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Doctor at Home

TytoHome is a set of tools integrated by an app on your smartphone that allows home the  exam of throat condition, sharing result with a doctor from remote. Image credit: TytoCare

As I mentioned in a post few days ago, digital health is slowly coming. Part of it is the possibility to carry out medical exams, inspections, at home and transferring the resulting data to a doctor providing advice from remote.

A number of start ups are looking into this new market opportunity, leveraging on tech advances that make sensors and processing more affordable for the mass market.

Tyto Care is driven by the vision of placing healthcare in the hands of  consumers, providing them with the tools required to carry out at home those analyses that you would take at the doctor premises today. They reason that wasting driving time to see the doctor any time your toddler is coughing or gets a sore throat is just that: wasted time. All in all what the doctor does is looking at the throat and write down a prescription. Why not enable the doctor to look at the kid’s throat using a bit of technology?

TytoCare has been flagged one of the best 10 CES innovative product b yWired. Photo: Adrianne So

Here comes TytoHome: they provide you with an app to run on your smartphone and a few simple pieces of hardware you can use to take a good video stream of your kid’s throat. By clicking on the app you get connected to your doctor (at a time mutually agreed) and the doctor will guide you in the remote inspection. The doctor gets Hi Def images, as good as she were inspecting the kid in her studio and will write and send you whatever prescription may be needed. You can take a look at the TytoHome clip.

Another company that has been active in the home healthcare is Withings (it was acquired by Nokia to become part of its Nokia Health division in May 2016, but it went back to be an independent company in May 2018 as Nokia re-sold it to his founder). They have announced at CES 2019 a new Blood Pressure Measuring System (I have the old one…. you always turn out to have the old one…) that in addition to measuring your blood pressure can also turn into an ECG and in a Digital stethoscope providing hints on valvular malfunction and atrial fibrillation, both conditions that may be asymptomatic for awhile, till they get worse. By monitoring their insurgence it becomes possible to intervene before damage occur.

Digital Health Market growth in the next 5 years in the US. Credit: Global Market Insight

The Digital Health market is expected to triple in the next 5 years in the US with a similar trend expected in Western Europe. Regulations play a big role in fostering its growth. Notice in the graphic that the biggest business is in Mobile Health (green bar) and in digital health systems (dark blue bar), whilst teleHealhcare is just starting. My bet is that by the end of the next decade it will have a significant chunk of the market and by the following one it will take the lead. Digital Twins mirroring you and me will play a significant role.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.