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The field trial on an international cross-border scale: The 2015 mHealth Grand Tour summary report

The 2015 mHealth Grand Tour from Brussels to Geneva was a field trial on an international cross-border scale. More than 23 cyclists with Type 1 diabetes were among over 100 riders from 22 nations to take part in the 1,500 kilometer route incorporating more than 22,000 meters of climbing. The ten-day Tour was designed to test how innovative new mobile health solutions can help both athletes and ordinary people better manage their diabetes. This report summarises the performance of the Tour’s mobile health devices and records the experiences of Team GSMA.

Mobile Operator Orange, the Tour’s main sponsor, brought together leading global technology companies Intel, Dexcom, Polar and Samsung, as well as innovative startups TAPcheck, Tellspec and Medwhat, to offer the riders a completely new monitoring and personalised mobile coaching service – significantly more advanced solution than that tested in the inaugural mHealth Grand Tour in 2013

The mHealth Grand Tour 2015 demonstrated that significant progress has been made in developing connected healthcare solutions since the inaugural Tour in 2013. But this exciting new sector is only at the start of long and rewarding journey.

Benjamin Sarda, Head of Marketing, Orange Healthcare, will be discussing the Grand Tour at the 2015 mHealth Summit in Washington DC at 9:30am, Wednesday, Nov 11. His session, ‘The mHealth Grand Tour is A Unique, Living Example of the Power of mobile Health. Why?’ will explore how the remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases can dramatically improve an individual’s quality of life. Remote monitoring allows patients to maintain independence, reduce the number of times they visit their healthcare provider in-clinic, prevent complications and minimize personal costs.

Register for the 2015 mHealth Summit

Download the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour summary report, ‘Epic Tour Tests Mobile Health’

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Team GSMA reflect on memorable experiences brought about by Mobile Health as they complete 2015 Grand Tour

Team GSMA, along with the other riders, have now crossed the finish line in Geneva, and have completed the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour. During the final day of the Tour,  cyclists rode through stunning Alpine scenery and glorious sunshine before encountering heavy rain and wet slippery roads, making the final steps of the Tour a true test of endurance.

Undoubtedly, all riders from 22 nations, can be proud of their personal achievement and their contribution towards raising awareness for diabetes and the advancement of mobile health technology that will improve the lives of millions.

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As the riders knew, the Tour acts as a testing ground for these health solutions, helping to determine their usefulness in the field for both those with and without diabetes. By the end of the Tour, riders across the board were utterly convinced of the effectiveness and the market readiness of the mobile health solution they had been using throughout the Tour.

Team Captain Pete Montgomery (Director Marketing Partnerships, GSMA), reported that in this respect the Grand Tour was a huge success, demonstrating what can be achieved inside a cooperative ecosystem,  ‘The technology trial and health study was hugely successful with riders expressing their support throughout and learning new things every-day. Whether it was using additional sensor data such as their heart rate to give an indication of their blood sugar levels or monitoring their sleep patterns for day-by-day analysis of their performance, everybody gained something new through the study that will help them perform better, and manage their condition better, in future endurance events. None of this would have been possible without the huge support from Orange, Dexcom, Intel, Samsung, TapCheck and many others who worked seamlessly to create and support a robust platform for the technical trial and health study’.

Mobile health solutions such as these make it possible for those with diabetes to live a healthier, more active life. For Team GSMA’s Gavin Griffiths, the Tour served as a fantastic reminder of this fact, ‘My most memorable, most inspiring moment from the entire Tour is when one of my fellow riders and diabetics broke down in tears at the summit of the final climb of the tour. It was brought on by the thought of how this was now possible – when he was diagnosed over 40 years ago he thought he could never envisage accomplishing this epic ride’.

The solution, was not only effective in the field at tracking individual performance, but also incredibly easy to use. Simon Picking recalled to us how easy the solution was to use and praised it’s interoperability, ‘With the app as the central point of the solution, connecting to HRM, CGM, insulin pump and potentially other sensors is incredibly useful and convenient – there are so many brands/solutions that are not interoperable, but if they all connected with an app on my mobile phone it would really help pull all of the components together giving me consolidated reporting and access to all of my healthcare devices, real-time.’

Now that the effectiveness of this mobile health solution has again been convincingly demonstrated, those involved in its development will have to work hard to bring this to the market, which will enable others with diabetes to achieve similar heights to those on the Tour.

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As the Grand Tour enters the final leg, Team GSMA assess the latest Mobile Health solutions

Having departed Belfort, Team GSMA have now begun the final leg of the Grand Tour and will soon be entering Switzerland. Unlike the stage one, there was no rest day at the end of the second leg, meaning that riders will be cycling for six straight days with little respite. With each member of Team GSMA being pushed to their physical and psychological limit, we were eager to discover if and how the Tour’s mobile health solution was assisting them.

As we found out in the the first leg of the Tour, our riders found the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to be a particularly useful tool. Now that our riders are fully familiarised with the overall health solution, we asked them if the Orange GT Gateway app had helped them through their journey.

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Team Captain, Pete Montgomery, found it interesting to see how his body was adapting the strains of this multi-day intensive activity. Here mobile was extremely useful in measuring this, ‘Every morning our readings are taken and transferred from the weight scale and blood pressure monitor using NFC into the app on the phone. The app itself talks to other apps on the phone as well as the continuous heart rate monitor I am wearing which communicates over Bluetooth LTE. All this data is then seamlessly synchronised with the Orange cloud.’

Most importantly, the Orange GT Gateway app has been easy to use – serving as a useful hub in which our riders’ performance data can be easily accessed. According to Gavin, the more he used the app, the easier it was to use, ‘now we’re in stage 2 I’m really getting into the swing of it. I found the app incredibly interesting, it monitors and reviews my weight, HR, BP, sleep, blood glucose all in one place, giving me a really good insight into what was going on with my body. There are so many features on the app, and I use all of them, including the the event info, facts and social element – It’s really useful.’

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Indeed, because the Orange GT Gateway app is able to store and display so much information in one platform, it has been useful for all of our riders – and for different reasons. For example, Simon found it useful in calculating his food intake, ‘the real benefit is in looking to see what carbs you’ve had during the day, perhaps to prepare for a night’s sleep or the evening ahead. Recording this in the app has helped me understand what I need to eat, slow release carbs perhaps, so that I have a better chance of a restful night’s sleep, and avoid hypos during the night.’

The team will now undertake a tough uphill ride to Yverdon-les-Bains and Morzine, then continue downhill past Lake Geneva, before reaching their destination of the tour in the historic city of Geneva. Visit Connected Living throughout the next few days as the Tour reaches its climax, and find out more about Team GSMA and the latest in mobile health solutions.

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Riders and Mobile Health solutions put to the test as Grand Tour enters Phase Two

The first leg of the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour has come to a close, and after a day of rest in Paris, riders from Team GSMA have now embarked upon the journey from Paris to Belfort. During the respite, we caught up with riders from the team to find out how the mobile health solutions impacted their performance.

Despite the various degrees of fatigue experienced by our riders, all found the overall mobile health solution to be useful and effective. Gavin, who has experienced his first hypo of the tour, has found that the live feedback on his weight and heartrate is helping him to understand his own fitness, whilst the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), is assisting him in the management of his condition.

CGM is an integral part of the overall solution and has helped ensure that cyclists with diabetes are able to participate safely and more efficiently throughout this epic bike ride. Indeed, CGM opens up a world of opportunity for aspiring athletes with diabetes. According to Simon, ‘Whenever I’ve done rides or other endurance events before without a CGM you’re always having to stop and check your blood sugar levels, with CGM you can carry on without having to stop because you know it will alert you to any issues. A CGM is really unobtrusive, you can glance down on your bike and see what is happening with your blood levels. It’s convenient and simple, allowing you to manage your diabetes on the move’.

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For riders without diabetes such as Pete, the solution was still a significant factor in enhancing performance: ‘Although I do not have diabetes, I have been using a number of the technology products provided to the riders with diabetes such as, blood pressure, weight, heart rate and Orange My Grand Tour health app – all of which have helped me to understand my own limits’.

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Team GSMA has now set off on stage two of the Tour – the journey from Paris to Belfort. Here our riders will stop off at Troyes described in the Lonely Planet guide as ‘one of the finest ensembles of half-timbered houses and Gothic churches in France’. From there they will ride through a mixture of lakes, forests and open countryside to the hill fort town of Langres, before beginning the downhill ride to Belfort.

Stage two will test the steel of our riders over a massive 533Km – the longest leg of the event. As planned, Kate Ford is now being substituted by the GSMA’s Carl Wichman, who will ride for Team GSMA for the remainder of the Tour.

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For more information on how the Tour’s mobile health solution is improving our riders’ endurance, and greater examination of how other devices and apps are performing, visit Connected Living throughout the Tour, where we will be providing live updates as the Tour progresses.

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Mobile Health experts gather as Grand Tour commences

This morning, the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour began, with cyclists across the globe setting off for the first leg of the Tour from Brussels to Paris. Cyclists will ride past the sites of Waterloo and Mons, the location of the last Western Front in 1918, on route to Cambrai, where they will end day one of the Tour.

After weeks of preparation and training, riders from Team GSMA, Peter Montgomery, Kate Ford, Nenad Simunko, Simon Picking and Gavin Griffiths are now underway. Gavin represented the enthusiasm and eagerness of the team before the first leg: ‘I am excited, not nervous, looking forward to it – never done anything like this before. Running is my passion, I run marathons, so this is going to be a new experience’

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To mark the occasion, experts and senior representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, industry and various healthcare professional organisations gathered for the ‘policymakers breakfast’, where they discussed the key role Mobile can play in managing health conditions.

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Afke Schaart, Vice President Europe, GSMA, introduced the event and stated that ‘the case for mobile in managing day-to-day health conditions has never been stronger’ and ‘In the wake of the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour, we hope to see more governments and organisations commit to Mobile Health solutions after seeing how effective they can be in the field.’ Nonetheless, the congregation of so many high profile experts and representatives at the Tour’s inaugural event, is in itself a step towards the market-readiness of Mobile Health solutions.

Following the policymakers breakfast, attendees were invited to a networking event in the Autoworld Museum, which featured a number of demonstrations showing of the power of Mobile Health. Demos were exhibited by partners of the mHealth Grand Tour – some of which included technology used on the Tour, whilst others showcased health and wellness solutions in other areas – all of which a clearly showed the huge potential of Mobile has in the health sector.

At the event, the GSMA had two cutting edge demonstrations- a Virtual Reality Tour and a Connected Technology Showcase.

Virtual Reality tour:

The GSMA Connected Living Programme invited the attendees of the mHealth Grand Tour networking reception to enter a unique virtual reality world. Oculus Rift headsets allowed visitors to enter the mobile network, viewing it from the inside and taking in the expanding world of connected devices and services.

Connected Technology Showcase:

Attendees had the opportunity to test and try a number of the latest innovative connected products such as wearables and a connected tennis racket for real time feedback on your game.

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The mHealth Grand Tour is celebrated as a leading example of how the global health issues such as diabetes can be effectively combatted using Mobile Health solutions.

This is the first of several updates that Connected Living will be providing throughout the Tour – to discover how our riders and their solutions performed during stage one of the Tour, visit Connected Living on Monday 7 September.

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Team GSMA gears up for mHealth Grand Tour

Introducing Team GSMA and the latest in Mobile Health

On September 3rd, riders from Team GSMA will begin their journey on the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour, the world leading mobile health event that will test the state of the art diabetes solutions. Throughout the event, Connected Living will be keeping you informed on our riders’ progress and providing regular updates on how the latest mobile health solutions are improving the lives of those with diabetes. In the run up to the Tour, we’d like to give you an overview of our team, and the devices those with type 1 diabetes will be using throughout the tour.

Team GSMA

TeamPete2Peter Montgomery – Team Captain

Legs: Brussels-Paris, Paris-Belfort, Belfort-Geneva

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘I have a great interest in how technology can be used to enhance the lives of people, with or without conditions that are perceived as hampering participation in sports. Being part of an initiative that looks at how connected devices can make sports and exercise more accessible and manageable for people is exciting and being able to experience great views, a difficult challenge and punish myself along the way is what drew me to the Tour in 2015.’

TeamCarl2Carl Wichman – Vice Captain

Legs: Paris-Belfort, Belfort-Geneva

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘My motivation to ride the first tour in 2013 was my Type 1 friend, “Steve”. I now have many other diabetic friends I met through that tour some of whom will be riding again in 2015, so it is a great chance to catch up and ride with friends, and raising awareness of diabetes and promoting cutting edge technology solutions to assist in the management of the condition are as relevant today as in 2013.’

TeamKate2Kate Ford

Legs: Brussels-Paris

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘I decided to do the mHealth Tour, perhaps somewhat impulsively… I was interning at the International Diabetes Federation for the summer when I became aware of the mHealth Tour. I’ve always been somewhat apprehensive of endurance events, such as marathons, mostly out of fear that sustaining blood sugars during activity for such a length of time would be too difficult. The fact that the mHealth Tour was all about bringing awareness to type 1 diabetes, with many riders being T1s themselves, brought a lot of solace to the idea of biking almost 500km. Thus I decided to take the plunge, or more accurately, wet my feet with stage 1.’

TeamNenad2Nenad Simunko

Legs: Brussels-Paris, Paris-Belfort, Belfort-Geneva

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘I have been a participant in first two Tour’s and it was one of the greatest adventures in my life. Can’t wait for this year’s edition. Old and new friends, awesome bicycle routes, I just can’t wait for the start.’

TeamSimon2Simon Picking

Legs: Brussels-Paris, Paris-Belfort, Belfort-Geneva

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘It was too good an opportunity to miss. It isn’t ideal preparation for an Ironman two weeks later, but oh well! The experience in 2013 was amazing, there were fabulous places and food, great people and just an amazing atmosphere – I couldn’t say no. I learnt so much from others and the life experience with people from all over the world made it so special. I can’t wait for the 2015 tour.’

TeamGavin2Gavin Griffiths

Legs: Brussels-Paris, Paris-Belfort, Belfort-Geneva

Why did you decide to participate in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour?

‘It’s a challenge, adventure and scenic experience; cycling may not be my main sport personally but it is a fantastic sport and hobby, it certainly is a challenge on diabetes control too – which I enjoy taking on – and the whole Tour really appealed to me.’

The Technology

Riders with type 1 diabetes will be equipped with a range of health devices – which have been developed in accordance with Continua Health Alliance’s Guidelines to ensure interoperability and the secure transmission of data.

The Dexcom G4 blood glucose reader and various devices developed by Tapcheck and Basis Intel that measure calories burned and heart rate, will relay data back to a Samsung S5 that is then visualised on Orange’s mHealth GT Gateway app.

From here, riders will be able to view all data readings in real time – Medwhat and Telspec have also enabled the GT Gateway app to contain personalised coaching and nutrition services that will help the riders improve their performance and alert them to any health issues that may occur.

All data that is fed through to the mHealth GT Gateway app is also transmitted to the Orange Health Cloud and then to a dashboard which will be monitored by health professionals. During the event, Orange’s M2M solution will also enable riders to track their position in real time.

This cutting edge Mobile Health technology is a world class example of what can be achieved through collaboration across the health sector and Mobile industry. This technology will be put to the test during the Tour in order to demonstrate how the power of Mobile can be used to improve the lives of millions across the globe.

Join us at Connected Living to find out how our riders are progressing and to discover in real time, how the latest Mobile Health solutions are improving the lives of those with diabetes.

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World leading Mobile Health event soon to be underway

In two weeks, over 20 cyclists with type 1 diabetes will be embark upon the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour, an epic ten day, 1,500 km bike ride, where riders will demonstrate how the latest mobile health solutions can be used to more effectively manage the condition.

The GSMA is one of the main sponsors of the mHealth Grand Tour 2015 – supporting the collaboration of all players in the Mobile Health ecosystem in order to accelerate its growth. Next week, on the GSMA Connected Living News, we will be introducing Team GSMA – an inspiring team of both professional athletes and amateur cyclists with Type 1 diabetes who will be taking the journey from Brussels to Geneva. Over the course of the Tour, they will provide live updates on the impact the technology is having on their performance and management of their condition, and of course, updates on the spectacular scenery and landmarks along the way.

Building on the 2013 mHealth Grand Tour this year’s Tour will give all those interested in the health sector the opportunity to witness a sustained demonstration of the how the power of Mobile can be used to improve people’s lives.

The Tour itself is a brilliant example of how collaboration between various ecosystem players can help to accelerate the development of such mobile health solutions. Orange, Samsung, Intel, TAPcheck, Dexcom, and the startup Medwhat are joining forces to offer riders a completely new monitoring and personalised mobile coaching service. Startups Tellspec and HCi Viocare are joining – using the Tour to demonstrate how their technologies can help patients. Etisalat also have a team cycling the Tour with an aim to raise awareness about diabetes and the potential of mHealth to improve patients’ lives.

During the Tour, Continua’s guidelines are being used to ensure interoperability of the solutions and the secure transition of data between the sensors, mobile devices and the platform where the riders’ personal medical files are stored. Riders’ conditions will be remotely monitored and will benefit from the support of a mobile coaching service, and will be surrounded by a medical team that can react to the data collected in real time.

Visit this website regularly to discover events from the Tour as they unfold. To receive updates on all GSMA Connected Living events subscribe to our newsletter.

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Calling all cyclists: opportunity to take part in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour

The GSMA Connected Living programme is pleased to be offering additional places for cyclists in the upcoming 2015 mHealth Grand Tour supported by the GSMA, Orange and Etisalat. The Tour is a 1,400km epic bike ride across some of the most beautiful routes in Europe that demonstrates cutting edge mHealth solutions.

The Tour will raise awareness and funds for diabetes – a health condition widely expected grow in the near future. Throughout the event, riders will be equipped with the latest mHealth devices that can be applied to patients, such as blood glucose readers, heart monitors and bike sensors that measure distance, height and rest periods.

Those taking part will have the opportunity to engage with many players in the wider ecosystem such as healthcare professionals and technology experts. The Tour is a valuable opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the latest innovations in mHealth and a perfect opportunity to promote your organisation’s mHealth initiatives.

This year’s Tour follows the highly successful 2013 mHealth Grand Tour which received considerable media attention and was subject to an academic study by Newcastle University. The GSMA Connected Living programme will also be tracking the events of the tour in order to form a subsequent Connected Living mHealth case study.

The Tour will begin on the 3rd September and end on the 12th September and will consist of three legs: Brussels to Paris (3 days), Paris to Dijon (3 days) and Dijon to Geneva (4 days). Applicants will be able to apply for the entire tour or any legs of their choice. This offer is open to all GSMA members only. To book your place on the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour please email Nicola Gordon at NGordon@GSMA.com

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Exploring the Innovation City: Partner Showcases at MWC 15

  • Multiple Connected Car demonstrations highlight market potential
  • AT&T Underscore commitment to M2M
  • More M2M and IoT devices for the Connected home revealed at Innovation City

 

The GSMA partner showcases at the GSMA Innovation City this year feature the most state-of-the-art products and services in Machine to Machine (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT).Most striking about Innovation City this year, and Mobile World Congress in general is the growing number automakers showcasing connected cars. The Innovation City featured four cars on display- one displayed by Vodafone and the other four exhibited by AT&T, who clearly see massive market potential in the Connected car.

According Shane Rooney, Executive Director, Connected Living, GSMA, “Mobile World Congress…reflects the very latest mobile technology and the huge presence of automakers at the show this year demonstrates that this is fast becoming a huge growth area. Indeed, Machina Research predicts that the number of in-car mobile connections will grow from 4.3 million today to 645 million by 2024 at a CAGR of 65%. There were numerous brands including Ford, General Motors, Audi, Maserati, Porsche and Cadillac amongst others all demonstrating new in-car services using cellular connectivity such as entertainment, security and insurance”.

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The centrepiece of Vodafone’s exhibition was the new Porsche Panamera, which it is providing the connectivity for to deliver a host of new capabilities across security, safety and insurance. For example, a driver can synchronise their car with their smart phone to keep themselves remotely updated with the car’s security, location, diagnostics, mileage and fuel consumption. This follows in the footsteps of Vodafone’s acquisition of automotive technologies company, Cobra in June 2014,  which has given it more focused expertise in automotive sector.

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AT&T’s Connected cars are part of its broader vision for the ‘Connected Life’ which outlines  a complete user experience comprised of the Connected car and Digital Life, which is essentially the operator’s Connected home solution.

The presence of the Connected Car at the show highlights the significant role that cellular technology plays in connecting in-vehicle services such as infotainment applications, driver behaviour data, fuel consumption and diagnostics. AT&T’s Digital Life is a clear demonstration of how it is making significant inroads into the connected home by offering clear benefits to the consumer such as its security and home automation services that are managed through a smartphone app or wearable wrist device. AT&T’s commitment to M2M and IoT was underscored by the location and content of its exhibition which was exclusively based on M2M and entirely contained within the Innovation City.

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KT are concentrating heavily on how M2M and the IoT can improve everyday household items and activities with a wide range of demonstrations and services. The Korean mobile network operator showcased a virtual domestic environment where you could experience different aspects of how mobile connectivity and M2M services are improving the lives of consumers.. These include: a urine sample health monitoring device, which measures blood levels, protein and blood cell levels, as well as a connected exercise bike which uses sensors attached to a person’s leg to send performance data to a smartphone and via an IP Connected TV.

oral b demo

Oral hygiene products company, Oral-B, showcased its connected SmartSeries electric tooth brush at Innovation City in a lifelike dental spa. The toothbrush connects to the Oral-B App, which provides real-time guidance to users brushing their teeth. The App records brushing activity and allows the brusher to share this data with dental professionals. The App also signals when the user should reduce the acceleration rate at which he/she brushes his/her teeth. Oral-B demonstrates that such results are achieved by allowing the user to view news articles or videos, for example, while they are brushing their teeth.

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Sierra Wireless highlighted the role that its modules are playing in the M2M/IoT space. The organisation currently works closely with energy management company, Schneider Electric and helps them to connect electric charging terminals. Sierra also highlighted another project which uses embedded wireless modules to provide connectivity for the ‘CityTouch LightWave’ remote lighting management system project. CityTouch LightWave is a solution that allows city lights, within smart cities, to be connected. As a result, street lighting can be monitored and managed effectively so that lighting can easily adapt to both natural light and weather which in turn leads to a more efficient consumption of energy.

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M2M Platform provider, Jasper, demonstrated its industrial equipment aimed at a range of verticals and designed to provide lower support costs and enable remote use. They also featured a connected vending machine which can measure the type and time of purchase for products and automatically feeds data back to the food supplier who can in turn deliver less frequent, and more catered shipments.

There were numerous experiences, demonstrations and showcases exhibited throughout the day in Innovation City which gave a rich sense of how M2M and the IoT offer a completely new user experience, particularly the journey through the mobile network using Oculus Rift. According to Andrew Parker, Marketing Director, Connected Living, GSMA “The huge number of VIPs, high profile delegates, industry figures and media personnel – which included a personal visit from the king of Spain – reflects the growing interest in this space and recognition that the IoT is now more reality than concept. We look forward to continuing our demonstrations in the Innovation City throughout the week and welcome anyone to join us in experiencing the benefits of connected life”.

 

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After the success of Turkcell’s Healthmeter, what next in the mHealth sector?

In September 2014, telecoms operator Turckcell announced the results of a medical study with Istanbul University on the impact of the Turkcell Healthmeter on diabetes patients. This collaboration was reported by online publication M2M Magazine as the first known global example of an operator-developed mobile health product that has led to significant health improvements, as demonstrated by a leading medical research institution.
The Turkcell Healthmeter is a device that can wirelessly connect with Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meters to collect data readings and then transmit them to the patient’s doctor. In the study, patients that used the Healthmeter had lower HbA1c (3-month blood sugar) levels than those that otherwise continued with their regular drug routines.
The research follows a previous study in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology that claimed that apps for monitoring diabetes lacked necessary features, most notably Bluetooth glucose monitoring. The Healthmeter’s M2M Embedded SIM enables it to easily relay data to a smartphone, though the device itself does not require a smartphone to function.
It is effective because it is able to report data to doctors and physicians in real time: the results of the Healthmeter are transferred to a database and if there are any irregularities in data readings, a doctor is alerted by SMS.
The potential for more responsive diagnosis and treatment of patients, and the opportunity for manufacturers and operators in the mHealth space to save costs, are two key reasons why remote monitoring is poised for rapid growth in the next few years. In the U.S. the number of patients using connected medical devices is predicted to grow threefold to 10.3 million in the next 3 years, according to M2M research house, Berg Insight.
The growth of remote monitoring is part of a broader trend in the healthcare sector in which companies are increasingly utilising new ways of collecting and processing greater and more complex data sets. Liz Khorey, Executive Director of Ernst and Young’s Healthcare Advisory practice, expects that in 2015 ‘interoperability—the extent that health care systems and devices can share and interpret data—will re-emerge as a theme as organizations struggle to work without the necessary ability to exchange data… A significant push by patients to gain electronic access to their medical records could become a catalyst for change’.
Nonetheless, there are solutions for interoperability, most notably, the Continua Health Alliance Design Guidelines that provide standards and security for connected health technologies such as tablets, smartphones, gateways and remote monitoring devices, and have been widely adopted throughout the health sector.
Healthcare market research firm IDC Insights predicts that ‘the need to manage cohorts of patients with chronic conditions, will lead 70 percent of healthcare organizations to invest in consumer-facing mobile apps, wearables, remote monitoring tools, and virtual care’. This in turn will lead to more demand for Big Data and analytics capability to support population health management initiatives’.
The success of Turkcell’s Healthmeter is a step forward in demonstrating the advantages of mHealth solutions. Nonetheless, operators and manufactures must continue to develop solutions that can be even more tailored to patients’ needs. Open platform initiatives and Industry collaboration will be key to unlocking new and more intuitive ways in which patients can access and use their own medical data—a demand which will likely increase with developments in other M2M sectors and as the strain on public healthcare becomes more apparent.

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