By Anya Kravets, Group Manager, Digital Health
2014 has been a breakthrough year for healthcare technology as we’ve seen leaps in development of everything from wearable devices and 3D-printed organs, to new diagnostic tools and cloud-based medical records.
In fact, the Toronto start-up scene has produced some remarkable innovations – including these four companies that are vying to change healthcare through technology.
- SeamlessMD is on a mission to give every patient the best health outcomes after surgery. The team of clinicians, engineers, designers and business leaders has developed an app that takes into account the patient’s hospital, surgeon, type of surgery, and date of procedure. The mobile system asks the patient to enter information about temperature or pain level to gauge warning signs of surgical complications. It also allows patients to submit photos of surgical wounds to share with a doctor, preventing re-admissions.
Image source: https://seamless.md/
- Figure 1 is a photo-sharing app for medical professionals to safely share clinical cases, discuss treatments. Currently available in North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and across Europe, the app is currently used by more than 150,000 doctors. Each photo is reviewed my moderators before it’s added to the database, and patients’ faces are automatically obscured by the app to ensure privacy.
- iHeart uses a fingertip oximeter tool to determine heart health by measuring Aortic Stiffness – an indicator of “your biological health”, also providing information on physiological age vs. chronological age. With the app’s help, users are able to monitor their heart health and even improve it through better understanding of positive and negative changes and trends.
Image source: iHeart Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/iheartalive
- Neo by SKE Labs is the world’s first smart jar that uses sensors to determine calorie count of its contents, enabling users to connect to their kitchen, discover personalized content and even shop with zero-touch – whether it’s their favourite cereal, granola, or other foods.
Image source: SKE Labs Inc. website http://skelabs.com/
More exciting innovations are expected to arrive in 2015, and we have no doubts that Canadian technology companies will introduce new ground-breaking solutions that will continue changing the face of healthcare, enhancing the currently used models and revolutionizing the ways we approach health, wellness and medical care.
The GCI team attended the latest Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2015, where some of the related trends were showcased. As the attitudes and behaviours of patients are shifting, the role of PR in digital health is also becoming increasingly important, given that communications need to be tailored accordingly for maximum engagement and impact. Both patients and medical professionals are using online resources and technology tools, and the new types of influencers are emerging.
Furthermore, understanding the needs of patients can help companies build technologies that support both patients and healthcare professionals in their interactions for best outcomes possible, and PR efforts are vital to help drive awareness about these new tools.
GCI’s digital health expertise helps our clients navigate this fascinating, ever-changing field to build mutually beneficial relationships and draw insights – to further increase brand awareness and knowledge of important medical issues.