LabStyle signs InnoMed to exclusively distribute in New Zealand
The world of mHealth continues to grow on a daily basis, seemingly becoming bigger and bigger as the minutes tick away. In the vast world that technology is, and with what seems to be every healthcare company investing in this revolutionary business avenue, the ability to monopolize a mHealth avenue seems further and further out of reach. This market-based desire to differentiate one’s company from others in the mHealth world is an anxiety felt by most in the field— but the questions still remain, what is there to do about it? How can healthcare companies profit from their useful mHealth technology? Where is there room in the industry to bring this technology to its full potential?
Various healthcare companies like Caregiving Club, Humana and others have attempted to answer these questions by trying to find ways to solidify a place within the mHealth market, but have yet to truly make a mark on it. Whether the answer may be increased market research, more specifically targeted mHealth apps or a way in which this mHealth technology can continue to serve a larger number of people, companies are still struggling with “how to get it right” in the mHealth market.
Interestingly, LabStyle Innovations entered into an arrangement with New Zealand through partnering with InnoMed, which seems to not only address this issue of how to solely manage a mHealth market, but demonstrates just how a company can monopolize profits from a specific mHealth sector. The agreement allows LabStyle innovations (the developer of the cloud-based and fully-mobile Dario Diabetes management platform) to solely distribute its Diabetes platform to New Zealand markets through InnoMed.
"We are delighted to partner with InnoMed. Their many decades of industry experience, as well as their vision and sincere interest to positively impact the health and well-being of people by introducing modern medical technology, are a perfect fit with our immediate and long-term goals. We are very excited that New Zealand, well-known for its interest in innovation and early adoption of new technologies, will be among the first countries worldwide to experience the new Dario™ iOS app beginning on December 12th and the Dario™ blood glucose monitoring device, later during the first quarter of 2014," said LabStyle Innovations President and chief executive officer Mr. Erez Raphael.
It’s exactly this mention of “long-term” goals in Mr. Erez’s statement which points to this recent trend in the mHealth world of companies desperately attempting to make its mark on mHealth technology, in hopes of it benefitting their overall company branding and place within their respective healthcare markets. All of that being said, two factors remain poignant to determine ways to best suit mHealth technology: research mHealth demographics and utilize third party relationships in order to fully capitalize on a target market.
For LabStyles to target New Zealand specifically proves to be a successful pairing for the company seeing as how more than 200,000 people are affected by diabetes in daily life, thus demonstrating both above points. Also, according to Diabetes New Zealand, it is one of the countries with the highest rates of pediatric diabetes worldwide. Costs trying to prevent the disease by 2021 are estimated to be at $1 billion a year— and for LabStyles, that’s music to their ears.
"The Dario diabetes management platform fills a clearly unmet need in the diabetes market by enabling those with diabetes to manage their daily lives, and the multiple management decisions that go with it each day, in a social, fun but also well-informed and responsible way. We believe the particular features of Dario™ create the potential for increased patient compliance in monitoring and managing their condition. We are pleased to be part of the Dario™ initiative and look forward to introducing our fellow New Zealanders first to the free iOS app on December 12th and later during first quarter 2014 to the blood glucose monitoring device and the free Android app," said Richard Steingold, co-director and chief executive officer of InnoMed Ltd.
About the Author
Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global
Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare
As healthcare continues to recognise the value of data and digital transformation, many organisations are relying on the cloud to make their future-forward and data-centric thinking a reality. In fact, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at approximately $18 billion and is expected to generate around $61 billion USD by 2025.
At the forefront of these changes is the rapid adoption of cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), applications. These apps can be used to handle patient interactions, track prescriptions, care, billing and more, and the insights derived from this important data can vastly improve operations, procurement and courses of treatment. However, before healthcare organisations can begin to dream about a true data-driven future, they have to deal with a data-driven dilemma: compliance.
Meeting regulation requirements
It’s no secret that healthcare is a highly regulated industry when it comes to data and privacy – and rightfully so. Patient records contain extremely sensitive data that, if changed or erased, could cost someone their life. This is why healthcare systems rely on legacy technologies, like Cerner and Epic EHRs, to manage patient information – the industry knows the vendors put an emphasis on making them as secure as possible.
Yet when SaaS applications are introduced and data starts being moved into them, compliance gets complicated. For example, every time a new application is introduced into an organisation, that organisation must have the vendor complete a BAA (Business Associate Agreement). This agreement essentially puts the responsibility for the safety of patients’ information — maintaining appropriate safeguards and complying with regulations — on the vendor.
However, even with these agreements in place, healthcare systems still are at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements. To comply with HIPAA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulations that stipulate the need to exercise best practices to keep electronic patient data safe, healthcare organisations must maintain comprehensive audit trails – something that gets increasingly difficult when data sits in an application that resides in the vendor’s infrastructure.
Additionally, data often does not stay in the applications – instead healthcare users download, save and copy it into other business intelligence tools, creating data sprawl across the organisation and exposing patient privacy to greater risk.
With so many of these tools that are meant to spur growth and more effective care creating compliance challenges, it begs the question: how can healthcare organisations take advantage of the data they have without risking non-compliance?
Yes, healthcare organisations can adhere to regulations while also getting valuable insights from the wealth of data they have available. However, to help do this, organisations must own their data. This means data must be backed up and stored in an environment that they have control over, rather than in the SaaS vendors’ applications.
Backing up historical SaaS application data directly from an app into an organisation’s own secure cloud infrastructure, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, makes it easier, and less costly, to maintain a digital chain of custody – or a trail of the different touchpoints of data. This not only increases the visibility and auditability of that data, but organisations can then set appropriate controls around who can access the data.
Likewise, having data from these apps located in one central, easily accessible location can decrease the number of copies floating around an organisation, reducing the surface area of exposure while also making it easier for organisations to securely pull data into business intelligence tools.
When healthcare providers have unfettered access to all their historical data, the possibilities for growth and insights are endless. For example, having ownership and ready access to authorised data can help organisations further implement and support outcome-based care. Insights enabled by this data will help inform diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans and more, which benefits not only the patient, but the healthcare ecosystem as a whole.
To keep optimising and improving care, healthcare systems must take advantage of new tools like SaaS applications. By backing up and owning their historical SaaS application data, they can do so while minimising the risk to patient privacy or compliance requirements. Having this ownership and access can propel healthcare organisations to be more data-driven – creating better outcomes for everyone.