#IoT: “Smart grid” could reduce damage from storms such as Sandy

Posted on 31st October 2012 in Uncategorized

NPR ran a feature this afternoon exploring the “smart grid” concept from the standpoint of being able to speed recovery of the grid following a disaster such as Sandy.  While the cost would be high, that should be seen in the context of the billions that it will cost to recover from Sandy.

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Optimizing care & ensuring “human touch” through robotics

Posted on 26th October 2012 in health, Internet of Things

(Liveblogging the Partners Center for Connected Health Symposium)

*GeriJoy virtual pet through a tablet. The patient cares for “Buddy,” avatar which helps deter dementia, “Buddy” is compassionate. Can actually provide human contact 24/7 through the avatar.

*Tom Ryden, co-founder of Vgo Communications, formerly @ iRobot.  Telepresence robot: “Skype on wheels.” In health care, use to replicate old-fashioned home visit. Pilot study with Boston Children’s. Kids became more engaged in their care  (like Jerry the diabetic Bear). People become attached to it, realize it represents the doctor. Kids will name it, dress it, tell them how school day went.

Timothy Bickmore, assoc. prof. @ Northeastern,. they try to use an avatar as part of tele-med project to promote habit change. “Project RAISE” — targets UV exposure and sedentary behavior. Simulates human-to-human exchanges to encourage behavior change.


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Building a connected health ecosystem

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging from Center for Connected Health Symposium)

*Halle Tecco, Rock Health non-profit @ intersection of health & technology, incubator.

*Amir Nashat, Polaris Ventures, 20-30% of investments in health care area

*Naomi Fried, in charge of encouraging innovation @ Boston Children’s. Working on telehealth

*Michael Balmouth, Edison Ventures. Looking for revenue-producing companies.

*Halle — they’ve physically located startups right in midst of Longwood Medical Area.

*Amir: Boston-based medical startups tend to focus on systems improvements, while the SF ones tend to think of medical establishment as problem, go directly to medical consumer.

*European Connected Health program is bringing in all players, emphasizing need for “global health” that encourages collaboration.


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10 demos of products that could make a difference

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Internet of Things

(Liveblogging from Center for Connected Health Symposium) Another panel of #IoT and other new devices that could be game-changers:

*MedMinder: to empower seniors & those with chronic conditions to avoid hospitalization. Another startup to increase medication compliance: they have increased compliance to 92% — watch out, Vitality, Inc. — they add sensors to a traditional pill holder. User gets a flash from the container, then sound alert, then phone call. Also has email and txt. New version only allows you to unlock the right compartment @ right time. Seems to me problem with this is that you have to keep the pill holder @ hand, vs. the Vitality nightlight.

*Sotera wireless: improving patient care through continuous vital signs monitoring. Early recognition system so that patient won’t have to be re-admitted.  Sotera ViSi Mobile: patient worn monitor monitors a wide range of vital signs. Will have first installations in 3 weeks. Wi-Fit enabled. Has an open API.

*BodyMedia : “to unlock and decipher body’s secrets.”  New BodyMedia patch, the Vue, instead of arm band.  Using it in weight management. Disposable.

*vitalconnect: develops small, body-worn sensor patch. Communicates through Bluetooth, to smartphone and cloud. Configurable notifications to caregivers or family. Looks very kewl.

*NeuMitra: ” solving  stress for life, work, and play.”  Biowatches send smart alerts to smartphone alerting you to need to do stress reduction.  Bandu band. Demonstrated it at the Pentagon. Real-time reporting. Can merge with GPS for “stress maps.”  Links with apps you already have on phone for stress reduction. Using with vets suffering from PTSD.

*BAM Labs — smart bed technology. People don’t want to have something strapped to them as they sleep, and there are so many kinds of beds. Their goal is to have EVERY bed be a smart bed. Think it’s ideal platform to collect health data. Would get a million data points from an individual bed yearly. Takes about 5 min. to install, under mattress. Data to  the cloud, nothing attached to person.

*Hometeam Therapy: “stronger, better, faster, funner” for PT. What about the days when you aren’t with the PT?  Written directions don’t make it (believe me, and my wife is a PT). Lets you compare results to others, reports to the therapist. App for use with Kinect.  Very kewl. Shows instructional video.

*TomorrowOptions: Movinsense for repositioning bed-ridden patients. Detects falls.

*Sensiotec — Virtual Medical Assistant.  Doesn’t require contact: signals reflect off vital organs, ultra-low cost, scalable in hospital. ZigBee/IP gateway.


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Esther Dyson

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging from Center for Connected Health Symposium)  creating new market for medicine: health itself. Changing because of new devices for self-measuring, such as Fitbit and FuelBand. Quantification helping change habits: suddenly have a “craving for fitness.” Also have genetic info: she’s had her genome mapped through 23andWe.

Genomera: allows you to do research on yourself, set up own controls, etc.  Next step will be ability to analyze own blood levels.

Employers likely to be next big market for use of Fitbits, etc., because they not only want to cut health care costs but also improve health.


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Charles Duhigg: the Power of Habit

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging @ Center for Connected Health Symposium) draws analogy between medicine and Starbucks:  cues and rewards now known to change habits. Starbucks sells experience, but problem is that workers haven’t had any work experience, were being rude.   Started to study research on how to sustain performance over time, build willpower. Learned that willpower could be taught by making it a habit: taught them L.A.T.T.E. method to deal with bitchy customers. Really worked.

Example from hospital where recovery rates from knee & hip replacement soared simply because doctors had asked them to identify rewards they’d get for exercising.

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Near-Field Communication in healthcare

Posted on 25th October 2012 in Internet of Things

Liveblogging @ Partners’ Center for Connected Health Symposium.

Panel on possible impact of Near-Field Communications for health care.

*BTW: why won’t Apple say whether they’re using NFC???

*areas it might affect include: identity, HIPAA compliance, cloud access to records, forms, insurance and copay, data integration, payment, and scripts.

*Objective Compliance Therapy Management (did I get that right?):  happening in Europe: objective data collection on behavior, health, and therapy. Also can be used for prescriptions, schedules and diets.

*in Netherlands, used by home health workers to unlock doors, get access to patient’s records.

*mobile payments both blessing & curse (because all of components mustwork together).

*wide variety of obstacles to rapid deployment.

*NFC most valuable when mashed up with other technologies. Uses example of Bump (which isn’t NFC) as indication of how it might work.

*app ideas: tap to do something — to pair two NFC-enabled devices; tap to share: share video, medical records, health wallets; tap to access.

*example of person who earns a discount on a croissant by meeting certain gym objectives.

*clinically: simplifying referral process. Would allow you to quickly process referral, tap to check in with specialist.



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10 products that might make difference

Posted on 25th October 2012 in Internet of Things

liveblogging @ Partners Healthcare  Center for Connected Health. Demos of 10 new technologies:

*Honeywell Genesis Touch — reduced hospital re-admissions by 70%

*Vignet cancer prevention and control. Created “Cancer Concierge” for state of VA. System generates in real time list of appropriate screenings, then books appointments in real-time. Reminders on smartphone.

*CliniCam: iOS app. to capture and store clinical images. Several security features.

*Anybots: cloud-based robotics platform. Mobile device.  QB, the Grady Bot. Quite cool! Being used with patients who can’t control any body parts, providing virtual mobility.

*Symple: consumer app for iOS. Records symptoms daily. Has photo attachments. Graphs symptoms over time. Created by a patient with auto-immune disease. Thousands of users with no promotion.

*Ubitru: “next generation mobile messaging system”  Kewl interactive txt demo.

*Podimetrics: predicts foot ulcers in diabetics. Sensors embedded in a bathroom floormat. VERY KEWL!

*Healthrageous: personalized health management company. Emphasis on people as consumers, not patients. Based on tech developed @ Partners Health Care. Measure objective health outcome changes. Works through a variety of modalities. Can work with chronic conditions. Available on mobile devices.

*Irody: new way to get directevidence about each medicine taken by patients. Smartphone can recognize various meds, photographs the meds, identifies each, explains mistakes to the patient.

*Mad*Pow: “Hot Seat” tool to reduce “marathon sitting” and its health risks. Sends prompts to smartphones to get them to turn short breaks into meaningful activities.


My fav from an #IoT perspective? Podimetrics’ bathroom mat!



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New quick-install Smart Cities #IoT sensor network from Libelium

Posted on 23rd October 2012 in Internet of Things

Libelium, the Spain-based wireless sensor networks platform provider, has introduced a new line of wireless sensor devices that enables installation of scalable, modular wireless sensor networks in hours rather than days.

The system is called Waspmote Plug & Sense!™

It is pre-configured for monitoring uses such as Smart Cities, Smart Parking, Smart Agriculture, Air Quality, Smart Security, Ambient Control and, Radiation Control.

The sensors send information to Meshlium, the sensor gateway that uploads data to the Cloud. That makes the data accessible from anywhere and easy to integrate into third-party applications.

Plug & Sense! sensor nodes offer a variety of radio frequencies and global certifications so they can be deployed anywhere in the world.

The system has a number of easy-to-use features:

  • Each mote has six connectors to which sensor probes can be attached directly, so the system is scalable.
  • it may be solar powered
  • the sensor nodes can be programmed wirelessly using an over-the-air programming (OTAP) feature.
  • sensors can be replaced or added without having to uninstall the mote itself, keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.
According to Libelium CTO David Gascon, “In the context of Smart Cities, the Waspmote Plug & Sense! platform makes adding a new sensor so easy that municipalities will not need to reinstall the network… We have reduced the complexity of installation with a solution that provides low-cost maintenance and a high degree of scalability, ensuring the shortest time to market for system integrators and end users.”

The Waspmote Plug & Sense! wireless sensor platform is now available online http://www.libelium.com/plug_&_sense.

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Can’t believe I missed SmartThings: another killer #IoT app

Posted on 20th October 2012 in Internet of Things

Hard to compare two Internet of Things companies that are still in start-up mode, but I’m even more impressed with SmartThings than I was with Ube.

It just won the Dublin Web Summit start-up competition and its Kickstarter campaign was wildly over-subscribed, totaling $1.2 million, compared to a $250,000 goal.

SmartThingsAccording to Mashable, SmartThings will enable remote control of just about everything in the home:

“The wireless, smartphone-connected system makes the fully automated home a reality. Home dwellers can connect any lock, thermostat, light and kitchen appliance to the Internet. Everyday objects can become fully automated with a range of motion, moisture, open/close and presence sensors.

Using a SmartThings app, patrons will be able to monitor who’s home, what’s on and what’s off. Connect your pet’s collar to the smart hub, and it will alert you when Scruffy gets out of the backyard. Get a text when the dog’s food bowl is empty. Or even remotely monitor an elderly relative in another state by tracking their activity around the house.”

Best of all, like a number of competing smart home apps, SmartThings will be open platform, and has created an active community site for other developers to share device & app designs.

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