Can Philips Bring Hope to Those With Chronic Illness through Wearable Technology?
While wearable technology in the health care industry has been on the rise, the number of individuals who could benefit the most from using these health trackers and gadgets is still low.
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and Nijmegen, the Netherlands-based Radboud university medical center (Radboudmc), are working to raise that number through a prototype that supports patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The device would let patients know what condition their heart and lungs were at any time and medical staff would have a complete set of data between visits.
“Unlike other wearable solutions recently introduced to the market, this prototype collects more than just wellness data from otherwise healthy people,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services, Philips. “We are demonstrating the power of harnessing both clinical and personal health information to better manage chronic disease patients across the health continuum, from healthy living, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and home care.”
A sensor is attached to a disposable adhesive bandage, monitoring COPD patients. (Philips photo)
How It Works
The wearable diagnostic prototype for COPD patients feeds data collected from patients at home to clinicians through the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform to two clinical applications currently available on the cloud-based platform – eCareCompanion and eCareCoordinator – which both recently received FDA 510(k) clearance.
Once a COPD patient has left the hospital, a wearable diagnostic prototype collects data day and night, including physical activity/inactivity, respiratory indicator, heart rhythm and heart rate variability. The data collected is then sent via the cloud to the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, where it is shared with the appropriate care providers via the eCareCoordinator application, presenting a more complete view of the patient’s illness.
“Together with Philips, we are exploring and developing tools to enable patients to be true partners in their own health care, including Hereismydata(TM) and thus creating a digital platform for patients to collect data from EMRs as well as personal wearable technology,” said Lucien Engelen, director REshape Innovation Center at Radboud university medical center. “Our collaboration with Philips creates the scale needed for a globalizing sustainable healthcare approach.”
A Beneficial Partnership
The launch marks the start of joint explorations between Philips and Radboudmc to apply mobile, digital and cloud technologies to improve patient outcomes, care coordination and patient empowerment across the health continuum.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 117 million Americans have at least one chronic condition, and one in four adults has two or more. The CDC estimates that caring for patients with chronic conditions accounts for 70 percent of the annual health care income in the U.S.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”