Q3 brings four FDA clearances for mHealth

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 24, 2010        

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Q3_Thumb_SmallAs is tradition, MobiHealthNews has put together our third quarterly report for 2010, covering the highlights in mHealth that occurred during July, August and September of this year. In this new report, State of the Industry Mobile Health Q3 2010, we cover the news, deals and commentary that made an impact on the mobile health industry. We examine what’s new with care providers, pharma, payors, mobile operators, consumer health, regulation and more.

During the review period we found a substantial amount of commentary from industry onlookers. Clearly the number of opinion leader types tuning into mobile health and devoting ink to it has ramped up since we began these reports last year. Up until the third quarter of 2010, mHealth skeptics hadn’t yet found a voice. By the end of the summer, however, a chorus of skeptics began to hum in harmony. Many of them believed that mobile health had a bright future, but that its prospects had been widely exaggerated.

The third quarter of 2010 had a different tone than Q1 and Q2. Where the first half the year was filled with news and analysis pointing toward an mHealth opportunity — an industry’s potential — commentary in Q3 focused on industry hype. Meanwhile a handful of startups received venture backing, more than 30 deals and partnerships formed between industry stakeholders and the FDA made four important regulatory clearances: Keep reading>>

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RPM is over-hyped; Cambridge Consultants’ Minder

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 24, 2010        

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CambridgeFuture plans for WellDoc? WellDoc has considered “including glucometer technology in cell phones and vice versa, as well as using location-based information to suggest menu items at nearby restaurants that would best suit a person’s current blood sugar,” according to this interview. Wireless Week

If you’re concerned about efficacy, this is worth a read: Why remote patient monitoring is over-hyped. Forbes (The headline was previously “telemedicine” but the editor changed it.) ATA President Jon Linkous weighs in here.

100,000 food recognized and counting: Japan’s NTT Communications’ new mobile app evaluates the colour and shapes of food, then compares it with a database and counts the calories. Economic Times

Dedicated hub for remote monitoring: Cambridge Consultants announced a new mobile health device that links patients and healthcare professionals any time, anywhere. The device called Minder (pictured) acts as a dedicated hub for peripheral personal health devices like a connected blood pressure cuff, for example. Cambridge First

Moto in Asia: Motorola and SQL View to provide mobile health platform for hospitals in Asia. Channel News Asia

Diabetes epidemic: Some 50 percent of Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020. Release

In case you missed it: Last week, CNN ran a piece on monitoring seniors at home. CNN

Six questions for mHealth analyst Cora Sharma

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 23, 2010        

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MIM Mobile iPhone AppThis week Chilmark Research released its long-awaited report on mHealth in the Enterprise: Trends, Opportunities, Challenges. Chilmark Lead Analyst Cora Sharma spearheaded the report, which focused on those mobile apps that tie into hospital information systems. (N.B. Chilmark is offering MobiHealthNews readers $100 off the report’s sticker price if you use the code “mobi” and purchase before year-end.)

This week MobiHealthNews had a chance to discuss some of the report’s findings with Sharma in an interview:

This report focused on a specific group of apps for healthcare providers — can you explain how you defined this group?

We wanted to look at the specific areas that would become important as we move toward 2014, which is when we will really move away from fee-for-service and toward pay-for-performance and ACOs. [Chilmark Research Principal John Moore] and I set about to focus on apps that would really help organizations focus on internal efficiencies, quality and certain aspects of meaningful use. We also looked at an “other” category of apps, which included apps related to imaging, patient education, asynchronous communication apps for nurses and remote monitoring apps. The core focus though was on EHR apps, CPOE and others that were more pertinent for meaningful use.

Did any surprises come up during your research? Were any of your preconceived notions challenged?

The stereotype that physicians don’t like technology was certainly challenged. The idea that they are “technophobic” certainly doesn’t apply when you look at mobile. Whether in their practices or in the larger facilities, physicians have been using mobile technology for a longer period of time than almost anyone else. They are extreme early adopters. Physicians have been using the content apps especially, like Epocrates, Medscape or Skyscape, for a long time. And they didn’t need any incentive payments to do that. That’s one surprise.

Along the same lines, though, it’s also impressive how quickly physicians are adopting the iPad. What is it? One in five is going to have an iPad by the end of this year. It’s amazing how in love they are with the iPad. That was also surprising to me.

Was that a figure from the report — one in five?

That’s based on secondary research and our conversations with doctors. It is definitely a certain type of physician — like the hospitalists. These are physicians that are extremely mobile and visiting many different hospitals and their office, too. They really depend on these devices. These physicians feel restrictive by having to find terminals and this is in huge hospital facilities. Administrators had spent all this money on putting in terminals, but the doctors still couldn’t find one when they really needed them. With tablets these physicians have this freedom to access information from anywhere.

It’s good to hear that the interest in the iPad among physicians is not all hype and that reports like this based on what’s going on in the field have proven it out, too. I wonder though — the iPad gets a lot of flack for not being an “enterprise-class” device. This study focused on apps that tie into hospital information systems. So, is it the right device? Keep reading>>

Mobile health startups mash-up sleep, weight, exercise data

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 23, 2010        

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HealthTriadDigifit, Withings and Zeo announced a “health triad” partnership this week that brings users an online dashboard that includes data from personal wellness devices like Withings’ connected scale, Zeo’s sleep monitoring device and Digifit Connect accessory wireless transceiver, which communicates with more than 80 different fitness sensors. Users of Digifit’s new iPhone app will also be able to review high level data from Withings and Zeo, too.

“Because it is widely known that proper diet and exercise are the mainstays for a healthy lifestyle, weight monitoring and tracking caloric burn with a heart rate monitor are popular health management tools,” the companies stated in a press release. “Only recently has it become convenient to measure and monitor your sleep quality and quantity, so the third piece of the health monitoring puzzle is rapidly gaining in popularity. By including sleep data, fitness enthusiasts now have a way to accurately measure recovery (Deep Sleep & REM sleep) which is key to optimizing physical training.”

The Digifit transceiver communicates with more than 80 ANT+ fitness sensors, like heart rate monitors and foot pod stride sensors developed by fitness companies like Garmin and Adidas.

“Withings and Zeo are leading edge pioneers in the industry and we are thrilled to partner with them. With the latest upgrade, our Digifit app completes the health triad puzzle by ‘automagically’ tracking the three most important influences on one’s health: exercise, weight and sleep. We do indeed have it All Together Now,” said Michael Williams, Digifit’s Founder.

If partnerships like this prove to be successful at driving users to various connected health and wellness devices, services and apps, consumer health companies will continue to buddy up and form their own micro-ecosystems. Fitness applications and connected devices have long served as examples as front lines of mHealth adoption. Makes you wonder if untethered PHR platform like Google Health or Microsoft HealthVault would have much to add if services like these band together on their own and form PHRs based on sticky wellness services.

For more on the new health triad: Read the release here
Additional thoughts over at Mashable

Seven reasons HCPs will drive apps sales in 2015

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 23, 2010        

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If you want a mobile health app today, you likely need to head over to an app store that caters to your device or its operating system. According to mHealth developers who responded to a recent Research2Guidance survey, in 2015 sales of mobile health apps will be largely driven by recommendations from healthcare providers. Here are seven reasons R2G believes its survey respondents are right on:

1. Growing awareness: The growing awareness of mHealth in the medical community, as well as the growing proportion of patients using smartphones, will encourage healthcare professionals to exploit the possibilities rendered by smartphone technology and incorporate applications into their patient management plans.

2. Incentives: Specialized distribution providers will develop business models that will allow doctors to recommend applications and profit from downloads. They could, for example, receive a share of revenues from downloads or subscription fees from specialized mHealth app stores.

3. Sponsored apps: Applications that improve the efficacy of a particular treatment would be popular with pharmaceutical/device manufacturers, as doctors would be more likely to prescribe their products. Pharma/device companies would sponsor application development and encourage doctors to prescribe their products in conjunction with applications, which doctors would do because the application would improve patient outcomes, thereby giving the company’s product a competitive edge.

4. Patient demand: An increasing number of “tech-savvy” patients, understanding the benefits of mHealth applications, will expect treatment or convenient communication with healthcare professionals to be facilitated by applications. Keep reading>>

Video Report: What is mHealth?

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 23, 2010        

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What Is mHealthWhat is mobile health? It’s been a topic of much discussion. My favorite response to this question came from mHealth analyst Jody Ranck who told me in a recent interview that: “In order to have an eye on where things might go and in order to have some ability to anticipate or analyze the unexpected, resisting a precise definition for mHealth, in my mind, is a good thing.”

As Ranck also rightly noted at the time, there is pressure from many groups for a precise definition of mobile health.

As part of our coverage at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. earlier this month, we polled close to two dozen attendees about their personal definitions for mobile health, mHealth or wireless health. What was core to the definition for them? Thanks to a lot of help from videographer Ethan Goldwater, MobiHealthNews is proud to present this video report: What is mHealth? Keep reading>>