Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Philips reveals prototype to tackle type-one diabetes

Steve Rogerson
September 22, 2015
Dutch giant Philips and Netherlands-based Radboud University Medical Centre have introduced a connected digital health prototype that could enable people living with diabetes and their health care providers to make more confident care decisions while managing the complexity of diabetes self-care. In its first phase, the system will focus on patients living with diabetes type one.
Consisting of a mobile patient app and online community, it collects and connects data from electronic medical records, multiple personal health devices – including wireless glucose meters and activity monitors – and patient self-reported data. Via a smartphone or tablet, the app gives patients continuous access to parameters such as blood glucose levels, insulin use and nutrition, and provides coaching guidance at home and on the go.
The secure online community is where enrolled patients and healthcare professionals can interact via private messaging or shared posts within a healthcare organisation’s clinical guidelines. In this way, patients can get feedback from their care team using the combined data and can share experiences with fellow patients, clinicians and caregivers.
The collaborative prototype development from Philips, Radboud and Salesforce will be available in pilot release by the end of year, with plans to introduce similar connected care systems addressing other chronic conditions.
Diabetes is a prevalent, chronic condition that is costly in terms of human suffering and global healthcare spending with nearly 400 million people worldwide living with the disease. It is often associated with various other chronic diseases.
On average, people with diabetes make up to 180 decisions about their health every day, collecting and evaluating valuable information on personal and medical factors from blood sugar levels to exercise to food choices. The care team of people living with diabetes can add up to more than ten different types of care providers. This makes living with diabetes complex to self-manage and for many also very stressful.
“I am excited that we are providing people with diabetes the tools to connect all of their relevant health data and devices,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO for healthcare informatics at Philips. “Our system allows sharing of data and experiences in one community, where they can collaborate with fellow patients and their care teams in a secure environment. There is a growing need for solutions that enhance self-management and continuity of care for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes to reduce health deterioration, re-admissions and mortality rates. This system has been designed by patients for patients and is enabling fully integrated health management and care delivery in a new, connected, efficient and highly patient-centric way.”
The system is built on the Philips Health Suite digital platform and its CareCatalyst toolkit. This platform securely connects devices and collects, integrates and analyses patient data from connected consumer and medical devices, electronic medical records, and personal health data. Via this open digital platform, self-measurement sources and overall functionality can be extended as new digital health consumer measurement technologies become available. CareCatalyst is a digital toolkit for health systems, institutions and care providers to use the HealthSuite digital platform for dedicated localised services.
“We want to encourage and support people to take full command of their disease by providing them with the right decision tools,” said Cees Tack, professor in internal medicine at Radboud UMC. “This fits in our mission towards patient-centred participatory health care at Radboud UMC.
Lucien Engelen, director at Radboud UMC, added: “Empowering patients to be true partners in their own health care by giving them access to their data and by facilitating collaboration is the key to driving change across populations. By collaborating with Philips, we’re creating the digital framework necessary to make data actionable and transform how patients engage with their caregivers and social community.”
Further delivering on its commitment to support people throughout the full continuum of health, Philips also recently introduced the first in a series of personal health programmes that empower consumers to stay healthier and help prevent illness. Each health programme comprises connected health measurement devices, an app-based personalised programme and secure, cloud-based data analysis built on the HealthSuite digital platform. Philips personal health programmes aim to empower individuals: to measure vital signs to understand how lifestyle choices affect their body; to set goals and monitor their progress; and to stay motivated with intelligent programmes, developed with doctors and psychologists, responding to individual progress and making personalised recommendations.
The diabetes prototype system was presented live by Jeroen Tas and Lucien Engelen at the Dreamforce 2015 conference last week in San Francisco.