SynchroHealth, a startup company launched with technology originating in the Amulet project, recently received a grant of almost $225,000 from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). SynchroHealth aims to develop hardware and software solutions for non-invasive detection and acquisition of remote healthcare data.
Amulet’s Ryan Halter, co-founder of SynchroHealth, says “there’s a huge disparity in what clinicians and physical therapists think goes on in at-home rehabilitation programs and what actually happens. This disconnect […] could ultimately lead to unnecessary interventions that increase costs and potential risks to the patient. We’re aiming to close that gap.”
SynchroHealth is continuing the development of their ‘BandPass’ technology for the treatment of sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass and strength due to aging. BandPassis capable of monitoring, evaluating, and guiding patients in upper-body strength training in real-time. It includes sensors equipped to an exercise band with custom-designed electronics for the wireless transmission of patient data. It is unique in that the data collected could be monitored by a physician to aid in proper interventions.
Along with continuing the development of the BandPass, the team will develop a mobile application and cloud-based service for data transmission, processing, and storage. Later this year, the team will test their device on a cohort of 16 patients to obtain feedback.
This work is being supported under Award Number R41AG071290 by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health. To learn more about BandPass and SynchroHealth, check out their website here. The Dartmouth Engineering article on this work can be found here.
Effective weight-management interventions require frequent interactions with specialised multidisciplinary teams of medical, nutritional and behavioural experts. However, barriers that exist in rural areas, such as transportation and a lack of specialised services, can prevent patients from receiving quality care. We recruited patients from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Weight & Wellness Center into a single-arm, non-randomised study of a remotely delivered 16-week evidence-based healthy lifestyle programme. Every 4 weeks, participants completed surveys that included their willingness to pay for services like those experienced in the intervention based on commute and copay. Overall, those with a travel duration of 31–45 min had a greater willingness to trade in-person visits for telehealth than any other group. Participants who had a travel duration less than 15 min, 16–30 min and 46–60 min experienced a positive trend in willingness to have telehealth visits until Week 8, where there was a general negative trend in willingness to trade in-person visits for virtual. Participants believed that telemedicine was useful and helpful. In rural areas where patients travel 30–45 min a telemedicine-delivered, intensive weight-loss intervention may be a well-received and cost-effective way for both patients and the clinical care team to connect.
Vanessa K. Rauch, Meredith Roderka, Auden C. McClure, Aaron B. Weintraub, Kevin Curtis, David F. Kotz, Richard I. Rothstein, and John A. Batsis. Willingness to pay for a telemedicine-delivered healthy lifestyle programme. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, June 2020. Sage. DOI: 10.1177/1357633X20943337
David Kotz recently presented a paper titled Amulet: an open-source wrist-worn platform for mHealth research and education.
Abstract: The advent of mobile and wearable computing technology has opened up tremendous opportunities for health and wellness applications. It is increasingly possible for individuals to wear devices that can sense their physiology or health-related behaviors, collecting valuable data in support of diagnosis, treatment, public health, or other applications. From a researcher’s point of view, the commercial availability of these “mHealth” devices has made it feasible to conduct scientific studies of health conditions and to explore health-related interventions. It remains difficult, however, to conduct systems work or other experimental research involving the hardware, software, security, and networking aspects of mobile and wearable technology. In this paper we describe the Amulet platform, an open-hardware, open-software wrist-worn computing device designed specifically for mHealth applications. Our position is that the Amulet is an inexpensive platform for research and education, and we encourage the mHealth community to explore its potential.
In Workshop on Networked Healthcare Technology (NetHealth), pages 891-897, January 2019. IEEE Computer Society Press.