The Watch marks an interesting time in the wearable fitness space, in particular. Health and fitness trackers like Jawbone Up and Fitbit have dominated much of that space in the last few years.
The Apple Watch is more of a comprehensive platform, but it has definitely taken the popularity of these fitness trackers into account, equipping the Watch with a built-in heart rate monitor, GPS tracker to measure distance and speed during workouts, an accelerometer to track body movement, and proprietary apps that show calories burned and overall fitness levels.
The global head of research at Sanofi put a policy in place to attach a digital health strategy concept to each molecule that goes through the pharmaceutical company’s pipeline. The fact that a digital strategy is reaching into the depths of the largest pharma companies is extremely encouraging for the continued evolution of clinical development, says Donald Jones, the chief digital officer at Scripps Translational Science Institute, which serves as the world’s first clinical trials center focused exclusively on digital medic
Thanks to their heralded activity trackers and other connected health devices, Withings has quickly grown to be on of the leaders in the “Mhealth” space. Although consumers have been rapidly flocking to their devices, they know that the their devices will only achieve their greatest impact once all players (health care professionals, governments, etc) in the healthcare system are a part of the Mhealth revolution.
In advance of next week’s Connected Conference, we’ve asked CEO & cofounder Cederic Hutchings to talk to us about how fitness tracking and the quantified self more generally transforming healthcare as well as what needs to happen to generalize this trend across the entire healthcare system.
How do you see fitness tracking and the quantified self affecting how we manage our health at a deeper level?
The Apple Watch had its first software update this week, and it did include some minor updates to the health tracking features. In addition, reports have surfaced of additional health features Apple might be planning to add as the company’s June 8th Worldwide Developer Conference approaches.
Although the exact details are elusive, yesterday’s Apple Watch software update included changes to the way the watch tracks standing activities, changes to how it tracks calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts, and changes to how it calculates distance and pace for outdoor running and walking workouts. Fitness features seem to have been a pretty major part of the update.
The exploding number of healthcare apps ready for download on smartphones and tablets is impressive and shows no sign of letting up. But the real story of their potential impact is far more than a case of raw numbers. Longer term, mobile apps will have a profound effect on the management of chronic diseases and population health. The key is more meaningful and timely communication between doctor and patient.
Many people say they want to get fit, but what does this actually mean? Fit for what?
The websites of leading fitness trackers, like Apple Watch, Fitbit, Microsoft Band and Jawbone Up don’t shed much light on this question. They talk a lot about the things that their devices measure, and even suggest changes in how we go about our day, but they rarely explain why this matters or what the actual benefits are.
In each case, there’s a lot of talk about “fitness,” “health” or “wellness” but there isn’t much in terms of specifics of exactly how your fitness or health will be improved if you follow their advice.
I’m not questioning whether there are benefits to these products. It seems reasonable to suppose that in general, being more active is a good thing. But isn’t it incumbent on fitness wearable manufacturers who are making recommendations about how we should live our lives to explain exactly how we might benefit, and to provide scientific evidence to support these claims?
Google Fit, a fitness app and data hub often considered to be Google’s answer to Apple HealthKit, has added a number of new fitness features in a new update. These features help make Google Fit itself competitive with other dedicated fitness tracking apps.
Specifically, the update adds the ability to track calories burned and distance travelled, provided the user enters their gender, height and weight in the app. Surprisingly, prior to this update, Google Fit only natively tracked steps and time spent walking, running or biking. It depended on third-party apps to track other metrics.
The new update also adds a historical view, which the app didn’t have before. Users can group past activities by days, weeks, or months. Finally, Google is also adding a Google Fit widget, which will allow users to see relevant workout stats on their smartphone homescreen without opening the app and an Android Wear watch face, which will allow them to see workout updates on the wrist (an update that should help Android Wear compete against the Apple Watch). The app will slowly be rolled out to Android users on various devices.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, thousands have lost their lives and millions have been displaced from their homes. With the wreckage and widespread power outages, mobile phones have emerged as the most reliable form of communication and mobile reporting tools for frontline health workers (FHWs). In that context, Labrique et al. recently published a systematic review of the mobile health strategies for use by these first-line care providers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that there will be a worldwide shortage of healthcare workers that approaches 12.9 million by 2035. A shortage of this magnitude could have far-reaching effects on the health of billions across the world, not to mention in times of emergency. Mobile healthcare technologies driven by the widespread distribution of mobile phones have emerged as potential solutions to aid in this crisis.
An early warning system forschizophrenia relapse, using Fitbit data and a smartphone app, could lead to dramatic improvements in treatment.
A group of London-based doctors and software engineers is developing the experimental system at London's Bioinformatics Core of the National Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Dementia Unit. Working from the centre, where clinicians, software engineers and statisticians seek out patterns in vast medical datasets, the team is studying the sleep patterns of schizophrenia patients to develop a possible alert system.
When it comes to wellness apps, the missing piece is often sleep data. It’s not easy to measure sleepquality with accuracy, although plenty of wearables purport to do so.
The majority of these devices depend on an accelerometer and an algorithm to track the quality of sleep. The outcome is mainly based on when and how much you roll around in bed. The results as questionable. The Apple Watch, perhaps wisely, leaves sleep tracking out altogether.
One of the hottest topics for speculation in healthcare today is the unrealized potential for mobile health -- defined as technologies that use mobile devices, apps or telehealth to connect patients and physicians -- to transform the way healthcare is sought and delivered. Two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and companies are eager to tap this widespread technology for the benefit of patients, doctors and hospitals. But expert say it's not yet obvious how exactly mobile services might be leveraged in the bureucratic world of healthcare with its highly sensitive privacy issues.
When you're sick, you can choose the doctor who treats you. If that doctor can't handle your case, he or she refers you to another doctor. On what basis does the former recommend the latter? Is it word-of-mouth, friendship, or former acquaintance? Generally, doctors rely on their ad hoc professional network based on friendship and goodwill, rather than experience and professional acumen, for patient referrals.
Imagine a doctor having access to an extensive and refined network of medical professionals at his or her fingertips. They can access this network to recommend the best specialist or super-specialist in the city for their ailing patients in a few minutes. Imagine if this network was pan-India or even global. This is what this Gurgaon-based startup called Curofy aims to achieve -– create a LinkedIn-like app for doctors.
Despite more and more information about what causes us to gain weight, obesity and food-related diseases remain a serious concern. They are also taking a growing toll on public health budgets – both here in the UK and across the world more widely.
Over the past 20 years, governments have responded by designing and implementing a range of programmes to help us slim down and think about our eating habits. Most of these rely on education on nutrition and diet – primarily through labelling on packaging – in the hope that giving people the right information means they’ll make the right choices and lead to lower obesity levels.
Apple offered up the iPhone to medical researchers as a new way to collect hard-to-get health data two months ago, and now we have an idea of how the company's newly open-sourced ResearchKit initiative is paying off.
Mobile health developers LifeMap Solutions worked with New York's Mount Sinai hopsital to develop one of the first ResearchKit apps, Asthma Health, and LifeMap CEO Corey Bridges has a few takeaways eight weeks in.
Bridges published the first official ResearchKit blog post with answers to ResearchKit questions like whether users would continue to use the app after the novelty wore off and how they would react to the e-consent process needed to participate in the asthma study. To participate in medical research, participants usually need to read and sign paper documents to consent to being studied. ResearchKit apps transfer that process to an iPhone app.
"Based on preliminary data for the Asthma Health app, over half of our users not only complete the e-consent process, they also come back the very next day to use the app," Bridges wrote. "This is a very high rate of return for any app, let alone a health-related app."
The last week saw a couple of very important announcements in the world of healthcare.
Wearable device pioneer Fitbit announced an IPO that could raise over $100 million. Fitbit is at the leading edge of a consumer and connected health revolution that promotes the notion of a “quantified self” through a wearable device that works as a fitness tracker.
Separately, IBM Watson Healthcare announced a major push into the healthcare analytics space through strategic partnerships with Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s leading hospitals and medical research institutions, and Epic, a provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems with access to vast amounts of patient medical records. IBM has been aggressively pursuing access to patient data to feed the Watson engine, more recently through the acquisition of Explorys and Phytel. These acquisitions and partnerships deepen IBM’s commitment to extend Watson’s cognitive computing power to advance the quality of healthcare, specifically in areas such as cancer prediction and treatment.
Health insurance provider Cigna is debuting its newest version of Coach by Cigna 2.0, a free mHealth app tapping the psychology of assessment to provide users specific programs for managing health and lifestyle decisions.
The second generation Coach asks users 20 questions to understand diet, exercise and sleep habits so it can provide custom insight, via videos and health coach support, to help patients lead healthier lives. The answers determine if a user is either a "planner," "explorer," or "day dreamer," and lets users pick a program to track daily progress in meeting health goals.
Digital technology is in the early stages when it comes to "safety net" deployments, but such tools pose tremendous promise and potential in engaging patients in healthcare management, according to new Commonwealth Fundresearch.
Key factors for strong adoption down the line include technical support for integration and device management, evidence-based models illustrating the potential of successful use in care delivery, and payment and reimbursement policies, the report says.
The report is based on data collected from an online survey of urban and rural community health centers and clinics, representing insight from 181 organizations.
The top five markets for mobile health app companies in Europe include Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, according to a survey of 5,000 app developers, healthcare professionals, and digital health practitioners. The survey, which was conducted by Research2Guidance in collaboration with HIMSS Europe, found that 55 percent of respondents ranked the UK as the top market.
Respondents were asked to rank the 28 countries in the European Union based on their experiences and explain why they ranked the countries in the order they chose. Other factors that contributed to the ranking include digital health adoption, level of digitalization, market size and health expenditure, ease of starting a business, and the digital health regulatory framework.
According to the survey, the reason the UK ranked above the other EU countries was that doctors in the UK have an open and positive attitude about using new technologies and integrating digital health offerings into patient treatments.
They say good things come in small packages. And that appears to be doubly true for wearable technologies.
Just as some devices are getting bigger because video (the happening thing) looks better bigger, there’s a parallel track of digital development that’s going for the smallest of the small.
Or, as Jeremy Wagstaff notes in a recent story posted by Yahoo, “Forget ‘wearables’, and even ‘hearables’. The next big thing in mobile devices: ‘disappearables’.”
As if the new Apple Watch wasn’t small enough, industry analysts believe wearables could soon be overrun by hearables — devices with tiny computer chips that fit inside a human ear. Not small enough? How about a disappearable that tucks the tech into your trousers or jacket?
“In five years, when we look back, everything we see (now) will absolutely be classified as toys, as the first very basic steps of getting this right,” says Nikolaj Hviid, the man behind smart earbuds called the Dash.
While health experts in laboratories globally have tried to devise ways to end the largest Ebola epidemic on record, technology experts have also been coming up with new ways to attack the virus - using smartphones and Ebola-proof tablets.
Recording and tracking the victims of Ebola in the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia has proved a major challenge since the outbreak started in December 2013 and spread rapidly, killing more than 11,000 people.
Ivan Gayton, an emergency coordinator with the medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said inefficient tracking was not helping, with workers in treatment centers sharing information about patients by shouting it over a fence to colleagues in a low-risk zone to record by hand.
A London hospital is the latest to put the Apple Watch to use within its walls, this time to improve medication management and adherence for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. According to a report from Wareable, King’s College Hospital will be the first to pilot an app from Medopad, a British company that also makes tablet-based mobile health technology.
“Cancer treatment is a challenging journey,” Dr Siamak Arami, a Consultant Haematologist at King’s College Hospital, told The Journal of mHealth last month, when Medopad launched the app. “Adherence to complicated treatment regimens, and the streamlined recording and reporting of health issues during treatment are of paramount value. Medopad’s Apple Watch chemotherapy application is an exciting new development in medical technology that can transform the quality and safety of care for patients, carers and care providers. This can eventually reduce the cost and improve the outcome of treatment for cancer patients.”
Since IBM launched its Watson Health business unit last month, the company has been busy, announcing a flurry of partnerships and deployments of its cognitive computing software in different sectors of the healthcare industry. Most of these announcements came out at the World of Watson symposium the company recently held in New York City. Here’s a roundup of what Watson has been up to.
The tech buzzword du jour is the “Internet of Things,” the principle that as the electronics in our lives become increasingly omnipresent they start to interact with and complement one another. Of course, the reality doesn’t quite meet the expectation just yet. Danika Laszuk, one of our speakers at PSFK 2015, and her colleagues over at Jawbone on the other hand are keenly aware of the hurdles impeding our progress toward making the Internet of Things more than a pipe dream.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.