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Tiny Vital Sign Chip

Check out this article that writes about a tiny chip which can make it cheaper and easier to monitor your vital signs.

The technology is called “ultrawideband,” and very well could mean the end of bulky, expensive, power-consuming electronic health monitors that take up space and hurt your wallet. The researchers plan to work with private companies and move the technology into the marketplace by mid-2013.

There are no batteries, and the energy is drawn from radio frequencies via nearby cell phone towers. The information on the chip can be tethered to cell phones and the OSU team has funding to build an app and cloud monitoring for storing the data.

For those of you who clicked over to the article, you’ll realize that the article is from 2012. That’s what I think is so amazing. Imagine what they’ve done since then.

Regardless of this specific technology, the sensors we’re using to monitor our health are getting smaller and smaller and more effective at what they do. How amazing that it’s able to get its power from nearby cell phone towers? Plus, they’re working to offer this chip for only 25 cents.

I love that we’re still barely at the beginning of this health sensor revolution. 10 years from now we’ll look back and this chip will be considered a huge chip.

April 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Scanadu Closes $10.5 Million for Medical Tricorder

As most of you know, I’m a big fan and deep supporter of Vegas Startup companies. In fact, I’m an adviser to a healthcare focused secure healthcare messaging startup called docBeat. As such, I’m extremely interested in any healthcare related startup company becomes part of the Vegas family.

The latest entrant is a company called Scanadu that was just funded by the Vegas Tech Fund and others in a $10.5 Series A round of financing. This comes after raising $1,664,574 on Indiegogo. Here’s a description of what they’re trying to accomplish with Scanadu:

While Scanadu is equipping the Scout with off-the-shelf sensors, each needs a 501(k) clearance from the FDA, as do any groups of sensors working in conjunction with each other. That’s the whole point of the Scout: it combines existing trackers into one handy device.

“This is a device that comes out of nothing,” Scanadu CEO Walter De Brouwer said. “There was nothing that you could build on. You put all sorts of sensors together in a small package and make it do stuff that it hasn’t done before.”

The goal is to have the commercial device available to consumers by the winter of 2014 or Q1 of 2015. Before that, the Scout will ship to the 8,000 people who preordered through the Indiegogo campaign in March. Scanadu will be doing usability testing on volunteers from that cohort in order to glean how exactly consumers will use the Scout: how many times a day they check it and what metrics they are most interested in tracking, for instance.

I think it’s ambitious of them to go after the FDA clearance, but it probably necessary. There’s a lot of money and time involved in getting FDA clearance. However, once you do it, your competition has to deal with those barriers in the future.

I hope Scanadu uses the money they’re getting to bring on someone who’s very good at getting through the FDA clearance process. It’s a beast and it’s a real advantage to work with someone who’s done it before.

On a broader level, Scanadu is just one of MANY devices that are coming out like this. It’s an exciting time for these types of devices. In the next couple years there are going to be a wave of these devices that help us better track our health. This is just the start.

December 16, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

FDA Issues Final Mobile Health App Guidance

Today the FDA announced the issuance of the final guidance on mobile health apps. You can find a PDF of the full mobile medical app guidelines here. The guidance won’t come as a surprise to those of us familiar with the industry. The guidance is basically what we expected the FDA to do with mobile health applications. The FDA plans to only offer regulatory oversight to those mobile medical apps which they define as a medical device. Here’s how they describe it in their press release:

The agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion (meaning it will not enforce requirements under the Federal Drug & Cosmetic Act) for the majority of mobile apps as they pose minimal risk to consumers. The FDA intends to focus its regulatory oversight on a subset of mobile medical apps that present a greater risk to patients if they do not work as intended.

Mobile apps have the potential to transform health care by allowing doctors to diagnose patients with potentially life-threatening conditions outside of traditional health care settings, help consumers manage their own health and wellness, and also gain access to useful information whenever and wherever they need it.

Mobile medical apps currently on the market can, for example, diagnose abnormal heart rhythms, transform smart phones into a mobile ultrasound device, or function as the “central command” for a glucose meter used by a person with insulin-dependent diabetes.

“Some mobile apps carry minimal risks to consumer or patients, but others can carry significant risks if they do not operate correctly. The FDA’s tailored policy protects patients while encouraging innovation,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

They further went on to explain that the FDA will focus its oversight on mobile health apps that:

  • are intended to be used as an accessory to a regulated medical device – for example, an application that allows a health care professional to make a specific diagnosis by viewing a medical image from a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) on a smartphone or a mobile tablet; or
  • transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device – for example, an application that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography (ECG) machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack.

Here’s the overarching premise of the FDA’s approach to mobile health app regulation, “We have worked hard to strike the right balance, reviewing only the mobile apps that have the potential to harm consumers if they do not function properly,” said Shuren. “Our mobile medical app policy provides app developers with the clarity needed to support the continued development of these important products.”

The last comment is what so many mobile health application developers have wanted. Hopefully this guidance will give them that assurance and clarity. Although, it’s a bit annoying when the final guidance document says “Contains Nonbinding Recommendations” at the top of every page. Legalese aside, I believe this document will provide the foundation for the FDA’s mobile health efforts going forward.

September 23, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Medical Robot Infographic

Who doesn’t love medical robots? Combine that with an inforgraphic and you have must see content. At least that’s what I thought about when I saw the following medical robot infographic. We’ve come a long way with robots in healthcare, but the best part is that I think we’re just beginning. Enjoy the medical robot infographic below.
Medical Robot Infographic
Thanks to healthcare-administration-degree.net for creating the infographic.

September 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Galaxy Smartwatch Preview Video

It looks like it’s Smartwatch week here at Smart Phone healthcare. Plus, it will continue tomorrow with another interesting Smartwatch twist. However, for those interested in the recently announced Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, you’re going to love the following video demo of the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

When it comes to mobile health, the built in pedometer is the obvious one. However, don’t underestimate the power of messages coming to you right on the wrist. Not to mention the S Voice (Siri like functionality) that’s built into the smartwatch.

September 10, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Breath Acoustic Headset in IndieGogo and Philips Innovation Fellow Competition

I’m always interested in the latest and greatest devices that are entering healthcare. So, I was really intrigued by this new All-In-One Breath Acoustic headset from Breath Research. The Breach Acoustics All-in-One headset includes:

  • Acoustic breath pattern analysis
  • Heart Rate
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • Altitude, Location and Barometric Pressure

Here’s the video they use on their IndieGogo campaign to introduce the product:

As of this posting, they’ve raised $11,872 on their IndieGogo campaign with a goal of $30,000. If you contribute $200 you will receive one BeathAcoustics headset. Plus, they have a number of other options available including a variety of coaching and training sessions from Breath Research CEO, Nirinjan Yee.

I’m a little leery on the claims that the headset together with HearZones USA will help you:

  • Alleviate stress
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Achieve weight loss goals
  • Get better sleep

I think their basing these claims on personalized health and fitness recommendations. So, in that respect their probably accurate. I think there are many studies that show that health and fitness can provide the above results. The question I have is whether this Breathe Acoustic headset will provide a significant change to someone’s health and fitness habits.

As they say in the campaign, athletes have been using personalized physiological data for years. The question I have is whether providing that data to everyone will really impact someone’s health. I certainly don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m excited to see Breath Acoustic bringing that analysis to the masses.

I also found it interesting that the above IndieGogo campaign is part of the Phillips Innovation Fellow Competition. Here’s a short description of the competition (done in partnership with IndieGogo):

Philips and Indiegogo are hosting the “Innovation Fellows” competition and are calling for innovators to submit their #BIGIDEA to address the current innovation gap in the areas of living well, being healthy and enjoying life. With its constant commitment to people-focused innovation, Philips aims to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, and is offering $100,000 of its own money, plus mentoring from Philips leaders, to help the best ideas come to market faster.

You can see the 37 entrants in this competition here. I’m really fascinated by the idea of someone like Philips working with IndieGogo for the competition. How smart is it to use actual customer driven purchasing to drive a competition? Certainly there’s more to innovation than customer purchasing, but that can be one indicator of something people actually care to use. I’ll be interested to see how this competition goes.

September 9, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Health Wildcatters Incubator

All of us in the mobile health space and in the health startup space have certainly been overwhelmed by the number of health related incubators that have been started over the past couple years. If you aren’t tracking this space like we do, then just check out Paul Sonnier’s list of health related incubators. If my count is right, he has 28 different groups listed there. I’ll be interested to see this list two years from now, but I digress.

One of the newest entrants into the healthcare incubator space is an incubator called Health Wildcatters out of Dallas, TX. I met the founder of the original Tech Wildcatters when she was visiting the Las Vegas startup community. I started talking to her a bit about the Health Wildcatters incubator and she quickly told me that she knew nothing about healthcare and that they hired an Executive Director to manage that part of the accelerator. I was impressed by her honesty.

MobiHealthNews has a great article looking at the first Health Wildcatters companies. They said the class of companies was focused on adherence, physical therapy and senior care. Those all seem like areas where we’ve seen a lot of startup action.

I’ll be interested to watch this and the other healthcare incubator companies to see how they do. Healthcare is a hard nut to crack and usually needs more than a summer’s worth of work. This is particularly true if we’re talking about a product focused on doctors, hospitals or other medical providers. If it’s a consumer health app, you might be able to find a genie in a bottle. However, even the consumer health apps haven’t yet been given three wishes.

I will say that I hope that Health Wildcatters company Echo Therapeutics is successful at creating a non-invasive glucose monitoring solution. Glucose monitoring that doesn’t use blood is a really hard nut to crack. Considering my predisposition to becoming a diabetic one day, I’m very interested in this technology coming to fruition.

September 3, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

BBC Documentary – Monitor Me

The BBC has worked with Dr. Kevin Fong to put together a documentary on the mHealth monitoring trend and its impact on our lives. As he says at the beginning of the documentary, “I want to find out whether simply monitoring ourselves everyday and gathering new information about our bodies could be the key to living a longer, healthier life.”

I haven’t yet had an hour to watch the documentary, but I’ve added it to my YouTube watch later since it looks quite interesting. I’ve embedded the documentary below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

August 19, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

FitBit Raises $43 Million

This is great news for FitBit the company. That should be enough cash to really aggressively go after the mobile health market. Of course, with $43 million of funding and their previous $12 million third round of funding, they have no choice but to hit it out of the park now.

One advantage that FitBit has over a lot of the mobile health industry is that the FitBit is now sold in 15,000 retail locations across the US. Getting that type of distribution takes time and is a very strong asset for the company.

I’ll be interested to see where they take the technology next. One problem with being a hardware company is that your next model has to be better than your previous model. I’ll be interested to see how well they can execute their next FitBit models. Will they continue to make huge step forwards in mobile health devices or will they be just an evolution of their current product? The answer to that will determine whether FitBit is a great investment or not.

My question for you is: Does this amount of funding help to legitimize the mobile health space?

August 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

mHealth Tracking – Tooth Sensor

We’ve written about all sorts of health sensors, but until today we’ve never written about a newly created tooth sensor. Here’s an excerpt from Medical Daily on the new tooth sensor technology:

The new sensor, which was developed by scientists at National Taiwan University, uses Wi-Fi to sync with a person’s smartphone and keep a daily record of the wearer’s eating and drinking habits, along with smoking, coughing, and speaking. At less than a centimeter long, the sensor relies on “unique teeth motions” to differentiate each activity.

The wireless sensor would sit between two teeth and be held in place with glue

I’ve heard people refer to the human body as the ultimate sensor. It’s amazing to consider all of the ways we can monitor and track various elements of the human body. I have a hard time seeing the tooth sensor going mainstream. People are pretty particular about what they put in their mouths. However, for certain situations I could see it happening.

I think the final implementation might be like a mini retainer in your mouth. Many people have had retainers in their mouth for years and years. It seems like something similar could be put in your mouth as a tracker. However, the retainer might not have to be for the full mouth. It could just be on one tooth.

We’re at the very start of the sensor journey.

August 13, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.