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| Vol. 13 No. 23, November 16, 2016 | 

It's Digital Health Week: November 14-20, 2016. Join the conversation here


Health Care Tech Makes 'Triple Aim' Achievable
According to a recent editorial in US News and World Report, the present wave of technology innovations that are driving digital transformation in nearly every industry couldn't have come a moment too soon for the health care industry. That's because, on a worldwide scale, the health industry has been and is today the most inefficient industry by any standard in the world: 42 percent inefficient as a percent of total economic value. And unlike other industries – like retail, financial services, and manufacturing – the health industry has experienced a 0.6 percent year-over-year decline in productivity compared to a 2 to 4 percent productivity rise in those other industries. It's no surprise that, despite the best intentions of health reform, premiums continue their upward rise of 2 percent over and above our GDP growth rate year after year.
The author calls for a digital transformation in health care defined as "technology enabled care, health promotion and disease prevention that advances the triple aim in a mobile-first and trusted-cloud first world." For those who may not be familiar with the "triple aim," it's a transformational aim to achieve optimal balance of good health within a defined population, a positive experience of care by the people in the population, and a lower cost per capita of providing care for that population, preferably at a growth rate below the current rate of GDP growth.
This higher standard forces the important question, "What are the analog processes in health care today that, if digitized, would enable us to more quickly achieve better outcomes, with an improved patient experience, at a lower cost?"


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Offers New Resources to Help Providers Maintain Access to Protected Health Information
With widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHR), and as providers are increasingly looking to the patient engagement opportunities through digital health, the challenge of how to deal with protected health information (PHI) remains a critical issue for providers. Many times EHR customers look to EHR vendors to ensure that health information is available where and when it is needed. For this reason, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two resources to help improve the awareness of EHR vendors' obligations to make health information available to their health care provider customers.


The Coming Furture of Surgical Robotics: Interview with CEO of TransEnterix
TransEnterix is a late stage surgical robotics company founded in 2006. The company is dedicated to improving clinical outcomes through the use of robotics in surgery. TransEnterix acquired the surgical robotics division of SOFAR S.p.A in 2015 which included the TELELAP ALF-X advanced robotic system. TransEnterix is now focusing on commercialization of this platform as the Senhance robotic system. In the following interview, CEO of TransEnterix, Todd Pope, discusses the future of surgical robotics and positioning of the Senhance system in the market.

Robotic Needle Positioning System to Speed Up Tissue Biopsies and Ablations
At the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation engineers have developed a robotic system for performing needle biopsies and delivering ablation needles deep into the body. Current techniques are time consuming, requiring physicians to be very careful in preparing a trajectory and checking that it under the live CT guidance. The process can take up hours for something that may seem like it should only be a couple minutes.
The team modified a commercial robot to position the needle accurately based on CT scans. A procedure starts by first performing a CT scan on the patient, allowing the robot to calibrate against the scan. A virtual representation of the patient’s anatomy is then used to drive a virtual needle to see how it would penetrate the patient. The same simulation can also mimic how an ablation would happen and how much surrounding tissue it would affect. Once all the preparatory steps are taken, the calibration component where the needle would be is removed and replaced with the needle. The robot then places the needle against the skin at the agreed angle, handing over the rest to the physician who drives the needle through the channel within the robot and precisely into the target.

Cardiocity’s RhythmPad2 Detects Hypertension and AF Through the Hands
Lancaster (UK) based Cardiocity Limited has developed a second variant of the RhythmPad product range to successfully screen from Hypertension through simple hand placement. The RhythmPad2 system is a USB and Bluetooth connected CE certified Class2a medical device allowing simple integration into a number of EHR systems.
The system has been integrated into both kiosk and portable form factors and typically works connected to a Windows PC. Over 30 of the kiosks have been deployed across NHS England in family doctor clinics and have screened over 40,000 people to date with 119 patients newly diagnosed as suffering from Atrial Fibrillation in the last 90 days alone. This represents, according to the UK National Audit Office, a cost saving to the NHS of over £3,310,924.


Israeli $50M Digital Health Fund Launches, Partners with Johns Hopkins to Validate Startup Tech
OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform based in Jerusalem, announced this week that it is launching Israel’s first digital health focused fund.
The fund called OurFund Qure has a goal to raise $50 million and fund about 15 companies, said Allen Kamer, one of the managing partners of the fund, in an email forwarded by a representative.
The other managing partner is Dr. Yossi Bahagon, a practicing physician. He founded and was CEO of Luminox Health, an Israeli healthcare startup specializing in digital medicine that OurCrowd acquired by OurCrowd in June.
In a sign that digital health tools cannot be developed in a vacuum and need physician input and testing in a clinical environment, OurCrowd Qure is partnering with Johns Hopkins.

Cisco Aims to Hook up 100 Smart Cities in India
U.S. networking hardware giant Cisco Systems is looking to transform 100 Indian metropolises into smart cities with connected technology. Since first setting up shop in India in 1995, Cisco has expanded to its current level of 11,000 employees.
Robbins said that in those two decades, Cisco has gained a deeper knowledge of the challenges facing the fast-growing country. And he says his company has helped India tackle big challenges in the areas of healthcare and education.
“It is absolutely amazing to see the technology helping students read better and transforming healthcare in the Indian villages,” he said. “This is what actually drives Cisco.”


Uber for Doctors: U.K. App Hails a GP to Your Home
Now you can hail a doctor as easily as an Uber, using an app called GPDQ, or General Practitioner Delivered Quick.
A few taps on your phone, and a physician will arrive on your doorstep within 90 minutes, according to GPDQ's website. The doctors are on call from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year, and will spend at least 25 minutes with you.
Of course, it comes with a cost. The semi-privatized British health care system allows GPDQ to charge between $190 and $240 Cdn.

The Curative Power of Patient Stats: How Data Could Reveal the Cure for Cancer
While hospitals have been capturing patient clinical data for many years, it’s only been recently that people started asking what would happen if, instead of destroying patient clinical information after a successful course of treatment, organizations research it and apply it to help future patients with similar medical issues? Given the huge amount of data, it would have been a daunting task not too long ago; however, with recent advances in technology that provide better data storage and research, it has become a much more feasible idea

Wareable Tech Awards 2016: All the winners revealed
Our first ever Wareable Tech Awards are done and dusted. 200 tech founders, executives, designers and invited journalists attended our bash at the historic Shoreditch Town Hall in London's Tech City. 
Click the link to see all the Award winners and Highly Commended devices, platforms, projects and startups below. And check out all the shortlists for each Award here.

Oxyent Technologies Wins the IBM Smartcamp for Health Tech 2016
BM (NYSE:IBM) in association with T-Hub and Manipal Hospitals,  announced Oxyent Technologies as the winner of its IBM Smartcamp for Health Tech 2016 challenge, an exclusive program aimed at identifying Startups having  cutting edge innovations in the healthcare industry in India. UE Life Sciences and DailyRounds were second and third winners respectively. The event held on October 21, 2016 at T-Hub’s Catalyst building was a great opportunity for the participating startups to present their solutions to a panel of VCs, angel investors, enterprise CIOs, IBM executives and key influencers in the health care domain. The winners were felicitated by Mr BVR Mohan Reddy, Former Chairman of Nasscom at the event.

Prime Health’s High-Tech Challenge Awards $150K to Digital Startups
A non-invasive bladder monitor, software to combat lung cancer and an app that identifies high-risk sexual behavior in adolescents are three technologies being developed right here in the Denver area. The three companies took the top awards at the recent Prime Health Challenge $150,000 competition that started with 30 contestants.
Littleton’s dBMEDx won the $75,000 top prize for its BBS Revolution, a device that scans a person’s bladder to determine volume — and nix the invasive catheter. Denver’s Matrix Analytics, awarded $50,000 for its second-place finish, collects data to optimize care of patients with lung cancer. In third place was $25,000-winner Preventative Technology Solutions, a Loveland app developer that takes youth’s responses and combines it with a research-based algorithm to determine eight levels of sexual risk.


Ontario's e-Health Journey (2011)
eHealth Ontario’s mandate and challenges [were] inherited from the past. The provincial e-Health organization is charged with harnessing technology information and innovation to enhance outcomes for patient access, care and safety. In the aftermath of the controversies of 2008 surrounding eHealth Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), which culminated in a formal audit by the province’s Auditor General and a change in leadership at the arm's-length organization, expectations about outcomes and skepticism about future success still abound.

Québec's e-Health Journey (2012)
For more than a decade, Québec has acknowledged that its vision of healthcare delivery requires the enabling assistance of e-Health standards and solutions. The ongoing debate among the province's healthcare stakeholders has focused on what Québec expects to achieve from its efforts and investments in e-Health and how to proceed efficiently and effectively to secure those outcomes for its entire population in a reasonable period of time.

eHealth Advances in Support of People with Complex Care Needs: Case Examples from Canada, Scotland and the US (2016)
This article presents three case examples from Ontario (Canada), Scotland and Kaiser Permanente Colorado (United States) to identify how various jurisdictions are using health-related IT technology to address multimorbidity.


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