Philips and Right at Home to launchconnected sensors platform for seniors

Philips announced the commercial beta launch of remote care services powered by the new CareSensus connected sensors platform in partnership with Right at Home, one of the largest in-home senior care franchise networks in the world. Together, Philips and Right at Home are redefining the home care landscape by offering a flexible and affordable blend of in-home and remote care options to proactively help seniors with cognitive and/or physical frailties who want to age in place safely. Fueled by connected sensors and powerful data analytics, this unique “blended care” high-touch, high-tech approach offers insights and adapts to a senior’s particular needs to provide “always-on” home care and peace of mind to caregivers who are not close by.
  
With its unique home care monitoring solution, the Philips CareSensus platform is bringing the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the homes of seniors. It consists of connected, discrete, non-camera-based passive sensors placed strategically in the home to provide 24/7 monitoring of seniors. The data from the connected sensors is processed to identify unusual patterns of activities enabling a personalized blueprint of behavior, and delivering timely data to the Right at Home remote care team. If the senior is getting up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom, or they are taking an unusually long time to get out of bed in the morning, these can be early indicators that something may be wrong.

Supported by the powerful analytics of the CareSensus platform, the Right at Home remote care team is able to see behavioral changes via an intuitive online dashboard with several views, and potentially intervene earlier during a health deterioration or before a more serious event occurs. The family caregiver is also given access to the dashboard so they can review periodically to see how their loved one is doing. For instance, during a recent pilot, one patient began frequenting the bathroom more often than usual. The care team alerted the client’s daughter who made a doctor appointment, where they discovered the client was suffering from symptoms of a significant health problem that could have worsened without early intervention.

“Philips has over 40 years of experience in delivering innovative technology to support care for seniors and caregivers,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Connected Care and Health Informatics at Philips. “Combined with our deep knowledge of advanced analytics in patient and home monitoring, we can now offer a powerful platform delivering reliable data to the Right at Home care team. Philips’ proprietary connected sensors platform allows the senior’s Right at Home care team to proactively help keep them as healthy and secure as possible to better enable the delivery of tailored, expert care whenever and wherever it’s needed.”

“By 2025, there will be nearly 1.2 billion people over the age of 60 worldwide,” said Brian Petranick, CEO and President of Right at Home. “This aging shift will continue to increase demand for Right at Home’s care services and will add increasing pressure on an industry already challenged with the supply for caregivers. As the need for caregivers across the globe exceeds supply, this partnership with Philips and the use of its innovative technology will help supplement the growing demand for in-home care and improve the well-being of our clients in a revolutionary way. This blended care approach will drive the future of home healthcare.”

A press release can be found from Philips website by clicking here.

Roche launches PT/INR bluetooth self-testing device for anticoagulated patients

Roche announced that it has launched the CoaguChek® INRange system in countries accepting the CE Mark. The CoaguChek INRange system is the first Bluetooth enabled PT/INR home health device that helps patients and their healthcare providers (HCPs) have greater control over their coagulation status and the ability to monitor Vitamin K Antagonist (VKA) therapy. Patient self-testing with CoaguChek INRange sets a new standard of care by enabling HCPs to monitor patient PT/INR data, while reducing visits to the lab.


Frequent self-testing offers both clinical and patient benefit as it has been proven that patients that adhere to their monitoring therapy spend more time in their therapeutic range, which results in lower incidence of stroke1 or bleeding.2 It has been demonstrated that 50–60% of patients can be expected to remain in their target range if monitoring of INR occurs monthly, 77–85% if monitored weekly and up to 92% if monitored every three days.3 Patients who spend a high proportion of time (> 70%) in the therapeutic range achieve better clinical outcomes.4,5

Evidence suggests that patients who have a strong link with their healthcare professional adhere better to their anticoagulant therapy plan.3 The CoaguChek INRange system helps enhance the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers. Patients build a deeper understanding of their PT/INR results through frequent self-testing and physicians are more confident that they can optimise treatment decisions effectively as they have access to patient data in near real-time.

“As healthcare systems face continued pressure to deliver improved access to care at a lower cost, increased connectivity between HCPs and patients becomes even more important,” said Roland Diggelmann, COO, Roche Diagnostics. “This innovative technology continues the CoaguChek legacy of setting the standard in coagulation monitoring by providing high quality, convenient care, while optimising outcomes for patients. This is another proof point towards our aim to position patient self-testing as the standard of care to monitor VKA therapy.”

Usual care or management of patients on VKA therapy includes frequent visits to the hospital or general practitioner for PT/INR testing with a venipuncture and waiting up to 2-3 days for the lab results. The CoaguChek INRange system engages patients in their care with a simple fingerstick and 60-second test, giving patients the independence to continue their normal daily activities and quality of life while maintaining connections with their HCPs.

“In a clinical environment, we need to establish a model of care that empowers patients, helping them to understand their health condition and allowing them to take responsibility of their own health care needs,” stated Juan Carlos Souto, renowned Physician at the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain and author of over 400 scientific articles and communications. “The new technology will enable us to access the test results in the clinic’s database, to keep track of the individual patient’s status and to measure the quality of care provided by our clinic.”

A press release can be found from Roche website by following this link.

POC osteoporosis diagnosis instrument also available in USA

Bone Index Ltd. has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Bindex® point-of-care instrument to help in osteoporosis diagnosis.

 

Osteoporosis, a very underdiagnosed disease, is responsible for two million broken bones every year in the USA. These fractures translate into costs totaling about 19 billion dollars. Experts forecast that by 2025, the costs due to fractures will rise to 25.3 billion dollars. Currently, one of the biggest challenges in osteoporosis management is the low availability of diagnostics since bone density scans are mostly performed in hospitals with large DXA X-ray machines that entail high costs.

Bindex® measures the cortical bone thickness of the tibia and the algorithm calculates the Density Index, a parameter which estimates bone mineral density at the hip as measured with DXA. Bindex detects osteoporosis with 90% sensitivity and specificity and will significantly help physicians with diagnosis.

“The clearance process with the FDA was straightforward despite the novel approach introduced with Bindex. The technique is based on extensive clinical evidence, and with the effectiveness of Bindex, the current care of osteoporosis can be significantly improved,” says Bone Index’s CTO, Dr. Janne Karjalainen.

“A recently published article* in Osteoporosis International presents an approach to how the international fracture risk calculator (FRAX®) and the Bindex® test can be used together in identifying patients in need of medication. This is extremely important because an estimated 75% of osteoporosis sufferers are undiagnosed and without the treatment they need,” says Professor Heikki Kröger, MD. The clinical validation for Bindex® has been conducted with a total of over 2,000 patients.

“Bindex technology is unique in the world. The device is pocket-sized, reliable and enables new and cost-effective diagnostic pathways for osteoporosis,” says Bone Index’s CEO, Dr. Ossi Riekkinen.

A press release can be found from Bone Index website by following this link.

Medtronic and Qualcomm collaborate develop continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems

Medtronic and Qualcomm through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Life, Inc., announced a global, multi-year collaboration to jointly develop future generation continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems that aim to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes. By giving insights to doctors and people with type 2 diabetes concerning glucose levels, the companies intend to enable more informed care, especially for those who do not have control of their diabetes today. The collaboration seeks to leverage Medtronic’s market-leadership in diabetes management and Qualcomm Life’s expertise in developing reference designs for wireless, single-use and small integrated modules to create more affordable, easier-to-use CGM systems, including a new sensor and smaller design that can provide near real-time and retrospective glucose data.

The initial focus of the collaboration will be to develop a single-use CGM system designed for broader practice by general practitioners who manage care for the vast majority of the 400 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes. This collaboration supports Medtronic’s strategy to develop comprehensive CGM solutions that not only measure glucose but enable the delivery of actionable insights to both patients and providers.

Leveraging Qualcomm Life’s deep wireless expertise and technologies, 2net(TM) Design is a platform for designing the communications components of connected medical devices, including disposable drug delivery devices and disposable diagnostic devices for condition specific connected therapies.

“We believe that glucose should be a vital sign of diabetes health. Professional CGM is an increasingly used diagnostic tool that empowers physicians and patients with meaningful glucose data to tackle glucose control. Our solutions go beyond delivering data and provide automated observations and clinical decision support to help create a personalized care plan,” said Laura Stoltenberg, vice president and general manager, Non-Intensive Diabetes Therapies at Medtronic. “Our vision is to transform diabetes care so people with diabetes can enjoy greater freedom and better health. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Qualcomm Life – a best-in-class leader in wireless technologies that is ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing connected world – to develop innovative and affordable CGM systems that will fundamentally change type 2 diabetes management.”

“Qualcomm Life’s connected health expertise along with our enabling 2net Connectivity Platform and 2net Design capabilities fit naturally with Medtronic’s diabetes leadership in bringing future generation CGM systems to market,” said Rick Valencia, president and general manager, Qualcomm Life, Inc. “This collaboration furthers our commitment of enabling new connected care models that liberate vital data and unlock insights to deliver intelligent care wherever the patient may be.”

Advanced CGM solutions are a critical element of an integrated care model. By building an ecosystem of industry leading partners, Medtronic aims to deliver more than just devices and provide intelligent solutions that improve outcomes, while lowering the overall cost of care.

CFDA releases 2015 Annual Report of National Medical Device Adverse Event Monitoring

China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) recently released the 2015 Annual Report for National Medical Device Adverse Event Monitoring, which includes the general situation of medical device adverse event reporting, the statistical analysis of medical device adverse events, and the control measures for the safety risks of medical X-ray angiography equipment, external defibrillator and low frequency electromagnetic therapy equipment. The report reflects comprehensively the performance of China’s medical device adverse event monitoring in 2015.

The report (in Chinese language) can be downloaded by following this link.

Engineers are developing knee listening device

Research engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a knee band with microphones and vibration sensors to listen to and measure the sounds inside the joint.

It could lead to a future device to help orthopedic specialists assess damage after an injury and track the progress of recovery.


Omer Inan has suffered knee pain himself and had been thinking about developing such a device for some time. The assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering is a former discus thrower who was a three-time NCAA All-American at Stanford University and the school record holder.

He spent years whirling around like a tornado, which knees aren’t built for. Add to that the stress and strain of weight training that included squats with 500-pound loads.

“I would always feel like my knee was creaking or popping more if I was putting more stress on it,” Inan said.

Then the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a call for research proposals on wearable technologies for assisting rehabilitation, and the researcher at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering pitched his idea.

Inan’s group has published a paper on the latest state of development in the journal IEEE Transactions in Biomedical Engineering online, official print publication is pending. The research is being sponsored by the DARPA Biological Technologies Office. Inan leads a team of 17 researchers, including Georgia Tech faculty in ECE and Applied Physiology and graduate students.

The researchers combined microphones with piezoelectric film. The film is a hypersensitive vibration sensor and collects the best sound, but it is very sensitive to interference. The microphones placed against the skin make for an ample backup and for a more practical device.

The knee monitor also takes advantage of a technical advancement you will find in your smart phone. Micro-electromechanical systems microphones, or MEMS, integrate better with current technology than microphones based on previous technologies, and that also makes the microphones downright cheap – 50 cents to a dollar – for a very affordable device.