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The Internet of Medical Things Gold Rush (And My Grandfather’s Wooden Leg)

By MICHAEL MILLENSON 

The most intriguing aspect of the recent Connected Health Conference was the eclectic mix of corporations claiming cutting-edge expertise in the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

HP, a legend in computer hardware, was touting a service that scoops data from Web-enabled home devices such as bathroom scales up into the cloud and then manages the information on behalf of your doctor. This presumably fulfills their corporate vow to “engineer experiences that amaze.”

Verizon, not content with deploying its cable TV clout to “deliver the promise of the digital world,” is connecting to a chip on the lid of your pill container that can monitor whether you’re taking your medications.

Even Deloitte, rooted in corporate auditing, has translated its anodyne assertion that “we are continuously evolving how we work” into a partnership with Google. DeloitteASSIST uses machine learning to translate verbal requests from hospital patients into triaged messages for nurses.
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Silencing Noisy Health Care?

By MATTHEW HOLT

As you’ve probably heard (enough!) from me and Indu Subaiya over recent months on video, at Health 2.0 or here on THCB, we are finally arriving at the point where health care tech is “flipping the stack” — where we realize that we can’t practice the old way, and instead need to move the care of the chronically ill to an always on, always monitoring, always measuring, always messaging tech platform.

But we need to figure out a way to both create that platform and the services for the people who need help–without overwhelming them. Too often we are putting too much technology into patients’ and clinicians’ lives and creating too much noise. While I’ve been aping Bob Wachter calling for an air traffic control function in health care, one of the most interesting new companies in health tech/services, Livongo, has been working on a  related idea. They’ve been promoting it by looking to #SilenceNoisyHealthCare on Twitter and Linkedin recently

Tuesday 30th at 1 ET – 10 PT I’m hosting a webinar with Livongo’s CEO Glen Tullman & Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Schneider, M.D. Jessica DaMassa tweeted that Glen and I are in a cage match, and it is an Oxford v Cambridge affair (although Jennifer brings some Stanford & Hopkins class to the proceedings).

But what’s really going on is that Livongo is adopting a new philosophy that they think will silence the noise and fix the patient experience. What do they mean by that? Join me on the webinar to learn more

 

THCB Spotlights: Livio AI

By ZOYA KHAN

Today we are featuring another #TechCrunchDisrupt2018 THCB Spotlight. Matthew Holt interviews LivioAI, which is an AI hearing aid created by Starkey Technologies. Worldwide, there are 700 Million people with hearing loss but only 10% wear a device to help them. That number is appalling especially because there are a number of co-morbid illnesses linked with hearing loss, like cognitive and physical decline! That is where LivioAI comes in to play. LivioAI is completely controlled by your iPhone, tracks all types of movements (it is always counting your steps so the steps you miss when you put down are also accounted for), classifies acoustic environments to measure your social engagement (it can register the difference between a noisy restaurant and a library to figure out how much you are participating in a situation), and even translates foreign languages directly into your ear with its voice-activated platform. It is connected with Apple Health and Google Fit and can measure data to observe patterns of co-morbid illnesses. It is the new Fitbit, but for the ear! As LivioAI’s motto goes “Hear better, Live better.”

Zoya Khan is the Editor-in-Chief of THCB as well as an Associate at SMACK.health, a health-tech advisory services for early-stage startups.

Hoarding Patient Data is a Lousy Business Strategy: 7 Reasons Why

By VINCE KURAITIS & LESLIE KELLY HALL

Vince Kuraitis

Leslie Kelly Hall

Among many healthcare providers, it’s been long-standing conventional wisdom (CW) that hoarding patient data is an effective business strategy to lock-in patients — “He who holds the data, wins”. However…we’ve never seen any evidence that this actually works…have you?

We’re here to challenge CW. In this article we’ll explore the rationale of “hoarding as business strategy”, review evidence suggesting it’s still prevalent, and suggest 7 reasons why we believe it’s a lousy business strategy:

  1. Data Hoarding Doesn’t Work — It Doesn’t Lock-In Patients or Build Affinity
  2. Convenience is King in Patient Selection of Providers
  3. Loyalty is Declining, Shopping is Increasing
  4. Providers Have a Decreasingly Small “Share” of Patient Data
  5. Providers Don’t Want to Become a Lightning Rod in the “Techlash” Backlash
  6. Hoarding Works Against Public Policy and the Law
  7. Providers, Don’t Fly Blind with Value-Based Care

Background

In the video below, Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale University School of Medicine capsulizes the rationale of hoarding as business strategy.

We encourage you to take a minute to listen to Dr. Krumholz, but if you’re in a hurry we’ve abstracted the most relevant portions of his comments:

“The leader of a very major healthcare system said this to me confidentially on the phone… ‘why would we want to make it easy for people to get their health data…we want to keep the patients with us so why wouldn’t we want to make it just a little more difficult for them to leave.’ …I couldn’t believe it a physician health care provider professional explaining to me the philosophy of that health system.”

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Make Hackathons Fair Again

By FRED TROTTER

On Oct 19, I will begin to MC the health equity hackathon in Austin TX, which will focus on addressing healthcare disparity issues. Specifically, we will be using healthcare data to try and make an impact on those problems. Our planning team has spent months thinking about how to run a hackathon fairly, especially after the release of a report that harshly criticized how hackathons are typically run.

A Wired article written earlier this year trumpets a study called “Hackathons As Co-optation Ritual: Socializing Workers and Institutionalizing Innovation in the ‘New’ Economy,” which criticizes the corporate takeover of hackathons. Hackathons are inherently unfair to participants according to these two sociologists.

They argue that hackathons have become a way for corporations to trick legions of technologists into working for free. To a sociologist, that looks like exploitation, and it is hard to see how they are wrong.

After reading the article, I was struck by how many things about typical hackathons are backward:

  • Hackathons romanticize workaholism and celebrate insomnia – With hackathons typically running 24-72 hours straight, sleep is for the weak. Those who don’t sleep are seen as heroes.
  • Junk food is the only option – Most hackathons provide unhealthy snacks, high in fructose and low in protein. Participants are expected to fuel their unpaid work sprints with sugar and caffeine. These are frequently the only eating options available.
  • Healthy work patterns ensure that there are breaks. Opportunities to chat, or walk and take a break from work. And the idea of encouraging people to get up and move, let alone stretch, is unheard of at these hackathons. Hundreds of geeks, unable to shower, or leave the room, can create a pretty bad smell.
  • Judging is at best arbitrary, and in some cases completely rigged, with winners sometimes chosen in advance.

On occasion, I have seen harder stimulants used. Although I have never seen anyone on cocaine win, it does make for super-engaging project presentations. The presentations were not good, mind you, just engaging… In the “Holy Moses, this guy is about to present when he is clearly high AF” sense.

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Ensuring that the 21st Century Cures Act Health IT Provisions Promotes Interoperability and Data Exchange

By KENNETH D. MANDL, MD; DAN GOTTLIEB;
JOSH C. MANDEL, MD

Josh Mandel

Kenneth Mandl

Dan Gottlieb

The opportunity has never been greater to, at long last, develop a flourishing health information economy based on apps which have full access to health system data–for both patients and populations–and liquid data that travels to where it is needed for care, management and population and public health. A provision in the 21st Century Cures Act could transform how patients and providers use health information technology. The 2016 law requires that certified health information technology products have an application programming interface (API) that allows health information to be accessed, exchanged, and used “without special effort” and that provides “access to all data elements of a patient’s electronic health record to the extent permissible under applicable privacy laws.”

After nearly two years of regulatory work, an important rule on this issue is now pending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), typically a late stop before a proposed rule is issued for public comment. It is our hope that this rule will contain provisions to create capabilities for patients to obtain complete copies of their EHR data and for providers and patients to easily integrate apps (web, iOS and Android) with EHRs and other clinical systems.

Modern software systems use APIs to interact with each other and exchange data. APIs are fundamental to software made familiar to all consumers by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. APIs could also offer turnkey access to population health data in a standard format, and interoperable approaches to exchange and aggregate data across sites of care.

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10 Houses, 2 Days, 1 City SERENDIPITY Returns to SF and We’re Joining In!

By ANNE COCQUYT

On October 26-27 SERENDIPITY is coming back to San Francisco with an opportunity-packed, two-day personal and professional development conference. Hosted by the digital networking platform GUILD, this conference is not your average conference.  With 40 half-day sessions, curated networking meetings, family-style dinners, and an opportunity-filled cocktail reception, it is uniting more than 500 women across experience and industries.

There’s magic to be had and we want you to join us! We’ll be sponsoring the Women’s Health House over the two days where speakers like Laura Kyriazis, Nimisha Gandhi, Jessica Da Massa, Zoya Khan, Medell Briggs, Meghan Conroy, and Lauren Weinger will empower women of all ages, across all industries to build their network and speak about topics that are not usually on an agenda at a tech conference. They are hosting panels on self-care, family planning, FemTech, public health, menopause, and kegel exercises.

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Health in 2 Point 00 Episode 53

Where is Matthew Holt reporting from today? He is at the Novartis Biome Launch Event! And that’s not all, we have some special guest stars for you: Unity Stoakes from StartUpHealth and Zoya Khan from THCB & SMACK.health! Join Jessica Da Massa, as she asks Matthew about what the Novartis’s Biome Event is, updates from StartUp Health (they have a print magazine now!), and talks about JP Morgan Week coming up in January!

A Challenge Posed; A Challenge Answered

SPONSORED POST

By JOHN EL-MARAGHY

What is the first word that comes into mind when someone says “health” or “health tech?” In 2018, the answer is likely “Opioid” and “Artificial Intelligence (AI).” With a growing public interest in combating opioid abuse and advancing AI, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) teamed up with Catalyst to launch two innovation challenges on those two topics. The first challenge, “the Opioid Challenge,” was designed to address the opioid crisis and support those affected by the opioid misuse while the second challenge, “the AI and the Healthcare Consumer Challenge,” aimed to leverage AI to assist consumer decision making. The challenges sought innovators and entrepreneurs from all around the world and garnered nearly 200 registrations.

Through a rigorous vetting process, 100 amazing competitors proceeded to phase one and five semi-finalists advanced to phase two. Along the way, expert judges analyzed the submissions on a variety of factors such as scalability, impact, UX/UI and more. The final phase of the challenge, a live pitch, was held at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Santa Clara where both the expert judges and the audience had a say in who would take home the grand prize.

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Health in 2 Point 00 Episode 52

Today on the 52nd episode of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess reports from InsurTechConnect 2018! In this episode, Jess asks Matthew about RockHealth’s $6.8 billion fundraise to date & its $3 Billion raise in Q3, Weight Watcher’s rebranding itself and pushing into the wellness space, and (just in time we might add) Maven, a women’s digital health clinic, series B round of $27 million from Oak HC/FT

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