LifeWatch V: State-of-the-Art Smartphone with Healthcare Capabilities Empowering Patients and Consumers

NEUHAUSEN AM RHEINFALL, Switzerland —LifeWatch AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: LIFE), the leading wireless cardiac monitoring service and home sleep test provider in the U.S., presents today LifeWatch V, the world’s first-of-its-kind healthcare smartphone. The fully featured state-of-the-art smartphone allows patients as well as health- and wellbeing-conscious consumers to self-operate a wide range of highly valuable embedded medical sensors, wellness-related applications, cloud-based services and 24/7 call center support.

As a next step of its product and geographical diversification LifeWatch presents today LifeWatch V, the world’s first fully featured smartphone which operates on an android OS. The state-of-the-art solution offers multiple sophisticated embedded medical miniature sensors, wellness-related applications, cloud-based services and 24/7 call center support. By using the barely visible sensors on the phone’s frame, patients as well as health- and wellbeing conscious consumers can track, capture, collect and analyze their health and medical measurements anywhere anytime. The features include ECG, body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels (heart rate variability). All collected data can be retrieved from the cloud for a follow-up anytime anywhere. Users can thus take corrective action, plan their diets and activities, securely share the information with a health provider or family member, trend and analyze the data and more. Patients are also able to program the unit to remind them of their drug type, dose and intake time.

LifeWatch V with add-on service offering

LifeWatch V was designed with a flexible service-product ecosystem in mind, allowing easy integration of services. The LifeWatch V handset unit includes a service enablement platform to support the transmission of medical data to be analyzed, evaluated and communicated to health professionals and call center personnel around the clock. The device wirelessly interacts with a cloud-based environment allowing users direct access to a wide range of valuable complementary medical and wellness related services.

Strategic alliances with local partners

Smartphones are positioned to overtake many computing functions that were reserved to computers alone. More importantly, the smartphone has emerged as an intimate device consumers carry with them anywhere and anytime, making it an ideal vehicle to let users self-test their health, especially users with an interest in the medical field. Recent market developments have witnessed the emergence of health-dedicated cellular phones.

For more healthcare smartphone information click here

NHS should give smartphones to patients in remote parts of Scotland

‘Give patients smartphones’ call

Smartphones
Mobile phone apps are expected to be used increasingly by the health service

Giving cheap smartphones to patients living in remote and rural areas has been suggested as a way of providing faster and more cost effective care.

App designer Geoff Wilcock told BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme it would give people access to software that could be created for the NHS.

Mr Wilcox said apps could aid in consultations and cut waiting times.

The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare said patients expected greater use of technology.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) held a workshop on mobile phone applications last month.

The agency said that by 2014 it was expected that some 77 billion apps will have been downloaded from the Android and Apple phone markets.

Mr Wilcock, who took part in the workshop, said the NHS could provide patients with low-cost smartphones.

He said: “I am a diabetic and I quite easily sympathise with anyone who has to go on a two to three hour trip for a 20 minute meeting with a clinical nurse, or a doctor.

“Very expensive or valuable clinicians are also driving out for long periods to spend equally short times with the patient.”

Read the rest of this article here

Healthcare Informatics Spend in the UK to hit £3 Billion by 2016

Written by IHT Staff writer.

According to market research firm Ovum, healthcare ICT spend will hit the £3 Billion mark by 2016, a growth of over 12% from figures in 2010. Aging population, increased healthcare requirements and the ongoing drive to slash costs in NHS operating costs are the key driving factors in this forecast. “The UK will experience the strongest growth over the forecast period of any market we looked at,” Cornelia Wels-Maug, Ovum’s healthcare technology analyst, said. “A key driver for the investment is the urgent need to do more with less, owing to the ever-increasing number of patients with chronic illnesses as the population lives longer.

The cost of delivering a healthcare service that doesn’t compromise on quality is spiraling out of control. Investments in IT are part of the solution,” she added. Ovum forecasts telehealth and healthcare information exchanges will be areas in the UK healthcare technology and IT industry that will see growth although electronic healthcare records and digital imaging technologies will continue as the main area for healthcare ICT investment in the UK.

Healthcare Informatics Spend in the UK to hit £3 Billion by 2016

Bill Gates backs Glasgow University malaria project

Scientists at Glasgow University are being funded by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates’ charity to develop a hand-held device to diagnose malaria.

blood cells
Glasgow scientists hope to be able to quickly diagnose infected red blood cells

The $100,000 (£62,200) will fund a study into the use of Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWS) to detect red blood cells infected by malaria parasites.

Detection is thought to be possible as cells respond to SAWS in different ways depending on the cell properties.

SAWS electronic components are commonly found in TVs and mobile phones.

The Glasgow team proposes to use SAWS to exert selective forces on malaria-infected red blood cells to separate them from uninfected red cells.

Different cells respond to SAWs in different ways depending on physical properties such as elasticity and shape.

To read more on how this technology could improve patient care

P4 Digital : The Future of Healthcare – 10th/11th May 2011

After the success of the P4 Digital Healthcare convention in 2010, Highlands and Islands Enterprise offers the opportunity to further explore the rapidly evolving field of P4 digital healthcare.

The term ‘P4’ is being adopted in the life sciences and digital healthcare sectors to describe the changing healthcare landscape as it becomes more Predictive, Preventative, Personalised and Participatory.

P4 Digital: The future of healthcare conference, taking place at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness, will be held on 10 and 11 May 2011.  The theme of the event will be ‘exploring and connecting’.

Conference agenda

  • Day 1, 10th May 2011
  • 12.00pm – 1.00pm registration and lunch
  • 1.00pm – 1.10pm introduction and welcome
  • 1.10pm – 1.30pm scene setting – Dr Steven Dodsworth, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • 1.30pm – 2.10pm P4 Digital and m-health – Sarah Sanders, Vodafone
  • 2.10pm – 2.50pm P4 Digital, sensors and devices – Steve Setford, LifeScan
  • 2.50pm – 3.50pm coffee and exhibition
  • 3.50pm – 4.30pm P4 Digital and the web – Dame Wendy Hall, Web Science Trust*
  • 4.30pm – 5.00pm Moray, a living laboratory – Moray Community Health and Social Care Partnership
  • 5.00pm – 5.10pm closing remarks

* Remote connection

  • Day 2, 11th May 2011
  • 8.45am – 9.15am registration and coffee
  • 9.15am – 9.30am opening remarks
  • 9.30am – 10.10am P4 Digital and the NHS – George Crooks, NHS 24
  • 10.10am – 10.50am P4 and consumer health psychology – Vivien Swanson, University of Stirling
  • 10.50am – 11.30am coffee and exhibition
  • 11.30am – 12.20pm P4 and design innovation – Irene McAra-McWilliam, Glasgow School of Art
  • 12.20pm – 1.00pm P4 Digital in practice
  • 1.00pm – 1.10pm closing remarks
  • Lunch and networking

Delegate sign-up –  please complete our online form here to sign up for this event.

Exhibition space will be available on a first come, first served basis. A donation is requested from exhibitors to cover hospitality costs. For more information please contact dyan.berry@hient.co.uk

We can keep you up to date with news about P4 digital, if you would like to sign up for the mailing list please send your details todyan.berry@hient.co.uk

Information on last year’s event can be located is available from the list ofprevious conferences.

 

Government should do more to help people who use online health services

12 October 2010

The Government should do more to help people find trustworthy health websites and use online health services safely and effectively, says a new report on the ethics of ‘personalised healthcare’. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics warns that whilst online health information and services are convenient to use and extend choice, they could mislead, confuse or create unnecessary anxiety for the people who use them.

To minimise these potential harms the Council is calling on the Government to set up an accreditation scheme for online health record providers, for DNA testing and body scanning services to be better regulated, and for doctors to receive training on advising patients who use the internet to look for health information and to buy medicines online.

“The internet is now often the first port of call for people to find out more about their health. People need to know where they can get accurate health information, how to buy medicines online safely, and how any personal information about their health posted online might be used,” said Professor Christopher Hood, chair of the Working Party that produced the report.

The report also looks at direct-to-consumer personal DNA testing services that claim to predict your risk of developing diseases in future, and body scanning services which are offered to healthy people as a check-up. These services are promoted and can be booked online.

“The results of personal DNA testing and body scanning are often hard to interpret, unreliable and may cause people unnecessary anxiety,” says Professor Hood. “Better regulation is needed to ensure people are fully aware of the limitations of these services.”

The report, which considers a range of new technologies and services that are promised by their providers as offering more ‘personalised healthcare’, makes a number of recommendations for policy. In each case, the need to protect people from harm and the need to protect people’s personal information is weighed up against the need to give people freedom to make their own choices.

Health information websites

“We recommend that all websites offering health information and advice should state where the information originates and what it is based upon, who wrote it, and how the author or organisation is funded. Advertisements for medicines and products should also be clearly distinguished from other types of information,” said Professor Hood.

The Council concludes that the best websites for people to use when looking for health advice are based on high quality peer-reviewed research, from independent not-for-profit organisations, and are independently evaluated and continuously updated.

It says the NHS websites and the websites of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) generally meet these criteria.

In 2009 an Oxford Internet Survey found that in 2007 and 2009, 68% of British internet users had used the internet to look up health information.

Online pharmacies

The Council endorses Great Britain’s registration scheme for online pharmacies but recommends that the Government should make more information about it available, as people don’t always know that the scheme exists.

“Britain is leading the way when it comes to online pharmacies and patient safety, but there is nothing stopping people buying medicines from internet pharmacies based in other countries that are not regulated in the same way,” said Professor Nikolas Rose, one of the authors of the report.

“If you choose to buy medicines from a website that is not certified in the same way as registered online pharmacies in the UK, you risk buying harmful, fake or low quality products. You could also miss out on advice from doctors and pharmacists about adverse effects and interactions with other medicines you may be taking.” added Professor Rose.

The Council recommends that the UK registration scheme should be mirrored elsewhere in order to restrict the sale of medicines, including antibiotics, over the internet.

In 2008 approximately two million people in Great Britain were regularly purchasing pharmaceuticals online, both with a prescription from registered UK pharmacies and without prescriptions from other websites. A 2009 survey found that more than one in seven adults asked had bought a prescription-only medicine online without a prescription.

Online health records

Online health record services such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault allow people to create an account for storing information about their current and past health problems. The full versions of these services enable people to share their data with doctors and other service providers, although this is only offered in the US at present. The NHS currently intends to offer people in England an online summary of their health records through its HealthSpace website.

“These services could give people a convenient way of taking more control of their health records. However, it is paramount that people are fully aware of how their personal information is going to be stored and used before they sign up,” said Professor Hood.

The Council recommends that Governments should set up an accreditation system for online health record providers to improve transparency and standards on how personal information is stored and used. Companies should also establish systems to safeguard the confidentiality of data if they change ownership or go into administration.

Direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling services

Direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling services are often marketed online to healthy people as a way of finding out their risk of developing serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers, through the analysis of a DNA sample they provide.

“Commercial genetic profiling services may seem to be providing more choice to consumers, but the test results can be unreliable and difficult to interpret and they are offered to people with little or no genetic counselling or support” said Professor Rose.

“People should be aware that other than prompting obvious healthy lifestyle choices such as taking more exercise, eating a balanced diet and reducing alcohol consumption, the tests are unlikely to inform them of any specific disease risks that can be significantly changed by their behaviour.”

Currently there is no overarching system of regulation for personal genetic profiling. The Council says that claims that these services are leading to a new era of ‘personalised healthcare’ are overstated and should be treated with caution. It recommends that regulators of these services should request more evidence from companies to back up the claims they make about the predictive value of their tests.

Direct-to-consumer body scans

The report also considers direct-to-consumer CT, MRI and ultrasound body scans as a form of ‘health check-up’ for people without pre-existing symptoms.

Whole body CT scans carry serious physical risks from the radiation involved. The Council says that the commercial sale of whole body CT scans as a health check for people without prior symptoms of illness should be banned, as any potential benefits do not justify the potential harms caused by the radiation.

The scans may be hard to interpret and they often show up ‘abnormalities’ which are actually harmless, but which could lead to undue anxiety or further tests or treatments which carry risks. The report also recommends that GPs should receive specific training on giving advice to patients about direct-to-consumer body imaging services, and about making referral decisions on the basis of these tests.

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010

The 2010 BCS Health Scotland Annual Conference was held this year in the highest of high tech arenas, the futuristic Glasgow Science Centre.
Almost 200 delegates and exhibitors shared conference presentations from speakers from all around the world.  The Conference also provided a showcase of the very best eHealth projects in Scotland including the winners of the NHS Scotland eHealth awards.
The exhibition area showcased eHealth products from over 20 vendors with a further 15 stands on the upper floor giving public sector information from organisations such as the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Scottish Government eHealth Directorate and the NHS Scotland National Information Services Group.
The conference started on Wednesday 22nd September with keynote speakers giving presentations on eHealth as seen from the perspective of governments in Canada, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.  There were then various presentations from speakers on such topics as ‘Telehealth in Africa’,  ‘Quality improvement in eHealth in America’ and ‘eHealth in Malaysia’.  The day closed with a champagne reception for vendors, presenters and delegates held in the main exhibition hall.
On the second day the conference focussed on topics such as the ‘Welsh Individual Health Record Infrastructure’, the ‘Scottish Patient Safety Programme’ and ‘Monitoring Access to Clinical Systems’.

The day closed with the declaration of the winners in the NHS Scotland eHealth awards for 2010.  The judges for these awards were drawn from the exceedingly knowledgeable pool of field experts in the UK.  The award winners were as follows:-

Best NHS Scotland IT Service Delivery Team which was awarded to the project lead team at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde team for their Strathclyde Electronic Renal Patient Record project.

Best NHS Scotland eHealth initiative supporting quality improvement of patient service or outcomes which was awarded to the NHS Ayrshire and Arran team for their project entitled ‘ eHealth systems to support clinical outcomes measurement and service improvement’.

Best NHS Scotland use of innovative IT for Patient Care which went to the team from NHS Highland with their ‘Telehealth for Long Term conditions in Argyll and Bute’ project.

At the close of an extremely busy and successful conference the Chair of the BCS Health Scotland Specialist Group, Dr Paul Woolman, was pleased to announce that the 2011 conference will be held in mid September at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh man receives a wireless bionic device to help him walk

Bionic device that got stroke victim back on his feet again

EXCLUSIVE: Helen Puttick, Health Correspondent

18 Sep 2010

When John McGregor suffered a major stroke and lost the use of his right leg, he never stopped believing he would walk again.

John McGregor is the first person in Scotland to use the pioneering new aid. Pic: Gordon Terris

After months in hospital, he could manage to walk 50 yards but suffered “drop foot” – paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot, causing the toes to drag along the ground.

Now Mr McGregor has become the first person in Scotland to be fitted with a device that raises his foot for him.

The wireless system includes a leg cuff, which straps below the knee, containing two electrodes that stimulate the muscles. A sensor placed in the shoe, underneath the heel, switches on the electrical stimulation as the leg is raised to take a step, bringing up the toes. When the foot is lowered, the sensor turns the stimulation off, allowing the foot to lie flat.

With the help of the device, called the Wireless Ness L300, Mr McGregor, originally from Paisley but now living in Edinburgh, can walk for a mile.

He said: “The L300 has given me much more independence. I can now put it on and take it off by myself and I wear it from the early morning to the late evening. My style is much more natural and my stability has greatly improved, particularly when walking uphill and on flat ground. I can actually go for 40-minute walks.”

Mr McGregor, a cosmetic surgeon, had just retired from the NHS and was still treating private patients when he suffered the stroke in July 2007.

Despite his medical background, he did not realise what had happened. He rang helpline NHS 24 and was advised to see a GP the following morning.

When he saw his doctor he could still use his legs, but the weakness increased. He remembers lying in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital unable to feel his right-hand side, being unhappy yet surprisingly calm.

Read the full article about this bionic device HERE