May 17, 2020

Analysts predict 24 million will use THESE apps by 2018

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A new report from Research2Guidance recently sparked a buzzing conversation throughout the mHealth market. From 2008 to 2013, over 1,000 diabetes apps...

A new report from Research2Guidance recently sparked a buzzing conversation throughout the mHealth market. From 2008 to 2013, over 1,000 diabetes apps were reportedly downloaded with the help of Priori Data. This Berlin-based company collects publically available metadata on apps and translates the data into usable statistics, which the companies then use to attract investors and additional funding.

According to the findings from the survey, 76 percent of mobile health app publishers see diabetes as one of the highest potential business opportunities within the existing market. Currently, only 1.2 percent of people who have diabetes utilize an app on their smartphone or tablet to manage their illness; however, Research2Guidance is predicting that in 2018, that percentage will shoot to 7.8 percent or 24 million people.

Health and fitness app maker Azumio was reported as the leader within the competitive market, with 17.8 percent market share and two of the currently most popular apps: Glucose Buddy and Blood Sugar Tracker.

In a blog post , Research2Guidance co-founder Ralf-Gordon Jahns wrote that the mobile health market is still anyone’s game, and that a dedicated app-based strategy is the key.

“The ranking of the top 14 diabetes app publishers are not carved in stone,” he wrote. “The overall quality, total download and user numbers are not high enough to prevent new innovators complying with the best practice standards for diabetes app publishing and a good marketing strategy to turn the market upside down.”

With the exception of Medtronic, Medisana, and Sanofi-Aventis, Jahns added that many of the companies dominating the market are not big businesses right now, but rather are small app makers with a personal vested interest.

“A significant number of diabetes app publishers, not only those in the top 14, developed their solution based on their personal experience with the disease,” he wrote. “For most of the top players the initial motivation to publish a diabetes app was to make life easier for themselves, relatives or friends – developing a product only came second.”

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Jun 16, 2021

Five minutes with Stanley Healthcare's Troy Dayon

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5 min
Troy Dayon, President of Stanley Healthcare and Stanley Access Technologies, explains how tech can help carers support an aging population

Stanley Healthcare provides technology solutions for caregivers, whether they are in a hospital, a care home, or at home. Here the company's President Troy Dayon explains the challenges carers face and what role technology plays in care for the elderly. 

The healthcare workforce is shrinking while the population is aging. How can this be addressed? 
Not only is the healthcare workforce shrinking, but the industry is facing the issue of overload and burnout among healthcare professionals. 

One major approach to address this is to help each caregiver to accomplish more – not by pushing them harder but by focusing their attention on the things that matter most, harnessing technology such as AI and machine learning. 

This technology provides caregivers with information on what care is needed, and which patients or residents to focus on first based on risk or acuity. The insights that it provides can help caregivers to be more efficient and address issues that would usually require more of their time, such as critical asset location, which takes time away from giving the care where it’s needed most. 

What do healthcare providers need to do to address clinician burnout? 
It is key for healthcare providers to understand the setting and the specific environment in which clinicians have been working. Many hospitals across the globe reconfigured entire wards to treat COVID-19 patients, and for more than a year, clinicians have been working in crisis mode. 

They need the opportunity to return to regular, sustainable routines, supported by technologies that help make them more efficient, but also more fulfilled because they maximise time with patients, applying their hard-earned education and experience to work at the top of their license.

In aged care, the experience of managing a highly contagious and deadly virus has reinforced the need for a proactive approach to managing the health of residents. Caregivers need predictive tools like the Foresite solution to help them understand which residents are at greatest risk, so they can focus their efforts where they can have the most impact. 

How can technology support older people? 
AI-based technology such as Foresite harnesses a range of passive monitoring technologies to develop a baseline profile of a resident in aged care that highlights changes in health or behaviour. This information can help caregivers see where and when they need to spend their time, identifying heightened risk for falls and early indication of heart issues and even infections. 

In fact, the technology has been shown to accurately predict events like falls, which allows intervention prior to an event occurring, rather than just automating routine processes.

Beyond this, connecting caregivers remotely to seniors to provide efficient care outside of traditional care settings is crucial. During the pandemic, there was a marked increase in the use of telehealth and remote monitoring of vitals, medication management and daily health. 

These technologies fill a major gap in healthcare delivery: care for patients once they’ve been discharged from hospital, or for seniors who need some level of care but don’t need to be in an aged care home. By caring for people effectively in their own homes, we can help reduce the burden on hospitals from readmissions and leverage the expertise of aged care organisations beyond the confines of the four walls of the facility. 

A lot of care is in fact delivered by unpaid carers. How can they be better supported with tech?

The remote monitoring technology that professional caregivers have access to can, in turn, also provide information and support to unpaid caregivers. For example, helping ensure a loved one is taking their medication, or knowing when they might be experiencing a change in health that can put them at risk. 

Human observation is inherently limited, no matter how often you see a loved one, and you can’t always rely on what a senior says about themselves. It’s very common that they downplay problems, because no one wants to be a burden or relinquish their independence. 

Remote solutions that connect family to an older relative help increase safety and wellbeing for the senior and reduce the burden on caregivers. They also make possible care decisions based on facts. At some point, a senior may need to transition to an aged care setting, which is often a difficult family conversation. This is an area where we can offer support to unpaid caregivers – reassurance during what is typically a very stressful period for the people providing that care. 

In Japan several large hospitals are deploying robot nurses. Is this a potential solution? 
I think the best path for robotics in healthcare is to focus on the root problem. It’s about dealing with a limited number of caregivers for a population that’s rapidly aging. Robotic technologies offer solutions that support the human healthcare providers with the information they need to make better and faster decisions about care. It’s about convergence and use of technology rather than a specific solution such as a robotic nurse.

This technology could be in the form of AI and machine learning or a robotic agent for routine administrative tasks. Removing low-value activities that distract caregivers from giving care is a key focus when it comes to robotics in healthcare. This automation can free up time for caregivers to spend more time with patients while optimising workflows. 

Robots in this sense don’t replace humans. They are leveraged for what they do well – repetitive routines done with speed and precision – while humans are given the time and space to deliver what ultimately we all want: human-centered care. 

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