Thanks to Alivecor the Apple Watch can now record a Patients ECG & symptom information

October 9, 2015

Dr Dave Albert, Cardiologist & founder of Alivecor, demonstrates the Apple Watch ECG prototype from Alivecor with Leslie Saxon MD, Clinical Scholar & Executive Director of the University of Southern California’s Centre for Body Computing at the annual Body Computing Conference being held today in Los Angeles (Twitter hastag to follow is #uscbcc9).

It should be obvious that Patients and Carers around the world are going to love this but it’s still hard to imagine that as a result of the economies of scale and the R&D budgets that only the mobile industry can bring to bear this type of tech might be featured on a smartwatch as powerful as the Apple Watch that costs as little as $7 in just a few short years!

2022 an Apple Watch for 7 dollars

When you see the clumsy remote monitoring boxes being produced by the world’s leading medical device companies isn’t it refreshing to see this latest discrete innovation from Alivecor looking just like the Born Mobile generation would go about designing a cardiac monitoring service?

Star Trek style Medical Device from Alivecor

Deloitte: “The MedTech industry has met its next growth engine – Mobile Health (mHealth)”

October 8, 2015

Deloitte Mobilising Medtech for mHealth

Along with the other big four consulting firms Deloitte’s mHealth focus has undergone some interesting transitions over the years (remember when they were pitching it as the most promising new revenue growth opportunity while Apple were creaming the profits off the poor old MNOs?) but their latest Lifesciences and Healthcare trend report by Glenn Snyder, Deloitte’s Medical Technology Segment Leader, pitches mHealth as the future for the MedTech industry (which is suffering from greatly reduced funding levels as the big MedTech firms plough into mHealth accessories to great fanfare).

mHealth Insights

Nothing in this report will be of any surprise to readers of this blog (we’re on record predicting that the convergence of medtech to mobile will define this decade just as Nokia did the last) but there are some interesting points made on the Deloitte website that are worth commenting on:

The global mHealth market was an estimated $10.5 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow 33.5 percent annually between 2015 and 2020 (Allied Market Research)

I think this is typical of the struggle the life science industry has with the mobile industry – the newest trillion dollar per annum industry (Feb 2010). mHealth applications have for a long time between ignored by male business executives but they have played a huge role as a key value proposition that have fuelled the rapid adoption of mobile by society.

To put a $10.5 Billion/year 2014 revenue estimate in perspective consider that the MMS market in 2013 was worth $46 Billion. Do you think you leave your phone on while you sleep because you don’t want to miss a MMS? Do you think the value of the brand of your phone is important because you’re going to be receiving a MMS on it? Do you think every mum in the country takes her phone absolutely everywhere with her because of it’s ability to receive MMS or because they want to be reachable by the people they love and care for?

I get that for some (mostly male telecom business people unfortunately) the value of mHealth isn’t obvious but the saving of a life with 5kbs of mobile data by the US state of Vermont wasn’t either

MedTech companies have the potential to benefit from innovation driven by mHealth solutions, but they should be thorough and deliberate when determining ways to capitalize on specific opportunities. Companies should decide whether to embrace mHealth at the corporate, business unit, or product level and identify ways to help create value for shareholders across the information value loop. In addition, it’s important for MedTech companies to determine which capabilities they should build versus partner for or purchase

I think this sitting on the fence advice isn’t going to be helpful. The auto industry appear to be further down the road from the MedTech industry (eg. look at how BMW/VW/Honda/Daimler have clubbed together to acquire Nokia Here for €2.8Billion because they realise their competition is no longer one another but rather outsiders like Google/Apple).

In my opinion any medtech company taking a business unit or product level only embrace of mHealth might as well close up shop as it’s just going to be a long drawn out slide to bankruptcy. Mobile is still the cannibal of cannibals but you might need the help of the Born Mobile generation to help you imagine the future

What is mHealth? mHealth is the utilization of mobile technologies to provide health-care-related solutions across the patient journey. It is a component of Connected Health, in which sensors, networks, standards, augmented intelligence, and consumer behavior are helping create opportunities to impact and improve the patient journey. mHealth aims to empower patients with information and management of their own health; promote outcomes improvement through enhanced decision-making; help reduce costs and increase access throughout the system, and supply data for predictive modeling of at-risk populations

I find this to be an incredibly vague definition of mHealth – try the definition I have suggested (March 2010) – and it widely misses the mark because a lot of mHealth is about services rather than technologies and a huge chunk of healthcare has nothing to do with any “Patient journey” eg. there’s a huge chunk of mHealth in education as well as those all important Clinician and Carer journeys that we need to consider.

Consumers using technology to manage their health are the “pull” force propelling many mHealth opportunities. As consumer and physician adoption rates for mHealth and other technology solutions continue to rise, and new uses emerge, the patient journey experience across the spectrum of preventive care and wellness, diagnosis, treatment decision, treatment, and high-risk care management is expected to evolve

I disagree that this is the significant pull force. I think the real pull lies in societies use of mobile tech to manage the rest of our lives and the situation that this creates when it comes to our expectations for how healthcare services should be accessed.

Tim OReilly Quote

mHealth’s disruption of the care continuum may trigger substantial implications and opportunities for the MedTech industry across the care continuum. Further, since mHealth enables the provision of care outside traditional settings such as hospitals and physician offices, it will likely drive associated growth in alternate delivery systems such as home-and community-based care. Companies should be thorough and deliberate when identifying ways to capitalize on potential opportunities

I can’t imagine who in a MedTech company is paying for the advice of Deloitte on the basis that they are making statements like “it will likely drive” and “be thorough and deliberate“. Presumably these execs have never seen a Clinician go “wow” as they see an Alivecor ECG for the first time?

My advice would be to immerse yourself in an event like the Exponential Medicine Conference next month in San Diego and talk to some Consultants about how much they want a wireless Lumify ultrasound probe from Philips to use with their iPad… we’re at an inflexion point for the MedTech market not following some general long term trend.

Make a strategic decision on whether to embrace mHealth and whether this will be driven at the corporate, business unit, or product line level

Isn’t this akin to consultants advising the music/camera/media industry a decade ago that they should decide whether or not to embrace mobile?

Target the diseases for which the organization wants to leverage mHealth solutions and identify how these solutions can provide value in the patient journey through data and results from studies that show these solutions work in real populations to help change behavior, engage patients, and improve outcomes

Clearly the customers of Deloitte consulting services live in an alternate universe to me but this advice might as well read “try working in an industry you have a clue about“. Surely there aren’t people being paid to work on medtech firm strategies that don’t even know what diseases they are targeting?

What thoughts did you have on reading the report?

Is a ‘first opinion’ now a Google search of your symptoms on your mobile?

October 7, 2015

Would you like a second opinion

This fun cartoon about a Doctor offering his Patient a ‘second opinion” from the Internet (HatTip: Denise Silber on Linkedin) got me thinking.

With 194 Million Americans saying that they looked online for health information within the past year (Jan 2014) and Google even trialling free* video chats with Doctors to citizens who google health terms on their Android smartphones how long will it take for us to recognise that in 2015 the first opinion is now achieved by entering symptoms into a search engine on the device we carry in our pockets 24/7 and the Doctor office appointment (that many of us will wait 2+ weeks for?) is at best providing a second/third/fourth opinion?

NHS Alliance and Primary Care Foundation study finds a quarter of NHS GP appointments are wasted

October 4, 2015

Quarter of Doctors Appointments wasted

I’m not sure why so many researchers are so fixated on publishing the results of surveys that merely highlight how inefficient undocumented in-office consultations with GPs are when the Doctor/Patient/Carer aren’t being provided with any opportunities to prepare or share information before the consultation.

An audit of 5,128 GP Consultations is always going to be confusing/misleading (because GPs don’t record much in their records and certainly not the safety net that they offer in their Consultations) but finding “that 27% of GP appointments could be freed up by better use of technology to lighten administrative burdens, greater coordination with hospitals and if patients were signposted to other health professionals or self-care” gets us nowhere if we’re not going to change and will simply continue waiting until the Consult room door opens before we pay any attention to why the Patient wants to consult with a GP eg. read here how openly NHS GPs admit to making suicidal Patients schedule 9am appointments with them for Monday morning.

I can’t stress how important it is that we all appreciate that the 2,000 year old model of healthcare is broken forever and that the product Doctors choose to make can no longer continue to be unprepared office visits.

The challenge is not being able to say “One-in-six patients could have been treated elsewhere” or that “overworked family doctors used time equivalent to an estimated 15m appointments rearranging hospital appointments and chasing test results” it’s in proposing ways by which we can safely identify which Patients don’t need a GP consult and refer them directly to the most appropriate ‘elsewhere’ (be that another Carer or an administrator) without having them schedule an appointment and/or attend the clinic.

I haven’t read the report (at 83 pages I plan to read it on my next flight) but it’s suggestion that we can simply extend “the GP team to incorporate other health professionals” ignores the reality that the GP team today already incorporates other health professionals. There’s an abundance of evidence that show Patients aren’t going to be content having an administrator screen them and that it will fail the mother test but above and beyond that non-evidence based attempts to triage Patients as though it is somehow the easy bit where you can cut corners and save money will put Patients in danger and cost the NHS billions in compensation payments.

We know from a published Mayo Clinic study that as many as 40% of Primary Care Consultations can be managed by Doctors if they provide their Patients with online access to Medical History Taking questionnaires and we now have the opportunity to get behind and support NHS GPs who are empowering their Patients with these clinically validated tools eg. check out the AskMyGP service (mentioned on page 59 of the report) and Haughton Thornley Medical Centres.

Related Post: Are Patients wasting GPs time OR are undocumented Doctor office visit only models wasting everyone’s time?

Think about the power of FaceTime to redesign healthcare delivery in the USA

September 29, 2015

We really need to redesign the manner of healthcare delivery in this country. Think about the power of FaceTime, and I’m not paid by Apple. I know a Family Physician colleague who travels around the world and he makes it a point to round on his Patients even though he might be in Germany and the way he does that is he gets up on FaceTime and he talks with his Patients on the phone and he talks with the hospital team and catches up with them and it’s a total relational thing and I don’t know if he bills for it and if he does great and if he doesn’t well that’s sad but the point is he does it because he cares

Dr Jay W Lee, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Associate Medical Director of Practice Transformation at MemorialCare Medical Foundation, Director of Health Policy at the Long Beach Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program, and President of the California Academy of Family Physicians, provides an unmissable keynote at the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association National Conference on 26th September 2015 at the UC Irvine School of Medicine.


If you’d like to learn more about working with us at 3G Doctor (where we have been providing documented mobile video calls to Patients in the UK and Ireland since November 2006) to help redesign healthcare in the USA let’s arrange to meet in North America at the mHealth Summit (Washington DC), Exponential Medicine (San Diego), TedMed (Palm Springs) and/or World Diabetes Congress (Vancouver).

Related post: “President Obama’s favorite mobile health use case” (Jan 2011).

The 3G Doctor Can See You Now

*** *** *** UPDATE 13:00GMT 29 September 2015 *** *** ***

Feedback from Lenny Naar (a designer working inside a London hospital @HELIXCentre & Co-Founder of #PrescribeDesign) on tweeting this blog post title/link got me started ;)

replicating reality with mHealth

Links in above:

1) Please give me 36 seconds to tell my story

2) AllTrials or AllConsultations

3) Are Patients wasting GPs time OR are undocumented Doctor office visit only models wasting everyone’s time?

4) Mark Bertolini: The new definition of Quality in Healthcare is Convenience

5) Does ‘John’ need your time or attention?

Clearly not all video consultations will be the same (not all Doctor consults need to be documented and maybe Doctors won’t adopt the best mobile video consulting practice that we’ve freely shared because we have experienced the benefits of comprehensively documented interactions that prepare both Patient and Doctor for the consultation) but why is it so bad if a FaceTime call does just replicate the reality when the reality is going to a clinic when you don’t have to and there’s no benefit?

My mother is 93 years old and has an iPad. She wants to know why she can’t FaceTime the Practice Nurse, so do I (March 2013)

Malcolm Gladwell: in the cause of efficiency we’ve disrupted the very thing the Patient really wants

mHealth Insights from the eHealth Summit

September 25, 2015

eHealth Summit Ireland 2015

Held on the 30th September at Carton House in Kildare and organised by iQuest and the Sunday Business Post, the 2nd annual eHealth Summit will focus on how key stakeholders are buying into the Irish National eHealth Strategy and moving away from paper based to technology based solutions.

If you work in health IT or have a close interest in the use of information in healthcare, eHealth 2015 is a must-go event for you. In addition, we also expect to see healthcare leaders, managers and clinicians involved in the design and delivery of services and those involved in the specification, procurement, management and front line use of information systems.

Keynote speakers include

Doug Beaton, Management Lead Knowledge Management, HSE
Jane Bourke, Lecturer in Economics, UCC
Richard Corbridge, CIO at HSE and CEO at eHealth Ireland
Garry Courtney, Lead of the National Acute Medicine Programme, HSE
George Crooks OBE, Medical Director NHS 24 and Director of the Scottish Centre for Tele-health and Telecare
Dr Colin Doherty, Clinical Lead, National Epilepsy Programme and Consultant Neurologist, St. James Hospital
Godfrey Fletcher, Co Chair ICT Sub-Group at Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council, Director at Vu2Vu Group of Companies, Member of the Steering Board at ARCH – Connected Health Technology Centre, Honorary Chairperson at IPPOSI, Interim CEO at the Cystic Fibrosis Registry of Ireland
Dr Lucy Hederman, Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, TCD
Dairín Hines, Clinical Informatics/ICT Manager, Temple St. Children’s University Hospital
Dr Robert V Kelly, Medical Director, Videodoc
Maritta Korhonen, Head of Development, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
Reid Oakes, Senior Director, Worldwide Healthcare, Hewlett-Packard
Neil O’Hare, Director of Informatics, St. James Hospital
Tapani Piha, Head of Health Law and International Unit, European Commission
Maria Quinlan, Research Lead, Applied Research for Connected Health
Kieran Ryan, CEO, Irish College of General Practitioners
Ann Twomey, Former Carer, Co-Founder & Management Committee Member K-CoRD – Kinsale Community Response to Dementia
Dr Johnny Walker, Interventional Radiologist & Nuclear Physician, Hermitage Medical Clinic and CEO and Founder, Health Founders

Exhibitors & Sponsors

ClanWilliam Group
Hospital Pharmacy News
Vital Communications
Wincanton Records Management

Register to attend

Click here to book your ticket ( €485.85/€123.00).

mHealth Insights from eHealth Summit 2015

Welcome and opening remarks from the chair:

Dr Lucy Hederman, Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, Trinity College Dublin.

EU Address: The EU eHealth Strategy Connecting member states:

Tapani Piha, Head of Health Law and International Unit, European Commission

Delivering an eHealth Ecosystem for Ireland

Richard Corbridge, CIO at HSE and CEO at eHealth Ireland

…we need to be able to take clinicians with us on a journey, moving away from the fact that Clinicians aren’t from Mars and Techies certainly aren’t from Venus and starting to actually make sure that the two things can actually work more together so that we really can imagine a world that is supported by technology. Where we really do have health delivered by digital solutions that don’t change Clinical Practice, that enhance Clinical practice and that Clinicians want to use. This isn’t a mandate to change Clinical practice this is a mandate to deliver solutions to clinical practice to help the delivery of it. So that’s it from me and as we said any questions later

Case Study: How Finland became a Leader in eHealth Adoption

Maritta Korhonen, Head of Development, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

How a mathematical patient flow modelling study can eliminate trolley waits in the Emergency Department

Garry Courtney, Lead of the National Acute Medicine Programme, HSE

ICT Use in Irish General Practices: An Intra-Practice Adoption Study

Jane Bourke, Lecturer in Economics, UCC

Case Study: The applied research for connected health (ARCH) centre at UCD

Maria Quinlan, Research Lead, Applied Research for Connected Health

Delivering Services that are Fit for the Future: From Strategy to Delivery

George Crooks OBE, Medical Director NHS 24 and Director of the Scottish Centre for Tele-health and Telecare

Sponsor Case Study: VideoDoc – a new matchmaking vision for Doctor and Patient Relationship

Dr Robert V Kelly, Medical Director, Videodoc

The Impact of Wet Paint on Health Informatics

Neil O’Hare, Director of Informatics, St. James Hospital

TSCUH Journey: Towards a more electronic Patients Record

Dairín Hines, Clinical Informatics/ICT Manager, Temple St. Children’s University Hospital

Locknote Panel Discussion: Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is….

Panel featured (L-R): Dr Lucy Hederman, Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, TCD (Chair), Doug Beaton, Management Lead Knowledge Management, HSE, Ann Twomey, Former Carer, Co-Founder & Management Committee Member K-CoRD – Kinsale Community Response to Dementia, Reid Oakes, Senior Director, Worldwide Healthcare, Hewlett-Packard, and Dr Johnny Walker, Interventional Radiologist & Nuclear Physician, Hermitage Medical Clinic and CEO and Founder, Health Founders.

Refresh this page on the 30th September for live updates. You can also follow the event hashtag on Twitter #ehealthsummit15

Join us at the mHealth Symposium at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver

September 23, 2015

mHealth Symposium & Pavilion at the IDF World Diabetes Congress

We’ve been asked by the International Diabetes Federation to produce a dedicated mHealth Symposium and mHealth Pavilion at their biannual World Diabetes Congress held from the 30th November – 4th December 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada.

The Symposium will be video recorded so that after the Congress it can be offered as a dedicated “Diabetes” module addition to the CPD accredited mHealth for Healthcare Professionals course that we developed for the Healthcare Informatics Society.

What is the World Diabetes Congress?

Organised by the International Diabetes Federation (an organisation that has called for mHealth to become a compulsory embedded part of how we provide quality care for diabetics) and their 230 IDF Member Associations, the World Diabetes Congress will bring together Physicians, scientists, Nurses, Educators and other healthcare professionals, as well as government officials, policy makers to exchange diabetes research and best practices.

With an expected attendance of 13,000 delegates the World Diabetes Congress is the world’s biggest Diabetes industry meeting and the scientific programme will feature 350 speakers providing over 220 hours of sessions across 6 streams and there will also be more than 1000 poster presentations.

Why a mHealth Symposium?

The mHealth Symposium and Pavilion at the World Diabetes Congress will be the exclusive meeting place for delegates interested in the disruptive opportunities offered by the newest mass media.

Together with inspiring talks by industry leaders the Symposium will be supported by a mHealth Pavilion open throughout the event where delegates (and members of the public on the new ‘Public Day’) can get hands on with the key mHealth services and technologies that are transforming the lives of Patients and Carers.

Draft outline of the key topics that the Symposium will cover

  • Summary of mHealth approaches that are helping to prevent diabetes
  • Apple ResearchKit: how mHealth is transforming Diabetes research and clinical trials
  • Why mHealth should become a compulsory embedded part of quality diabetes care
  • How mobile is transforming Patient and Clinician Education
  • Best practice: ​How ​Patients and Carers ​are using mHealth to better manage their diabetes
  • Future: A look to what’s on the horizon thanks to the connected super computers​ in our pockets.

    How can you get involved?

    To request further information please use the following form:

    Note: There will be no charge to attend the Symposium for anyone with a Congress delegate pass but availability is strictly limited to venue and overflow room size and we’re likely to fill to capacity quickly so we’d advise reserving a seat via the above form as seats will be otherwise offered on a first come first served basis.

    Click here to register for the World Diabetes Congress

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