Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 09, 2013

HealthTech Zone Week in Review

The HealthTech Zone is the place where healthcare and technology meet and create synergy. Following is a roundup of this week’s notable events in health technology.

For individuals plagued by certain illnesses such as asthma or anxiety, where attacks can come out of virtually thin air and reap disastrous results, a solution is desperately needed that can highlight the reasons behind the sudden affliction. After closely studying asthma for years, that is exactly what Epidemiologist David Van Sickle did through creating a next generation inhaler complete with a GPS sensor that could outline where a user is located in the world and then immediately send the crucial information to their doctor.

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and strokes, are the world’s top causes of death. Treating growing numbers of patients with heart disease often requires the increased use of cardiac rhythm management devices. These devices include pacemakers, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). Constant product upgrades and technological advancements have kept this sector afloat during the economic crisis, according to Frost & Sullivan.

A new research report just released by telecommunications heavyweight Level 3 points to major challenges for healthcare tech this year. One interesting result of the study is that the report finds healthcare IT not as concerned about mobility (mHealth) as we believe they are. Another is that they lack urgency in terms of implementing cloud computing capabilities.

Mobile Commons, Sanofi US and the Prostate Cancer Foundation have teamed up to improve understanding and provide encouragement to advanced prostate cancer patients through a new one-way text messaging program called PROST8CARE. Developed by a board of oncologists and oncology nurses, the program sends text messages to patients timed to coincide with each individual patient's chemotherapy treatment cycle. These messages will provide patients with information to help them understand their condition and treatment while reinforcing the facts given to them by healthcare professionals.

Artificial intelligence technologies provider Vestec Inc. has announced the securing of a $1.5 million in funding from V. Raman Kumar, former chief executive officer and founder of MModal, the largest clinical documentation company. He is the innovator behind voice-based medical transcription, and is currently the chairman of Mumbai-based Aeries Group. With this investment in Vestec, Kumar has joined the company’s Board of Directors as Vice Chairman.

Over 3.5 billion prescriptions are written in the U.S. each year, driving drug spending of $249 billion. These costs, which represent 10 percent of all U.S. health care spending, produce huge benefits including improved quality of life and reduced morbidity and mortality. However, along with these positive impacts, drug-related morbidity and mortality associated with failures of a therapeutic agent to produce a desired outcome result in additional costs estimated at $200 billion each year. Medication Therapy Management (MTM) may be the solution.

It’s traditional this time of year to take stock of where we’ve been and to look ahead to where we are going. A lot of consultants and organizations have already dusted off their crystal balls and opined about the healthcare trends that will be important in 2013. Now it’s HealthTech Zone’s turn.

That’s a wrap for this week in the HealthTech Zone. Visit again next week for another helpful summation of the latest and greatest in health care technology.

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