Keeping up with Digital Healthcare & what Consumers want

My love of Infographics continues unabated!

Behold, a  summary of the 2013 National Market Insights Survey compiled in 2013 by National Research Corporation, the largest online healthcare consumer survey in the US.

It’s an infographic that says so much… .. about much…about Patient or User Preferences, the impact of Social Media on Health Care & what the future may have in store (hopefully) based on our ever growing use of smartphones, computers and social media. It’s leading to more of us becoming more engaged in our own healthcare and sharing our experiences good and bad with others. It’s about the age of “Customer Centric” health care. Providers necessarily, have to catch up to what we are looking for in a hurry; most are lagging behind our expectations.


From National Research Corporation a Checkup on the State of Digital HealthCare

From National Research Corporation a Checkup on the State of Digital HealthCare

The value & benefits of a Future with mhealth

Nice infographic from the future …

The future of mHealth from eClinicalWorks (a leader in ambulatory clinical solutions, dedicated to technology) eClinicalWorks surveyed 2,291 healthcare professionals including 649 physicians in the US in January 2013

From Technorati Media-What Doctors wish they could do remotely

From Technorati Media-What Doctors wish they could do remotely

Cool Digital Health Tech for the 50+ Market

Another Cool Slide Deck from AARP this one on Cool Tech for the 50+ market covering a wide array of innovative technologies that are looking to help with a wide variety of health & wellness challenges that are faced by this market in particular. These vendors attended the AARP Health Innovation 50+ Tech Expo in Atlanta last year and this deck was a short but good summary of that show.

AARP has segmented these innovations into 9 different areas of Health including: Medication Management, Aging with Vitality, Vital Sign Monitoring, Care Navigation, Emergency Detection/Response, Physical Fitness, Diet & Nutrition, Social Engagement and Behavioural and Emotional Health.

Read On:

Digital Health Overview & Insights (from AARP)

I thought this was a great overview of the Digital Health market to share that comes from the StartUp Health Division of AARP. They give specific consideration to the  50+ market. The US considers this an important market. I don’t yet see the same consideration in the Canadian Market; hopefully that will change very soon.

This report highlights the encouraging rise in health innovation among a growing population with increased medical needs. Nine Health Innovation frontiers are highlighted including Emergency Detection/Response, Aging with Vitality, Vital Sign Monitoring, Medication Management, Social Engagement, Navigating the Health Care System, Behavioural and Emotional Health, Physical Fitness and Nutrition & Diet

No More Yellow Immunization Cards-There’s an App for that Now – and it’s Cdn.

Under the category of “I wish I had this when my kids were young”…or “where are those yellow immunization cards when I need them” ?ic_button_logo

Good news and a Canadian First !  A mobile (bilingual) app has been designed specifically for Canadians and their families  to keep track of their immunizations. Well, actually it does even more than that, so now it has far exceeded the Yellow Card capability.

Immunize CA


ImmunizeCA provides 24/7 access to vaccination schedules based on information specific to people’s home province or territory, and to reliable, expert-approved, bilingual information about vaccinations for children, adults and travelers. It also offers useful tools such as appointment reminders and local outbreak notifications.

Thanks to the  Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), Immunize Canada & the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) a free  app is now available for your smart phone or  other mobile devices that will help Canadians keep track of their vaccinations.


The Immunize CA App is free and provides and allows you to:

    • Easily record and store vaccine information
    • Access vaccination schedules
    • Manage vaccination appointments for the entire family
    • Access evidence-based and expert-reviewed information about recommended and routine vaccinations for children, adults and travelle
    • Receive alerts about disease outbreaks in their area

Visit Immunize Canada about the ImmunizeCA app

More Good News-the App is available for IPhones, ,Android AND Blackberry


Good Example of Digtal Health Tech? A Pill Camera

The PillCam Colon is described as a kinder, gentler approach to one of the most dreaded exams : the Colonoscopy.

For sure. A tiny camera tucked inside an easy to swallow capsule instead of a lot of “cringe inducing” probing of the large intestine using a 4-foot flexible tube. This is indeed good news.

Given Imaging-FDA ApprovalThe PillCam Colon is the first capsule cam approved for imaging the human colon. But the “PillCam” is also a great example  of how Digital Health Tech is and will even more significantly in the future, Make a Difference to Health Care for us and our Health Care Dollars

Last month U.S. regulators (the FDA) cleared the way for a bite-size ingestible pill camera to help doctors spot polyps or other early signs of colon cancer.  It has already been approved in 80 other countries, including in Japan, Europe and Latin America.

Given Imaging (GIVN)  is the Israeli company that has developed the technology which they suggest works somewhat like a missile defense systems works; but the PillCam is a battery-powered camera which takes high-speed photos while slowly winding its way through the intestinal tract over a period of some 8 hours.  Images are automatically transmitted by way of a recording device worn around the patient’s waist & then reviewed later by a doctor.


However, given that images are not quite as clear yet using the PillCam , this technology is being restricted for now to only those  patients who have trouble undergoing standard colonoscopies. I would have thought this meant everyone but by that they mean restrictions due to anatomy issues or previous surgeries or colon disease where a patient is unable to get a complete colonosopy;  which is still some 750,000 or so U.S. patients. So, the PillCam will indeed make a Big Difference to this segment of the population.

As technology improves, those restrictions are likely to change for the benefit of patients but also the health care system as the cost of the PillCam is approximately $500, which is significantly less than the estimated $4,000 rate for a traditional colonoscopy. The PillCam also has the potential to entice those adults who have avoided regular screenings due to fears of pain, embarrassment and general discomfort. So, that’s Good News as well.

PS;  No word on Canada yet. So don’t put off having the recommended regular colonoscopy which should begin at age 50 and continue annually until you are 75.

More Info Given Imaging

Tech 4 Good – CookStop, A Stove Top Fire Prevention Solution

Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires. CookStop can prevent them from starting


 Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fire injuries and unattended cooking is the leading contributor of those fires. Hood suppression systems, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers in a kitchen are of great benefit but they are reactive systems designed to respond only after a potentially dangerous event (smoke, fire, etc.) are already underway.

By comparisonCookStopTM is a proactive system that can prevent unattended fires from starting in the first place.  CookStop is a UL and CSA approved fire safety device developed to save lives by automatically shutting off an electric stove that has been left unattended stove after a preset period of time.

Who can benefit?

CookStop is highly programmable and can address the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) requirements of a diverse population an improve safety in any living environment. However, it is particularly well suited for:

  • Senior care facilities
  • Homes where individuals are experiencing memory issue
  • Campus housing
  • Homes with young and busy families
  • Multi residential buildings

How does it work?

CookStop uses motion sensing to scan for activity during cooking and when it senses that there is no motion around the stove, it begins a countdown to shut off the stove. A typical countdown is 5 minutes but different countdown periods can be programmed using a security key.  When someone returns to check on the stove within the countdown period; it automatically resets the countdown. If on the other hand, someone does not return to the stove within the countdown period, CookStop automatically shuts off the stove and keeps everyone safe.

 Added Benefit

CookStop also provides for 4 separate ‘lockout’ periods where the stove can not be used at all. These lockout periods might be useful in certain situations such as homes where children are old enough to stay on their own after school but not old enough to use the stove. The lockout period can overridden with the security key and each

 Easy setup

CookStop is ready to use right out of the box and generally takes about 20 minutes to set up.


Contact us to learn more about CookStop



Dear Canada: Where are we in the era of age-related innovation?

Richard Eisenberg,  the Senior Web editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue wrote a column recently where he declared that the Tech World has finally found the market for those over age 50

He writes in his column (enthusiastically) entitled Suddenly the Tech World Loves People over 50

“The long overdue, new era of age-related innovation and entrepreneurship intended to make life better for Americans over 50 and their caregivers”

Aging 2.0 provides one of many forums in the US that is now front and centre connecting technology and design innovators with investors & experts specifically for the 50+ market.  No doubt, the Affordable Care Act in the US is playing a big role in the healthcare technology market particularly, but Aging 2.0 also sponsor  events in the UK , Germany and soon there will be events in Asia.  So, indeed it’s happening in the US and elsewhere.

But what about Canada?Stats Canada over 65 2011

Mr. Eisenberg talks about really great things starting to happen in the US where startup mentor/funders, accelerators, incubators and generators are targeting health tech innovators looking for investment & contests with 5 figure awards. There is growing interest from Silicon Valley engineers, designers & tech innovators. Organizations like Aging 2.0 , AARP’s Innovation@50+, Ecumen, and MOJO Minnesota, the Standford Centre on Longevity, LeadingAge, and others are all moving the market forward in various ways in the US.

HackFest in Dallas in Oct 2014, the Louisville Innovation Summit, Aging 2.0’s GENerator, AARP’s Health Innovation@50 Live Pitch contests in Boston and San Diego are all programs specifically looking for startups focused on the 50+ demographic.

The magnetic pull is of course the growing number of people 50 and older. 101M Americans are now in that demographic and there will be 113M by 2018. But Canada is aging as well.  Almost 13M Canadians are now 50 and older and that number is expected to increase to 14.5M  by 2018

Mr. Eisenberg gives a great quote from Stephen Johnston the NY Based co-founder of Aging 2.0 about one of the driving forces behind the transformation towards this growing demographic of 50 and over.

“It’s a little boring figuring out the next app to move mobile advertising inventory. People are hungry for more important projects to work on”  

No offense to those who may be working on such apps for mobile advertising but …I’m in agreement with Mr. Johnston. There are really important projects to work on and that’s what I believe more of us should be working on and supporting.


That’s what made me give up a nice steady income as an Accountant and Advisor supporting entrepreneurs to get out in front.  A personal health crisis I experienced by way of my in-laws first hand educated me about how unprepared most of us are to navigate the health care system and help our loved ones with many of the challenges that can come with aging.  And so I ‘pivoted’ my professional life and decided to work with older individuals & their families to provide the assistance I knew I could have used when caring for my inlaws. Which is how I came upon a whole growing array of affordable technology enabled assistive solutions that can make a difference to that same demographic but get very little attention  and awareness…which is now the mission behind a new site I’m building at  

But, as it happens & while I would not recommend this strategy in hindsight,  I will confess here that I have 2 different technology related startups geared towards this 50+ market – the second being a financial organizing solution seeking to help reduce the growing & global problem of Unclaimed assets, which in North America alone is about a $62B problem. A white label, online solution for financial & estate organizing, LegacyTracker helps individuals & families save, safeguard & share important information & documents while tracking their financial progress & enhancing their level of emergency preparedness.

So with not 1 but 2 different age related innovations geared to the market of those over 50 (and possibly/maybe being over 50 myself) …I await the kind of excitement that I see happening elsewhere but not so much in Canada.

So where is this love for the 50+ market in Canada? 

At the very least one would expect that since most Canadians do hope to age and age well, as opposed to the alternative, one would also expect that lots of innovation geared towards this demographic and the investment to support those innovations would start occuring here in a big way; enabling the very innovation that will make all of our lives easiser in the future!

As Mr. Eisenberg points out,  some of the changes taking place in the US are the direct result of venture capitalists and investors who are aging themselves and at the same time, dealing with age related challenges that their parents are facing. That’s certainly my story as someone with 2 startups who wants to make a difference  in this market. So where is our “shift” to support age related innovations in a more bold way in Canada?  The fact that the over 50+ market happens to be both the fastest growing demographic AND the wealthiest demographic segment in Canada comes as an extra bonus to those that help this shift take place.

Here’s the link to Mr. Eisenberg’s article on Next Avenue that prompted me to write this post

Suddenly the Tech World loves People over 50 

Thank you Mr. Richard Eisenberg @richeis315