The U.S. Department of Education announced Osso VR as the winner in the EdSim Challenge, which called for virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for a globally competitive workforce and spur an ecosystem of virtual and augmented reality technology in education.
Five finalists were selected out of 249 submissions. Each finalist received $50,000 in cash as well as in-kind prizes from Oculus and Samsung, and refined their submissions during the Virtual Accelerator phase. Finalists presented playable prototypes to the judges at Demo Day on September 18, 2017, where a live audience joined the Challenge judges at the Department Of Education to see the five finalists compete for the $430,000 grand prize. The winner was recommended by a panel of judges with expertise in education, gaming, workforce development, emerging technology, and venture capital.
Osso VR is a hands-on surgical training platform that enables users to practice cutting-edge techniques through realistic, hands-on simulations, bridging the gap between career exploration and career preparation. They won $430,000 in cash and additional in-kind prizes from IBM and Microsoft.
Learn more about each of the five finalists’ simulations here.
Learn more about Osso VR at the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, December 14-15, where Justin Barad, Founder & CEO of Osso VR and editor of medgadget.com will moderate a panel session, New Realities in Medicine – Exploring the Virtual and Augmented Horizon. Other speakers in the session include Arshya Vahabzadeh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Brainpower, Matthew Stoudt, CEO of AppliedVR, Carrie Shaw, CEO of Embodied Labs, and Osamah Choudhry, CEO at MediVis. LEARN MORE.
In 2012, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicated about half of all adults (117 million people at the time) had one or more chronic health conditions. By 2014, seven of the top 10 causes of death were chronic diseases, with heart disease and cancer accounting for nearly 46% of all deaths each year. The costliest (86% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care expenditures) chronic health problems like heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, are among the most prevalent, and continue to be on the rise. Considering lack of exercise or physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption is linked to most of these diseases – they also are the most preventable and reversible. However, compliance in lifestyle change, monitoring and medication management of chronic disease has proven to be a great challenge for clinicians and patients alike. Thanks to innovations and advancements in technology, this is becoming more accessible and convenient for both patient and clinician.
One innovator now offers a solution that supports patient follow up, development of treatments and the ongoing need for study into these conditions, the Byteflies Exploration Kit and data platform. Byteflies, a Belgian-American wearable health start-up, has introduced high precision wearable sensors and a data platform that remotely tracks patient vital signs, from blood flow (PPG) to electro-dermal activity (EDA), electrocardiogram (ECG), motion, respiration, and electromyogram (EMG). The platform is based on insights gained through practical use cases and decades of experience in healthcare and technology applications, and uses extend beyond heart rate measurement.
“When it comes to monitoring health, wearables have incredible potential. However, a wristband that counts steps and measures heart rate just won’t cut it when you’re developing solutions for Parkinson’s disease, pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, or epilepsy,” explains Hans Danneels, CEO and co-founder of Byteflies. “You need to be able to measure raw, accurate data – the kind of data collected in hospitals.” Their technology is currently used by universities and pharmaceutical companies for detection of epileptic seizures, blood pressure trends, balance, and fatigue.
Advancements and innovations in wearable devices like Byteflies wearable monitors and data platform, smart clothing and footwear to monitor activity and vitals, apps for patient reporting and communication, smart contact lenses monitoring glucose levels, and ingestibles to monitor medicine levels and conditions such as glucose level in diabetics, will help the industry take a much-needed turn to better management, monitoring and prevention. Convenience and ease-of-use for patients has shown promise with increased compliance, allowing physicians to take a more proactive approach in monitoring and treatment. While wearables won’t solve the chronic disease concerns, and not all patients will understand or be willing to comply, it signals the beginning of a shift and not just a trend. Availability is increasing, costs are declining and medtech for both physicians and patients is more widely accessible – all a progress in helping clinicians offer more effective care for their patients.
Education and information in medical technology for clinicians, healthcare execs and ACO’s is critical in the ever-changing field of medicine. Get valuable insight, learn from industry leaders and connect with fellow medical professionals on technology and better patient care, all while exploring the latest innovations in medtech at the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, December 14-15, 2017. Learn more.
Innovative technologies are entering the medical field at a fast and furious rate – they’re quickly changing the care patients receive and will ultimately affect the health of our nation and the cost and administration of healthcare. This December, two powerful health care industry events will co-locate to provide clinicians, healthcare providers and ACO’s insight and solutions on industry-altering innovations including Sensoria Health’s smart clothing, that will continue to change the way medicine is practiced and evolve into better solutions for diagnosis, treatment, lifestyle change and prevention. The 25th Annual American Academy of Anti-Aging’s World Congress, and the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference, held alongside each other at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas, will feature complementing CME and non-CME education, inspiring world-renowned and accredited industry-leaders, and thousands of products and services. The format sets the stage for effective discussions as to how emerging technologies can and will affect all levels of patient care.
Kicking off both events with a Keynote address on Thursday morning, self-described futurist, inventor, and notorious hacker Pablos Holman will discuss “Inventing the Future of Food,” covering the revolutionary shift in the way food is prepared through the advent of 3-D printing. Thursday afternoon, David Rhew, CMO and Head of Healthcare and Fitness at Samsung Electronics of America, will address the MedTech Impact audience, detailing how innovative digital technologies like wearables, IoT sensors, patient monitors and more are helping to improve costs, increase engagement and improve outcomes across the healthcare process. And finally, Robyn Farmanfarmaian, Angel Investor & Vice President with Invicta Medical and Vice President of Actavalon will close the last day of the conference focusing on how accelerating technologies are empowering the healthcare consumer and allowing patients to be in control of their own health.
Each speaker is a thought leader in the redefining of medicine, and their keynote sessions will inspire attending clinicians, healthcare execs and ACO’s to commit and contribute to a new century of wellness and longevity through the advent and implementation of new technological advances – all of course contributing to the improvement of patient care.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult is treated for falls in emergency rooms across the country every 11 seconds. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Stats show more than 800,000 65-or-older Americans suffer from falls each year, not only leading to hospitalizations and further safety concerns, but increasing healthcare costs for individuals and institutions alike. With the 65+ population expected to rise from 46 million today, to 98 million plus by 2060, the safety concern isn’t going to go away and costs are sure to increase.
The rise of concerns, costs, and recent developments in sensors and smart clothing have inspired two leaders from seemingly very different markets to work together on an innovative solution for not only treatment, but prevention. Sensoria, a leader in smart garments and wearable technologies, and Genesis Rehab Services (GRS), a subsidiary of Genesis Healthcare, a recognized enterprise provider in post-acute care, debuted the fruits of their collaboration at the 11th Annual Health 2.0 Conference earlier this month in Santa Clara, California.
Sensoria Health Powered by Genesis, featuring body sensors embedded in clothing such as socks and shoes or attached to other clothing as a stand-alone device, will allow clinicians and nurses to monitor a patient’s healthcare needs at home, in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. From the rehab process after a fall, to pre-emptive detections of situations that could lead to a life-threatening injury, monitoring clinicians can provide real-time communication with caregivers.
Innovative technologies are entering the medical field at a fast and furious rate – they’re quickly changing the care patients receive and will ultimately affect the health of our nation and the cost and administration of healthcare. This December, two powerful health care industry events will co-locate to provide clinicians, healthcare providers and ACO’s insight and solutions on industry-altering innovations including Sensoria Health’s smart clothing, that will continue to change the way medicine is practiced and evolve into better solutions for diagnosis, treatment, lifestyle change and prevention. The 25th Annual American Academy of Anti-Aging’s World Congress, and the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference, held alongside each other December 14-15, 2017 at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas, will feature complementing CME and non-CME education, inspiring world-renowned and accredited industry-leaders, thousands of products and services, and sets the stage for effective discussions as to how emerging technologies can and will affect all levels of patient care. For more information, visit www.medtechimpact.com.
Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly used to manage pain, trauma, and distress–particularly during painful medical procedures–as investigators hypothesize that VR acts as a nonpharmacologic form of analgesia by exerting “an array of emotional affective, emotion-based cognitive and attentional processes on the body’s intricate pain modulation system.” While originally recognized for its entertainment value, the application has expanded to a number of clinical areas.
A study conducted by Cedars-Sinai using virtual reality therapy, during which participants wore virtual reality goggles to watch calming video content, indicated that VR may be an effective tool in addition to traditional pain management protocols. Moreover, VR gives doctors more options than solely medication or pharmaceuticals.
More recent research tested real world dental procedures, using circumstances that included a cold pressor lab setup and virtual reality headsets. The participants were immersed in two differing environments: a calm beachside walk, and a busy urban situation that was rife with distractions. The calming scene was significantly more effective in terms of improving the ways participants experience and remember pain, during tooth extractions and fillings.
While the data is not unpredictable, the study points to the fact that it is important to discern what types of virtual reality environments are effective in alleviating pain. Perhaps more importantly, future variations may include certain virtual situations that are better at reducing pain in other procedures.
The market of wearable medical technology is one of the most rapidly growing and advancing sectors in the global marketplace, now comprised of devices that have the potential to alter and enhance lifestyle, provide diagnostic and therapeutic support, and aid in injury prevention. With new evolving and transforming models in healthcare, these devices pave the way for new alternatives to traditional ways that practitioners & providers have collected data, performed diagnostic tests, and interacted with patients.
These devices, which once solely focused on one single measurement (the number of steps in a day), now have the capabilities to focus on a variety of bodily measurements: heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, etc. New miniaturized sensors, wireless communication protocols, portability and data transfer abilities, are only a small sampling of the market’s proliferation. Collectively, wireless and wearable medical technologies represent a burgeoning opportunity in healthcare; a 2014 report from Soreon Research linked the emergence of wearables to the beginning of a “deep transformation of the healthcare sector.”
Now valued at approximately $13.2 billion for the year of 2016, the industry of wearable technology is continuing to progress, as healthcare professionals and practitioners are concentrating on the overwhelming need to monitor diseases and aging populations. Due to the advent of new wireless and Bluetooth technologies, a quickly improving infrastructure, and a mounting patient familiarity with wireless devices, the technological advancements are being embraced by the healthcare industry. In order to engineer systems that facilitate the incorporation of wearable medical devices into patients’ and physicians’ daily routines, the marriage of medicine & IT-advancements will continue to develop and strengthen.
One of MedTech Impact’s primary focuses is opening new frontiers of healthcare, while delivering information that helps transition from disease treatment to prevention, in addition to greater personalization of medical care.
All data and scientific literature indicate that poor medication adherence is directly correlated with increased hospitalizations, higher mortality rates, and a number of serious adverse health consequences. Approximately 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed, resulting in at least 100,000 preventable deaths per year. In terms of incurred costs, these numbers translate to between $100 billion and $300 billion dollars in spending, burdening the already weakened infrastructure of health care. Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, an internist at Harvard Medical School, describes the problem as “the final cascade of all of science.”
In order to reinforce the importance of taking medications as prescribed, to avoid premature death and preventable hospital admissions, a number of companies have developed wireless “smart” pill bottles: devices linked to the internet, designed to remind people to take their medications. These bottles and caps have the capability to send both email and text message reminders, in addition to notifying a caregiver if someone forgets to take medication.
AdhereTech has thousands of patients, including some diagnosed with HIV and cancer, who have turned to the company’s wireless device. Stein says, “Our system is automatically getting data sent from each and every bottle 24/7.” The bottle is equipped with sensors, which can detect not only when the cap is twisted, but also exactly how much medication is removed. A blue light pulses when it is time to take a pill; a red light flashes with the sound of a chime when a dose is missed, and the patient and/or caregiver receives a phone call or text message.
While a small, pilot study conducted by AdhereTech suggested that the pill bottle increased patient medication adherence by 24%, the system and its software is expensive to produce and maintain. Dr. Kevin Volpp, a physician and health economist who directs the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives, is optimistic about pill bottle technologies—yet believes that the high-tech strategy “needs to be paired with social interventions.” A study he designed demonstrated better results for patients who had their pill bottles automatically alert friends, if doses were missed or not taken properly.
Overall, most researchers and clinicians agree that “reminder technology” will be a critical part of the multi-faceted solution to patient medication adherence.
Recent data and statistics demonstrate that overall American life expectancy has dropped for the first time in a decade, spurring an urgent and pressing need for the advent and proliferation of medical technology—coupled with scientific progress and laws to encourage innovation.
While the research points to specific factors that have lowered rates of mortality, including increased obesity, long-term unemployment, and a resurgence of chronic diseases, the studies incontrovertibly suggest the critical need to provide enhanced ‘life-saving and life-prolonging’ therapies and treatments.
There is no specific way to address the divergence of issues regarding lowered life expectancy, but there are particular measures that must be undertaken. These include enacting evidence-based policies that spur innovation, and further eliminating any roadblocks to America’s inventors.
By spearheading research that targets the most grave and life-threatening challenges in our medical and healthcare system, new resources will grow and develop, ultimately allowing for patients to access breakthrough therapies. The need for medical-technology innovation is steadily increasing, while removing obstacles to improving patient outcomes and creating high-tech manufacturing jobs remains a challenge.
We must collectively and cooperatively tackle the persistent healthcare problems that our country faces, while boosting innovation in the technological sector in order to further address medical challenges.
Researchers at Ohio State University have taken the first step in creating a medical chip that could ultimately heal almost any injury or disease.
The development of a small, dime-sized silicone device—known as Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT)—uses nanotechnology to actively reprogram a person’s cellular makeup. By simply placing the chip on a wound, the device sends an electrical pulse designed to convert living cells into whatever necessary cells the body requires. The pulse “opens a small window into the cell,” allowing the chip to transmit an entirely new genetic code. Moreover, the entire process takes less than one second.
The findings, published last week in the journal Nature, discuss lab tests during which mice with injured legs were completely repaired with a single touch of TNT: by turning skin cells into vascular cells, within the timespan of three weeks. This breakthrough technology does not only work on skin cells, but can also restore any type of tissue. The device was also able to restore brain function in a mouse who had suffered a stroke, by growing brain cells on its skin.
The future potential and implications of such a device are clearly limitless, but some of the researchers’ ideas include reprogramming the brain cells of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or stroke patients, regenerating injured limbs, or helping victims of car crashes or combat at the scene of the accident.
Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies, Chandan Sen, says, “This technology does not require a laboratory or hospital, and can actually be excited in the field. It’s less than 100 grams to carry and will have a long shelf life.” Additionally, while current cell methods of cell therapy carry high risks—like introducing a virus—TNT treatment has no known side effects, and requires almost no time to carry out.
While the technology is currently waiting for approval from the FDA, Sen states that the device is expected to enter human trials within the next year, and he is currently in communications with Walter Reed National Medical Center. “We are proposing the use of skin as an agricultural land where you can essentially grow any cell of interest,” says Sen.
A recent study at the 2016 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons confirms the burgeoning theory that wearable health technology, an innovation that has progressively gained traction in medical and consumer arenas, can positively affect healthcare and patients’ wellness. Moreover, researchers have found that data from smartwatches have the capabilities to both detect—and even predict—the onset of disease.
Because a large segment of the population utilizes smartwatches, an enormous amount of data and metrics portray a more comprehensive overview of health, as opposed to a solitary visit to the doctor. Researchers from Stanford University conducted a study during which they gave participants smartwatches, and subsequently analyzed almost a year of the data. Measurements included skin temperature, heart rate, and data collected from sleep.
When analyzing the data, the team found that ‘out-of-the-ordinary measurements’—specifically heart rate—had strong correlations with health issues like the common cold. Additionally, more detailed data was collected from several participants, for two years. Researchers evaluated this data, and chose the four dates during which measurements were out of the ordinary: the heart rate and skin temperature were specifically elevated. During a period when the measurements were abnormal, the participant had developed Lyme disease; during the other periods, he had a fever, or the common cold.
These measurements have strong correlations with inflammation, suggesting that the data was able to pinpoint and pick up on signs of inflammation. Other participants who were ill during the period they used smartwatches demonstrated measurements of elevated heart rate and skin temperatures. Moreover, in a separate experiment, the team found that insulin resistance had a connection to body mass index and heart rate—the latter of which was measured by a smartwatch.
The simplicity behind wearing a fitness wristband, and any wearable health technology, can more easily help surgeons detect which patients are at risk for complications. Evidence-based studies have demonstrated that the integration of wireless technology strongly correlates with ‘postoperative quality-of-life data,’ and reinforces research that surgeons should consistently track their patients’ results and quality of life.
These findings reaffirm the belief that surgeons have the capability to routinely measure patient-centered results–including anxiety, postoperative pain, and the ease with which patients can perform daily tasks and activities. While surgeons do not regularly practice this type of aftercare, and follow up on patients’ recovery, this monitoring system establishes an exciting and inventive kind of versatility, portability, and ultimate healthcare awareness that should be incorporated and put into practice.
The idea that smartwatches can predict and detect disease could become a widespread phenomenon, which would ultimately become an accessible and convenient tool for diagnosis. Wearables may have the potential to eliminate doctor visits, particularly for people who have geographical or monetary difficulties.