In the beginning the name iHealth was linked to a strange hemispherical device that worked with iPad and allowed the pressure measurement: it was the first experiment of a natural transition from the most advanced monitoring tools (with display, measurement recording and a pinch of intelligent electronics) to interaction with mobile devices and of course there was an Apple product at the forefront.
At the base there was not only an interesting idea of transposition of the patient's diary in the form of a tablet, but an entire industry that did not wait for anything else to give life to a new ecosystem that could involve every aspect of health control, from the car measurement to remote diagnosis, from pressure control to blood glucose level, from BMI to more sophisticated parameters to allow your doctor to make targeted diagnoses and to create a medical record with "smart" measurements.
Behind this project is Uwe Diegel, an eclectic character who has crossed many sectors of technology with his inventions with innovative products and a remarkable mastery of the market. We met him in a restaurant in Milan in the last few days on the occasion of the arrival in Italy of the first iHealth products (which we will talk about later) and it was an opportunity to have an all-round view of what the future will be the personal and interactive diagnostic check with the attending physician and the role that smartphones today and autonomous smart devices tomorrow will have in the life of most of us.
About Uwe DiegelHe was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1965 and, among other things, a specialist in oscillometric measurement and various other forms of medical diagnostics, relating to blood pressure, temperature, asthma and diabetes; holder of several patents for temperature and blood pressure measurement.
After studying music in Canada and at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Uwe Diegel has performed all over the world as a pianist for several years. In 1989 he was forced to end his career due to a right arm injury. He developed a new technology for the processing and production of low lactose dairy products and in 1992 entered the world of medical diagnostics developing new technologies in the cardiovascular field, interested in the production of medical devices, industrial design and related problems to the production of Chinese enterprises. In 2004, together brother Olaf, also invents a revolutionary technology for the storage and transport of thermo-sensitive drugs very useful in the field of diabetes management
How the iHealth project was bornThe Uwe Diegel company now controls 50% of the market for pressure measurement systems both for direct marketing and OEM production for brands such as Medisana and the result of twenty years of work.
The magic word behind the iHealth project "Health Management"That we can translate with a programmatic"Health Management"Or in a more practical" Health Check ".
Starting from the fact that the main cost items worldwide for health depend on Diabetes, Cancer, Hypertension and Cardiopathies and the fact that weight control intervenes in many of these it can be said that the current iHealth products (glucometer, scales, blood pressure monitors) are already able to respond to the needs of analysis and control of the most important pathologies and also contribute to reducing the relative costs with prevention activities.
But the most important growth factor on the side of the user the percentage of smartphone penetration compared to the total of telephone users will increase from 27% to 47% in a year and that most of this population has easy access to the relative capacities, much more than a computer or a dedicated analysis tool or a simplified interface of digital blood pressure monitors.
At the basis of this reasoning born iHealth and the project was presented three years ago to Apple for integration with all mobile devices with the bitten apple. On the horizon there is a specific market that estimated in 2018 at 6.9 billion dollars and in which the Uwe Diegel company wants to play an important role and reach more than 10% of the global turnover.
In the world and in ItalyThe marketing started from the United States and then grew all over the world up to a turnover of 80 million dollars. The first step towards conquering Europe was the opening of the subsidiary in France based in Paris while for Italy the idea was to rely on a company, GIMA, which has 80 years of experience in the distribution of products for health and aids for doctors and patients and able to reach both large retailers and premium stores (through AKOD), as well as large structures.
To get an idea of GIMA you can rattle off some data: a family-run company that has reached its third generation and operates in 140 countries, with Italian suppliers reaching 50% of the total, with a warehouse of 10,000 square meters and with logistics efficient able to support a growing market with double-digit values: the first quarter saw an increase of 23%.
From the meeting with Uwe Diegel, the idea of a collaboration was born that, as we have said, will bring iHealth products to specialized stores such as Apple Premium Resellers, trying to offer a range of products with a large-scale project and an excellent application behind them. allows complete "Health Management" both for personal consultation and for the preparation, control and diagnosis of a doctor.
The app as a marketing tool and as a hub for all devicesThe iHealth app, which stands out in the midst of a universe of 23,000 applications in the Health and Wellness sector of the App Store, has had 2 million downloads until last March and can also be used without connected iHealth devices: if we count that the The company has sold 1,300,000 "smart" devices. We can see how many users record personal data and measurements made with more traditional instruments with the App.
The app allows, thanks also to the precision and immediacy of communication with pressure, weight and biometric data meters, to be able to make recordings from multiple sources and to take daily micro-decisions in addition to accumulating data for an overall evaluation by a specialist.
Some of the iHealth devices presented are able to work autonomously, to accumulate data while we are traveling or away from the iPhone and iPad and then to download the data to the smart device and from there also forwarded to the attending physician.
The iHealth project does not concern how we have seen only the "patient" but it can also help doctors and for this, in addition to the company that markets hardware and software (iOS and Android) for the end user there is a second line of products and software ( iOS only) specialized for doctors able to "close the circle": the specialist or general practitioner able to interact with the patient through the collection and management of his data both from the measurements collected with the devices that the user has with whether it is with the measurements made in the first part of the visit.
On the doctor's sideThe meeting was also attended by Dr. Sessa, General Practitioner, President of SIMG (Italian Society of General Medicine) Lombardia, who provided not only field experience but also some information and statistics on what may be the public of iHealth products: eighty percent of Italians over 65 have a chronic pathology correlated with those of which we spoke previously and about every 10 years the average life of the patient increases by two years and this leads to a huge demand for public resources and personal in the management of personal health also because it concerns chronic pathologies.
Chronicity on the other hand is more easily managed with measuring instruments and accurate daily diaries to be correlated also with first level care, drug therapies and control of vital parameters.
The daily diary can be replaced by an App, a reserve of data to be always kept with the (voluntary) disposal of those who provide the care and able to offer a photograph of the patient's clinical history, especially because it can enter the direct relationship between the doctor and patient and the "care pact" that allows for faster, more effective and less expensive interventions for the community.
Diegel adds, "If we think that 99% of doctors equipped with a smartphone we see how this progress can be promoted and supported also by the patient's" counterpart ".
Design and technology on the patient's sideOn the aesthetic aspect of its products, Diegel lets out a joke even over the top "If we look at the device for blood sugar we want to have diabetes!" which says a lot about the extreme care with which iHealth transforms personal analysis tools into attractive objects that in their functionality can be used in everyday life without the fear of showing what is in fact a medical instrument.
And while studying new devices of even smaller size or simplified functionality such as glucometers that do not require a blood sample, Diegel stresses that his products must not remember the disease but rather the search for health and physical well-being.
The care in the design also has an interesting origin: iHealth finances the students of a Design center in New Zealand (as said the country of origin of Diegel) and from them obtains a completely original vision of the tools that the patient usually uses: the products they take on new shapes, elegant finishes which make their use pleasant; Like Apple, iHealth aims at the WOW effect, the amazement of those who admire an object for the first time and appreciate its intrinsic beauty.
The present and the future and the software that acts as a bridge: the iHealth products that you find today in Italy and those that will arrive.The presence of Uwe Diegel at the presentation was an opportunity not only to be explained about the characteristics of the products that will be distributed by GIMA in the coming weeks but also to have a preview of what the iHealth CEO was extracting from his sleeve as a skilled magician to make us understand how the company's production will position itself at 360 degrees in all fields of the detection of vital parameters both for diagnostic activities and in general in the wellness and fitness area.
The common trait is the ability to interact with the free iHealth software (iHealth Vitals available in the Pro version only for iPad also for Doctors and for more specialized devices) which is provided on the iTunes Store and on the Android store; it is a real diary of your physical conditions that you can download even if you do not yet have a company instrument: the data of your weight, height or measurements with traditional instruments can be entered manually but what is most important for iHealth which helps you understand how with the help of a tool that can connect directly to your smart phone or Tablet all the operations are speeded up and simplified and, of course, you can enter a large number of parameters that are impossible or boring to measure with traditional tools.
Prolearned for the end user
An example among the products that are already in Italy the most advancedBMI wi-fi scalewith a look that detaches itself from similar products also of the "smart" type and measures both the weight and the BMI index: it works online and offline and thanks to the 500 internal memories and the almost infinite ones on the device connected wirelessly it can be used in any location. Being multi-user it can be used by the whole family (by connecting to the single smartphone) and provides 9 different parameters: weight, body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, fiber mass, water in the body, daily calories, BMI, visceral fat also excellent for following the progress of an athlete or sportsman or a simple physical activity supporting a rehabilitation.
The application will then think about creating custom graphics, managing the combined information.
–Wi-Fi scale: ultra-thin, measures the weight and the BMI index, connects directly to the Tablet or Smartphone, works online and offline, generates customized graphics, CE and FDA certified
–upper arm blood pressure monitor: in a few moments it shows if the active connection by recording, in real time, the blood pressure values and the number of heart beats directly on the Tablet or Smartphone. CE and FDA certified, validated according to the ESH (European Hypertension Society) protocol, it has unlimited memories on the software. It works online and offline, shares results with family and doctors.
–Wrist blood pressure monitor: identical characteristics to the previous one
–Blood glucose:particularly useful for diabetics forced to measure the level of glucose in the blood, even several times a day. The App detects levels, retains information, allows you to observe landing over time and offers a reminder of when to take your medications. Instantly measures blood sugar directly from the Tablet or Smartphone; CE and FDA certified, generates personalized graphs for glucose and insulin levels, shares results with doctors and family
Other products such as smart watches, finger pressure monitors and wireless heart rate monitors are coming soon, they have been previewed by Diegel (see our photo gallery) and will soon be on our market too.
Products for doctorsAs an example of the first product for professionals who want quick, effective and "smart" tools we haveCardioLab iHealth, a wireless cardiovascular monitoring system that calculates not only blood pressure but also many other indices: – Ankle Brachial Index (ABI),: ankle-arm index, is based on measuring the maximum blood pressure (systolic) of the ankles and arms , possibly simultaneously. Provides an indication of arterial obstructions or other peripheral arterial diseases – Pulse Pressure (PP): difference between systolic and diastolic pressure – Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP): average pressure inside an artery in a complete cycle of a heartbeat .– Cardiac Output (CO): amount of blood that is pumped from the heart every minute. equal to the heart rate multiplied by the stroke volume.– Stroke Volume (SV): The amount of blood expelled from each ventricle with each systolic contraction.
CardioLab performs clinically accurate and reliable measurements of the above parameters in less than 3 minutes. It works via iPad from which the analysis is totally managed through a free APP (My Vitals Pro downloadable from AppleStore) and on whose screen they are displayed in real time displaying the impulse waves. For bedridden patients the device can be used in 24-hour "monitoring" mode. . It can be programmed to perform multiple measurements at selected intervals and averages them using an algorithm that eliminates some irregular readings caused by artifacts or the so-called white coat hypertension, or the harmless reaction of our body in the presence of the doctor who measures us. pressure.
The health of the child and the tranquility of the parentsIn addition to the personal Healt Management lines and the one dedicated to doctors, iHealth has a third branch of its activity dedicated to well-being that concerns children and mothers more closely: the first product was the surveillance camera iBabyable to connect to an iPhone or iPad: it did not seem different from many others on the market but the nice appearance and commercial success meant that iHealth studied a second version with a much more modern and pleasant look to be placed in the bedroom of the child or in the places where he carries out his activity making parents who are in another room more relaxed. iBaby products are about to arrive, many others dedicated also to expectant mothers and Diegel has shown us some interesting projects that will soon arrive on the market , first in the USA where mothers seem to be more anxious and eager for "smart" technology and then in the rest of the world.
ReferencesIHealth products are on sale in Italy in traditional retail channels and in some selected Apple Premium Reseller outlets (among the first… 1Place in Bergamo, ABC.it in the various locations between Romagna and Veneto, Commercial Computing in Sicily, Intown in Rome, Raffo in Liguria, Saronno MedStore and Zeroinformatica in Salerno). For Italian distribution for the consumer and retail channels you can contact AKOD.