Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Curious about further suggestion on the line-up for TEDxMaastricht


The 2012 programme of TEDxMaastricht will be centered around five tracks

  • Medicine around the World
  • Health is a data problem
  • E-health is Empowered-Health
  • To talk or not to… listen
  • The gamification of health

More information about these tracks will be revealed later. If you have any suggestions about speakers who would fit in one of these tracks, drop a line below this page.

TEDxMaastrichts mission is to help the world understand that change in healthcare is imminent. We aim to fire up and grow a movement of people who believe the next decennium should be the era of the rising of self-empowered patients. Embracing the patient, their family and informal care into the healthcare team.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Assessing the value of an innovative startup in healthcare: updated scorecard


Our departure point is that in healthcare the products/services will have to survive in a unique ecosystem with unique challenges and unique opportunities. Excellent outline of some of these challenges and opportunities can be found in this Harvard Business Review article by Clayton Christensen, Richard Bohmer, and John Kenagy.

Therefore, while the basic principles for startups, customers and investors apply (and here’s a fresh example), there are additional considerations that are very important for healthcare startups.

With that in mind, our objective is to create a simple, straightforward scorecard specific to the healthcare sector that would allow a potential customer or investor to quickly evaluate a startup along the criteria that matter to such customer or investor.

Read more @

Friday, 29 July 2011

Develop a simple, straightforward indication of the impact and viability of innovation in healthcare


As we are preparing our first HealthStartup event on October 5, we receive quite a lot of questions on how we plan to evaluate the participating projects – and how we plan to measure the output of the event.

Our goal is to develop a tool that would give buyers of the startups’ services – as well as potential investors – a simple, straightforward indication of the project’s impact and viability. It should also be useful as a guideline for the startups themselves in evaluating potential markets, raising funds, and communicating with various target audiences.

With that in mind, we’ve started developing a “project scorecard” which will include three aspects of an innovation and produce an overall score indicating the viability of a project.

The scoring on a simple numeric scale (1-4) will be carried out by participants during the event; scores would be tabulated and communicated after the event.

Attached is our initial thinking on the parameters within the scorecard. We would very much appreciate your input, any additions (or reductions) to the list of the question, clarifications, etc.

So, please read through the article at HealthStartup and leave your comments!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Will we get the healthcare ecosystem to collaborate on improving mankind?


We have very high development cycles of devices and techniques (18 months or less) AND an industry moving at a ludicrous speed.

We have an enormous amount of incompatible data, coming from: 
  • different devices, 
  • via different systems, 
  • via different (mobile) OSs
Despite great efforts of organisations like Continua Health Alliance, it's an illusion to think that -someday- we will be using the same (open) techniques/standards worldwide to collect and combine health-data.

Striving towards compatibility and interoperability is essential, but I believe this should be complemented by focussing on efficient ways to aggregate all that incompatible data (the equivalent of Friendfeed) and display it as a coherent stream in a personal health record. 
Fusion with data from energy-sources, city- & home-services and social media will further leverage the potential of the collected data.

Extra advantage is that the collected data can be searched upon anonymously. Possibilities to improve mankind by developing cures & remedies faster, improving diagnoses, improving adherence, ... and at the same time lowering the (healthcare)costs and giving more opportunity for 'face time'.

Good examples are:

Will we find good plumbers to connect the different data-pipes? 
Will the diameter of the data-pipes be wide enough to cope with an enormous data-flow?
Will our buckets be big enough to store collect/store the data? 
Will we find enough good craftsmen to visualize and interpret that flow? 
Will we get the ecosystem to collaborate on improving mankind? 

Slide from 'mhealth is huge' preso at MoMoAMS.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ambient Assisted Living solutions to achieve the market breakthrough

Summary of notes of the AAL workshop in Brussels on June 7, 2011

Personal summary
Many platforms and many applications and many users = many end-to-end products/services = 'The Long Tail' in assisted living. Going from 'one size fits all' to 'one size fits one' (quote from openurc).
Open source, flexibility, synergy and interoperability are the way to cope with current and future society variables and the velocity of technological evolution. Committee not fond of small scale projects (like Flanders Care) or closed source (like Apple).
User based involvement and consolidation of players in the ecosystem is imperative.
Whereas I think building data-aggregations (function like translators) will offer solutions for agile connectedness, none of the participants I spoke to seem to agree. Also my believe that creating an open environment through regulated APIs would leverage the potential of SMEs, didn't have many supporters.
AAL products and services have the advantage they aren't (always) considered as medical devices.
Matchmaking in AAL: find information/products/projects/... I can't understand why the EU hasn't started with making a list of people and companies involved, there's no public searchable list or inventory! If a complex ecosystem is one of the barriers, you should start by identifying the stakeholders!

Users can pick any controller they like to interact with the system.
Trialog: standardisation for interoperability is supported by the EU commission
Repository (like sourceforge) in Brazil around assisted living. At this time they have 50 apps
Medical reminders are displayed on the TV while watching.
Freemium in assisted living (business model on operational level).
Increase system-family engineering to speed-up development.
Fusion with energy, e-health, city- and home-services and social media.
Web guidance tools for self-care (like measuring blood pressure).
uAAL works together (complementary) to openurc, continua and osami.
EU 2020 target: increase healthy years with 2 years
Personal UI: anywhere, anytime.
Presentations of openURC and Osami.

Hesitant stakeholders
Lack of standards
Regulation and laws (Continua)
No awareness of AAL among end consumers
Stand alone projects (small ecosystem or small market) are too expensive
Assembly or choreography of the healthcare service ecosystem is a huge challenge (
Guidelines for privacy and security
Speed of technology: healthcare technology goes faster than the ability of the EU committee to make a roadmap for it
Venture capital doesn't fund platforms or ecosytems.
Practicality and usability.
Producing a healthcare product may cost 100,00 EUR, putting it on the market may costs millions. Cost of production-ready healthcare-product testing (at least 500-1000 people) is too high for SMEs.
SMEs are not interested in (open source AAL) platforms, they are only looking for short term business possibilities.
Critical support services and sustainable maintenance.

Monday, 6 June 2011

5 Healthcare challenges summarized in 1 image

5_healthcare_challenges.pdf Download this file

Attached an older 1-page depiction I made to illustrate the 5 challenges in healthcare.

I post it here because several people asked if they could use it (YES you can!).
Other reason is that I'm bored by presenters spending 10 minutes explaining these challenges (WE KNOW! move on!).

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Assessing healthcare innovations in ICT: the society scorecard


What's the real worth of an innovation in healthcare? 

What's the impact on a society?

Preparing for Westartup healthcare, I dug up a simple scorecard I used to determine the impact of an ICT - innovation in healthcare.
The scorecard gives a score, based on questions from 5 different angles:
Care organisation
What's the ROI? (workflow, efficiency and general cost reduction) 
Does it have a quantifiable impact on marketing and recruitment?
Will it simplify making business/management decisions?
Is it interoperable with other aspects of the healthcare ecosystem?
What are the costs to train people to work with the product/service? How simple is it to use?
Care consumer
Does it offer convenience? Will it allow to reshape healthcare to fit people's lives (and not the other way around)?
What about participating in the process? Will it help the consumer to interact?
Exactly how does it improve the quality of the treatment from a consumers perspective?
Will it offer peace of mind?
Is it easy/simple to use?
Care practitioner
Can you quantify the improvements on efficiency, workflow and time?
Is it user friendly? Is it simple to use? Is it intuitive?
Will it enhance interaction with other practitioners?
How interoperable is it with the other tools I use?
Can it simplify decision making?
Will it lower healthcare costs? Will it lower reimbursement costs by lowering re-admission, enhancing adherence, ... or by lowering efficiency in workforce and processes? 
Does it improve the quality of treatment?
Can it speed up developing a cure?
I can haz 458 Italia?

The weight of the 5 scores might differ for each product/service, but calculating an overall result is feasible and meaningful.
Suggestions on improving this simple model are welcome!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cloud storage for the exchange of health information

ZH_dossier_voorbeeld.pdf Download this file

For several years I'm complaining that paper health records are getting lost when one of the elderly residents of our carehome is hospitalised.

We did all kinds of efforts to prevent loss of the papers, but no success till now.
In case of loss we had to fax (alas, no email) the papers to the central reception of the hospital (alas, no fax at the specific department).
I was approached by a hospital and a software vendor to find a solution.
A logical suggestion was to use cloud storage (like Amazon, Dropbox, Nomadesk, ...) and to use encrypted folders (per user or per organisation) for such papers. Such cloud solutions are easy to use, very flexible, easy to implement and safe enough for this purpose. When hospital staff reacts outraged 'how unsafe this is', I point them to the current 'solution' where we fax the papers to the central reception.
I'm very curious which cloud solution they are going to produce, how cheap it will be and how user friendly it will be.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Questions for the future of home automation in health care


Next thursday I will be member of a panel (together with Joachim De Vos from Living Tomorrow & Philip Minnaert from Care Home Carpentier) discussing about the future of home automation in health care.
It will be a very interactive discussing with an audience filled with health care professionals (link to the event, in dutch, here:

Looking forward to the answers they will be giving to following questions:

  1. Is home automation (or technology in general) for elderly "comfort"or "necessity"? (responding to attractiveness, progress, HR deficit)
  2. How will a nursing home -through technology- 'take care' of a region? (through linked houses)
  3. Is home automation a violation of privacy?
  4. Will residential care evolve into houses of mourning? (because technology enables the elderly to stay home longer and more independently)
  5. Will residential care be organised solely by large institutions ... or only through local (linked) initiatives?
  6. Given the labor shortage, deploying robots is inevitable - or should we import "guest workers" in large quantities?
  7. How much will automation technology blur the boundaries between skilled medical professionals and unskilled manpower?
  8. What happens to human contact when communication with the outside world is done via screens (and / or augmented reality)?
  9. If a multitude of devices and software are used, how important will the "openness" of health systems be?
  10. Will the developments of home automation move from a permanent place in the house to the bodies of care consumers?
If you would like to see other questions answered, ... your suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

EPD20 and EPD20wiki: happy collab!

Inspired by #TEDxMaastricht, a group of Dutch healthcare professionals are co-operating to describe a Electronic Healthcare Record 2.0 wiki.
Keep an eye on the following days.
Humbled that the info from the open wikimap will be used (with input from @michlr & @icmcc
Already certain the end result will be of very high and compassionate quality.
The momentum is here!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Will the iPod Nano watch impress the healthcrowd?

Easy to use
Easy to wear
Convenience for the win.

And it doesn't look like a medical (or other stigmatizing) device. Acceptance is guaranteed because such a shiny device is a 'wannahave'.

I wonder how long it will take before you can use Facetime on it.
With a GPS inside you will 'warned' when a friend is near, when you should get medicine from a nearby pharmacy, which subway to take, ...
You could communicate with relatives, doctors, ...
Notifications will appear when to take your medicine, when to go to the doctor, ...

And the real winner would be to integrate different monitoring solutions.

Source: GottaBeMobile -> iPod Nano as a watch is awesome, but does not impress the ladies

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

What damage could a Healthphone do?

If Garmin can sell a GPS that can do voice too,

alas not very successful,
what are the chances of a health monitoring device 'that can do voice' too?

I imagine a ruggedized device with long battery life,
large + bright touchscreen, a decent camera, accelerometer, GPS 
and -most important- the equivalent of a Swiss Knife in connectivity: bluetooth, zigbee, ant, IR, Wi-Fi, NFC, barcode, RFID, ...

Should consider the device as a medical Toughbook, but vastly improved and much smaller.

I'm on the lookout!

Image -> Imprint Talk (have a look at their tripple flip design too)

Monday, 7 February 2011

WESC or Louis Vuitton in the wireless sensor industry

Recently I was looking at 2 mhealth business plans, in particular the parts about sensor design.
The sensors should be wearable to guarantee permanent monitoring.
What struck me was that both companies were looking at "patient acceptance" as a HUGE hurdle for sensor sales.
Looking at the design of their devices, I understood their problem better: "They are UGLY!!!".
The devices had that typical "designed by a medical professional from the former USSR" signature.

If you want to solve patient acceptance, let Louis Vuitton or WESC take care of your design.

The burden of being sick and the necessity to be monitored can be worsened by making you wear ugly or uncool devices, especially with children.
Parents want their sick kids to grow up like 'normal' children.
If you can give these children a sensor that is cool to wear, this coolness might even 'lighten' the situation a bit for that child.

All types of wearable, unobtrusive sensors will have a great future because of simplicity and ease of mind.
Nick Hunn already gave fine examples like doorknobs and toothbrushes for monitoring, but why don't we also use helmets, clothing, wigs, earphones, scarfs, seats, ...?
I'm convinced that if you trow in more designers, this will make the sickness easier to wear (ha!).

Fashionistas for healthcare!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Health Care Blog: Physician Executives Should Not Ignore How Smartphones Will Transform Healthcare

Physician executives who ignore smartphones and their healthcare applications will miss the most important disruptive technology trend in the next five years. Physician executives who understand how smartphones will transform the industry for providers, payers, patients, and employers will thrive in their careers.

A great round up of mobile solutions for healthcare, excellent research numbers and relevant quotes from different players in that field by Kent Bottles (@KentBottles).

Haven't read about the love that people feel about their device(s) or "second self". Now i'm even more convinced that upcoming baby boomers will embrace mhealth (broad definition).

Tying together the healthdata that will come through a giant firehose will indeed be very challenging. Companies that will specialize in health data integration and aggregation (slide 25 & 26: will prosper.

Now i'll have a look at some examples/companies that Kent posted and i'm not familiar with ... yet.

Over & out!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What’s wrong with mHealth? Ask Rube Goldberg…. Part I | LargePond

What's wrong with mHealth? Ask Rube Goldberg.... Part I 2011-01-05 16:47:46

I attended a meeting the other day where buzzwords like “mhealth”, ehealth, “connected health,” “wireless health”, and a slew of others (collectively “xhealth”) were thrown around the room like confetti at a parade.

At one point, the discussion became pretty heated around the attributes of the mhealth market compared to ehealth as well as which was higher in the perceived health information technology (HIT) hierarchy.  I listened carefully as each participant passionately shared their unique point of view about the size and definition of each respective market and, of course, how their company was positioned to be the market leader.  I have to admit, it was pretty tempting to jump in especially when someone in the group tried to create a new buzzword in an effort to plant their flag in yet another nebulous and ill-defined mobile healthcare niche.

In the race for healthcare innovation, coining buzzwords, and carving up prospective market segments, it seems like people have lost sight of the real prize — adoption. Specifically, near-term adoption.

Excellent read, you can read part II here:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Freemium in care: Zorgbeheer care-platform looking for webdev

Zorgbeheer (dutch for 'care management') is a platform for Flemish care-managers since 2006.
It grew from a small private communication platform for carehome owners to a communication platform for the captains of care.
The website has about 5 to 600 unique visitors a day.
There's a strong demand for further development, which should take the platform from it's current situation (stage 1) to a perpetual stage 3.

Stage 1

Mostly inspection, supervision and small improvements of the current situation.
Stage 2
Major overhaul with open source CMS (Joomla, Drupal, ...) or own development.
Improvements in matchmaking
Offering mobile content
Stage 3
Crowdsourcing care professionals for needs and building web and mobile apps to fill those needs ... and offering the apps for free.

Where's the money?
First two stages will be paid by commercial revenues (ads).
During the last (perpetual) stage, the webdev company can develop apps for individual care organisations too. The webdev business card being a solid (and proven) reputation as Zorgbeheer-platform-builder.

Why in English? It's a site in Dutch!
As far as I know, there are no platforms offering the stage 3 solution; improving care by offering web and mobile tools for free.
This format might be interesting for international development.


  • Good knowledge of Joomla CMS (in stage 1)
  • Proficiency in mobile development
  • Experience with mapping, communication and community (matchmaking) tools
  • Determined to produce apps that are Fisher Price easy.
You can improve care AND earn a living.
Contact: bart at mhealth BE

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 Predictions in Medicine, Healthcare, Technology and Innovation « ScienceRoll

2) Curation -> will there be a market for RSS-feed experts, offering you a tailorfit newsoffer?
4) Mhealth will be a entire ecosystem (identification, payment, location, monitoring, etc.). Lots of apps will try to ‘plug in’ to EHR’s, which will leverage their usefulness enormously. Question here is: “Can mobile operators cope with the sudden increase in 3G/4G data usage?”.
6) The importance of ‘voice’: i fully agree. But don’t underestimate the imortance of interface design (simplicity – i like the term ‘fisher price design’)
12) Will we also see patients that are so empowered that they will be doing live reporting from the hospital? Or broadcast an ‘investigation’ in realtime?
14) SoMe presence in pharma … but also in care-institutions. Mainly deployed for recruitment purposes, painting a pleasant SoMe environment.

If i may add 2:
explosion of tech for boomers
data-mining of health data