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Digital Health, Events, Healthcare, Innovation, Internet Of Things IoT, Wearables
  Last week was the third edition of Smart Summit London. Smart Summit London is Europe’s leading IoT and connected living event. The conference attracts attendees from all over the world from diverse fields. From government to smart home OEMs as well as telecom operators, healthcare organizations, insurance or semiconductor companies. keep reading
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Sensors, Wearables
Finally the wearable market is expected to grow! wearable-market The market for connected wearables has entered a strong growth phase that will last for many years to come.” – (Berg Insight, 2017) In 2016 the estimated units shipped reached 96.5 million. Following Berg Insights research, the upcoming five years the connected wearables market is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2%, to reach the shipment of 262.5 million units in 2021. This growth is divided over the following categories:
  • Fitness and Activity Trackers vs Smartwatches Through lower prices and new form factors the current largest connected wearable category, fitness & activity trackers, will reach shipments of 81.0 million units in 2021. Moreover, the smartwatch category, in 2016 comprising just 20.7 million units, is predicted to be the largest category in 2021, with an estimated 115.0 shipments. 
  • Smart Glasses With 1.2 million units in 2016, the sales of smart glasses was modest, not having reached its potential. This was the result from high prices, privacy concerns and limited availability. However the promising use cases in the niche consumer and the professional markets display demand. This will enable a shipment of 13.0 million smart glass devices in 2021.
  • Medical Devices and People Monitoring and Safety Devices Already common in the categories of medical devices and people monitoring and safety devices are ECG monitors,  Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) and cardiac rhythm management devices. The two categories are estimated to grow to 16.0 million and 9.2 million shipments by 2021.
  • Smart Clothing An upcoming trend is the smart clothing. The focus on elite and professional applications together with overlapping use cases and low consumer awareness have limited large scale adoption. This however will change. The research suggest that the shipment of smart clothing will grow from 1.56 units in 2016 to 18.3 million units in 2021. 
  • Other Connected Wearable Devices Lastly, other wearable devices, no covered in the above categories, will grow from 1.4 million units in 2016 to 10.0 million units in 2021, having a CAGR of 48.2%.
Throughout these five years of growth Bluetooth will remain the primary connectivity option with regards to consumer centric wearables. For wearable medical devices this will be low power NFC technologies and Bluetooth which enables remote connectivity via medical monitoring system hubs. Moreover in 2021 the number of active cellular network connections from wearables is expected to reach 47.7 million connections. In 2016 this was only 3.3 million. This growth is mainly driven by two main factors:
  • In the smartwatch category cellular is increasingly adopted. 
  • In the people monitoring and safety category, cellular connectivity is already the main type of technology and will continue to increasingly be used for many types of devices. 
Finally, it is good to know that bring your own device (BYOD) will increasingly impact the medical device category, especially when looking at connected care and patient-driven models. This article is based on the Connected Wearable Report 2017 – 3th Edition of Berg Insight
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Digital Health
I am working in healthcare and I have a new colleague, a robot. As technology advances the work environment is changing with it. Increasingly robots are being used in the healthcare sector. Some say that with this change all our jobs will be lost. This opinion is not without reason. I mean… a robot does not sleep, a robot does not eat, you don’t need to pay a robot and a robot does not have prejudges as humans normally do. So why not replace this more demanding force, people, by a more stable and cheaper option? Well… even though the advantages of robots are great, the human touch will always stay relevant in the digital health sector. Therefore they will not replace us, instead we should be ready and prepared to work together and take advantage of these metallic allies. If doing so the before impossible can become possible. Therefore below I have explained some relevant and beneficial examples of the collaboration between humans and robots.
  1. Surgery is not the most pleasant experience. Mostly recovery is painful due to the size of the operating wounds. However the daVinci robot has the capacity to make smaller and more precise incisions, decreasing recovery time. The surgeon is in complete control and daVinci shows him the way through greater reach, flexibility and the high definition three dimensional camera. A collaboration benefiting all parties involved.
  2. Nurses, who have the most interaction with patients, are often overwhelmed by physically and mentally daunting tasks, resulting in an unpleasant experience for everyone. That is why robotic nurses are now designed to carry out the repetitive tasks so that human nurses have the opportunity to focus their attention to task that require human decision making and empathy.
  3. You have seen them in movies, taken advantage of them in video games and now they are here for real: exoskeletons.” – (medicalfuturist, 2017). These devices can help paralyzed people walk, help with the rehabilitation when having a stroke or spinal cord injury and can enhance strength when a nurse needs to lift an elderly person for example. Currently they are still very costly to make and power, but with technology progressing it won’t be long before these amazing tools are available for everyone.
  4. Another great example is Xenex the disinfectant robot. 1 in every 25 patients in US hospitals gets a hospital associated infection, 1 out of 9 of these patients die. The Xenex disinfectant robot quickly cleans any room or space with high intensity ultra-violet light. This light damages the microorganisms therewith decreasing the number of hospital acquired infections.
  5. The origami robot, is a very small robot. When swallowed it can bring specific medication to the designated destination or remove a swallowed item from the stomach such as a small battery for example.  Most microbots ideas are still theories, but there upcoming fast and when they do, healthcare possibilities will be  endless.
robots in healthcare All the above are examples of robots performing task that humans cannot or where robots support healthcare providers to operate in a more efficient and effective manner. There are many more examples and even though change is often scary, robots in healthcare could do so much good; “bring medical care to regions where even today there is none to be found; to make the production and distribution of pharmaceuticals cheaper and more efficient; to lighten the load of medical professionals; to help people walk again.” – (medicalfuturist, 2017). To pluck the fruits of this development and avoid any dangers it is important that we stay well aware of these developments, understanding them and preparing for the new work environment to come. Working together is key.   This article is based on the following post: Robotics in Healthcare – Get Ready!
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