Telemedicine technologies – from connected transmitters to remote diagnosis software and robotic systems – are becoming increasingly widespread. They are chiefly being used to diagnose, understand and treat chronic illnesses; manage patient care at home; and address problems associated with insufficient access to medical care.
Linkidoc health consultants have recently published a second report on e-health trends based on information from their Link-e-doc search engine for e-health solutions.What did they discover? That while certain fields such as dentistry, gastroenterology and intensive care still use very few telehealth solutions, others, like cardiology and general medicine, have a huge number of digital tools at their disposal thanks to the boom in connected monitoring devices, which are becoming progressively smaller, smarter and better.
Is cardiology the top e-health student?
In its first report, Linkidoc identified telehealth devices for a dozen or so illnesses. In 2015, this figure was doubled, and conditions such as acne, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis were taken into account. But technology for cardiovascular disorders was most prevalent, with more than 70 solutions indexed. This can be explained by the explosion in non-invasive monitoring devices, such as connected bracelets, and apps like Ads Télésuivi, which compiles data from connected objects, and Cardio Test, which can help prevent the risk of heart disease.
This year, however, we will see the first digital solutions designed for specialisms such as haematology, gastroenterology and dentistry. The Linkidoc platform also features e-Celsius, an ingestible pill that transmits core temperature measurements wirelessly, and the e-DENT intraoral camera used to map the inside of a patient’s mouth.
More discreet tools
Devices are certainly becoming smaller. Hospital trolleys and monitoring kits are being replaced by bracelets or patches the patient can wear (or swallow in the case of the latter!) and are linked up to tablets or smartphones. The number of platforms and apps for sharing, processing and/or analysing medical data is also massively on the rise.
Some companies in the US are even offering packs that contain a monitoring device, data processing software/a clinical decision support system, and access to a call centre of doctors. There is not yet a deluge of such packages in France, where the main providers of telehealth solutions are local companies who generally target the domestic market. But French companies are highly active in the area, with several French firms – including Visiomed and Oscadi – attending the CES 2015 trade show in Las Vegas. For the fifth year running, Withings – who specialise in connected health and well-being devices – has received a number of CES Awards.
Download the full report free of charge [PDF, 18 pages]: Observatoire 2015 des solutions de télémédecine (Telemedicine Solutions Watch 2015).
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Photo credit: Eric Peacock – It Is In All of Us – Grape Sketch / Flickr.com / Licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0