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SoftPotential
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We only release software that we can be proud of
We only release software that we can be proud of

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Meet QTrobot, the robot that helps children with autism. http://ow.ly/FZIC30lqxx1 Increases the attention and engagement of these children. #autism #helps #robots #wall-e #therapists #QTrobot #friendly #children #behaviour #digitalhealth #technology #innovation
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Britain’s elderly deserve better care and funding http://ow.ly/kBtP30liMxH
Average life expectancy in the UK (although worryingly stalled) is 79.4 years for men and 83.1 years for women and 18 per cent of the population is 65 and older. Even with planned additional funding, sector experts predict a funding gap of between £2.2bn and £2.5bn in 2019-20. Already, Age UK has identified 1.4m older people with unmet social needs. Without more funding and an improved service, these numbers will only grow. #healthcare #care #socialcare #elderly #lifeexpectancy
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Digital health as a complementary therapy http://ow.ly/xWqu30liLJT
For years, digital health has been heralded as the saviour of health services and the answer to patient engagement. Now the conversation is changing from what technology can do, to what it might need a little help with – and that’s offering the human touch. #digitalhealth #humantouch #engagement #conversion
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The healthcare supply chain needs a technology revolution.

Think about the number of items you use in your daily life that are more than 20 years old. Most likely, your car, mobile devices and home appliances are all less than 20 years old. In sharp contrast, many devices used in the medical industry, items that are meant to ensure people’s health and save lives, utilize 20-year-old technology. It’s time to transform the healthcare supply chain.
Compared with other markets, like the high-tech industry, change has been gradual in the medical device field. Technology does not drive the medical device industry, proven therapy does.

Therapy, paired with the requirements of a regulated industry, creates a pace of change that is inconsistent with the technology that exists in their products. The conservative approach to product development and launch constructed by regulating bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration influence the pace of change and new releases to the market. This rigorous approval process is something we all can be thankful for.

Significant cost for recertification and the sheer complexity of both the products and the process has discouraged manufacturers from reevaluating the healthcare supply chain. The Medical Device Industry and the Life Science Diagnostic Industry are like razor and razorblade industries. While you may continue to enhance the razor blades, this does not mean that you need to redesign the razor itself. The same thinking applies to healthcare.

Redesigning existing products or launching new ones are not priorities if they are not needed in the market. Recertification risk, return on new product design investment and patient safety drive the extended product lifecycles to be at 10-15 years as commonplace.

Unfortunately, that is no longer a luxury that can be afforded by the healthcare supply chain.
http://ow.ly/qIlc30l61Dm #SupplyChain #Healthcare #TechnologyRevolution #ElectronicComponents #Modernizing #ConnectedHealth
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Good start, long road ahead for smart tech in skilled nursing facilities.

Voice technology has promise in senior care, but skilled nursing providers and residents need to keep their expectations tempered, one expert says.

When it comes to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, Elizabeth Mynatt, the executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology, has a note of caution.

“I think the Alexa is unproven,” Mynatt told Skilled Nursing News. “But there’s a lot of excitement about it, because it kind of takes away a lot of the complexity of text and computers, and you’re just talking to something. So there’s a lot of folks building what they call skills — essentially apps for things like the Alexa — but we have a long way to go.”

For instance, the New Jewish Home in the New York City area has seen success using Amazon’s Echo devices, rolling out a pilot version of a virtual assistant program for skilled nursing residents at one of its campuses; farther westward, researchers at the University of Illinois are digging into the use of the Echo to explore how seniors use the technology to improve their overall experience with voice assistants.

And Ascension Living, the senior services arm of St. Louis-based health system Ascension, is testing out the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Dot devices in pilot programs aimed at evaluating the feasibility of voice-activated devices in senior housing, SNN’s sister site Senior Housing News reports. The programs were particularly meant to examine the devices in high-acuity settings like assisted living and skilled nursing.

One advantage of voice technology is that the learning curve for seniors is low, according to Erum Khan, the CEO of *Soundmind, which creates conversational artificial intelligence (AI) tools targeted at senior living; Soundmind partnered with the New Jewish Home for for its virtual assistant program.
http://ow.ly/a2nA30l5WMj #SeniorHousing #Healthcare #NursingHome #Aging #Resident #Senior #AssistantProgram
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Singapore disconnects healthcare computers from the Internet after cyberattack.

Singapore has disconnected computers from the Internet at public healthcare centres to prevent cyberattacks of the kind that caused its worst breach of personal data, a government official said on July 24.

Singapore started to cut web access for civil servants in 2016 to guard against cyberattacks, but stopped short of including public healthcare institutions. Officials may still surf the Web using separate personal or agency-issued devices.

In the most recent attack in June, hackers stole particulars of more than 1.5 million patients, including the prime minister's drug prescriptions, in what the government has called “a deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack”.

The government on Monday wrapped up the task of disconnecting staff computers at public healthcare facilities from the Internet, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said.

“We could, and should, have implemented internet surfing separation on public healthcare systems, just as we have done on our public sector systems,” Teo said in a speech at an engineering conference.

“This would have disrupted the cyber kill-chain for the hacker and reduced the surface area exposed to attack. This has now been done.”

He did not say why the measure had not been adopted earlier.

The disconnection will cause “some inconvenience for patients and healthcare staff, as a result of the unavailability of some IT system connections that require the Internet”, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Government officials did not say who might have been behind the attack, and cybersecurity experts said it was too early to identify the infiltrators.

Internet Surfing Separation, or air-gapping, is common in security-related fields in government and business, but not for normal government functions and, according to experts, does not guarantee success.
http://ow.ly/uTOs30l5XXD #Healthcare #cyberattack #PersonalData #Singapore
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There are many ways in which tech can benefit - and is already benefiting - healthcare in the UK.

Below, we explore the relationship between the two. But to begin, let us ask a very important question...

Patient engagement with artificial intelligence (AI) is crucial. Research by PwC found that 39 per cent of people are willing to engage with AI and/or robots for healthcare, and men are significantly more willing than women. As expected, the younger generation is more open to engage, with 18-24-year-olds the most willing, and over-55s the least. People are more prepared to engage with an intelligent healthcare assistant for themselves than for their loved ones. However, willingness for robots to be involved in major surgery currently sits at 27 per cent.

There are nearly 3,700 companies in the UK’s medical technology sector, according to Invest in Great Britain. The sector generates a turnover of £21 billion and has a total market worth of £7.6 billion.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare has all kinds of potential benefits. Recent figures from PwC showed it could save up to €90 billion in preventing childhood obesity, up to €74 billion in diagnosis and early treatment of breast cancer, and up to €8 billion euros in diagnosis of dementia — all with up to 90 per cent accuracy.

Technology isn’t just bringing new possibilities for physical health, but for mental health, too. According to the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, so the Ginger.io app uses AI to offer round-the-clock personalised emotional support, coaching, therapy and psychiatry to anyone directly from their smartphone.

Researchers at Imperial College London are working with the Vodafone Foundation on a project called DRUGS (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones) to speed up personalised cancer treatments by using smartphones to crunch data while their owners sleep.
http://ow.ly/ImJ930l5YXe #Healthcare #Aging #Tech
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The importance of technology in healthcare can be seen in three distinct areas: the quality of human life, healthcare jobs, and the world economy.

Technology, always vital to U.S. healthcare, will inevitably continue to grow in importance, due in no small part to an aging population and the increased demands placed on providers as a result.

Such innovation — in the post-acute realm and elsewhere — is critical to diagnosis, recovery and therapy. Its impact comes courtesy of apps and artificial intelligence, in prosthetics and robotics. It is wearable and watchable, life-changing and far-reaching.

The importance of technology in healthcare can be seen in three distinct areas: the quality of human life, healthcare jobs, and the world economy.

The first of those is obvious, and always the bottom-line goal: improving patient well-being and minimizing preventable deaths. But technology has also spawned increased investment, as well as increased demand for EEG technologists, MRI technologists, dental hygienists, and surgical technologists, not to mention those in sub-fields like medical billing. That growth, in turn, has had widespread economic impact.

Joseph C. Kvedar, vice president of Connected Health, Partners HealthCare and author of the book The New Mobile Age: How Technology Will Extend the Healthspan and Optimize the Lifespan, touched on the topic of patient outcomes in a post.

He noted technology’s part in extending lifespans by an average of some 30 years between 1900 and 2000 but added that the challenge now is to enhance the quality of life: i.e., to help patients achieve the best health for as long as possible.

The best way to do that, he continued, was to give them the tools to improve their health and make healthy lifestyle choices. Foremost among those tools is connected health.
http://ow.ly/fg1w30l62Da #Healthcare #Technology #Wearable #CustomizedTreatment #Aging #Seniors #HumanLife
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Chatbots show the way in using tech to boost healthcare.

Patients who are unwell could, in the future, be chatting with software that can assess their conditions and advise them to visit the right hospital or clinic.

Such chatbots, which require patients to type in basic information such as their symptoms and medical history, can even prioritise seriously ill patients and cut their waiting times at hospitals.

By the end of this year, a list of chatbot technology providers will be made available to healthcare professionals, Singapore's health-tech agency Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) said yesterday.

Both parties could work together to develop the chatbot, which can then be rolled out to public healthcare institutions, IHiS added.

The agency said that such technology will allow healthcare providers to attend to patients who need care the most.

IHiS announced this during the 10th edition of the annual National Health IT Summit yesterday.

About 800 guests from the healthcare and technology sectors attended the summit at the Singapore Expo, organised by IHiS.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong kicked off the day-long event with a speech on technologies in healthcare, noting that while "some are making current healthcare models better and more efficient, others have the potential to revolutionise how we receive care services to live more healthily".

He cited telemedicine and artificial intelligence as some of the other technologies adapted by the healthcare sector, and commended the use of smartphone apps and step-trackers in the annual National Steps Challenge.

The challenge, which encourages Singaporeans to walk more and track their daily number of steps, has attracted over 670,000 participants in its current season, almost double that of the previous one.
http://ow.ly/hPrP30l0pEs #Chatbots #Innovation #Healthcare #Digitisation #Technology #Aging #HealthTech #Telemedicine
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Carer who looked after dad during dementia battle hits out at lack of support services depending on where you live.

Judy Williams lived in London for 24 years, but made the ­decision to come home and care for her dad Norman after the death of her mum.

Norman wanted to remain in his own environment despite suffering from numerous types of dementia and also Parkinson’s disease, which complicated his care.

Judy told the Irish Sun: “My mum died in 2010 and my siblings and myself were all abroad and I came home because Dad had always said he would prefer to stay at home so I wanted that to happen for him.

“It was just Dad and myself with siblings coming and going.”
She said of caring for her dad: “I wouldn’t change a day of it, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“I knew he wasn’t cut out for going to a nursing home or long-term residential care.

“He was very happy at home and I wanted him to have what he wanted to have.

“It was a very positive experience for me as well — apart from all the tiredness and frustration about ­services and supports.

“The actual experience was very positive, very enriching and I had all that time with him.”

Instead of isolating Norman, Judy created a social network for the two of them.

They took an art class together, she brought him to an exercise class and encouraged Norman to keep up social contacts and interests. Judy also attended an excellent family carer training course called ‘Living with Dementia’, which was run by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

Sadly her dad Norman passed away in 2014 at 81, but Judy continues to honour his memory by engaging in ­advocacy work with the Alzheimer Society.

She continues to support the HSE’s Understand Together campaign and believes the knowledge and understanding promoted by the ongoing campaign is having a very positive impact for persons living with dementia and their carers.
http://ow.ly/dAuI30l1ONZ #Carers #SupportServices #DementiaBattle #Ireland #PositiveExperience #Healthcare
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