Connected future: The MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM provides answers

11. October 2016
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Digital health solutions are bringing real progress. It sounds trivial, but also deserves a closer look. As a part of the worldwide leading medical trade show MEDICA 2016, held in Düsseldorf from the 14th to 17th of November, the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM demonstrates how the connected future of the healthcare sector will look like.

How can apps and wearables have effect in the different market segments – from private use, to preventive therapy or the rehabilitation sector, intersectoral and interdisciplinary? Moreover, how can the interconnectedness be useful for the patient?

Let´s select Diabetes as one example that will be discussed at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. Currently, several digital solutions are entering the market supporting the treatment and prevention of diabetes. This will be topic of the forum in Hall 15 on Thursday, 17th of November. The day will present that digital change is providing solutions that will simplify the daily life with diabetes.

This starts measuring the blood sugar without pricking a person to take the blood sample. Smart patches like the one of ‘Freestyle Libre’ make it possible already today. By knowing their own blood glucose level, patients will be more safe about their high blood or low blood glucose level. They can simply read and monitor their values from a smart device.

Health insurances are open for digital innovations

Digital innovations, especially if children are affected, simplify the life of the whole family. Children do not need to be wakened up early in the morning or late at night to measure the blood glucose. A reading device or an android smartphone, with an accompanied app will scan the smart patch placed on the arm and measure the glucose level in the intracellular fluid. After the scanning, the actual glucose level will appear as well as other detailed information, including the progress of the last eight hours and the trend showing in which direction the glucose level is moving. Thus the child is able to keep sleeping when there is no need for an insulin dose to be given. For the analysis of the values, a doctor needs the associated software and a reading device. He receives the measured glucose level in a structured format of a 24 h standard day. The patch needs can be worn for two weeks on the upper arm and will be replaced by a new one afterwards. Two of the major German health insurances – the Techniker Krankenkasse and the DAK Gesundheit are taking over the costs for the innovative smart patch. Consequently also the insulin medication will be done by smart patches in the future. They will replace the insulin pump, enabling the automatic and exact dose of insulin to the patient. There are several solutions that are being worked on worldwide. You can learn more about this in the session “digitization in diabetes care” of the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM on 17 November.

Wearables for preventive health

Countless wearables are on the market to support an active life style and prevent people from becoming non-communicable diseases like diabetes type 2. On Monday, 14th of November, a deep-dive into different types of interesting wearables for prevention will be presented during the “Wearables” session.

Smart watches and fitness wristbands are precisely measuring the heart rate as well as the heart rate variability (HRV). One example is Firstbeat: The company offers solutions for professional sports teams, athletes and the wellness industry. Firstbeat is not seeking the accreditation for a medical device, as Dr. Christoph Rottensteiner mentions, “For us it is important to generate a physiologically accurate, digital model of the respective person.“ A science-based algorithm is analyzing the heart rate variability – temporally varying intervals between the heartbeats. The quantification of these variabilities result in the HRV. The algorithm of Firstbeat enables an accurate insight into the physiological condition of the person wearing the device. This includes someone´s stress and fitness level, as well as the quality of the sleep and regeneration. The “Firstbeat Bodyguard” is usually worn for more than 72 hours and can deliver valuable indications for the physicians. “The correct analysis of the HRV data plays a crucial role in prevention. The device can recommend e.g. when it´s reasonable to have a break to reduce the stress level”, says Christoph Rottensteiner.

From an Asthma warning system to an “All-rounder” chest belt

Another example is ADAMM (Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management) of the company Health Care Originals, a wearable for Asthma patients. As an early warning system, it recognizes when the next seizure might happen – many hours before the patients will notice it by himself. A smart patch on the patient´s chest measures the frequency of coughs, breathing patterns, temperature and further parameters. The patients then get informed when aberrancies occur. In the future ADAMM will be accredited by the American regulatory authorities, FDA.

The blood pressure device ‘QardioArm‘ from Qardio is already FDA and clinically approved to fulfill the US-American and European standards. It allows you to measure your own blood pressure without any ordinary sphygmomanometers. The ‘QardioCore’ is a chest belt, which measures the body temperature as well as the breath and heart frequency without any wires and patches. Patients can easily share the graphics with their physicians. In the future, this can provide detailed information about the vital data of patients but also become a challenge for the doctors.

“Doctors and patients should be working closer together. We want to use these technologies like online systems or applications to foster the dialogue in between the medical consultations”, states Horst Merkle, Director Diabetes Management Solutions at Roche Diagnostics and President of Continua Health Alliance. A better standardization of interfaces would be supportive so that physicians can read and interprete the data of different devices, not only in the diabetes area.

The second wearables session on Tuesday afternoon, 15th of November, will present topics including sleep tracking, a sensor for rehabilitation of top athletes, a medical certified multisensory platform for measuring the body and vital data on the upper arm, and an intelligent insole for motion analysis.

MEDICA APP COMPETITION 2016

Developers from all over the world are invited to submit their `Medical Mobile Solution` for the MEDICA APP COMPETITION 2016. Numerous developers not just coming from Germany, but also from Bangladesh, Bulgaria, France, Ghana, Switzerland and the US already used the chance to apply (submission deadline: 30 September 2016). The submitted contestants will get the chance to be part of the Live Competition including the “Best Mobile Solution for the Physicians and Clinical Routine”. This event will take place on Wednesday, 16th of November. (Hall 15, Stage of MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM).

A lot of data and one question mark – the electronic patient health record

How far the digitalization of the healthcare sector can go will be shown as a part of the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM on Monday afternoon, 14th of November. From wearables to apps and the digitalization of the complete healthcare system, part of the discussion will be how the generated data can be made useable in form of an electronic health record, and how this will fit in the environment of the telematics infrastructure. While the introduction of the electronic health record and it´s appropriate infrastructure is leading to ongoing discussions in Germany, a lot is already implemented in other countries – e.g. in Scandinavia, Switzerland or Austria.

The international MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM in Hall 15 (Booth C24) and it´s full day program makes it possible to get an insight into the full bandwidth of relevant digital developments effecting the healthcare sector.

Further information about the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM

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