If we want to start using Analytics in India, one of the areas to focus on can be in the area of Diagnostic Analytics. We can leverage Transfer learning in this area as there are many pre-trained models leveraged by others and available.Continue reading “Healthcare Decoded – The #Analytics Conundrum by Harish Rijhwani, @Harish_Rijhwani”
Napier Healthcare is a global company headquartered in Singapore, where it manages the development of technologies to world-class standards. My other point of reference is the US. So whenever I consider the industry in India, I am invariably piqued by its difference from the industry in Singapore and the US. Especially the US, since it is a democracy like India and has similar health problems on a large scale.
The most obvious difference I see between India and the US is in their standards and certification environments. We do business in the US and have to be certain that our solutions meet that market’s most stringent regulatory and certification requirements. They include HIPAA and a few others, but more significantly in the case of hospital information systems, the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) compliance certification. These certifications create significant entry barriers for non-serious players, and make certain that healthcare IT (HIT) quality is maintained in the market.
Compared to a global average of 2-2.5 percent of investments by hospitals, or 6-15 percent by other sectors in India itself, hospitals are far behind their global peers in recognizing the value of good software. The impulse is always to invest for the quick ROI. For example, instead of investment in IT, many CEOs traditionally have wanted to invest in CT Scan or other equipment, which can generate revenue from the following morning itself.
Finally, Insurance is coming
Increasingly top hospitals are becoming aware that the Insurance reimbursements are a significant portion of their revenue and rising every year. DRG classifications and reporting are going to become commonplace as Insurer’s seek to reduce their cost by paying for “packages” rather than individual services. This means that Hospitals that won’t or can’t respond to the Insurer’s will be left to address private-pay market that will shrink slowly but surely. If one studies the evolution of the US system you will find a strong parallel to the trends in the Indian healthcare system. This will be an existential question for providers.
The Article was first published on Mr. Tirupathi Karthik’s LinkedIn Pulse blog, here, and has been republished with the author’s permission.
State of Health in India
Maternal Mortality Rate (year 2015): defined as number of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth, per 100,000 live births. India has a rate of 174 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is worse than Bhutan (148 / 100,000) or Sri Lanka (30 / 100,000 ). China which also has a large population is much better (27 / 100,000)
Infant Mortality Rate (year 2017): defined as number of children who die less than one year of age per 1000 live births. In India the figure is 39 per 1000 live births, behind Bangladesh ( 32 / 1000 ) and Nepal ( 28 / 1000 ). China is 12 / 1000.
State of healthcare information collection for events like epidemics in India
Before 2010, it would take about six months for the health information to be collected, collated and analysed to prove that a given region in India had an epidemic as the entire process was paper based. By that time the disease (with most being self-limiting) would have struck, had its toll of morbidity and mortality and run its course. With most data collection being paper based this delay costs India loss of lives and productivity with high morbidity, especially in rural areas ( in urban areas- private hospitals and clinics have a process of notifying the public health authorities for notifiable diseases, hence epidemics are identified earlier in urban areas) .
To top it all there is general disbelief in the official published health statistics in India. For example, official data claimed that Malarial deaths in India was only 1,023 in 2010, however a Lancet published study showed the figure to be actually 46,800. Following the Lancet article, the official data agreed that they had their figures off by twenty to thirty times. Even for a common disease like Cholera, which strikes every monsoon in endemic areas along the Ganges and Brahmaputra, the official estimate for India is 3,631 cases per year, while research has shown this to be about 22,200 per year.
While the immediate reaction is to blame the public health authorities and Government in India, one must understand the limitations in a paper world to collect health information of 1.3 billion people across 3,200,000 square kilometres. Compare that to collection of information electronically – an electron can travel around the world in about 19 seconds.
The solution – Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)
The solution is to produce healthcare information in a timely manner with accuracy and reliability. To achieve speed, it is best to do so with Information Technology – hence HIT. To achieve accuracy and reliability, it is best if the patient’s data is put into the HIT system by the providers of healthcare such as doctors, nurses, pharmacist etc at the point of care. This patient level data can then be collated and processed to get timely, accurate and reliable population-based healthcare information.
In addition, HIT systems provides the power of IT to healthcare such as giving alerts for drug-drug interactions, duplication in lab tests and bringing about efficiency in processes and workflows in a healthcare setting, producing reports quickly which will help in planning and deployment of healthcare. It is estimated that healthcare doubles in knowledge every few months and it is difficult for doctors to keep up. With HIT it will be possible to keep up with the latest and deploy best practice evidence-based medicine applicable for India.
The proof of HIT bringing exponential improvement in speed and access to important healthcare information like epidemics even in Indian public health, is best exemplified by the IDSP program. The IDSP program has gone digital from district level upwards to state and then to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi. As a result, the NCDC now publishes data on epidemics and events on a month to month basis and will soon be publishing it on a weekly basis. Will cover the details of this program in a future write up.
This article has been republished here with the author’s permission. The article was first published here.
My takeaway from that conversation were the two keywords ‘facts‘ and ‘fingertips‘! For running a successful organization, you do always need to have near real-time relevant and critical (may be up to ten, one for each fingertip!) facts on what is happening within the company. However, just the facts (measures) may not always be sufficient to arrive at a decision unless those are benchmarked against the desired performance and/or trends over different periods for those measures. Deployment of analytics enables the stakeholders to have that additional edge over the decision-making, by making the exercise based more on validated data than just a gut feeling.
Meeting the patient expectations
... and timely …
… and fairly …
… and thus earning patients’ trust!
Managing the hospital operations efficiently
necessary and sufficient?
Monitoring the financial health of the hospital
Where does the hospital stand when compared with its peers?
Note: A version of this article also appears in my blog gyaan-alytics and more…
Author: Dr. Oommen John, Date: 12/02/2018
The article was first published in Dr. Oommen John’s LinkedIn Pulse page, its been re-published here with the authors’ permission
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#DIGITALHEALTH AS A TOOL TO PROTECT THE NATIONAL HEALTH PROTECTION SCHEME BY DR. OOMMEN JOHN @OOMMEN_JOHN
To showcase applications of new age technologies in the field of Healthcare. How digital and hardware technological adoption in the field of healthcare, is making patient treatment better, therapies more effective and extending human longevity.
Summit Takeaways for audience
by Mr. R Janardhan – Pro Vice Chancellor, Dayananda Sagar University
DST Funded Startup Incubation centre
- GE Healthcare, Nvidia, Autodesk and Bosch few of the many companies that have already set up labs within the Innovation centre on campus (DS University, Kudlu Gate, Hosur Road)
- Set up of a privately funded Innovation Centre at Dayananda Sagar Innovation Campus to instil the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst students
Precision Medicine and growth of personalized medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era – creating policy and ecosystem to keep pace with innovation
by Dr. Vijay Chandru, CEO Strand Life Sciences and World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Awardee
- 1/3rd of India’s Biotech companies in Bangalore – Study by ABLE
- Ecosystem is ripe for disruption in the field of personalised medicine
- Discussion about the growth story of Strand Life Sciences, an independently held private company
- Strand Life Sciences working towards creating affordable genomics solutions
- Bioinformatics is today helping early screening for cancer and providing testing methods to determine probability for occurrence of a hereditary disease
- World is moving towards personalised treatments and neo-natal gene modification is leading to a future where we will have “designer babies”
- Strand has 30% market share in its segment and currently has both local and international clientele
Healthcare solutions for the masses. Indian Healthcare innovations for the World.
Dr. Vijay Chandru (CEO – Strand Life Sciences, World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Awardee);
Dr. Jagadish Mittur (Head – Biotechnology Facilitation Cell – KBITS, Department of IT BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka);
Mr. K Chandrasekhar (CEO, Forus Health);
Dr. Dheepa Srinivasan (Additive Manufacturing, General Electric);
Mr. Anurag Ramdasan (Global Shapers Bangalore and VC at 3one4 Capital)
Gene editing (CRISPR technology) has lots of potential in this fourth industrial revolution era and policy is being framed with Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), to enable Indian innovators to stay ahead of the curve and innovate in the space of genomics – Dr. Vijay Chandru
Government of Karnataka was the first state to come up with a biotechnology policy (circa. 1999) and last month released the third updated version of the policy. Gov. of Kar is focussed towards creating clusters for innovation in healthcare (Bangalore Bio innovation Centre, IBAB); deploy funds for early/ growth stage start-ups via their Idea2PoC and Elevate funding programs; create quality human resource personnel (Bioinformatics graduate students from IBAB centre are in global demand for their skills). Government is also focusing on creating new clusters of innovation across the state – Hubli / Dharwad Agri-Tech cluster, Mangalore Marine Biotech cluster being some of the many to be set up. – Dr. Jagadish Mittur
3D Printing in Healthcare is a 3 Billion Dollar opportunity. GE is focused on utilising the power of additive manufacturing (3D Printing) to create affordable healthcare devices. Work with certifying aerospace grade parts similar to what needs to be done by medical sector to certify medical grade implants. Various advantages of using additive manufactured in designing medical grade implants, equipment and lab testing tools (3D Bioprinting). Solutions to cater to needs of India’s large diabetic population can come from 3D Printing. – Dr. Dheepa Srinivasan
Inspired by the Aravind Eye Hospital chain, Forus Healthcare set forth on their journey in 2010 to develop an affordable eye screening device with the goal to eradicate avoidable blindness. Their key product is 3nethra. Forus has sold products in 26+ countries and truly represents the Make in India for the World dream of our country’s Prime Minister. Ecosystem was supportive to provide inputs and collaboration, when they started off. Challenged faces along the way to building a global product company include lack of support from government run regulatory bodies, slow time from prototype to product.
– Mr. K Chandrasekhar
Private VC firms already working with government to help their portfolio start-ups tackle various on ground challenges and to deploy technology to improve government efficiency in fields ranging from agriculture to IT. Most VC funds have a shorter life cycle than a deep tech focused life sciences company that is looking at 10-year plus gestation period. This requires exploring other routes for VCs to be able to work better with startups in this space with special structures, incentives and better liquidity through proposed SME exchanges. VC community will continue to better engage with the healthcare ecosystem with the goal of supporting novel Make in India Healthcare companies. – Mr. Anurag Ramdasan
We also had the following Healthcare companies and start-ups showcase their work through 10-minute presentations followed by audience Q&A
1. DocsApp: Doctor consultation and chat via Mobile Application
2. Niramai: Pre-screening AI tools for Breast cancer
3. Next Big Innovation Labs 3D Bioprinting: 3D Skin Tissues for cosmetic R&D testing & Maxillofacial Models for use as pre-surgical guides
4. Gangagen: Developing Drug Resistant Bacteria
5. Biodesign Innovation Labs: New age ventilator for emergency rooms accessible to the bottom of the pyramid
An event by Global Shapers Bangalore (World Economic Forum Chapter), Dayananda Sagar University and Autodesk
Event Photos – https://goo.gl/HNJS2m
For Further Details regarding the event, please contact –
Mr. Alok Medikepura Anil -email@example.com, +91 8971909120
Member of 3D Printing Expert Network
World Economic Forum & Global Shapers, Bangaloree
The report, ‘Rewire for Growth,’ estimates that AI has the potential to increase India’s annual growth rate of gross value added (GVA) by 1.3 percentage points, lifting the country’s income by 15 percent in 2035. To avoid missing out on this opportunity, policy makers and business leaders must prepare for, and work toward, the AI revolution.
The era of AI has arrived. Established companies are moving far beyond experimentation. Money is flowing into AI technologies and applications at large companies. The number of patents filed on AI technologies in G20 countries has increased at a more than 26 percent compound annual growth rate since 2010. Funding for AI startups has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of almost 60 percent.
AI is a new factor of production that can augment labor productivity and innovation while driving growth in at least three important ways:
Mobilize Intelligent Automation
Automate complex, physicalworld tasks that require adaptability and agility.
Empower Existing Workforces
Complement and enhance the skills and abilities of workforces.
Let AI be a catalyst for broad structural transformation of the economy. Do things differently, do different things.
The report points out AI is expected to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points—in a scenario of intelligent machines and humans working together to solve the country’s most difficult problems in 2035
AI TENDING TO INDIA’S HEALTH
India’s healthcare providers have embraced artificial intelligence, recognizing its significant value in better diagnostics with data intelligence and in improving patient experience with AI-powered solutions.
Take Manipal Hospitals, headquartered in Bengaluru, which is using IBM Watson for Oncology, a cognitive-computing platform, to help physicians identify personalized cancer care options across the country.
In cardiac care, Columbia Asia Hospitals in Bengaluru is using startup Cardiotrack’s AI algorithms to predict and diagnose cardiac diseases, disorders, and ailments.
And in eye care, Aravind Eye Hospital is working with Google to use AI in ophthalmology for diabetic retinopathy screening. Also, the government of Telangana is planning to use Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE), an AI platform, to reduce avoidable blindness, which would make it the first state in India to deploy AI for eye care screening as part of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram program under the National Health Mission.
Accenture, for its part, has developed an AI-powered smartphone solution to help the visually impaired improve the way they experience the world around them and enhance their productivity in the workplace. The solution, called
Drishti, was initially developed and tested through a collaboration with the National Association for the Blind in India.
AI has the potential to have a broad-based disruptive impact on society, creating a variety of economic benefits. While some of these benefits can be measured, others, such as consumer convenience and time savings, are far more intangible in nature. Our analysis focuses on measuring the GVA impact of AI.
Read the press release here >>
Read the complete report here >>
Digital technology in healthcare is booming at a rate that no one would ever have imagined. From smartphone apps to self-monitoring healthcare devices, the healthcare delivery system has started to change for the better.Continue reading “‘‘Doctor on the Go” Revolution Ready To Change The Reality of Healthcare by @Guneet_B”
Gartner in their recent report defines Blockchain as a Digital Platform. And healthcare industry has been perennially on the lookout for a Digital Platform that will allow for an efficient and secure way to share patient data. Providing access to the healthcare data involves providing access to the patient data to relevant stakeholders at the right time and to the right person, not only ensuring the privacy but also providing the patient control of their data.
Another problem that remains evasive in healthcare is driven by privacy of the patient data, and has been at times been seen to be impeding the flow of patient data between disparate systems, (i.e., Interoperability).
We now have the Blockchain Technology and various companies are working to apply the technology to help solve not only the interoperability problem but also applying the same technology to solve various usecases in the Care Continuum, to save costs, improve efficiency, ensure privacy.
So what are the problems Blockchain is being applied to in the Healthcare context? What are the benefits one would accrue by applying Blockchain to Healthcare and what are the pitfalls.
The past august, ONC in the US setout a Blockchain challenge with the objective,
“The goal of this Ideation Challenge is to solicit White Papers that investigate the relationship between Blockchain technology and its use in Health IT and/or health-related research. The paper should discuss the cryptography and underlying fundamentals of Blockchain technology, examine how the use of Blockchain can advance industry interoperability needs expressed in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, as well as for Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), delivery system reform, and other healthcare delivery needs, as well as provide recommendations for Blockchain’s implementation. In addition to a monetary award, winners may also have the opportunity to present their White Papers at an industry-wide “Blockchain & Healthcare Workshop” co- hosted by ONC and NIST.”
As part of the Ideation Challenge, the following papers were the declared winners:
1. Blockchain and Health IT: Algorithms, Privacy, and Data: This papers discusses the need to create a peer-to- peer network that enables parties to jointly store and analyze data with complete privacy, based on highly optimized version of multi-party computation with a secret-sharing. An auditable, tamper-proof distributed ledger (a permissioned blockchain) records and controls access through smart contracts and digital identities. We conclude with an initial use case of OPAL/Enigma that could empower precision medicine clinical trials and research.
Authors: Ackerman Shrier A, Chang A, Diakun-thibalt N, Forni L, Landa F, Mayo J, van Riezen R, Hardjono, T.
Organization: Project PharmOrchard of MIT’s Experimental Learning “MIT FinTech: Future Commerce.”
2. Blockchain: Securing a New Health Interoperability Experience: Blockchain technologies solutions can support many existing health care business processes, improve data integrity and enable at-scale interoperability for information exchange, patient tracking, identity assurance, and validation. This paper suggests these processes can be supported by three most important applications: Creating secured and trusted care records, linking identities and recording patient consent decisions and patient directives within the secured patient record.
Authors: Brodersen C, Kalis B, Mitchell E, Pupo E, Triscott A.
Organization: Accenture LLP
3. Blockchain Technologies: A Whitepaper Discussing how Claims Process can be Improved: Smart contracts, Blockchain, and other technologies can be combined into a platform that enables drastic improvements to the claims process and improves the health care experience for all stakeholders. The healthcare industry suffers from an inability to clearly communicate costs in a timely and easy-to-understand format. This problem is a symptom of interoperability issues and complex agreements between providers, patients, health plans/payers and government regulators. These agreements are encoded in legal language with the intent of being defensible in court. However, the focus on legal enforceability, instead of understandability, creates problems resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually to administer an inefficient, outdated and complex process for adjudicating and paying health plan claims.
The process results in errors and often leaves the patient unclear on how much they need to pay. If these agreements were instead translated into computer code (smart contracts) leveraging Blockchain technologies, the claim process would not only be interoperable, but also drive standardization, research and innovation. Transparency and trust can be injected into the process when both the logic and the data driving these decisions is stored permanently and made available to all stakeholders through a peer-to- peer distributed database like blockchain. The result will be a paradigm shift toward interoperability and transparency, enhancing the speed and accuracy of cost reporting to patients. This paper discusses how smart contracts, blockchain and other technologies can be combined into a platform that enables drastic improvements to the healthcare experience for all stakeholders.
Author: Culver K.
4. Blockchain: A new model for Health Information Exchanges: Presentation of an implementation framework and business case for using Blockchain as part of health information exchange to satisfy national health care objectives.
Authors: Krawiec RJ, Barr D, Killmeyer K, Filipova M, Nesbit A, Israel A, Quarre F, Fedosva K, Tsai L.
Organization: Deloitte Consulting LLP
5. A Case Study for Blockchain in Healthcare: “MedRec” Prototype for Electronic Health Records and Medical Research Data: A long-standing focus on compliance has traditionally constrained development of fundamental design changes for Electronic Health Records (EHRs). We now face a critical need for such innovation, as personalization and data science prompt patients to engage in the details of their healthcare and restore agency over their medical data.
In this paper, the authors propose MedRec: a novel, decentralized record management system to handle EHRs, using blockchain technology. The system gives patients a comprehensive, immutable log and easy access to their medical information across providers and treatment sites. Leveraging unique blockchain properties, MedRec manages authentication, confidentiality, accountability and data sharing—crucial considerations when handling sensitive information. A modular design integrates with providers’ existing, local data storage solutions, facilitating interoperability and making our system convenient and adaptable.
MedRec incentivize medical stakeholders (researchers, public health authorities, etc.) to participate in the network as blockchain “miners”. This provides them with access to aggregate, anonymized data as mining rewards, in return for sustaining and securing the network via Proof of Work. MedRec thus enables the emergence of data economics, supplying big data to empower researchers while engaging patients and providers in the choice to release metadata.
The purpose of this paper is to expose, in preparation for field tests, a working prototype through which we analyze and discuss our approach and the potential for blockchain in health IT and research.
Authors: Ekblaw A, Azaria A, Halamka J, Lippman A.
Organizations: MIT Media Lab, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
6. The Use of a Blockchain to Foster the Development of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs): This paper suggests the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as a modality to treat Mental Health disorders. This the author suggests is achieved by the use of various applications that allow the patient to record information using SMS or applications. These applications keep track of any emergencies, provides patient coaching and guidance, recording of daily progress and medication adherence. While many patients feel ashamed of their mental state and feel a stigma associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety, the anonymous nature of these applications may make it more likely for them to seek help.
These types of use cases are the first step in implementing blockchain technology as they help identify the system requirements and looks at the interactions between users and systems. In this case, the focus would be on personal health information that is highly sensitive and coming from mobile applications that require direct interaction between the patient and providers, as well as those involved in the care of the patient.
Each scenario that involves a transaction, or data being transferred from the application to those who have “signed” the transaction would be documented so the information flow and usage is understood. In this manner, the appropriate permissions would be granted and provenance could readily be established. Use of the Internet of Things in combination with Blockchain technology for Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs).
Author: Goldwater JC.
Organization: National Quality Forum
7. Powering the Physician Patient Relationship with ‘HIE of One’ Blockchain Health IT: ‘HIE of One’ links patient protected health information (PHI) to Blockchain identities and Blockchain identities to verified credential provider institutions to lower transaction costs and improves security for all participants.
HIE of One, (Health Information Exchange of One) shifts the trusted intermediary role away from the hospital and into the blockchain. The blockchain can also provide the link between physician credentials and patient identity.
Author: Gropper A.
8. Blockchain: The Chain of Trust and its Potential to Transform Healthcare – Our Point of View: This paper talks about Potential uses of Blockchain technology in health care including a detailed look at health care pre-authorization payment infrastructure, counterfeit drug prevention and detection and clinical trial results use cases. The paper also highlights what Blockchain is not. Some of the additional usecases as presented in the paper are listed below:
Organization: IBM Global Business Service Public Sector
9. Moving Toward a Blockchain-based Method for the Secure Storage of Patient Records: Use of Blockchain as a novel approach to secure health data storage, implementation obstacles, and a plan for transitioning incrementally from current technology to a Blockchain solution. The author suggests a practical first step towards moving towards a blockchain enabled world, here is a suggested workflow by the author, from the submission:
Author: Ivan D.
10. ModelChain: Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Health Care Predictive Modeling Framework on Private Blockchain Networks: ModelChain, to adapt Blockchain technology for privacy-preserving machine learning. Each participating site contributes to model parameter estimation without revealing any patient health information (i.e., only model data, no observation-level data, are exchanged across institutions).
We integrate privacy- preserving online machine learning with a private Blockchain network, apply transaction metadata to disseminate partial models, and design a new proof-of-information algorithm to determine the order of the online learning process.
We also discuss the benefits and potential issues of applying Blockchain technology to solve the privacy-preserving healthcare predictive modeling task and to increase interoperability between institutions, to support the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap and national healthcare delivery priorities such as Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).
Authors: Kuo T, Hsu C, Ohno-Machado L.
Organizations: Health System Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA Division of Health Services Research & Development, VA San Diego Healthcare System.
11. Blockchain for Health Data and Its Potential Use in Health IT and Health Care Related Research: A look at Blockchain based access-control manager to health records that advances the industry interoperability challenges expressed in ONC’s Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.
In this usecase the authors discuss the use of blockchain technology with a data lake for scalability. All medical data would be stored off blockchain in a data repository called a data lake. Data lakes are highly scalable and can store a wide variety of data, from images to documents to key- value stores.
When a health care provider creates a medical record (prescription, lab test, pathology result, MRI) a digital signature would be created to verify authenticity of the document or image. The health data would be encrypted and sent to the data lake for storage. Every time information is saved to the data lake a pointer to the health record is registered in the blockchain along with the user’s unique identifier. The patient is notified that health data was added to his blockchain. In the same fashion a patient would be able to add health data with digital signatures and encryption from mobile applications and wearable sensors.
Authors: Linn L, Koo M.
12. A Blockchain-Based Approach to Health Information Exchange Networks:
Sharing healthcare data between institutions is challenging. Heterogeneous data structures may preclude compatibility, while disparate use of healthcare terminology limits data comprehension.
Even if structure and semantics could be agreed upon, both security and data consistency concerns abound. Centralized data stores and authority providers are attractive targets for cyber attack, and establishing a consistent view of the patient record across a data sharing network is problematic.
In this work we present a Blockchain-based approach to sharing patient data. This approach trades a single centralized source of trust in favor of network consensus, and predicates consensus on proof of structural and semantic interoperability.
The authors describe the Healthcare Blockchain as:
Because a blockchain is a general-purpose data structure, it is possible to apply it to domains other than digital currency. Healthcare, we believe, is one such domain. The challenges of a patient record are not unlike those of a distributed ledger. For example, a patient may receive care at multiple institutions. From the patient’s point of view, their record is a single series of sequential care events, regardless of where these events were performed. This notion of shared state across entities, inherent to the blockchain model, is congruent with patient expectations. Also, it is reasonable to assume that each patient care event was influenced by one or more events before it. For example, a prescription may be issued only after a positive lab test was received. The notion of historical care influencing present decisions fits well into the blockchain model, where the identity of a present event is dependent on all past events.
Much like the Bitcoin approach, our block is a Merkle Tree-based structure. The leaf nodes of this tree represent patient record transactions, and describe the addition of a resource to the official patient record. Transactions, however, do not include the actual record document. Instead, they reference FHIR Resources via Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). This allows institutions to retain operational control of their data, but more importantly, keeps sensitive patient data out of the blockchain. FHIR was chosen as a exchange format not only because it is an emerging standard, but also because it contains inherent support for provenance and audit trails, making it a suitable symbiotic foundation for blockchain ledger entries. FHIR in conjunction with the blockchain can serve to preserve the integrity and associated context of data transactions.
A Blockchain-based approach to sharing patient data that trades a single centralized source of trust in favor of network consensus, and predicates consensus on proof of structural and semantic interoperability.
Authors: Peterson K, Deedvanu R, Kanjamala P, Boles K.
Organization: Mayo Clinic
13. Adoption of Blockchain to enable the Scalability and Adoption of Accountable Care: A new digital health care delivery model that uses Blockchain as a foundation to enable peer-to-peer authorization and authentication.
The recent trends in Accountable Care based payment models have necessitated the adoption of new process for care delivery that requires the co-ordination of a “network” of care providers who can engage in shared risk contracts. In addition, the need for sharing in the savings generated equitably is key to encourage the network providers to invest in improved care paradigms.
Current approaches to digitize healthcare focus on improvement of operational efficiency, like electronic records as well as care collaboration software. However, these approaches are still based on the classical centralized authorization model, that results in significant expense in implementation. These approaches are fundamentally limited in their ability to fully capitalize on the peer-to-peer digital work- flow revolution that is sweeping other segments of industry like media, e-retail etc.
In this paper the author formulates a new digital health care delivery model that uses block chain as the foundation to enable peer-to-peer authorization and authentication. The author will also discuss how this foundation would transform the scalability of the care delivery network as well as enable payment process via smart contracts, resulting in significant reduction in operational cost and improvement in care delivery.
In addition, this block-chain based framework can be applied to enable a new class of accountable tele-monitoring and tele-medication devices that would dramatically improve patient care adherence and wellness. Finally, the adoption of block chain based digital-health would enable the creation of varifiable “personalized longitudinal care” record that can form the basis of personalized medicine.
Author: Prakash R.
14. A Blockchain Profile for Medicaid Applicants and Recipients: A solution to the problem churning in the Medicaid program that illustrates how health IT and health research could leverage Blockchain-based innovations and emerging artificial intelligence systems to develop new models of health care delivery. The solution envisions a Smart Health Profile by thinking of the blockchain profile simply as a broker that can answer questions about you as the need arises, your identity remains distributed. No one can ever see everything about you at once, including yourself.
What makes the profile smart is that the services it provides can be quite intelligent. It can make sophisticated queries and actually trigger an action when certain conditions are met. For example, suppose you had a smart drug dispenser that recorded every dose you take as a transaction on the blockchain. A profile service might check everyday to see if you’ve taken your pill and automatically order a refill when you’ve used up all the pills. Over time, however, an AI service might become much more sophisticated to use a combination of information about your vital statistics from your wearable device and population studies of people using the various medications for your condition and either recommend a different regimen to your physician or simply cut out the middleman and direct your pharmacist to deliver you a new prescription.
The solution goes on to discuss the use of Blockchain in a medicaid scenario and a much more comprehensive solution as a distributed infrastructure for health.
Authors: Vian K, Voto A, Haynes-Sanstead K.
Organization: Blockchain Futures Lab – Institute for the Future
15. Blockchain & Alternate Payment Models: Blockchain technology has the potential to assist organizations using alternative payment models in developing IT platforms that would help link quality and value.
Author: Yip K.
The content provided in the examples above have been collated from the various submissions to the ONC’s Blockchain Ideation Challenge. You can write to me or connect with me, in case you are interested in receiving the copy of the documents.
In my previous article on Blockchain I shared whats Blockchain and types of Blockchain. I also discussed some of the usecases companies and startups have focussed on developing Blockchain based solutions. In this article I will share some of the usecases based on Blockchain technology, in healthcare.
Alternatively, you could follow the links here
You can also review the various articles on Blockchain on the HCITExpert Blog.
: Blockchain Articles by David Houlding:
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- Top Healthcare & Digital Health Predictions for 2016
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IDC: Smartwatches accelerate in the second quarter, Device shipments grew 10.3% year over year to hit 26.3 million units during the second quarter of 2017; smartwatches grew 60.9%.
The wearables market is entering a new phase
In the first phase of the market development, it was about getting the product out, to generate awareness and interest and getting the customers accustomed to the idea. This opportunity remains to be explored by the traditional and fashion brands as the scale of consumer electronics market evolves. Now, the wearables market is entering a new phase, opines IDC’s Ramon T. Llamas.
Now it’s about getting the experience right – from the way the hardware looks and feels to how software collects, analyzes, and presents insightful data. What this means for users is that in the years ahead, they will be treated to second- and third-generation devices that will make the today’s devices seem quaint. Expect digital assistants, cellular connectivity, and connections to larger systems, both at home and at work. At the same time, expect to see a proliferation in the diversity of devices brought to market, and a decline in prices that will make these more affordable to a larger crowd.” 
The phase 2 of the wearables development appears to be about taking the user data and provide analytics around the data to provide insights to the user, like step counts translate into a healthier heart. In this phase its about getting the customer to see the devices that actually augment the abilities to make lives easier, healthier and more productive, rather than another screen for the user. 
Top Wearable Products 
Watches: account for the majority of all wearable devices shipped during the forecast period. The report however shows that the basic watches (devices that do not run third party applications, including hybrid watches, fitness/GPS watches, and most kid watches) will continue out-ship smart watches (devices capable of running third party applications, like Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, and all Android Wear devices), as numerous traditional watch makers shift more resources to building hybrid watches, creating a greater TAM each year. The report suggests that the Smart watches, however, will see a boost in volumes in 2019 as cellular connectivity on the watches becomes more prevalent on the market.
Wrist Bands: The report indicates a slow down in the market for the wristbands from 2016 onwards, but the market will be propped up with low-cost devices with good enough features for the mass market. However, the trend seems to focus on the users transitioning to watches for additional utility and multi-purpose use.
Earwear: (this excludes the bluetooth headsets) are not counting. Instead, the report focusses on those devices that bring additional functionality, and sends information back and forth to a smartphone application. Examples include Bragi’s Dash and Samsung Gear Icon X. The report, also suggests the increase in the uptake of smarter earwear that centers on collecting fitness data about the user, real-time audio filtering or language translation.
Clothing: The smart clothing market took a strong step forward driven by the chines vendors providing connected apparel. The growth in this segment is seen to be driven by the adoption of the connected clothing by the professional athletes and organizations have warmed to their usage to improve player performance. For instance, the upcoming release of Google and Levi’s Project Jacquared-enabled jacket.
Others: include lesser known products like clip-on devices, non-AR/VR eyewear, and others into this category. It will include vendors catering to niche audiences with creative new devices and uses.
|Top Wearable Devices by Product, Volume, Market Share, and CAGR |
|Product||Shipment Volume 2017||Market Share 2017||Shipment Volume 2021*||Market Share 2021*||CAGR (2017-2021)*|
|Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearables Device Tracker, June 21, 2017|
|Global wearables market to grow 17% in 2017, 310M devices sold, $30.5BN revenue: Gartner | TechCrunch http://ow.ly/YFVu30eWQHL|
Like any technology market, the wearables market is changing 
“Like any technology market, the wearables market is changing,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “Basic wearables started out as single-purpose devices tracking footsteps and are morphing into multi-purpose wearable devices, fusing together multiple health and fitness capabilities and smartphone notifications. It’s enough to blur the lines against most smart wearables, to the point where first generation smartwatches are no better than most fitness trackers, he says.
Beyond the top 5 vendors of the wearables market, new entrants like fashion icons Fossil along with their sub-brands and emerging companies like BBK and Li-Ning, are tapping into niche segments of the wearables market. Fossil, is coming up with a luxury/fashion device, BBK focuses on child-monitoring devices and Li-Ning on step-counting shoes.
“With the entrance of multiple new vendors with strengths in different industries, the wearables market is expected to maintain a positive outlook, though much of this growth is coming from vendor push rather than consumer demand,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “As the technology disappears into the background, hybrid watches and other fashion accessories with fitness tracking are starting to gain traction. This presents an opportunity to sell multiple wearables to a single consumer under the guise of ‘fashion.’ But more importantly, it helps build an ecosystem and helps vendors provide consumers with actionable insights thanks to the large amounts of data collected behind the scenes.”
|Top Five Wearable Device Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, 4Q 2016 (Units in Millions) |
|Vendor||4Q16 Unit Shipments||4Q16 Market Share||4Q15 Unit Shipments||4Q15 Market Share||Year-Over-Year Growth|
|Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, March 2, 2017|
Implications of Wearables in Healthcare
Managing Chronic Conditions of patients who might develop a secondary or tertiary complication because of a pre-existing condition (diabetic undergoing hip replacement surgery)
Tracking vital signs
- Manage patients recovery at home (defensive medicine) instead of the recovery in a general ward, with help of remote monitoring
- Detecting Alzheimer’s, most common form of dementia
- Monitoring patients with chronic diseases and after hospitalization or the start of new medications for a decline in daily activity may help detect medical complications before rehospitalization becomes necessary
- Clinical Trials: Monitoring of recruits
- Smart Stethoscope for patients with cardiovascular disease
- Ear device to track body temperature fluctuations
- Temporary tattoo that senses vital signs
- Smart Glasses with AR enabled patient records and physician information system
Finally, here is an interesting Infographic on Wearable Technology.
Worldwide Wearables Market to Nearly Double by 2021, According to IDC: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42818517
Wearables Aren’t Dead, They’re Just Shifting Focus as the Market Grows 16.9% in the Fourth Quarter, According to IDC
Xiaomi and Apple Tie for the Top Position as the Wearables Market Swells 17.9% During the First Quarter, According to IDC:
EXCLUSIVE: Fitbit Working On Atrial Fibrillation Detection | Time.com http://time.com/4907284/fitbit-detect-atrial-fibrillation/
The 8 Best Fitness Trackers You Can Buy Right Now: http://time.com/4553111/best-fitness-trackers-fitbit-jawbone-2016/
- Can Your Fitness Tracker (Fitbit®) Save Your Life in the ER?: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/can-your-fitness-tracker-fitbit-save-your-life-in-the-er-300246408.html
- Advocating for clinical wearables, the new normal in healthcare http://medcitynews.com/2017/08/advocating-clinical-wearables-new-normal-healthcare/?rf=1
- Global wearables market to grow 17% in 2017, 310M devices sold, $30.5BN revenue: Gartner: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/24/global-wearables-market-to-grow-17-in-2017-310m-devices-sold-30-5bn-revenue-gartner/?ncid=rss
- What smartwatches and other wearables can’t track today— but might in the future – https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/05/wearables-future-track-glucose-blood-pressure-mental-health.html
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Using Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare is one such subject. If you have to believe what the media says, AI is going to transform healthcare in the near future. In fact, the services of the doctor may not be needed very often, if at all. AI will do everything in medicine including diagnosis, treatment and even finding out new drugs.
But not everyone is so optimistic or even welcoming. The idea of machines taking care of our health is creepy to some. Others claim that AI can never replace a doctor, at least not in a foreseeable future. Medicine is too complex for machines to figure out.
(You must have noted that I am using Healthcare and Medicine interchangeably. The reason being that this is what most people do. Healthcare is the practice of medicine and as such is wider than it. I refer to healthcare as including medicine.)
The reality, like in the case of GST and most other things, will be somewhere in the middle. The purpose of this article is to find that balanced view. In effect, what I will be saying is:
“while the replacement of the doctor is a faraway dream, there are a number of things that AI can do in medicine even today. This can turn out to be valuable help for doctors, patients and other stakeholders”.
Let me first present a short introduction to AI.
AI, like Philosophy, is a very hard term to define. AI is not really one technology. It is a collection of techniques. Strictly speaking, AI is actually an ambition. The ambition of machines to imitate human capabilities.
But this definition does not take us very far. Since human capabilities are many, ranging from walking to writing poems, imitating any of these capabilities can be called AI. So for our purposes, we will define AI as the pursuit of those capabilities that are strong points of human beings.
As an example, consider language. Reading an article and understanding its gist is a simple matter for us humans. For machines to achieve this capability will be quite something. If that happens, machines can go through a number of articles for us and feed us with the just the little bits that we need.
A whole lot of mathematical and computational techniques have been developed by researchers in the last sixty years to achieve this goal. Deep Learning, Machine Learning and NLP are some names given to a bunch of such techniques. In the last few years, AI has risen to prominence mainly due to three reasons – availability of data, increase in computing power and discovery of new methods.
Armed with that introduction, let’s try and put down the areas where AI can make a difference in healthcare. While we do that, we can also try to answer the ‘replace the doctor’ question.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is the hardest part of medicine. There is no definite pathway to diagnosing a patient. A lot depends on the experience and intuition of the doctor, in that way, it is more of an art than science. As of now, it is difficult to see AI taking over this role. However, there are many areas where AI is already making a difference:
- Conditions in which diagnosis is dependent on analysis of a signal over time, such as an ecg or an eeg. Machine Learning combined with signal processing can achieve good results here. Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat is an example of such a condition that AI can detect well.
- Diagnosing some disorders involves referring to a lot of data such as past and present reports, images and history. Gatro-intestinal disorders are notoriously difficult to diagnose and require a lot of information to refer. AI can make a big difference here by sifting through the pile of data and presenting important facts to the doctor.
- In radiology, the volume of cases is huge and the radiologist needs to look at every image to come to a conclusion. Some investigations like MRI produce a large number of images for each patient. This makes the doctor’s time a bottleneck in handling the ever growing number of patients. Deep Learning has shown great promise in being able to classify medical images. For example, it can separate images that indicate normal functioning from those that have some abnormality. This will enable the radiologist to focus on the abnormal cases first. This method will also be a boon for the remote places where a radiologist is not available.
- AI has provided a new method for laboratory investigations. This may mean that in the future most lab tests including pathology will be done with basic instruments at a very low cost. In a disease like HIV/AIDS, being able to determine the viral load in a quick and inexpensive way can be a very big benefit to the patients.
Treatment: The biggest contribution AI can make to treatment of patient is in the area of drug discovery. Currently, discovering a new drug costs more than 2.5 billion dollars and takes more than a decade. The pharmaceutical industry is desperately searching for new ways to reduce the cost and time. AI may be one of the solutions to this problem. Machine Learning and Deep Learning are being used in various stages of drug discovery, such as identifying candidate molecules and studying the expected response of the new drug.
In our fight with cancer, AI may be an important weapon. Personalized Oncology is rapidly getting attention from the medical community as the way forward in battling with the cancer scourge. To describe in brief, cancer is not one disease – the cancer of every patient is different. If the individuality of cancer is decoded, a personal treatment path can be planned for every patient. AI will become a key part of this process.
AI is already playing a role in treatment by making robots that perform surgeries. This contribution will grow in the time to come with the robot costs falling and capabilities growing. This will reduce the strain on surgeons and they will be able to perform far more surgeries in the same time.
Care: Care during the illness and recovery is as important as the right diagnosis and treatment. Along with IoT, AI will transform patient care. Everything from medicine intake to prescribed activity will be monitored by these systems. Monitoring includes two components – sensing and analysis. While the sensing part is done by the IoT devices, analysis is provided by AI.
Prevention: Prevention is definitely preferred to hospitalization and AI is going to play a major role in this. It will involve both personal and public health. Personal health is monitored by the wearables and other simple devices. The AI systems will process this data to look for possible indications of disorders so that they can be fixed inexpensively.
Public health will be monitored in the same way but from data that is coming from various healthcare institutes. This enormous data will forewarn us about various health risks such as outbreaks of diseases. It will enable the state to take measures to avoid the calamities.
To summarize, AI will really be a transformational technology for healthcare. It will make healthcare cheaper and faster and enable it to reach more number of people. AI will reduce the strain on doctors and nurses. However, for the future that we can see, AI will serve more as an assistant to the doctors, rather than being their replacement.
Artificial Intelligence is more of an ambition than a technology. The ambition is to imitate human capabilities. Since human capabilities range from walking to solving mathematical problems, AI also encompasses systems of various types – ranging from the humble calculator to Google’s DeepMind.
In this article, I am majorly referring to the AI systems that try to achieve the cognitive abilities of human beings. Cognitive abilities refer to the processes of our mind such as understanding, reasoning, planning and selecting the right action. Understanding a question and supplying the right answer from our memory is an example of cognitive ability, the one that AI systems called ‘chatbots’ try to imitate.
Cognitive systems are currently in their initial phase of development. Once they come close to human beings in their competence, they can prove useful to humankind in a number of ways. Here are some:
1. Better utilization of resources: In our current world, it requires a human being to use resources. For example, a car needs a driver. Platforms like Uber have made it possible to share your car when you don’t need it, but it still requires a skilled human being. Talk to your Ola or Uber driver and you will realize that they are already working at the limit of their capacity. A cognitive system driving vehicle will use them much more efficiently. You will actually need much fewer vehicles than you need today (and probably a lot lesser parking!). This is true of most other resources.
2. A fairer society: Human beings have many faults in their thinking. In another article I have highlighted this faults, called biases. These biases have their roots in the evolution, so the AI systems will (hopefully) not have them. ( Pl see http://blog.cerelabs.com/2017/06/will-ai-evolve-to-be-as-bad-as-humans.html). This will make decision making at all level fairer for the people. To take an example, typecasting is a very strong bias that we suffer from. This affects decisions taken by, say an interviewer. We can hope to see much fairer selection processes in the future. For an interesting example of how statistics can help to break biased notions, see the movie or read the book ‘Moneyball’.
3. Repositioning of human efforts: World over, a large number of people are engaged in time consuming tasks that require moderate cognitive ability. Take for instance cooking. A big part of a woman’s day in India is spent in preparing food. Cognitive systems such as robot chefs can easily take over these jobs, freeing up a lot of time that can be invested in more valuable responsibilities like education of the children. In the industries, as the simpler tasks are done by cognitive systems, humans can move up the value chain, pushing the efficiency of the enterprise higher.
4. Improved care: Currently, care of patients, elderly and disabled is primarily a human responsibility. Many times, this compromises the quality of care as people cannot take out so much time from their daily activities. Cognitive systems can make the life of those in need of care much better. They can talk to the elderly and carry the disabled to places otherwise difficult to reach. The systems can keep an eye on chronic patients, not just reminding but making sure their regimen is adhered to.
This is of course just a small contribution to an ever growing list of benefits. While we keep our eyes open to the warnings given by the likes of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, we should continue in our efforts to harness the power of AI for these benefits.
Digital is transforming healthcare. It is creating new channels for improving patient experience, creating better clinical processes and engaging doctors and other para-clinical staff like never before.
Augmented Reality or AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. So the game Pokemon Go is a good example of AR. (Source: Wikipedia)
While VR on the other hand VR- Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that uses Virtual reality headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces or multi-projected environments, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. (Source: Wikipedia) So VR requires a headset specialized for the same.
The Industry seems to be taking notice of this emerging area. These are some numbers from the industry
1. More than 150 of Global Fortune 500 investing in AR/VR
2. VC and corporate investment upto $2.3 Billion in AR/VR Startups
3. IDC projects revenues from AR/VR to grow from $5.2 billion today to $162 billion by 2020
But why are the key reasons why AR/VR has reached this level
1. We have more computing power than ever before. Today we have GPU’s and TPU’s that put immense computing power at our disposal
2. There is a explosion in digital data. By 2020 it is believed that we would have created 40,000 Exabyte of data
3. Finally programmers today are writing better algorithms. That is why machine learning is mainstream today
So what are the implications of the same in healthcare?
There are clearly implications in Medical Education. Pilots conducted in Miami Children’s hospital have shown an 80% increase in retention while using AR/VR. There are other pilots involving treating war veterans using VR for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I will be speaking on this topic on, 23 Aug 2017, at the IT Healthcare Summit 2017 in Bangalore. It will be interesting to discuss and other topics on digital health and how it is transforming healthcare in India. Looking forward to hearing your views on the same.
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Living with diabetes comes with many challenges. At the top of the list is monitoring glucose levels to avoid a health crisis. Monitoring can be inconvenient and expensive, but thanks to advances in technology, these issues are being addressed like never before.
Diabetes relates to the body’s ability to produce and process the hormone insulin. Without it, cells cannot absorb sugar, or glucose, which we need for energy.
Diabetics are typically diagnosed with one of two types of the disease: Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 is when the body produces no insulin. The immune system destroys the cells that release it. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin, or the levels produced are not sufficient to help the body generate energy.
In either case, the person diagnosed must make lifestyle changes to ensure glucose levels are kept in check. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should work out at least 2 hours/wk spread over 3 days/wk with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise. The ADA also recommends nutritional counselling to address eating patterns, including lowering carbohydrates, fat intake and adding fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy to your diet. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all program, and it’s important to consult your doctor to determine the dietary, exercise and behavioural changes that are best for you.
By The Numbers
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the US population has diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the largest group of people who have diabetes.
Another 86 million have been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic.
Globally, according to a 2016 report by the World Health Association, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. In fact, the global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. Diabetes is on the rise not only in the United States but also around the world, and the complications from diabetes are impacting individuals and their families.
Behind these numbers are people coming to terms with the emotional and physical realities of managing their disease. We mentioned the importance of activity and exercise as well as healthy eating habits. Stress is also an important considering when managing diabetes. Learning to live with diabetes can weigh down the strongest amongst us and that stress can raise your blood sugar. Learning ways to lower stress, from yoga and deep breathing to gardening and listening to your favourite music, can keep your mind in a healthy state.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends acquainting yourself with the ABCs: your A1C, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. Considering your ABCs can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems. When it comes to your blood pressure, monitoring it is a necessary addition to your daily routine. The key to the lifestyle changes diabetics undergo is having options to monitor glucose levels that are both effective, and affordable.
Technology Makes Monitoring Easier
Active management and monitoring of glucose is neither convenient nor cost effective for many. Some medical professionals recommend up to 10 tests per day. Assuming you have the schedule and discipline to stick with it, most diabetics have had to resort to testing their glucose levels through frequent, invasive needle pricks on their fingers.
There are saliva-testing devices under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, and Google was rumoured to be testing smart contact lenses that could monitor glucose levels as well. But a finger sticks remains the most common test despite the pain of a prick, the need to record readings and do so multiple times per day.
More convenient and accurate methods of testing glucose levels are becoming more readily available. For example, Abbott Laboratories invented the FreeStyle Libre system.
The device has been hailed for its convenience. Placed just under the skin, the sensor continuously measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid that bathes the cells. Those wearing the device can use their smartphones to get immediate readings. According to Bloomberg, FreeStyle Libre users scanned their sensors an average 16 times a day; some exceeded 45.
While the repeated checks help diabetics lower their glucose levels, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems are costly. Prices can range between $3,000 and $4,000/year, limiting the accessibility of life-saving monitoring. However, companies like Ambrosia Systems are reinventing the wheel, bringing cost savings and convenience to glucose monitoring.
We invented BluCon to build an affordable next generation continuous glucose monitoring like system for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. Our iOS and Android apps work with Abbot’s FreeStyle Libre sensor, sending glucose readings to any Bluetooth enabled connected device.
Today, two factors prohibit active monitoring and management of diabetes: cost and inconvenience. BluCon quickly reads data from Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre sensor and sends that data to the LinkBluCon mobile app on your phone for less than half the annual cost of available solutions. Our battery life is also twice as long, adding to the convenience and cost savings brought by BluCon.
Living with diabetes entails constant glucose monitoring, which, as we noted, can mean significant lifestyle changes. Checking glucose levels, and keeping an accurate record, can be complicated. BluCon is meant to simplify glucose monitoring and ongoing management of your type 1 or type 2 diabetes.