If Apple Watch says stand, I stand

By Henrik Bo Larsen, ICDK Director of Business Development

The first step to change is awareness….

One of the most interesting aspects of the new Apple Watch is how the watch would be able to actually impact the behavior of the user. A recent study by Wristley Insight has studied in details how the Apple Watch impacts the health, exercise and lifestyle of the user. 990 users have responded to a survey about their health behaviors while using the Apple Watch.

More than 78% agreed or strongly agreed that since getting the watch, they are more aware of their overall health. In addition, many of the responders have already made changes with 78% agreeing or strongly agreeing that they stand more, 67% walk more, 57% exercise more and 59% make better overall health choices.

The second step is acceptance….

That so many respondents indicate change in behavior is very interesting. This finding addresses one of the real problems of prevention and lifestyle change. During my time dealing with this challenge in health care, I have never seen results this strong of a behavior change tool. The study shows that the watch can motivate people to make changes. The users become aware of their health situation and by accepting the situation, they become motivated to pursue changes.

… final step is action

These results should interest everyone working in health care. A simple measurement on your activity level combined with an intelligent and gentle reminder of your actual behavior will make you aware and start the process of change. If the numbers can be replicated in a larger study, this will have a clinical relevant impact on the ones that wear the watch consistently to make a permanent lifestyle change.

Where Big Data makes a Big Difference in Healthcare


One of the unstated facts of medicine is that we don’t always understand the relationship between treatments and outcomes. For example, the U.S. spends over $2.6 trillion on health care every year, including over $600 billion in unexplained variations in treatments: in other words treatments that cause no differences in outcomes. This is where big data analytics, coupled with the right educational interventions, can make a huge difference to healthcare outcomes.

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Rethinking healthcare in the Caring Municipality….


….was exactly what the department of Health and Care from the municipality of Aarhus was doing when they visited the Valley last month. Like in every other western country it is not uncommon for Danes to live well into their 80ties or 90ties, whereby the healthcare system is experiencing rising challenges in regards of providing care for the increasing aging population. With a special focus on eldercare in the US, the use of new technologies, and the ensuring of a dignified old age, the municipality of Aarhus went over here to seek inspiration and challenge how things are done in Aarhus, while at the same time share knowledge and experience with relevant parties and potential partners..

Continue reading “Rethinking healthcare in the Caring Municipality….”

Transatlantic telemedicine opens new horizons

  TTRN_Pic1“Denmark must work more with international telemedicine trial for faster experience with telemedicine in large scale and more intelligence in tomorrow’s telemedicine technologies,”

Says Associate Professor Birthe Dinesen, head of the Laboratory for Telehealth & Telecom Rehabilitation at Aalborg University. She is the initiator of the Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN) between Danish and American research institutions and health organizations such as UC Berkeley and the Cleveland Clinic.

Foto: Ajs Nielsen

Professor Birthe Dinesen, initiator of the Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN)

Dinesen just helped host a workshop with TTRN and Arctic TTRN (ATTRN) held at Aalborg University November 10-11. The agenda was to review current TTRN research initiatives, development of a network and research platform between Greenland, USA and Denmark (ATTRN) as well as future plans for TTRN.

Over the last 3 years TTRN has been expanding rapidly establishing several new partnerships both in the US and in Denmark, such as the Center for Connected Health at Harvard Medical School, CIMT (Centre for Innovative Medical Technology) at Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University.

Heart patients

At this workshop, TTRN partners, and a number of international and Danish companies at Aalborg University met to discuss the first results from a joint research project on heart patients. The project has been focused on examining which technologies heart patients of the future will prefer when mastering their own illness in everyday life. Preliminary results from 206 heart patients in the US and Denmark show that patients prefer a mobile phone or smartphone, as the main tool to be in contract with the health care system and to view data about their own health. These first results will be used to define the framework for future research in telemedicine between Denmark and the United States.
The aim is to launch a large-scale trials with heart patients and telemedicine to get a large number of patients included in the study – more than the journey on Danish soil – to test and develop new intelligent technologies in tomorrow’s health care system.

Birthe Dinesen explains:
“The United States and Denmark can learn from each other in the use of telemedicine. The Americans have over 20 years experience with telemedicine in large scale, we can learn from. Conversely, Americans like to learn from the Danish healthcare system, which is extraordinary seen with US eyes, since we have unique databases of patients and their diseases for the development of new intelligent technologies.”

Who participated?

The workshop was attended by seven companies and all were very interested in collaborating with TTRN on future research projects to help them develop their products furher by having quick access to new knowledge, the US market and hereby hopefully becoming “first movers.”

About TTRN:

The Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN) is dedicated to developing cutting-edge research and innovation within telehealth. The research is interdisciplinary (medicine, engineering, nursing, organizational, economic); and focuses on developing new diagnostic, preventive care and treatment methods /technologies for patients in their own homes utilizing telehealth. Problem-based user driven innovation is a key issue in the international and interdisciplinary TTRN. The TTRN consist of major institutions and universities from the US and Denmark. TTRN includes today a national network in Denmark with Aarhus University, DTU, AAU, University Hospital, Vendsyssel Hospital and Esbjerg Municipality. In the USA, TTRN UC Davis, UC Berkeley Citris, Cleveland Clinic & Center for Connected Health by Harvard Medical School (East & West Coast.

The workshop was sponsored by Faculty of Medicine, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Invest in Denmark & Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.



How will you change the lives of a billion people?


An effective, cheap landmine detector, a growth monitoring system measuring infants’ physical measurements using 3D scanning, and a smartphone app linking everyday heroes with people who experience acute medical crises. Those are just three of 23 awe-inspiring and ingenious projects presented at the Singularity University GSP14 Closing Ceremony on August 21st 2014.

The ceremony marked the conclusion of the annual Graduate Studies Program (GSP), which convenes future leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists for 10 weeks to work on team-based technology solutions to widespread global challenges. Whichever solution, all 80 participants are faced with the same challenge – to change the lives of a billion people within 10 years.

Singularity University is a benefit corporation that provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a startup accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies, and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people.


This year’s GSP had no less than three Danish participants, two of whom worked together with a team of five to develop the revolutionary smart-pad Besense built to measure selected biomarkers in menstrual blood to discover, diagnose, and provide valuable insight to the health of women.

On-the-go physical

Besense provides you with a detailed monthly screening of your health, avoiding the hassle of visiting a lab, getting rid of the scary needles and most importantly: empowering you to do it yourself, at home and without the necessity of changing your routine.

The third participating Dane, Søren Therkelsen, is a serial entrepreneur and former intern at Innovation Center Denmark, Silicon Valley. Søren has started 5 companies and is the Co-founder of SCALEit, Innovation Center Denmark’s very own bootcamp for startups in Silicon Valley. In a recent article we describe how Søren won a full scholarship for the Singularity competition through Danske Idéer (red.: Danish Ideas) with his idea Crowd Care a system to summon via smartphones people with first aid skills in case of emergencies such as a heart attack.

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