Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Health’

The Medical Futurist Youtube Channel: Introduction

I’ve been publishing videos for months on the Medical Futurist Youtube channel. I have covered the future of medicine, healthcare, diseases and technologies. I have also created top lists and movie suggestions. Here is a quick introduction to the channel and hopefully you will find the videos useful.

The most popular video is about the top technologies shaping the future of medicine.

And here are the playlists:

Have a great time browsing the videos and please feel free to leave a comment under the videos!

10+1 Commandments For Companies Developing Wearable Health Trackers

I use a dozen health trackers to live a healthy life. I would not go out for a run without measuring data. As a geek, that is my motivation. Throughout the last couple of years, I have tested and used about 40 devices and gadgets that measure health parameters or vital signs.

The #wearable revolution is getting heated now as I described in The Guide to the Future of Medicine, therefore I thought it’s time to share the 10+1 commandments every company developing wearable health trackers should follow. Please feel free to add yours.

1) Don’t provide a value you cannot explain.

When a device shows me values without clear explanations of what they mean, I feel bad as that is a missed opportunity. If you can provide a specific value, assign practical explanation to it. You can show me what period of my running session I spent in power/strenght mode, but I don’t know what it means. Perfusion index sounds great but how could it be applied to my lifestyle? Please only show us things you can clearly explain. The quest is not to measure more and more but to make better and better decisions about how to live healthily.

Good example: Wahoo Tickr Run

2) Don’t make me charge you every day.

I’m not in a relationship with the device therefore I don’t want to see and deal with it every day. If you cannot develop something that can survive for days without a battery change or recharge, there are other industries to invest into. My Pebble smartwatch can function for more than 7 days. The Wahoo run tracker has a year of battery life. But when my Withings Pulse started to require charging every day, I stopped using it.

Good example: Pebble Time

3) Focus on one practical thing.

You might be able to develop a device that can measure a dozen things from ECG and oxygen saturation to stress levels and attention. How will you find your target audience, if there is any? Design a device that can help with one important thing. Whether I want to lose weight; get better at paying attention; run more regularly or reduce stress levels; I would rather buy a device that helps me solve that problem than another one intended for everybody under any circumstances. That creates a wrong message.

Good example: AliveCor

4) You need us, users.

It’s impossible that you design something amazing without being in contact with those who will use your invention. You have great ideas, but I’m the one using your device at the end of the day, I suffer from its error messages and enjoy its advantages. Create a social media profile through which we can contact you. Actually, we want to work for you because if you develop better things, our life becomes simpler. Use this free consulting service and let us talk with you. It’s not only about customer support, but general trust as well.

Good example: FitBit

5) Troubled synchronizing can make me stop using what you develop.

A few devices such as Withings tell me I need to synchronize them manually. And even when I do, it doesn’t always work. Others such as FitBit are said to synchronize automatically. And still sometimes data are missing. I don’t want to deal with that. I thought synchronizing would not be an issue by now. Either make it truly automatic or really user-friendly, but this is crucial.

Good example: Pip Stress

6) You lose me without gamification.

I might be a very motivated person, but measuring pure data is not enough. Design a system that makes me hooked on your solution. FitBit sends me weekly summaries about my activities. Lumosity shows me what percentage of people in my age group is better than me. Withings Blood Pressure creates a very clear, color-coded graph about my blood pressure measurements. Make me addicted to you.

Good example: Muse

7) Create our community.

Finding someone to discuss data measured by devices is difficult. I needed to create a social media network of tens of thousands of people for that. Not everyone has this opportunity. You could develop a community of like-minded and motivated individuals either by a community on your website or using a Twitter hashtag you work out. What matters is that developing a device is not enough. And creating such a network is so easy, you should not miss this chance of tying more users to your invention.

Good example: FitBit

8) Measure is not only pleasure, help us.

Interpreting the data can be a huge obstacle. I need to be a doctor, a researcher and a geek to get the most out of my data. Instead, companies developing these devices could provide a clear understanding of what conclusions I can draw from what I measure. Your responsibility doesn’t stop at creating the device. Actually it starts there.

Good example: AliveCor

9) Bluetooth pairing is not rocket science.

Issues with pairing numerous devices via Bluetooth is the Blue Death of the 21st century. I cannot count how many times I had to deal with it either because the device got unpaired by itself; another phone paired with it by chance; or they couldn’t find each other. This should not be an issue at all. I pair the device in seconds once, and that works for as long as I want. Without knowing plenty of tricks about how my smartphone works, I couldn’t have solved many of these issues. The majority of your users haven’t ever heard about these tricks so they will just give up.

Good example: Tinké

10) Not updating apps is like giving up on us.

You develop a device, bring it to the market and I buy it. Whatever the device is capable of, it is going to be the same forever. But apps can change. With many devices, I take more time looking at their apps than the device itself. Build upon this opportunity and update the apps behind your invention as regularly as possible. And please don’t even think about developing something if you can only release an iOS or Android version. If you don’t have both, even as an Android user, I will not buy your device.

Good example: MisFit

+1) You are not doing business, but helping us live healthier.

That is a crucial point. If your major intention is making money, you already lost this battle. People will find this out very soon. If you want to help people live a healthier life, you create a chance of long-term success. Without your inventions, I couldn’t motivate myself to exercise every day. And when I feel that you really want to help me; I become even more motivated. Let’s cherish this relationship and build the pyramid of a “healthy life revolution” with good technologies.

I hope many companies will read this and share what they think. Until then, I grab some of my favorite gadgets and go out for a run enjoying the motivation they provide me with; and dealing with the technical issues they make me face.

Dealing With Data From Wearables

I use plenty of devices to obtain data about my lifestyle and health parameters. My only intention behind that is living a better and healthier life. But dealing with the awful amount of data is a struggle. I could improve my sleep, daily fitness or concentration one by one, but combining data requires me being a researcher, a doctor and a geek. It seems I’m not alone with this problem.

There’s hope for wearable devices that actually take the types of measurements that would be helpful for health monitoring. But realizing that hope will probably mean moving on to radically new technologies. And it will certainly mean developing devices that are able to take a wider variety of measurements.

Instead, I would love to use an app or a service that draws conclusions for me based on my wearables. I wrote about Exist.io a few days ago and I decided to give it a try. A long story short, it was not a success.

exist2

Conclusions it provided based on my schedule, sleep quality, daily activities, Twitter and Instagram profiles were not useful and I can draw better ones myself. While I wished such an app could help me in my quest of living a healthy life, but I’m a bit glad it didn’t work out fine. That might be a sign that we should not rely on an app when making decisions about lifestyle. They could help us, but the decision must be ours.

I’m pretty sure Exist will get better and IBM Watson will soon join this market with its smart algorithms. Maybe after the wearable revolution, we will not only get flooded by sensors, but by better apps. And maybe Google’s new wearable might change things. Until then, I keep on thinking about what changes I can make in my lifestyle based on what I measure.

1x-1

If you know of such apps, please let me know. Thank you!

Top 10 Health Parameters You Can Measure At Home!

I receive a lot of message on- and offline about what devices I use to quantify my health. Therefore I decided to list the 10 health parameters I measure and the relevant devices I use. I hope you will find it useful.

Health parameter | Name of the device | Website

  1. Blood pressure | Withings Blood Pressure | Withings.com
  2. Brain activities | Muse | Choosemuse.com
  3. Focus or attention | Puzzlebox Orbit | puzzlebox.io
  4. Sleep | Withings Pulse | Withings.com
  5. Pulse | Wahoo | Wahoofitness.com
  6. Body temperature | CheckMe | viatomtech.com
  7. Daily physical activities | FitBit | fitbit.com
  8. Electrocardiogram (ECG) | AliveCor | alivecor.com
  9. Cardiac fitness | Tinké | zensorium.com
  10. Stress | PIP | thepip.com

10 Disruptive Technologies That Will Transform Pharma

My article about those 10 trends that I think can disrupt the whole pharmaceutical industry was just published on Pharmaphorum.com. An excerpt of the article:

When I speak to pharma companies I tell them they need to act now or they will lose business, or even be left with no business at all. I try to underscore this radical statement by highlighting the following trends and examples:

To give you an idea, here is my list:

  1. Empowered patients
  2. Health gamification
  3. Augmented reality and virtual reality
  4. Genomics and truly personalized medicine
  5. Body sensors
  6. ‘Do it yourself’ biotechnology
  7. The 3D printing revolution
  8. The end of human experimentation
  9. Medical decision making with artificial intelligence
  10. Nanorobots
  11. Here is a recent video I recorded about the technologies I’m the most excited about.

The 12 Most Exciting and Surprising Collaborations in Digital Health

From time to time, I come across news covering collaborations between companies which are either promising or surprising. Sometimes both. A future full of science fiction technologies in medicine & healthcare starts with such collaborations. Here are those I’m the most excited about.

1) Oscar Health, the hipster insurance company, works with the wearable tracker Fitbit. Insured people can submit their Fitbit data and if they reach the daily fitness goals, they get $1 every day.

1

2) Qualcomm, which is world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies, and Walgreens, the largest drug retailing chain in the US, are collaborating  to power device connectivity in remote patient monitoring, transitional care support and chronic care management.

3) The patient community site Patientslikeme.com started working with the pharma company AstraZeneca to support patient-driven research initiatives. AstraZeneca will use data from the community site to improve outcomes of several therapeutic areas.

2

4) The company Organovo that works on printing out biomaterials teamed up with L’Oréal to focus on printing out synthetic skin.

5) Organovo also works with the pharma company Merck to use the 3D printed liver system for drug testing. It could eradicate the use of animal testing at pharma companies.

3

6) The American Association of Retired Persons launched a collaboration with Pfizer and United Health to discover how wearable devices and other health trackers could impact the lives of people aged 50 and older.

7) The pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim has formed a new digital health collaboration with California healthcare provider Sutter Health. They will test digital health solutions, mobile technologies and data analytics.

8) Novartis signed an agreement with Google about the digital contact lens that Google patented in 2014 and can measure blood glucose levels from tears. It could be a hit in diabetes management.

iOptik-contact-lenses-augment-your-eyes-and-allow-for-futuristic-immersive-virtual-reality-FP

9) The Human Longevity Inc. is joining forces with Cleveland Clinic for a human genomics collaboration aimed at disease discovery. They will sequence and analyze blood samples from the medical center’s patient study, running whole genome, cancer and microbiome sequencing.

10) Nestlé started working with companies that develop food printers. They want to have a branch with business models, experts and products by the time food printing becomes a common thing at home.

3d-printer-food

11) Google’s Calico project works together with the pharma company Abbvie to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new therapies.

12) Pfizer surprised many of us when it announced its collaboration with a lab developing DNA robots. They could target diseases more efficiently with robots that deliver the drug to the desired location.

Have I missed anything? Please let me know.

The Most Popular Articles About The Future Of Medicine & Healthcare

I’ve received plenty of messages about where the most popular articles I’ve written about the future of medicine can be accessed. I thought I would share the list in one post, I hope you will enjoy it!

Will The Hospital Of The Future Be Our Home?

The biggest part of healthcare is self care which takes places outside the medical system. I need to manage my health and disease not only in the hospital and during the doctor visits, but also at home. Still when people talk about the future of hospitals, they usually depict amazing technologies and really huge devices.

Intelligent bathroom_hi2

What Comes After The #Wearable Health Revolution?

The wearable health trackers’ revolution has been going on producing devices that let us measure vital signs and health parameters at home. It is changing the whole status quo of healthcare as medical information and now tracking health are available outside the ivory tower of medicine.

9

12 Things We Can 3D Print in Medicine Right Now

3D printing is just one of the many revolutionary technologies currently being used in healthcare.

3D-printed-artificial-heart-valve-from-jonathan-butcher

Commentary: we need to be better prepared for a technological future (BMJ)

IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century

Computer assistance can only facilitate the work of physicians, not replace it. Just like how stethoscope did.

0923b3d

10 Things How Artificial Intelligence Could Make Me a Better Doctor

I was watching the movie Her for the second time and I was fascinated again about the scene in which the main character played by Joaquin Phoenix got his new operating system with artificial intelligence (AI) and started working with that. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ways I could use such an AI system in my life and how it actually could make me a better doctor.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Theodore in the romantic drama "HER," directed by Spike Jonze, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

What Should Hospitals Look Like In The Future?

How do you start when the goal is to design the hospital of the future? When I was writing this chapter for my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, I contacted talented architects, as well as organizations such as NXT Health focusing on this sensitive topic and shared my own views as well.

hospital-of-the-future-600x450

The Future of Diabetes Management: 8 Reasons Why We Face Extraordinary Times!

Around 400 million patients have diabetes worldwide according to estimations. And over the last few years, diabetes management has been improving but due to the new technologies and devices coming to the market very soon, the whole management of diabetes will significantly change in the coming years. Let me show you some examples how.

c

Ethical Issues of The Future of Medicine: The Top 10

I remain confident that we are still in time and we can still prepare for the amazing yet uncertain future of medicine. What is definitely needed, among others things such as new skills, is initiating public discussions now. It was my intention when I made a list of 10 potential ethical issues we will all have to deal with soon.

[In the first test of a new program designed to bring innovative medical devices to market faster, the Food and Drug Administration will evaluate brain-controlled prosthetic arms developed by the Defense Department. Photo credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.] *** []

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49,206 other followers

%d bloggers like this: