Category Archives for "Artificial Intelligence"

Mar 22

Full-body exoskeletons to minimise occupational injuries?

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Cloud Platter , Videos , Wearable Tech

In this week’s platter, we get introduced to industrial exoskeletons; we look at UAE’s adoption of digital health solutions; we see the smartwatch come of age; and we pay attention to innovations in the pharma supply chain. Enjoy!

They say that prevention is better than cure – so let the robot lift…

Backaches as a result of poor lifting techniques may soon be a thing of the past.  Sacros Robotics, a global leader in the production of robots that combine human intelligence and dexterity with strength, is working with industry groups to identify key performance and safety requirements necessary to bring powered and quasi-passive, full-body industrial exoskeleton systems to the work force.  This will surely improve efficiency and reduce occupational injuries and especially the proverbial lower back pain (yay!!!).  See demonstration of this highly dexterous machine here and here.  Who wants to bet that we see surgical robots evolve to surgical exoskeletons…?


Saved by the watch

The Apple Watch smartwatch has been found to be pretty accurate when it comes to detecting abnormal heart rhythms. A continuing study (see journal article here) on the potentials of wearables has identified that the watchOS device has a 97 percent accuracy rate in determining abnormal heart conditions.  We can be sure that the phone will inform your cardiologist before you even know it. This development is enough to make my heart skip a beat…


UAE adopts virtualization of care through digital health solutions.

Residents in the UAE will soon be able to access real-time medical data, ascertaining the continuity of care when patients move from one hospital to another.

The project for unified medical records ‘Riayati’ will connect public and private sector healthcare providers across the country, in order to create a secure way to access and share the right health data with the right people in real time. That’s right – in real time… Complications arising due to unavailability of reliable medical information during emergencies will soon be a thing of the past.


Robotics, A.I. and Blockchain Redesign The Pharma Supply Chain

Exoskeletons will aid pharma factory workers. 3D printing will allow pharmacies to produce drugs on the spot. Blockchain technologies will help fight counterfeit drugs. These are just bits and pieces, but the entire process of the pharmaceutical supply chain will be affected by disruptive technologies. Let’s look at a comprehensive overview of how innovations will make the supply chain more efficient, faster and cheaper than ever before.

Image Credit: Utah Business

Mar 14

What is the next big opportunity in healthcare?

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare , Wearable Tech

In this week’s platter, we pay attention to the next big opportunity in healthcare; we consider strategies to prepare for the migration from fee-for-service to fee-for-value; we look at the application of design thinking in healthcare; and, finally, we look at the case for the return of the primary care physician. Enjoy.

The next big opportunity in healthcare lies at the intersection of women’s health and digital health

The signs were there – 80 percent of household healthcare spending is done by women; 50 percent of global healthcare customers are women; 80 of healthcare professionals are women – and intersect that with the rise of the “she economy” (the rising buying power of women), the increasing focus on gender-specific medicine and the ubiquity of digital health and you get…”femtech!” “Femtech” is software, diagnostics, products and services that use technology to improve women’s health. Although still believed to a niche sector (perhaps there is a need to redefine the word ‘niche’), “femtech” is tipped to be a $50 billion market by 2025. The overlap between women’s health and digital health is increasing by the day and it is imperative for companies to cater to unmet needs in the industry.


Migration from volume to value – how does one prepare?

While most stakeholders agree the shift toward value-based care is imminent, the growth of physician participation in value-based payment models has been slow. This article presents five strategies leaders identified during the discussion to strengthen their organization’s financial operations to better position them for value-based care.


Azar Emphasizes Administration’s Plan around Value-Based Care, Creation of “True Healthcare Market”

At a speaking event in Washington, D.C., Alex Aza, (the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) Secretary, confirms that the value-based transformation of the entire healthcare system as one of the top four priorities for his department. He acknowledges that the transformation will present some challenges – some which will require “uncomfortable” federal intervention – but that there is no turning back to an unsustainable system that pays for procedures rather than value.
These are seismic reverberations which cannot be ignored…


Design thinking in healthcare

Fueled by the desire to find human-centered solutions to healthcare problems, researchers from IDEO and Verily Life Sciences discuss the application of design thinking methodologies to generate and test lots of ideas to find more innovative, far-reaching solutions to healthcare challenges. In this article (podcast), they speak about the application of design thinking to a schizophrenia case and they conclude with a an analysis of three mindset shifts that are currently moving healthcare in a more human-centered direction.
For a short treatise on design thinking in healthcare, with an associated case study, see here.


Contact Lenses That Deliver Drugs Directly To The Eye

In an attempt to improve patient compliance, a team from a Havard Medical School affiliate has developed contact lenses that deliver medications directly to the eye over days or weeks. Made from FDA-approved materials, the lens delivers medication in a controlled, sustained release and does not interfere with the wearer’s vision.
Eye drops are the traditional treatment method, but they can be ineffective, as the liquid drips out of the eye or patients may stop treatment. Moreover, the lenses can effectively deliver drugs to the back of the eye to treat macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and other diseases that today require in-office injections.

‘No eye drops, no injections – just one lens’ -> this is design thinking…


Why do we need help buying and using healthcare? It’s complicated.

This post laments the lack of support that today’s predominant care delivery paradigm affords to patients facing the myriad of complex and often expensive health improvement processes and clinical interventions and self-care regimes. The authors then argue for the return of the primary care physician (a.k.a “health coach”) to offer coordinated, multidisciplinary support throughout the care continuum. Well, look no further than our PSP programme to respond to this need. Sign up here.

Photo Credit: mathisworks, Getty Images

Mar 01

Spine & Health Info Platter (1 March ’18)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare

In this week’s platter we look at how AI looks at the eye to predict heart disease risk, then we pay attention to an interesting statistic related to EHR, we consider 3 insightful takeaways from the Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit, and we probe the true health risks related to the Brexit negotiations. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy!


The eye is no longer just the window to the soul, as it may actually now save your life

A new study by Google and its health-focused Alphabet-sibling, Verily Life Sciences, has shown that deep-learning algorithms can accurately predict heart disease by analyzing photographs of an individual’s retina.

Given that the algorithm could accurately predict risk factors, the scientists also trained the algorithm to predict the onset of a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack within five years.  The technical journal is found here 


Study: In Family Practice Visits, EHR Time Exceeds Face-to-Face Patient Time

A Time-Motion Study reveals that primary care physicians in the US spent more time working in the electronic health record (EHR) than they spent in face-to-face time with patients in clinic visits.  This is in contrast to a recent study in the UK which found the inverse to be true.  There is a need for serious introspection here (read disruption…).


3 thoughts that emerged from the Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit

The recent Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit sought to bring money to the forefront of the conversation by asking a central question: Why does healthcare cost so much and what can we do about it?

Here are three takeaways that came out of the summit.

  1. There’s a lot of unnecessary care that’s amping up costs
  2. Implementing value-based care is still a work in progress
  3. America’s broken political system is a threat to the future of healthcare

Simple yet insightful.


When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers – the case of Brexit as a healthcare risk…

Public health leaders have warned that health risks are being forgotten in Brexit negotiations, potentially delaying the availability of new medicines and imposing large costs on manufacturers.  According to this article, a ‘hard Brexit’ would pose the greatest disruption for the European healthcare sector and patients, particularly if there is no mutual recognition agreement on clinical trials, batch testing and diagnostics.

It is said that history repeats itself, but this unfortunately does not have the “undo” button.  This is definitely a development worth following closely….

Image Credit: Google

Feb 23

Spine & Health Info Platter (23 Feb ’18)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Disruptive Innovation , Value-Based Healthcare

In this week’s platter, we consider some of the issues related to the migration towards value-based programmes; we look at an executive’s guide to AI; we learn about the FDA approval for AI-enabled stroke alert app; we learn about the deployment of DNA nanorobots in the fight against cancer; and, finally, a treatise of blockchain technology and what it means for healthcare and pharma. Enjoy…

Most healthcare execs say value-based programs led to positive financial results

HFMA and AAFP reports found that nearly three-quarters of executives surveyed said their organizations achieved positive financial results, including return on investment, from value-based payment programs. Despite the benefits associated with the fee-for-value payment models, the report found that barriers to value-based payments persist: such as lack of resources, inconsistencies among payers, lack of physician alignment and support, lack of staff time, lack of standardization of performance measures and uniform performance reports from payers.
The move into value-based payments is just beginning…


An executive’s guide to AI

With the accelerating artificial-intelligence race, executives have to make nimble, informed decisions about where and how to employ AI in their business. Management consultant McKinsey & Co. present AI essentials for executives in this interactive guide.


FDA OKs marketing of AI-enabled stroke alert for providers

We’ve seen the FDA approve prescription apps for substance abuse and digital pills that track when patients take it, and now we learn of the approval of clinical decision support software which analyzes brain scans and alerts clinicians if a patient is at risk of a stroke. During the FDA review, real world evidence was used to show that the app could alert a neurovascular specialist sooner than a clinician in cases where a large vessel blockage was seen. Incremental improvement, but improvement nonetheless…


Power Source Inspired by Electric Eels to Energize Medical Implants

Last week we learnt about the development of spine-like battery to power flexible electronics. Here we learn of a power source inspired by electric eels to energize medical implants. This is a significant development as the power source would overcome the limitations of batteries: it will remain inside the body (no need to remove/replace), no need for the introduction of toxic materials into the body, and – stating the obvious – completely alleviate the need to use batteries for implants.


Nanomachines Create Clots Inside Vessels Feeding Cancer Tumors

Researchers from Arizona State University and National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a remarkable new way of killing tumors. They’ve developed robot-like nanoscale devices that cling to the walls of tumor vessels, release a clotting agent, and block the tumor from receiving nutrients. This article reports that the technology was applied to mice with a variety of tumors, including breast cancer, ovarian, melanoma, and lung cancer. It worked in all the tumor types, to different degrees, but quite well. Inasmuch as there is a lot of work still to be done even before clinical trials can begin, the expanding of the possibilities of this new technology is exciting…


What Is Blockchain And What Does It Mean For Healthcare And Pharma?

This article presents a treatise on blockchain technology; and argues the immense potential in both healthcare and pharma.

Feb 04

Spine & Health Info Platter (4 Feb ’18)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Care , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare , Videos , Wearable Tech

In this week’s platter we consider whether remote patient monitoring technologies translate into improved patient health; we look at the 3 industry tycoons who want to fix health care in the US; we study the application of artificial intelligence in big pharma; we look at Apple’s lesson for healthcare innovation; and finally, we get introduced to DNA portraits. Enjoy!

Remote patient monitoring: From hype to reality

Enthusiasm for remote patient monitoring (RPM) is growing, and it’s no wonder. The latest wave in health data collection uses non-invasive devices (think smart watches, smart phones, and other wearables) to automatically transmit data to a web portal or mobile app for patient self-monitoring and/or health provider assessment and clinical decision-making. Could the use of these exciting technologies actually translate into improved patient health? Researchers found that RPM could be impactful—so long as it was coupled with interventions that integrated new experiences, such as personalized health coaching, into the care model. While that’s good news, we should ask ourselves: why wasn’t the technology alone enough to move the needle?

Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon want to fix health care

On Monday, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced that their three companies -Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase- would create a new company to develop a better health care solution for their U.S. employees. Given the resources of the companies, and their history of concentrating on the long-term rather than just the near-term, they have a chance to make significant changes in the way health care is provided. Still, it won’t be an easy industry to change.

India’s Growing Healthcare Burden has a Solution at ‘Home’

As India marches ahead, the nation still struggles with substantial issues and worrying gaps in it’s healthcare system. An imminent solution which can have an immediate impact on improving India’s health status, without the additional economic burden of increased expenditure on healthcare infrastructure, is home healthcare. Increasing penetration of internet and technological improvements in healthcare will act as strong enablers in delivery of services at a patient’s home. This article posits that it is time for India to proactively consider home healthcare as a solution for the multiple challenges faced by it’s healthcare industry.

Precision medicine allows accurate disease prevention and treatment tailored to an individual by combining knowledge of a person’s environment, their genetic make-up and protein levels.

Big pharma turns to AI to speed drug discovery

The world’s leading drug companies are turning to artificial intelligence to improve the hit-and-miss business of finding new medicines. The aim is to harness modern supercomputers and machine learning systems to predict how molecules will behave and how likely they are to make a useful drug, thereby saving time and money on unnecessary tests. In fact, experts believe that AI systems could deliver drug candidates in roughly one-quarter of the time and at one-quarter of the cost of traditional approaches. Let’s hope that this contributes to a net reduction of health-care costs

Apple’s surprising lesson for healthcare innovators: it’s not about the product

In this video, Rebecca Fogg explains what the iPhone can teach us about Disruptive Innovation in healthcare to audiences at the Imperial College London Business School’s 2017 innovation conference

And finally,

Order Your DNA Portrait!

You can get your own DNA portrait!!! In the era of personalized genetics, it’s a perfect example of how industry will use these methods to explore all the financial possibilities. DNA Portraits are the world’s most unique and personalized form of art. No two prints will ever be alike (but for those who cannot read DNA, the portrait remains beautiful, even if it is not unique).

Jan 26

Spine & Health Info Platter 26 Jan ’18

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Disruptive Innovation , Internet of Things , Spine Care , Value-Based Healthcare , Wearable Tech

In this week’s platter, we look at a simple guide for organisations interested in utilizing blockchain technology; we look at the interesting intersection of medical training and urban design; and finally, we look at some trend predictions for 2018. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:


Blockchain Technology is Ready to Restructure the Healthcare Industry

As cryptocurrencies grow in popularity and value, there is an emerging consensus that the technology that powers them may bring long-awaited changes onto various industries. In this article, we take a look at 3 of the blockchain-based applications prepared to make a tangible impact on the healthcare industry.

Blockchain—A new model for Health Information Exchanges

This report presents a simple guide for organisations interested in utilizing block chain technology. While the report recognizes that blockchain technology is not the panacea for all system integration challenges, the benefits of the technology are numerous.


These Future Doctors Are Learning How to Influence Urban Design

The built environment itself can influence both physical and mental health. Researchers have even found that heart rates will go down when people simply walk past green space that have been added and blight cleaned up. The built environment is as much a public health concern as it is an infrastructure need.

Here we learn how JeffDESIGN, a hybrid university program that combines medical training with design classes, seeks to change the way doctors think and influence public health in cities by equipping them to influence the way cities are built or retrofit.


Value-Based Purchasing Tops List of Health Benefit Trends to Watch in 2018

The pursuit of value-based purchasing arrangements tops the list of employer health benefit trends to watch in 2018, according to the National Business Group on Health. The Washington-based employer health coalition released a list of nine employer health benefit trends to watch to this year. Not surprised to see “engagement platforms” listed as number 3 – sign-up and join our network!!!!


What To Expect From Digital Health In 2018?

2017 was a year full of marvelous advancements in healthcare. So what’s next? This article takes a sneek peek at the crystal ball (assuming one even exists) to look at what 2018 will mean for digital health

Jan 20

Spine & Health Info Platter 20 Jan ’18

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Disruptive Innovation , Low Back Pain , Spine Care , Spine Related Disorders , Wearable Tech

This week, we look at chronic spine pain relief using neuromodulation technology; digital ingestibles to track medication intake; smart pills; the development of ambulance drones; and finally, we consider one of the biggest impediments to the adoption of machine learning for cancer diagnosis – trust. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Boston Scientific Announces Positive Results from WHISPER Spinal Cord Stimulation Study

Boston Scientific Corporation last week announced positive results from the WHISPER randomized controlled trial (RCT). The data demonstrated that patients who are given the choice to use both sub-perception and paresthesia-based spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy achieve superior outcomes in comparison to patients who have only one SCS therapeutic option.

From digital wearables to digital ingestibles (FDA)

Hope you’re comfortable swallowing your tech, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the first drug in the U.S. with a digital ingestion tracking system. The drug, called Abilify MyCite, has an ingestible sensor embedded in the pill that records that the medication was taken. We’ve gone from digital wearables, and are now at digital ingestibles – what’s the next frontier? Connect on facebook and let us know your thoughts on where this is going.

Digital pills, digital therapeutics, smart drugs – what’s the difference? (CNBC)

See a short clip on CNBC explaining the difference

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it superman? No – it’s an ambulance! (TU Delft)

Hollywood has taught us that when you’re stuck in a critical emergency, look to the sky and hope that Superman appears. Well, in medical emergencies Superman actually comes as a drone. Recognising that accelerating emergency response can prevent deaths and dramatically accelerate recovery, engineers have developed a drone defibrillator (eh, a defibrillator on a drone). Coupled with a competent first responder, this could significantly improve survival rates of cardiac arrest casualties.
What’s next – a network of flying mini-ambulances coupled with distributed competent first-responders? Wow!

DeepMind: can we ever trust a machine to diagnose cancer?

DeepMind, a Google subsidiary, has recently announced a fresh collaborative partnership with the UK’s health service, with plans for the artificial intelligence firm to develop machine learning technology to research breast cancer. Few details about the research project – which is in the early stages of development – have been released, but it’s likely that DeepMind will focus on applying deep neural networks for scanning mammogram images to automatically identify signatures of cancerous tissue.
The practice of medicine today relies on trust between two humans: a patient and a doctor. The doctor judges the best course of treatment for a patient based on their individual clinical history, weighing up the relative pros and cons of the different options available. The patient implicitly trusts the doctor’s expertise. But will patients or doctors trust a machine if it produced the same recommendation, based on an algorithm?

Jan 12

Spine & Health Info Platter (12 Jan ’18)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Disruptive Innovation , Low Back Pain , Spine Care , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare

In this week’s platter, we pay attention to the promises that mulberry silk has on spinal replacement therapy; what Starbucks could teach healthcare providers about “patient adherence”; the applications of blockchain technology in healthcare administration and pharmaceuticals; and, finally, we meet FLIPPY


Powered by silk: on spinal replacement therapy (The Hindu)

Using mulberry silk, researchers from IIT-Guwahati have fabricated a spinal biodisc construct that could mimic the human intervertebral disc in form and function (successfully tested in rats so far).  Because of its abilities to accurately mimic the human disc that acts as a soft cushion between two vertebra, the artificial biodisc has the potential to replace the metallic or ceramic or collagen-based discs that neurosurgeons use at the moment to surgically cure some of the lower back pains.

Just looking at the rise in the prevalence of surgical interventions for lower back pain, perhaps it is time that we harvest silkworms… 🙂


What could Starbucks possibly teach providers about “patient adherence”?

Patient non-adherence costs between $100 and $300 billion annually in the US alone, and is therefore an important public health consideration, affecting health outcomes and overall health care costs.   Healthcare delivery models has sold healthcare as “products” – whereas patients want “progress.”

In tune with Peter Drucker’s famous insight, “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling them.”  Starbucks has created and thrived in this space, and perhaps healthcare innovators can learn from that experience.


Change Healthcare’s enterprise blockchain tech now available for hospitals, practices, payers

The finance domain may have been the forerunners in adopting the blockchain revolution (cryptocurrencies etc.), but healthcare is finally catching up.  Change Healthcare has launched what it’s calling the first enterprise-scale blockchain network in healthcare.  This is a positive development worth watching closely; especially as innovators continue to explore new areas where blockchain technology can leveraged to help lower costs, improve quality and make healthcare more patient-centric.


What if blockchain could be used to save lives? (Coindesk)

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have been put under more pressure to bring new, more personalized drugs to market faster and at more affordable prices and in a personalized fashion.  The 3 pharmaceutical heavyweights – Pfizer, Amgen and Sanofi – are now eyeing blockchain as a means of reducing the length and cost of clinical trials and improving the success rate of these trials.  Watch this space.


Meet FLIPPY the robotic kitchen assistant (Miso Robotics)

The development of very capable and autonomous AI systems could completely transform is already transforming multiple sectors and professions.  Meet “FLIPPY” the kitchen assistant and watch him/her in action.  Watch the video and let us know what you think the implications of this development could mean in your domain.

Dec 27

Spine & Health Info Platter (27 Dec ’17)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Disruptive Innovation , Internet of Things , Spine Care , Value-Based Healthcare , Wearable Tech

In this week’s platter, we look at smart bandages, physicians who are prescribing mobile apps to their patients, the power of a humble spreadsheet, AI and 10 healthcare IT predictions for 2018. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Five major shifts in the transformation of healthcare (MaRS)

Healthcare in the developed world is undergoing a transformation. This infographic does a great job of capturing at least 5 of the major shifts.

Smart bandages for monitoring and treatment of chronic wounds

Researchers from 3 academic institutions in the USA have designed a smart bandage that could eventually heal chronic wounds or battlefield injuries with every fiber of its being. The bandage – the first of its kind that is capable of dose-dependent drug release – consists of electrically conductive fibers coated in a gel that can be individually loaded with infection-fighting antibiotics, tissue-regenerating growth factors, painkillers or other medications. A microcontroller no larger than a postage stamp, which could be triggered by a smartphone or other wireless device, sends small amounts of voltage through a chosen fiber. That voltage heats the fiber and its hydrogel, releasing whatever cargo it contains.

Elsewhere, researchers in Saudi Arabia have developed a smart bandage for real-time wirelesss monitoring of chronic wounds. This technology solves the problem of wound monitoring by offering a low-cost wearable smart bandage that detects early signs of wound infection such as bleeding and pH variations and can measure external pressure on the wound. This simple bandage strip can remotely send wound progression data and issue early warnings to patients, as well as remote medical staff, regarding the need to change the dressing. See description here

Dear Patient, please don’t forget to download your prescription (YouTube)

Someone once said that if we were told that the brain were a mobile app, we would surely us it more! That just goes to demonstrate the ubiquity of mobile computing in our age. This short clip introduces a digital medicine-centric care delivery system that enables physicians to digitally prescribe mobile health apps to patients.
But as with everything new, some of these innovations are treated with a dose of healthy skepticism as they lack evidence to suggest that they work, or more gravely, that they don’t cause harm. Another big challenge will be to ensure that the tech projects are compatible with each other (…hear the cry for Open Standards…)
Pharma and apps – never would have imagined that…

How do we heal medicine? (TEDTalk)

Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawade explores how doctors can dramatically improve their practice using approaches as simple as … a checklist – or coaching
Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine — with fewer cowboys and more pit crews.

Five AI breakthroughs that could change the face of science (Imperial College)

Barely a week has gone by in 2017 without warnings in the media about how Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is threatening to make all human workers redundant.
AI techniques, such as machine learning, represent a complete step-change in ability.
We take a look at five stories this year where scientists used AI in completely new ways

10 Health IT predictions for 2018: Al, blockchain, robotics and a $100 million class-action suit (Healthcare IT News)

And finally, we let’s take a peek into 2018 and see which emerging technologies will start to gain some firmer footing in the year ahead.

Happy new year everybody!

Dec 19

Spine & Health Info Platter (19 Dec ’17)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Care , Spine Cloud Platter , Wearable Tech

This week, we pay attention to the use and expanding potential of virtual reality in healthcare; how trust is the real variable for healthcare system improvement; how design thinking can be leveraged to offer solutions to some problems even in healthcare; and to a minute sweat analyser. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities and possibilities

Medical VR is an area with fascinating possibilities. It has not just moved the imagination of science-fiction fans, but also clinical researchers and real life medical practitioners. Although the field is brand new, there are already great examples of VR having a positive effect on patients’ lives and physicians’ work.
Researchers from the University Hospital of Basel’s Department of Biomedical Engineering have now succeeded in taking two-dimensional cross-sections from computer tomography and converting them for use in a virtual environment. For example, doctors can now use the latest generation of virtual reality glasses to interact in a three-dimensional space with a hip bone that requires surgery, zooming in on the bone, viewing it from any desired angle, adjusting the lighting angle, and switching between the 3D view and regular CT images – offering the doctor a very intuitive way to obtain a visual overview and understand what is possible.
Elsewhere, the Washington Post reports how doctors used VR and a 3-D print model to simulate a surgery to separate conjoined infant twins and ultimately save their lives- see here.
The application of VR in healthcare has potential beyond just training simulation and surgical procedures. This article presents how VR can be applied to aid physicians to experience life as their patients, or making hospitalized children feel like they’re at home.

Sensor Pulls Sweat from Skin to Measure Multiple Biomarkers (MedGadget)

Researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a Swiss company called Xsensio have presented a new sweat sensor capable of detecting a number of useful chemical biomarkers, as well as the sweat’ pH level and temperature of the skin. 10,000 times smaller than the today’s most advanced devices, one will have to simply stretch their minds to understand the potential of this technological development!

How to improve health care using game theory: the Prisoner’s Dilemma

The healthcare industry is facing real challenges and is in need of some real solutions. This dated article looks to game theory to help us understand one of the underlying impediments to healthcare system improvement. In summary, it all comes to trust…

Healthcare designers can use design thinking to improve patient experiences (HBR)

In a world of great technological advances, one is tempted to seek improvement of patient experiences by adopting better technology or by deploying some other clinical solution. Recalling that healthcare is about restoring wholesomeness to the person and not only about attacking a disease, this article describes how non-clinical aspects can be leveraged to improve patient experiences – by employing “design thinking.” A short treatise of design thinking is found here
Feel free to contact the Spinecloud team to discover how design thinking was used in the development of the proprietary Spine Care Pathway.