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Digital Health, Healthcare, Innovation, Internet Of Things IoT

Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Virtual reality is already improving the healthcare industry and is fast becoming the hottest industry, bringing together tech and the health sector and dramatically changing lives. Here are just a few examples of how virtual reality is revolutionizing the healthcare industry: Virtual-reality-in-healthcare

Exposure Therapy

Survivors of hostilities who now live with post-traumatic stress syndrome may benefit from immersion therapy and virtual reality. The patient is immersed in simulation that allows them to work through their trauma by having them face it, Also referred to as virtual reality immersion therapy (VRIT), it is the use of virtual reality technology for psychological or occupational therapy. Patients receiving VRIT navigate through digitally created environments and complete specially designed tasks tailored to treat their specific ailment. Through the interaction with harmless virtual representations of traumatic stimuli, their fear responses are reduced. It has proven to be very effective in the treatment of PTSD and has also been applied to stroke patients regain muscle control and in the treatment of disorders such as body dysmorphia.  

Phobia Treatment

Virtual reality exposure therapy places the patient in a computer-generated world where they experience stimuli linked to their phobia. After skill building sessions to prepare the patient on how to manage automatic responses to anxiety-provoking situations, the therapist and patient work together to create a scale of anxiety-inducing situations. In controlled stages, the patient is exposed to these virtual experiences that evoke increasingly higher levels of anxiety. Each stage will be repeated until the client is comfortable with the experience and satisfied with their response. At every level, the therapist will observe what the client is experiencing in the virtual world. If the degree of anxiety becomes overpowering, the patient can revert to the less stressful stage of treatment or immediately exit the virtual world.  

Surgery Training and Robotic Surgery

Virtual reality technology allows trainee surgeons to obtain valuable experience but in a harmless environment. They learn skills and techniques without causing injury to patients and receive continuous feedback. Robotic surgery is performed utilizing a robotic device such as a robotic arm which is controlled by a human surgeon. This results in faster procedures and fewer risks of complications during surgery. Because the robotic device is accurate, it means smaller incisions, less blood loss, and speedy recoveries. The use of Virtual reality in healthcare allows the surgeon to control the movements of the robotic arm through delicate movements which would be challenging to perform by a human surgeon. Another use of virtual reality in surgery is by “remote telesurgery.” In this case, the patient is operated on by a surgeon who is in an entirely different location, completely separate from the patient. This would be a life-saving procedure particularly if the surgeon is too far to get to the patient in time due to a long travel.  

Big Data, Digital Health, Events, Fitness, Healthcare, Innovation, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth, Partnerships, Wearables
  It is with pride that we would like to announce the 2nd anniversary of Digital Salutem!! November 2 years ago we started with a mission to change digital healthcare innovation whilst having a positive impact on businesses and society. Our multidisciplinary group of digital health experts worked hard and we achieved a lot. We connected and collaborated with some amazing clients including a few of the most innovative health insurers in Europe and Nokia Health, a recognised world class innovator in digital health. But that is far from all. digital health consultant It was an exciting year and as always we attended a variety of industry events including; Our CEO, João Bocas, shared his knowledge and innovative mind during these events. Speaking about the challenges and opportunities digital health brings and closely watching the trends and developments in the market we state that this year the battle to change healthcare has kicked off somewhat stronger than the previous years. 2017 is the year of new wearable insights. This year’s prediction of the device market give an compound annual growth (CAGR) of 22,2% until 2021. That means that by 2021 262,5 million wearables are to be shipped worldwide. In 2016 this wasn’t even half, 96,5 million. This marks a big milestone in the market of digital health. digital health As for us, Digital Salutem, we continued our good work and stepped up our game this year in terms of growth and brand recognition. Not only was our CEO, João Bocas, named as top 100 global digital health influencer, our brand, Digital Salutem, was likewise named in the top 50 global brands in digital health! Our network now comprises over 10.000 influential contacts in over 20 different countries and we since short started a new collaboration with London South Bank University. Here we support the delivery of simDH (Simulation for digital health) program, helping healthTech startups to have a greater chance of succeeding in the complex and volatile healthcare market. We are looking forward to this new year. Having extended our portfolio, knowledge, team and increased the brand awareness we expect to be able to help even more organisations reach their health innovation goals. Bringing people together, ensuring proper solution-based innovation and disruptive change in healthcare is what we strive for. We are part of something bigger than us and are sure that with Digital Salutem and our partners we can create the incredible, valuable and needed change in healthcare innovation Lastly, we are extremely excited about a new partnership with a leading world-class innovator from Denmark. To be announced soon……!! I hope you are as excited as we are about the future and as always, feel free to contact us at any time for any questions or advice. As well our Managing Director, Miguel Sánchiz, will be delighted to receive an email from you. Contact with him via  

Digital Health, Healthcare, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth
  Like Digital Health, Social Media is not about the exploitation of technology but about its service to the community. Moreover, I like to state that Social Media is actually contributing to digital health. Within the healthcare landscape it is facilitating a new platform for patient-doctor communication and global participatory discussions. keep reading

Big Data, Digital Health, Fitness, Healthcare, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth, Sensors, Wearables
European regulators bring concern for start-ups that plan to sell their fitness and tracking devices to the corporate customer. Last June the European Advisory Panel stated that employers should be banned from giving their employees wearable tracking devices such as fitness monitors and smartwatches to track their employees’ health. Additionally the EU body also made it clear that employers should stay clear of accessing and using the data these devices create, even if the data is completely anonymous and employees gave their permission. Understandably, start-ups but also more established players are concerned, as are their corporate clients who use this data to improve their employee health and decrease medical insurance premiums. Fitbit states that employees should surely be informed about the uses of the generated date, who will have access and given the option to participate or not without any consequences for refusal. However the EU body sticks with its point. They find that even such transparency is  most likely insufficient. ““Given the unequal relationship between employers and employees,” the body said, workers were probably never able to give legally valid consent to have their data shared. “Even if the employer uses a third party to collect the health data, which would only provide aggregated information about general health developments to the employer, the processing would still be unlawful.”” – (Jeremy Kahn – 2017) Fitbit has a large stake in this but declined giving a direct comment on the opinion of the EU privacy groups. However Fitbit did state that they believe all wellness programs should protect the employees’ privacy and be voluntary. The company has over 1.300 organizations, encompassing more than 2,6 million people, using its devices for their corporate wellness program. These companies are concerned that  their employees spent too much time sitting and want to encourage them to move more. Nokia purchased Withings in 2015 and build their corporate wellness program Nokia Digital Health around it. Alex Normand, head of B2B sales of Nokia Digital Health stated: “We believe the responsible integration of connected health devices into the health care system, including through corporate wellness programs, has the potential to significantly improve the health and well-being of society, and are actively working with hospitals, research institutions, and health care providers to explore this promising field,”. He also stated they Nokia would abide by all applicable law and would uphold the highest standards of privacy and security in every market it sells. Move coach shares aggregated data, such as fitness levels and demographic age with consent of the users. The company Salesforce, LinkedIn and Microsoft Corp. With an eye on this new ‘EU opinion’ it is concerned that it will not be able to serve its European customers. Frank Palermo, head of solutions at Virtusa, a consultancy firm within connected devices and wearables, states that “Collecting data on worker activity and productivity to ensure their safety should be in the purview of the employer,”. Statement of the EU body is just an opinion, at least for now. This means that in the end it is up to each individual country to decide whether they want to comply or not with this opinion. However per May 2018, European regulations will become more streamlined and the New General Data Protection Regulation will be enforced. In this regulation it states that business are required to carry out impact assessments before implementing any technology or procedure into their company which may pose a risk to individual privacy rights. They are also required to select the most privacy friendly solutions. To finalize I just want to state that not everyone is concerned or disagrees with this opinion of the EU body. BioBeats, a company that uses wearable sensors and applications to better manage the employees stress levels, never gave companies access to their data. Therefore, CEO David Plans, stated that this regulation would give BioBeats more space to compete within the market. He finds that “The only thing that should ever reach the employer is our analysis of the data, not the data itself.”   This post is based on the following article – Fitness Tracking Startups Are Sweating Due To EU Privacy Regulations

Digital Health, Healthcare, Innovation, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth, Wearables
Say Hello To Your AI Doctor. Technology has been moving fast, realizing dreams from virtual reality glasses to self-driving cars. Health technology however is a different story. Where humans have always dreamed big, fantasizing about better, longer-lasting bodies and more effective and less expensive healthcare, technology has lagged behind. keep reading

Digital Health, Events, Wearables
  Last week our very own João Bocas attended WHINN, Week of Health INNovation, in Odense, Denmark. João was invited to be a social media ambassador, during the three days, sharing event content and meaningful insights on healthcare innovation. We were very excited to work with other great people, Danielle Siarri, Christina Roosen, Stefan Buttigieg and Mercè Bonjorn Dalmau. And of course congratulations to Michaela Andersen and the team WHINN! Regarding the social media, we achieved amazing results! Trending status in Denmark with #WHINN. whinn-influencers WHINN is one of a kind event, one week with conferences, side events, exhibitions, matchmaking and networking activities. The week is all about health,  innovation, new technologies and sustainable solutions, values that are also at the heart of the progress. This innovative health festival attracts people from all over the world including, stakeholders, decision makers, politicians, clinicians, end-users, students and people with general interest in healthcare and health technology innovation. In short, WHINN is the ideal place to find new collaborations, opportunities and acquire new knowledge, inspiration and insight in the newest research and international trends. This year’s WHINN topics were; connected Health, value based health and care and sustainable hospitals. All of which I can state are at the heart of our future healthcare system. The conference covered many interesting talks and ideas, one of which was value based healthcare – how, why and for whom. The talk was given by Henrik Rindel Gudbergsen, an executive healthcare professional experienced in creating and managing organisational, R&D and business strategies within the areas of medical science, device technology, eHealth, digital transformation, and value-based healthcare. WHINN Also, key market players such as Phillips were present and shared their view on the 2025 trends in healthcare. WHINN-trends-in-healthcare As a recognized thought leader in Digital Health, named in the Top 100 Global Digital Health influencers and expert in wearables and innovation, João spoke the first day at BITS AND BEERS discussing the future of wearable tech. Tuesday, our CEO João Bocas was invited to do a WHINN TALK, innovative speakers from all over the world would take the stage during lunch and share their expertise. On day three, Wednesday, João opened the conference day by setting the stage around hospital and innovation in the new health paradigm. He discussed current trends on wearable technologies and connected health. WHINN  was not only a great place to acquire knowledge, gain global insights and contribute to improve healthcare and public health systems, is was also lots of fun! An example of this was meeting people with a similar mission #pinksocks. pinksocks-WHINN If you would like to know at which upcoming events João Bocas will be speaking or would like any help with innovation and digital health within your company, please don’t hesitate to contact us.   Also, you can find more about João’s presentations at WHINN via SlideShare
See you there next year!! #WHINN2018

Digital Health, Healthcare
value-based-healthcare Value Based Healthcare is essential for digital health. Healthcare cost comprise approximately 10% of the worlds GDP. For some Western countries, such as the US, this percentage is even higher, about 18%. Through the ageing population and growing demands and needs healthcare cost continue to rise, outpacing growth of household and national incomes. This unsustainable growth in cost is one of the biggest challenges of this age. Worldwide political conversations are dominated and polarized by it. How are we going to pay for it, Who is going to pay for it and how do we make the healthcare system future proof? These questions are at the centre of the discussion and still in need for an answer. One of the answers may be the Value Based Healthcare (VBHC) approach. The current system strives for high quantity, simply put, the more patients you cure the more money you receive. This results in a fragmented healthcare system with health providers unwilling to work together. value-based-healthcare The VBHC approach however does not strive to minimize cost or maximise quantity, it strives to maximise the value of care. This is defined as patient outcomes divided by the costs. Worldwide leading healthcare systems are documenting and reporting variations in clinical practice and health outcomes. Therewith best practices can be identified by clinicians, whom could steer resources towards the clinical interventions which achieve the best results. Through this focus on value, the value based healthcare approach delivers higher quality of patient outcomes for equal or lower cost, and could thus be part of the solution. However in order to deliver this promise and be able to make difficult decisions about the types of care and which pharmaceuticals can be offered with it, makes a scientific, detailed, evidence-based approach essential. Therefore some important steps need to be included in the process. For a VBHC approach one needs to have a detailed analysis of existing outcome date, best practices need to be identified and these then need to be widespread and shared amongst healthcare providers in order to reduce variations and improve the overall health outcomes. value-based-healthcare This is why the healthcare providers cannot do it alone. They need help from the digital health industry. Healthcare providers generate enormous amounts of raw data but are often unable to analyses and order that data in the way that is needed for VBCH. In the business space of Digital Health by contrast, this is one of its main components and best practices. They could use their resources to generate the clinical, payment and quality insight which is required for the growth of value based digital health. Thus, VBHC, choosing quality over quantity while minimizing cost, seems like a win/win for both the patients, healthcare providers and governments. The solutions are not all there yet, but they are coming and value based healthcare is a great example of one.   This article is based on – The Digital Mission of Healthcare: Value Based Care

Big Data, Digital Health, Healthcare, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth, Wearables
  How can stakeholders harness the potential of healthcare wearables to revolutionise the care continuum while successfully navigating legislative and technical risks? spoke to Global Top 100 Digital Health Influencer, João Bocas for his insights. keep reading

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

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