Novel Imagers / VR kit

In the last couple of weeks I have been contacted by several people who have designed various gadgets for Medical VR/interaction. They are iridescent imaging, VIZR, D-EYE and Gesturetek. 

First up Iridescent Imaging 

Mitch Downey founded this company to create fantastic small and life-size VR projections.m  see more images here:  The technology looks fantastic but as you might expect it isn’t cheap. I can really see how these might be useful for virtual clinics, particularly in specialties where walking in front of the doctor is a key part of the exam: ie. Rheumatology / Neurology. However, a remarkable product needs a great website and this is something that needs a bit of work. 

Then there is D-EYE

This thing looks excellent. It can effectively enable an ophthalmologist to diagnose a child remotely in another country using just their smartphone but more likely it will be a great clinic application. To be honest I want one on my emergency unit as it looks so easy to use but again these things are new and therefore costly.

Next up VIZR

This is more like a clinician assistant (like Google glass) they feel their user interface and information is more up to date. It looks like a smart gadget but as the video on the site demonstrates it is not entirely unobtrusive to the patient looking at the doctor

Time will tell whether there will be enough uptake. My feeling is that unfortunately for this device we are still several years away from IoT and the effects of Big Data having their full impact to help this device work. 

Finally we have

These guys are doing something a bit different. Trying to get physical controls to work for rehab /those with disabilities. Unfortunately the website is dire which is a shame as they have some really cool products like Irex-an upper and lower extremity training system. 

It looks like they are doing a great work in their niche. 

Note I have just started a medium blog as well and plan to integrate them later so watch this space. 

Some new wearables / healthtech

Firstly there is Ozmo a drink bottle that measures your fluid intake. Seems like a good idea as it can connect to a variety of different other wearables but weighing in at $70 it’s not cheap (especially as I have a habit of leaving these things behind). 

Next there is Heart-In

Not a great website but looks interesting. Unfortunately, the product is not that different from lots of others and I can’t work out how it is differentiated. 

Finally there is pulmaware by strados Labs. 

This one looks the most interesting and unique of the lot. The website is clear and the product something that most asthma patients will understand.

 This one definitely gets my pick if the week and if I had lung disease I would strongly consider getting it. 

Telemedicine: Is it the future? 

​What surprises me most about the article below is the so far low uptake of Telemedicine. The applications for this are potentially vast but due to various restrictions particularly surrounding the reluctance of US health insurers to fund such consultations, the general uptake is still low. 

Several companies in the UK are trying to build these primary care alternatives now (Dr Now, Babylon etc) and it would appear that there is public desire for these things. However, they face lots of challenges. 

Firstly patients are offered more comprehensive services in the NHS even if there is a delay to access them; tests are very difficult to organise at home over the Internet; Patients can’t be fully examined and fundamentally there is a major shortage of GPs. This means that capacity is unlikely to ever be able to meet demand in a cost efficient way without adopting alternative models of triage. 
These challenges can all be overcome in time but the fundamental test will be what patients actually want. As physicians we think we know the answer to this question but have we really asked the right questions? 



How long will it be before these become mainstream reality?

From MAYO education

The main obstacle to mainstream adoption is currently cost. For instance if robotic porters were availabile this would massively streamline patient logistics in a hospital. However, at present they cost far more than human porters.

This is an example of a tele-opetated robotic system. What will come next will be semiautonomous robotic surgery and higher level task semiautomation but we are still some way off this and as Healthcare tends to lag behind other industries I suspect it will be ~2050 before we see significant progress in this area.

Either way the robots are coming. Are we ready?