall, only five percent of patients say they have interacted online with a fellow patient, but 50 percent of rare disease patients say they have connected with others sharing their condition.
The mother of a patient in the study noted,
“When a disease is so rare, and there are no folks in your town, and few in your state who are going through what you are going through, you need a support group that encompasses people from all over the world. Getting to know people through the disorder has been an amazing experience and has created incredibly wonderful friendships and ties.”
Where Does the Online Search Begin?
Seventy-seven percent of online health-seekers start with major search engines such as Google or Bing. No matter how their searches begin, physicians wish their clicks would lead them away from social media and toward more technical information sites.
In a recent survey, we asked Sermo member physicians, “Where should rare disease patients search online for information?”
69 percent preferred medical literature sites such as the Journal of the American Medical Association or the New England Journal of Medicine.54 percent approved of research hospital sites such as Massachusetts General Hospital or Stanford Medical.32 percent gave a nod to patient communities such as Patients Like Me.11 percent approved of social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Registries Can Be Life Saving
Rare disease patients like to connect for emotional support and information as their issues progress. For researchers and physicians, online registries are a boon. Clinical trials can find participants quickly and speed the path of a drug to market, potentially saving lives and easing symptoms.
In an NPR article, Sue Byrnes, a patient and founder of a rare lung disease registry said,
“the internet actually facilitates research. Researchers can search that database or ask the foundation to survey its members online for information about symptoms and treatment. Scientists don’t have the time to do these sorts of things, so we do it for them.”
Overall, rare disease patients use online resources to connect, for support in their diagnoses, to compare treatment notes and to participate in research studies. Physicians and researchers use online connections to find patients and collaborate on treatment plans.
As a physician, have you directed a rare disease patient to an online resource? Have you found patients have better outcomes if they have an emotional connection? Has a rare disease patient ever questioned your treatment plan based on information they received online?
A Stanford electrical engineer has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body, and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical devices such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators, or new sensors and gadgets yet to be developed.
Mobile research firm research2guidance surveyed more than 2,000 developers and found some common traits among the successful mobile health apps:
Their revenue model is service-based, rather than based on paid downloads. More than a third of so-called successful apps, ranging from image sharing to sophisticated remote monitoring, get their revenue primarily from service sales, research2guidance said.
They integrate with other databases or health tracking devices. Open APIs allow apps to access more data that can enrich their value.
They have a large portfolio. More than one-third of the “successful” developers had published more than 20 mobile health apps, the firm said.
IOS is their No. 1 platform. A whopping three-fourths of successful developers had a preference for iOS over Android.
SAN MATEO, California (Reuters) - Intel Corp's Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich mingled with electronics buffs at Silicon Valley's annual maker mecca on Saturday as the chipmaker looks to amateur