Tags: Fitbit | Intel | Miracle-Gro | Papa John's International | Philips DirectLife | WiScale | Withings | Zeo |
The recent health reform legislation has not provided any short term cost relievers for employers, according to a BusinessWeek report that highlights the growing importance of employee wellness programs to bend the so-called cost curve for healthcare. Unfortunately, the report fails to live up to its subtitle: “Companies are targeting employee fitness to contain health-care costs, creating individualized plans using wearable technology and Web sites.”
Companies including Intel, Papa John’s International, Timberland, Scotts Miracle-Gro, and International Paper offer employees memberships to online health services that provide nutrition and fitness information, according to BusinessWeek. Some conduct health screenings or track employees’ workouts. The report also notes that some companies are even equipping employees with pedometers but does not dig any deeper on devices used. Keep reading>>
Tags: Boston Scientific | Corventis | eCardio | Latitude iPhone app | Livestrong | unified communications | USC Body Computing Conference | Voalte | wireless remote monitoring |
Wireless health luminary joins LiveStrong: LiveStrong.com, Lance Armstrong’s site, a destination for health, fitness and lifestyle-related information, has tapped Dr. Leslie Anne Saxon, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Clinical Scholar, and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine, as its new chief medical advisor. Dr. Saxon will also host and produce a new series for LiveStrong called “Health Matters.” The five minute program will run twice a month and include interviews with health thoughtleaders and suggest action plans, guidelines and health tools that promote healthy living.
Dr. Saxon has long been a proponent of wireless health as she heads up the Body Computing conference each year. Last year her team created and demonstrated two prototype iPhone apps at the event: One was for Boston Scientific’s Latitude application and enabled the remote monitoring of implantable devices. The other app was a game designed to work with Corventis‘ wireless, adhesive heart monitoring patch. More on Dr. Saxon’s role at LiveStrong here. Keep reading>>
Tags: GE Healthcare | General Electric | Independent Living | Intel Health Guide | QuietCare |
GE announced a $3 million investment into Ireland’s Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) center, which Intel co-founded in 2007 with Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency. Academic research partners for the center include University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway. GE’s participation and cash infusion will enable TRIL to expand the number of participants is has in its pilot programs.
From the release: “A key goal of TRIL’s research, which brings together world-class industry and academic experts from multiple disciplines, is to enable older people to live independently in the homes of their choice for as long as possible, with the help of technology–and in the process, to help ease the strain on global healthcare systems as the world’s population ages. This objective aligns with GE Healthcare’s goal of continuously developing innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency.” Keep reading>>
Tags: Africa | ChildCount+ | community health workers | global health | Matt Berg | SMS | text messaging | Text To Change | Time Magazine 100 |
Every year Time Magazine publishes its list of the 100 most influential people. This year the list feature four categories: Leaders, heroes, artists and thinkers. Among the “thinkers” for the 2010 Time 100 is Matt Berg, a 32-year-old mHealth pioneer. Berg is technology director for ChildCount+, which equips community health workers in Africa with a text message powered healthcare service. Community health workers who regularly examine and treat children use ChildCount+ to text back the status of each sick child they find. The system enables improved health monitoring, faster interventions and better immunization and treatment campaigns.
After a mere 9 months, ChildCount+ has already reported more than 20,000 nutrition screenings, 500 cases of malnutrition and 2,000 cases of malaria. Berg and his team are currently scaling ChildCount+ to monitor more than 100,000 children under 5 years old.
Berg posted a thoughtful response to his nomination to Time’s 100 and it includes a number of acknowledgments. Here’s an excerpt: Keep reading>>
Tags: Apple iPad | Diabetes | GNYHA | house calls | iPad | landlines | NYCHHC | SDI Research | wireless blood glucometers |
A recent report in Modern Healthcare features a sprawling overview of the various ways that wireless technologies are changing healthcare and wellness. While most of the examples were old hat, a few were new to us:
NYC HHC’s Wireless modem with detachable glucose monitor
In 2006, New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., which runs 11 acute-care public hospitals and 90 clinics, introduced a remote monitoring program for patients with diabetes: House Calls, equips 500 participants with “flip-phone-sized modems” that feature detachable glucometers, according to a recent report in Modern Healthcare.
Several times each day the House Calls program participants test their blood and the readings are sent via the modem to a nurse. When the blood tests outside of the target range, the nurse would receive an alert on their BlackBerry and give the patient a call to determine the potential cause of the rogue value. Some 85 percent of participants experienced a significant improvement in their diabetes management. Last year the provider introduced a wireless version of the device so that patients who did not have landlines at home could enter the program.
House Calls costs about $3,600 per patient each year, which is less than the cost of a hospital stay or emergency room visit, according to the Modern Healthcare report. House Calls patients also reported reduced their unplanned doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, and ER visits by about 50 percent. Keep reading>>
Tags: blood pressure | Diabetes | InMedica | telehealth | wireless health metrics |
InMedica: By 2013, the global combined unit shipments of home-use digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters used in telehealth applications will grow to more than 1.6 million. Shipment of health hubs will also hit 400,000, bringing the total shipments of telehealth devices to about 2 million by 2013.
InMedica notes that the current use of telehealth at home has been for chronic disease management, particularly, COPD, CHF, hypertension and diabetes. Telehealth has not yet evolved into a mainstream application, according to the research firm. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs still has the single largest deployment of telehealth services with some 30,000 subscribers, InMedica reported. In Europe, however, the most telehealth activity comes from projects in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.
In 2009, nearly 50,000 blood-pressure monitors were used in telehealth applications, but shipments of these devices will hit 500,000 by 2013. Keep reading>>