Speaking of mHealth

July 29, 2014
In a new market report on the mobile health (mHealth) market, Lux Research (Boston, MA) says that once mobile clinical devices clear regulatory hurdles and physicians embrace them, these tools will far surpass their consumer-focused counterparts.
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In a new market report on the mobile health (mHealth) market, Lux Research (Boston, MA) says that once mobile clinical devices clear regulatory hurdles and physicians embrace them, these tools will far surpass their consumer-focused counterparts. With all of the innovation happening now in telehealth, I guess that's not hard to imagine. But still, wow.

Major drivers of this growth include wireless communications and the mobile phone, which, as Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (University of California at Davis) director Dennis Matthews pointed out during the 2014 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, can become a powerful biophotonics device. And cost-effective, especially with the help of optics and photonics.

Mobile health is one of the themes at Strategies in Biophotonics (Sept 9-11, Boston, MA), an event developed to guide innovators in commercial development of photonics-based biomedical products. A few highlights in this area:

• Following the opening keynote by Robert Langer, Sc.D. (the most-cited engineer in history, a tireless translator of breakthrough technology to market, and an inspiringly independent innovator), Anita Goel, MD, Ph.D., named by MIT's Technology Review as one of the world's "Top 35 science and technology innovators," will describe the impact mHealth can make, and the platform she is pursuing to address critical, unmet global needs through her company Nanobiosym Diagnostics.

• On Thursday, UCLA Chancellor's Professor and newly appointed Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI; Chevy Chase, MD) Professor (hooray!) Aydogan Ozcan will discuss mHealth from his standpoint, as he develops inexpensive, lightweight attachments that turn ordinary smartphones into devices able to detect mercury in water, malaria in blood cells, and allergens in food.

• A panel discussion titled Disruptive Innovation and the Future of Photonics-based Medicine that will also include Gary Tearney, MD, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, a pioneer in high-res, noninvasive optical diagnostics and developer of technologies underlying commercially available technologies; neuroscience and optogenetics pioneer Xue Han, Ph.D., of Boston University; Howard Shapiro, MD, PC, known for innovation in cytometry; and Ozcan.

• Randal Chinnock of Optimum Technologies will discuss disposable optics, a key enabling component.

By the way, with his five-year $1 million grant from HHMI, Ozcan plans to launch a program in which undergraduates form interdisciplinary teams annually to design, build, and test novel technologies for telemedicine and global health applications—efforts that will surely fuel the growth Lux is predicting.

I hope you'll join me at Strategies in Biophotonics, as these talks are only one facet of the inspiring help that we've got on tap.

About the Author

Barbara Gefvert | Editor-in-Chief, BioOptics World (2008-2020)

Barbara G. Gefvert has been a science and technology editor and writer since 1987, and served as editor in chief on multiple publications, including Sensors magazine for nearly a decade.

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