Friday, December 24, 2010

Global home health remote monitoring market worth $10 billion in 2010

The global market for home health remote monitoring of welfare diseases was valued in 2010 at some €7.6 billion ($10 billion) and is growing about 9 percent annually. The diabetes monitoring segment is by far the largest segment, worth about €6.3 billion ($8.2 billion). According to a report published by research firm Berg Insight.

The analyst firm said that the most common chronic diseases that are monitored today include diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep apnea, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

These conditions cause substantial costs and reduce both life expectancy and quality of life. Berg said that more than 200 million people in the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) suffer from one or several chronic diseases where home monitoring can become a treatment option.

At the end of 2010, an estimated 1 million patients used a home monitoring service based on equipment with integrated connectivity. The figure does not include patients that use monitoring devices connected to a PC or mobile phone; it only includes systems that rely on monitors with integrated connectivity or systems that use monitoring hubs with integrated cellular or fixed-line modems.

“Progress is being made in the adoption of wireless technology among manufacturers of medical monitoring equipment, but there is still a long way to go before remote monitoring becomes a standard practice in the healthcare sector,” said André Malm, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight. "Consumer-oriented health and wellness monitoring will drive the mHealth segment in the near term."

The report estimated that a growing number of wellness and medical monitors will be connected to mobile devices via Bluetooth and other short-range technologies. And that in the future smartphones are likely to be the primary monitoring device for many patients.

"More and more health and wellness apps are also being released for smartphones, ranging from BMI calculators, diet guides and sport trackers to medical reference apps," Malm said.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Report: mHealth apps market to triple to 600 million by 2012

The number of mobile health (mHealth) applications in use is expected to increase threefold by 2012 to 600 million from 200 million today, according to a new report published by Pyramid Research.

Pyramid experts conclude that the mHealth industry is well positioned to offer real solutions to the growing needs of the global healthcare sector. The report indicates that healthcare is facing an immediate crisis as there is a global deficit of 2.4 million healthcare workers and an international shortage of hospital beds worldwide. This leads to a situation in which governments, healthcare providers and insurance carriers are desperate to develop solutions that lower costs and improve patient care.

The report, titled "Key Players in Mobile Healthcare", indicates that some 70% of the world population is interested in having access to at least one mHealth application, and are also willing to pay for such services.

The author notes that the main obstacle to wider adoption of mHealth applications stems from costs associated with using such services. These expenditures include the costs of developing new services and educating healthcare providers, patients and payers. Another key question is how to justify such costs for reimbursement purposes?

"Healthcare solutions that are delivered via mobile technology are creating a new frontier of innovation that is driving down costs, increasing access, and improving quality of care," indicated Denise Culver, who wrote the report. "And even as mHealth connects, informs, and protects patients and caregivers in powerful ways, it also opens up many opportunities for mobile network operators like AT&T, BT, Orange, and Telefonica; original equipment manufacturers including Apple, RIM, and Ericsson; hardware and software vendors, such as Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google; and a new breed of device and application providers that specialize solely on mHealth, including CardioNet, Epocrates, and NowPos."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 ways pharmaceutical companies can benefit from mHealth apps

A recent article published by research2gudiance explains how smartphone applications can be instrumental for pharmaceutical companies.

The author, Ralf Gordon Jahns, names eight reasons and we at Aerotel Medical System added four more based on our own experience.
  • Potential reach:  High growth rates will enable pharmaceutical companies reach 20% of the world population by 2015, mainly in developed countries.
  • Differentiation: The potential for mHealth apps to support patient adherence and compliance makes them the ideal add-on for pharmaceutical products. Pharma companies offering applications will not only be providing a service, they will also differentiate their products from those offered by the competition.
  • Facilitate improved patients outcomes: Manufacturers have an opportunity to support patients by developing applications that assist them in achieving compliance, thereby improving their outcomes.
  • Contemporary marketing: Drug makers should re-allocate marketing budgets to applications, which are cheaper, more innovative, and represent a real value. 
  • Learn more about patients: Apps provide direct usage information which can assist in understanding patients' habits.
  • Saving costs: mHealth applications have the potential to offer various cost-saving areas.
  • Improve relations with doctors: Apps are very personal tools and are one of the few things that doctors always carry with them. It represents new possibilities to interact with physicians and other healthcare professionals. 
  • Increasing revenue: With the price for mHealth apps at $5 to $10, the possibility to develop apps that enable automatic replenishment of drugs based on patient consumption and electronic prescriptions exists.
We would add to the list:
  • Faster development - Sharing emerging health info between users thorough mobile apps can help research-based pharmaceutical companies and medical laboratories identify disease patterns and develop new solutions in a faster and safer way.
  • Clinical trials – Participants in clinical trials are required to provide information on their day-to-day moves. Using mHealth applications allows monitoring these patients in real time gathering critical data.
  • Pharmacovigilance – Mobile applications can be used to allow faster detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of unexpected side effects of new medicines. By using mHealth solutions, drug manufacturers can quickly gather such information from a large group of users who are located in different areas.
  • Fighting counterfeit medicines – The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 10% of medicines on the global market are fake and that in developing countries the some 25% are counterfeit or sub-standard. By using mobile applications, manufacturers can verify the authentication of their medicines.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Science Journal: mHealth brings hope to chronic disease patients

The usage of mobile devices equipped with Internet and social media capabilities presents real opportunity to enhance chronic disease prevention and management, according to a report published by Science Journal.

The authors, Deborah Estrin and Ida Sim note that chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, and obesity account for 46% of global disease burden.

They call for a public-private partnership to define and instantiate open mHealth architecture in order to support medical discovery and evidence based practice.

The main argument is that the development and treatment of chronic diseases usually takes place outside of traditional clinical settings. mHealth allows patients to collect and share relevant data with their medical staff at any given time allowing more rapid convergence to optimal treatment.

The report concludes that standardized interfaces and shared components are critical for realizing the full potential of mobile health care delivery and research.

"Government, commercial, and nongovernmental entities involved in health IT and innovation should cooperate to define and instantiate architecture, governance, and business models and to steer initial mHealth investments into open architecture," Estrin and Sim wrote.

"open mHealth architecture may encourage innovation by easing application development. Shared standards and reusable components may enable rapid authoring, integration, and evaluation of personal data capture for clinical care and research. Hospitals, accountable care organizations and public health practitioners could mix and match from a rich, flexible set of data acquisition and analysis components".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Report: Third of all smartphone users to use mHealth applications in 2015

Over half a billion smartphone users will use healthcare mobile application by 2015, according to a new report published by research2guidance.

The report titled “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015” predicts that over one third of all smartphone holders (1.4 billion people) will be using mHealth solutions in five years time.

The report notes that (43%) of mHealth applications are primarily designed for healthcare professionals. These include CME (Continued Medical Education), remote monitoring and health care management applications.

 The authors said that consumers are taking advantage of mHealth solutions to manage and improve their own health. “Our findings indicate that the long-expected mobile revolution in healthcare is set to happen," said Ralf-Gordon Jahns, Head of Research at research2guidance. "Both healthcare providers and consumers are embracing smartphones as a means to improving healthcare.”

Today, some 17,000 mHealth applications are offered in major app stores, 74% of them adhering to the paid business model. The report predicts that future business models will include healthcare services, sensor, advertising and drug sales revenues.

“With the growing sophistication level of mHealth applications, only 14% of the total market revenue in the next 5 years will come from application download revenue,” said Egle Mikalajunaite, senior research analyst. “76% of total mHealth application market revenue will come from related services and products such as sensors.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aerotel to present new wireless data hub device at Medica 2010

Aerotel Medical Systems will present a variety of remote monitoring and homecare solutions at Medica 2010, which will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany on November 17-20, 2009 (Hall 9/C01).

Aerotel intends to showcase its new data hub device, Connect-Cell, at Medica, which is the leading international trade fair for the medical industry.  

Connect-Cell can collect various environmental, industrial or personal data for remote monitoring applications. The innovative device has recently won the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Certification.

One of the most advanced applications of the Connect-Cell is as a homecare data hub that enables users to easily transmit vital signs data via the cellular network to a central monitoring center.

The new solution is already deployed in North America by AMC Health (New York), a leading homecare monitoring company that provides remote monitoring services for chronically ill patients belonging to more than 65 diverse health care organizations.

“The ageing population worldwide, along with rise in chronic diseases, creates an acute need to reduce health spending and improve medical services by using new innovative technology products,” said David Rubin, Aerotel Medical Systems President and CEO. “Aerotel homecare and personal health solutions addresses these needs by utilizing existing communications networks for the benefit of both patients and healthcare providers.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Aerotel to present at Mobile Health Expo 2010 in Las Vegas

Aerotel Medical Systems will showcase innovative mHealth solutions at the Mobile Health Expo, which will take place October 19-21, 2010 in Las Vegas.

Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel, will hold a presentation titled "Health in Action - Case Studies and Future Developments" Atzmon will present mHealth applications in the areas of homecare, chronic patient monitoring, ambulance services and medical alert. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, October 19 at 14:45.

Aerotel has been involved with various successful mHealth projects around the world and the company will show various solutions including wireless handheld ECG devices, wireless-based homecare hubs for chronic patients monitoring, personal wearable mobile alert systems, public mobile telehealth kiosks for use in remote and rural areas and more. Atzmon will also demonstrate some exciting wearable personal mHealth systems that are currently being developed.

Mobile Health Expo is the only event focusing on the convergence of mobile technology and healthcare across the entire mobile health ecosystem, including mHealth, telemedicine, wireless and connected health.

The event will focus on eight market drivers: aging at home, disease management, health inclusion for developed and developing countries, provider education, patient education, healthcare gaming, mobile wallets and benefits.

The 2010 event will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Key note speakers include: Dan Gillison, National Director of Vertical Industry, Healthcare at Sprint ;Scott Ellis, Business Development Manager for telemedicine at T-Mobile; and David Kalb, Director of M2M Business Development at AT&T.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Survey: 88% of US physicians wish patients use mHealth solutions

88 percent of American physicians would like their patients to be able to track and monitor their health at home, according to a recent survey conducted by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

American doctors said they are particularly interested regular updates on weight, blood sugar levels and vital signs. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the physicians surveyed said they are using mobile health solutions that aren't connected to their practice or hospital IT systems.

The survey has also indicated that 30% of US consumers are willing to use their smartphone to track and monitor their personal health. The PwC report, entitled Healthcare Unwired, further showed that 40% are willing to pay for a remote monitoring device.

The survey, which is based on 2,000 consumers and 1,000 physicians, indicates that wireless technology, remote monitoring and mobile devices are changing the nature of healthcare and reduce healthcare costs while keeping patients healthier.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute estimates the annual consumer market for remote and mobile monitoring devices and services to be $7.7 billion to $43 billion, based on the range consumers said they would be willing to pay.

"Remote and mobile technology is making it possible to move healthcare delivery outside the traditional settings of physician offices and hospitals to wherever patients are. It's bringing back the concept of doctors making house calls," said Daniel Garrett, leader of the health information technology practice, PwC.

"New consumer-oriented business models and technologies are emerging. Companies that will be well positioned competitively are those than can integrate mobile health into healthcare delivery and create value in the health system by helping doctors and their patients better manage health and wellness through mass personalization."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Caregivers willing to invest more than patients on home health monitoring

The number of US consumers, who care for an ill family member, that are willing to pay for a home health monitoring service, is 100 percent higher than the number o those willing to pay for the same services for themselves, according to a report by research company Parks Associates.

The report indicates that some 20% of US consumers are willing to pay for remote monitoring service, while only some 10% were willing to spend money for themselves.

The survey, titled Uptake of Personal Health Tools & Services, shows that motivations for adopting home health monitoring include:
  • Concerns by caregivers that they will be unable to accurately measure and track their loved one’s vital signs.
  • Fear that they will be unable to detect warning signs of health decline.
  • Acknowledgment that home monitoring is a good solution.
The report showed that over 70%, of those caring or planning to care for a fragile senior, feared most that the person in their care would take an accidental fall. 

“There is a self-pay market for home health monitoring, but interest is stronger among caregivers than patients,” said Harry Wang, director, Parks Associates’ health research team. “Companies in this market segment should target caregivers and emphasize how these technologies can quell their anxieties and help overcome the immense challenges of caring for a loved one who is sick or infirm.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Healthcare handheld devices sales to reach $8.8 billion in 2010

Sales of handheld device for healthcare use are expected to increase by 7 percent in next five years, according to a recent report published by healthcare research company Kalorama Information.

Global sales of healthcare devices are expected to rise to $8.8 billion from $8.2 billion in 2009.

The report, titled: The Global Handheld Healthcare Device Market, focuses on Patient Monitoring Devices and Administrative Devices.  The authors wrote that stimulus incentives designed to spur hospitals and physicians to use EMR systems are among several factors that will drive growth.

According to InformationWeek the report shows that in 2009, patient monitoring products generated a market worth about $5.3 billion for 2009 with a market share of 64%. This accounts for the largest share of sales in the handheld market, largely due to the range of product availability, number of conditions requiring monitoring, and increasing demand for essential monitoring products in portable sizes, such as ultrasound and ECG. PDAs and Smartphones for healthcare applications were worth about $2.6 billion combined in 2009.

“The ARRA incentives for electronic medical records do not specifically reimburse doctors for devices,” said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. “But they are getting healthcare organizations to think about IT purchases, and they are helping to make the argument for better electronic data entry, something that we think will lead to increased sales for devices used to enter data.”

Other factors which impact the growth of the market are:

•    Growing and aging population, a
•    A shortage of qualified medical professionals
•    Cost restraints
•    Medical error reduction measures

“Healthcare workers need to be mobile, and so PDAs and monitoring devices have long been a good fit,” said Carlson.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FDA to change medical device regulation to shorten approval time

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to change regulations for medical device manufacturers in attempt to shorten approval time.

A report by news agency Bloomberg indicated that the FDA released proposed new requirements for the 510(k) program. According to Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the FDA intends to grant device companies a more predictable process while asking them for additional safety data.

Shuren said device makers will be asked to provide a complete summary of all information about the safety of their products. This will include clinical studies relevant to a product. 

The FDA intends to create a Science Council for its medical device unit to “assure quality and consistency” about “some of the tougher science questions,” Shuren said.

The agency also plans to streamline the application process for a category of devices that aren’t similar to earlier products and are deemed to have a low enough safety risk that human studies aren’t needed, Shuren said. The “de novo” process, a subject of frequent complaints by the device industry, has been plagued by “lengthy review timeframes and nontransparent data requirements,” Shuren said.

The agency expects to begin making the changes later this year after a 60-day public comment period, Shuren said.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mobile networks to bring health relief to Africa

Surging investments in mobile networks in Africa are expected to lead to a sharp increase in the usage of cellular infrastructure to improve health services.

The World Bank has recently announced an investment of $63.66 million in a regional network of 25 public health laboratories in Africa. The network will improve access to diagnostic services. The new multi-country laboratory network will help identify potentially devastating disease outbreaks at an early stage and enable African countries to act quickly and prevent the rapid spread of diseases across borders.

Among others, the new network will support the roll-out of new technology for drug resistance monitoring and provide for more efficient tuberculosis diagnosis most notably for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The project will include web-based knowledge sharing, e-learning modules, and health alerts. The project also supports joint training and capacity building across countries, joint operational research, regional coordination, and program management.

In the majority of African countries, penetration rates of mobile telephony stand at a moderate 25% creating a potential market of 500 million new subscribers. The potential is already attracting multinational mobile operators, who seek growth away from their stagnated markets.

A recent report in This is Africa illustrates how much potential there still is in Africa. It shows the case of the mobile market in Zimbabwe in which the subscriber base of local operator Econet more than tripled in 2009 from 1.2 million to 4 million.

The BBC has recently forecasted that the explosion of mobile use in developing countries will help transform health care. It gave as an example the story of DataDyne, which uses mobiles to gather information about vaccination rates and instances of HIV in Kenya.

According to Joel Selanikio, co-founder of DataDyne, while internet access via desktop or laptop computers is not readily available to all, many people, even in the developing world, have a mobile phone.

"We haven't even begun to realize what it means when every health worker, every schoolteacher, when literally everyone has a connection to the internet," Selanikio told The Guardian. "People underestimate the effects this change is having. I think it will rival the printing press for its effects on society."

Since DataDyne's software, episurveyor, became a mobile web application, its business has exploded with 2,000 downloads across 120 countries. With a company staff of just 10, this growth wouldn't have been possible if the software wasn't easy to use.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wall Street Journal: eHealth solutions save money and improve heart patient's quality of life

Remote monitoring of health problems for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients saves money and makes users life much easier, according to an article published in The Wall Street Journal.

The article stated that technology – which allows heart patients take readings like their weight, blood pressure and other key metrics using wireless and other technologies - is gaining traction.

The paper gave the example of Carolyn Brown, a 63-year-old retired teacher's aide from Bronx, N.Y., who started using a new monitoring system after she suffered two heart attacks.

The program puts a scale, blood-pressure cuff and glucose monitor into patients' homes and then collects the data daily via wireless or landline. The data is transmitted to a case manager or medical care giver allowing them to catch, and address, warning signs before the patient lands in the emergency room with shortness of breath or a heart attack. 

The featured equipment includes Aerotel's Connect-Cell, which is a Cellular-Based Homecare Data Hub enabling users to easily transmit vital signs data via the cellular network (GPRS) to a central monitoring center.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., says it pays about $6,300 for a Medicaid heart patient's typical hospital stay while the cost for the remote monitoring system is only $626.

"It is more important than ever for health plans and patients to combat medical costs, growing at a clip of between 6% and 9% a year, according to various estimates," the Wall Street Journal said. "Heart failure is a leading cause of hospital readmissions, with about 25% of patients returning to the hospital within 30 days. It's also one of the biggest single claims expenses at insurance companies. Aetna estimates that 40% of readmissions are avoidable".

The paper added that, a new study of 1,450 patients that published by Circulation,
the journal of the American Heart Association, showed that implantable defibrillators that wirelessly transmit data on the patient's heart function reduced in-hospital evaluations by 45%. Suspected cardiac events were evaluated in less than two days compared with 36 days.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Healthcare adoption of Wi-Fi networks and wearable sensors surges

Remote patient monitoring is one of the fastest growing areas of healthcare according to a report released by ABI Research.

The report indicates that the usage of Wi-Fi by the healthcare industry rose by more than 60% over the last year. The research company said that in the last 12 months Wi-Fi adoption grow in both wireless local area network and Wi-Fi RTLS (Real-Time Locations Systems) deployments. It added that high double-digit growth is expected to continue for at least the medium term. 

ABI noted that healthcare has started using other wireless technologies such as cellular M2M and wearable wireless sensors. Moreover, wireless communications continue to be adopted in healthcare applications ranging from Wi-Fi networks to wearable sensors.

“Wi-Fi adoption has helped overcome initial concerns about complexity and reliability of wireless within healthcare,” wrote ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins. “The growing number of wireless technologies and wireless applications being developed, piloted and deployed within healthcare further underline the level of interest in using wireless to improve the flexibility and efficiency of healthcare services around the world."

In a separate report ABI predicted that revenue from sales of Wi-Fi-enabled healthcare products worldwide (not including Wi-Fi-equipped medical equipment) will total $4.9 billion in 2014. This represents an increase of nearly 70% over today’s figure.

The importance of healthcare wireless and mobile technology was illustrated in a hearing of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health.  Rep. Michael F. Michaud, who chairs the committee, said that these technologies represent "the new frontier in health innovations, as well as a great way of increasing access to care for millions of veterans."

"Mobile health makes it possible for healthcare professionals to receive real-time health data such as vital signs, glucose levels and medication compliance because data from the patient's mobile sensors are relayed over wireless connections," Michaud said.

One such application was revealed in a report saying that STMicroelectronics plans to develop a wireless MEMS sensor that acts as a transducer, antenna and mechanical support for additional read-out electronics in a breakthrough platform developed by Swiss company Sensimed AG. This solution will enable better management of glaucoma patients via earlier diagnosis and treatment that is optimally tailored to the individual patient.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

European eHealth market to grow by 3% annually

The European eHealth market is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 2.9 percent, according to a report published by the European Commission. 

The final report, “Business Models for eHealth study”, which is based on a study funded by the ICT for Health unit of the European Commission’s DG Information Society and Media, expects the European eHealth market to reach some 15.6 million euro by 2012 compared to 14.2 million euro in 2008.

The study, which was coordinated by RAND Europe in partnership with Capgemini Consulting, confirms that France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are the principal European eHealth markets. The authors noted, however, that over the next three years all national eHealth markets will experience some form of growth in this area.

It should be noted that eHealth was defined by the European Commission as a Lead Market. The pivotal role of eHealth for Europe was confirmed at the 2009 EU Ministerial Conference in Prague and by the December 2009 conclusions of the European Council calling for the implementation of safe and efficient healthcare through eHealth. There has been a call for overarching governance structure so as to remove barriers to the development of eHealth in Europe.

The study introduces a set of policy recommendations for the European Commission and other stakeholders to improve the overall quality and efficiency of health services through eHealth. It called on national healthcare authorities, health professional associations, healthcare delivery organizations, the industry and the research community to share perspectives on applicable best practice and experience. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BRIC telemedicine market to surpass $418 million by 2014

The telemedicine technology market of the BRIC countries will increase to over $418 million by the year 2014, according to a new report published by research firm MarketsandMarkets

The market research report titled "BRIC Telemedicine Market" forecasts that the market of the largest emerging economics will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 16.6% to $307.4 million in the next five years. The telemedicine service market of BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will increase by 13.8% to $111 million in 2014.

The BRIC term was coined by US investment bank Goldman Sachs in 2001, which argued that based on their rapid development, BRIC bloc of countries would eclipse the world’s richest economies by 2050.

The authors of the report note that the BRIC telemedicine market is witnessing a significant growth due to increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF), asthma, hypertension, and diabetes.

They added that health services in BRIC countries are expanding their overall IT spending boosting demand for telemedicine services. In addition, growing demand for better healthcare services and growth in telecommunication network are also impacting the BRIC telemedicine market.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wireless medicine to revolutionize medical practice

Wireless medicine has the potential to revolutionize medical practice and to help curb healthcare costs, according to Dr. Joseph Smith, Chief Medical and Science Officer for the West Wireless Health Institute in La Jolla, California and former Vice President of Emerging Technologies for Johnson & Johnson in the Corporate Office of Science and Medicine.

In an interview with Medscape Business of Medicine, Dr. Smith said that the model of remote monitoring to control titratable therapy can be extended for nearly any chronic disease that has a measure of disease activity.

"It's easy to contemplate remote monitoring of heart failure and diabetes. It's not a big stretch to contemplate remote monitoring of autoimmune diseases or other forms of chronic diseases characterized by waxing and waning periods and exacerbations," he said. "I think we will readily monitor and titrate therapy at a distance for such patients to avoid the expensive decompositions of these chronic diseases."

The estimates are in line with a report published by Juniper Research earlier this year indicating that healthcare smartphone applications are expected to significantly contribute to mHealth revenues.

Dr. Smith added that remote monitoring equipment would also affect physician assistants, nurses, and other office staff who are typically involved in patient-monitoring interactions allowing them to do a better job of assuring that patients most in need of care get that care in places and times that are most appropriate.

The growing interest in telemedicine is also attracting large mobile phone manufacturers who show growing interest in this field.

So for example, RIM, the manufacturer of Blackberry mobile devices, and Vodafone announced recently a new services that allows doctors check the ECG of patients through mobile devices allowing them to get results in a much more efficient and less time consuming manner.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Aerotel to showcase personal homecare solutions at Brazil's Hospitalar 2010

Aerotel Medical Systems will present its innovative personal homecare solutions at the Hospitalar 2010 expo and conference, which will take place in São Paulo, Brazil on May 25-28, 2010.

During the show, Aerotel will showcase its e-CliniQ Homecare System for remote monitoring of various health parameters and other eHealth and mHealth solutions. Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel, will present the Heartline ECG Monitoring and GeoSkeepr Personal Safety Device at the Israeli booth at the Green Pavilion N87, which is located at the Expo Center Norte.

Hospitalar, which is the largest specialized event in the medical market in Latin America, is an international fair of products, equipment, services and technologies for hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies and clinics.

1,200 exhibitors will present their services and products to some 86,000 professional visitors. Hospitalar is organized in cooperation with MEDICA - World Fair of Medicine and is affiliated to the International Hospital Federation (IHF), the worldwide association of hospitals.

Aerotel's products Heartview P12/8, Heartview12L and HRS receiving software are already used and certified in Brazil market and the company has several local clients including ITMS, which provides a service to SAMU, the national ambulance service of
São Paulo state.

During the show Aerotel will hold a presentation describing the usage of mobile handheld ECG tele-monitoring devices by ambulance services and will present case studies of services in Brazil, Italy and in Russia.

Ambulance staffs (paramedics) use the devices to monitor people injured in car accidents or in various emergency situations at home. They can record the ECG trace and transmit it within minutes to a remote medical centre using their mobile phones. The service provides significant benefits, including critical time savings, enhanced level of emergency treatment, expert guidance to the ambulance staff and increased chances for patient recovery form critical situations.

Atzmon has presented already opportunities for cooperation in the field of Telemedicine and Home Telehealth, at a special seminar on technological cooperation between Brazil and Israel.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Aerotel to present innovative mHealth solutions at ATA 2010 conference

Aerotel Medical Systems will present new innovative and affordable personal Mobile Health (mHealth) solutions at the ATA 2010 conference, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas USA on May 16-18, 2010.

Aerotel will use the three day expo to demonstrate its Mobile-CliniQ, a mobile phone application that enables remote monitoring of various health parameters, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, blood glucose level, weight, etc.

This and other solutions, including e-CliniQ homecare, and other advanced telemedicine and telecare systems, will be presented by Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development and Marketing, at Aerotel's Booth 825 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

ATA 2010 is the world’s largest international meeting and tradeshow, which is focusing exclusively on telemedicine and telehealth. It is organized by The American Telemedicine Association and is aimed at answering growing public demand for telemedicine, which is now widely recognized as an integral part of modern quality healthcare.

With the spreading usage of smart phones, Web applications, remote monitoring devices and social media, a growing number of patients are using these tools to improve their own healthcare. At the ATA 2010, the advantages of telemedicine will be exposed in educational sessions, professional networking and access to vendors.

The general sessions at ATA 2010 feature insightful keynotes, including Aneesh Chopra, Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States, MG James K. Gilman, Commanding General, US Army Medical Research, and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, and John P. Howe, President & CEO of the international health foundation, Project HOPE.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthcare Smartphone apps to push mHealth revenues

Healthcare Smartphone apps are expected to significantly contribute to mHealth revenues according to a report released by Juniper Research.

The number of mobile fitness and healthcare application has already reached some 5,000. Most healthcare apps provide health information to professionals or end users, while fitness apps are available to measure calorie intake or measure distance travelled for those running.

According to the report healthcare Smartphone apps are expected to significantly contribute to mHealth revenues. Eventually a new market will spawn for advanced apps which integrate sensors worn on the body. It further indicated that in the past eighteen months there has been a renewed interest in mHealth from operators globally.

"Mobile monitoring will demonstrate substantial growth in the US and some other developed markets,” said Anthony Cox, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research.

Cox noted, however, that while mobile monitoring will contribute to healthcare cost savings in developed markets, national wealth and the structure of the healthcare market in a given geographical region will have an important bearing on the extent to which it is rolled out. "In Africa, for example, the opportunities for mHealth monitoring will be limited, instead, SMS based education programs will be rolled out there and these can be of great benefit."

The report also indicated that income from remote patient monitoring over cellular networks is expected to rise to almost $1.9 billion globally by 2014. The writers added that heart based monitoring in the US accounts for the bulk of early mobile monitoring roll-outs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aerotel to present tele-monitoring devices at Med-e-Tel 2010 Conference

Aerotel Medical Systems will present its new innovative products at the Med-e-Tel 2010 Conference that will be held at 14-16 April 2010 in Luxembourg.

Ofer Atzmon, vice president for business development and marketing at Aerotel, will hold a presentation that will demonstrate the usage of Telemedicine to enhance emergency care by ambulance services. The presentation will be held during the tele-cardiology session, which will take place on April 16 between 13:00 and 14:45, in conference room 2.

The presentation will feature the usage of mobile hand-held ECG tele-monitoring devices by ambulance services and will include case studies from Brazil, Italy and Russia.

It will feature Aerotel's wireless hand-held electrocardiogram (ECG) recorder/transmitter devices for measuring 12-lead ECG signals, by private and institutional ambulance emergency services.

Ambulance staffs (paramedics) use the devices in order to monitor people injured in car accidents or in various emergency situations at home. They can record the ECG trace and transmit it within minutes to a remote medical centre using their mobile phones.

The Med-e-Tel 2010 features presentations of successful business cases, research activities, pilot projects, practical experiences from health and social care providers, and panel discussions, offering both local and international perspectives on eHealth and telemedicine opportunities and experiences.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

US mHealth market to reach $4.6 billion by 2014

The US mobile health (mHealth) market will reach some $4.6 billion by 2014, according to a report on the state of the U.S. mHealth published by CSMG, the strategy division of TMNG Global.

The report titled "mHealth: Taking the Pulse" claims that while the market is expected to grow it will be fragmented across many solutions and device types.

The mHealth market is currently estimated at some $1.5 billion and is expected to grow over the next five years at a 25 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate). CSMG analysts noted that if several health care reforms will be instituted, such as pay-for-performance, adoption could accelerate even further.

"mHealth is well positioned to address the needs and evolution of the US health care delivery because it provides cost-efficient care delivery and increases access to quality health care," said Rich Nespola, Chairman and CEO of TMNG Global. "The proliferation of embedded wireless connected devices and Smartphone growth creates significant transformational opportunities to deliver cost-effective and viable mobile health care options."

CSMG outlined several leading mHealth technology opportunities including monitoring, personal emergency response services (PERS), telemedicine, mobile medical equipment, mobile health information, RFID tracking and health/fitness software.

The report outlined four key drivers that will influence the pace and direction of mHealth evolution:
  • Mobile/connected device technology innovation drives near-to-mid-term growth. 
  • The appeal of mHealth will overcome short-term barriers on consumer  concerns about the quality of mHealth solutions.
  • Health care-specific technology developments such as adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) will remove barriers to mHealth adoption.
  • Broader health care industry reform will be required to reach the full market potential.

Monday, March 22, 2010

mHealth at the center of CTIA Wireless 2010

Mobile Health (mHealth) is expected to be on the radar at the coming CTIA Wireless 2010 exhibition which will open on March 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The event organizers said that wireless solutions for wellness, fitness, healthcare services, remote diagnostics, and telemedicine will be a major theme at the International CTIA Wireless 2010.

More than 1,000 exhibitors and tens of thousands of spectators are expected to come to the show, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary. An article published by British Newspaper The Independent notes that one of the biggest trends to watch will be wireless solutions for wellness.

"Innovations in wireless are influencing all aspects of our lives. The convergence of healthcare and mobile technologies has the potential to change the lives of individuals and to contribute to better care, healthier choices and increased quality of life," said Robert Mesirow, vice president and show director for CTIA. "Opportunities in mHealth are growing every day."

The growing interest in mHealth solutions at the CITA follows the attention the industry has received at the 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) that was held in February in Barcelona, Spain.

Friday, March 5, 2010

US Government incentive to push personal health to records

Personal health record (PHR) providers are expected to be among the main beneficiaries from the U.S. government’s recent EMR (electronic medical records) incentive, according to a report published by international research firm Parks Associates.

The report, titled Electronic Health Records: Information Center of Connected Care, notes that the intuitive will raise awareness among consumers and will push the total number of PHR users to over 100 million by 2014.

This authors note that the $19 billion financial incentive from the U.S. federal government includes a “meaningful use” requirement. They added that although PHR is not fully spelled out as part of the reform, designed to promote EMR adoption, it is implied in one of the requirements.

“Despite a slow start, the PHR market is poised to grow, thanks in large part to government incentives,” said Harry Wang, Director, Health and Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. “Patient portal as a tethered PHR will experience the fastest expansion over the next few years because it will serve a dual purpose for physicians. PHR will serve as a patient communication tool and will also help them qualify for the incentive. Doctors will communicate the benefits of PHRs to consumers, resulting in rising awareness and more frequent usage.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Der Standard: Aerotel's mobile healthcare solutions carry great potential

The mobile healthcare solutions of Aerotel Medical Systems have great potential, according to an article published by Austrian daily Der Standard.

The article was written following the successful participation of Aerotel at the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Der Standard illustrates how the company devices can be used to collect data about the physical condition of patients (such as blood pressure), which is then delivered through mobile devices to remote health centers in a simple and efficient way.

Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development at Aerotel, was interviewed by Der Standard saying that simplicity and reliability are the key to success in the mobile healthcare market has and to exploit its great potential. 

Atzmon emphasized the fact, that unlike other companies, who focus their efforts on technology, Aerotel concentrates on the user interface and ease of use in order to make the application as simple as possible.

He added that he envisions a reality in which people will carry around portable devices that will continuously monitor their health status and the data will be transmitted through wireless networks to remote physicians.  

Ofer Atzmon and David Rubin, Aerotel CEO, at MWC10

Sunday, February 28, 2010

iPhone changes mobile health applications landscape

In the first 18 months since the iPhone was released it has completely changed the impact of mobile health applications on health care system, according to an article written by Mike Kirkwood, a specialist in enterprise systems.

The post was written following his attendance of the mHealth initiative conference in Washington D.C. Kirkwook noted that "mobile and wireless health applications directly impact the individual's health and have the promise of ensuring that when a patient leaves a doctor visit, they don't become "lost" in the system. It allows consumers to be engaged with health and wellness in their daily lives and connect back to their health care provider."

Dr. Mohit Kaushal, health care director for the National Broadband Taskforce, said at the conference that mHealth industry is facing several key challenges including: 
  • The US needs to invest in infrastructure to meet the growing needs of a mobile-enabled population.
  • Spectrum must be allocated (or reallocated) to meet the needs and the right areas of growth.
  • Regulations need to be designed to maximize incentives for innovation in care delivery.
  • There must be reimbursement incentives and viable business models for companies to succeed in delivering profitable services. In the health care system, we know that fee for service doesn't work nearly as well as an outcome based approach for delivery of health, rather than more procedures.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remote monitoring can save $200 billion a year in healthcare costs for OECD and BRIC countries

The adoption of remote monitoring solutions can lead to saving some $175-200 billion in annual healthcare costs for managing chronic diseases in OECD and BRIC countries, according to a new report.

The report was issued by global management consultancy firm McKinsey, and the GSMA, an association of mobile operators and other companies active in the mobile industry.

The figures were released as part of the Embedded Mobile initiative, a program designed to accelerate the global adoption of wireless connectivity in a wide range of devices in key vertical markets such as healthcare, consumer electronics, automotive and utilities.

As part of the plan, the GSMA has formed a partnership with the Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit, open industry organization of healthcare and technology companies, to promote innovation and drive the use of embedded mobile solutions in healthcare.

Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at the GSMA, said that the rise in the number of connected devices will lead to a reduction in the cost of innovative healthcare solutions.

The GSMA said the move, which emphasizes the important role embedded mobile technology will play in healthcare, will grow and promote the global mHealth sector.

The organization said that the mobile industry can contribute substantially to improving the accessibility of healthcare systems around the world, as well as helping to reduce costs, by providing solutions to diagnose disease, monitor patient health and intervene ahead of acute events.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Telehealth equipment market seen surging by more than 700% until 2012

The global telehealth equipment market will grow by more than 700 percent in the next four years, according to a report published by research company InMedica, which specializes in the medical devices industry.

Analyst Neha Khandelwal, forecasts that the market will grow to some $900 million by 2013 from only $123.3 million in 2009.

Remote patient monitoring is targeted at three main groups:
  • People who are ageing independently
  • Patients suffering from chronic diseases
  • Worried well people
The report, which is based on interviews with leading industry executives, indicates that the population of each group is set to increase raising the potential demand for remote patient monitoring.

InMedica said that the combined unit shipments of home-telehealth devices (digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters) were estimated to be around 155 thousand. By 2013, the unit shipments are expected to grow to over 1.6 million.

According to InMedica the following factors are driving the growth and introduction of telehealth in the healthcare industry:
  • Ageing population
  • The burden of chronic diseases
  • Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases
  • Increasing public expectations for standard of care
  • Spiraling costs of healthcare
  • Government initiatives to control rising healthcare costs
  • Success of large-scale telehealth trials
  • High-profile working group
  • Progress in regions other than the US

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mobile Health to take center stage at 2010 Mobile World Congress

The Mobile Health (mHealth) field is generating growing interest and is expected to play a major role at the upcoming 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.

The world's leading mobile industry trade show, will showcase mHealth devices such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, PDA's and other wireless services. Aerotel Medical Systems, for example, will introduce at the show new innovative and affordable Personal Mobile Health solutions.

One indication to the importance the Mobile world Congress organizers give to the mobile health industry is the fact that the GSM Association intends to deliver a day-long conference program under the title: mHealth – Collaborating for Universal Care. The day will focus on the use of wireless networks to support health delivery. It includes a series of high-level presentations and seminar panels, which will take place on Thursday, February 18, 2010.

The attempt to bring together the healthcare and mobile fields is expected to attract representatives of major wireless operators and health and strategy companies.

David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance said that "the marriage of health with wireless is a win-win opportunity for the mobile industry, for health providers, and for everyone who cares about creating healthier communities."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

mHealth brings hope to the Developing World

Adopting mHealth (mobile health) technologies has the potential to transform health care in poor and low-income countries, according to the February 2010 issue of Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy thought and research.

The different articles indicate that by tapping modern information and communications technology it is possible to transform health and health care services in developing countries.

The reports constitute a broad review of the multiple e-health applications already in use in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. One of the articles - written by James G. Kahn, Joshua S. Yang, and James S. Kahn from the University of California, San Francisco - indicates that mobile technologies are widely available and can play an important role in health care at the regional, community, and individual levels.

The authors note that developing countries face steady growth in the prevalence of chronic diseases, along with a continued burden from communicable diseases. They write that innovative applications of mobile technology can simplify communication among researchers, clinicians and patients and offer care strategies for dealing with chronic diseases.

The article claims that the integrated nature of mHealth systems “offers improved communication, access to diagnostic tools and ability to store and access personal medical data in central repositories.” It can also, strengthen communication between individuals in a health care system, which can improve patient care coordination, allow exchanges of best practices and raise the quality patient care standards.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mobile World Congress 2010 to highlight mHealth solutions

New innovative and affordable personal Mobile Health (mHealth) solutions will be taking center stage among the solutions that will be presented by Aerotel Medical Systems at the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.

One such product is the Mobile-CliniQ™, a mobile phone application that enables remote monitoring of various health parameters, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, blood glucose level, weight, etc.

Mobile-CliniQ can be connected via a Bluetooth® interface to external vital signs monitoring devices. Data is transmitted via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) to a medical monitoring center. By using it, physicians can view patient data and provide interpretation and advice from practically anywhere, saving time and travel expenses, and reducing healthcare delivery costs.

Mobile-CliniQ and other remote monitoring and mobile solutions will be presented by Aerotel at booth 2C72 (Israel National Pavilion), at the MWC 2010.

The company also intends to showcase its new Connect-CELL, a Cellular-Based Homecare Data Hub. It is a highly flexible global wireless connectivity hub, enabling users to easily transmit vital signs data via the cellular network (GPRS) to a central monitoring center. The flexible device incorporates both wired serial interface and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aerotel enters the Finnish telecare market

Aerotel Medical Systems has entered Finland's telecare market and will start offering its GeoSKeeper personal safety and location system through a new telecare service. The innovative mobile service enables the accurate location of seniors, children and lone workers, granting users and relatives safety and peace of mind. The new service is offered by EcoTec, a leading Finnish provider of personal safety and tracking services.

The Finnish market is expected to witness a sharp rise in the demand for mobile and home-based telemedicine and homecare solutions as the country's population is rapidly ageing.

According to recent data published by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Finland is projected to have 26% of its population over 65, by 2030. This figure is one of the highest in Europe and the world.

By wearing the light-weight GeoSKeeper device on their wrist the users' accurate location can be sent to family and caregivers in real time. The personal telecare safety device is equipped with a built-in speakerphone and active GPS receiver. When the wearer wanders outside a specified zone the system sends an automatic alert via a short message (SMS) or email to a monitoring center and to a relative or caregiver.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Telehealth market to mature in 2012

Telehealth solutions will start to be used by healthcare providers on a much wider scale from 2012 onwards, according to a recent report by research company InMedica, which specializes in the medical devices industry.

The report forecasts that the number of gateways used in telehealth applications will increase to over one million in 2014 and to around 3.6 million in 2018.

The report authors believe that initiatives taken by governments and private healthcare providers to increase reimbursements and reduce the legal and liability issues will help in the roll out of telehealth as a mainstream technology for remote disease and home health monitoring.

According to InMedica, in 2009, health hubs were the most widely used telehealth gateways, constituting about 80% of the total gateways market. In the short to medium term, health hubs are expected to remain the most practical solution for professional healthcare providers, as the infrastructure can then be standardized and simplified on a large scale.

The report notes that the number of integrated cellular handsets used as telehealth gateways is expected to reach over 350 thousand in 2014.

“The use of mobile phones as telehealth gateways has had a surge of interest over the last couple of years; with patients and device companies recognizing the benefits of data transmission on the move," writes Neha Khandelwal, market research analyst at InMedica. "We anticipate that cellular service providers will play an increasingly important role in the long-term future of the telehealth market.”