The 555 on SXSW, What Tech Trends Will Affect Heathcare
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Inside we’ll answer the top five
things we believe after attending
SXSW, reveal the five questions
we should be preparing to answer
and highlight five things you
should check out for yourself.
A soft, methodical machine-like whirling
noise fills the room as several drones move
about. They are nimble, quick, and precise.
Slenderly built, they glide with ease across
the booth’s not-so-plush carpet floor.
Unlike your Roomba, real humans power these
drones. At SXSW in Austin, operators in Kansas City
They are a creation of Suitable Technologies.
I walked up to the booth and was warmly greeted by
Katie, or should I say, the remote presence of Katie.
After a few seconds of feeling awkward standing next
to a 4-foot-tall, Segway-like robot knowing I was
about to talk to it, I just started in. Crazy enough, a
few more seconds after that I began having a real
conversation with Katie.
Looking back, the high video and audio quality paired
with the ease of robot’s movements seemed to help
make this virtual leap.
The idea isn’t exactly new to healthcare–remote
monitoring devices and methods have been evolving
for a while now. But after experiencing this new class
about to take
of human/machine hybrids, I am convinced it’s where
healthcare will be going.
Imagine choosing your healthcare professional
without regards for location, or the efficiency of seeing
a specialist anywhere in the world.
A physician could sit remotely in a control room with
any real-time information at his hands. Perhaps he
would want to compare all your scans from previous
appointments. While you sit there, he could quickly
access all that info on-screen. Or the “drone” could
have sensors that passively scan you and provide the
doctor with real-time info that would help with
determining a diagnosis or treatment plan.
Once this becomes possible, we’ll make the next
big leap. Then the whole idea of a doctor’s office will
Treatment will take shape around when and where
you need care.Which means you will never wait at
the doctors’ office again. You may wait somewhere,
but it won’t be there. Soon, the doctor will login to
your “home health bot” and your appointment will
It all starts with bones, then flip-chews,
on to squeaky toys, then silly costumes.
Soon you’ll be buying your dog (or cat) a
wearable. Yep, a wearable!
Introducing Whistle, the on-collar device that
measures your dog’s activities, giving you a new
perspective on day-to-day behavior and long-term
health trends. Whistle touts, “Stay close to your dog
and share in the adventure.”
No doubt wearables are exploding. The market
potential is expected to grow to 100 million units by
the end of 2014. Everything that can be tracked
already is or will be soon.
One internet sensation told us to “hide your kids,
hide your wife…they’re coming for you.” If Sproutling
has its way, that statement may come true, for your
Sproutling is a small, kidney-shaped, Bluetooth-
enabled wearable, that attaches to your baby’s ankle
and will alert you if your child stops breathing.
But wait–there’s more! Sproutling will also track your
child’s heartrate and the temperature of both the
room and your little one.
Now that we’re already tracking your dog and your
offspring, we might as well make it easy to track you
and protect your iPhone at the same time.
So with that in mind, say hello to Wello.
By simply holding the case of your phone, all your
vitals and data are read literally from your fingertips.
Wello states, “Not only do you get an instant idea
about your health, over time you are able to see
patterns that help you manage your life better.”
So if I am following along and now tracking my kids,
my dogs, and myself, what I am I doing with all this
Whistle has you, well, your dog covered.
With Whistle your pet’s info can be sent directly
to your veterinarian, in order to better evaluate
If your vet can track your pet’s data, there’s no reason
why your kid’s pediatrician won’t soon ask for their’s.
2 delivery to death,
you & your dog will
“We humanize technology...
We make technology connect,
speak, and interact with humans
in a positive way.”
Gadi Amit, Fitibit Designer
From the NSA to Disney, it seems like
everyone wants access to our every click,
jump, step, or wiggle. So with mountains of
information pouring in from our activities and
our actions, who actually owns that data?
Since Jawbone’s Up records your every step, do they
own that data, or because you took every step, do you?
This was a heated conversation that kept coming up in
various sessions at SXSW.
Gadi Amit, the designer of Fitbit, believes the idea of a
quantified self won’t work because people can’t or don’t
want to deal with all that data –it’s simply too much.
Karl Martin, CEO of Bionym, a biometrics company
based in Toronto, sees a slightly different future. One
where your persona goes digital and your physical world
will know it.
They have created Nymi, a wearable device that
constantly sends out information about who you are and
The Nymi has two great secrets: first it uses a proprietary
way to measure your heart rhythm to authenticate you
and verify that it’s okay to send out your digital persona.
will just instantly
Secondly, it allows you to create custom personas
so you control what and with whom you share.
All, off course, encrypted.
This could have huge implications on healthcare.
Imagine you’re shopping and you pass the pharmacy.
The pharmacy senses you are near and alerts the
pharmacist to refill your prescription. You walk up,
grab your meds, Nymi automatically sends payment
and on your way you go.
Or, when you go to check in at your doctor’s office,
if it still exists (see #1), you can forget about filling
out form after form. With Nymi, your insurance
information, recent health history, and activity level
could all be automatically downloaded and analyzed,
so it’s ready when you see the doctor.
This passive, easy pass through of data doesn’t
require you or your physician to get bogged down in
the “how” of transmitting the data. It just happens.
But then there’s the ownership question again.
Who owns the data? You do. Or at least I believe you
do, and will. It will become a digital extension of you.
Just like you, that digital self needs protected and
needs rights. And it will get them one day.
Well, let’s put an asterisk on that–legal
likes those. *I am more so saying that the
mere definition or thought behind what a
prescription is will change.
The idea that a doctor prescribes you only
a pill will cease to exist. Instead, there will
be digital prescriptions, app prescriptions,
service prescriptions, perhaps even
First, pharma companies will begin to offer companion
prescription apps. This will be a way to not only
differentiate their prescription from other parity
competitors, but could also offer insightful data to
help or inform future product research.
Dr. Gulati is the Chief Medical Officer and Head of
Product Innovation for Physicians Interactive.
He believes it’s already happening, and will only
increase in the coming years.
“Re-imagine the point of healthcare to the point of
health,” he challenged.
What does that mean for, say, pharmacies? Do you
get an email when your prescription app is ready from
Walgreens to download? Or do pharma companies
begin going direct to consumers with these new types
Doctors aren’t the only ones looking to alter the
definition of prescriptions, so are Payers. They’re
looking at a way to incentivize patients to increase
adherence, knowing more than 75% of patients aren’t.
Soon you may be “prescribed” a tracking app that
allows you to get discounts on your healthcare costs
if you gain or get certain levels of achievement.
Regardless of whether it’s an app, a service, or a
monitoring device, the idea of what your doctor will
prescribe you will soon change.
More people with a chronic disease would
accept a new app from their doctor than would
accept a prescription (90% v 66%). - Digitas90%
How can that be you ask?
The product hasn’t even launched yet.
The developer/demo version of the
product (low res, I might add), is already so
groundbreaking, that the idea of Rift as
simply a video game accessory is dead.
It will be so much more as the developer
version has already demonstrated.
At SXSW, HBO used Oculus Rift demo kits to create a
truly immersive experience dubbed “Ascend the
Wall.” The experience brings fans inside the fantasy
world of Game of Thrones.
“I was swaying back and forth trying to keep my
balance because in virtual reality, I could practically
feel the creaky lift swaying back and forth. At several
points during the roughly two-minute ride, I couldn’t
help but reach out and grab the bars of the cage for
security,” wrote Mario Aguilar, GIZMODO
“The Oculus experience at the #GOTExhibit is
ridiculously good,” tweeted Andy Kinsella, executive
producer at Google Creative Lab. “Wanted it to last
At a convention where everyone is looking to stand
out, this Oculus allowed HBO to shine. People waited
for nearly three hours to see the experience. And
remember, this is only the developer kit version, not
even the consumer product.
This device has the potential like the iPhone and iPad
to change markets, change the way we create and
consume information and entertainment.
The film Zero Point has begun work creating an
exclusive documentary using the Rift to put viewers
“inside” the movie.
Greg Miller is using the headset to bring back to life
Seinfeld’s iconic Upper West Side apartment.
But this is just the beginning of an emerging medium.
Cancer patients could be transported away to any
corner of the globe while they get chemo treatments.
Kids could learn about history by experiencing a
virtual recreation of Gettysburg or bounce alongside
Neil Armstrong as he takes his first steps on the
Virtual reality debuted a few decades ago, but not
until now, is it truly becoming our new reality.
is already dead
Wearables are everywhere with
data practically swirling about us.
What if you had a personal area
What if we created and shared
our experiences, not just shared
data? Connecting people, not
just the steps they took?
What if we could deliver
adaptable web/mobile services
based on time or real-time?
What if each individual owned
their personal data and could
grant or deny others access?
When sharing your sensitive
personal data, what if it only
existed for a few minutes, and
then just disappeared?
Is it time to think Snapchat for
your personal health data?
TOP 5 things
to check out
Skully, winner of the SXSW Accelerator
Award, is an advanced motorcycle helmet
that incorporates the use of Augmented
Reality. Think Iron Man here. The product also
provides the rider with a 180-degree rear view
of what’s behind them and side collision
sensors for additional safety.
Cinematique is a touchable video platform
where people can discover and ultimately
purchase items in a video format.
Cinematique touts, “You simply touch
the things that interest you as they move
across the screen. It changes the way we
tell stories! It opens the doors for more
exploration and information and creates a
deeper relationship through video.”
Dialog right now is just a concept.
But a very cool one at that. It’s
designed to help people with
epilepsy better understand their
condition and make informed
decisions about their care.
Dialog is a wearable that collects a
variety of important patient data,
then transfers it to a companion
smartphone app. This allows
patients to gain insights into what
may trigger events.
Nymi lets you use your unique heart rhythm
to authenticate who you are, allowing you to
wirelessly take control of your environment.
The world around you will know you, and
Wello is a health tracker that’s built into
the back of your phone cover. It’s both
cool and functional.
Simply hold it and sensors inside the
case begin testing your vitals. This
information is then sent to an app on
your phone where you get an immediate
read-out about your health.
To discuss this report live, request another module, or
schedule a presentation of trends, please contact Leigh Householder
at 614-543-6496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.