By Chris Eversole
Randy Scott has made millions of dollars on inventions, and now he’s giving back by helping others capitalize on their own discoveries.
Scott’s major success came from NovaMinTechnology Inc., which developed a toothpaste additive that restores minerals in teeth and reduces tooth sensitivity. GlaxoSmithKline bought NovaMin for $135 million in 2010.
Scott organized the Info Tx: mHealth Summit, held July 11 at the UF Health Cancer and Genetics Center Auditorium. Six panelists from across the U.S. and Britain participated via a video link, and three panelists participated locally.
A broad range of Gainesville-area people — from college students to seasoned investors —participated in the event, presented by GAIN (Gainesville Area Innovation Network) and BioFlorida.
Digital health is making great strides, panelists noted.
For example, smartphone attachments perform EKGs and monitor sleep patterns. Panelist Wilbur Lam, a pediatrician at Georgia Tech and Emory universities, invented a smartphone attachment that takes photos and videos of the ear, allowing doctors to diagnose ear infections remotely.
Scott served as a guinea pig by wearing a LUMOback posture monitor, which tracks your posture via a stick figure and iPad. The device is the invention of panelist Monisha Perkash, founder of LUMO Body Tech in Palo Alto, Calif.
Gainesville-based RegisterPatient, founded by David Williams, has just launched an app that helps patients keep track of their medicine schedule and therapy sessions.
Digital health goes beyond smartphones and tablets. It also involves bringing together all the medical records of patients in electronic medical records.
“The information is in silos now, with each specialist having only part of the information about you,” Williams said. “In a decade, every bit of information that should be connected, will be connected.”
The explosion in medical information will help patients track medical charges, said David Doherty, founder of Britain’s 3G Doctor, which provides a remote doctor through digital devices.
“We need to know more about costs,” he said. “We wouldn’t put up with taking our car to the garage and finally getting a bill three months later.”
Monitoring your compliance with health recommendations is all well and good, but it has its downsides, Scott noted while wearing a belt that’s tied to the posture sensor.
The belt vibrated every time he slouched. “I’m tired of feeling the vibration,” Scott said as he removed the belt near the end of the event.