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A batteryless cardiac pacemaker based on self-winding wristwatch | KurzweilAI

A batteryless cardiac pacemaker based on self-winding wristwatch | KurzweilAI | Healthcare Innovation |
The energy harvesting device is sutured directly onto the myocardium (credit: European Society of Cardiology) A new batteryless cardiac pacemaker controlled

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Medtronic's personalized pacemaker wins FDA approval

Medtronic's personalized pacemaker wins FDA approval | Healthcare Innovation |
FDA regulators approve Medtronic's new Viva CRT-P adaptive cardiac pacemaker for treatment of heart failure or atrioventricular block.
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Google, Novartis set their sights on smart contact lens health care innovation - Tech Times

Google, Novartis set their sights on smart contact lens health care innovation - Tech Times | Healthcare Innovation |
Tech Times
Google, Novartis set their sights on smart contact lens health care innovation
Tech Times
Google, Novartis set their sights on smart contact lens health care innovation. By Mike Cannon, Tech Times | July 15, 7:50 PM.
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Mayo’s iPad study had 98 percent engagement among seniors

Mayo’s iPad study had 98 percent engagement among seniors | Healthcare Innovation |

The Mayo Clinic’s recent iPad trial for cardiac surgery patients, which MobiHealthNews first wrote about in February, has received a good deal of attention forusing Fitbit activity monitors in a clinical setting. But Dr. David J. Cook, who led the study, says the real innovation of the study is unprecedented levels of patient engagement — in patients he repeatedly described as “70-year-olds on morphine.”

“Patient participation is completely dependent on usability,” Cook said at a session at the mHealth Summit near Washington, DC. “Healthcare technology and tools are not meaningful unless they’re integrated with care plans and expectations, and that’s dependent on delivering knowledge to patients. Once you have a usable tool, you can help self-assessment and reporting, data acquisition and aggregation is meaningful, and clinically meaningful algorithms can impact patient outcomes.”


In the study, 149 cardiac patients were given iPads with a specially created app preloaded. The app, called My Care, interacted with patients bi-directionally, giving them a to-do list for the day and also assessing their mobility (both self-reported and via Fitbit data) and pain.


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Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis

Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis | Healthcare Innovation |

No one has arms long enough to wear all of the activity-tracking wristbands currently on sale or awaiting release. These devices count your steps, measure your sleep and some even monitor your heart rate.


But do you know how this information immediately applies to your lifestyle, or what you should do with it?


The services behind these trackers need to invest in immediacy by providing useful information, ideally in real time, so we can optimize our wealth of data into action.


Everyone wants to be better, but nobody has a baseline for understanding themselves.

what use is the data without knowing in real time what you, individually, can do to change it?

I’d like to know whether I need to slow down. Am I pushing myself too hard?

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nrip's curator insight, January 27, 2014 1:54 AM

If I got a dollar for each time I said this to someone in the last year, I would have got a million plus by now :) ...  I am happy that others see this as a deal breaker for wearables too.

The mediXcel PHR is solving this very problem by trying to build a personalized analysis engine on top of the wearable databank it has which connects to 40 odd wearables at the moment.

Jay Gadani's curator insight, August 6, 2014 11:46 PM

A good example of how data is cool. But, in order to make it meaningful, it needs to be analysis!! 

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Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor?

Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor? | Healthcare Innovation |

Goodbye, doctor’s office. Hello, Walmart?

Based on Walmart’s latest moves, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds.

After years of “Will they or won’t they?” discussion, Walmart is making its long-awaited move into delivering primary care: The retailer has quietly opened a half-dozen primary care clinics across South Carolina and Texas, and plans to launch six more before January.

The clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners, in a partnership with QuadMed.

Walmart watchers know that the company already has more than 100 “retail clinics” across its stores, a strategy it’s pursued for years. So why fuss over a handful of new clinics?

Because unlike those retail clinics — which Walmart hosts through leases with local hospitals, resulting in mixed success — these new clinics are fully owned by the company and branded explicitly as one-stop shops for primary care.Because the clinics will be open longer and later than competitors: 12 hours per day during the week and another 8-plus hours per day on weekends.And because of the company’s size and scale: Walmart potential as a disruptive innovator in healthcare is essentially peerless.

The company’s move comes at an ideal time to capture consumers: Millions of Americans are getting insurance coverage through Obamacare, and seeking new, convenient sources of care.

Walmart’s stressed that their clinics will be a low-cost alternative to traditional options: Walk-in visits will cost just $40.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And for the hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees covered by the company health plan, well, it’s even cheaper.

“For our associates and dependents on the health plan, you can come and see a provider in the Wal-Mart Care Clinic for $4. Four dollars!” Jennifer LaPerre, a company official, said last week.

“That is setting a new retail price in the health care industry,” she added.

What Walmart’s move means

I wrote about Walmart’s big move for the Advisory Board Daily Briefing back on Monday, and my colleagues and I have spent the past week kicking around the implications.

I thought it might be interesting to share a glimpse into our conversations.

Walmart’s careful deliberations
For example, Walmart’s push into primary care clinics isn’t a shock. The company has spent several years dropping hints that it would make a play for the care delivery market.

But now that we can see the company’s actual moves — opening just a handful of clinics in relatively small markets in Texas and South Carolina — should we be surprised?

I asked Alicia Daugherty, my colleague who oversees the Advisory Board’s marketing and planning research, and she doesn’t think so. The company’s proceeding cautiously, keeping with their tradition.

“Walmart’s corporate strategy has never been about first-mover advantage — it’s about distribution efficiency and cost management,” she says.

“Coming in a little later in the game allows them to capitalize on markets created by others, and learn from others’ mistakes.”

And Walmart’s picking markets that have advantages, Daugherty adds.

“Both Texas and South Carolina have primary care access problems, [but] interestingly, the access problem is specifically related to cost,” she says. “And neither state is expanding Medicaid, so both will continue to have a group of uninsured who will prioritize cost when seeking care. Obviously, both also have high rates of obesity, smoking, chronic conditions, and poverty.”

Walmart as market mover
Lisa Bielamowicz, the Advisory Board’s Chief Medical Officer, notes that Walmart’s move keeps with the broader trend of retailers, big-box stores, and other non-traditional competitors charging into health care delivery. And Walmart’s entry into the market could push hospitals and doctors to up their game.

“The competitive factors by which you win primary care business are starting to change,” Bielamowicz said, in an interview with Healthcare Finance News.

“Health systems and physician groups have to understand that. If there’s a Walmart clinic open 15 hours a day, that’s the standard you may have to meet.”

Walmart as signal of a broader trend
And for all the focus on Walmart’s big moves — the New York Times profiled the company’s health care clinics in a story today — what’s the media missing?

I asked Rob Lazerow, who helps lead Advisory Board research into health care transformation, what he thinks is being overlooked.

“Walmart’s new clinics show the continued growth of retail clinics – but only highlight one aspect of the emerging trend of retail health care,” he told me.

“For hospital and health system executives, especially those in markets without a Walmart clinic, the new retail insurance market is much more transformative,” Lazerow adds.

“Through public and private health insurance exchanges, millions of patients are gaining unprecedented control over their health plan decisions, actively selecting among many plans offered by a range of health insurers,” he says.

“This is a very different competitive landscape than what most executives have faced previously — and hospitals risk losing volumes at each decision point.”



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How Oculus Could Help Facebook Break Into Health

How Oculus Could Help Facebook Break Into Health | Healthcare Innovation |

Facebook recently stunned the world by buying Oculus VR, the maker of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, for $2 billion. Oculus Rift started out on Kickstarter, where it gained popularity as a niche gaming device frequently praised for its immersive tech, but occasionally mocked for its appearance.

Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR initially made little sense compared to the $1 billion it paid for Instagram and its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. Purchasing Instagram added a parallel photo sharing social network to its own, and it gained over 450 million new mobile users by acquiring WhatsApp. Buying a VR headset company for $2 billion, on the other hand, seemed reckless and impulsive to many analysts and investors.



The Oculus Rift. Source: Wikipedia.

Yet there's an ambitious side to the acquisition many investors are ignoring -- the fact that the $300 headset can be used as a VR telepresence device. Speaking about the Oculus Rift, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated: "Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home."

Therefore, Facebook acquired Oculus as a virtual extension of its social network of 1.3 billion users. Of the three examples of virtual telepresence that Zuckerberg mentioned, telehealth -- the practice of remotely visiting a doctor -- is certainly the most fascinating. It's also a high-growth market -- research firm IHS predicts that the U.S. telehealth market will grow from $240 million in 2013 to $1.9 billion by 2018.

What Facebook has learned from Google and Microsoft
The telehealth market is ripe for disruption since the current solutions are still relatively new.

Last November, Google evolved its Google Answers online knowledge marketplace into Google Helpouts, a platform which allows Google-vetted experts to answer questions about a wide variety of topics. The site integrates into Google's social network, Google+, and payments are made via Google Wallet. The experts can charge clients per session, per minute, or both, and Google takes a 20% cut of the fee. The sessions can be conducted via text, voice, or video.

To encourage the use of Google Helpouts as a health care platform, Google waives the 20% fee for all health care related questions. Merging a social network and a telepresence platform with health care professionals means EHRs (electronic health records) and cloud-connected medical devices could eventually be synchronized to Helpouts as well.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has tested the Kinect as a telehealth device through Avanade, a joint venture with Accenture . Since the Kinect tracks physical movements via a camera, it can be used to conduct remote physical examinations. A physician can give instructions to the patient via Skype, and the patient's health data can be accessed and updated over the cloud via Microsoft's HealthVault EHR program.

How the Oculus Rift could disrupt the telehealth market
That's where Facebook comes in. As the largest social network in the world, Facebook already has the necessary connections to build a massive telehealth network.

The Oculus Rift has a stereoscopic 3D display within its goggles and is controlled via head movements and external controllers. A treadmill, known as the Virtuix Omni, allows Oculus users to walk around in the virtual game environment.


The Virtuix Omni treadmill being used with the Oculus Rift. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Whereas that setup would be fun for games, it would also be an ideal one for telehealth checkups. Just like Google Helpouts and Microsoft's Skype, the Rift could be Facebook's virtual platform for remotely visiting the doctor. Facebook also has a new payment system similar to Google Wallet, which can be used to pay medical bills. And just like the Kinect, Virtuix's treadmill could track a patient's movements, which could be sent over the Internet to the physician.

Albert "Skip" Rizzo, a clinical psychologist and associate director for medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California's Institute of Creative Technologies, has researched the ability of the Rift to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Virtual Iraq, a simulator used to treat PTSD with the Oculus Rift. Source: Company website.

Dr. Rizzo immerses patients in a virtual reality program known as Virtual Iraq, which recreates a combat environment through weather conditions, ambient sound, and insurgent attacks -- all of which are carefully monitored and controlled by the clinician. Virtual Iraq has since been adopted by several military medical centers and 55 veterans affairs clinics across the United States.

The success of Virtual Iraq suggests that the Rift could also be used to help treat other issues. If similar software were connected to a telehealth platform, those sessions could be conducted at home.

Potential challenges for the Rift as a telehealth device
Although all of those applications sound incredible, Facebook has a lot of obstacles to overcome if it intends on using the Rift as a VR telehealth device integrated into its social network.

The first is the issue of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. HIPAA laws were only intended to regulate providers, insurers, and health care clearinghouses that accept payments electronically. They weren't intended to regulate video chat sessions -- therefore, as the telehealth market grows, regulations could increase.

The second is the fact that Facebook is a casual social networking platform not generally associated with health-related issues. If Facebook intends to use its social networking muscle to grow its telehealth presence, it will have to set up some kind of new "Facebook Health" platform to ensure that confidential health data and selfies aren't flowing into the same News Feed.

The Foolish takeaway
It's certainly hard to imagine Facebook suddenly becoming a telehealth platform, or the Oculus Rift becoming a medical device. Yet Mark Zuckerberg specifically mentioned virtual doctor's visits, and Facebook now owns all the necessary pieces to take a giant leap forward in telehealth. It's now just a matter of whether -- and how -- he intends to put all the pieces together.

Invest in the next wave of health care innovation
The Economist compares this disruptive invention to the steam engine and the printing press. Business Insider says it's "the next trillion-dollar industry." And the technology  behind is poised to set off one of the most remarkable health care revolutions in decades. The Motley Fool's exclusive research presentation dives into this technology's true potential, and it's ability to make life-changing medical solutions never thought possible. To learn how you can invest in this unbelievable new technology, click here now to see our free report.


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First direct brain-to-brain communication between human subjects | KurzweilAI

First direct brain-to-brain communication between human subjects | KurzweilAI | Healthcare Innovation |
Emitter and receiver subjects with non-invasive devices supporting, respectively, a brain-computer interface (BCI), based on EEG changes, driven by motor

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Apple Prepares HealthKit Rollout Amid Tangled Regulatory Web

Apple Prepares HealthKit Rollout Amid Tangled Regulatory Web | Healthcare Innovation |
Apple has held talks with Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins.
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Apple vs. Google: An mHealth Face-Off

Apple vs. Google: An mHealth Face-Off | Healthcare Innovation |

Industry observers like myself have often painted the competitive mHealth landscape with a brush that wages computer manufacturer Dell and software behemoth Microsoft versus Apple--the reigning mobile healthcare champion. However, the real battle for the heart, mind and soul of the still-emerging mHealth market places Apple and search engine giant Google squarely in the commercial trenches.


Apple's iPhone and iPad have set the standard for other mobile devices in healthcare. Doctors, in particular, simply love their iPhones and iPads. But, now, the mHealth war between Apple and Google appears to be entering a new battlefield, namely wearable devices. 

At the center of Apple's efforts in this area is its long-awaited iWatch, a wristwatch-like computing device with smartphone/tablet and health/activity tracking capabilities. Reportedly, iWatch includes a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data such as heart rate.


Apple is growing its team of medical sensor specialists by hiring some of the world's premiere experts in mobile medical technologies. Presumably, this expertise will be heavily leveraged by Apple in their development of the iWatch or some other device.    


Simultaneously, Google has been working on its much-heralded Google Glass, high-tech glasses which contain a heads-up display, camera and a microphone, and can ostensibly support mobile health apps directly on the device. Google Glass, developed by the company's secretive Google X lab, has strong potential for healthcare, particularly in the ER where physicians could use the glasses to scroll through lab and radiology results and in the OR providing surgeons with hands-free access to critical clinical information.


In addition, earlier this month, Google unveiled its contact lenses, which use a tiny sensor and wireless transmitter, to monitor and measure glucose levels in tears, potentially replacing the self-administered blood tests from finger pricks that diabetics must endure on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, Google employees recently met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials at FDA headquarters who regulate eye devices. 

Who will be first to market with these wearable devices--Apple or Google--remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the two technology leaders with track records for building strong brands will no doubt dazzle the marketplace with innovative, leading-edge products that put sensor-based devices in the hands of consumers and medical professionals. That kind of competition in mHealth can only serve to benefit us all as this nascent industry moves forward

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Ricardo Rocha's curator insight, February 16, 2014 7:53 PM

"wearable devices"  .... Estamos falando apenas do começo, as possibilidades e benefícios são incontáveis!!!! Imagine não ter que tomar uma agulhada por dia para medir a glicose?

Jay Gadani's curator insight, August 6, 2014 11:44 PM

Competition is always great! 

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Intel and NSF Support Healthcare Innovation with $3 Million Award

Intel and NSF Support Healthcare Innovation with $3 Million Award | Healthcare Innovation |
Yesterday, Intel and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the first InTrans award of $3 million to a team of researchers designing customizable, domain-specific computing hardware to address health care needs ...
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Health Care Technology Raises Additional Privacy Issues

Health Care Technology Raises Additional Privacy Issues | Healthcare Innovation |

The report warns health data shared on a social networking site can become a “digital tattoo” for a consumer, and it is almost impossible to remove.

The proliferation of fitness devices like the Fitbit, health monitoring applications and advancements in social media and mobile device technology provide new opportunities for health care providers, but also raise some pertinent privacy issues, according to a report from the California HealthCare Foundation.The author of the report, health economist and consultant Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, concludes the proliferation of extremely large databases of health information challenge regulators' and society's ability to ensure individuals' data rights and privacy.For example, while personal health information held by health care providers and insurers is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), many other sources of consumer data are not covered and can be disclosed to third parties.The report notes user-generated data that could be used in health profiling are held by gyms, Websites, banks, credit card companies, cosmetic medicine groups, fitness clubs, home testing labs, massage therapists, nutrition counselors, alternative medicine practitioners, disease advocacy groups, and marketers of non-prescription health products and foods.

 Another form of consumer-generated data is personal check-ins on social networks. So far, the growth and adoption of sites like Facebook, Foursquare and others have outpaced public policies designed to protect the privacy of consumers. 

The report warns data shared on a social networking site can become a "digital tattoo" for a consumer, and it is almost impossible to remove.However, several projects and companies are developing tools for consumers to control their user-generated data. The personal data locker is one such concept.Former chief medical officer of Practice Fusion, Dr. Robert Rowley, is developing FlowHealth, a next-generation communication platform for care teams and patients, facilitating transitions of care, and aggregating patient-centered data from the sources where it is found.The health care industry and pharmaceuticals sector already have a high volume of security incidents and slow response times, according to a May report from BitSight Technologies.In addition, the average number of days between the first time BitSight observes an event to the last time, also known as the event duration, is longer than any other industry, at 5.3 days.The sector also saw the largest percentage increase in the number of security incidents observed by BitSight over the time period.A report earlier this year from Accenture revealed that although the vast majority of U.S. patients want to control their health data, more than half (55 percent) believe they do not have very much—or any—control over their medical information.

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Why the digital hospital innovation engine is essential to healthcare innovation

Why the digital hospital innovation engine is essential to healthcare innovation | Healthcare Innovation |

No matter what specific projects digital hospitals choose to take on, they all have one characteristic in common: they all fundamentally believe that to succeed in this environment of chaotic, complex, continuous change, they must know how to innovate and operationalize new ways of doing things. 


Fundamental to this healthcare trend is the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure that enables information sharing among healthcare providers and consumers.


The best-in-class healthcare organizations have well-functioning innovation engines or platforms that allow their people to:


experiment and test new ideas;exchange knowledge with internal networks and collectively solve problems;recruit advocates who share their ideas; andinstitute policies and processes that enable innovations to successfully compete against incumbent technologies.  


These organizations have understood that underneath the technological noise created by the hyperbolic growth in mobile devices, social media, big data in the cloud and other technological advances in digital healthcare (as well as the large number of interrelated components that comprise the digital healthcare ecosystem), the only thing they really need to focus on is their ability to offer their patients, members and customers a completely different healthcare value proposition. They have built robust operating infrastructures that allow them to innovate new ways of doing just that.


That is the essence of the digital hospital, an electronic platform that enables ongoing validated learning. Our clients are in a continuous learning cycle, and their routes to success involve iteratively performing experiments that measure and increase the value of innovations.


As health IT vendors, consultants and entrepreneurs, we must commit not only to providing products that work, but also to helping our clients with difficult and time-consuming integration challenges.


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