CES takeaway – telehealth tech that probably doesn’t need to happen

I’ve been watching presentations, reading product lit, and seeing what the future of telehealth is because really I’m a fan and all for it. However there have been a lot of things that do not need to exist (in my opinion,) that are being released this year. Opinion piece, I’m not stomping on your puppy. I may be wrong.

First off, of of the big things being touted this year is a pack that gets shipped to a patient. Your doctor owns it, you use the medical reporting equipment, it sends data back via built in LTE, and then you put everything back in the box and your carrier comes and picks it back up. Even if the devices get stolen there’s no data on them. Sounds like a plan, but yeah – here’s the combined content of the two I’ve seen.

  • Scale
  • thermometer
  • blood pressure cuff
  • heart rate monitor
  • SP02 monitor

The idea is each one of these will securely send the data to the doctor’s office. The patient will never have to worry about it. Insurance will be billed for costs associated with shipping. Seems like a win.

$24-40 or so for round trip mailing of this package for devices that all are available (although not connected,) from Amazon

Scale – $15.99, thermometer $5.09, blood pressure device $9.99, SPo2 (with heart rate monitor) – about $10 – total $41.07.

These are required for most visits, so that round trip mailing happens every appointment you have and after one or two mailings you’re spending more on shipping than product. The downside of the old school as picked from Amazon is you can lie about your weight and blood pressure. I guess at this point it becomes a game of does your doctor think you’re a liar or what.

Phone cases that register heart rate and SPO2… pretty sure that can be done with the existing phone camera, although the SPo2 might be useful if the person is carrying an iPhone around and needs to monitor their blood oxygenation levels… so yeah. $10 vs a hundred dollar case, for an iPhone.

The only thing I’ve seen a use case for renting out is an LTE connected endoscope or similar to look into your ears.

Takeaway – just because something can be connected doesn’t mean it needs to be… perhaps I’ll be seeing things that really do show the use case for these things. Just not yet. Some of the remote lab demos look cool… hoping they can partner with Uber or something and deliver testing.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts