Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Next Frontier in Digital Health

Digital health was prominently displayed at CES this year with lots of floor space dedicated to the industry and a cornucopia of health and fitness-focused wearable devices debuting in Las Vegas.

The declining costs of hardware components, the ubiquity of smartphones and the need for consumers to cut their medical costs is spurring innovation in many areas of digital health.  Given these trends, the line between health and fitness devices is blurring.   Every consumer electronics company from Sony to LG to Samsung is either getting into the game or thinking about it.  But as activity tracking becomes increasingly more commoditized, health device makers need to step-up their offerings and focus on disease management and improving outcomes.   Every patient consumer wants simple interfaces that engage them and allows them to gain valuable insights into their health and wellbeing – not achieved by the current cadre of activity sensors.

Health device makers and wellness apps wanting to provide real value for their customers are moving beyond step counting and integrating into connected health services in the cloud.  These services use a holistic approach to engaging the provider and patient in managing adherence and compliance and by extension – outcomes.    Incorporating physicians, pharmacists, therapists and trainers as part of an integrated “care-team” allows for meaningful patient engagement easing compliance and allowing patients to become “emotionally” accountable for using the app or device as directed by their care-team.   For healthcare providers, this same integration made possible by ubiquitous connectivity – allows them to think and engage beyond the practical aspects of care – the exam, laboratory test or simple disease management.

The past year has proved that many pieces are in place (desire, policy, market demand, innovation, investment, etc.) for a radical transformation in healthcare. We’re beginning to see many aspects of our health and wellness reimagined.  There is now a growing community of stakeholders who understand that change is not only possible, but inevitable, and best of all are taking action to see those changes come true.  The next step in this tectonic shift, is leveraging a higher level of connectivity where data, devices and humans are optimally connected to enable good care decisions – shifting the cost curve and encouraging accountability and adherence beyond what’s offered by today’s consumer health devices.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Google Unveils Smart Contact Lens

Google unveiled a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears, a potential reprieve for millions of diabetics who have to jab their finger to draw their own blood as many as 10 times a day.  The lens uses a minuscule glucose sensor and a wireless transmitter to help the 382 million diabetics around the world that need need insulin and who keep a close watch of their sugar levels.
Read more

Source: Google

Source: Google

 

Why Wearable Devices Will Never Be As Disruptive As Smartphones

Wearables moved from the buzz idea of 2013 into a tangle of clips, bands, badges, brooches, glasses, earpieces and headsets. It’s all too easy to be cynical about the products launched at this annual tech frenzy in the Mojave Desert, but here’s a skeptical case between the tech crowd’s boosterism and the casual scoffing. Let’s step back and try to separate the potential from the hyperbole. Read more

Source: Jawbone

Source: Jawbone

Thousands of the World’s Internet Connected Things In One Place

A new project is curating and organizing all of the sundry gadgets that collectively comprise the so-called “Internet of Things”.  A new website seeks to catalog all of the world’s Internet-enabled devices.  So far, they’ve got more than 2000 listed, and they plan to add more in the months ahead.  There are fitness monitors, medical devices, smart home products and all sorts of other gadgets ready for measuring and monitoring everything around us. Read more

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Source: The Connected Devices Project