More Updates: 3rd HL7 Asia Symposium 2015

Ken Toyoda, Chair, Organization Committee, HL7 Asia wrote an article on the 3rd HL7 Asia Symposium for the May 2015 issue of HL7 International News and I thought I’ll share it here with you folks.¬†The link for to newsletter is¬†http://www.hl7.org/documentcenter/public_temp_5AD8BBE2-1C23-BA17-0C35176DC2A1D167/newsletters/HL7_NEWS_20150505.pdf

In addition to a nice photo of the Singapore Delegation, the article also include details pertaining to the inaugural HL7 Asia Executive Council.

More importantly, it was mentioned in the article as well as in my previous post, that the 4th HL7 Asia Symposium will be held in Taiwan so please stay tune for more information!

Updates: Smart Health coLAB

Time for an update on the Smart Health coLAB organised by Padang & Co.

For starters, I think it is important to acknowledge the work put in by the folks at Padang & Co, the event was fantastic in several aspects, be it logistical, operational or even content-wise, it was simply a great event!!!

The event is actually comprised of four ‘sub-events’;

  • Smart Health Futures Workshop on¬†Monday (7 to 9 pm), 11 May 2015
  • Data and Tech Workshop on¬†Tuesday on Tuesday (7 to 9 pm), 12 May 2015
  • Smart Health Services Workshop on¬†Thursday (7 to 9 pm), 14 May 2015
  • Networking Night on Friday (7 to 9 pm), 15 May 2015
  • Smart Health Hack on¬†Saturday (9 am ‚Äď 7.30 pm), 16 May 2015

Unfortunately, I did not attend all the sessions above (work caught up), just the workshop on Thursday, where¬†I delivered¬†a¬†topic titled ‚ÄúHealth Systems & Apps Design” on Thursday (although the¬†content included the theme for both the Smart Health Futures Workshop as well as Data and Health Workshop) as well as Saturday where I served as a mentor during the Hackaton.

As I understand, the talk was well received, even among attendees who are already holding high level positions in the Health Informatics industry (which is encouraging). Several people working in associated industry (e.g. medical devices, health and healthcare) approached me to find out more about Health Informatics (as well as Digital Health), which I see as an excellent indicator that my advocacy work should continue (o wish me luck).

What was really interesting, was the Hackaton itself on Saturday. I was extremely impressed by the diversity of the participants coming together to solved the Hackaton’s challenges, there were students, people from finance, technical folks,¬†coders, data scientists, PhDs from other industry (some working in adjacent industry, some not), health and healthcare professionals (there was a radiologist) – simply amazing and I felt extremely privileged to be serving as a mentor to them, sharing my experience and expertise (be it¬†Technical, Health, Healthcare, Health Informatics, Technology, Behavior Economics, Strategy or even Marketing).

Due to the diversity of the people involved, the various teams were able to come up with solutions that carries no “industry baggage” with them, this brings new perspectives towards how one might go about solving challenges in Chronic Diseases – which is priceless. More importantly, these people are¬†driven / motivated¬†and this alone is enough to make a difference to any industry.

Of course, the limiting factor was time (there are only so much things one can do in a day) but I feel that such Hackatons should be held more frequently as it is an excellent way to crowdsource innovation.

I look forward to the next health relath Hackaton by Padang & Co.

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Ramblings: SmartHealth coLAB by UP Singapore

I want to share with you folks about the Smart Health coLAB organised by padang&co. The SmartHealth coLAB is essentially a series of short workshops (on relevant topics) followed by a full day of Hackaton, the official description (copied from their web portal) describes it as;

In a Smart Nation, we drive the management of healthy lifestyles and its integration with the healthcare system through the smart use of data and new technologies, both hardware and software.

Utilising Internet of Things and wearables makes self-management of health easier and cheaper, and paves the way for a connected health platform for consumers, healthcare professionals and providers.

We‚Äôre creating a whole week of health-related activities from 11 to 16 May to bring the community together to ‚Äėplay‚Äô with technology and data, create new use cases and demonstrate how the role of ‚ÄúSmart Health‚ÄĚ addresses changes in demographics and lifestyles, particularly in areas of rising concern such as obesity and chronic diseases, care for our seniors, etc.

If you noticed, the official¬†blurb uses health and healthcare interchangeably, that is one of the sub-topic that I am aim to address (and correct) as an invited speaker for the workshop scheduled on the¬†14 May 2015, Thursday. My topic (Titled “Health Systems & Apps Design“)¬†aims to¬†raise the¬†knowledge level on¬†Health and Healthcare, interoperability and persona based UX design. I will also be serving as a Mentor for the Hackaton scheduled on the 16 May 2015 (Saturday), we will see how that one goes.

If you are interested in the series of workshops and the hackaton under Smart Health coLAB, check the out at their official web portal.

Congress takes aim at FDA’s regulatory powers

Some interesting news taken from mHealthNews.com;

Legislators are once again seeking to limit what medical software and apps the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be able to regulate.

Sens. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have re-introduced the Medical Electronic Data Technology for Consumers’ Health (MEDTECH) Act. The bill was originally introduced last year, surfaced again this past January, then appeared in Congress this week in what its sponsors say is a more slimmed down version.

“We’ve worked to tighten the definitions for the different types of medical software that would be excluded from regulation based on feedback we’ve received from stakeholders and the FDA,” an assistant to Hatch toldPolitico. “We also clarify the regulation of products with multiple functionality that have some components that would be regulated and others that would not.”

Federal agencies like the FDA have long sought to separate mHealth technology that should be regulated with the growing collection of software and apps that don’t affect clinical outcomes, and should therefore be left alone. And while the FDA has published guidance on what it would and would not regulate, Congress is seeking to make sure those guidelines are codified.

Hatch and Bennett say their bill “limits and clarifies the FDA‚Äôs role regarding regulation of administrative and financial software, wellness and lifestyle products, certain aspects of electronic health records and software that aids health care providers in developing treatment recommendations for their patients.”

“As the rate of innovation rapidly increases in the medical technology field, this bill provides greater clarity to ensure that businesses understand the rules of the road and safe and effective products reach consumers as soon as possible,” the senators said in a press release.

Bradley Merrill Thompson, an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Epstein Becker Green and spokesman for the CDS Coalition, said the new bill “moves the ball forward” in that it clarifies what has once been a long and complicated bill. But he said the new bill is still “very complicated and not nearly as much fun to read.”

“You have to read it carefully to understand whether we‚Äôre talking about something that is regulated or something that is not regulated,” he told mHealth News.

“I think the bill does a nice job of striking the balance where software that analyzes medical information, to help a doctor, but presents the information in a way that does not force the doctor to rely on the software, would be unregulated by FDA,” Thompson concluded.¬† “That‚Äôs the right approach.”

Among the software singled out for exclusion from FDA regulation are solutions that target maintenance of financial records, appointment schedules, business analytics and communication, information about patient populations and laboratory workflow processes and wellness.

The bill also answers the FDA’s request to continue regulation software used in the manufacture and transfusion of blood and blood components, as well as software that deals with medical image data.

Accessories would be regulated based on their independent level of risk, POLITICO reported, and the bill would change the status of some currently regulated Class II and Class III software.

‚ÄúAs the possibilities for medical technology continue to defy expectations, we must provide innovators with clarity about the regulatory rules of the road,‚ÄĚ Hatch said in the press release. ‚ÄúThe MEDTECH Act is a commonsense approach to give medical software pioneers the certainty they need to continue developing new technology that will benefit both health-care professionals and consumers alike.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúMedical innovation is helping our health care providers better take care of patients, and it‚Äôs putting tools into the hands of families to help them manage their own health,‚ÄĚ Bennet added in the release. ‚ÄúSome tools, whether a calorie counter or an activity tracker to monitor your exercise routines, are low risk and don‚Äôt require in-depth oversight by the government. Our bill provides certainty for innovators in the life sciences and the FDA by clarifying which devices and software should be monitored to keep consumers safe.‚ÄĚ