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Samsung’s $50 Million Digital Health Investment Fund

Fred Pennic over at HIT Consultant posted a great story about the new $50 million digital health initiative coming out of Samsung. Here’s a portion of Fred’s article about the announcement:

The new initiative will utilize a new health open reference design platform tailored to take advantage of the latest sensors, behavioral algorithms, battery technologies and displays.
To aggressively support this initiative, Samsung has also announced a $50 million investment fund dedicated to innovative start-ups and technologies in the digital health space. The goal of the fund is to stimulate creative new approaches to digital health and Samsung’s open platforms.

I’ve long been interested in the role that cell phone companies will play in the digital health space and specifically in the health sensors space. There’s always been a bit of a problem for me with the various health sensors out there in the market today. I just don’t care enough about them to wear one every day. The watch comes closest to a natural product that I could see myself wearing it regularly, but the clip on products just aren’t something I want to do every day. I have too many other things to think about.

Of course, you wouldn’t catch most of us without our cell phones on us. This is why it’s always made sense why the cell phone would be the ultimate health tracker. It doesn’t require a habit change by the end user.

Until this cell phone-health sensor vision comes to fruition we’re going to have to limp along with these other wearable technologies and no doubt Samsung wants to be a major player in that space so they know which ones are worth integrating into their cell phones down the road. With that in mind, $50 million seems like a small investment for them to make in the space.

I personally see this $50 million fund as a small down payment by Samsung on what will likely become a much larger investment for them in healthcare.

May 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Google Watch (Officially Android Wear) Announced

The big news in the wearable world this week was the announcement of the Google Watch that’s being called Android Wear. There are a lot of nuances to their product like any announcement. For example, Google is doing like Android and working with a lot of other hardware manufacturers. Like most smart watches, the connection to your cell phone is key. Check out this video to see a preview of Android Wear:

One of the key differentiators I’ve seen between this and other smart watches is the integration with Google Now. If you have an Android phone, you’re likely familiar with Google Now. It provides a smart set of notifications that only Android can provide since it knows a lot about you through all the various Google Apps like Google Calendar.

The announcement offers one healthcare angle:

The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.

You’ll see that they don’t mention any built in fitness options. Instead, they’re just tapping into your existing wearables. We’ll see if that’s a smart strategy or not.

What do you think of the Android Wear?

March 19, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Racy Video Promotes New Smartphone Pulse Oximeter

Next week I’ll be enjoying a wave of smartphone medical devices at the International CES conference in Las Vegas. I can already tell from the press releases that a number of companies have made big progress in making these devices great for the consumer.

I did recently get a pitch from a company called Safe Heart USA which is marketing the iOximeter, a smartphone pulse oximeter. I guess in order to stand out (which is necessary at a show like CES) they created this somewhat racy and humorous video called “Fifty Shades of Blue. You can see the video below:

What do you think? Did they go too far or do we need to lighten up and just enjoy a humorous approach to marketing a product as exciting as this?

I have to admit. If I see them at the show, I’ll probably stop by and see the people behind a video like this. Considering the volume of pitches I’ve gotten, it was an interesting way to get my attention.

January 3, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

The mHealth Digital Divide

At the mHealth Summit, Steve Case offered an interesting insight about mHealth doing amazing things with mobile, but hospitals still being worried about updating Windows XP.”

This is one of my key takeaways at the mHealth Summit. There’s a large digital divide between what’s happening in the mobile health world and the reality of most healthcare organizations (Doctors and Hospitals). It would be great if those organizations would partner with these companies trying to innovate in the mobile health space, but unfortunately most are too busy focusing on all the government regulations (ie. ICD-10, meaningful use and ACOs).

What I don’t see is a bridge being built to bridge this divide. Maybe the fact that HIMSS now owns the mHealth Summit event will help. Hopefully the HIMSS audience will finally embrace what’s happening and join in on the conversation. Although, I’m betting that will happen a lot slower than we’d all like.

Anyone who’s tried to sell into healthcare (particularly hospitals) knows what a challenge that can be. Many of the companies developing these mobile health apps don’t come from healthcare. I love the outside influence and knowledge coming into healthcare, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sell into healthcare. Like most enterprises, the sales process can be brutal.

December 10, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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 Summit 2013

Tomorrow morning, barring snow in Las Vegas, I’ll be boarding a plane to DC to attend the mHealth Summit. This will be the third year I’ve attended the mHealth Summit. It’s the second year HIMSS has owned it and so I think this will be a breakout year for the event. Take a look at the numbers to see what I mean:

  • Over 5,000 attendees
  • Nearly 300 exhibitors
  • 450 speakers

If I’m being really honest about the event (which is basically how I am always), the keynote speakers and sessions don’t get me that excited. The one exception is Muhammad Yunus. I’m not sure what he has to do with healthcare at all, but his micro credit innovation is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard. I love when small, simple things that anyone could have done could have such a profound impact on society. Maybe there’s some good parallel’s we can learn from this in mHealth.

Regardless of who’s speaking, I’m certain that I’ll have a lot of great conversation with the 5,000+ attendees and my schedule is literally booked with meetings with vendors.

As with most conferences, I don’t have a specific agenda or story that I want to write at the conference. My goal is to try and discover what the story is at the conference. Is there a new trend? Is there something exciting happening that I’ve never heard about? Do we need to be concerned about something that’s going to happen?

We’ll see what I find. The great part for you is that whatever I find I’ll share with you on this blog. Let’s hope I find something interesting. I’ll be sad if I find a lack of innovation and improvement over past years.

December 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

What’s Next for Smartphone Innovation?

GigaOm recently reported that Apple is working on a curved screen smartphone and pressure-sensitive touch censors for future iPhones.

Samsung had already announced a curved screen smartphone as is demonstrated in this video:

As I think about these new smartphone innovations, I don’t see anything real game changing with this technology. Certainly I understand that the biggest game changers in technology are often when a company combines a bunch of relatively innocuous innovations into one tight package. I believe the iPhone is the perfect example of this principle.

With that said, I have to feel a little disappointed by even the small innovations that are coming out in the latest smartphones. Bigger screens, curved glass, and pressure sensitive sensors don’t do much for me. I’d love to hear what you think about the pace of smartphone innovation. What could they innovate that would really be a game changing innovation for healthcare?

The hardware piece aside, I think on the smartphone software side there is still a ton of potential for innovation coming very soon. We’ll see where it takes us. I’m not expecting huge hardware innovation in smartphones anytime soon. When it comes to eyewear computing like Google Glass, that’s a different story.

November 13, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

iPhone Fingerprint Recognition and Healthcare

Many people I read were disappointed by the latest announcements coming out of Apple and particularly with their new “inexpensive” iPhone. It turns out it’s not that inexpensive and seems to show a lack of understanding on Apple’s part of the inexpensive smart phone market. This tidbit aside, I was quite interested in the announcement of the iPhone fingerprint recognition that’s built into the “home” button on the iPhone. Here’s a description of this feature from the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine:

With the introduction of Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition, there is no longer an excuse not to have a “passcode” (this time in the form of a fingerprint) on your smartphone. The new Apple iPhone 5S has a fingerprint recognition module built into the “home” button on the iPhone. After registering your finger print, simply touching the home screen button will unlock the device for you seamlessly. Should the phone be lost, without your fingerprint, the contents of the device will be secure.

iPhone Fingerprint Recognition - TouchID

I recently discussed in detail various possible options for biometrics in healthcare. The smartphone is another place where we’re likely to see more and more biometric integration. As is discussed in the comments of that post, there are still security challenges with biometrics, but I still believe that overall it’s more secure.

In healthcare we still have that thing called 2 factor authentication. However, this integrated fingerprint recognition on the iPhone home screen sure makes one factor of the authentication quite easy. Of course, this assumes that in fact the iPhone fingerprint recognition works well. I hope and expect that it will work well, but you never know until the device hits the market.

Apple hasn’t yet made the fingerprint recognition feature available to other iPhone applications, but I expect they’ll make that happen sooner rather than later. I’m sure many in healthcare will utilize that feature in their applications.

September 16, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Is Your State Health Department’s App on Your Mobile?

I came upon this excited tweet from Geeta Nayyyar, MD, CMIO for AT&T, where she excitedly links to the announcement of the Alabama state health department mobile app.

I of course was interested to know what a state health department would include in an app. The linked article talks about it being used to disseminate public health info and share opportunities for public health workers to get continuing education. Do we really need an app for this?

I’m trying to imagine a public health worker getting excited to download their state health department’s application. I don’t think we’re going to be seeing it on the home page of people’s cell phone. It’s likely to be one of the many applications that gets downloaded and never used. If that’s the case, it makes me wonder why it was even created in the first place. I guess I’m interested to hear how much engagement they really get on the app.

What I do think is interesting is the possibility for using a mobile app to disseminate public health alerts. I could see many people opting in for that type of notification. Although, does that need an entire app? I like the idea of the government trying to use the latest technology, but it seems like there could have been better ways to accomplish their goals.

I guess I don’t see what’s so “awesome” about an app that likely won’t get much use.

August 9, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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 Growth

A recent report looks at the future growth of the mHealth market:

The Research and Markets mHealth trends report shows the industry poised for a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent by 2017, to reach a value of $26 billion. This revenue, researchers project, will be derived predominantly from mHealth hardware sales and services.

Study findings also estimate that some 50 percent of mobile users will have downloaded mHealth applications within five years.

The last two sentences are the ones that really matter. First, it sees most of the growth from hardware sales and services. This is really interesting since so much of the activity in mHealth is in the software arena. See the thousands and thousands of mHealth apps in the various app stores. This report seems to say that these mHealth software will be a small portion of the actual market. Does this make sense?

The other thing that makes me question the study is the comment that within 5 years 50% of mobile users will have downloaded an mHealth application. I guess it depends on how you define an mHealth application, but I think that number will be much larger. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re at 50% of users having an mHealth application on their phone today. If we want to talk about mHealth application use, that’s a different story, but I think a huge percentage of mobile users have downloaded mHealth applications.

What do you think of these trends? Are you seeing these trends or are you seeing something different?

July 26, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Mobile Health’s Battle for the Wrist

I first heard the concept of the battle for the wrist at a session on mobile health technologies at SXSW. Turns out that this is a really important concept and the speaker was absolutely right that there’s currently a HUGE battle brewing to “own” people’s wrists.

This was confirmed to me today when I saw this tweet:

The article lists about a dozen HUGE companies that are working on some sort of wrist related technology. The idea of a smart watch is powerful, because a watch is something that we’re use to wearing. Maybe even more important is that we’re use to seeing people wearing a watch. So, wearing a smart watch doesn’t change people’s behaviors or interactions with other people.

The real question I have in the mobile health space is how much power can really be derived from the wrist. Will it have to be connected to other things we wear? I think it will, but we’ll see.

What is clear is that having a computer attached to you in some way is going to change a lot of things in our life including how we manage our health. The wrist is making a strong play to be the place where that computer is stored.

July 5, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.