Category: Mobile

Future 4 Health - © Mikko Lemola/Shutterstock

5 reasons why hospital mHealth apps are a win for patients and doctors

There are currently more than 260,000 mHealth apps on the market, according to data from Research2guidance. Whereas this may be exciting news, the sheer number may also be overwhelming for patients and doctors. How can you know what is useful and what is not? One way hospitals are solving the app reliability challenge is by building in-house innovation incubators.

To get to know how that works, listen to a conversation with Ashish Atreja, the CTO of Sinai AppLab at Mount Sinai, in the fourth episode of Medicine Today on the Digital Health podcast.

He are 5 reasons why in-house innovation incubators are good news.

1. Accelerating change

Innovation arms in hospitals are exciting because they help introduce novelties into the rigid healthcare systems.

2. Providing reliability

New solutions are designed by high profile specialists in hospitals. Consequently, solutions are tested inside the hospitals and perfected before they are put on the market.

“I would never give or prescribe medicine to any of my patients that has not been approved in some formal capacity. Why should I prescribe an app?” says gastroenterologist Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH. If you’re a startup, he might take a look at your solution. Why?

One of his jobs as the CTO of Sinai AppLab is onboarding new technologies built by startups outside Mount Sinai. After all, he emphasizes, “it’s impossible for one incubator to do and know everything.”

Ashish Atreja

3. Ease of recommendation

It is easier for doctors to recommend in-house solutions, because they have better access and understanding of the innovation process and reliability of an app compared to the flood of other mhealth digital health offerings on the market.

As Ashish Atreja explains, Mount Sinai even build a platform which allows physicians to prescribe evidence based apps. “We curate the best apps based on the evidence, security and safety. There’s a whole team of people rating the best apps, looking at the published evidence and bringing them to the market place.”

4. Financial benefit

Innovation arms generate new revenue streams for hospitals.

5. Encouraging innovation

When a support environment for creativity is in place, doctors who want to innovate can test and develop their ideas. They also get all the entrepreneurial support in scaling and improving their ideas, so they can reach patients faster.

In 2012, Cleveland Clinic experts designed the Medical Innovation Playbook – a detailed report on the diverse and rapidly evolving technology commercialisation programs of the USA’s top medical centres. It includes an overview of nearly 10,000 invention disclosures, 6,400 patent applications and almost 2,000 issued patents.

Want to know more? Tune into the fourth episode of Medicine Today on Digital Health podcast. You can find, listen, subscribe, rate, follow, share the podcast in Soundcloud or in iTunes.

SXSW17: Welcome iRewardHealth, Seremedi & Skycart

We are excited to kick-off our Think Tank FTR4H (Future4Health) at SXSW in Austin. On March 13th, we will welcome digital health enthusiasts at our reception at the German Pavilion — WUNDERBAR. In one intense hour we will give an overview what FTR4H is all about, what is planned in the future, who is part of the FTR4H network that is reaching from Germany to Israel, from Israel to India, from India to China — all the way to SXSW in Austin. As a special treat three international digital health startups will pitch:

iRewardHealth

All the way from Berlin: iRewardHealth, an international startup from the first batch of Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin, clears the last hurdle in user engagement by turning healthy actions into cash. Their wellness program tackles the massive problem of preventable diseases using behavioral economics to effectively motivate healthy behavior change. Founded by a team of experts, and fueled by their proprietary reward algorithm, iRewardHeath is gaining traction in US and German markets, showing the world that Health pays!

Sykcart

Imagine you are sick and your medicine is just 30 min by Drone away… German startup Skycart revolutionizes the way physical goods are shipped today. A network of autonomously flying drones carries your medicine to you – if you can’t leave your house. For that Skycart builds a UAV network for seamless peer-to-peer delivery by air.

Seremedi

Houston calling! CareScriptions by Seremedi from Houston, Texas, is a SaaS patient engagement platform. CareScriptions enables providers to equip patients with prescribed guided treatment plans using their mobile devices, enhance their visibility into outpatient care and optimize treatment plan implementation, execution and effectiveness reducing costly medical crises.

If you want to join us please register via eventbrite.

FTR4H at SWSX - © ADDON / SXSW

Save-the-Date for our Meet & Greet at SXSW 2017!

As a global network of Movers & Shakers in Digital Health #FTR4H is connecting digital healthcare experts worldwide.

On March 13th we will invite startups, healthcare experts and investors to a special Meet & Greet at South by Southwest, short SXSW. The festival in the heart of the USA brings together the who-is-who in the film, interactive media and music scene. Since 2007, “SXSW Interactive” a special conference on emerging technology, draws startup founders and creatives to Texas. The festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, a startup accelerator — and in 2017 for the first time: The FTR4H Meet & Greet!

Looking back at MEDICA 2015: Congrats to Voicett

Startup of the Month: In 2015 the MEDICA App COMPETITION was scouting for successful mobile health startups for the fourth time. Ten early-stage startups presented their digital health apps on stage at the worlds biggest medical trade fair in Dusseldorf. At the end 2016 the winner — Israeli startup VoiceItt — announced another big milestone in their young company history: The international BIRD Foundation granted $900,000 to the development of VoiceItts mobile voice- and voice-pattern recognition software for people with disabilities. VoiceItt co-founder Danny Weissberg shared his view on their achievements after winning MEDICA App COMPETITION in 2015:

Danny, for the ones that do not know: Can you describe in a few sentences what the VoiceItt team is working on?

Danny: Voiceitt is developing an innovative speech recognition technology called Talkitt. In future, it translates non-standard speech patterns into clear speech in real time, enabling people with speech impairments to communicate spontaneously and naturally using their own voices. The solution is language-independent and can be easily integrated into existing operating systems and devices allowing speech recognition truly accessible to everyone.

You started in 2012, what happened since then?

Danny: A lot! Currently we are conducting Beta testing on dozens of potential users that show very promising results, planning to do pilot testing with Hospitals, e.g. UHealth and BCH. We will release the first product in the mid-2017. It was not an easy journey. But we were also extremely lucky to get tremendous positive feedback and could secure the necessary funding to develop such a demanding technology. To date we have raised more than $2.5M — most recently we won a grant from the Bird Foundation and a grant of 50,000 Euro from H2020 SME Instrument, Phase 1.

You have won more than $2.5; in grants and competitions without giving up much equity — much more than many other startups get from investors after years of hard work. What is your magic recipe?

Danny: We won $2M in grants but also gave up equity for $500K of Angel investments. This is no magic; it is a deliberate strategy. Developing a solution for people with disabilities is the most amazing and rewarding challenge — being able to dramatically improve and impact the lives of millions while building a very profitable business while developing cutting edge technologies. However, many investors don’t want to invest in what they see as a “Niche market”. Because of that from Day #1 on I knew we had to be creative in fundraising and put the effort more on grants\competitions were we have an advantage telling a powerful and emotional story versus private investors where we have a disadvantage of a niche market.

“We won $2M in grants but also gave up equity for $500K of Angel investments. This is no magic; it is a deliberate strategy.”

Just a few tips for fellow entrepreneurs that consider applying for grants: How long does it usually take to apply for grants?

Danny: It varies. Some are just simple web forms that takes an hour and some are long applications and processes that take’s week of work and the process make take up to a year! This is why you need to choose the “lowest hanging fruits”, where you effort is most likely to be fruitful and remember that with grants the processes are very long so make sure you have enough run rate.

Is there a complete list of competitions and grants other founders could check out?

Danny: Unfortunately, there isn’t! It also all depends on the area you are active in.

Israel is said to be the Startup Nation and many interesting digital health startups emerge from your small country. At VoiceItt, many of your investors have Israeli roots too. It looks like there is a special glue that hold together Israeli founders?

Danny: The Startup Nation has very good reputation of success and it helps getting funding from investors overseas. In our case, some investors are personally connected to the mission because they or one of their family members have speech disabilities.

You also launched your business for personal reasons?

Danny: Yes, when my grandmother had a stroke and lost her voice, it made me realize how hard it is for a person to lose this basic ability to communicate. Our app Talkitt will connect people, who have speech disabilities to the ever more voice-enabled world.
I am sure, speech recognition is going to be dominant in our life. This is how we are going to communicate not only among ourselves but with machines, computers, cars, smart homes and this is why all major companies invest in it — be it Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, IBM or Google. However, none of those companies develop a solution for people with speech disabilities.

2017 just started, what are you up to?

Danny: In 2016 we finally started Beta Testing which helps our R&D to focus on improving the technology in real-life conditions and getting the application closer to release. In 2017, we will continue pilot tests with leading hospitals to launch Talkitt worldwide — and at a very high success rate. In the last years we worked really hard to develop a product that is suitable for any kind of speech impairment. Nothing is more frustrating for people with speech issues than crushing their hopes of finally being able to communicate using their own voice by delivering a mobile app that is not tested enough. Pilot testing in Barcelona, the UK, The USA and of course your tech development in Israel. In 2016, you also attended Mobile World Congress as prize from MEDICA App COMPETITION and at Mobile World Congress you won tickets for TechCrunch Disrupt New York. Sounds like you travel a lot.

How do you cope with “living on the fast lane” all the time?

Danny: I don’t even have time to look back on how many miles I and the team travelled in 2016 — but it has been A LOT! The tough thing is not so much the traveling but the Jet-leg when traveling over the ocean.

It is said that 9 out of 10 startups struggle and die. You fought this cycle successfully so far. What advice can you give other founders that are active globally like you?

“Focus on the product development, be creative in fund sources.”

Danny, thanks for the interview and good luck in 2017!

Facts & Figures from The 6th mHealth Developer Economics Report

A few weeks ago, the sixth edition of the largest global study on mHealth app has been published by research2guidance, one of the community partners of FTR4H. Its Managing Director, Ralf-Gordon Jahns, is also member of the jury of #5MAC16. In this years report, more than 2,600 mHealth app developers, healthcare professionals shared their experiences and views on the market. Here their most important findings:

  • The mHealth app market is getting crowded: Almost 100,000 mHealth apps have been added since the beginning of last year, amounting to 259,000 mHealth apps currently available on major app stores (including multi-platform apps and smaller platforms). In addition, 13,000 mHealth publishers entered the market since the beginning of 2015, totaling 58,000.

“Growth rates of mHealth app store downloads are estimated to be only +7% in 2016 after +35% from the previous year, reaching a total of 3.2B in 2016.”

  • Multi-platform publishing is the norm: Or more precisely, publishing on iOS and Android has become normal. 75% of today’s mHealth publishers develop for both platforms. Other platforms still don’t play a major role.
  • mHealth publishers are becoming connected: Unlike the previous years, publishers now use APIs to connect their apps to third party apps, sensors or data aggregators. Apple HealthKit is by far the most commonly used API. 58% of publisher now use APIs, compared to 42% from the previous year.
  • mHealth app publishers are becoming more experienced with developing: Developing an app involves using tools to develop, test, market and monitor performance. 72% of mHealth app publishers have used, for example, analytics, testing, storage or cross platform tools.
  • mHealth companies are getting smaller again and are losing their altruistic motive: Last year saw a wave of new market players, which are the “Garage” type of start-ups with 1–2 founders. The share of this category increased from 8% to 13% in the last year. Perhaps with this wave of new entrants, the altruistic ambition of “we do this to help others” is still prominent and unique to the mHealth market, but it gave way to “we do this to make money” as number one motivation.
  • It is still not a money printing business for all but a few exceptions: 78% of mHealth app publishers report to have made less than US$100,000 from their entire mHealth app portfolio business. 60% make less than US$1,000 per month / US$10,000 per year. Traditional app store revenue sources like IAP1, paid app download or IAA2 are the main income source for only 4- 10% of today’s mHealth app publishers. Rather, they license technology (15%), and even offer third party development services (14%).

“US$10 seems to be the threshold for which a patient is willing to pay out-of-pocket for mHealth app services: There is a strong market belief that patients/app users would spent no more than US$10 (or US$9.90) on, for example, a monthly subscription for a health chat, a one-time download of a diet plan or one-time expert feedback. Thresholds vary between service categories but US$10 is the most common.”

  • Health insurance companies (HIC) are expected to become a key player in the market but are currently failing to step into their expected role: The majority (85%) of companies in the market assume that patients would be willing to share their health data with HICs in return for a cheaper plan, health recommendations or research purposes. Only 17% of mHealth practitioners rate the app portfolio of health insurance companies to be above average in quality.
  • The mHealth app market is a growth market: The revenues coming from mHealth app related services will grow by 15% (CAGR) to reach US$31B in 2020. 551M users will by then actively (at least once a month) make use of an mHealth app.
  • Integration of mHealth apps into the healthcare system will slowly evolve over the next five years: mHealth practioners foresee that app stores will be the main distribution channel for mHealth apps in the next years. The importance of other channels as an indication for the degree to which doctors, hospital and pharmacies are expected to integrate into the system, has declined again since the last study. It will remain a consumer and patient driven market for the foreseeable future. Business potential will continue to grow.

“Within the patient journey, follow-up monitoring will be the most influenced phase by mHealth apps: In general, the impact apps will have on the patient journey from seeking information, receiving diagnosis and treatment as well as prevention is rated high. The highest impact is seen on providing follow-up advice and coaching after the initial doctor’s visit.”

  • Reducing hospital readmission rates and non-adherence to treatment costs remained as the most important cost levers for mHealth apps to pull on over the next five years: Similar to last year’s study results, more than 60% of market players believe that the greatest cost saving benefit to come from mHealth apps will be noted in reducing hospital costs. This will be due to decreasing hospital readmission rates and length of stay, as well as assisting with patient compliance to medication plans. The perceived future impact that mHealth apps will have on reducing medical trial costs have dropped by -4pp.

Download the complete report here.

  • 1
  • 2