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Samsung and Fitbit currently leading wearables markets

Samsung and Fitbit currently leading wearables markets | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

With the Apple Watch launch, and its potential to upend the wearables market, a few months away, Canalys reports that the current market leader for “smart wearable bands” — any wristworn device that can run third-party applications — is Samsung. Meanwhile, the “basic wearable band” market, which Canalys defines as wearables that can’t run apps, is still led by Fitbit.

The up-and-comer in the non-smartwatch wearable market is Xiaomi, whose focus on the Chinese market and low price point have catapulted it into the spotlight. It has shipped more than a million Mi Bands, 103,000 of those on the first day. 

“Though the Mi Band is a lower-margin product than competing devices, Xiaomi entered the wearables market with a unique strategy, and its shipment volumes show how quickly a company can become a major force in a segment based solely on the size of the Chinese market,” analyst Jason Low said in a statement.

Canalys didn’t share the total shipment numbers for basic bands, but said 4.6 million smart bands shipped in 2014, only 720,000 of which were Android Wear. Of those, Motorola led the market with its Moto 360.  Samsung led the smart band segment overall, owing to the wide range of devices the company has available.

“‘Samsung has launched six devices in just 14 months, on different platforms and still leads the smart band market,” VP and principal analyst Chris Jones said in a statement. “But it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on [operating system] Tizen for its wearables.”

Canalys predicts Apple’s entry into the market will blow up the category, and says the device’s battery life will be the main advantage over Android Wear to begin with.

“Apple made the right decisions with its WatchKit software development kit to maximize battery life for the platform, and the Apple Watch will offer leading energy efficiency,” analyst Daniel Matte said in a statement. “Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so.”


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Cheryl Palmer's curator insight, 20 February 2015, 00:06

WEARABLES - Market report summary on the current (Feb 2015) state of the wearables market with link to data source.  Useful to get insight into where major players are focusing their development dollars.

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Google to add medical details to health topic searches

Google to add medical details to health topic searches | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Google Inc said it would add a feature wherein online searches on health-related topics would display relevant medical details on the search page.

If a user searches for a topic such as "conjunctivitis", the page will pull up details such as symptoms, treatments, age factor and whether the condition is contagious, Google said in a blog post. (http://bit.ly/1zSukhy)

Google said it had worked with doctors to compile the data, which had been checked by its medical team and doctors at the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.

The company, however, warned that the search results should not be considered medical advice.

One in 20 Google searches are on health-related topics, the company said.

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5 digital trends to watch in 2015 | Healthcare IT News

5 digital trends to watch in 2015 | Healthcare IT News | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The year 2014 goes down in history as a breakout year for digital healthcare, according to a recent report from StartUp Health, whose stated mission is to help 1,000 health startups reimagine and transform healthcare over the next 10 years.

StartUp Health's calculations show that some $6.5 billion was invested in digital health in 2014, a 125 percent increase over the $2.9 billion invested in 2013.

"Signs of a maturing market continue as investors place larger bets on fewer companies," according to the report, which lists the market's top deals and investors.

StartUp Health executives also reveal the five trends they will be watching closely in 2015:

  • Healthcare reform continues to spur innovation: As incentive structures change and new penalties come into effect in 2015, providers and payors look to entrepreneurs to create effective solutions. The unmet need is evidenced as big data and analytics ($1.5 billion); population health ($1.1 billion); and healthcare system navigation ($975 million) net the largest amounts of private funding in 2014.
  • Acceleration of chronic disease & aging population leads to increased consumerism: Rising costs continue to be the second largest catalyst for innovation in healthcare. Patients are not only encouraged, but enabled through mobile technology, to manage their health through preventive measures. Consumer health companies raised $880M in 2014.
  • Clinical decision support & personalized medicine gain traction: With the advent of the $1,000 genome, truly personalized medicine is in our reach. Genomic companies raised $632 million and diagnostics $962 million this year. This data, coupled with $624 million that went into clinical research companies will revolutionize the way that diseases are treated.
  • Convergence of technology in clinical settings: Mobile and wireless technology has permeated not only our daily lives, but those of professionals in clinical settings. Practice management tools allowing physicians to focus on treatment, rather than admin tasks, raised $783 million, while those focusing on improving workflows raised $681 million. Payor-related toolkits raised $699 million.
  • Innovation globalization: More than 7,500 startups around the world are developing new solutions in digital health, based on data from the StartUp Health Network. Even within the U.S., areas outside of the Bay Area, New York and Boston are seeing an uptick in the number of companies obtaining funding.


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For healthcare, Google Glass still has it | Healthcare IT News

For healthcare, Google Glass still has it | Healthcare IT News | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

There's plenty of potential for Google Glass in healthcare, despite reports that have called into question the technology's value.   "Glass in the enterprise is certainly stronger than it's ever been. Google is investing very heavily," said Kyle Samani, CEO of Pristine, a company that develops software for the device, during a Monday afternoon session at the mHealth Summitoutside Washington, D.C.   Samani was part of a panel that included Paul Porter, MD, director of special projects and telemedicine for Brown University Emergency Medicine, and Sean Lunde, mHealth lead for Wipro's healthcare and life sciences consulting group. They noted several use cases where Google Glass is being tested:  

  • Helping specialists in ambulances to enable consultations while a patient is being transported to a hospital.
  • Performing consultations in the ER to bring in specialists faster and expedite waiting times.
  • Steaming video from the OR to the command center of a medical device company rather than have a device rep present with the surgeon.
  • Using Glass to quickly communicate information rather than sending a page.
  • Using Glass for telemedicine consults to alleviate the often-lengthy wait times for patients to see a dermatologist in person.

In a cited dermatology study at Brown's emergency department, about 90 percent of patients said they were satisfied with and would recommend the technology, according to Porter. 

Almost all study patients had confidence in the equipment and would recommend it to other patients, he reported.

The caveat, however, was that nearly 75 percent of patients would have preferred a face-to-face visit rather than a telemedicine consult.


"If we're going to move to a cheaper and more accessible form of medicine, it's going to have the feeling of using a call center," Porter acknowledged.

Lunde encouraged those interested in starting a Glass pilot to do so as a way to get in tune with future technology trends.

"Screens will get smaller and more contextual and you will learn how to make that work," he said, noting that Glass' screen size requires that only the most important, relevant information be displayed.

"For us, Glass was both better and worse than the hype," Porter said. "The truth is somewhere in the middle. For certain specialties … where your hands need to be free and your eyes need to be covered, it shows great promise. It's part of what I consider part of a really bright future for telemedicine in general."



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Google & Mayo collaborate to improve "googling" health info

Google & Mayo collaborate to improve "googling" health info | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

This week, Google announced plansto make those searches your patients are doing for health information more reliable by delivering information curated by its own physicians and others from the Mayo Clinic.

According to Google, one in twenty searches it gets are for health information. Now when someone searches for a common diagnosis, they’ll get information that’s been reviewed by health care professionals on the results page in the Knowledge Graph. That’s the part of the screen, separated from the results & links, that has information on your search topic.

Information will include symptoms, treatments, information on who is affected, whether its contagious, and more – all reviewed by healthcare professionals. As described by Google,

So starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.

Google’s internal team is led by Dr. Kapil Parakh, a heart failure cardiologist who previously practiced at Johns Hopkins and went on to become a White House fellow before joining Google. They also worked with healthcare professionals from the Mayo Clinic, whose sites often pop up as the first or second result when you search for any number of specific health conditions.

Its unclear what breadth of health conditions will be covered and in what depth. And with all of the news articles about this starting with “Dr. Google,” you’d think Google’s new search function will be diagnosing most common conditions. But by the examples offered, it seems that searches would have to be for actual health terms – measles, tonsillitis, frostbite, and so on. For patients experiencing any of these things (without a diagnosis yet), I’d guess the searches would be more vague – sore throat, red rash, or blue foot.

On the other hand, for folks who see the news about the measles or hear a friend has been diagnosed with pink eye, they’d probably use specific enough terms to see this curated health information. And for patients who may not have understood everything their doctor told them about their child’s tonsillitis or how bursitis is causing their pain, this information could be a great starting point to learn more from a reliable source.

We’ve all had the experience of patient’s walking into clinic armed with information gleaned from Googling their condition. Hopefully, this new health-specific search will mean they show up with more information from the Mayo Clinic and less from Dr. Oz.


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UpTempo Group's curator insight, 18 February 2015, 02:16

Google is improving their search results for health info.  Per Google's Team "We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor."

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Should Google Be Allowed to Mine Your Health Care Data?

Should Google Be Allowed to Mine Your Health Care Data? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

On the heels of the I/O keynote on Thursday, Google cofounder Larry Page spilled his guts to Farhad Manjoo from The New York Times. "Right now we don't data-mine health care data," Page said. "If we did we'd probably save 100,000 lives next year." But is that actually a good idea?

Mining health care is a very slippery slope, whether it's done by Google or some government agency or anyone really. The privacy concerns alone have always kept prying eyes out of your health records. But now that technology has advanced to the point where we could anonymize the data and use the information to cure diseases, it's worth revisiting that topic.

The data store is only going to get bigger, too, as gadgets like fitness and health trackers become more ubiquitous. (Google, of course, is leading the charge on this front as well.) While Page's 100,000 figure is probably completely made up—and not even that many lives in the grander scheme of things—it seems pretty clear that a better understanding of health care data is a good thing.

So what do you think? Is it time to chill out about privacy so that Google algorithms can start saving some lives? Or would you rather keep your personal health care data personal?

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Healthcare Predictions For 2015

Healthcare Predictions For 2015 | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Next year will be big for healthcare. We felt small tremors in 2014 of the seismic changes underway. In 2015, I predict five changes to the core of the U.S. healthcare system: insurance, pharmaceuticals, supplies, medical services and payments. Let’s take a look at each of these trends, what they mean for the healthcare sector, and what they mean for you.

Walmart becomes your healthcare insurer

This October, Walmart tipped its hand by launching a healthcare insurance exchange online. However, the insurance products currently sold on its exchange do not have Walmart as the carrier, which will change in 2015.

Walmart’s public announcements thus far provide a clear preview of the insurance plan’s future design. Primary care through retail clinics and $4 generic drugs at the pharmacy will drive traffic into stores. For specialty care, the plan will leverage the Centers of Excellence program that Walmart already offers to its 1.2 million insured employees. In this program, consumers pay little to nothing out-of-pocket for knee, hip surgery, and cancer treatment if they go to a short list of high-quality medical centers like Mayo, the Cleveland Clinic, Mercy and Geisinger.

With a store within five miles of 95 percent of all Americans and retail transactional data from its consumers, Walmart can provided tailored population health services and incentivize healthier shopping decisions to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Startups sell into big pharma and become profitable

Despite a 5x increase in venture investments, most digital health companies are not profitable.  Digital health CEOs should look at pharma as its paying customer. Despite their vast differences, pharmaceutical manufacturers are starting to pay tech startups to solve their complicated problems.

One major issue pharma wants your help with is accessing and selling to physicians. In person detailing by trained sales representatives has been the core of pharma’s sale strategy for decades.

Yet, one-fourth of all MD’s offices and two-fifths of all offices with 10 or more MDs refuse to see pharmaceutical sales reps in their offices. The Sunshine Act, which compelled every pharma company to disclose what it spends on each MD, accelerated the problem. The problem of customer awareness and engagement is ripe for tech companies, particularly those focused on social media, mobile advertising and video, to capitalize on.

Next year is going to be a tipping point, because spending and hiring within pharma’s commercial organizations are changing fast. Plus, the FDA published draft guidance on social media in July 2014. Suddenly, these corporations have large eMarketing teams and VPs of digital health. We are seeing CIOs from companies like Dell working at Merck. These indicators tell me that 2015 will be the year when pharma is willing to shop for best-in-breed companies that address their business problems.

Amazon undercuts the medical supply chain

Amazon sells a dizzying array of products. Catheters and surgical gloves are not on the market yet, but they will be soon. Doctors and practice managers are just like the rest of us — they love Amazon Prime for their homes, so why not for their practices?

Amazon will first target small practices and cutout group-purchasing organizations that take an undeserved cut of savings that could be passed on to physicians. If Amazon can ship you toilet paper in two hours, it can supply a small practice with gloves and gowns. The volume from these accounts will justify free shipping, especially when Amazon moves upstream into higher-margin products such as sutures, syringes and other commoditized supplies.

While medical professionals and business managers will be driven by price and convenience, Amazon’s motivations will be financial. General surgical supply company Owens & Minor generated $9 billion in annual revenue last year. Amazon isn’t known for letting glaring business opportunities go untouched, especially those that can move its stock price.

Hospitals become a channel for peer-to-peer lending

If you understand the flow of payments in healthcare, you can predict the trends. Consumers and employers are purchasing insurance plans with high deductibles. As a result, the first dollar that hospitals earn is now coming from consumers. Actually, the first $17,000 is coming from consumers. With an average income of $55,000, most American consumers simply can’t pay their medical bills.

When they don’t pay, it hurts providers financially. What consumers don’t pay shows up as accounts receivable on hospital balance sheets and eventually turns into bad debt. Since many hospitals are financed by debt and their credit worthiness is partially determined by the health of their balance sheet, the problem of getting patients to pay is urgent.

This raises the question — how can we find the money to help consumers finance their health care payments? Many consumers are able and willing to pay their medical bills, they just can’t do it all at once. Peer-to-peer lending companies have paved the way for unsecured structure notes, where an individual’s loan can be financed by others. These have shown impressive growth. Peer-to-peer lending is already being used to finance plastic surgery and other cash-pay procedures. Now it could be used for the majority of medical expenses in the U.S.

Latinos become the most desired healthcare segment in the U.S.

There are 54 million Latinos living in the United States, constituting 17 percent of the population. Politicians have taken notice and are paying attention to Latinos as an important voting demographic. Healthcare providers are beginning to do so, too.

Latinos have been disenfranchised by the U.S. healthcare system because of legal status, English language skills and financial constraints. Fewer than 4 percent of healthcare providers speak Spanish and most do not know how to approach the cultural and economic diversity within the Latino population. Even native English speakers can’t make sense of PPOs vs. HMOs.  As a result, Latinos are 1 out of every 5 uninsured individuals in the U.S. and leverage healthcare services differently than other demographic cohorts

As hospitals compete for volume, they cannot ignore 1 out of 5 Americans. In order to win the loyalty of this untapped customer segment, we will see Latino-branded services with evening and weekend hours to serve dual-income families. Since these services will be built from scratch to provide high-quality care at low prices, they might leap frog the care that the rest of the population currently receives.

Change has historically come slowly and reluctantly to the healthcare industry, but thanks to widespread demand from the government, payers, and consumers for improvement in coverage and care, it seems to be speeding up.

These five predictions represent a power shift in the world of healthcare, where new players emerge as forces to be reckoned with, and consumers gain greater control over their care. I predict, and hope, that 2015 will be the year when leaders across the healthcare spectrum will welcome innovation and embrace much-needed change.

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Connected Digital Health & Life's curator insight, 24 May 2015, 20:33

This is the business insight for digital health in the years ahead. Solve business problems and make money! A tad beyond just keeping people well!