Health Innovation & Updates

It has been great to follow and engaged online via Twitter – and great live-streaming  – with participants of World of Health IT (WoHIT) 2016 in the historical city of Barcelona. And what a great team of active Ambassadors they had on site keeping the channels of communication open to all! From Stefan Buttigieg (@stefanbuttigieg) to Danielle Siarri (@innonurse) I could almost taste the great food they enjoyed!

From genomics to cybersecurity, and much more besides, this huge and successful inaugural exhibition in Barcelona advances the conversation

I hope to attend in person in future years of WoHIT but in the meantime, I hope to see many of you in Malta for eHealth Week 2017!


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Next week – May 12th at 6pm CET,  I’ll be joining an HIMSS Europe & SKIPR organised Twitter chat (using the official Hashtag: #eHealthChat) entitled “Up-scaling health-IT: time to break the bottleneck“.

Voices across Europe will be discussing Trust and Standards. It’s one of the main themes of eHealth Week in Amsterdam in June (Read more and register here!).

From the patient’s perspective, both Trust and standards are critical if you want to move forward with eHealth

From the trust perspective, we can’t go beyond niche adoption without that by participants. Clinicians need to trust it, and patients too. And legislators, public health monitoring etc. It would be foolish to do that even if somehow people did go forward without confidence. Security is critical. Arguably clinical data is the most sensitive and the volume generated is growing year on year as we strap more instruments to ourselves, aim for paperless, and connect the machines and systems together.

And where do I start with Standards?!

Interoperability – or the lack of it right now – is the biggest issue for me to date. Time and time again we hear of brilliant innovations, and trials here and there. but nothing hooks together. It’s a problem within one urban area, it’s a probably nationally, and , frankly, as far as I’ve witness, somewhat non-existent at a multinational, european level.

Furthermore  ‘wellbeing’/’fitness’ solutions such as platforms provided by Apple, Google,Microsoft,  Samsung, Withings (soon-to-be-Nokia), Fitbit, etc, to name but a few, don’t always have common great experience with interoperable standards of their own and for now remain relatively distinct from clinical data.

I keep going b ack to one, probably erroneous analogy, but one that resonates for me: If the world of Finance can do it – individua accounts, globally, networks of cash machines, credit cards, merchants etc, why can’t medicine? The answer is: We can. Let’ make it happen!

I’m impatient and keen to see more integration. It’s not there for technical but also legal reasons. Often for good reasons. But a great discussion on how to move forward on this seems smart and a great reason for this chat!

Join us, on May 12th, at  6 PM CET (5 PM GMT / 12 PM EST / 9PST). It’s in English and moderated by the excellent minds of Christina Roosen, VP, Public Affairs, HIMSS Europe (@croosen @himsseurope ) and Ruud Koolen, Editor in Chief, Skipr, @Ruud_Koolen / @skipr

Oh and don’t forget to use the Official Hashtag: #eHealthChat !

See you there!


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This past week, Zeraph launched a funding campaign on Kickstarter for their ‘Flow’, which in addition to hooking up to the phone via Bluetooth, it has a light giving a quick indication of anomaly, and also promises not to require skin contact:

“One of Flo’s key strengths over many thermometers is that it never touches the body and doesn’t require constant cleaning. This greatly reduce the risk of contamination and can be used on multiple children in a short period of time. As such, it is great for those who work closely with kids. Flo is also quiet and will not wake up a sleeping baby, as it does not make a sound or touch the body.

It follows the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, unveiling by Withings of their own “Thermo”, a thermometer equally for its time, designed to get readings fast through multiple rapid sensor readings,and synced via Wifi to the Withings platform (available on the web and smartphone).

How accurate both are, I am not qualified to say, but it’s great to see the phone/cloud as a platform for the history and perhaps above all the speed and ease of a reading put at the forefront. and, After the various blood pressure and scale products we’ve had on the market for the past several years, it would appear to be the next obvious solution.
Here’s a video to the Flo’s promotion video:

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We continue to see the inevitable – and for me, welcome, ‘medicalisation’ of wearable as time and technology marches forward.

I have long argued that the devices we see today in the tech-consumer world are all ‘wellness’ / fitness type gadgets. Often little more than a modern pedometer, perhaps with a gyroscope and software algorithms to increase the accuracy and an app /social-component to make it engaging/fun. They’re increasingly cheap to make, and small and light to wear. And of course they don’t need regulatory approval as a medical device.

Earlier today respected Paul Sonnier shared a hopeful – but perhaps still early stage – “SenseGO” sock from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Apparently there’s also a similar concept on the horizon already, but I felt it was worth discussing from an ‘evolutionary’ perspective.

If you read the source article, you can sense the rapprochement from something less wellbeing/fitness/motivation focused and closer to the medical arena. Put simply the concept could potentially go as far as to reduce the number amputations by giving the all-important preventative warnings – something that remote monitoring, close-proximity solutions will increasingly thrive at.

It’s not some sort of magic bio-sensing chemical change detector but a mesh of sensors capable of detecting pressure thus preventing the formation of ulcers. Frankly I find it quite ingenious.

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