The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 31, 2016 ⋅ #254

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 31, 2016 ⋅ #254

I made this announcement to 52,895 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 31, 2016 ⋅ #254 Dear Group, The FDA has issued its final guidance on medical device cybersecurity, outlining how manufacturers should protect products like pacemakers and insulin pumps from cyberattacks. The agency wants companies to integrate methods to monitor and detect vulnerabilities and  share information about potential vulnerabilities with researchers, who can assess the risks posed to patients. This comes none too soon, as the black market value of stolen medical records has dropped so low that criminals are focusing less on stealing patient medical data (often used for medical billing fraud and identity theft) to profiting off of ransomware and, reportedly, “attacking” connected devices. Alarmingly, the medical info of almost half of all Americans is already out there. The NHS is now requiring that implants and medications get safety barcodes. The intent is to record every medicine and implant given to patients by scanning the product packet along with the patient’s identity wristband. According to UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the requirement could save the NHS £1 billion over the next seven years. One major benefit includes the ability for surgeons to compare the performance of different implants. Cardiologist Tim Wells stated that “This provides us with a level of data and insight that can be used to better challenge clinical practice and...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 24, 2016 ⋅ #253

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 24, 2016 ⋅ #253

I made this announcement to 52,804 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 24, 2016 ⋅ #253 Dear Group, Reinforcing why I include living and society as fundamental components of digital health, Canada has declared high-speed Internet of 50 Mbps or more to be essential for quality of life. The Internet is an essential part of modern living, which we regularly use for consumer finances, social interaction in communities like Facebook, health and fitness, and telehealth services. As such, it makes sense to consider it as a utility in the same sense as other modern necessities like running water, sanitation, and electric power. Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, stated that “The future of our economy, our prosperity and our society—indeed, the future of every citizen—requires us to set ambitious goals, and to get on with connecting all Canadians for the 21st century.” Digital-enabled therapy apps, chatbots, and related solutions hold great promise for improving access and quality of mental health care, plus reducing costs. A recent article in The Verge alleges there are some issues with one such service. Talkspace uses patient anonymity, which can supposedly impede the ability of therapists to report dangerous situations. As of this time, therapists who identify an issue have to ask...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 17, 2016 ⋅ #252

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 17, 2016 ⋅ #252

I made this announcement to 52,692 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 17, 2016 ⋅ #252 Dear Group, There has been a lot of consolidation and extinction in the smartwatch segment of late, but this in no way means that this important subsegment of wearable tech is dead, as many cringe-worthy headlines have claimed. In all the noise it was nice to see Neil Cybart’s perfectly titled and spot on analysis “The Elephant in the Smartwatch Room“, which mentions the fallen players—like Pebble, Motorola, Huawei, and LG—and shines a light on the remaining major players: Apple, Garmin, and Samsung. Guess which is the elephant? While there are a multitude of consumer health and medical uses for wearable tech (the umbrella category under which smartwatches reside), three recent applications caught my eye. A new study suggests that “white-coat hypertension”—where a patient exhibits high blood pressure only during a doctor’s office visit—is actually less common than the opposite condition, “masked hypertension”, in which blood pressure measurements are lower in the doctor’s office. A portable blood pressure cuff revealed that 16% of participants had normal in-office readings but turned out to have high blood pressure the rest of the day. So there are two separate issues highlighted: 1) Doctors may be missing people with masked hypertension...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 10, 2016 ⋅ #251

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 10, 2016 ⋅ #251

I made this announcement to 52,548 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 10, 2016 ⋅ #251 Dear Group, I happened across a really amazing short video documentary on the NY Times website featuring photographer Phillip Toledano’s experience with genetic testing for his disease risks and his ensuing recreation of his “worst” and “best” future self. He actually worked with a movie makeup artist to create different versions of himself, the result being a visually stunning journey. I tweeted Phillip asking him if he planned to take things further, and he replied that “the whole journey begins and ends in the movie“. So it seems that there won’t be a “The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano Part 2”. In other genomics news, the court case to determine ownership of the CRISPR gene editing patent commenced in Virginia. MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard University are up against the University of California, Berkeley. CBC News (Canada) has a fascinating video segment reviewing the various genetic tests on the market and the disparity in results provided to users. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book “The Gene: An Intimate History” was reviewed by Bill Gates, who also did a video interview with the author. DNA biohackers created a DIY kit that brews glowing beer. The FDA took notice (but...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 3, 2016 ⋅ #250

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 3, 2016 ⋅ #250

I made this announcement to 52,420 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Dec 3, 2016 ⋅ #250 Dear Group, Digital Health World Congress 2017 is taking place in London, UK from May 23-24. This is the leading technology digital healthcare conference in the UK and Europe, serving as a forum for medtech, mobile, IoT, and IT industry events. Taking place in the Great Hall, Kensington and Chelsea Conference Center, the program will be filled with distinguished speakers covering all aspects of medical and mobile technology including ehealth, mhealth, telehealth, telemedicine, genomics, and healthcare IT. Learn more and register to attend here. Wearable fitness device maker Fitbit is acquiring smartwatch maker Pebble for around $40M. Both companies have been struggling in an overall soft market. Even sales for category leading Apple Watch have slowed, as consumers awaited the recent launch of the Series 2 device. As such, the holiday season may see a double-boost. Currently, 15.2% of Americans own a smartwatch, fitness, or other type of wearable tech device, and 9.3% of prospective new buyers say they intend to purchase a wearable in the next year. 47% of wearable sales in the U.S. are in the smartwatch category compared to dedicated fitness bands. For Fitbit, the Pebble acquisition puts them much more...