More than eight in ten consumers believe that tracking their own health data with a clinically accurate monitoring device will help improve their overall health, while over 70% of adults would use a personal monitoring device if it were clinically accurate, according to a survey commissioned by Biotricity Inc. (OTCQB: BTCY) and the Society for Participatory Medicine.
The growing popularity of so-called wearables like Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Watch and FitBit Inc.’s (NYSE: FIT) line of activity trackers clearly demonstrates consumer demand for ways to become more engaged with their health monitoring. Apple sold 12 million Apple Watches last year alone, while FitBit sold nearly $2 billion worth of its activity trackers in the same year with sales expected to climb even higher in 2016.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cost to the healthcare system, accounting for 1 out of every 6 dollars spent. Patients often fail to comply with their doctor’s medical directives, dietary changes, exercise regiments, and lifestyle changes, which ultimately leads to the failure of the recommend program. Remote monitoring solutions could help resolve these problems by making it easier to track compliance and health outcomes.
Are Wearable Devices Accurate Enough?
NPR’s Amy Standen recently wrote about the difficulties that doctors have using health data collected from the growing number of so-called wearables on the market. In the article, Ms. Standen points out that Apple Watches and FitBits aren’t regulated by the FDA and only promote general wellness. The accuracy of these devices – in terms of heart rate readings, for instance – doesn’t meet the stringent standards that doctors rely on to make diagnoses.
In fact, Fitbit has been hit with a class action lawsuit in California over alleged “fraud on the market”. According to the complaint, Fitbit executives made “false and misleading” statements about the company’s heart monitoring technology. This sent the stock tumbling from a high of $40.54 a share in November 2015 to as low as $12.15 in February 2016.
Apple’s new CareKit platform takes a step in the direction of medically-relevant measurements that doctors can use. Mobi Health News recently published a piece highlighting CareKit’s initial applications in home monitoring of Parkinson’s Disease patients and patients that have been discharged after surgery. Apple’s ResearchKit will also make users’ genetic data available through a module by consumer genetics company 23andMe.
So, what’s holding physicians back from using wearables to better track consumer data?
Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO of Biotricity, recently wrote an article in HISTalkPractice outlining some key reasons that physicians have been reluctant to adopt these technologies to date. On the device-maker side, the challenge is to develop products that can not only be clinically validated and seamlessly integrated into a physician’s existing workflow, but also, understand and address a physician’s concerns over usability beyond simply meeting regulatory requirements.
SECFilings.com’s Mike Elliott recent sat down with President and CEO Waqaas Al-Siddiq to discuss the company’s goals within the remote patient monitoring industry:
Biotricity Develops a Better Solution
Biotricity is developing turnkey remote patient monitoring solutions with a focus on diagnostic and post-diagnostic solutions for lifestyle and chronic illnesses. The device allows physicians diagnose cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease as well as detect arrhythmias via remote monitoring for up to 30 consecutive days.
The device was recently mentioned in Small Biz Trends alongside Medtronic’s (NYSE: MDT) new sensor for predicting a potential hypoglycemia episode in advance.
Unlike the Apple Watch and FitBit, Biotricity is focused on innovating within existing business models where reimbursement has already been established for medical devices. In particular, the company is targeting the global EGC market that’s expected to grow at a 4.7% CAGR to reach $26 billion by 2020. Traditional MCT monitoring technologies are based on outdated technologies that require patients to wear a bulky device.
The company’s Bioflux MCT technology that consists of a monitoring device and software component that is convenient, cost-effective, and fully integrated. Currently, the device is pending 510(k) clearance with a software component that is already cleared by the FDA with 300 existing customers. The device offers better and/or equivalent diagnostics to current MCT devices with recurring reimbursements to doctors and hospitals and a revenue model that fits within the established insurance billing practices.
After verifying its business model and building strategic partnerships, the company is implementing a go-to market strategy designed to grow revenue over the near-term.
Investors in small medical device companies, like CardioNet Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAT), Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSII), Cryolife Inc. (NYSE: CRY), or Lifelogger Technologies Corp. (OTC: LOGG), may want to take a closer look at the stock as it gears up to launch.
Apple Watch and FitBits have piqued consumer interest in wearable devices aimed at improving health outcomes. Unfortunately, these devices aren’t approved by the FDA to provide accurate monitoring, which greatly limits their diagnostic value. Biotricity has noted this growing consumer demand and is rolling out wearables designed to improve patient outcomes using a business model that fits in with existing insurance billing and physician workflow.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.biotricity.com.