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insurances pay for the devices or should they be part of a free public service? In any case, if the devices are not reimbursed in one way or another, most patients won’t want to pay for it, unless they understand that their life depends on it. It is difficult to convince people to wear health monitoring devices long term only for predictive analysis, even if this is to decrease their risk of having a heart attack or diabetes in the next ten years (by influencing their behaviour). “During all these years when nothing happens, you still have to pay for the back office, interpret the data and eventually coach the individuals, but is this really affordable?” Questioned Puhan. That is why today, only the high-risk patients are monitored (typically those who already had a first heart accident or who feel immediately at risk). For now, what truly makes the difference between a smart wearable’s success Hocoma’s Valedo therapeutic gaming platform ensure the right compliance with low back pain exercises. and failure is its level of usefulness, the actual value perceived by the wearer, not only by whoever runs the data analysis. For instance, Hocoma AG’s CEO Dr. Gery Colombo related his experience with the launch of Valedo for the treatment of low back pain. While many wearable devices are seen as gadgets, Valedo is an easy sell for those who seek medical help, claims Colombo. The kit includes two motion sensors that monitor the wearer’s posture as he/she follow therapeutic gaming instructions on a tablet or a smartphone. The minute rehabilitation movements are easier to perform thanks to the avatar’s feedback in real time, and the sessions just feel like playing a game, hence a better compliance with the recommended exercises. “Eight out of ten people will be affected by back pain at some point during their lives”, highlighted Colombo, citing this health issue as the number one cause of disability worldwide ($200 billion in lost wages and productivity), and one of the most expensive ones to treat. “We got very good reviews, because we truly bring a solution to low back pain problems, and it is not just fun but also medically proven and certified”. For Colombo too, in the medical sector, the biggest issue is the prescription habits and reimbursement. “Patients are used to do what the doctors tell them” he said. “If the doctors prescribe them even the most expensive treatments, if the insurances reimburse them, then the patients will go for that. They always favour the treatments that they know will be reimbursed”. “In sports, people pay out of their own pocket, but in health, people expect someone to pay for them, either the healthcare or the insurance”, Colombo concluded. Bosch bets on synergies between electromobility and connectivity By OChristoph Hammerschmidt ne of the major roadblocks for electromobility is the fragmented charging landscape: For long-distance rides, e-car drivers not only have to stop and recharge their batteries rather often. What makes things worse: To get the electric refill for the battery, drivers must utilise many different payment systems. Bosch Software Innovations (BSI), a subsidiary of Robert Bosch Group, now is developing a smartphone app that allows drivers to plug in to any charging station regardless of the payment system or electricity provider. With the move, BSI extends its strategy to facilitate electric driving not only at the car level but likewise at the infrastructure level. In this context, payment systems - or apps that span multiple payment systems - play a major role. As recently as December 2014, Daimler introduced its Charge & Pay system enables owners of its electric B-series vehicles to charge almost wherever they want (at least in Germany). To our knowledge, this app has been developed by Bosch and highlights the direction in which the Swabian traditional all-hardware company plans to develop. At the CAR Symposium this week in Duisburg (Germany), Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner outlined the mobility landscape of the future, as seen from Bosch’s perspective. In a nutshell, Denner explained that connectivity and electromobility are two building blocks for indivual mobility that are very complementary. “The best electric car is the networked electric vehicle”, Denner said. Electric mobility does not start at all-electric vehicles; in Bosch’s universe hybrid drivetrains of all types play an important role. By 2025, about 15 percent of all new vehicles built anywhere in the world will have at least some kind of hybrid drive, Denner predicted. For Europe, this figure will be even higher; Denner expects that one in three new cars will be powered at least in part electrically. A key to lowering the price level for electric vehicles is the battery price. Denner who also assumes the tasks for research and advanced development at the automotive supplier expects that by 2020 the batteries will offer twice the capacity at half the price, compared with today. In the booming SUV market segment, hybrid drive will be standard by 2020, Denner predicted. This trend is driven by the exacerbated CO2 regulations from the European Commission. The hybridisation will lead to new developments in the area of diesel and gasoline engines that are more fuel efficient, clean and powerful than ever. “Through electrification we will see that the best time for internal combustion engines has yet to come”, Denner said. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2015 23


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