Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Platforms and Services

To me, it's quite clear that a complete system focusing just on diabetes data management won't succeed in the modern world. Rather, any system should be a part of a greater ecosystem of all health services. It is equally clear that a generic healthcare data management system cannot meet all the needs of different patients. This blog post elaborates on these thoughts.

Do one thing, and do it well

The first thing to take into account is focus. A system built to enhance diabetes treatment should really concentrate just on diabetes treatment. No generic healthcare solution will ever be as effective and useful as a system specifically tailored for diabetes treatment and designed with the needs of people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals in mind.

Being able to concentrate on diabetes treatment means that someone else should take care of things that are generic to all of the services, such as data storage and sharing, sign-on mechanisms, authentications, and so on. And that someone else should concentrate on that task, implementing such a generic platform as well as possible, for all those services to use.

You're not alone

There will be several services for managing diabetes data. No service will be perfect for all people with diabetes. People have different challenges with their condition, and they should be able to select the tools that best fit their individual needs. There also needs to be competition between services. That drives development and pushes each of the services to become the best they can be. It should also be possible to move from one solution to another, as your life changes. 

We should also remember that it's never just about diabetes. All people with diabetes are individuals, and the properties that describe their diabetes are never adequate to portray a holistic picture of their life. They have other illnesses and conditions, and that information needs to be taken into account when making adjustments to their treatment. I really don't think offering a complete end-to-end system for just diabetes data management works.

Besides, why would one want to implement all that generic functionality like data storage all over for each service? And even more importantly, why would a doctor need to sign on to several applications when meeting a customer? Healthcare organizations are very well aware of these issues nowadays.

There really is a genuine need for those platforms that store and manage all that data for all those services. And all the services really need to be integrated and talk to each other.

You're either a platform or a service

In my view, one should really make a choice. Either you're implementing a platform with open interfaces really well, or you're providing well designed services on top of such a platform. It's really difficult to be making both, while still keeping the interfaces open for all possible services, in a way that's fair and accessible for everyone.

There are many companies out there working really hard to make life easier for people with diabetes. I hope none of them think they're able to be the only solution making that possible, and really encourage them all to evaluate first whether they're offering a platform or a service. In the case of a platform, they should ask how they can best allow all third party services to operate on them, and not just limiting to diabetes services. A big question is also whether they are really simplifying the current mix of existing platforms or just adding to the complexity. In the case of offering a service, the companies should see how they can really add value to the whole ecosystem.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Media visibility

After Slush, we have been lucky to get some visibility in different media.

Taltioni 2.0 was launched 12 November and we got to present Sensotrend in the event, since it is built on Taltioni platform. Naturally, we were mentioned in Taltioni's press release regarding the new services coming up during 2014.

At Slush, as you already know, we got to launch our product on stage at the Health Track on World Diabetes Day, 14 November. Sensotrend was also presented in Slush Blog, Fighting Diabetes at Slush.

On 19 November, Mikael was featured on TV, in YLE Prisma Studio's episode about Quantified Self (around the 20 minutes mark, he appears in two short parts).

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra wrote about their experiences at Slush and mentioned us in their post Slush 2013 – showcasing the best of Finnish start-ups.
Last but not least, on Friday we were interviewed and photographed for Focus on Finland magazine. They were making an article about New Factory and Finnish startup scene. The issue will be out in January 2014.

These are the appearances we are aware of. If you have seen Sensotrend mentioned somewhere else, please let us know!