Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Will we get the healthcare ecosystem to collaborate on improving mankind?


We have very high development cycles of devices and techniques (18 months or less) AND an industry moving at a ludicrous speed.

We have an enormous amount of incompatible data, coming from: 
  • different devices, 
  • via different systems, 
  • via different (mobile) OSs
Despite great efforts of organisations like Continua Health Alliance, it's an illusion to think that -someday- we will be using the same (open) techniques/standards worldwide to collect and combine health-data.

Striving towards compatibility and interoperability is essential, but I believe this should be complemented by focussing on efficient ways to aggregate all that incompatible data (the equivalent of Friendfeed) and display it as a coherent stream in a personal health record. 
Fusion with data from energy-sources, city- & home-services and social media will further leverage the potential of the collected data.

Extra advantage is that the collected data can be searched upon anonymously. Possibilities to improve mankind by developing cures & remedies faster, improving diagnoses, improving adherence, ... and at the same time lowering the (healthcare)costs and giving more opportunity for 'face time'.

Good examples are:

Will we find good plumbers to connect the different data-pipes? 
Will the diameter of the data-pipes be wide enough to cope with an enormous data-flow?
Will our buckets be big enough to store collect/store the data? 
Will we find enough good craftsmen to visualize and interpret that flow? 
Will we get the ecosystem to collaborate on improving mankind? 

Slide from 'mhealth is huge' preso at MoMoAMS.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ambient Assisted Living solutions to achieve the market breakthrough

Summary of notes of the AAL workshop in Brussels on June 7, 2011

Personal summary
Many platforms and many applications and many users = many end-to-end products/services = 'The Long Tail' in assisted living. Going from 'one size fits all' to 'one size fits one' (quote from openurc).
Open source, flexibility, synergy and interoperability are the way to cope with current and future society variables and the velocity of technological evolution. Committee not fond of small scale projects (like Flanders Care) or closed source (like Apple).
User based involvement and consolidation of players in the ecosystem is imperative.
Whereas I think building data-aggregations (function like translators) will offer solutions for agile connectedness, none of the participants I spoke to seem to agree. Also my believe that creating an open environment through regulated APIs would leverage the potential of SMEs, didn't have many supporters.
AAL products and services have the advantage they aren't (always) considered as medical devices.
Matchmaking in AAL: find information/products/projects/... I can't understand why the EU hasn't started with making a list of people and companies involved, there's no public searchable list or inventory! If a complex ecosystem is one of the barriers, you should start by identifying the stakeholders!

Users can pick any controller they like to interact with the system.
Trialog: standardisation for interoperability is supported by the EU commission
Repository (like sourceforge) in Brazil around assisted living. At this time they have 50 apps
Medical reminders are displayed on the TV while watching.
Freemium in assisted living (business model on operational level).
Increase system-family engineering to speed-up development.
Fusion with energy, e-health, city- and home-services and social media.
Web guidance tools for self-care (like measuring blood pressure).
uAAL works together (complementary) to openurc, continua and osami.
EU 2020 target: increase healthy years with 2 years
Personal UI: anywhere, anytime.
Presentations of openURC and Osami.

Hesitant stakeholders
Lack of standards
Regulation and laws (Continua)
No awareness of AAL among end consumers
Stand alone projects (small ecosystem or small market) are too expensive
Assembly or choreography of the healthcare service ecosystem is a huge challenge (
Guidelines for privacy and security
Speed of technology: healthcare technology goes faster than the ability of the EU committee to make a roadmap for it
Venture capital doesn't fund platforms or ecosytems.
Practicality and usability.
Producing a healthcare product may cost 100,00 EUR, putting it on the market may costs millions. Cost of production-ready healthcare-product testing (at least 500-1000 people) is too high for SMEs.
SMEs are not interested in (open source AAL) platforms, they are only looking for short term business possibilities.
Critical support services and sustainable maintenance.

Monday, 6 June 2011

5 Healthcare challenges summarized in 1 image

5_healthcare_challenges.pdf Download this file

Attached an older 1-page depiction I made to illustrate the 5 challenges in healthcare.

I post it here because several people asked if they could use it (YES you can!).
Other reason is that I'm bored by presenters spending 10 minutes explaining these challenges (WE KNOW! move on!).

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Assessing healthcare innovations in ICT: the society scorecard


What's the real worth of an innovation in healthcare? 

What's the impact on a society?

Preparing for Westartup healthcare, I dug up a simple scorecard I used to determine the impact of an ICT - innovation in healthcare.
The scorecard gives a score, based on questions from 5 different angles:
Care organisation
What's the ROI? (workflow, efficiency and general cost reduction) 
Does it have a quantifiable impact on marketing and recruitment?
Will it simplify making business/management decisions?
Is it interoperable with other aspects of the healthcare ecosystem?
What are the costs to train people to work with the product/service? How simple is it to use?
Care consumer
Does it offer convenience? Will it allow to reshape healthcare to fit people's lives (and not the other way around)?
What about participating in the process? Will it help the consumer to interact?
Exactly how does it improve the quality of the treatment from a consumers perspective?
Will it offer peace of mind?
Is it easy/simple to use?
Care practitioner
Can you quantify the improvements on efficiency, workflow and time?
Is it user friendly? Is it simple to use? Is it intuitive?
Will it enhance interaction with other practitioners?
How interoperable is it with the other tools I use?
Can it simplify decision making?
Will it lower healthcare costs? Will it lower reimbursement costs by lowering re-admission, enhancing adherence, ... or by lowering efficiency in workforce and processes? 
Does it improve the quality of treatment?
Can it speed up developing a cure?
I can haz 458 Italia?

The weight of the 5 scores might differ for each product/service, but calculating an overall result is feasible and meaningful.
Suggestions on improving this simple model are welcome!