AUSTIN, Texas – Xcertia, an industry and government collaborative that supports the development of guidelines around safe and effective mobile health applications, has added four new directors and two ex officio members to its board of directors. The new full members of the Xcertia board of directors are: Murray Aitken, executive director IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science; Ann Mond Johnson, CEO American Telemedicine Association; Dr. William Kassler, deputy chief health officer, IBM Watson Health; and Karen Dunn Lopez, Alliance for Nursing Informatics. “Working in collaboration with Xcertia helps to ensure that virtual care apps are developed and implemented within a consistent framework to the benefit of consumers, providers and technology developers alike,” said Johnson in a statement. The ex officio members are: Bakul Patel, associate director for digital health, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Dr. Andrew Gettinger, chief clinical officer, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “Bakul and Andrew will be key voices to influence and support how Xcertia evolves its mHealth guidelines,” said David Vinson, founding director and vice chairman of Xcertia, in a statement. “We believe it’s a significant step forward for the market when industry and government join forces to present a unified voice and positively affect the trajectory of the mobile health app market.” The new board members are now engaged in updating the draft guidelines released in December 2017.
SAN DIEGO – Technology and health companies Arm, ForgeRock, Philips and Qualcomm Life, along with innovative healthcare startups Sparsa and US TrustedCare, have launched a collaborative effort focused on enhancing data from medical devices to enable more trustworthy data sourcing and consented patient-information sharing.
OpenMedReady is a framework designed to complement existing standards in remote clinical care by addressing five critical areas in remote patient monitoring: patient identity, device identity, data integrity, patient privacy and consent.
As a part of the framework, OpenMedReady will use capabilities such as fingerprint biometrics, available in many smartphones, with connected medical sensors to add patient identity into the data stream. The framework also includes device identity, which ensures that clinicians are aware of the actual device from which a reading was taken, helping to connect patient to device for data transparency and clarity. The framework is designed to be readily implementable by telehealth service providers and medical device vendors for improved clinical decision-making.
“Historically, clinicians have been reluctant to use remote patient data for clinical decision-making due in part to the concerns regarding identity management, consent and data integrity,” said Dr. James Mault, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Qualcomm Life, in a statement. “OpenMedReady combines connected sensors with modern smartphone capabilities to provide doctors a cryptographic log of a patient’s identity, their device’s identity, and their consent, giving care teams the confidence they need to treat patients based on data acquired remotely.”
WASHINGTON – A group of community leaders, rural advocates and innovators have launched Connect Americans Now, an alliance that will work with the Federal Communications Commission and other policymakers to ensure that there is sufficient unlicensed low-band spectrum in every market in the country to enable broadband connectivity, which could boost access to telehealth in rural areas.
“All Americans—regardless of where they live—deserve access to high-speed Internet,” said Richard Cullen, executive director of Connect Americans Now, in a statement. “Without a broadband connection, millions of students struggle to keep up with their assignments, Americans in rural areas are unable to fully utilize telemedicine, farmers are denied the promise of precision agriculture and businesses are unable to tap into the world of online commerce.”
CAN’s founding partners include Microsoft, ACT: The App Association, and the National Rural Education Association.
The plan endorsed by CAN will accelerate the deployment and reduce the cost of high-speed Internet service for 23.4 million rural Americans by taking advantage of unused bandwidth below the 700 MHz frequency range, also known as television white spaces, made available on an unlicensed basis. Wireless signals in this range can travel over hills and through buildings and trees.
Underserved patients and rural hospitals pay up to three times more for broadband than those in urban areas, according to CAN.
“Broadband allows patients, regardless of where they live, to access specialists and benefit from advanced monitoring services that would normally require hours of travel for patients or their providers,” said Cullen.
ARLINGTON, Va., and BOSTON – The Personal Connected Health Alliance and the Digital Therapeutics Alliance have joined forces to further establish the field of digital therapeutics.
The partnership will combine the infrastructure, reach and resources of PCHAlliance and the expertise, thought leadership and focus of DTA.
“Digital therapeutics is an emerging trend, based on the idea that technology can improve an individual’s health as much as a drug can, as well as increase the efficacy of drug therapies,” said Patty Mechael, executive vice president of the PCHAlliance, in a statement. “We are pleased to partner with the Digital Therapeutics Alliance to combine our resources to advance the field, galvanize key stakeholders, focus on developing standards of quality, and work toward improving health outcomes through this newly developing sub-domain of personal connected health.”
The term “digital therapeutics” refers to digital technology or software to treat a medical condition, used alone and in combination with conventional drug therapies. Digital therapeutics include mobile apps, wearable sensors, health monitoring devices or software that can change an individual’s behavior to achieve positive clinical outcomes and better control the cost of care.
The PCHAlliance has also launched a new Digital Therapeutics Task Force, which will draw on DTA’s subject matter expertise to focus on an initial set of high priority projects for both organizations. The task force will be open to PCHAlliance member companies, as well as allied associations and non-corporate thought leaders by invitation only.
“Digital therapeutics companies are developing clinically validated tools that are improving value and lowering costs,” said Pierre Leurent, CEO of Voluntis, a PCHAlliance member organization, a founding member of the DTA and the task force’s chairman. “The field is evolving, so there is a need for digital therapeutics companies to come together, to clearly delineate the market, define the benefits and secure regulatory, reimbursement, provider and policy support.”