The Friday telehealth roundup

Is it telehealth? Telemedicine? Whatever… Healthcare IT News went to the National eHealth Collaborative’s Technology Crossroads Conference in Washington, DC this past Tuesday and reports that telehealth–in their definition also including telemedicine–will be doubling its use in the next few years. According to ATA CEO Jon Linkous, remote monitoring is used by 200,000 patients nationwide, used to monitor one million cardiac patients a year and provided 400,000 virtual visits this year to mental health patients via Skype. The numbers may be a bit confusing but overall it’s good news. Telehealth poised to take center stage

AFrame Digital gains FDA 510(k) Class II clearance… The wristwatch-based fall detector/PERS/physiologic Mobile Care Monitor, used primarily in senior communities, has had Class 1 clearance since 2009 but the higher level of clearance standardizes integration with other external Class II devices such as blood glucose and blood pressure monitors. Release

Speaking of wrists….Basis Science after two years of development officially launched its consumer-targeted wrist-worn fitness and health tracker. The $199 price includes an optical blood flow monitor, accelerometer, temperature sensor and perspiration (!). This then is integrated into a platform monitoring activity, sleep and specific metrics on heart rate, etc. The device is sold direct on their website for delivery in December. Unfortunately the website in Editor Donna’s estimation suffers from ‘too cuteness’ which makes information hard to get, and at that price point is late for holiday sales. But it is sleek. Perhaps they can consult with AFrame on a redesign? Mobihealthnews

Peel and stick iPhone thermometer cleared, but try to find it… Beijing-based Raiing was granted FDA 510(k) clearance for their Wireless Thermometer that continuously transmits body temperature readings to a companion iPhone app, Vitals Monitor. The app can alert users when the thermometer hits a preset temperature and information is stored for 72 hours. While the app is free in the AppStore, the device can’t yet be found for sale, even on the Raiing website. Mobihealthnews

But why wear any of this if you can get five vital signs in 10 seconds?… Scanadu’s SCOUT [TA 23 Oct], is being touted as a Star Trek-type ‘tricorder’, to which Bones would say, ‘not quite, Jim’–but it is an entrant in the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize. It registers pulse transit time (for blood pressure monitoring), heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability and blood oxygenation with a 10 second hold to your temple. It then transmits to a smartphone app that tracks them over time. It will run you about $150–but you’ll have to wait for next Christmas. According to WIRED, it will link to other devices dubbed ScanaFlo and ScanaFlu, prices TBD. Also IEEE Spectrum¬†(hat tip to reader Toni Bunting)¬†which points out that the SCOUT is not for diagnosis but seeking users among the Quantified Selfers (is that The Gimlet Eye shrieking?)