Healthcare should embrace technology by default, Matthew Patrick, CEO of the South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust (SLaM), the UK's biggest mental health care provider, told IT Pro.Speaking at the Digital Innovation and Mental Health event hosted in London by law firm Osborne Clarke, Patrick spoke about the need for mental healthcare to keep pace with the changes to doctor/patient relationships brought about by the internet."If I was going to choose the single biggest shift that is going to impact upon healthcare in the next decade, it is the changing nature of the contract between citizens and professionals," he said. "Citizens are now more informed, they have access to the internet, to information, to data. Through the consumer movement, people's attitude towards consultation and services has changed.
Mobile is the single most important change in the world since the invention of the internet. Seventy-one percent of adults in the U.S. now own a web-enabled smartphone or other wireless device. Mobile allows for individuals to be connected in real time, on the fly and literally from the palm of their hand. They have the world and its resources at their fingers, making for some of the most empowered buyers and consumers we've experienced to date. Mobile users are empowered to learn, engage and research for themselves without having to wait.
The mobile healthcare space is a busy one, with revenue in 2016 expected to exceed $13.578 billion. Mobile healthcare apps are generally placed in one of eight categories:
General Monitoring Emergency Response Systems Telemedicine Mobile Medical Equipment RFID Tracking Health and Fitness Software Mobile Messaging Electronic Medical Records Like most things technology-related, not everyone agrees with how experts have segmented these mobile health categories.
Some 31 percent of heart patients are using digital health tools to manage their condition, according to a HealthMine survey of 501 consumers with known heart disease or heart disease risk. The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in January and all respondents are enrolled in a health plan.
Within the group of patients using digital health tools to manage their condition, 50 percent use an activity tracking device or app, 48 percent are using a blood pressure app, 47 percent are using a heart rate app, and 38 percent are using a food and nutrition app.
For years, people have been using the Internet as a tool to learn more about their personal health. Whether it is a local blog or the all-knowing WebMD, we have all been guilty of taking the health information available online and using it to self-diagnose our aches, pains, symptoms, and ailments. By researching our symptoms, we are categorizing ourselves and our health.Your health and symptoms should be personalized to you. To fully diagnose your symptoms, we should be looking at our overall health. Not just at the symptom by itself.Your chemical makeup is not the same as your neighbour's, friend, or spouse. Your health and its needs should be determined based on your habits. What you eat, how much you sleep, if you get stressed out, and how often you exercise all reflect on your health. Habits can contribute to symptoms, and they could be used to help find the best and fastest way for your body to heal.What if the Internet and our mobile devices could become a reliable tool for your health? Would your phone then know more about your health than your doctor?
CES is where health and fitness gadgets shine. Withings and Fitbit took steps out of their comfort zones with unexpected new products, while a slew of start-ups took to the show floor to show off crazy, weird tech that made me laugh and shake my head.Here’s all the wonderful and wacky health and fitness gear that might help you live a healthier life—if it works.
Apple's newly minted chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, appeared as a guest on radio show Conversations on Health Care on Monday to discuss the potential Apple Watch, iPhone and Apple's health platforms have on democratizing healthcare, as well as other topics like human rights issues.While Williams covered well-trod ground bringing hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter up to speed with Apple's latest technologies, he did reveal a few tidbits on plans for Apple Watch, iPhone, HealthKit and ResearchKit as it pertains to medicine. Specifically, the hope is that Apple's growing suite of health technology products will one day be used to help diagnose, and in some cases treat, certain diseases, making them powerful assets in the globalization of quality healthcare
You can walk into your local Best Buy or Wal-Mart and find a display of smartwatches and flashy fitness bands sitting neatly in the electronics department. The concept of a “wearable” is already mainstream, but adoption of them is not. Yet.Perhaps more than anywhere else in the technology industry, the market for wearables is in a state of seemingly endless flux. Apple, Samsung, Sony, ASUS, and LG have all entered the space, as well as several smaller companies, but no single device has reached mass appeal on par with their ubiquitous smartphones. According to the most recent report from analytics firm Kantar Worldpanel, only 3 percent of all U.S. adults own a smart wearable.Like the Internet of Things as a whole and the growing push for engaging VR experiences, wearables are going to be a huge focus for many companies in 2016, starting with the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. But to understand where wearables are headed, you have to first understand where they’ve been—and what they’re all about.- See more at: http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/features-issue-sections/15396/wearables-trends-2016/#sthash.KYOrWE4L.dpuf
On Tuesday, Samsung announced that it would begin mass producing its first-ever "Bio-Processor." This is a new processor specifically designed for the monitoring and computing of physiological metrics such as heart rate, skin temperature, body fat, heart rhythm, muscle mass, and stress levels. In short, the human body will spew data like never before.The Bio-Processor isn't quite a processor as we normally think about it, which is a generic piece of hardware (a CPU) that handles basic arithmetic, logic, and input-output operations based on instructions delivered via a computer program that may or may not involve more advanced I/O hardware, memory devices, GPUs, and-or any of the other things that add up to being a "complete" computer. It's more properly a "system on a chip" (SOC), which is much as it sounds: the processor plus all of the other junk all loaded onto a single discrete hardware unit.The actual CPU of the Bio-Processor is an ARM Cortex-M4. This is a pretty common processor for embedded microcontrollers, particularly for industrial and scientific applications, and is very cheap. It so happens I have one in front of me stuck to a Texas Instruments development board (sort of like a beefed-up, data-able Arduino) and I think the whole thing cost around $12 with shipping.That's the thing about the M4. It's meant for data and data is what health monitoring is all about. The Bio-Processor puts a bunch of sensors on the same chip as the M4 itself along with the system's memory units, security units, and an analog front-end (so it can read analog data and handle it digitally). The Samsung Bio-Processor product page advertises as well the inclusion of a DSP (digital signal processing) unit, which is a necessary feature for data applications and also happens to come integrated with ARM's M4 processor anyway.So, now we have all of this data. Cool. What now?That's the implicit question in the whole health-monitoring rush. The answer is implied too, of course: "be healthier." Assuming that you are not currently in an ICU, is knowing the volume of your organs in real-time (via photoplethysmogra) or your galvanic skin response (a super-problematic measurement of the skin's varying electrical conductance properties) or even your ECG actually useful information? Or is it just another thing to obsess about?As you answer, it's worth considering the enormous bets being placed on health-monitoring technology by Samsung, Apple, and many others. Consumers obsessing over health data is the new thing, an inescapable psueudoscience supernova, which is maybe not a great indicator of the state of new things circa 2016.Des Spence, a UK general practitioner, put this well in a piece last April in the BMJ, writing that "health and fitness have become the new social currency, spawning a 'worried well' generation."Spence continues:Most medical research and diagnoses are based on isolated readings taken in medical clinics in symptomatic, older, high risk individuals, by doctors who can interpret results—not by young, asymptomatic, middle class neurotics continuously monitoring their vital signs while they sleep. So what will users of these apps discover? How common brief arrhythmias are in the normal population? How often our blood pressure might be high? How widely normal oxygen saturations can vary? The variation in the heart rate of an intrauterine baby? What happens if these gizmos malfunction or are placed in the wrong position? How will it change our management? Who can interpret the results? What if parents want to start monitoring their children? Where’s the evidence that these things will improve diagnosis?It's a good rant, but what he fears is probably unavoidable: "A Wild West approach to development is playing out and will use the advertising classic—fear—to sell product. War, pestilence, and famine are all out to grass; technology, medicine, and overdiagnosis are the new riders of the Apocalypse."
Wearables had a varied year in 2015, with a lot of hype and a few big winners streaking ahead of the field, leaving plenty of also-rans struggling to stand out.It’s fair to say that the entire category is yet to prove whether it offers lasting utility or mere faddish novelty. The success of the smartphone is such than any supplementary technology inevitably lives in its shadow — and wearables are all about offering some kind of add-on functionality. Mobile undoubtedly still wears tech’s crown, and will do for the foreseeable future.
As the director of behavioral medicine at Camden, N.J.-based MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Cori McMahon is familiar with the physical symptoms of cancer treatment, but perhaps even more intimately familiar with the emotional symptoms, such as feelings of depression and anxiety. A new pilot study of breast cancer patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is leveraging wearable technology to address some of these facets of the patient experience, with the ultimate goal of improving patients’ quality of life during treatment.“We’re hoping to improve the sense of control that patients feel during treatment. What often happens when you are diagnosed with cancer is that you feel as if you have lost control of a great deal, if not most, of your life,” McMahon says, referring to the nine-month pilot study that involves 30 breast cancer patients. McMahon, who, along with her team, provides psychology support to the oncology patients at Cooper, is aware of the impact of integrating behavioral health into cancer care. “Through this project, I’m hoping that it moves the patient from being a passive recipient of their medical care to being an active participant in their medical care,” she says.
The smartwatches of today are packed with all the basics needed to count your steps and measure your heart rate, but Google has plans for something a little more advanced: a blood-sampling mechanism for wearables that gathers much more information about the state of your health.Such a device is outlined in a new patent Google has filed in the US, and it could potentially help those with diabetes and other conditions where regular blood tests are useful. Instead of taking a trip to the doctors you could just carry on watching Netflix
Every day, more data about our lives is being generated than ever before. When it comes to saving lives, the bigger the data the better - but what to do with it all?Ninety per cent of the data in the world has been created in the past two years alone, experts estimate - and the reason for that is technological innovation.The internet, mobile phones, cameras, sensors, bank cards and social media are just some of the items responsible for the massive volume of "big data" that is currently amassed every single second.As technology has advanced, so too have the opportunities for scientists.
Most of us no longer need to walk into a bank to pay a bill or visit a shop to buy a new outfit – it can all be done online. But we still travel to the doctor’s office—and wait (and wait) to be treated. For now. A growing number of healthcare providers, software developers and entrepreneurs are focusing on mobile health, or mHealth, improving patient care through mobile devices. At its simplest this means enabling devices, such as body sensors, smart watches or specialised apps on smart phones, to gather information about ourselves in real-time, which can then be sent to a doctor for review.
In the New England Journal of Medicine this month, Dr. Ken Mandl and Dr. Zak Kohane shared how “intersecting trends have set the stage for a fresh start” in health technology. Their commentary comes several years after the three of us co-founded a digital health company together, and the intersection they described feels like a new inflection point in the industry. It’s an exciting time to be helping healthcare embrace the digital era. In my previous article, I recapped the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and shared my key takeaways. In this article, I want to talk in more detail about the year ahead for digital health
Carolinas HealthCare is meeting the wearables craze head-on with an app platform designed to bring health and wellness data into the care team conversation.The Charlotte, N.C.-based health system has launched two apps that enable consumers to download data from more than 70 mobile devices, including fitness trackers, blood pressure cuffs, scales, heart rate monitors and blood glucose meters. While the first app was aimed at the consumer market, the latest version – MyCarolinas Tracker – targets patients, and allows them to bring that data into their conversations with the health system.Craig Richardville, the health system’s chief information officer, says the app platform “represents a strong desire to enhance patient engagement (as well as) create some accountability for the patient” in care management plans.“Our app is basically just an aggregator of all the information you’ve already entered,” he added. “What this does is give it context and make it more meaningful.”And that came with the second iteration. While the first app, available on the App Store and Google Play, garnered interest from as far away as Seattle and the Virgin Islands, it offered little benefit to the health system. With MyCarolinas Tracker, that information is not only collected, but stored in the patient’s portal and organized so that the patient can share it with family members, caregivers and other members of the care team.
When I think of wearables and cars I picture this scenario: a man in a suit rushing out of the house in the morning gets to his car and starts frantically patting down his suit jacket and trouser pockets looking for his keys. Then he looks down at his wrist and remembers he's got his Apple Watch on. A single tap on the screen and the car door clicks open.That functionality goes from the smartphone through to the companion app on the smartwatch. This is Ford's Sync platform in action, letting you open doors and even rating your driving. It's a simple application of wearable tech, it's probably what you associate with wearables and cars too, but Ford has much bigger ambitions.
All in all this year's CES event, like last year's, had no big breakout digital health announcements. Many companies did announce news, however, and many of those releases were updates from launches the year before. Below is a roundup of digital health news coming out of CES 2016. Be sure to read our CES 2016 health device roundup (if you haven't already) for a comprehensive list of device unveilings at the event -- we recapped a only a few of the bigger device launches in the summaries below.
Our genes affect almost everything about us—our hair color, eye color, height—but they also affect our health. Genes not only predispose us to certain diseases, but they also affect how our bodies gain or lose weight, as well as how they respond to certain medicines.This genetic imprint on our health can make it difficult to prescribe a one-size-fits-all diet and exercises plan for all people. Digital health trackers are helping, but sometimes they struggle to tell the whole story.To better bring genetics into conversations about personal health, Pathway Genomics and IBM Watson recently announced the Pathway Genomics OME app the CES 2016 Digital Health Summit in Las Vegas.
An app that allows users to scan the barcode of food products to learn how much sugar they contain has been developed amid revelations that some British children are eating their bodyweight in sugar each year.The Change4Life campaign, launched today by Public Health England (PHE), includes television, digital and outdoor advertising, as well as the free phone app which shows how many grams or cubes of sugar are in each product.
Technology promises to transform healthcare. It’s redefining how we interact with, and act on, our health data, and reshaping how care is delivered and coordinated. But uptake so far has been limited, particularly among the elderly, those with chronic conditions and others who could benefit most from a better, smarter healthcare system. To understand why, we need to look at federal reimbursement policies and their far-reaching, albeit often overlooked, influence on tech innovation.
A team at St George's mental health trust has developed a mobile phone app to help patients with bipolar disorder track their medication.In the UK, lithium carbonate, often referred to as lithium, is the medication used to treat the disorder, but dosage must be strictly administered and regular health checks are essential during treatment.
In the last 12 months, wearables have been a constant topic of conversation. The reaction has been mixed with some early adopters smugly telling anyone who listens that they were right and others—even the biggest fanboys—hedging their bets. According to Forrester Research, one in five U.S. adults either owns or has used a wearable and the market is poised to be one of the big tech earners of 2016.In 2014, only 10% of American adults admitted to having a wearable device. The Apple Watch was still a in production (announced in September 2014) and Fitbit was the poster child for a new wearable generation, but wearables were being hyped as the device that would break out in a big way in 2015.
Futurist and founder of the consultancy Enspektos talks how digital health is moving into what he calls the “Age of Implementation” and about a new study designed to map digital innovation progress globally.Fard JohnmarFard Johnmar, Founder of Enspektos2015 has been another banner year for digital health. According to StartUp Health, nearly $5 billion has been invested into digital health companies to date. And, digital health has become a truly global phenomenon, with innovation hubs emerging in Finland, Israel, Canada and other parts of the world.But, in the midst of all this activity, it’s only natural to ask: What can we expect to see in digital health in 2016 and beyond? And, how long will it take for the hype surrounding digital health to match reality?To answer these questions, HIT Consultant spoke with digital health industry futurist Fard Johnmar for his perspective on how digital health is maturing and outlines a new research initiative he’s launched designed to close what he calls the “data gap” in digital innovation.
A new patent has emerged which is set to have a major influence over the Apple Watch 2. We should perhaps be cautious about jumping to conclusions about this patent, as Apple applies to have new forms of technology patented on an extremely regular basis. But the design for a new woven band would seem to be the sort of innovation that Apple will be able to include in the next generation Apple Watch at fairly short notice.It is notable that with the last generation Apple Watch, the consumer electronics giant placed a significant emphasis on face and strap choices. Apple may move away from this somewhat with the Apple Watch 2, with a more pronounced focus on functionality. Nonetheless, the basic ethos of the Apple Watch is likely to be retained with the Apple Watch 2, and that this will mean offering consumers a significant choice with regard to customization.
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