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$10 Finger Stick Blood Tests Illustrate New Quantified Future

Posted on July 3, 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.

I’ve often talked about the variety of health sensors that are quantifying everything about us and how that’s going to change healthcare as we know it. As we have more information about ourselves, it’s impossible for us to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing. One of the challenges we’ve faced with this change is that we need access to the blood to really do quality testing. No one wants to do a venous blood draw to regularly monitor their health data.

This is why I’m so interested in what the quite secretive Theranos is doing with their finger stick blood tests. Yesterday, the big news hit that Theranos got their first FDA clearance for their herpes simplex 1 virus IgG test. Although, as MedCityNews notes, this is the first of 100 pre-submissions they have underway with the FDA.

This is exciting news, but this part of the MedCityNews article is even more exciting for me:

Its HSV-1 test costs $9.07 – one of 153 tests the company says it makes that cost less than $10.

This is a great price point for a lab test and we’d all benefit from this massive decrease in price. I’m still not sure Theranos should have a $9 billion valuation. They still have a long way to go with the FDA, but if they’re able to execute then maybe that valuation isn’t that crazy after all.

Regardless of how Theranos does as a business, I think we’re going to see hundreds of companies like Theranos that continue to make testing more affordable. That’s going to change how we approach healthcare.

An Example of Future Implantables to Monitor Your Health

Posted on July 1, 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.

It’s only a centimetre long, it’s placed under your skin, it’s powered by a patch on the surface of your skin and it communicates with your mobile phone. The new biosensor chip developed at EPFL is capable of simultaneously monitoring the concentration of a number of molecules, such as glucose and cholesterol, and certain drugs.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s been happening with implantables, the chip described above is a good example. You can learn more about it here.

I find it pretty genius that they’ve put the battery on a patch that’s on the surface of your skin. The battery is the biggest problem with leaving implantables in very long. I’m also interested in how much impact having a foreign object under your skin will have on your body, but I think we basically know about those challenges thanks to pacemakers and other devices that we’ve been putting in bodies for years.

I also love that this implantable can monitor pH, temperature, lactate, cholesterol, and drugs. The last one is extremely interesting for me since it opens up all sorts of new research opportunities along with monitoring opportunities. You could use the drug monitoring to improve how much drug is needed, but you could also identify when there’s been an error in the dosing for some reason.

No doubt I’m a novice in this area, but I find these trends fascinating. The clinical trials on this device are going to take 3-5 years, but I’m glad we’re getting started.

Tracking Health Goals Video

Posted on June 25, 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.

Today I came across this really great video of Dr. Molly Maloof talking about her experience tracking her health. It’s interesting to have a doctor tracking herself. She takes a different approach than the general self tracking user might do. It also gives some insights into some of the challenges associated with the quality of health sensors. Check out the video to learn more:

Measuring Steps to Patient Empowerment – Breakaway Thinking

Posted on November 19, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Jennifer Bergeron, Learning and Development Manager at The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company). Check out all of the blog posts in the Breakaway Thinking series.
Jennifer Bergeron

Trends and fads come and go. When they stick, it’s clear they address a consumer need, whether it’s a service, promise, or hope. Here at The Breakaway Group, A Xerox Company (TBG), we operate within a proven methodology that includes metrics, and it’s exciting to those of us who can’t get enough of good data. Most people find metrics interesting, especially when they understand how it relates to them, and the results are something they can control. Metrics are powerful.

To understand the power of data in shaping behaviors, consider the popularity of the self-monitoring fitness tracker or wearable technology. Even as their accuracy is scrutinized, sales in 2014 are predicted to land somewhere in the $14 billion range.1 Do mobile fitness trackers actually help people change their activity habits? Could doctors actually use the data to help their patients? Can companies be built on the concept of improving health with a wearable device? Not conclusively.2 Does a dedicated athlete need this kind of information? Some think not.3

So what is driving the growth of the fitness tracker market and what are these devices offering that creates millions of dedicated users? The answer is real-time data, personalized goals and feedback, and a sense of control; in other words, empowerment.

In the 70s and 80s, my grandparents spoke about their doctor as though he were infallible. They didn’t doubt, question, or even note what he prescribed, but took his advice and dealt with the outcomes. If healing didn’t progress as planned, my grandmother blamed herself, as though she’d failed him.

Jump ahead a few decades when more emphasis is being placed on collaboration. We expect our physicians to work with us, rather than dictate our treatment decisions.4 Section 3506 of the Affordable Care Act, the Program to Facilitate Shared Decision Making, states that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is “required to establish a program that develops, tests and disseminates certificated patient decision aids.”5 The intent is to provide patients and caregivers educational materials that will help improve communication about treatment options and decisions.6

Patient portals are important tools in helping to build this foundation of shared information. The portals house and track patient health data on web-based platforms, enabling patients and physicians to easily collaborate on the patient’s health management.7  Use of patient portals is a Meaningful Use Stage 2 objective.

The first measure of meeting this objective states that more than half the patients seen during a specified Electronic Health Record reporting period must have online access to their records. The second measure puts the spotlight on the patient and their use of that web-based information. MU Stage 2 requires that more than 5% of a provider’s patients must have viewed, downloaded, or transmitted their information to another provider in order for the provider to qualify for financial incentives from the Federal government.8

Empowered consumers want information immediately, whether it’s a restaurant review, number of steps taken in the last hour, how many calories they’ve burned, or their most recent checkup results. We like to weigh the input, make a decision, and then take action. Learning and information intake, no matter the topic, is expected to happen fast.

Metrics show us where we stand and how far we’ve come, which empowers us to keep going or make a change, and then measure again. We’re in an age of wanting to know but also wanting to know what to do next. The wearable device market has met a very real need of consumers. Whether or not fitness trackers make us healthier, whether or not our doctors know what to do with the information, or if this is information an athlete would really use, these devices can serve the purpose of putting many people in control of their own health, one measurable step at a time.

Sources:
1 Harrop, D., Das, R., & Chansin G. (2014) . Wearable technology 2014-2024: Technologies, markets, forecasts. Retrieved from http://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/wearable-technology-2014-2024-technologies-markets-forecasts-000379.asp

2 Hixon, T. (2014) . Are health and fitness wearables running out of gas? Retrieved from  http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2014/04/24/are-health-and-fitness-wearables-running-out-of-gas/

3 Real athletes don’t need wearable tech. (2014) . Retrieved from http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/gear-shed/tech-talk/Real-Athletes-Dont-Need-Wearable-Tech.html

4 Chen, P. (2012) . Afraid to speak up at the doctor’s office. Retrieved from  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/afraid-to-speak-up-at-the-doctors-office/?_r=0

5 Informed Medical Decisions Foundation. (2011-2014) .  Affordable care act. Retrieved from http://www.informedmedicaldecisions.org/shared-decision-making-policy/federal-legislation/affordable-care-act/

6 HealthcareITNews. (2014) . Patient pjortals. Retrieved from http://www.healthcareitnews.com/directory/patient-portals

7 Bajarin, T. (2014) . Where wearable health gadgets are headed. Retrieved from http://time.com/2938202/health-fitness-gadgets/

8 HealthIT.gov. (2014) . Patient ability to electronically view, download & transmit (VDT) health information. Retrieved from http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/achieve-meaningful-use/core-measures-2/patient-ability-electronically-view-download-transmit-vdt-health-information

Xerox is a sponsor of the Breakaway Thinking series of blog posts. The Breakaway Group is a leader in EHR and Health IT training.

Decline of Health and Fitness Tracker Usage

Posted on May 21, 2014 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.

I’ve started hearing a number of people mention this. In some cases it’s first hand accounts of their own usage and in other cases it’s people talking about the health and fitness tracker usage trend. Basically, it seems that we haven’t yet figured out how to make a health and fitness tracker sticky. This chart from Edneavour Partners shows the tracker usage trend really well:
Health and Fitness Tracker Usage

From my own personal experience, I’ve found a similar usage curve. The big challenge is that the value of the tracker 3 months out isn’t clear. When you first start using the tracker, the data is quite interesting because you’ve never seen the fitness tracking data. Plus, you’re interested to see how it changes over time. Once you reach the 3 month plateau, you already basically know the patterns and so they lose their value.

What’s not clear is whether these companies (or some outside company) will find a way to leverage a long term history of tracking into something really valuable. Will having blood pressure trends for 3 years make it so you can detect potential health issues that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise? I think this is the potential for the quantified self movement, but I’m skeptical that the current set of trackers and sensors will get us there. How much value can be gotten from steps, weight, and blood pressure? I think we’ll need a more advanced set of trackers to be able to reach that longer term goal.

A Treatment Plan for Technology in Health Care

Posted on May 16, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Andy Oram, writer and editor at O’Reilly Media.

The kind of health care reform that brings better care at a reasonable cost will consist of many, tightly interlocking strands. Each of us—everyday consumers and patients, health care providers, payers and public health officials, technology developers, policy makers, and clinical researchers—can do specific things to push health care forward, and many of these involve computer technology.

During a stint in the mental health field, I would meet regularly with a team of professionals from different disciplines (and with the patient) to work out a treatment plan. This article similarly lays out some tasks each of us in his or her respective fields can carry out. Like the meetings I attended many years ago, this is a collaborative approach where my suggestions are meant to elicit constructive responses and push-back.

Naturally, a treatment plan must start with a firm diagnosis and an assessment of the patient’s strengths and weaknesses. For health information technology, I try to provide that assessment in my report, The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Refer to it for background as we jump into action and assign tasks to each stakeholder.

Consumers/patients/citizens:

  • Measure the vital signs that are important to your health, and extract them from the silos of devices or vendor web sites into your personal health record. The Blue Button Initiative promotes open standards that increasingly bring within your reach the records that others hold about you.
  • This process is important because physicians will need your statistics to carry out effective diagnoses and planning—for instance, to know whether you need to make an office visit and even to check into the hospital. Collecting this data also means the clinical staff can review it before a visit and not waste your whole 15 minutes asking you about your condition.
  • Casual readers may see this advice as simply an appeal to join the Quantified Self movement, but it is much, much more. Vital signs give you leverage that can drive change throughout the health care system. First, it creates a pressing need for the doctors’ electronic medical records to open up and accept patient-generated data. It can also lead to discussions about who owns your data—it should be you—and who gets to use it for research or other purposes. The ripple effects can render the entire health care industry more responsive and intelligent in handling patients—and also more respectful of their right to control the flow of their data.

Health care providers:

  • Get involved in the design of the technologies you used. Demand to be on the design team, not just consultants on the sidelines, and demand that the software be easy to customize in deep ways that respond to your ways of doing things.
  • This endeavor goes beyond ease of use and even beyond the prevention of errors related to confusing interfaces. It determines the types of data collected, when you can input and change the data, and whether it can empower the patients to choose life-enhancing behaviors. Therefore, advocate for data that patients can also use and understand, because they are responsible for their own behavior. Finally, insist that electronic record systems maintain public databases that can log the errors you find, as recommended in a recent  government report.

Payers and public health officials:

  • Collect and release data to support clinical and cost-containment analyses by providers, payers, and consumers, working with them to ensure the data’s value, accuracy, and usability.  To open its secrets to modern analytical tools, data needs to be consistent, formatted in programmer-friendly ways, and timed to be delivered to the public promptly and regularly.
  • What will be the payback for the investment in shared data sets? Treatment depends on clinical research, but it is well understood now that double-blind clinical studies can’t solve every problem: they are usually short-timed and their subjects are often unrepresentative of realistic populations, so they are often overturned in the field. Therefore, studies need to augmented by longitudinal, large-scale analytics (“big data” solutions) that can turn up trends hidden by the idiosyncrasies of double-blind studies. And your data is lifeblood of large-scale analytics.

Technology developers:

  • Work on free and open source software solutions instead of competing with all your fellow developers to reinvent the programming wheels. Extending the Fast Health Interoperable Resources (FHIR) standard with fields focusing on patient-generated data would be one good step. Open source software does not prevent you from making money from your investment in a variety of ways, including web solutions (Software as a Service). In fact, combining efforts in free software solutions will give you more and better software, because you can exploit the contributions of everyone who is part of the development community. Free, open software also eliminates the current tussles over standards, because data formats will be transparent and therefore easy to produce and consume.
  • The freedom to change and redistribute software will ultimately improve clinical settings as they can adapt the software to their needs, an especially important value to carry software to diverse regions of the world.

Policy makers:

  • Require the collection and exchange of data about patients, providers, and public health (with the consent of the patient) to become an automatic part of the workflow within institutions, between institutions, and between provider and patient. The Meaningful Use guidelines make a start toward interoperability, but the certifications and showcases are not enough to ensure that it’s clean and structured consistently, or that the formats permit viable comparisons.
  • Breaking down the silos between the providers’ data sets will also break down the silos of their thinking and allow better interventions in patients’ medical conditions. It will also welcome the addition of patient-generated data and observations of daily living, a rich source of information that will flesh out lab tests and other data from clinical visits.

Clinical researchers:

  • Develop trials to validate that the new wave of low-cost applications and devices are accurate, safe, and effective. Traditional double-blind clinical trials are usually too expensive and slow to fit the budgets and schedules of modern technology development, so seek out sleeker, cleverer types of tests to provide the necessary validation.
  • Your efforts will be much more than a leg up for companies making medical devices and software The validation of apps and devices will enable doctors to confidently prescribe their use and insurers to pay for them. They will, in turn, lead to a flood of new, patient-generated generated data that will significantly fine-tune treatment—especially when interoperability allows providers to collaborate—and will combine with open data sets to generate new treatments.

This treatment plans focuses on technology because it is a great facilitator, providing the tools and environment for effective treatments and reduced costs. The plan will not in any way diminish the other, less technologically focused stakeholder tasks. Public health officials still have to clean up poisonous environments, battle against obesity and tobacco use, and reduce disparities in gender, race, and environment. Doctors still need to learn compassionate care. Payers should move resolutely to fee-for-value reimbursement—although with a recognition that the data needed to properly stratify patients is sometimes scant—and expand their guidelines to include innovative treatment approaches such as telehealth and games. Clinical researchers still need to uncover whatever factors in the genes and other “omics” differentiate between patients in order to hone in on effective individualized treatments. Everyone with health problems should join support networks.

Progress depends on reformers building relationships with the players named in this article and determining how the interests of each player can be bent to meeting the goals of reform. For instance, take one of the dilemmas mentioned in this article: that devices and software apps are underutilized because they are unvalidated. The players we need to involve are:

Payers: They have an interest in bringing down the out-of-control costs of chronic illnesses that are making their plans unaffordable. This motivates them to encourage the use of medical devices and apps for day-in, day-out patient engagement and monitoring. But they want only devices and apps whose effectiveness has been validated.

Technology developers: They have an interest in getting their devices and apps validated so that they can be integrated into medical care and funded by payers, but double-blind clinical trials are too expensive and time-consuming for this purpose.

Clinical researchers: They have an interest in finding new funding, because traditional sources such as NIH and pharma companies are cutting back.

Consumers/patients/citizens: They urgently want to overcome chronic health conditions—but with solutions that are rock-bottom simple and low-cost. The consumer devices and free or low-cost apps can be this solution if they’re validated and covered by insurance.

The solution may therefore involve persuading payers to fund clinical researchers to develop new validation methods, perhaps by running modern “big data” statistical methods over data provided by payers and others. These methods, when shown to be good enough, can lead to quicker approvals for devices and apps and ultimately to realizing the promise of patient tracking.

Technology remains a key part of the mix. As stakeholders come to understand how technology can help them meet their goals, they can assess the status of the technologies and demand improvements that realize the mission of improved health care.

Connecting Smart Mobile Devices to the EHR

Posted on January 9, 2014 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

My colleague, John Lynn, posted a hilarious CES marketing video advertising a new product it calls the iOximeter.  The iOximeter, which operates on both the iOS and Android platforms, is an independent device which attaches to smart phones, turning the phone into a pulse oximeter.

I strongly suspect that an i-glucose meter, i-scale and i-blood pressure cuff designed for the mass consumer market are starting to make major headway.

Not to be Scrooge at the Christmas party — I think such devices are a very positive development — but I’m left wondering what the purpose of getting the data onto the phone really is.  After all, unless the data gets to a physician conveniently, and ideally comes to live in their EMR, just how much good does it do?

On the consumer side, it does little but add bells and whistles to products consumers are increasingly used to using anyway, given that the price point for these devices is low enough that they’re sold in consumer pharmacies.

On the provider side meanwhile, you’re left with data that, while it might be arranged in pretty charts, doesn’t integrate itself easily into clinicians’ work flow.  And with EMRs already dumping huge volumes of data into their laps, some physicians are actively resisting integrating such data into the records.

No, the existing arrangement simply doesn’t do anything for clinicians, it seems.  Yes, consumers who are into the whole Quantified Self movement might find collecting such data to be satisfying, but the truth is that at this point many doctors just don’t want a ton of consumer-driven data added to the mix.

To make such phone-based devices useful to clinicians, someone will probably have to create a form of middleware, more or less, which accepts, parses, and organizes the data coming in from mobile health app/device combos like these.  When such a middleware layer goes into wide use, then you’ll see hospitals and doctors actively promote the use of these apps and devices.  Until then, devices like the iOximeter aren’t exactly toys, but they’re not going to change healthcare either.

Bridging the Fitness Apps and Device Trackers with the Medical Community

Posted on December 30, 2013 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.

Next week I’m going to the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Obviously, being a consumer show, the health applications are very much consumer focused. They have a whole section of the show dedicated to digital health and it’s been growing each year (up 60% this year I’m told).

I’m on the press list and I’ve been really interested in the wave of fitness devices that have passed through my inbox. They come in all shapes and sizes and record everything from steps to heart rate to blood pressure to every in between. Basically, I see a whole plethora of applications and devices that are measuring various aspects of our health. The wave is here. Who’s going to win this race isn’t all that clear to me, but the fact that we’re going to have devices measuring our health is clear.

What’s also not clear is how these measurements are going to bridge over to the medical community. Sure, there are targeted pilot programs where some of these devices are used by doctors or hospitals. However, most of these consumer monitoring and device companies aren’t thinking about the medical implications. In fact, many of them are staying far away from it as they avoid any sort of FDA oversight.

While I understand the desire to not have to make the bridge to the medical community, I don’t think most of these devices and apps will make it without making the bridge. If I’ve already recorded all of my blood pressure data on my iPad using a blood pressure cuff at home, I’m going to want an easy way that I can provide that data to my doctor.

Maybe this is an opportunity for an innovative company to provide that bridge. I’m sure most of these mobile health developers would be happy to tap into a public “utility” that would connect their data to the medical community. The problem is that it’s not sexy to be a utility.

Is the Digital Health Industry About to Fail?

Posted on October 18, 2013 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.

What an interesting question. It’s one that the Get Health Blog recently covered including this video below:

While I don’t agree that digital health will fail, they make a good point about the need to focus on the result and not the data. Far too many digital health startup companies worry too much about the data and not enough about what people do with the data. It makes sense why. The later is much harder to do. However, that’s also what makes doing the later so much more valuable.

Breath Acoustic Headset in IndieGogo and Philips Innovation Fellow Competition

Posted on September 9, 2013 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.

I’m always interested in the latest and greatest devices that are entering healthcare. So, I was really intrigued by this new All-In-One Breath Acoustic headset from Breath Research. The Breach Acoustics All-in-One headset includes:

  • Acoustic breath pattern analysis
  • Heart Rate
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • Altitude, Location and Barometric Pressure

Here’s the video they use on their IndieGogo campaign to introduce the product:

As of this posting, they’ve raised $11,872 on their IndieGogo campaign with a goal of $30,000. If you contribute $200 you will receive one BeathAcoustics headset. Plus, they have a number of other options available including a variety of coaching and training sessions from Breath Research CEO, Nirinjan Yee.

I’m a little leery on the claims that the headset together with HearZones USA will help you:

  • Alleviate stress
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Achieve weight loss goals
  • Get better sleep

I think their basing these claims on personalized health and fitness recommendations. So, in that respect their probably accurate. I think there are many studies that show that health and fitness can provide the above results. The question I have is whether this Breathe Acoustic headset will provide a significant change to someone’s health and fitness habits.

As they say in the campaign, athletes have been using personalized physiological data for years. The question I have is whether providing that data to everyone will really impact someone’s health. I certainly don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m excited to see Breath Acoustic bringing that analysis to the masses.

I also found it interesting that the above IndieGogo campaign is part of the Phillips Innovation Fellow Competition. Here’s a short description of the competition (done in partnership with IndieGogo):

Philips and Indiegogo are hosting the “Innovation Fellows” competition and are calling for innovators to submit their #BIGIDEA to address the current innovation gap in the areas of living well, being healthy and enjoying life. With its constant commitment to people-focused innovation, Philips aims to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, and is offering $100,000 of its own money, plus mentoring from Philips leaders, to help the best ideas come to market faster.

You can see the 37 entrants in this competition here. I’m really fascinated by the idea of someone like Philips working with IndieGogo for the competition. How smart is it to use actual customer driven purchasing to drive a competition? Certainly there’s more to innovation than customer purchasing, but that can be one indicator of something people actually care to use. I’ll be interested to see how this competition goes.