The Smart Refrigerator & Smart Medical Device

As I prepare to go to Las Vegas in January, where I’ll attend the Consumer Electronics Show and report on the latest health & fitness products, I’ve been thinking about what sort of products to expect, especially since technology is now being embedded in all sorts of devices, including some that make no sense. That brings me to today’s article.

Rapid advancements in computer, networking and storage technology enable new features at lower cost each year, making older products seem obsolete more quickly than ever before, and one example of that is in household appliances like the refrigerator. But do you really need the latest features if what you have works just fine? Do you really need that $9,000 refrigerator with its built-in, color touch-screen and wireless Internet access? What does it do to justify that cost? And what lessons can be applied to health care? Read More …

This $200 iPhone Case Is An FDA-Approved EKG Machine

By Mark Wilson
Alivecor Heart Monitor -- Click image to visit original article at FastCoDesign.com.

Health Care is hurting, and the world is changing.
More and more, Hospitals will fit in our Pockets. 

Most iPhone cases just protect your phone from drops. If you’re getting fancy, it may have a fisheye camera lens or a screen-printed back. But what about diagnosing coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, or congenital heart defects? The AliveCor Heart Monitor is an FDA-approved iPhone case that can be held in your hands (or dramatically pressed against your chest) to produce an EKG/ECG–the infamous green blips pulsing patient-side in hospitals everywhere.

“We think that EKG screening can be as approachable as taking blood pressure,” AliveCor President and CEO Judy Wade tells Co.Design. Read More …

Scanadu’s smartphone-enabled home diagnostics

Scanadu Unveils Family of New Tools to Revolutionize Consumer Healthcare

Scanadu SCOUTNASA-Based Company Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA – November 29, 2012

Scanadu, a new personalized health electronics company, today unveiled the first three products in its family of consumer health tools: Scanadu SCOUT, Project ScanaFlu and Project ScanaFlo. Based at NASA-Ames Research Center, Scanadu is using mobile, sensor and social technology to ensure this is the last generation to know so little about our health. The newly introduced home diagnostic tools are set to be the biggest innovation in home medicine since the invention of the thermometer.

Founded in 2010 by Walter de Brouwer after a family medical emergency, Scanadu is using imaging and sound analysis, molecular diagnostics, data analytics and a suite of algorithms to create devices that offer a comprehensive, real-time picture of your health data. The company is also participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, which looks to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand, as well as the Nokia Sensing X Challenge, which seeks to revolutionize digital healthcare. Read More …

Automation, Robots and The Pink Collar Future

Editor’s note: Last night I participated in “I am Robot. Hear me roar,” an online discussion hosted by HuffPost Live and using Google+ Hangouts to support several people connected via webcam. The discussion questioned how automation can make human workers obsolete. Will robots make your own job as a caretaker obsolete? I was asked to participate because of my interest in tech futures that include Healthcare Robots. Jamais Cascio also participated and offered some quite interesting insights. He shared the following article with the audience and gave me permission to republish it here.

Different perspectives: Following the article are two videos.
First is a PBS report that looks at robots and automation as replacing human workers. It’s what many Democrats worry about, and many unemployed workers complain about.
Second is a heart-warming movie trailer from Robot and Frank, which opens in theaters this month and gives a rosier view of technology that’s more like a friendly assistant than a job killer. This optimistic view is similar to the picture Republicans paint, but with no worry about those left behind and unemployed.
So which is it? Just as futurists consider different scenarios and what may lead to their preferred version of the future, you too can decide which version you like and either help make it happen for yourself, or prevent it from happening to others. As you think about this, realize that technology won’t slow down, but its impact on society can be controlled with smart policy decisions. Add your own perspectives below.

Robot Images

The Pink Collar Future

By Jamais Cascio, futurist, writer, speaker and founder of Open The Future

The claim that robots are taking our jobs has become so commonplace of late that it’s a bit of a cliché. Nonetheless, it has a strong element of truth to it. Not only are machines taking “blue collar” factory jobs — a process that’s been underway for years, and no longer much of a surprise except when a company like Foxconn announces it’s going to bring in a million robots (which are less likely to commit suicide, apparently) — but now mechanized/digital systems are quickly working their way up the employment value chain. “Grey collar” service workers have been under pressure for awhile, especially those jobs (like travel agent) that involve pattern-matching; now jobs involving the composition of structured reports (such as basic journalism) have digital competition, and Google’s self-driving car portends a future of driverless taxicabs. But even “white collar” jobs, managerial and supervisory in particular, are being threatened — in part due to replacement, and in part due to declining necessity. After all, if the line workers have been replaced by machines, there’s little need for direct human oversight of the kind required by human workers, no? Stories of digital lawyers and surgeons simply accelerate the perception that robots really are taking over the workplace, and online education systems like the Khan Academy demonstrate how readily university-level learning can be conducted without direct human contact.

Read More …

Home Monitoring of Seniors will drive Wearable Devices

Home Monitoring for Seniors Will Drive 36 Million Wearable Wireless Device Market

Some High Tech mHealth SolutionsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LONDON – July 13, 2012

​A combination of factors including the growing senior demographic combined with economic, social, and technological developments are driving investment and demand for home monitoring devices that can extend and improve in-home care.

As the market transitions from safety focused offerings toward health monitoring and extending and enhancing the comfort, safety, and well-being for seniors living in their own homes and care homes, monitoring devices will grow to more than 36 million units in 2017, up from under 3 million units in 2011, at a CAGR of 55.9%.

Over the same time, home monitoring will almost double its share of the wearable wireless device health market to 22% from 12%.

“Healthcare providers and caregivers alike are looking for devices to improve the monitoring of seniors in their own homes as economics and demographics increasingly drive that demand” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research and author of a new report examining the wearable wireless device healthcare market. Read More …

Will Healthcare Lead The Future of Smart Homes?

As a technologist, futurist, mHealth advocate, and past Home Systems consultant, I’m a fan of embedded technologies that make products smarter and easier to use, especially those that improve healthcare, but I side with “Smart Home” skeptics and add my own comments after this press release. – Wayne Caswell, mHealthTalk editor

The Future of Smart Systems

By 2020, experts think tech-enhanced homes, appliances, and utilities will spread, but many of the analysts believe we still won’t likely be living in the long-envisioned ‘Homes of the Future’

Imaging the Internet, a market research reportJune 29, 2012 — Hundreds of tech analysts foresee a future with “smart” devices and environments that make people’s lives more efficient.

But they also note that current evidence about the uptake of smart systems is that the costs and necessary infrastructure changes to make it all work are daunting. And they add that people find comfort in the familiar, simple, “dumb” systems to which they are accustomed.

Some 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers, and critics were asked about the “home of the future” in an online, opt-in survey. The result was a fairly even split between those who agreed that energy- and money-saving “smart systems” will be significantly closer to reality in people’s homes by 2020 and those who said such homes will still remain a marketing mirage. Read More …

Medicine Unplugged: Your phone, DNA and data

Medicine Unplugged: Your phone, your DNA, your dataBy Eric J. Topol, M.D. (original article on Huffington Post)

Just as the little mobile wireless devices radically transformed our day-to-day lives, so will such devices have a seismic impact on the future of health care. It’s already taking off at a pace that parallels the explosion of another unanticipated digital force — social networks. Read More …

11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies

NEHI Identifies 11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies To Watch

Cites Potential to Improve Care, Lower Costs for At-Risk Populations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 13, 2012)NEHI, a national health policy institute dedicated to finding innovative solutions to health care problems, today identified eleven emerging technologies that have the potential to improve care and lower costs for chronic disease patients, especially those in at-risk populations.

The “technologies to watch” target a range of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, stroke and heart disease, and reflect the growing emphasis on empowering patients to monitor their own care through the use of mobile platforms, social networking and home-based telehealth technologies. The technologies include web-based platforms that enable patients to connect virtually to their physician through their smartphone or personal computer, cell phone apps for medication reminders and asthma control, and in-car wireless systems that monitor patients’ health while they are driving. According to NEHI’s selection criteria, the technologies are under-used but have high future potential and align to the safety net population with low cost and easy access. Read More …

EyeWriter is an eye-tracking device for drawing & writing

EyeWriterALS Patient Tony “TEMPT ONE” Quan and the EyeWriter Device is an article I found at PatientsLikeMe.com, and I found it inspiring enough to share. Below is an excerpt and three  good videos.

For quadriplegics like Steven Hawking, “an eye gaze system – a type of augmentative speech device that translates eye movements into words – can make it possible to communicate with loved ones when speech is impaired or lost.  The problem?  They’re big and expensive, and in many cases, US health insurers won’t cover them.”

. . .

Animation studio owner Mick Ebeling heard about Tony’s case, “founded the Not Impossible Foundation and enlisted the help of programmers and open source activists in creating a low-cost, open-access writing and drawing device for paralyzed patients.  Despite having no background in ocular recognition, they pulled it off. Named one of the top 50 inventions of 2010 by Time, the brilliantly simple EyeWriter device can be made for less than $50.” Read More …

10 Forecasts for the Future of Healthcare

World Future Society's special report on 20 Forecasts for the Next 25 YearsFORESIGHT may be the single most critical skill for the 21st Century. Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to anticipate and navigate change, make good decisions, and take action to create a better future.

That’s why I’ve been a member of the Central Texas chapter of the World Future Society for years, where I meet interesting people with widely varied perspectives of the future. It’s also why I participate in so many Linkedin discussion groups on emerging healthcare issues.

The following ten forecasts came from the World Future Society’s special report, Forecasts for the Next 25 Years. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist magazine.

Forecast #3. Nanotechnology offers hope for restoring eyesight.

Flower-shaped electrodes topped with photodiodes, implanted in blind patients’ eyes, may restore their sight. The “nanoflowers” mimic the geometry of neurons, making them a better medium than traditional computer chips for carrying photodiodes and transmitting the collected light signals to the brain. Read More …

Wireless remote control of door locks

HAI control of Kwikset Zigbee door locksIt’s time for bed, but did you lock the door? You can see who’s at the front door on your smartphone with a video intercom, but can you unlock the door to let them in without getting out of bed, out of the comfy chair, or off of the sofa? Those two of many other scenarios where remote access to an electronic door lock would be convenient.

The cost and simplicity of installing remote door locks is coming down, but this project is still more expensive and costly than simple lighting controls. Still I post this article with a video and press release of HAI control of Kwikset ZigBee wireless door locks. Read More …

5 reasons Digital Health Technologies need FDA oversight

FDA logoBy David Lee Scher, MD

A draft proposal of the FDA guidelines for regulating mobile medical applications was released in July, 2011 . In response, the mHealth Regulatory Coalition sent detailed comments on the proposal . There was a recent piece in the Washington Times “The FDA’s Assault on Mobile Technologies” which, in my opinion, was misguided. No one in the healthcare industry (pharmaceutical, medical device, or technology) is enamored with the FDA. They recently drastically raised review fees for device companies and slow down approval processes more year after year. Between 2005 and 2008, the FDA clearance process time increased 30%, and has continually increased, notwithstanding increased funding and staffing levels. Regardless of its procedural faults, I will attempt to lay out my reasons why this regulatory body needs to oversee digital health technologies. This article should not be seen as a blanket endorsement of the FDA’s specific operational processes and policies, but as a rebuttal to the claim that it is assaulting the mobile health industry.

Read More …

The End of Illness

The End of Illness - image from Amazon.comToday’s article is adapted from The End of Illness by Dr. David B. Agus and an ABC News story about his book. (video below)

“The end of illness is closer than you might think,” says Agus, a professor of medicine at USC. But to achieve that, people must look at their bodies in a whole new way. He and many others like him are challenging long-held beliefs about what “health” means and are promoting health & wellness as ways to extend life, improve vitality, and lower the cost of medical care.

As a cancer doctor and researcher on the front lines, Dr. Agus became infuriated by the statistics and lack of progress within the medical profession, and that got him thinking about alternative approaches. He likens it to “having to go to war to understand peace,” since the goal should be to avoid war in the first place. And shouldn’t the same apply to health – striving for ways to eliminate illness rather than just treat its symptoms? Read More …

CES 2012 … in Pajamas

CESinPJs

Did you go to CES this year? What struck you as a highlight (comment below)?

If you didn’t get to go, CES 2012 in Pajamas gives you all of the insight with none of the hassle or expense. This 12-page virtual trip report combines a healthcare and consumer electronics perspective so you can:

  • Learn what the analysts and pundits said.
  • Know about key trends from different perspectives.
  • Discover cool products for digital health & wellness.
  • See the products in action with over 4.5 hours of video.
  • And discover who was missing and the significance.

Headings:

  • About CES
  • Getting the Most from this Report
  • General Media Coverage of CES
  • Is CES becoming Irrelevant?
  • It’s All about the Platform & Ecosystem
  • Smarter, Thinner Televisions
  • Smarter, Thinner PC & Tablets
  • Smartphones & mHealth
  • Healthy Games
  • Home Networking & Energy Management
  • Robots

Be part of the Future of Healthcare. Our in-home evaluation is a fun and education survey that helps medical researchers collect autonomous health information so they can find unexpected correlations and find new treatments. It’s part of the Next Frontier for Big Data.

ZOMM’s Lifestyle Connect wins 3 CES Innovation Awards

ZOMM Lifestyle ConnectZOMM earned 3 CES 2012 Innovation Awards this week for Lifestyle Connect™, a credit card sized accessory for any Bluetooth®-enabled phone, including the one you have right now. With a touch of a button or an alert from wireless sensors, the device can summon assistance from a Personal Safety Concierge™ or your trusted network of friends, family and health professionals. If needed, the concierge will dispatch police, fire or medical rescue personnel to the user’s location.

Lifestyle Connect utilizes Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy wireless technology to connect with Bluetooth Smart devices such as health monitors, heart monitors, glucose monitors, fall detection sensors, and activity trackers.

Read More …

A Consumer Electronics Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year in 2012. As for me, I can hardly imagine a better one, filled with family… and electronics.

Our son visited for 3 days with his pretty wife and our 7 month old granddaughter. What a treat. It ended too soon, and Yvonne and I miss them already. That helps explain our Electronics Christmas.

We’re like baby boomers split between keeping up with their adult kids and grandkids while also caring for elderly parents, but since our parents are long gone our attention is laser focused on our only son and his family. That’s why I’ve long wanted a good video conference system – to lessen the need for 4-hour trips to Dallas to see them.

Apple FaceTime Read More …

Walt Mossberg blasts medical consumer products

In his TEDMED 2010 talk, Walt Mossberg, Technology Journalist for the Wall Street Journal, shares his thoughts about medical consumer products. He’s clearly a fan of Apple’s iPad and iPhone but laments the lack of really useful consumer medical products like good blood glucose monitors. Thankfully, we’ve seen lots of innovation in 2011, but I wonder if it’s enough to change Walt’s mind. Watch the video and let us know what YOU think with a Reply below.

Jawbone UP wristband & iPhone app tracks your wellness

image of Jawbone UP, a motion sensing wristbandUP by Jawbone (http://www.jawbone.com/up) is a revolutionary system (wristband + iPhone app) that tracks your activity and sleep and inspires you to move more, sleep better and eat smarter. UP also integrates a social experience and open content platform to motivate you with personal and team challenges tailored to help you achieve your goals.

UP is Jawbone’s first step in giving people tools to become engaged as consumers of their own health. It integrates an accelerometer to sense motion and track how much you’re walking, exercising, or sleeping; and it then uploads that data to an app that shows progress charts and lets you photograph and log your meals, even sharing all this with friends for additional motivation if you wish.

Read More …

Healthcare meets Bluetooth Low Energy technology

 

By Wayne Caswell

Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy is transforming the healthcare industry, creating efficiencies and promoting responsible personal health monitoring, as shown by the innovators in this category. The finalists include:

1. Pancreum LLC created the CoreMD, a wireless communication and power infrastructure for low-cost replaceable/disposable wearable medical devices for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases that can sense body conditions (temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, interstitial glucose, etc) and/or deliver subcutaneous drugs (insulin, glucagon, vasopressors, etc).

2. Dan Corkum smart medicine caps took advantage of the unique advantages of Bluetooth low energy technology to develop a connected medicine packaging and treatment adherence aid system that transmits data on whether the patient is taking his medicine correctly to physicians or support personnel.

3. Arturas Vaitaitis and Jung Bae Kim submitted a concept for an ID wristband and health monitor for newborn infants that includes a motion sensor, monitors the baby’s activity, and prevents sudden infant death syndrome by sending vital data via Bluetooth technology to a smartphone/computer.
Read More …

Apple iPad helps autistic people communicate

As a companion piece to a “60 Minutes” interview with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, CBS focused on how touch-screen tablet computers — like the Apple iPad — are helping non-verbal autistic children communicate with their parents. It’s one more example of iPad accessibility and why we think it’s the ideal computing device for seniors.