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Designing the perfect mHealth device part 2

Recently I wrote a piece on ‘Designing the perfect mHealth device’ where I pointed out how intelligent design could deliver a truly useful mHealth device. I’d like to extend that piece to suggest that we are not just seeing optimisation, we are seeing an opportunity for transformation now.

In the previous piece I highlighted a couple of outstanding designs that I’d come across, the Ascom Myco smartphone for clinicians and the Telcare blood glucose meter. I’ve just seen two more exciting developments that I’d like to share with you.

Cambridge Consultants KiCoPen

Firstly I was impressed by a new design for an insulin pen from Cambridge Consultants, called the KiCoPen. Insulin pens have been around for a long time, but not in a connected form, and this version is not only connected but cleverly takes its power needs from the kinetic action of withdrawing the cap, rather than needing a battery – often a weak point.

Cambridge Consultants KiCoPen mHealth perfect device

Source: Cambridge Consultants

I’ve often thought it strange that we haven’t seen connected insulin pens before, it’s an obvious data point to gather in supporting diabetics, and could really help to give them feedback over dosage and blood sugar control. Considering the huge prevalence and cost of diabetes as a disease it’s surprising how little of the technology is connected at all – there are very few connected BGMs either, apart from the likes of Telcare and iBGStar®. I would have thought if you paired a connected BGM with a connected insulin pen you have the makings of a very powerful data and feedback platform for a relatively low cost.

It looks like the KiCoPen is really an advanced design concept currently, but I do hope that Cambridge Consultants have some success in finding an insulin manufacturer to take this product to market with.

InfoBionic MoMe™

I was also very encouraged to see that InfoBionic secured a further $17M investment for their innovative MoMe™ cardio monitoring device and ecosystem. MoMe™ is a very neat GSM connected portable cardio monitor combined with clever software in the cloud which provides what InfoBionic call ‘Multi-Pass Analysis™’ – basically the device is constantly looking out for events, and when one is identified then much more detailed data is captured. All of this data is available real-time (thanks to a dedicated Machine to Machine SIM card) to the patient’s cardiologist, making the diagnosis quicker and more accurate.

Learning points

I think what we’re seeing here are some common themes that we can all learn from:

  • By focussing on the real-life needs of all the stakeholders, these device companies are really solving a problem rather than just adding connectivity to a device
  • These devices have been designed by credible, professional organisations who understand clinical and regulatory pathways, as well as the need for robust engineering – in other words they’re in it for the long-haul
  • They’ve all made the communications aspect automatic, so removing a key barrier to usage
  • Most importantly, they all create an opportunity to provide transformational benefits in compliance/productivity/accuracy for their users

I wrote a while ago about the rise of the machines, it really seems that it’s the device makers who are setting the pace in mHealth. I’m sure there’s a lot more to come. Are we finally seeing mHealth enter the mainstream? Let me know – or you can always contact me.

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