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Initial CES 2015 Observations

Posted on January 5, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Yesterday was the start of the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2015 conference in Las Vegas. My friend Dr. Nick from Nuance posted these stats for the CES conference:

For those interested CES attracts 150,000 visitors (they are all flying on the same planes and looking for the same cabs as me it would appear), occupied 2,000,000 square feet of space (35 football fields – American or the rest of the world soccer) and includes 3,500 companies

That gives you a small glimpse into the vastness of the CES event. Yesterday I had a chance to go to the CES press only event called CES Unveiled. It is a small subset of what you’ll find at the larger CES event. Based on this experience and the rash of press releases that have been sent my way for CES, here’s my prediction on the top 3 themes for CES 2015:

  • 3D Printers
  • Drones
  • Wearables

Healthcare has some place in the 3D Printing world, but I don’t expect much of that to be on display at CES. Unless we’re talking about drones that deliver medication to patients, there’s not as much applicability for drones in healthcare (although, they are cool). The wearables space on the other hand is largely about healthcare. There are some non-healthcare applications in wearables, but the majority of wearable applications I’ve seen are for healthcare or have some health and wellness component.

What’s Happening With Wearables?
As I browsed the various wearables yesterday, I noticed that the number of wearable options has proliferated. Companies I’d never heard about had their own wearable product that they were just launching at CES. Plus, the big health wearable players were offering more and more options to consumers. Along with this trend, we’re also seeing a trend to sexier wearables. I’ve seen a number of partnerships between fashion houses and wearable companies. This isn’t surprising since we want our wearable to match our own personal style. The previous options were limited.

I was also interested in many of the ambient sensors that were put alongside other wearables. I can see many companies linking the ambient sensor data with other wearable data to help in your health and wellness. We’ll see where this trend goes.

The most interesting health and wellness wearable I saw was the AmpStrip by FitLinxx (pictured below). The AmpStrip tracks heart rate, activity, respiration, skin temperature and posture all within a device as discrete and comfortable as a Band-Aid®. I think this is a step towards the invisible area of wearables. No one is going to see that you’re wearing it and it’s continuously monitoring your health data. It was susprising to me that they were able to get a tracker like this packaged into something so thin. I thought they’d need something much more bulky, but it was quite thin.
AmpStrip Wearable at CES 2015
I certainly haven’t dug into the science of the AmpStrip, but I like the approach to discreet health and wellness monitoring. They told me that the adhesive had to be replaced every 5-6 days. I wonder if that becomes a really easy task or if it starts to annoy over time. I’m also interested to know about the software that’s tied to the sensor. I’ve known FitLinxx for a while now through their pebble activity tracker. They didn’t have a direct to consumer approach with the Pebble, but they do now with the AmpStrip. I’ll be interested to see how well they do creating the app for the consumer world. Considering their IndieGogo campaign has reached it’s goal in 6 days, they’ll have an opportunity to see how they can do with it.

CES is just getting started. We’ll be back with more to report on as the week progresses. If you’re here as well, I’d love to hear your observations.

NBA Implements Cerner EHR – NFL Implements eCW

Posted on December 17, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Over the past couple weeks, a number of major athletic organizations have announced that they’re standardizing their healthcare documentation using EHR software. The NBA is using Cerner’s EHR and the NFL is using eCW’s EHR.

At first blush these announcements remind me of Walmart selling eCW at Sam’s Club and Costco selling Allscripts EHR. Everyone wondered why Costco and Sam’s Club were selling EHR. The obvious answer was that it was a great PR move by eCW and Allscripts. Although, I did hear about one doctor that hijacked an EHR selection process thanks to a Costco mailing. I think that’s the exception.

While big popular sports organizations like the NBA and eCW might be great PR for a company, it is really interesting to consider the unique healthcare needs of a sports league. The first thing that came to my mind was actually whether the teams would want to have their athletes’ health data on one platform. Often, the health of their players is part of their strategic advantage. Certainly there are a lot more rules about disclosure of injuries, but teams still play the injury card before games, in trades, and when signing new players. I imagine the staff doctors for the teams have to be careful how and what they document in the EHR if it’s going to be available to other teams. And we thought privacy was an issue in general EHR use. It’s much more complicated when you have millions of dollars riding on a player.

From a big data perspective, I’m interested to see if either of these leagues will be able to leverage the EHR data they collect in order to deal with the long term health issues of players. This is particularly true in the physically brutal NFL. I’m sure readers are familiar with the long term concussion questions and research that’s happening with the NFL. Not to mention the ongoing battle against the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Can a unified EHR help to provide a basis for research and understanding of the health consequences of playing in the NFL?

When I start to think about all the medical devices that are coming out, they’re really interesting in an NFL context as well. Imagine all the health data from various devices being sucked into the league’s EHR. When I talked with FitLinxx at the mHealth Summit, they said that the Boston Red Sox used their activity tracking device the year they won the World Series (Seems like Boston might want to consider using it again). From what they described, The Pebble (their activity tracking device) was a great way for the trainer to keep track of compliance with the fitness regiment they suggested. Should this data be in the league’s EHR? I can see health reasons to do so, but it does go back to the question of teams’ competitive advantages.

I bet device makers would love to compare professional athlete’s use of their devices against all of the other data that’s being collected by regular users. Would make for some pretty compelling charts if I could compare my health indicators against Lebron James or Peyton Manning.

What’s also interesting to consider about a major sports league using an EHR is a connected PHR. In these situations you want your players to be well connected to the doctor and you have a real financial interest in their compliance with doctors orders. PHR in this case could make a lot of sense. Although, I wonder if many prima donna athletes would balk at the idea. Well, at least they can have their agent or assistan log in for them.

I do wonder what special features Cerner and eCW were asked to do for the NFL and NBA. Of course, not much of it would likely be useful for the rest of us.