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Update on the ecosystem

posted Nov 25, 2012, 9:52 PM by Dmitri Boulanov   [ updated Nov 25, 2012, 10:00 PM ]
A few bits of news and bits on the ecosystem that we've come across on the web in the last few weeks.

0) Article speaks for itself. This is part of what we're after - one of our biggest incentives: 

"...Dash also thinks attaching the ECG leads to the back of an iPhone is a clever idea. People are more likely to carry their phones than bulkier gadgets, potentially leading to higher patient compliance and more regular monitoring, he said. As smartphone-attached personal data trackers, like sleep, step and glucose monitors, become more mainstream, such a device could also gain popularity. In the more distant future, the remote monitoring could even become automated, said Topol. After a patient’s data uploads to the cloud, an algorithm would scan it for abnormalities. If any are found, a medical program would send instructions to take another reading or visit a doctor..."

Perhaps we could partner with AliveCor in the future. 

2) Exciting news about some continuous remote monitoring sensors being tested out by Toumaz Ltd in California:

"...Toumaz is testing the continuous monitoring capabilities of SensiumVitals for capturing heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature of patients in general hospital wards. Without the disposable plaster sensors, St. John’s clinicians have to record vitals manually every six to eight hours..."'

The key benefit of the hardware (something we hope to capture and provide with our platform as well) is well described in this article: 

"...picks up changes in the patient’s condition as they happen, allowing physicians and nurses to respond more quickly. This, according to the company, helps reduce costly hospital admissions, readmissions and transfers to intensive care... This, of course, has become more important to hospitals now that Medicare is no longer reimbursing for preventable readmissions within 30 days of discharge from inpatient treatment of heart attacks, congestive heart failure and pneumonia. Hospitals and health systems also are increasingly financially responsible for keeping patients out of high-acuity units as private and public payers demand more accountable care..."

We're currently working on focusing on one - two specific medical conditions, which our platform could help monitor well, and provide the benefits described above, to both patient and healthcare facilities.

3) About some new wireless fitness trackers, to be compared and contrasted against Fitbit. We hope we might be able to use some of their features in new ways to monitor for medical conditions. There's Shiny - which is waterproof and uses a cool new syncing technology:

"...syncing uses a special technology that doesn’t involve cables, docking stations, or even wireless pairing; all you need to do is place the 
Shine on your device’s screen..."

There's also Jawbone's UP wristband, which has the benefit of always being on your wrist (no clipping on/off like the other sensors) - a more passive sensor, if you will. Also waterproof and shockproof and is flexible. My favorite of the bunch - if it works - haven't tested it out yet.

4) Continuous (real-time) temperature readings can be transmitted by the newly FDA-cleared Raiing. This is something that will pose a challenge to the Node's thermometer (which is not continuous time). The advantage of the Node, of course, is its infrared thermometer readings - that are relative and unique person to person (imagine no calibration, just the system letting you know you're 'overheating' / have a fever, with no reliance on an absolute temperature reading, like is done today). Something that may be of more direct competition to the Node's infra-red thermometry may be found here.

5) Exciting news about sensor electronics made to be even more portable at Oregon State University:

"Some of the existing technologies that would compete with this system, such as pedometers currently in use to measure physical activity, cost $100 or more. The new electronics developed at OSU, by comparison, are about the size and thickness of a postage stamp, and could easily just be taped over the heart or at other body locations to measure vital signs..."

6) A fellow player in the remote monitoring space (focused on patient beds), EarlySense, gets additional funding. This makes me more confident in our positioning and timing - the space seems to be heating up, as does the need for our platform. Good stuff.