Michael Bidu, CEO of Sanotron opened the second annual event on October 9 and 10 in hopes of creating a dialogue around the ever-changing landscape of digital health—an idea that effects every person in the modern world.
But what is digital health?
“In simple terms,” a video presented at Interface 2013 explains, “digital health is the convergence of digital and genetic revolution of health and healthcare. The essential elements include wireless devices, hardware sensors and software sensing technologies, microprocessors and integrated circuits, the Internet, social networking, mobile and body area network, health information technology, genomics and personal genetic information.”
Top innovators across the continent highlighted the two-day event by showcasing their apps, wearables, concepts, and other progressive products to the crowd at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Some of the notable companies making moves towards the future of digital health are:
An app that enables users to control their own healthcare lifestyle through an interactive game.
“We believe that the classic ‘play’ is the most important quality of the human being,” said Michael Fergusson, founder and CEO of Ayogo Health. “It differentiates us from most other creatures in the world. Human beings have used play throughout history to explore our world, to learn new skills, to contact and communicate with each other.”
Ayogo is applying that concept into the monotonous chore of managing our health needs. The largest healthcare problem in the world is that patients aren’t applying what they know to take better care of themselves. Hyperbolic discounting causes people not to see the impact of each decision they make. But by incorporating all the requirements for healthy living into a game, patients will feel more engage to take their medicine, interact with others coping with the same health condition and see improvements in their lives.
The Readiband is a wearable device that tracks sleep patterns and fatigue levels to enhance healthy living.
“We don’t believe wearable technology should be about the calories you burn or the steps you take, the floors you hike or amount of hours you entered into a log, saying ‘I’ve slept six or seven hours last night,’” said Sean Kerklann, CEO of Fatigue Science. “It’s all about making wearable technology more valuable to you as an end user. To make you achieve the results you want to achieve or to avoid the risk of what fatigue can cause.”
The Readiband data logs the quality and the hours of sleep an individual has and uses an algorithm to measure the sleep debt. Using the information gathered, the user will be able to see when his peak performance hours are, as well as his moments of impairments due to fatigue. Pilots, truck drivers, professional athletes and normal every day people can all benefit from understanding their sleep patterns.
An application that helps us understand our vital signs by generating music with our heart beat.
Although Nadeem Kassam, co-founder of BioBeats, was unable to attend the event, the promotional video BioBeats presented gave a glance at the possibilities at our fingertips—it’s close to science fiction.
“David [Plans, co-founder of BioBeats] sent me the application from London,” said Kassam on the video, “I put my finger on the back of the camera—I can see the waveform of my heart. And he sonified my heartbeat through a bass. And for the first time I listened to the bass kick of my heart. Just that was moving—and then he turned it into jungle UK house music. And I had no reaction, but to dance. I jumped for joy and as I jumped for joy my heart rate accelerated…and I watched it, the music accelerated.”
The health platform’s first feature is video conferencing, which allows the circle of care to collaborate online to assess your needs. That means no more procrastinating about going to see the doctor, no more flipping through magazines in the waiting room and no more agonizing trips back and forth from specialist to physician to pharmacist.
“The doctors tell us that between 30% to 50% of all of the visits they do right now in their office can be done by video,” said Ryan Wilson, CEO of Medeo Corp. “Imagine what percentage of the visit can be done by Telehealth once we have all these incredible sensors in the medicine cabinet at home.”
The world is constantly evolving for better and worst, but with new innovations geared toward our health and the advancement of technology—we hope to be approaching a solution and distancing ourselves from the problems.