Mobile health first aid kit, VR for chronic illness, and more shown off at Health 2.0

By Heather Mack
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What does the next generation health consumer look like? If you ask the folks at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, it depends on the technology you give them to make healthy choices.
 
In a session at focused on the consumerization and disruption of traditional care models, we heard from several providers, startups and established medical device makers on the new digital health tools they are equipping consumers with.
 
Clayton Lewis shared the launch of the California edition of his health and wellness consumer program, Arivale. The company offers a subscription-based health coaching package that consists of a testing kit to collect genetic information, a companion app and a personalized coach to guide you through the diet and lifestyle goals and changes.
 
“People don’t just wake up and want to be well,” Lewis said. “And data paralyzes people. So, we want to give them the feedback to do something with it.”
 
Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research for Cedars-Sinai Health System and a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA, shared his work with a virtual reality headset that aims to provide soothing, peaceful images and interactions for people in the hospital. Spiegel also directs Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education, an academic laboratory that investigates how digital health technologies can strengthen the patient-doctor bond, improve outcomes and yes, even save money. Spiegel demonstrated the headset (made by Samsung) with a video featuring two chronically ill patients (not actors) who were dealing with the difficulty of being in a hospital room, as well as chronic pain.
 
“Make no mistake about it; this is not a place of healing. This is not a place of rest,” said Spiegel, who said Cedars-Sinai is about to start a large randomized trial with the technology. “This is a biopsychosocial jail cell.”
 
Spiegel, who also serves as a medical consultant for the upcoming CBS show Pure Genius, showed the video in which the patients reported less pain and more relaxation. “I almost forgot I was here,” said a man with advanced sickle cell disease.
 
Jorgen Behrens, senior vice president of Personal Health Solutions at Philips, demonstrated the latest offering from his company. , a new app-based behavior change program for adults with lifestyle-induced risk factors for cardiovascular disease, draws on Philips’ suite of connected devices including the health watch, upper arm blood pressure monitor, wrist blood pressure monitor and body analysis scale. The company recently launched a study of the program in the US, although the program will not be available until next year. The devices on their own, however, are currently available.
 
 showed off their Smart Socks, which monitor foot temperature for diabetic neuropathy. The socks work to detect diabetic ulcers and prevent amputations, synching with a companion app and enabling users to easily see the temperature on various parts of the foot, including spots they may not feel. The wearer is alerted of any spikes or dips that could indicate an injury, and the app can also track activity to visualize how it contributes to their foot health. The socks are now available for pre-order at $20 for a six-month supply. 

Menlo Park-based showed off their interactive first aid kit, Gale. Still in development, Gale is a portable console, about the size of a pre-iPod portable stereo, that includes an interactive screen and a bevvy of connected devices. They haven’t nailed down just which brand or version of devices they will ultimately use, but the demonstration included a Kinsa thermometer, connected blood pressure cuff, smart stethoscope, and more to come, such as a handheld ultrasound device. Along with the devices, Gale’s screen aims to provide multiple services including telemedicine portal, interactive guide on how to use devices, educational hub for common conditions, a voice agent to assist and a smart call facilitator (one-button call to family, friends or help). The plan is for Gale to go into rural populations around the country and abroad, where doctors are in short supply and community members could use the kit. 

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