/Tag: healthcare

Dementia – Developments In Care

 

New developments in Healthtech are happening all the time. Here is one which has hit the news headlines recently that really sounds very interesting.

 

Dementia Research

Researchers at a Japanese University have developed an AI system that can help to diagnose dementia.

The system that they have devised is able to detect the very early signs, much earlier than traditional methods. This means that patients can be made aware of potential problems very early on. Giving them more time to take  full advantage of treatment options, and so have a better long term outcome.

 

Currently, diagnosing dementia can be time consuming, expensive and distressing for patients. Traditional scans are used in conjunction with cognitive function tests, to check the function of the brain.

A global ageing population means that now more people are developing dementia, so there is a real need for quick, effective diagnosis that can lead to an earlier intervention.

New Developments

A group of researchers who are based at Osaka University and The NARA Institute of Science and Technology have discovered that it is indeed possible to detect the very early signs of dementia . And that  it is possible to do this with AI, quickly, effectively and in a non invasive manner. This helps patients save time, money and more importantly have a much less stressful experience.

 

This  technique uses machine learning in such a way that it is possible to study the way that elderly people speak when answering simple questions from a computer avatar.

The AI system is able to create a dialogue with elderly patients. It then records  their speech patterns, language, and faces. From this information it is then able to complete an evaluation from analyzing gaze, response times,  intonation, and language used.

After just six questions, the AI system was able to identify which patients in a control group did suffer from dementia, with a success rate of over 90%.

 

Future Potential

The senior research author Takashi Kudo said, “If this technology is further developed, it will become possible to know whether or not an elderly individual is in the early stages of dementia through conversations with computer avatars at home on a daily basis. It will encourage them to seek medical help, leading to early diagnosis.”

 

One of the main advantages here, is that not only is the success rate of the test already high, with a potential for early and accurate diagnosis,  it can be a test which is very easily conducted at home. There is no need to visit any medical center, or Doctors office. This convenience can only be a positive thing – often travelling  can be a factor in determining whether an elderly patient feels well or confident enough to undergo traditional methods of testing.

 

This is an excellent example of how advances in the health tech industry mean  that healthcare is now becoming much more accessible. And more importantly, here is a major improvement in diagnosis and treatments for a whole range of issues. Patient care with regards to dementia is one of these areas which can benefit hugely.

 

By |2018-10-03T22:18:14+01:00Oktober 3rd, 2018|AI in news, News|0 Comments

Wearables – Friend or Foe?

Wearables – Friend or Foe??

Earlier this week, Apple launched the latest version of the Apple watch.

 This is one of the first mainstream devices available to the public that can carry out ECG tests. Obviously there is the ability to detect heart conditions such as arrhythmic beating and low heart rates.

This exciting development is a real indication of our need and demand for wearable devices such as this. The smart health watches have really increased in popularity over a very short space of time.

We are fast becoming a worldwide community for whom healthcare, and taking the responsibility for our own health is now the norm. The days where generations before us were reliant on the family doctor are becoming more distant, as we now plug into our devices and search for our health solutions online.

 

But Could There Be A Problem??

This all sounds extremely positive. However, the chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Commission on The Future of Surgery has warned us of potential problems with our technological age.

 

Richard Kerr believes that the influx of health information to patients does have the potential to create problems.

He warns that Doctors and Hospitals will see more patients who may be both “confused and scared” about health information that they have accessed.  Kerr states that “..the NHS will need to be ready to handle an influx of patients with potentially valid concerns about their risk of falling ill in the future.” – as reported in Engineering and Technology.

 

Essentially this will lead to the “worried well” to be concerned about potential medical issues. Issues that they may not experience for many years.  While prevention is both key and the best solution, we do need to draw a balance between unnecessarily worrying about future possibilities.

 

So this is essentially, where the technology side of the health industry, and the human side of the industry need to meet!  Wearable technology is a fantastic development in our health care.  We do need to be very careful as to how this technology is used or misused. And it is an issue that Aimedis takes very seriously.

 

There is always worry about the health industry becoming impersonal. An institution fueled by AI robots with no compassion or concern  for the people who use it.

But ask any medical student studying to become a doctor . Yes it’s factual and sometimes detached. But a lot of study time is spent on how to communicate with patients, how to care and truly make a patient feel at ease.

 

At the end of the day – we need to ensure there is a balance between the technology, and the human!

The technology is enhanced by the human touch.  Just as the doctors’ work and research is undoubtedly enhanced by the available technology.

 

It’s an amazing time to be in the healthtech industry, and a challenging time as well.

By |2018-09-22T21:33:27+01:00September 22nd, 2018|General, News|0 Comments

Aerosols – Are They Back for Good

Aerosols – Are They Back for Good?

Let’s face it – aerosols have got quite a bad reputation in our culture at the moment.

After their use in abundance during the ‘80’s (remember that hair!), to their bad publicity in the 90’s and their blame in the destruction of the ozone layer with the negative impact on the environment.  It really would take something pretty spectacular to redeem the poor aerosols reputation.

Well, it looks like science may have found just the solution!

 

A team of researchers from MIT have found a use for aerosols which is not only extremely useful, but beneficial for both our health and the environment.

They have managed to develop a spray which contains nanobots.  These are essentially tiny sensors which can be used for a whole range of tasks – even diagnosing health issues.  Their research was published here in Nature Nanotechnology.

 

So how does it work?

Each sensor in the spray contains two parts.

The first part is a tiny molecule called a colloid, which can remain in liquid or air indefinitely.

The second part is a complex circuit, which contains a chemical detector, and can also produce its own power needed to collect data.

Researchers have managed to graft these two parts together and have converted them into a spray form, which we know as an aerosol.

 

So what does this mean in our day to day life?

Well, it is possible for the engineers to spray the aerosol down a pipeline if they were looking for a breach on the pipelines system for example a crack or hole in the pipe. They can then use the data from the aerosol to exactly pinpoint where there is a problem, such as an encounter with a chemical which should not be there which would indicate where there is a potential breach in the pipe.

This process would have otherwise required a manual inspection of the exterior of the pipe which could be  time consuming, labor intensive, costly and not to mention physically difficult.

But what does this mean for health?

The MIT team noted that this exact same technology could be used to diagnose health issues. For example – The nanobots could travel along a patient’s digestive tract gathering data, and relaying it to a medical professional. The potential here is that the nanobots would be able to flag up a problem or a potential problem helping to diagnose the patient in the least invasive way possible.

 

Does this sound like the stuff of dreams?

Well yes it does! But don’t forget that not so long ago, wearable devices such as trackers that we now use daily to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and even sleep patterns were once seen as impossible technological devices, reserved for Hollywood films and science fiction.

 

At the end of the day, health care and technology are both advancing together at a phenomenal rate. At Aimedis, part of our focus is on harnessing these technologies, and using the technology available through wearable devices to improve patient monitoring and care.

Aerosol nanobots may be here and a part of your routine health care diagnostics sooner than you think!

 

By |2018-09-12T22:28:46+01:00September 12th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Why China is the next big market for AI in Healthcare

Many developed nations had witnessed an advancement in medicine and technology going hand in hand. New medical discoveries were made possible with the help of technology, and technology developed as the demands for healthcare increased. This has helped them in developing a robust healthcare system, something that is adopted by many developing countries.

However, there are countries like China that have been practising medicine for centuries, and the technology is just catching up. The inherent advantage of this is that technology is already much ahead of the healthcare, and tried and tested models in the West can be replicated with ease.

This is what is happening in China, at least in the major cities. That said, the immense size of China leaves much to be desired when it comes to healthcare.

China, the hidden dragon

A few decades back, China was not on any major economic map. The only notable export was hard-working labour that helped build the infrastructure in many other countries, including the USA. Today, it is the major manufacturing hub from nails to iPhones. Almost every product has ‘Made in China’ embossed on it. Once known for cheap labour, it is now known for an advanced technological hub for manufacturing for most of the Fortune 500 companies.

With the world’s largest population spread over 9.6 B sq km, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The population if 1.4 B is not spread evenly though, with cities housing a much larger population than the villages. Naturally, the development is not uniform, With cities like Shanghai and Beijing boasting about world-class infrastructure.

As a result, tertiary care hospitals are concentrated in the cities.

Healthcare in China

China spent about $0.85 trillion in 2016 on healthcare. China has a dual system of healthcare – Western, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is practised hand in hand across the country. About 40% of all health care delivered in China is TCM, and the government is promoting it even more to ease the burden on hospitals delivering Western medicine.

In China, almost everyone is insured by subscribing to a state-run insurance. However, they also pay out of their pockets to see a doctor. The hospitals are usually busy, and a patient does not get more than an average of 4-5 minutes in a consulting room.

When it comes to adoption of technology, more and more Chinese people are opting for Telemedicine these days. This is easier than say, in the USA, because reimbursement is not a hurdle. Most people pay out of their pockets anyway, so they try and get the best doctors online.

The penetration of IoT devices and Healthtech is low, despite a massive penetration of mobile devices. This poses an interesting opportunity. However, health tracking could take some time and incentive for a wider adoption to happen.

The tax reforms in China, most notably the ‘two invoice system’ is helping the Pharmaceutical companies with their distributions. In this, only two tax invoices can be issued – one by the manufacturer to a distributor, and second by the distributor to the hospital/pharmacy. Under this system, only one commissioned distributor is allowed in the procurement chain. This is reducing the pain points in the supply chain, avoiding delays.

The data norms in China are more relaxed. However, a structure is being put in place to manage the patient’s data in a better way. This poses a unique opportunity, as the structure is leaning towards being more open, allowing the data to be interoperable.

 Role of Aimedis in China

Due to our offerings, Chinese patients can consult doctors beyond their borders, for a nominal fee. The data generated is immense, so managing it is a challenge. Thankfully, with the help of AI and Blockchain, this data can be used meaningfully, benefiting all the stakeholders. People of the Republic will have more options to choose from, the Pharmaceutical and Insurance companies will have an access to concise data, and patients will have an option to share their own data if they want to, and earn some tokens in the process.

Also, read Why Japan, the Tech giant, still needs to improve Health Tech

By |2018-07-10T09:30:30+01:00Juli 10th, 2018|Allgemein|0 Comments

How Aimedis is adding value to the Trillion Dollar Healthcare Industry

In the previous article, you saw the various pain points that are impeding the global healthcare industry from functioning optimally. Doctors Michael and Ben, had this in mind when they decided to get the Aimedis team together. With experts and advisors from healthcare technology and blockchain, Aimedis conceptualised the dream of integrating the healthcare system globally.

Role of AI in the Global healthcare industry

Due to its sheer size and spread, it is very difficult to integrate the healthcare industry under one roof. There are too many variables. However, with a technologically aware patient and a forward-looking Hospital chain, the interactions become a bit easier.

Add to this equation the most organised members – pharmaceuticals and insurance, and suddenly, the situation is a lot less chaotic. Using AI and deep learning, Aimedis can add immense value to each of the stakeholders – patients, doctors, hospitals, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance companies (payers), and caregivers.

Let us have a look.

For the patient

As discussed in the earlier article, the pain points for a patient are a lack of access to credible information, delay in interacting with a doctor, and a lack of support group. In addition, there is little to no control over the data generated throughout the patient’s journey through the healthcare system.

Aimedis has solutions for this and much more! Patients can get credible information about their condition through a meticulously curated database collated from credible publications. One can e-visit a doctor through our platform using telemedicine. If one wishes to undergo a medical/surgical treatment abroad, we can help you do that using our chain of partner hospitals.

This covers the physical aspect of an illness. However, using our platform, one can interact with patients who are suffering from a similar illness and form a support group. A patient can interact with others under complete anonymity. And if he so chooses, he can share his data with Pharmaceutical companies that will lead to an advancement of research, and he can earn some tokens by doing so.

For the doctor

It is tough to see all the data pertaining to the health of the patient at one place. There are numerous apps that are not standardised. In addition, he can only see a limited set of patients in the hospital.

Luckily, using our platform, the doctor can access all the information at one place. He can also access medical history of the patient without going through tonnes of paperwork. And if he chooses to, he can consult with the patient remotely, saving his time for other patients. He can also see international patients using our remote consulting feature.

For the Pharma companies

Recruiting patients for a trial is an onerous task. It takes a lot of time doing so, delaying the trial by months. In addition, there is no accurate capture of the drugs administered and the results due to a limited follow-up.

Aimedis, using the blockchain, can make this information available to the pharma companies. This ensures that the overall lead time is reduced and new medicines become available to the patients sooner.

Similarly, for the insurance companies,

Aimedis makes the data available to reduce frauds, saving resources tracking the claims. This also reduces the time for reimbursement and it is a win-win for both the patient and the payer.

Aimedis is making it possible

We are living in interesting times when smart medicine is not a distant future but an actual reality. We are already using a lot of gadgets – fitness trackers, smart scales, sleep trackers, nutrition trackers, apps tracking our daily activities. Aimedis’ vision of integrating all of it and making sense of the data for the betterment of medicine is already becoming a reality.

Also, read AI in Healthcare: Bedside robots could soon be a reality in hospitals in the UK

By |2018-06-28T19:23:05+01:00Juni 28th, 2018|Allgemein|0 Comments