Category Archives: Health Care

Which trends will shape the obesity treatment market in 2015?

It is well known that obesity is a pandemic. More than one third of the global adult population and around 20 percent of children in industrial countries are overweight or obese. In some countries we are starting to talk about a widespread disease. This development is dramatic and, without intensive activities around the treatment and the prevention of obesity, it is possible that nearly 80 percent of the global adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Policy, research, companies and society are faced with enormous challenges regarding the treatment, avoidance and medical assistance of obesity and secondary disease.

In 2015 the focus on obesity will be on both the prevention and treatment of the disease. .Regarding obesity prevention, there are several trends supporting people in their nutritional behavior and in strengthening the psyche, as well as their knowledge. Naturally, the market potential of low-fat food and mental assistance etc. is increasing and, naturally, the potential of the obesity treatment market is increasing, as is the supply of treatment methods. Obesity prevention and treatment will be part of new efforts undertaken by different countries.

Some trends that will shape the obesity treatment market in 2015 are:

  1. Economic development of countries and increasing income of the population will extend the market potential for current as well as new obesity treatment.
  2. Further research will be implemented to improve current treatment and to develop new treatment methods.
  3. Social media can change the attitude of young people to what it is to be overweight.
  4. Innovative IT can improve and campaign several obesity treatment methods.
  5. National programs on prevention can support the cooperation of stakeholders and the affected people.
  6. National legislation can lead to higher investments in prevention by health insurances or companies.

These trends can be accompanied by trends in the obesity treatment market, such as:

  • extension and assistance regarding nutritional behaviour and consultation
  • extension of early detection screening programs
  • development of Remote-Patient-Monitoring
  • innovative data bases and research programs
  • further research on indicators and coherences
  • analysis of daily health by mobile devices
  • on-going development of gastric surgery methods
  • innovations in metabolic treatments and surgery

Obesity is a global issue. The causes of obesity are different. The obesity treatment market still has a high potential in many countries of the world. Some treatment methods are available globally but market trends are going to be defined by national activities and cultural issues in particular. 

What is the outlook for the diabetes drug treatment over the 1-3 years?

The outlook for diabetes drug treatment over the next few years is promising for type 2 and type 1 patients. Well known pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck, Bayer, and Roche are leaders in the diabetes drug and device arena but new companies are involved as well. Market competition will increase with companies setting up operations in emerging markets. China and India, two of the biggest markets are expected to account for much of the growth of the treatment market. This trend will stimulate innovation and price reduction which will provide access to treatments for poorer patients.

A little further down the pipeline is a device/system called The Bionic Pancreas which uses both insulin and glucagon along with a continuous glucose monitor that are controlled by a smartphone. This is truly a game changer and when it comes to market the diabetes world will take notice.

As a person with Type 1 diabetes I often struggle to keep my blood sugars in balance.  It is no easy task to monitor my blood sugar while injecting insulin through an infusion pump to cover the carbohydrates I eat or to correct a high blood sugar.  Balancing food, insulin, stress, and exercise at times can be a monumental task.   I often joke about waving a device over food that can calculate the carbohydrates and automatically dispense the correct amount of insulin to cover the food I eat.

No joke, the team at the Diabetes Unit and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School along with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University may have just invented this device.  It is fondly called the Bionic Pancreas.  

In order to understand the game changing technology, it is important to point out the current technology being used to treat hundreds of thousands of patients with diabetes using insulin.  Insulin is administered in mainly two methods, through a needle injection/pen or an insulin pump.  Calculating the amount of insulin to administer prior to eating a meal or snack requires estimating the carbohydrates as well as being knowledgeable about the effect of protein and fat on blood sugar levels over time.  Many times it is done through trial and error, especially when a new food is introduced.

Monitoring blood sugar is typically done through finger sticks with a traditional blood glucose device.  More and more patients are using a fast growing device called a continuous glucose monitor which gives a number, typically every five minutes, but more importantly arrows that point up, down, or sideways to indicate trends and the rate at which the blood sugar level is moving up or down.

Glucagon, a hormone secreted in the pancreas, works by telling the liver to release sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream to quickly bring the blood sugar level back up before or when it drops too low.  For patients with type 1 diabetes, a synthetic version of glucagon is used in emergency situations such as loss of consciousness due to a severe low blood sugar.

The team working on the Bionic Pancreas used these devices and drugs (insulin pump, continuous glucose sensor, insulin, and glucagon) as well as a smart phone with an app using the algorithm developed by the engineers on the team. 

Overall, my experience on the Bionic Pancreas for five days was excellent.  It was refreshing to not have to think about my diabetes as much as I do on my traditional therapy (an insulin pump and continuous glucose sensor).  The key take-home message is that the Bionic Pancreas improved average blood glucose levels with less frequent hypoglycemia events in adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The primary focus of the team of inventors at this juncture is to invent a dual chambered pump as soon as possible. 

That alone would make me move to this device once it is cleared by the FDA and comes to market.

Sources: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1314474?query=featured_home#t=articleMethods

Outpatient Glycemic Control with a Bionic Pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes:  Russell, Steven J., MD., Ph.D., El-Khatib, Firas H., Ph.D., Sinha, Manasi, M.D., M.P.H., Magyar, Kendra L., M.S.N., N.P., McKeon, Katherine, M.Eng., Goergen, Laura G., B.S.N., R.N., Balliro, Courtney, B.S.N, R.N., Hillard, Mallory A., B.S.N., R.N., Nathan, David M., M.D., Damiano, Edward R., Ph.D. New England Journal of Medicine: June 2014.

What impact will the global trends have on the Animal Health Industry over the next year?

Regarding technology and process, when we talk about global trends in Animal Health Industry, comes up Biotechnology. Research in biotechnology fields, such as genomics, proteomics, and molecular techniques, have the potential to impact the Animal Health Industry. We could describe some products likely to emerge: DNA-based products, Real-time diagnostics and testing kits to confirm pathogens. Other focus area within animal health that presents opportunity to develop is vaccine delivery technology.

So, the scenario that we could expect over the next years is that the biotechnology will drive product development and technology innovation in the Animal Health Industry.

What are the key trends in global mHealth industry and which of its segments will be the key growth drivers over the next 12 months?

  1. Monitoring services (up to 66% of the Global mHealth market share)
  • Remote Patient monitoring
      • (e.g. Obesity Management
      • Healthy Living
      • Pregnancy Tips
      • Elderly Care
      • Smoking De-addiction
      • Infectious Diseases
      • Reproductive Health
      • Child Health / Child Care…)
  • Video conferencing and online consultations
          • e.g. Telephone-based consultations
          • Video consultations
          • Text-based consultations…
  • Personal healthcare devices
  • Wireless access to patient records and prescriptions
  • Chronic disease managementIndependent ageing applications in developed markets 
  • Post acute care monitoring services
  • Monitoring of patients with metabolic conditions such as obesity and Diabetes (is expected to comprise about 40% of the chronic disease management Segment)
  • Monitoring patients with cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure (is expected to contribute about 45% to chronic disease management revenues in the US and about 80% in China).
  • Analysis of general health and wellness data gathered by mobile devices

 2. Diagnostic Services (up to 16% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Interactive messages that help patients self-diagnose minor ailments
  • Medical call centres / help-lines manned by healthcare professionals
  • Telemedicine solutions that enable doctors to ‘see’ patients through wireless broadband
  • A majority of the revenues from Diagnosis services are expected to come from call-centre and mobile telemedicine solutions.              
  • The adoption of Diagnosis services is expected to support developing markets in bridging their healthcare access challenges.

 3. Treatment Services (up to 11% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Emergency Response
  • Ambulance based Solutions
  • Treatment Compliance
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Use of mobile device to explain/demonstrate during office visits
  • Provide patients access to portions of their medical record
  • Drug adherence and other health-related communication

 4. Healthcare System strengthening Services (up to 7% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Patient-centred care
  • Wellness (up to 3% of the Global mHealth market share)
  • Prevention (up to 1% of the Global mHealth market share)
      • e.g. Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Information Lookup and Decision Support
  • Health Surveys & Healthcare Surveillance
  • Healthcare Practitioner Support
  • Healthcare Administration& administrative communication

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