By Maria Palombini, Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice, IEEE SA
The 2nd annual IEEE SA Telehealth Tech Pitch Competition focused on the trend of moving care from a health facility to the home. It highlighted the need for innovative solutions to be feasible, accessible and inclusive for all patients. Digital technologies and devices enable patients (when possible) to conveniently recover at home rather than in a facility. The reality is that patients who can recover at home do so faster with less risk of infection or other complications, and less emotional, financial, and mental distress of being subject to stay in a foreign environment.
In a randomized clinical trial conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, it was cited that 70% of patients recovering at home had a lower rate of readmission and the cost of care was 40% less (published in the Annals of Internal Medicine).
The global hospital-at-home market is driving major growth for digital health technology start-ups, medical device manufacturers, clinical support home agencies, and other service providers.
The “hospital-at-home market” is projected to grow 50% from $200 billion to nearly $300 billion by 20281.
Hospital-at-home depends on many technologies to make it viable for every therapeutic area within any geographic location. These technologies include IoMTs (internet of medical things), biosensors, virtual AI (artificial intelligence) assistants, machine learning (ML), cloud, digital therapeutics, blockchain/DLTs, 5G, and more. Growing demand from patients is driving new innovations to meet those needs.
The 2023 IEEE SA Telehealth Tech Pitch Competition attracted innovative submissions from more than 30 entrants across four continents. They focused on different therapeutic applications, such as diabetes and cardiac care, addressing issues in the current remote patient care market, including security, privacy, and feasibility. A 10-member volunteer competition advisory and judging committee selected 12 finalists for a live pitch forum on 27 July 2023.
AND THE WINNER IS:
After difficult deliberation, The OxyCam Project, presented by Husain Khaki, CEO of Active Medical BV (Netherlands), was chosen as the winner.
The OxyCam Project is a high-tech microscope that allows at-home measurement of blood flow through skin tissue. When placed under a patient’s tongue, it can show even the smallest blood vessels (<100um) to help assess oxygen flow, a measure of organ health.
Rounding out the very strong top three were finalists eSanjeevani National Telemedicine Service (presented by Dr. Sanjay Sood, Project Director, C-DAC India) and juli (presented by Bettina Hein, CEO & Founder, juli).
As the competition winner, The Oxycam Project will have the opportunity to participate in a Philips global mentor innovation lab, present on an IEEE HLS panel at the upcoming IEEE Future Networks Forum (13-15 November 2023 in Baltimore, MD, USA) and appear on the IEEE HLS Re-Think Health Podcast. Other top finalists will also participate in various IEEE HLS panels at industry conferences.
Thank you to the competition advisors and judges:
- Bruce Hecht, Chair of IEEE SA Transforming Telehealth Paradigm IC Program
- Narendra Mangra, Co-Chair IEEE SA Transforming Telehealth Paradigm IC Program
- Elizabeth Baker, Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, IEEE SA Telehealth IC Program Secretary
- Gora Datta, FHL7, VS, SMIEEE, SMACM; Chairman & CEO CAL2CAL Corp
- Celia Desmond, Senior Project Manager and Owner at World Class Telecommunications, Chair of IEEE IEC (Industry Engagement Committee)
- Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos, PhD, Senior Independent Adviser, Global Health Innovation, Policy for Resilience and Recovery, World Bank, European Commission, World Health Organization, UNICEF
- Josh Rabinowitz, Founder and CEO of Articulate Labs; 2nd place entity winner of 2022 IEEE SA Telehealth Competition
- Adrian Stoica, Senior Research Scientist and Program Manager, NASA-JPL; Chair IEEE Future Directions Committee on Telepresence
- Tory Cenaj, Founder and Publisher of Telehealth Medicine Today and Blockchain in Healthcare Today; advisor to IEEE SA Telehealth IC Program
- Maria Palombini, Director, Healthcare and Life Science Practice, IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Telehealth Tech Pitch competition is a component of the IEEE SA Transforming the Telehealth Paradigm IC Program and the Telehealth Start-up Community. These programs promote innovation with a focus on improving remote patient care equitably for all individuals with pragmatic adoption of technologies and applications.
Planning for the 2024 competition is already underway. Stay informed on the latest news and learn when application submissions open