Posts Tagged Internet of Things

Health Information Technology (HIT) – Hype or Promise of a Better Healthcare System?


Salim Kizaraly, Founder & SVP of Business Development at Stella Technology, a healthcare information technology start-up, talked about the promise of  Health Information Technology in solving care coordination, physician collaboration, and system integration challenges to improve healthcare, at a recent http://www.bio2devicegroup.org event.

Kizaraly began by sharing the known fact that the mounting and huge healthcare costs in the US, that do not result in significant improvement in health, are not sustainable.  According to some estimates, almost 18.3% of GDP in the US, goes towards healthcare expenditure.  If the cost of healthcare continues to rise at historical rates, the share of GDP going towards healthcare in the US, is projected to reach 34%, by 2040.  While the costs continue to rise, gains on health improvement do not keep pace.  For instance, life expectancy in the US is only 78.4 years and US ranks 27th out of 34 industrialized nations.  In this study of industrialized nations, US had highest to near highest infant mortality rates.

Kizaraly discussed the three defining historical events that got the ball rolling on healthcare transformation.  In 2004, President Bush announced that in the next 10 years, by 2014, every American would have an access to electronic health records. We have a long way to go, but certainly we are moving in that direction.  In 2009, HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health) Act, enacted as part of the ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment) Act, was signed into law, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of HIT and included incentives for faster adoption of EMR (Electronic Medical Records).  In 2010, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, with its mandate to expand coverage, cemented the case regarding the need towards transformation.

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Affordable Care Act’s most significant contribution is to creating ACOs or Accountable Care Organizations.  An ACO can be defined “as a set of health care providers, including primary care physicians, specialists, and hospitals that work together collaboratively and accept collective accountability for the cost and quality of care delivered to a population of patients”. There are incentives to keep patients out of the extreme settings of care, including hospitals and nursing homes.  Different models are emerging of how these organizations put this into practice.  Underlying issue is that hospitals have to get better at treating patients.  Hospitals are bracing for lower revenues as they get better at keeping patients out of hospitals.  Different models of care are emerging.  Technology will be a big enabler to change workflow, rethink care, as homes emerge as places of care.  Here is link to my article on Keynote by Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic, at 2014 J P Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco –http://bit.ly/1c3EyBB .  Cosgrove also said, that hospitals will not longer be epicenters of care, and while a few hospitals (e.g Cleveland Clinic) will be super high tech, they will partner and share resources with other care providers, to offset costs.  The disruptions will eventually enable us to “build a healthcare system that is humane, high quality, and sustainable”, said Cosgrove.

Kizraly discussed several national initiatives that are implemented or partially implemented to enhance collaboration among care providers and integration of information.  For instance, if a person experiences an emergency visiting New York, then eHealth Exchange will make it easy to get their health records from the state of their residence. Similarly, Blue Button makes it easy for Americans to get easy, secure, online access to their health records, with a single click.

Stella Technology is a self-funded health information technology services and product development company that focuses on care coordination, patient access, and information exchange projects.  Kizraly shared use cases and information on how Stella is helping providers, with great success, in integrating care.  Through aggregating data from a variety of sources, through identifying gaps in care, and with real-time, proactive analytics, Stella’s technology identifies care opportunities that can be improved and accordingly targets interventions.  In the long term these kinds of strategic technological interventions will enable care providers to curtail expenditure, while improving care. In the interim, we still have a long way to go and there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to use technological advancements in big data, cloud, machine learning, (IOT) internet of things, and enable US healthcare system to become more efficient, with lower costs and improved outcomes.  Kizraly’s talk was followed by Q&A.

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Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm to give Grand Keynote at TiEcon 2014


TiEcon, the largest entrepreneurship conference, will focus this year on four industry focused tracks, Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud Infrastructure, and Healthcare. (Please register through this link as my guest https://www.123signup.com/register?id=dbnfb&ref=4182698 and enter promo code tievalue to get a $100 discount).

Steve Mollenkopf, President and CEO of Qualcomm, will give grand keynote address, on day 1.  With a background in electrical engineering, Mollenkopf holds patents in “power estimation and measurement, multi-standard transmitter system, and wireless communication transceiver technology.”  He has spent his entire 20+ year career at Qualcomm.  Previously, he led the chip set business at Qualcomm and helped make Qualcomm the world’s largest mobile chipset supplier and global leader in LTE technology.  Mollenkopf also led the company’s largest acquisition of Atheros, purchased at $3.1 billion, a deal that helped expand Qualcomm’s business beyond smartphones and enabled and speeded adoption of Qualcomm’s technologies and platforms in new segments.

Qualcomm logo

Qualcomm logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Qualcomm makes over $25 billion each year, in revenues, powering world’s smartphones and tablets.  Qualcomm may not be a lean and mean startup, but it is a technology driven company.  Mollenkopf is entrepreneurial in nature and a self-proclaimed gadget freak.  Entrepreneurs at TiEcon will be waiting to hear Mollenkopf’s perspectives on opportunities in mobile space.  Will he share any new industry leading innovations in the pipeline, at Qualcomm?

TiEcon 2014 is shaping up to be fantastic entrepreneurship focused conference, with awesome panels and speakers.  Please register through this link as my guest https://www.123signup.com/register?id=dbnfb&ref=4182698 and enter promo code tievalue to get a $100 discount.

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Other Life Science focused events

1) Register for Health Tech Forum annual conference on May 20, at www.healthtechnologyforum.com.  With a theme of “Pathways to Sustainable Health”, the conference will bring together physicians, entrepreneurs, payers, and providers with an aim to empower quality of health.
2) Michelle Chen from DNAtrix, Inc. will talk on “Developing Oncolytic Virus to Treat Glioblastoma” on Tuesday, April, 29, 8:30am.  This is a free event – all are welcome – http://www.bio2devicegroup.org.
3) Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, founder of Pearl Therapeutics will talk on Tuesday, May 6 at Cubberley, PA www.eppicglobal.org.  Pearl Therapeutics was acquired by Astra Zeneca last year, for $1.15 B and was a winner of TiEcon’s TiE50 awards, two years in a row.
4) Feel free to send me an email for details on any of these events at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com.  You can also follow my updates on Twitter @DarshanaN.  Also, do check out (in JOBS category on this blog), my job opportunities that include many Quality Engineering jobs in CA and MA and hot Software Embedded Engineer job and more.

 

 

 

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OncoProtein based Program for Early Detection of HPV induced Cervical Cancers  


Dr Johannes Schweizer, VP of R&D at Arbor Vita Corporation talked about Arbor Vita’s proprietary OncoE6™ Cervical Test that Predicts Development of Cervical Cancer at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.  Information on 3 great upcoming conferences EPPIC, TiEcon, and HealthTechForum with great speakers on healthcare tracks, is posted at the end of the article.

Arbor Vita was found by Dr. Peter Lu, in 1998 with an aim to apply discoveries of the role of PDZ proteins to the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics.  Numerous pathogens have been found to cause diseases by binding to a PDZ protein and thereby disrupting normal cell signaling.  The ability to regulate PDZ/PL interactions represents new opportunities in controlling multiple signaling cascades in complex diseases and have recently been a focus for human drug targets.  Arbor Vita has identified nearly all of the PDZ domains in the human proteome and has decoded most of them.  Arbor Vita’s platform technology is targeted towards several diseases.  Its stroke treatment asset was recently sold to NoNO, Inc.  Avian flu Dx is the first FDA cleared rapid Dx test.  At this event, Dr Schweizer discussed Arbor Vita’s diagnostic and treatment technology for HPV induced cancers.

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of mortality, worldwide.  HPV induced cancers are transmitted through sexual contact and kill over 275,000 women, every year.  These do not receive as much attention because the mortality rates are lower in the US and other developed countries.  But mortality from slow progressive cervical cancers peak in developing countries.  In India for instance, every 7 minutes, a woman dies from this disease.  The current mode of detection is through pap smears, which have poor sensitivity and poor specificity.  In the US, out of 100,000 women tested, 23,000 are likely to be hr-HPV positive.  But from these, only 6 women are likely to have cancer.  This indicates that the current screening methods are sensitive but are not sufficiently specific to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous activity and low specificity leads to over treatment.  Pap tests give about 20% false positive and false negative results.  The only reason it still work is because of the frequency of testing in the case of this very slow moving cancer, said Schweizer.  Also pap tests require lot of infrastructure and set up that is often not easily available in developing regions.

Arbor Vita’s OncoE6TM Test is the only test that specifically identifies the viral E6 oncoprotein that causes cervical cancer.  And it is simple to administer with specimen captured with a polyester tipped cervical swab, which can also be captured by the woman on her own as well.  Elevated E6 oncoprotein correlates to cancerous activity and development of high-affinity anti E6 mAb is a key to feasibility.  There are 15 HPV types that cause cancer.  Among these, HPV 16 and HPV 18 are leading causes of cervical cancers, worldwide.  This test is specific to these two viruses.  Further this test is robust and lends to easy storage at ambient temperature.  The entire process from sample collection to getting the results can be completed in 2.5 hours.

Schweizer shared some of the data from its clinical trials.  The data indicates that in a head to head comparison with OncoE6TM, the DNA test results in nine fold over treatment including colposcopies and biopsies.   OncoE6 Cervical Test on the other hand, has high specificity for women with high grade disease cancers.  OncoE6 Cervical Test efficiently identifies women in need of clinical follow-up, among the many more with clinically irrelevant HPV infections.  In a one year follow up, E6TM promised to be a solid predictive marker as high specificity and high PPV are keys to lower referral rates and clinical follow-up.  This was very interesting talk and was followed by Q&A.

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Please see below information on some excellent conferences and events coming up in the Bay Area, in next couple of months.

March 29, 2014 (day after tomorrow) EPPIC (www.eppicglobal.org) is hosting annual conference at SF, Westin.  Panels include Neglected & Rare Diseases – http://bit.ly/1c1vvTR, Innovations in clinical Development of Novel Agents, Point of Care gold rush and there will be speed pitch and SIG networking opportunities.  Promises to be a great conference.

May 16, 17, 2014 TiE SV (www.tiesv.org) will host TiEcon (www.tiecon.org) , the largest entrepreneurship conference.  This year it will feature #healthcare track with focus on Disruptive Technologies in Healthcare.

May 20, 2014 HealthTech Forum (www.healthtechnologyforum.com) will host annual conference around the theme “Pathways to Sustainable Health” at Parc 55 Wyndham, SF and will feature excellent panels and speakers on Medical Research in the Cloud, Patient Engagement in Behavioral Health, Improving Health in Global Underserved Communities and more.

www.bio2devicegroup.org meets every Tuesday and next Tuesday Dr. Russell Pachynski, co-founder, CombImmune, will talk about “Novel approaches to Immune Therapy and Monitoring”.

Check out new job opportunities 1) Embedded Software Engineer – Mountain View, CA 2) Quality manager – Mt Laurel, NJ – http://bit.ly/P1H0QK

 

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Hyper-Connected World – IoT and Implications for Healthcare


Internet of Things (IoT) is the new big buzzword, in the technology innovation.  It enables objects that contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or external environment.  As I see it, IoT is about empowering devices to gather and share information directly with each other, with people, and over the cloud, making it easier, convenient, faster, cheaper, and more effective to collect, record, and analyze data streams. Thus far internet empowered people to easily access information.  IoT will empower devices and finally, this will give a way to put data to use, in real time and it can help solve all sorts of interesting challenges, across a range of industries.  In May, 2014 two fantastic conferences will discuss IoT.  TiEcon 2014 has a track dedicated to discussing IoT and HealthTech Forum has a panel to discuss the impact of IoT on Healthcare.  See below registration details.

I am most interested in IoT’s application in the life science industry.  Apparently IoT is likely to revolutionize healthcare.  Currently, it is people who enable most of the flow of communication.  For instance, consider a patient in critical condition who needs to be constantly monitored and his vital signs checked by a healthcare professional.  Now consider that instead of a professional coming in at regular intervals, this can be done with automated flow of information.  People have a limited bandwidth.  People’s limits in attention span, time etc. can and do lead to all sorts of errors.  But technology has advanced and there are smart sensors that can collect, record, and analyze patient data more easily.  We already have smart sensors and connectivity to make all this possible.  And yet, right now only 1% of things are connected, according to Joseph Bradley, General Manager of Cisco Consulting Services.

Now consider a world of such connectivity that every one of over a trillion everyday items have at least some ability to store and process information.  The Internet of Things promises to be the most disruptive technological revolution since the advent of the World Wide Web.  Projections are that over a 100 billion uniquely identifiable objects will be connected to the internet by the year 2020.

Kevin Ashton, General Manager at Belkin, who coined the term “The Internet of Things”, envisions a world of such connectivity where not only trillion everyday items store, process and share information but they can also share that information, over the global internet with other trillion items.  Imagine connected roads where the information of slowing traffic is instantly connected through sensors embedded in the roads so other less busy roads can instantly open up carpool lanes to everyone.  Now imagine a smart bandaid that directly communicates to the physician whether the diabetic foot ulcer wound is healing or getting worse and timely intervention can save an amputation.

English: internet Español: internet

English: internet Español: internet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the life science arena, the implications of such connectivity will be huge.  Not only it will make hospital and nursing facility stays shorter and care more affordable, but home healthcare will become routine as monitoring becomes easier.  It will have implications for the aging population.  An American turns 50, every 7 seconds  http://bit.ly/1ivIWhf.  Most older individuals would prefer to live in their own homes for as long as they can.  Sensors and systems like Lively http://bit.ly/11iBk7g are working on making this possible.  Living in a hyper connected world is not going to be free of challenges.  IoT will raise many new questions and challenges, some of them technical but also many moral and philosophical.

See discount codes to register for TiEcon 2014, www.tiecon.org and for Health Technology Forum

www.tiecon.org – If you are a professional  in #healthIT, #digital health,  #internetofthings, #cloud, #bigdata or related, then this is the conference, you don’t want to miss – It offers a fabulous opportunity to network with 3000+ professionals and listen to top notch speakers and panelists.  Register for #TiEcon (May 16 & 17 at Santa ClaraConvention Center) as my guest, at link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw  & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.

Healthtechnology Forum conference http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com, focused on exploring pathways to sustainable health, is on May 20 in SF. Please register for the conference as my friend, with the discount code “HTF14-FriendOfOrganizer” and send me your first & last name at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, to get $150 off the price of the ticket.  Also check out & participate in code-a-thon on patient engagement, for May 8.  Over 20K+ in prizes.

JOBS: are posted at the link http://bit.ly/1o85CTM

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