We all know that with good input, you are likely to get better output – common sense I believe, and this principle applies to self monitoring as well, be that wellbeing, fitness or ‘illness’ scenario. One input in these scenarios is devices like blood pressure monitor, weight scale, pedometer, blood glucose monitor etc. The input from these devices can provide the clinician with valuable history and a factor to consider when making clinical decisions. There are other maybe more important benefits like empowerment, motivation, incentive etc, but not a topic for today.
So, that all makes sense I hope, in fact most telehealth trials have a significant element of self monitoring using home devices.
HealthVault has a great way of connecting devices to the platform using HealthVault Connection Centre (HVCC). In the UK, HVCC connects approx. 160 devices and supports many use cases (scenarios). The challenge has been the difficulty of getting these devices connected, could be USB, Bluetooth or even IrDA (remember that?). The issue is not specific to HealthVault, but an industry wide challenge.It needs to be easier, pick-up and use scenario is what we need.
With that in mind, we have been working very closely with A&D past 18 months to understand how we can make the experience much easier, which in turn will increase adoption (after all, we are consumers and used to things ‘just work’) and drive down cost of telehealth. A&D has shown great leadership in self monitoring, and have taken a strategic decision to invest in Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled devices. A fantastic move for the industry and I hope other device manufacturer will follow and innovate further.
The A&D NFC enabled devices work with smartphones which have NFC and uploads data directly to HealthVault. Currently the only supported platform is Android (an app needs to be downloaded from Google Play), but with Windows Phone 8 now supporting NFC, we hope the app will be available on Windows Phone 8 very soon. More information on our coverage of the NFC devices can be found here.
Lastly, I would like to thank the folks at A&D (Geoff, Mike, Frank and David) for their hard work to bring these devices to market. Visionary and make it happen in short timeframe – a combination not easily found!
it’s been a pleasure! (even with my weight printed on their leaflets – it wasn’t a mistake, Frank, was it? )