Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Number of remotely monitored patients to reach 4.9 million by 2016

The number of home monitoring systems with integrated communication capabilities is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent until 2016, according to a report published by Berg Insight.

The report, titled 'mHealth and Home Monitoring' forecasts, that the number of patients worldwide using remote monitoring solutions will more than double to 4.9 million by the end of 2016, compared to 2.2 million today.

"The adoption of out-of-hospital wireless monitoring in healthcare is driven by a wide range of incentives, related to everything from demographics and technology development to new advancements in medical treatment," said Lars Kurkinen and Johan Fagerberg, analysts at Berg Insight. "There are, however, a number of barriers, including resistance to change among healthcare organizations and clinicians, misaligned incentive structures and the financing of wireless solutions by what is at large an underfunded healthcare sector."

The report indicates that the most common conditions that can be monitored by mHealth systems are chronic diseases, from which over 200 million patients in the EU and the US suffer. These diseases include cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, ischemic diseases, sleep apnea, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Berg analysts said that applying information and communication technologies in the healthcare industry can lead to decreased costs, more efficient care delivery and improved sustainability of the healthcare system.

The report, which names Aerotel Medical Systems as one of the leading providers of mHealth solutions, shows that the number of devices that have integrated cellular connectivity rose to 570,000 from only 420,000 in 2010. The number is expected to surge at a CAGR of 34.6% to 2.47 million in 2016.

Several companies have developed integrated solutions for monitoring multiple chronic diseases and other conditions. The six leading providers of integrated telehealth systems include the major technology and electronics companies Bosch, Honeywell, Philips and Bayer, as well as the small specialist telehealth companies Cardiocom, and Numera.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Report: Medical monitoring products to push home health market

The home health monitoring market is expected to generate higher revenues from services that are based on using monitoring products, according to a recent report published by research company Parks Associates.

In a report, entitled "The Role of IP in Revitalizing PERS", Parks said that the Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) market is currently changing as it is re-introducing services as a more modern care concept. The report indicates that technology, particularly IP-enabled technology innovations in hardware, software, and service platforms, is driving the market transition.

"We in Aerotel defiantly feel that demand for services that use advanced monitoring solutions," said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems. "Products such as our GeoSkeeper offer a new level of safety beyond existing PERS and traditional social alarm systems."

Parks analysts said that the long-term threat to the PERS industry incumbents comes from new senior independent living solution providers. These players offer a complete suite of software and service components that address needs for proactive risk assessment, self-care for chronic conditions and wellness, social communication, and health education/lifestyle adjustments.

They said that these providers offer PERS service as complementary and sometimes complimentary, service. The technology platform on which these capabilities are offered has to be IP-enabled, and this platform's cost will only go down as technology matures and operational scale builds.

The authors, Harry Wang and Jennifer Kent, said that the market is changing as new senior-friendly services, using either IP or traditional phoneline-based communications infrastructure, are now offered. They estimated that PERS services are expected to transform into a full-fledged senior independent living solutions.

Wang and Kent concluded that in the future, the market will become less fragmented and IP-based service infrastructure and IP-connected monitoring devices will be two of the change agents to give the PERS industry a rebirth.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

mHealth apps downloads to reach 142 million in 2016

The number of global downloads of mHealth applications is expected to more than triple to 142 million by 2016, according to a new study published by Juniper Research.

Source: GSMA
The research company added that the number of mobile healthcare and medical app downloads will reach 44 million as soon as 2012. It added that the combination of smartphones and app stores has created a vibrant mHealth market.

Juniper added that there is a need for US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) clarification on which apps require approval as such a move will add further impetus to the market. This is particularly important as the US is seen as the leading market in remote patient monitoring.

"Acceptance of new healthcare practices like remote patient monitoring will come directly from consumers becoming engaged in mHealth through the smartphone," said Anthony Cox, who wrote the report.

The authors noted that future mobile hardware peripherals will greatly extend apps capabilities. They added that application peripherals hardware designed to work with mHealth apps will allow smartphones to become an important portable accessory to the healthcare establishment for both diagnosis and relaying medical data to healthcare staff.

In a separate report, published last week, ABI Research predicted that the sports and health mobile apps market will grow to over $400 million in 2016 from $120 million in 2010.

ABI Research's report, "Mobile Devices and mHealth", estimated that growth will be spurred by the ability of mobile handsets to easily connect to wearable devices that in turn can deliver new functionality, accuracy, and appeal to sports and fitness applications. 

"As applications increasingly become part of a bundle that ships with wearable devices, revenues from mobile applications will lag behind the growth in app downloads," said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI. "Mobile application downloads will actually grow at nearly twice the rate of revenues between 2010 and 2016, with more than a billion downloads annually by 2016."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Two-thirds of healthcare providers plan to increase mHealth expenditures in 2012

Two-thirds of healthcare providers in the U.S. plan to implement or improve their use of mobile technologies in the next 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by CompTIA.

Source: CompTIA
The report indicated that more than 50 percent of healthcare professionals already use smartphones for their work. 38% of physicians with a smartphone are using medical-related apps on a daily basis and half of them are expected to do so over the next 12 months. At the same time, 25% of healthcare providers are already using tablets and another 21% expect to do so in the coming year.

"While laptop and notebook PCs are commonplace in the medical community, the next wave of mobile adoption is well underway as providers turn to tablets, smartphones and applications to increase productivity and improve patient care," the authors noted.

The report shows that almost one-third of providers use smartphones or tablets to access Electronic Medical Records or Electronic Health Records systems, with 20% expecting to start engaging in this mobile usage within the next year.

While mobile health (mHealth) is on the rise the use of telemedicine solutions remains low, with just 14% of healthcare professionals actively following news and trends in telemedicine and 37% expressing little interest in the topic.

Healthcare providers see the greatest benefits of telemedicine in the areas of continuing medical education (61%), specialist referral services (44%) and patient consultations (37%).

The U.S. helathcare sector employs over 17 million workers. The total healthcare spending will total over $2.7 trillion in 2011, making it the single largest componenet of the U.S. GDP.

Monday, November 21, 2011

GSMA: Asia Pacific mHealth market to rise by 70% to $7 billion by 2017

The Asia Pacific mobile health (mHealth) market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 70 percent to $7 billion in 2017, the GSMA and accounting firm PwC said in a joint report.  

In a report, entitled ‘Mobile Health – Enabling Healthcare’, the two bodies said that mobile health services that represent the largest opportunity across the region are monitoring services (55% market share in 2017) and diagnostic services (24%). 

Source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
The report indicates that the Chinese mHealth market will be the world's largest in 2017. This will be driven by growth in monitoring and diagnosis that will facilitate the delivery of effective healthcare to a widely spread population who have poor health access.

This trend creates a market opportunity of some $2.4 billion in China, well ahead of other large markets such as Japan ($1.3 billion) and India ($540 million). 

"The figures are in line with our expectations," said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems. "We have identified Asia and the Pacific in general, and China in particular, as strategic markets and have expended our activities there accordingly".    

Monitoring represents the biggest opportunity in Japan (63% market share) due to the large number of elderly, while diagnostics represents the biggest opportunity (67%) in India as most Indians live in rural areas. 

“Mobile health is a prime example of how mobile operators can leverage existing platforms and technology to provide innovative services to connect people throughout Asia Pacific,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. 

“Asia Pacific’s predicted growth in connected devices, through an array of applications, means that the region is on the threshold of radically transforming the lives of its consumers, professionally and personally. To make the Connected Life ubiquitous, it’s vital that the mobile industry works with key adjacent industries in the region, including healthcare,” added O’Hara. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aerotel to showcase a personal GPS location mHealth device at Medica 2011

Aerotel Medical Systems will present a variety of remote monitoring and mobile health (mHealth) solutions at Medica 2011 in Dusseldorf, Germany on November 16-19, 2011 at Hall 9, Stand C01.

Aerotel intends to present its innovative GeoSkeeper, a personal wireless GPS location and tracking device, at Medica, which is the world largest medical trade fair.

GeoSkeeper offers a new level of safety beyond existing PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) and traditional social alarm systems. The GeoSkeeper is expected to soon receive the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Certification, paving the way for further strengthening of Aerotel's position in the lucrative US market.

In a newly designed booth in Medica, Aerotel will also showcase the Connect-CELL telehealth homecare hub, which was recently awarded by Connected World Magazine the prestigious gold Value Chain Award in the home health category. The Connect-CELL hub is part of Aerotel's e-CliniQ system, which is one of the most cost-effective home telehealth solutions available today with proven clinical and economical benefits.

“Since Medica 2010, we've expended our presence in Asia, the Pacific and Eastern Europe,” said David Rubin, Aerotel Medical Systems President and CEO. “Medica 2011 will provide us with an excellent opportunity to present our cutting edge solutions to those who are not familiar with them yet.”

With more than 4,560 exhibitors and 116,000 square meters of floor space, Medica 2011 is considered as the leading event for in the medical industry. Two thirds of the exhibitors this year are from outside Germany and more than 60 countries will be represented at the fair.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Aerotel ready to conquer Asian market

Armed with a new investment by a Chinese IT giant and wide variety of innovative solutions, Israeli medical equipment provider Aerotel Medical Systems is ready to utilize its vest experience and enter the fast growing Asian telemedicine market.

Aerotel, which provides modular, mobile and home based telemedicine and telecare solutions, has recently attracted an investment from China's Neusoft Corporation

The move is part of Aerotel's overall strategy of expanding its activity in Asia in general and in the Chinese lucrative market in particular. A recent report by Espicom Business Intelligence estimates that the Chinese medical device market grows at an annual rate of some 13 percent, turning it into one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The analysts noted that prospects for medical devices spending are huge as the Chinese government has committed heavily in the construction of thousands of hospitals, healthcare centers, clinics. This will inevitably lead to spending on medical devices at an unprecedented rate in a relatively short space of time.

Aerotel intends to utilize Neusoft's position as a local market leader in the fields of medical equipment, medical IT solutions and healthcare services. The company will offer Asian populations cost-effective, high-quality and user-friendly medical diagnostic systems and devices for home care, eHealth and telemedicine, as well as telecare and personal safety.

With a client base of over 50 countries around the globe and more than a decade of rich experience, Aerotel is well positioned to successfully enter the Asian market. Judging by its previous practice, the company has all it takes to smoothly penetrate large markets.

So for example, Aerotel is currently providing Ambulance staffs in Brazil with devices to monitor people injured in car accidents or and other emergency situations. By using Aerotel's solution, paramedics can record 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.

In the United States, Aerotel provides remote monitoring services of health problems for congestive heart failure patients. The technology, which allows heart patients take readings like their weight, blood pressure and other key metrics, saves money and makes users life much easier.

In Europe, Aerotel's GeoSKeeper personal safety and location system has won great popularity. The mobile service enables the accurate location of seniors, children and lone workers. By wearing the light-weight device on their wrist the users' accurate location can be sent to family and caregivers in real time. 

 A report published last year by research company, Global Industry Analysts, predicts that the global market for ECG telemetry devices will reach some $1.1 billion by 2015. 

The analysts, which defined Aerotel as one of the major players in this field, noted that Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market as it is expected to grow by an annual rate of more than 5 percent over the next four years. 

This is attributed to aging population and growing cases of heart disease or cardiovascular diseases. In addition, rising expenditure and scarcity of alternative home care resources and services are expected to add to growing demand for home telemetry monitoring devices.

Aerotel, which recently launched its services in New Zealand and Australia, is now aiming at the growing Chinese market, allowing it to establish a strong foothold in the Asia-Pacific market.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

World telehealth market to reach $990 million by 2015

The global telehealth market is expected to continue growing at a command annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.4 percent to $990 million by 2015, according to a report by medical research company InMedica.

InMedica analysts predict that the market will continue to rise to over $1 billion in 2016 and has the potential to reach $6 billion by 2020. 

The authors said that increasing demand for healthcare, associated with ever increasing disease prevalence and an ageing population creates a significant challenge for the delivery of care. The number of people with chronic condition is forecast to increase dramatically by 10%-20% over the next ten years. Moreover, the aging demographic will lead to a significant increase in disease co-morbidities in the population that is over-65. 

Telehealth, also known as Telemedicine, means using information and communications technologies for the delivery of healthcare services. Telehealth reduces the unnecessary hospitalizations and reduces waiting lists for medical treatment with a significant saving factor on economic resources. This technology gives patients the ability to monitor the specific parameters of their conditions and then have the information sent directly to their physicians for management of their disease process via telephone, cellular or the Internet.

Telehealth has become a rapidly evolving field, thanks to recent technological breakthroughs, such as miniaturized sensors and advancements in telecommunications means that allow an almost permanent contact in case of need. Telehealth can offer cost-effective remote monitoring solutions that can seamlessly operate from anywhere at anytime. 

The report illustrates that home-monitoring is becoming increasingly relevant in the treatment of chronic diseases. Home-use medical devices in Teleheatlh services, such as blood glucose meters, pulse oximeters, weight scales and peak flow meters are being deployed to monitor four main diseases – congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and hypertension.

"The main driving force behind the sharp growth of the Telehealth market are the new solutions for monitoring chronic diseases answering the growing need for such solutions that will hold down healthcare costs," said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems. "From our experience the strongest demand is for hypertension (monitoring of blood pressure) solutions, followed by diabetes (monitoring of glucose and blood pressure), CHF (monitoring of blood pressure and weight) and COPD (monitoring of SpO2 and spirometry values)."

“Many public healthcare systems now have targets to reduce both the number of hospital visits and the length of stay in hospital,” said Diane Wilkinson, Research Manager at InMedica. “This has led to a growing trend for healthcare to be managed outside the traditional hospital environment, and as a result, there is a growing trend for patients to be monitored in their home environment using telehealth technologies once their treatment is complete.”

She noted that the US is the most established market for telehealth by far. So for example, the Veteran’s Health Administration’s extensive home Telehealth service aims to provide some 92,000 patients with Telehealth services by next year. Wilkinson added that there has also been some large-scale trial activity in Europe, mainly in the UK.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

iPhone mHealth application market to grow by 44% to 13,000 apps in 2012

Some 9,000 iPhone health applications are already offered by Apple's AppStore and the number is expected to continue rising further in coming months, according to a report published by MobiHealthNews.

The report, which is based on an analysis of Apple's AppStore, further indicates that by next summer the number of iPhone health applications will rise by 44 percent to some 13,000 apps.

The report shows that the average price of a paid health app is gradually rising as the average price for a paid health application rose to $3.21 on July 2011 from $2.77 in February.

Another report, published earlier this month by research company Technavio, predicts that the global mobile health applications market will reach $4.1 billion by 2014 compared to $1.7 billion in 2010.

"The number of health apps for consumers has grown at a steady, linear rate over the past 18 months," MobileHealthNews researchers wrote. "We expect it to continue on this track unless the regulatory environment changes drastically and scares off would-be developers from creating useful health apps for consumers"

The MobiHealthNews report indicates that the largest group of consumer health apps in the AppStore are cardio fitness apps, which account to 16.36% of all iPhone mHealth apps. The majority of these apps are running apps, which have attracted millions of users in the past year.

Diet related apps account to 14.15%, ahead of stress and relaxation apps (11.4%) and women's health apps (7.27%).

The authors note that while Apple’s health, fitness and medical categories claim to offer thousands more apps, many of these can't be seriously considered as mHealth related.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Aerotel enters Australia and New Zealand, partners with Elemental

Aerotel Medical Systems has launched a new personal safety service in New Zealand and Australia in partnership with Elemental Technologies, a leading Australasian provider of solutions for personal safety, aged care and healthcare.

Elemental Technologies will offer a new 24 hours by 7 days a week service, based on Aerotel’s highly successful GeoSKeeper personal safety and location system. The service will enable finding the accurate location and providing immediate assistance to elderly persons or people with dementia, offering users and family members safety and peace of mind. In addition, GeoSkeeper will be distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Elemental Technologies.

"We have formed a partnership with Elemental Technologies to bring our personal safety solutions to the Australia and New Zealand markets,” said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel. “This agreement is another step in our global market expansion."

“After conducting a comprehensive search, we have found GeoSKeeper to be the most sophisticated and well established personal safety device on the market,” said Patrick Rogers, CEO and Co-founder at Elemental Technologies. “The combination of mobile phone and GPS technologies grants freedom to the wearer to travel away from home or work and confidence to their caregivers that they can be located and communicated with, anytime and anywhere.”

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Report: global mHealth apps market to reach $4.1 billion by 2014

The global mobile health applications market is expected to reach $4.1 billion by 2014 compared to $1.7 billion in 2010, according to a report published by research company Technavio.

The company's analysts said they expect the market to grow by an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% percent until 2014.

The report indicates that the key drivers for growth are the increase in general diseases and population of patients.  It adds that the main source of revenue in this field will comes from smartphones used by the healthcare professionals.

Technavio estimates that the United States has the largest market share and is expected to grow at a faster rate in the future. The authors said that in the coming years, due to increasing focus on patients in developing nations, mobile Health software providers and telecom companies may penetrate further in countries such as China and India.

The analysts noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to come up with proper rules for the approval of mobile health applications. This will, in turn, increase the productivity and the accuracy of these apps in the future.

At the same time, the analysts warned that there have not been proper or effective FDA rules and regulations yet. "FDA regulations seem to be more confusing than helpful to many vendors in the mHealth industry," Technavio wrote. "With the advent of numerous new Mobile Health applications being introduced in the market by various players, the FDA is finding it difficult to come up with any specific parameters for the Mobile Health applications".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Growing number of medical experts move into mHealth apps field

Growing interest in mobile health applications has led to a sharp increase in the number of mHealth apps developed by universities, hospitals and other research institutes.

These organizations want to seize opportunities arising from widely circulating suggestions that the healthcare industry is facing a possible crisis. A report published last year by Pyramid Research indicates there is a global deficit of 2.4 million healthcare workers and an international shortage of hospital beds worldwide. This is leading to a situation in which governments, healthcare providers and insurance carriers are desperate to develop solutions that lower costs and improve patient care.

CATRA: Cataract Maps with Snap-on
Eyepiece for Mobile Phones

Unlike other consumer applications, developing medical apps requires a strong scientific background. The telemedicine field attracts researchers as it offers them an opportunity to utilize their medical knowledge to enter one of the fastest growing and most popular markets.

“In the past, most projects offered by academic researchers remained on the drawing board and most of them never materialized into commercial products,” said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems.

“It remains to be seen if the growing popularity of mHealth will change this trend, and whether more scientific research projects will turn into commercial applications.”

Pyramid Research predicts that the mHealth technologies market will approach $5 billion by 2014 and more than double by 2020.

Here are several examples of applications and other mHealth solutions developed by researchers from the academic world.

DailyData - a mobile app that can tell users when they’re getting sick, based on models and predictions developed in MIT.

CATRA – a solution to detect and quantify cataracts with a compact eyepiece attached to a cell phone, also developed by MIT researchers.

Open mHealth – a project dedicated to apps that collect health-related information developed at UCLA and UCSF.

iTrem – an application allowing Parkinson’s disease patients to collect and send medical information developed by researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Nerve Whiz – an app for medical professionals interested in learning the anatomy of nerve roots, plexuses and peripheral nerves, designed by a neuromuscular neurologist at the University of Michigan.

If you know of any other applications that were developed by researchers please tell us about it in the comment box and we will update the post.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Report: Telemedicine companies should explore granting free trial period

A brief use of a Web-based telemedicine service has a significant positive effect on patients' perceptions of the service, according to a survey conducted by a team of Dutch experts.

The researchers, from the University of Twente, concluded that healthcare providers should consider offering patients a risk-free way to explore and experiment telemedicine services. They said that by doing so telemedicine companies can increase the development of accurate perceptions and user needs.  

The survey focused on investigating whether patients' perceptions of Web-based telemedicine services changed after brief use. The research included 30 patients, who were divided into a control group and an experimental group. The results indicated that patients within the experimental group became significantly more positive about the usefulness and ease-of-use after a very short period of use. 

The report indicates that despite the great potential of telemedicine user acceptance proves one important barrier to implementation in mainstream healthcare. 

"These results show the significant positive effect of brief use of a telemedicine service on patients' perceptions of this service," The authors concluded. "Therefore, it is important to offer patients the opportunity to experiment with the service to foster the development of accurate beliefs, which will consequently result in more adequate user needs possibly benefiting patient acceptance." 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FDA presents new mobile medical app draft regulations

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlined new draft guidelines, suggesting how it intends to regulate mobile medical applications.

Source: FDA
The FDA announced that it seeks public input on the proposed approach for certain medicine and health mobile applications. The agency said that currently, mobile medical apps include a variety of functions, ranging from monitoring calorie intake, helping people maintain a healthy weight, and allowing doctors to view a patient’s radiology images on their mobile communications device. 

The FDA's draft guidance defines a small subset of mobile medical apps that may impact the performance or functionality of currently regulated medical devices including apps that:
  • Are used as an accessory to medical device already regulated by the FDA
  • Transform a mobile communications device into a regulated medical device by using attachments, sensors or other devices
"The use of mobile medical apps on smart phones and tablets is revolutionizing health care delivery," said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Our draft approach calls for oversight of only those mobile medical apps that present the greatest risk to patients when they don’t work as intended."

We at Aerotel welcome FDA regulation of mobile medical apps. We believe that there is a real need to assure the stability, reliability and quality of all mHealth solutions so patients won't face any risk. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Aerotel wins 2011 Connected World award for home health devices

Aerotel Medical Systems was awarded by Connected World Magazine the prestigious gold Value Chain Award in the home health category.

Aerotel received the award together for the company's e-CliniQ system and the Connect-CELL telehealth homecare hub. The company was nominated together with its partner Cinterion, the global leader in cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and a Gemalto company.

Connected World Magazine’s Value Chain Awards honor the most successful corporate adopters of M2M technology and the solution providers that make their success possible.

“Aerotel and its partner Cinterion were honored for using M2M technology to enhance quality of life for patients with chronic conditions by increasing access to doctors and care givers,” said Peggy Smedley, editorial director and publisher of Connected World. “Connect-CELL helps cut costs while improving quality of care and it also highlights the transformative power of M2M technology in solving global healthcare challenges.”  

"The Connect-CELL hub is part of Aerotel's e-CliniQ system, which is one of the most cost-effective home telehealth solutions available today with proven clinical and economical benefits,” said Ofer Atzmon, Aerotel Medical Systems vice president for business development and marketing. "With Connect-CELL, caregivers can remotely see when a patient is in trouble and respond immediately for increased peace of mind and convenience.”

“Aerotel’s Connect-CELL homecare hub uses the latest Cinterion M2M technology to address the urgent need for solutions that reduce spending while improving quality of service for the growing ageing population,” commented Norbert Muhrer, CEO of Cinterion. “The use of Connect-CELL has already proven to reduce hospitalization costs by up to 30 percent.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IBM: health device makers need to focus on Information Seekers

Health device makers should start paying more attention to the overlooked market segment of consumers who are relatively healthy, but could use some help managing a health-related challenge, according to new research published by IBM.  

The report - titled "The future of connected health devices" - calls this consumer segment "Information Seekers". These consumers are looking for solutions that can provide missing information to help them gain greater control over their conditions and ultimately lead healthier, more independent lives.

The authors noted that, to date, health device makers have primarilytargeted their products and services for consumers who are extremely health or fitness conscious as well as those who need to be regularly monitored.

"Between these two extremes sits a large, fragmented and often overlooked population who seek better information to effectively manage their health," the report authors Heather Fraser, YangJin Kwon and Margaret Neuer stated. "Our research suggests that successful solution providers will approach this market opportunity as an ecosystem of partners – with an integrated solution that extends beyond the device itself".

They added that thanks to recent technological advances and increased willingness to collaborate among industries, it is now feasible to deliver solutions that meet the needs of information seekers and help reduce long-term healthcare costs. 

The report noted that health device makers now have the means to target Information Seekers and should focus on the following principles:

  • Make it easy - consumers need simple, intuitive, yet feature-rich devices and online tools that are designed for their specific needs.
  • Design the solution with the end result in mind - solutions should involve integration with healthcare providers, payers and even peer support networks. 
  • Pick a position and partner well – since it is unlikely any single firm will be able to offer a full solution companies can determine, by evaluating competitive strengths and weaknesses, what they can profitably do on their own and where they will need partners. 
  • Help set the rules - device makers should get actively involved in establishing standards for connected health devices.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Super Mobile" doctors represent new type of professional mHealth user

A new generation of physicians is enthusiastically embracing mobile technology, according to a study conducted among some 3,800 doctors by QuantiaMD, the largest mobile and online physician community.

The survey indicates that a growing number of physicians use smartphones and the usage of tablets is rapidly increasing. 

"A significant group of 'Super Mobile' doctors now use both devices, and they are far more likely to use mobile technology in clinical settings to access decision tools, learn about new treatments, look up reference material, and handle patient information,"  Mary Modahl, Chief Marketing Officer, QuantiaMD concluded.

"The growing trend of mobile technology adoption illustrates the great potential of mHealth systems," said Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development at Aerotel Medical Systems. "As the usage of mobile technologies among physicians increases, they are likely to show much more interest in adopting advanced mHealth technologies to improve the medical service. This will benefit both patients and caregivers."  

Some of the study key findings indicated that: 
  • Physicians are adopting mobile technology at a very high rate. 
  • Physicians’ strong interest in tablet devices indicates this technology will soon command the physician market. 
  • “Super Mobile” physicians who own both smartphones and tablets are accessing online resources at significantly higher rates across a broad range of core professional activities. 
  • Health care institutions are beginning to adopt mobile technology for their physicians and show strong interest in moving forward. 
  • Access to electronic medical record (EMR) data tops the physician wish-list for how they want to use mobile technology. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

93 countries worldwide already offer mHealth services

93 countries around the world are offering at least one type of mHealth service, according to a new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO)

The four most frequently reported mHealth initiatives used by member states are: 
  • Health call centers (59%)
  • Emergency toll-free telephone services (55%)
  • Managing emergencies and disasters (54%)
  • Mobile telemedicine (49%)
The report - titled "mHealth: new horizons for health through mobile technologies" - indicates that the use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health objectives (mHealth) has the potential to transform the face of health service delivery across the globe.

The authors note that change is driven by a powerful combination of factors including: rapid advances in mobile technologies and applications, a rise in new opportunities for the integration of mobile health into existing eHealth services, and the continued growth in coverage of mobile cellular networks. 

The WHO observes that health systems worldwide are under increasing pressure to perform under multiple health challenges, chronic staff shortages, and limited budgets, all of which makes choosing interventions difficult. 

The authors note that mHealth needs to adopt globally accepted standards and interoperable technologies, ideally using open architecture.

"Communication technologies would enhance efficiency and reduce cost," the WHO said. "To accomplish this, countries will need to collaborate in developing global best practices so that data can move more effectively between systems and applications. Moving towards a more strategic approach to planning, development, and evaluation of mHealth activities will greatly enhance the impact of mHealth." 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Evolution of Wearable Mobile-Health Applications

Wearable technologies offer exciting opportunities for personal mobile health applications development.

Wearable systems, such as Aerotel's GeoSkeeper, can be implemented in areas of chronic disease management and elderly care. They promise to provide seamless access to health professionals from anywhere and at anytime.
The development of wearable mobile health applications is driven by the promise to bring healthcare to the people instead of bringing people to healthcare. By doing that, healthcare can become more personal and accessible to everyone and reduce costs for health care providers and insurers. 

Wearable systems impose significant challenges to developers, in areas such as development of smart fabrics, miniaturization, battery management, cost-reduction and user interfaces.

Ofer Atzmon, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems, will present the past and present of wearable mobile health systems developments at Mobile Health Expo in New York on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 14:30.

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

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Report: mHealth to transform global healthcare

Innovative mHealth (Mobile Health) applications have the potential to transform healthcare in both the developing and the developed world, according to a new in depth study published by the University of Cambridge and China Mobile.

Source: University of Cambridge
The 120-page report, titled Mobile Communications for Medical Care, focuses on the healthcare and health promotion applications. The authors, led by Professor Ian Leslie from the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory and Simon Sherrington, General Manager at Innovation Observator, note that these applications have the greatest growth potential in major emerging economics.

Cambridge researches concluded that mHealth applications will develop most rapidly in countries where healthcare delivery and public services generally, are in transition. Rapid development will also be encouraged where the population has rising expectations for healthcare, and where those involved in healthcare delivery are willing and able to experiment with new models.

The authors note that mHealth applications have the following advantages:

  • Contribute to bringing healthcare to unserved or underserved populations
  • Increase the effectiveness and reducing the costs of healthcare delivery
  • Improve the effectiveness of public health programs and research
  • Prevent illness
  • Manage and treat chronic diseases
  • Keep people out of hospital

"In developed economies, mobile will be used to collect, store, analyze and upload a wide spectrum of personal and environmental data, from vital signs (heart rate, body temperature, etc.) to location, motion, mood, ambient air temperature and pollution levels, and adherence to medication regimes," the authors said. "This will benefit individuals and will also lead to better forms of illness prevention and treatment, and earlier prediction of epidemics".

The report also examines the implications of mHealth for the developing world. In low-income economies, mHealth can improve access to services in areas that are hard to reach through conventional means of health delivery; disseminate information on medical advances and public health to professionals and the public; facilitate data gathering from remote areas during disease outbreaks, enabling better research and response planning; help secure the supply chain for drugs; and increase the effectiveness of treatments by supporting adherence to medication regimes.

Segmentation of mHealth Opportunities 

The report also considers the role of mobile operators in mHealth innovation and, in particular, whether mobile operators should be the suppliers of mHealth applications or simply enablers. It illustrates that there are viable business models, and that mobile operators have a lot to gain from, and offer to, mHealth applications.

Related Articles:
Turning mHealth into be the next killer app requires different approach

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

Monday, May 2, 2011

Implications of new FDA rule on mobile medical devices still unclear

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) long awaited rule regulating how hardware manufacturers can introduce new mobile medical devices for use by health care providers went into effect earlier this month.

It is yet to be seen what will be the impact of the new regulations on medical equipment developers and software vendors as it is too early to predict how it will influence the market.

The new Medical Device Data Systems (MDDS) rule now classifies most health-related IT devices as Class I or low-risk medical devices. The rule requires IT companies to register health care hardware and software that transfer, store, convert or display health care data.

"This rule is a common-sense regulatory approach that provides clarity and predictability for manufacturers of these data systems," Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, who heads the FDA center for review of medical devices M.D. said in a statement. 

"This shows our flexibility in applying regulations for medical device data systems that are not overly burdensome for manufacturers, but continue to assure that data stored, transferred or displayed on these systems remain reliable," said Shuren.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aerotel to present wireless health care solutions at Med-e-Tel 2011

Aerotel Medical Systems will present its innovative wireless health care and telemedicine products at the Med-e-Tel 2011 Conference that will be held at 6-8 April 2011 in Luxembourg.

Ofer Atzmon, vice president for business development and marketing at Aerotel, will discuss  wireless health solutions for chronic care management. The presentation will be held during the tele-cardiology session, which will take place on Wednesday, April 6 in conference room 4 at 14:00-16:00. The presentation will be given again on Friday, April 8 in conference room 3 at 16:00-17:30.

The presentation will focus on wireless homecare hubs used for connecting multiple medical sensors in the home and will deal with the use of wireless technologies for the provision of healthcare services.

Among others the presentation will highlight: 
  • Market drivers
  • Need for chronic disease management
  • Benefits of remote home monitoring
  • Homecare evolution
Aerotel will also introduce at the event the Connect-Cell Wireless Homecare Hub, which shows the measurement of blood pressure by patients with remote web interface consultation. In addition, the company will showcase its personal GPS location and tracking system, GeoSkeeper, and the HeartView, a personal hand-held 12-lead ECG monitor.

Med-e-Tel is an official event of the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH) and the international federation of national associations, who represent their country’s Telemedicine and eHealth stakeholders.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turning mHealth into be the next killer app requires different approach

The significant growth in demand for advanced portable devices and the increase in usage of mobile applications led to the publishing of optimistic forecasts by many analysts concerning the possibility of utilizing mobile health opportunities by Mobile Network Operators (MNO).

Source: Arthur D. Little
A new research by Arthur D. Little follows the general trend, while making several clear recommendations. The bottom line is that mHealth could be the next killer app in the mobile industry, but it requires a completely new market entry strategy.

“The MNO must assess its own capabilities, decide what role it will play and how it will contribute to the service, align the internal capabilities required for the selected business model, and then partner with other players to acquire key capabilities to effectively and efficiently bring patients into the ecosystem,” says Dr. Karim Taga, Director at Arthur D. Little’s Telecoms, Information, Media & Electronics Practice.

The new report, titled: Capturing Value in the mHealth Oasis: An Opportunity for Mobile Network Operators? recommend mobile operators to carefully examine the degree of development and specific characteristics of individual markets in order to launch the appropriate solutions.

It suggests that in developed markets, operators must focus on solutions that fit within the current health care industry structure. At the same time, in emerging markets, the 'Keep it simple' attitude should lead the penetration process. In those markets, mobile operators should focus on mHealth solutions, such as the delivery of medical information by SMS or MMS, medicine reminders, remote data collection, and medical help-lines, that can help improve patients’ access to basic medical care.

The authors note that mHealth has been hailed as the next major development for mobile networks operators, while warning that it might be "wishful thinking from a sector desperately seeking additional revenues to offset margin erosion."

The report concludes that if MNOs adhere to a few simple guidelines they can avoid major obstacles and increase their chances of success. If these guidelines are taken into account, Arthur D. Little believes that mHealth will surpass even the most optimistic industry predictions within the next five years and add significant value to the mobile industry.

We as Aerotel would recommend, in any case, adopting a careful approach which is based on building a strong partnership with other players, who are already active in the market and have compatible advantages. In our view, the natural partnership for MNO would be with health services providers and technology developers, with proven expertise in the eHealth market.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Telemedicine market to more than double by 2015

The global telemedicine market is expected to grow by more than 100 percent in the coming five years, according to a report published by BCC Research.

The report, titled "Telemedicine: Opportunities for Medical and Electronic Providers" predicts that the telemedicine market will be worth some $23 billion in 2015 compared to $9.8 billion in 2010. The company's analysts estimate that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6 percent over the next 5 years.
The authors noted that the global telehospitals and clinics market accounted for 71% of the total Telemedicine market in 2009, and was worth $6.9 billion in 2010 compared to $5.6 billion in 2009. This sector is expected to continue and increase to $15 billion in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8%.

The telehome market, which represented 28.5% of the market in 2009, is believed to capture nearly 35% by 2015. This sector is valued at nearly $2.9 billion in 2010 and is expected to increase at a 22.5% annual growth rate to $7.9 billion in 2015.

BCC said that there has been a global focus on the use of telemedicine as a tool to cut down healthcare costs and bring about mammoth savings. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor visits Aerotel at MWC 2011

Shalom Simhon, Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, visited Aerotel Medical Systems at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.

Aerotel's booth at MWC 2011
Simhon was among the hundreds of participants, who came to visit Aerotel and get a demonstration of the company's Mobile Health and Telemedicine Solutions.

The total number of people visiting Aerotel's booth rose in comparison to last year and included senior officials from large telecom companies, system integrators and distributors.

"The main reason for our great success this year is the growing interest of cellular companies and eHealth solution providers in the field of mobile health," said Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel. "This, together with careful planning and meeting scheduling by the Israel Export Institute and Israel's commercial attaches allowed us to meet a large number of potential clients and partners in a relatively short time."

mHealth was one of the areas that received most attention at the MWC. Like Aerotel, most mHealth solutions presented at the show where device centered rather than smartphone-based.

Overall, more than 60,000 visitors from 200 countries attended MWC, marking a record for the mobile industry’s premier event. The four-day conference and exhibition attracted executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organizations, as well as government delegations.