Innovations in Virtual Care: Engaging Consumers in their Health

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

Presentations @ Center for Connected Health Symposium:

  • Michael McGarry, Ascension Health
    • directs their Innovations Accelerator Team.
    • how do we engage patients during 99% of time when they’re not getting care?
  • Eric Rock, CEO, Vivify Health
    • emphasis on connection and simplifiecation
  • Dr. Dmitri Talantov
    • he’s with Janssen Healthcare Innovation @ J & J
      • integrated care systems,
      • focus on orthopedic, cardio-vascular rehab
      • need strong incentives for providers to engage under new delivery systems
  • how do you engage consumers?
    • barriers: need is for high-risk patient who doesn’t understand the tech
    • new incentives in several states for daily reporting
    • may have population that doesn’t want to engage — want to sit on couch!
    • “restaurants probably have more impact on their condition than anything we can do”
    • “insane opportunity in keeping people healthy!”
  • how do you sell virtual care to providers?
    • “pay them!”
    • simplicity for them
    • can’t expect them to interrupt their routines for something new.
  • patients own their data

Dr. Leslie Saxon — Digital Health

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health, Uncategorized

Presentation @ the Center for Connected Health Symposium:

  • “patients want to engage” — willing to share data
  • using body-worn sensors, to let student athletes determine when they’re in high-performance zone either in school or on field.
  • working with same sensors to study military resilience, which members of your team are “in the zone”
  • “Latitude Heart Coach” — trying to empower patients to engage with the data. Make it sticky. Device is a life coach.
  • using YouTube celebrities to help diabetics have constant carb levels.
  • work with lot of mobile solutions
  • also using Instagram   — attach heart rate to photos
  • want to collect everyone’s heart rate in entire world!

Qualcomm Life

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

Qualcomm presented their Healthy Circles platform at the Connected Health Symposium.

  • connects all of providers after hospital discharge
  • before discharge, creates an account for the patient, which is used afterwards to coordinate care
  • very simple from patient standpoint: just plug in hub
  • works with variety of radios, even proprietary ones

Live Blogging from Connected Health Symposium

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health
  • Tech4Life “Maternal Wristband”
    • remote monitoring of blood glucose, hemoglobin & blood pressure of pregnant women in developing world
    • like wristwatch
    • can foresee other applications

I was impressed with all of these devices, but especially with the congestive heart failure ones: economical ways to reduce hospitalization for this condition!

Live blogging from Connected Health Symposium

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health
  • oops: didn’t get name of this presenter: it’s clothing with built-in sensors
    • takes photo of “stress events”
    • live ECG
    • team of smart textile experts from MIT
  • Nicoya Lifesciences
    • “personal health and wellness monitoring for digital age”
    • congestive heart failure patients must weigh selves daily
    • $20 billion for CHF, 60% could be avoided
    • Nicoya Heart Doc — measure BNP levels, then modify meds or behavior
    • nano-tech based sensor for less than $5 a test
    • tests immediately available on tablet. Data also includes trends.
    • Can pair with other devices for CHF management
    • Can track fatigue, breathing, swelling. Can automatically send data to doctor — almost real-time report on changes in conditions!
  • Perminova: system to prevent hospital readmissions for at-home heart failure patients
    • 5.6 million Americans sufferfrom CHF
    • there are a variety of advance warning systems before CHF
    • sell “Necklace” for $300 — patient wears 10-15 min a day, send wirelessly to cloud.
    • goal to integrate with home health providers
    • wow!
  • Veristride
    • to diagnose gait disorders & falls
    • instrumented insole, plus phone app, and server & analysis
  • RespiRight
    • “adherence and compliance mobile system for accountable self-care respiratory therapy”
    • games that improve respiration for post-operative, asthma sufferers and COPD
    • data stored on device & cloud

Live blogging from Partners’ Connected Health Symposium

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

I’m attending the annual Partners Health Connected Health Symposium in Boston. Will try to do running notes during the presentations!

  • first up is a series of demos on sensors, robots and devices!!
  • 10 of 20 entrants from a pool of  more than 300
  • Hstar Technologies: Robotic Nursing Assistant (RoNA). Lot of MIT background.
    • helps lift patients onto gurneys, including bariatric patients Also one for combat situations
    • can be remotely operated
    • modular platform, one of a family of units
    • RoNA SerBot — courier duty for delivering meds
  • InTouch Health — “end to end presence solutions” “acute care telemedicine system”  instant access for specialists when needed for consult. Cloud based. Robot automatically goes to patient’s bedside.
    • click to look at monitors or the patient
    • access to data in EHR: immediate access
  • Click here to read more.. »

Just thinking: could Quantified Self devices lead to #IoT BYOD for companies?

Posted on 21st October 2013 in health, Internet of Things, M2M, management, privacy, security, strategy

I’ve been noodling how do you introduce the Internet of Things to companies that haven’t even heard of it, let alone have a strategy to capitalize on it. It would probably have to be something that would have minimal up-front costs, provoke aha! moments that would stimulate other IoT initiatives, and would provide some quick return on investment.

Jawbone UP

Having just read SAP’s interactive report on mobile strategies, it dawned on me: if companies are now comfortable with creating BYOD policies covering smartphones and tablets, what if they were to create formal policies to encourage employees to bring their Quantified Self  devices — Jawbone UPs, Nike FitBits, and the like — after all, the workers are probably already doing so anyways!

What if — thinking out loud here — the company could enter anyone using one of the devices during the work day in some sort of contest with fitness prizes, or, — this is more controversial because of privacy concerns — if they offered discounts on health insurance for workers who were willing to share their QS data with the company (since companies are penalizing overweight workers, shouldn’t it work the other way as well?).

Heck, given the payback in terms of  lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and lower medical claims, I bet you could make a plausible case that it would be in the company’s enlightened self-interest to actually pay for the devices for those who don’t already have them.

It’s just a thought, and there would be a lot of details to work out, but I think it merits consideration as a way to introduce the IoT’s benefits to corporate America. Let me know how you feel!

Agriculture and the Internet of Things

Posted on 21st October 2013 in agriculture, environmental, Internet of Things, M2M, management

I’m particularly interested in how very traditional businesses will make the transition to the Internet of Things (Exhibit A: see my post from last year about the incredible way the Union Pacific Railroad has been able to switch to “predictive maintenance” by stringing sensors all along its tracks).

What could be older, and more basic, than agriculture?

Lance Donny, the founder and ceo of On Farm Systems, gave an overview of the potential of the Internet of Things to radically increase productivity and cut costs in agriculture at last week’s GigaOM Mobilize conference, saying that agriculture is a “sleeping giant,” when it comes to real-time data.

At present, the industry is handicapped by the high cost of sensors — they can run hundreds of dollars apiece — and lack of infrastructure — there’s no wi-fi, and, more often than not, bandwidth on the farm is limited.

Despite that, On Farm and other firms in the field (ooh, bad pun) are already helping farmers, especially with the critical issue of managing water use. He said there are already 14 million “connected farms” in the US and Europe, and by 2020 there will be 70 million connected devices on farms (interest in the technology is also increasing in developing nations.

Donny mentioned that a big issue with really serving farmers’ needs is that since they’re operating in a moving tractor, “you can’t give them too much data,” but must pay a lot of attention to the user interface, and only give them limited amounts of actionable data.

This “precision agriculture” yields tremendous volumes of data, and one of the problems facing IT firms in agriculture is that there are no common platforms (On Farm uses ThinkWorx), so adding a new data source from another provider requires contacting them directly and then connect to their API.

He said that reducing water usage by pinpointing when it is needed and how much is the biggest challenge, pointing out that 70% of fresh water usage is for agriculture —  even a 5% reduction in use could have tremendous implications not only for farmers, but a world with inadequate water supplies.

Donny said that Monsanto’s recent purchase of Climate Corp., which underwrites weather insurance for farms, for nearly a billion dollars “started a data war” in agriculture. He said that the goal will be to combine enough real-time data so that farmers would have 90% or more accurate 5-day weather forecasts in order to manage water better.

If the IoT is emerging as a priority for as basic an industry as farming, can other mainstream businesses be far behind?

GigaOM’s Mobilize conference full of IoT insights!

Posted on 17th October 2013 in design, health, Internet of Things, M2M, management, manufacturing, marketing

I’ve been busy for the last two days, so I’ve only been able to view a couple of them, but from what I have seen (I’ll blog about specifics later), the GigaOM Mobilize conference has been an absolute goldmine of insights, especially into the nuts and bolts of the IoT. As soon as the livestream video is archived, don’t miss them!

General Electric Keeps on Practicing What They Preach!

I’m beginning to sound like a schill (no, not a typo, just a bad joke: short for [Curt] Schilling, the former Red Sox pitcher — sorry, I can’t get those guys out of my head today…) for GE, but it’s hard to argue with their impressive record of walking their talk about the “Industrial Internet,” their marketing term for the subset of the Internet of Things dealing with the industrial sector.

The latest evidence? A report today in the NYTimes‘ “Bits” blog that GE has just announced “14 more products that combine industrial equipment, Internet-linked sensors and software to monitor performance and analyze big streams of data. G.E. had previously announced 10 similar industrial products.”

Equally impressive, the Industrial Age behemoth turned nimble IoT leader said that by next year, almost all industrial products it makes will have built-in sensors and Big Data software to analyze the huge data streams those sensors will create.

Right now I’m writing an e-book on IoT strategy for C-level executives (not sure if I can disclose the customer — it’s a big one!) and GE VP of Global Software William Ruh, used the news to fire a shot across the bow at companies that are slow to realize a fundamental paradigm shift in manufacturing, product design and maintenance is well underway:

““Everyone wants prediction about performance, and better asset management… The ideas of speed, of information velocity, is what will differentiate the winners from the losers.”

You in the corner office: got your attention?

Equally important, given my insistence that the IoT is all about collaboration, GE simultaneously announced partnerships with Cisco, AT&T and Intel. It had already inked deals with Accenture and Amazon’s cloud subsidiary and has also invested in  Pivotal, an Industrial Internet app creator.

Smart companies will follow GE’s lead in radically reforming the product design process to capitalize on the rapid feedback on performance that the Industrial Internet products’ built-in sensors yield. According to Ruh, they’re switching to an iterative design process, with rapid changes based on data from the field:

“… G.E. is adopting practices like releasing stripped-down products quickly, monitoring usage and rapidly changing designs depending on how things are used by customers. These approaches follow the ‘lean start-up’ style at many software-intensive Internet companies.

“’We’re getting these offerings done in three, six, nine months,’ he said. ‘It used to take three years.’” (my emphasis)

That change is definitely going to make it into my e-book! Brilliant example of how the IoT, by allowing companies to think in terms of systems dynamics, especially feedback loops, will have profound impacts on the design and manufacturing processes, integrating them as never before (oh, and don’t forget, the data from the built-in sensors will also allow companies to start marketing services — such as leasing jet turbines, with the lease cost based on the actual amount of thrust the engines create)!

Combined, that’s definitely a paradigm shift!

Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s a brief rundown of the products themselves and the industries served. They are clustered under the Predictivity name, and are powered by Predix, a new IoT platform:

  • The Drilling iBox System (oil and gas)
  • Reliability Max (oil and gas
  • Field 360 (oil and gas)
  • System 1 Evolution (oil and gas)
  • Non-destructive Testing Remote collaboration (oil and gas)
  • LifeMax Advantage (power and water)
  • Rail Connect 360 Monitoring and Diagnostics (transportation)
  • ShipperConnect (transportation)
  • Flight Efficiency Services (aviation)
  • Hot SimSuite (healthcare)
  • Cloud Imaging (healthcare)
  • Grid IQ Insight (energy management)
  • Proficy MaxxMine (energy management)

Given the diversity of industries the Predictivity products serve and GE’s global clout, I predict this level of commitment will radically accelerate the IoT’s adoption by big business, as well as accelerating the payback in terms of lower operating, energy and maintenance costs, and reduced environmental impacts.

Will GE’s competitors in these sectors get on board, or will they be left in the dust?