I made this announcement to 56,516 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. I’m also now using Constant Contact to send an html and image-rich version of my announcements. You can subscribe to that version here.

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Jun 16, 2017 ⋅ #279

Dear Group,

Philips has launched their 2nd annual Future Health Index, which is the result of surveys and interviews with over 33,000 stakeholders globally (including yours truly). The study evaluates how health systems can use digital technology to prepare for the future by looking at where connectivity has the most benefit, and where it needs further investment to ease the burden on healthcare systems. Creating a system fit for the 21st century is a complicated process, but this report aims to increase understanding about where society is, and point to sustainable solutions that will ultimately yield better health for all. You can download the report here.

In my previous newsletter, I focused on how digital health can help to ameliorate healthcare disparities. While conducting background research on the Philips Future Health Index report, I came across a story about a ‘hospital on wheels’ being deployed by Philips India.

Note that the above is sponsored content. The support from Philips and other companies is vital to sustaining my social entrepreneurship work, so if you are interested in doing the same and have content, an event, product, and/or service for which you’d like to obtain global visibility, please do reach out for more info on my services.

As previously mentioned, I’m seeking a direct role with a company or organization that would, ideally, complement and leverage all that I’ve built and am doing, including my keynote speaking, weekly newsletter, Digital Health LinkedIn group, and contributing editor role at Innovation and Tech Today. My professional bio is viewable here. Please contact me if you see a potential fit or would like to advertise in my announcements, newsletter, and website. Please do not contact me with partnering, equity-only, or commission-type offers.

I’ve published two issues of The Digital Health Newsletter since last week’s group announcement. I’ve copied and pasted the text from each newsletter below for better web-search (SEO) and archival purposes.

The Digital Health Newsletter for June 13

Philips has launched their 2nd annual Future Health Index, which is the result of surveys and interviews with over 33,000 stakeholders globally (including yours truly). The study evaluates how health systems can use digital technology to prepare for the future by looking at where connectivity has the most benefit, and where it needs further investment to ease the burden on healthcare systems. Creating a system fit for the 21st century is a complicated process, but this report aims to increase understanding about where society is, and point to sustainable solutions that will ultimately yield better health for all. You can download the report here.

In my previous newsletter, I focused on how digital health can help to ameliorate healthcare disparities. While conducting background research on the Philips Future Health Index report, I came across a story about a ‘hospital on wheels’ being deployed by Philips India.

As The Economic Times’ Healthword reports, the ‘IntelliSafari’ mobile van showcases Philips’ affordable high-end patient monitoring and care equipment as part of an intensive awareness campaign focused on hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics across India. Products on display are designed to treat patients ranging from adults to neonates in ICU, CCU, as well as general hospital wards and nursing care units.

According to Shankar Seshadri, Sr. Director and Business Head for Patient Care & Monitoring Solutions and Ultrasound, “Through the IntelliSafari drive we want to assure people that advanced technological solutions need not always come at a cost. Healthcare products which are affordable, and having high-technology features and qualitative solutions are key to increasing access to healthcare in India and thereby saving lives.”

CONSUMER / LIVING & SOCIETY

Online fashion apparel retailer Stitch Fix is using algorithmic design in an effort to become the Netflix of fashion. Customers fill out an online questionnaire about their body size, style, clothing fit preferences, and can even link their Pinterest profile to let the company learn more about them. Algorithms then feed the human stylists and are also being used to automatically design new pieces.

An artificial whisky taster is using a synthetic tongue to pick out different qualities in whiskies, including the brand, age, and origin. The system works by mixing fluorescent dyes into the distillation and evaluating the brightness of each dye to determine the origin, age, and whether it’s a blended or single malt. Researchers are also setting their sights on red wine.

Stephanie Lee reports in Buzzfeed that celebrities are promoting a nearly-$500 food test (offered by a company called Pinnertest) that purports to reveal your food intolerances. Stars endorsing the product include Lindsay Lohan and Mario Lopez. The company claims that its test screens for proteins in your blood that are related to food intolerances. But experts state that there’s no evidence that these biomarkers are associated with the claims being made.

I watched a great documentary on HBO about healthy aging and living life to the fullest. Titled ” If You’re Not In the Obit, Eat Breakfast“, the film looks at the lives of people like actor Dick Van Dyke who, even in his 90s, continues to stay active, which he says has been his key to a long and vital life. Blue Zones author Dan Buettner appears briefly and adds that, “Whether you’re 9 or 90, do what you love, but do it every day.” The  Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert also reviewed the film.

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
Engadget’s Christopher Trout took an interactive tour of creative technology and content creation studio The Mill’s alternate reality art showcase entitled “Move Me”. The exhibit featured CGI augmented reality (AR) singing llamas, VR “nightmares”, and an EEG-enabled biometric relaxation experience, through which your breathing controls your motion within the dreamscape.

HEALTHCARE

After losing his son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Microsoft data scientist John Kahan wanted to do something to help prevent this from happening to other babies. After hundreds of hours of data analysis and visualization, John and his colleagues have found correlations, including the association of early prenatal care with lower rates of deaths. According to Nino Ramirez, a neuroscientist at research partner Seattle Children’s Hospital, “The (SIDS) field is not that big, and it started with pediatricians, but none of them have a background in data science.”

A recent tweet by the  Veterans Health Administration included a video of World Congress Correspondent Mabel Jong interviewing Neil Evans, MD, who is Chief Officer of the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Connected Care and Associate Chief of Staff for Informatics. Last year, the Veterans Health Administration provided more than 2 million care visits through telehealth. Dr. Evans also points out that during that time 700,000 patients received at least some portion of their care via one or more of three categories of telehealth deployed by the VA.

GENOMICS

Following a controversial  paper in Nature Methods suggesting that the gene-editing tool CRISPR had caused unexpected mutations in the genomes of mice and was therefore too dangerous to use as a drug, several companies are hitting back with letters to the publication. As MIT Tech Review’s Antonio Regalado reports, Nessan Bermingham, CEO of Intellia, called for the journal to retract the paper

Red Bull surprised me in profiling genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter in an installment of their video series ” The Resilient: Visions of Greatness“. As they state, “Those who can weather the many defeats on the road to success are the ones who ultimately achieve their dreams. Craig Venter, the man who mapped the human genome, and skateboard pioneer Stacy Peralta show how they persisted in the face of failure.”

The Digital Health Newsletter for June 9

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the  World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is being built by and for the wealthiest people in the world and that we need to make sure it also works for the poorest. Speaking at the ITU and XPRIZE Foundation’s AI for Good Global Summit, Dr. Chan asked: “What good does it do to get early diagnoses of skin or breast cancer if a country does not provide the opportunity for treatment or if the price of medicines are not affordable?”

Indeed, there are major economic-based disparities in access to diagnostics and treatments in all parts of the world. For example, as Nelson Schwartz at the NY Times recently reported, there’s an egregious example here in the United States of a $40,000 per year concierge medicine service that provides clients with exclusive physician networking-based access to healthcare at, effectively, a medically-unjustified higher priority level than other patients receive.

Notwithstanding the many examples of disparities in access and benefits achieved from digital-based technologies alluded to by Dr. Chan, it’s important to note the myriad examples of digital health that are democratizing and improving access to healthcare services for all stakeholders. One example being deployed in Sub-Saharan Africa is nonprofit Peek Vision’s smartphone-based eye exam, retinal imaging, and population vision screening platform. The system uses decision-making algorithms plus cloud-based automated data analysis and reporting. Peek has set up over 100 temporary eye clinics in Kenya and counts partners like the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and 18 primary health care clinics in the region, which provide eye healthcare services.

Statistics: There are 39 million blind people globally, and in low-income countries, 80% of blindness is curable. The two main causes of eye problems are cataracts and refractive errors.

HEALTHCARE

According to a new Harvard study, the U.S. is one of world’s worst when it comes to the health divide between the rich and the poor. Analyzing survey data on health and income in 32 countries, researchers found that poor Americans reported “worse health” significantly more than rich Americans. Nearly 40% of the poorest third stated that they had “fair or poor health”, which is compared to just 12.3% of the richest third. This places the United States in the bottom three out of the 32 nations in the report. Factors reportedly responsible for the gap include the high number of uninsured (especially prior to the Affordable Care Act) and fewer social safety nets.

Investigators from MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates conducted a Connect 4 Health trial to tackle childhood obesity. The focus was to educate parents and teens on decreasing screen time, improving diet quality, increasing physical activity, improving sleep, plus promoting social and emotional wellness. One group received just a monthly text message while another group was contacted every other month by health coaches plus received more frequent text messages and emails. BMI was slightly better in the latter group and improvements in health-related quality of life was significantly better.

By using a combination of brain scans and other measures, an algorithm is helping to forecast autism in babies as young as six months old. Combining the scan-derived brain activity data and behavioral test scores, researchers noted the differences between children with autism and those without it. Then, using just the brain activity data for a test infant, the algorithm was used to predict whether she would be diagnosed with autism by the age of two. By repeating this machine learning process over and over the computer was eventually able to identify 9 out of 11 children with autism. Moreover, it did not misdiagnose children who don’t have autism.

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

Two people spent 48 hours in VR to assess the arbitrary limits of its use time. According to Dean Johnson, every company that he invited to participate in the project turned him down because they “thought we’d die”. A use case he describes is assessing pain while getting a tattoo, both while inside and outside of a VR environment. With the headset off being a pain benchmark of 10, he stated that it was reduced to a 6 or 7 while on. He also used an Apple Watch to measure his heart rate, which dropped from 103 to 74 BPM.

A controversial lab in Montréal, Canada is using VR to assess sex offenders. As Olivia Solon reports in The Guardian, the lab is under intense scrutiny from ethical committees and the police in Quebec. The stated intent is to use the VR system results “combined with other psychological assessments” and “build up a profile of the individual’s sexual preferences that can be used by the court to determine the risk they pose to society and by mental health professionals to determine treatment.”

The virtual reality market is projected to reach $5 billion by 2021, according to PwC’s annual Entertainment & Media Outlook forecast (the first time VR has been included in the report). This equates to an annual growth rate of 64%. As Paul Bond reports in The Hollywood Reporter, this represents nearly half as much as movies will generate at the box office, which will grow at a rate of just 1.2% (reaching $11.2 billion) over the same period of time. It’s also expected that VR for video and movies will ultimately eclipse video games in market size.

Participants in an out-of-body VR simulation study report lower anxiety about death compared to a control group.

According to researcher Mel Slater, they “wanted to see what the effects were of establishing a strong feeling of ownership over a virtual body, and then moving people out of it, so simulating an out-of-body experience. According to the literature, out-of-body experiences are typically associated with changes of attitudes about death, so we wanted to see if this would happen with a virtual out-of-body experience.”

ENABLEMENT

A new way to assist blind people and those with poor eyesight to navigate is being developed by MIT’s Daniela Rus. The programmable wearable system uses a camera and belt to create a 3D image of the area in front of the person. By analyzing objects in the user’s surroundings, the vibrating motors placed around the belt silently guide the user with modulated vibrations that convey specific information, like finding an empty seat in a crowded lecture theatre.

Seeking a method to overcome the unsustainable benefits of deep brain stimulation and levodopatherapy, researchers used spinal cord stimulation to help improve the gait of people with Parkinson’s disease. Results of the procedure showed 50-65% improvement in gait and 35-45% in both  UPDRS III and quality-of-life scores. The researchers concluded that spinal cord stimulation at 300 Hz was well tolerated and led to a significant improvement in gait.

GENOMICS

Following a STAT news report in Feb, the FBI and officers from the inspector general’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services have raided the offices of Proove Biosciences. The company reportedly paid doctors to promote its genetic tests and questionnaires for determining a patient’s likelihood of becoming addicted to opioids. According to STAT’s Charles Piller, a regulatory loophole allows some genetic testing companies to operate without government oversight on the medical value of their tests.

Related: The FDA has requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals pull its opioid painkiller ‘Opana’ from the market due to its high potential for abuse.

According to a new report from Transparency Market Research, the “Genomics Personalized Health Market” will be worth $25.1 billion by 2025. The firm segments the market as follows: Technology (NGS platforms, RT-PCR, Microarray, Sequencing and genetic analyzers, Others), Disease Test Type: (Oncology, Infectious, Orphan, Autoimmune, Obstetrics, Others), and End-User (Academics & Research Institutes, Diagnostic Centers, Others).

Note: At the time of this newsletter, a Becker’s Hospital Review posting of this report incorrectly puts the number at $25.1 million, vs $25,112 million.

Copyright © 2017 Paul Sonnier

Follow me on Twitter @Paul_Sonnier for all the news I share each day.

SERVICES OFFERED: ADVERTISING, EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY CONSULTING, AND KEYNOTE SPEAKING
If you are a digital health company, event organizer, or provider of other relevant solutions or services you can advertise in my announcements, on my website, and Twitter. Doing so puts you in front of 50,000+ targeted global prospects each week. I also provide strategic consulting and keynote speaking. Contact me for my media kit, standard plans, and pricing.

Paul Sonnier
Keynote Speaker ⋅ Management Consultant ⋅ Social Entrepreneur
Contributing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today
Founder, Digital Health group on LinkedIn ⋅ 50,000+ members
Creator, Story of Digital Health
Facebook: StoryOfDigitalHealth
Instagram: @StoryofDigitalHealth
Twitter: @Paul_Sonnier
San Diego, CA, USA

 

StoryofDigitalHealthLogo

 

The post The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Jun 16, 2017 ⋅ #279 appeared first on Paul Sonnier – Story of Digital Health.