Healthcare is a breeding ground for disruption. Countless processes from patient relations to management of health records can be augmented. Surgeons wearing Google Glass, patients with NFC embedded identification bands, and nurses equipped with iPads are already a reality.
Yet one area of innovation may stem from an unlikely source. Social media for healthcare can contribute to increased communication, provider efficiency, treatment efficacy and organizational transparency.
As you listen to the rigorous discussions that occur within these programs, and witness the passion of the participants, you come away with the sense that while the challenges ahead are significant, the need is great, the opportunity is...
I wore a calorie counter armband from BodyMedia that told me I was burning over 3,000 calories a day. If that were true, I would be emaciated enough to play Gollum in the nextLord Of The Rings sequel.
The accuracy of consumer health gadgets varies widely across the spectrum, yet this hasn’t stopped the FDA from suspending popular genetic testing company 23andMe over concerns about the quality of their diagnostics. 23andMe may be at fault, but so is a large part of the entire health tech industry.
Alex Butler's insight:
An interesting if slightly ill informed artcicle on regulation of health applications. Think that the rigour needed to produce high quality and sustainable health apps is great opportunity for pharmaceutical comanies who are used to regulatory environment.
“My vision is to give people immediate gratification in healthcare,” says Ron Gutman the high-energy and affable founder and CEO of HealthTap, a mobile health platform that connects customers with trusted health information and doctors in near real-time at any given time of day or day of the week from a network of over 50,000 U.S.-licensed doctors. “We call people ‘patients’ but they are anything but patient when they are in pain or desperate to talk to a doctor in the middle of the night,” continues Gutman. In creating a customer–focused health information service, Gutman sees the opportunity to build the world’s first global mobile health brand
US-based sports apparel maker Under Armour has agreed to buy the health and fitness app MapMyFitness for $150m.
With the purchase, Under Armour intends to “add depth to its digital capability, offering athletes an elevated training experience through new digital products and platforms”, the company said in a statement.
Connecting health-monitoring hardware to smartphones is a no-brainer. The phone does the heavy processing, offers up power and screen, and thus makes the hardware cheaper and more importantly , smaller. However, you still need to power the thing, which can be tough when you're trying to gauge vitals overnight or longer.
It seems there's almost nothing computers can't simulate these days: Now, a new computer program simulates human birth using 3D virtual reality.
The simulator is the first of its kind to take into account factors such as the shape of the mother's body, and the shape and position of the baby. It could help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births, according to the researchers in England who developed it.
The last time we caught up with Josiah Zayner, he was busy devising a musical instrument that produces melodies based on the reactions of plant proteins to light. Now Zayner, a biophysicist and incoming synthetic biology fellow at NASA, has set his sights on a project with the potential for greater public impact: one that aims to rapidly accelerate the discovery of new antibiotic compounds..
Accenture has been working with the health authorities in Spain’s Basque Country to reduce the costs associated with caring for people with chronic diseases through technology developed for Microsoft’s Xbox games console.
Prevention is the new focal point of modern health care. But while doctors worldwide are doing a better job of stopping diseases like HIV/AIDS before they take root in our bodies, they’ve been slower to bring such care to mental health.
Mevoked aims to change that.
Alex Butler's insight:
Another interesting example of behavioural tracking in mental health. With the work underway in schizophrenia and recovery from brain injury this is an area ripe with innovation. You can imagine the sensationalist headlines if you wanted to mis-represent stories such as this though...
The Food and Drug Administration is ordering 23andMe to stop selling its saliva collection kits for its personal genome service.
23andMe is a health and ancestry DNA startup, founded by Anne Wojcicki in 2006. For $99, you receive a spit kit, provide 23andMe with a saliva sample, and send in your results.
Within a few weeks, you receive a bunch of information about what your DNA says about you.
But now the FDA is accusing 23andMe of violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it recently stated in a warning letter addressed to 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki. In the letter, the FDA claims that 23andMe marketed its saliva collection kit and personal genome service without clearance or approval.
Android and iOS: While you generally don't want to turn to the internet for help fixing your body, if you can connect with an actual doctor you can get usable advice. Talk to Docs offer just that, allowing you to ask a question aloud and receive an answer just moments later.
Talk to Docs provides a very simple interface at the start. You can type your question, but it seeks to simplify the process by listening to you speak and then turning that question into text on your behalf. Once it detects the question you've asked, you get a series of related responses from actual doctors. In many cases, those responses were vetted by other doctors so you have multiple opinions. While a brief answer can't replace actual medical treatment, when you want to try and figure out what might be wrong with you in a hurry it's nice to get a quick answer.P
In the United States alone, health spending places the domestic health care industry among the five or six largest economies in the world.
To lower skyrocketing costs, consumers and the health care industry are looking at a variety of solutions. Increasingly, apps and mobile devices that allow consumers to take charge of their own treatment are seen as ways to start bringing down costs. They are taking health care out of hospitals and doctor's offices, and putting more power in consumer hands.