A few days ago, we reported on an incident, related by digital health champion Dr. Eric Topol, of a patient self-diagnosing a serious heart ailment based on Apple Watch data. We have since spoken to that patient, and heard a fascinating story.Virginia resident Ken Robson, 64, had been visiting his son in the San Diego area in mid-June. “I had been noticing that I had been feeling weak and lightheaded,” he said. He also noticed severe drops in his heart rate. “Your heart rate doesn’t go into the 30s and 40s unless you’re an Olympic athlete,” Robson said. He knew something was wrong, so he went online and self-diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia known as sick sinus syndrome.
HelpAroundAlertHelpAround, the Israel-based startup that raised $550,000 last year to bring the sharing economy to diabetes care, has launched a new app, Alert, which uses HealthKit data in realtime to provide support to patients.The app imports glucose data from HealthKit and, when it detects a reading outside of a predetermined range, a popup gives the user a one-touch option to contact a predetermined list of friends and family. The user can send text message alerts to their contacts for free, or they can sign up for a paid premium option that allows the app to initiate a conference call.
One of the many benefits to the constantly connected world we live in is that we can find information on just about anything we want or need at any hour of day or night. This includes information we would have previously gained from an industry professional, such as a physician. Many people from around the globe are performing online searches to identify their symptoms in order to self-diagnose and self-treat. This is one of the reasons why researchers at Harvard set out to determine which of the many online symptom and diagnostics healthcare apps and websites performed the best. Doc Response was the most accurate of all, and even performed better than popular and well-respected iTriage, Mayo Clinic, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), and WebMD. It even did better than Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide. Of the 23 apps and websites reviewed, it was found that DocResponse listed the correct diagnosis first 150 percent more often than iTriage and WebMD and an impressive 300 percent more often than the Mayo Clinic’s symptom checker.
Anxiety apps: Talkspace appsPsychiatric interventions have gained an enormous amount of attention from the digital health space this year.In fact, numerous startups and health apps have recently made headlines.Machine-driven psychotherapy interventions by PsyInnovations’ wayForward has announced it was joining the Startup Health portfolio. Talkspace, psychotherapy by video and text, has gained $13M in funding. Online social anxiety psychotherapy platform Joyable was featured in The Atlantic — and will introduce native apps in the future. And consumer-created apps like Pacifica has landed #1 on BuzzFeed’s list of health apps for anxiety, providing assessments and exercises for anxiety and stress sufferers.
CVS and IBM have teamed up to stop chronic diseases patients from having a medical emergency before it gets to that point. The corner store pharmacy giant will use Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing technology, to predict chronic disease patients in danger based on red flag behaviors.Watson is built on a similar learning process as the human brain. It observes the data, interprets it, evaluate recognizable patterns and then decides a course of action. But unlike our tiny tissue brains, Watson has the capacity to sort through and rapidly compute millions of data points through sophisticated circuitry and software to make those useful connections much faster.
Users of wearables and mobile health apps don’t feel their data is “sufficiently secured” by tech manufacturers, says a study by Healthline.The health information and tech solutions company said on Tuesday (July 28) that it had conducted a survey across nearly 3,700 consumers last month, covering attitudes on digital health. That survey, Healthline said, showed that as many as one quarter of those surveyed do not feel that data is secure on either Fitbit or health data apps. And 45 percent of those people using the health technology told Healthline that they are concerned that health care data may be vulnerable to hacking.
A couple of new reports from across the pond illustrate the ways doctors and patients are thinking about digital health in England, as well as in France and Germany. A new report from PushDoctor, a UK telemedicine company, shows that 58 percent of UK citizens surveyed have used some kind of health or wellness technology. And a report from healthcare marketing group Ipsos Health shows that 72 percent of the 131 primary care doctors interviewed in the UK, Germany, and France have already used or recommended at least one form of digital health technology with their patients.According to the PushDoctor report, 22.8 percent of patients use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to monitor exercise levels, 17 percent use such a device to establish BMI, 16.9 percent measure heart rate, 15.2 percent establish daily diet and calorie intake, 12.9 percent monitor sleep quality, and 5.1 percent share symptoms on social media to solicit friends’ opinions.
Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health in San Diego and director of the Scripps Translational Research Institute, is creating yet another buzz on Twitter with this post about patient-generated data from an Apple Watch.
As patients take more pills, tracking that medication and staying on the pill schedule gets harder and harder. There’s no shortage of mobile apps that aim to help patients stick to the drug regimen. But many of these apps feel punitive. After all, an alarm or warning that you haven’t yet taken your meds can feel more like medication compliance by punishment. It doesn’t have to be that way. A gamification startup has developed a mobile app that encourages medication compliance by turning the mundane drug regimen into an engaging game.
Startup CyberDoctor‘s mobile app Patient Partner presents scenarios for a character that’s chosen by the user. As the story unfolds, a user must make choices for his or her character. If the concept sounds similar to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of children’s books, that’s by design, CyberDoctor explains. By presenting scenarios in which a patient must make choices, the startup hopes to help patients understand the impact that their own choices have on their own health.
How much would you pay to live longer? What if Google were making the pill to do it?
On Tuesday, Calico, the medical research company Google incubated in 2013, announced it had cut a deal for access to genetic information from Ancestry, the largest family tree website. It’s among the first public moves from Calico, the secretive division born to (gasp!) extend human life. With its new DNA data — properly anonymized — Calico will look for genetic patterns in people who have lived exceptionally long lives, then make drugs to help more of us do that.
The deal also marks another step in the next chapter of tech’s ambitious experiments with biology: After collating medical data, it’s marching the research to market. In January, 23andMe — the Ancestry.com competitor run by Anne Wojcicki, now ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin — inked a similar deal with Genentech to parse the genomes of Parkinson’s disease patients. Genentech is the former company of Arthur Levinson, the CEO of Calico. (It’s a small world.)
The mobile health technology field has been expanding throughout the entire medical care industry within the United States. With the widespread use of the Internet, laptops, smart phones, and tablets became standard mobile devices to communicate and access relevant information among physicians, healthcare providers, and the patient community at large. As mobile health technology continues to advance, new developments are uncovered such as smart glasses, wearable monitors, and new telehealth solutions.
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) reports on the future of the mobile health technology field. One potential problem within the healthcare industry is the possibility of medical care inconsistencies and inequalities due to differential access of virtual and mobile health technology like telehealth platforms or wearable devices.
We’ve been talking on and on about how the process of Quantification can actually help in a comprehensive analysis of the data that is gathered. When the process of Quantification meets the brains of Context, it leads to the creation of an ecosystem like none other: informative, interesting and intelligent.But the true backbone of this entire system is not the complex software algorithm which analyses the data, nor the design suites which display the data to the end user. The main component of this entire structure comprises of the gamut of sensors which take in data intelligently and efficiently, while at the same time not being a hindrance to the daily activities of the user.
You wouldn’t rely on pacemaker that hadn’t been thoroughly tested, or take a blood pressure medication that hadn’t been approved by federal regulators. Yet every day people download millions of health-related mobile apps, many of which lack evidence to back up their claims of improving users’ health.
While most other industries have enjoyed a decades-long marriage with the Internet, in health care, we’re still in the “getting to know you” phase, working to establish a level of trust. Understandably, there are major concerns in our industry surrounding data integrity, both in and outside of the firewall.Even as health care and the Internet continue their awkward slow dance (Jonathan Bush of Athenahealth likes to poke fun, with respect to health care, “that Internet thing is going to be big!”), the Internet of Things is already upon us. And while almost all (physicians are on the fence about the worth of some of the data and their ability to be present with it) appreciate the IoT’s tremendous promise in health care toward enabling a digital health revolution and the future of care delivery, as an industry, we must get the security piece right.
Nokia smartwatch 1Nokia has just launched its new Nokia Technologies business practice called “Digital Media” with “Nokia OZO“, as its first product. A related great news, that will be welcomed by all Nokia enthusiasts is that Nokia will manufacture OZO in Finland and this doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because Nokia had made it amply clear that if they see a breakthrough product, they can think of manufacturing it themselves.Now coming to something that will bring more cheer to Nokia fans and more legitimacy to many of our leaks & reporting about Nokia pursuing smart wearables related to health and wellbeing. During the Q2 earnings call a statement made by CEO Suri revealed a new Nokia Technologies practice that we may see taking shape soon. “Digital Health” as the name suggests will be Nokia’s entry to smart wearables related to health and wellbeing. We have all the reasons to belive that Nokia will take manufacturing of Digital health devices itself as we have seen in the case of OZO. As per Suri,
Around 4.9 million members in health system Kaiser Permanente’s 9.6 million member network are using Kaiser’s online health management platform, called My Health Manager, according to Kaiser’s 2014 annual report, which came out today.In 2014, through Kaiser’s online and mobile health services, 37.4 million lab test results were viewed online, 20 million secure emails were sent, 4.1 million online appointment requests were made, and 17.5 million online prescriptions were refilled.Kaiser also released app download data from one of the company’s apps, also called Kaiser Permanente, which reached 1.3 million all-time downloads in 2014, up from 455,512 downloads in the company’s 2013 report. Through the app, members can email physicians, schedule or cancel appointments, get refills for a prescription, and access lab results. The app also helps users find nearby KP medical facili
Glow, the app that aims to help women get pregnant (or not) launched a new iOS app for women’s sexual health today called Ruby.Ruby is similar to the other Glow family of products, but is tailored toward women’s general sexual health as opposed to just reproduction – because, well, there’s a lot more to us than our baby ovens.Sex ed for young women is woefully missing in a mobile world. There are quite a few apps out there, but most aren’t compelling enough to download versus just Googling the information.
A group of researchers has created an app that may make it easier to actually make health and fitness changes and stick with them. It logs where and when its users are active and stationary, as well as what they’re eating. Called MyBehavior, the app also offers users a list of activity- and food-oriented suggestions each day, along with details about the calories they’d save or burn with them.Plenty of smartphone apps already track physical activity and calories—many of them, like ones from Fitbit and Jawbone, by working with a wristband or smartwatch—but it can be a struggle to make radical changes to your routine. Tanzeem Choudhury, an associate professor of information science at Cornell and one of the researchers behind MyBehavior, says the app tries to come up with achievable goals that blend in with a person’s habits rather than bombarding him with information. It can also adapt as the person’s routine changes over time, she says.
The mobile health industry has undergone profound transformations over the last decade, as it continues to forge a new path for the medical industry and play a role in reforming the regulatory landscape. While there have been a multitude of successes throughout the mobile health industry, there have also been several challenges that healthcare providers and lawmakers continue to address.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not taking part in defining what mobile health apps should be regulated, which agencies or experts should be handling the regulations, and how to enforce the correct actions.
This type of inaction could lead to a delay in the product coming to market. These challenges need to be overcome by including more regulation and oversight from the FDA and other regulatory agencies throughout the country.
However, the FDA can assist the mobile health industry in making headway in patient care, better outcomes, and more data capabilities by developing a more cohesive regulatory process and promoting innovation within this particular field.
What do you get when you combine social media, an oncology hashtag project to provide better educational resources for patients and connect patients with physicians in this specialty and a patient population that sees few treatment options geared to them? The development of a new cancer community around sarcoma patients, #scmsmMatthew Katz (aka @subatomicdoc) is a a radiation oncologist who founded Rad Nation, a community of radiation oncologists.One of the ways #scmsm members have used the new handle is to amplify their push for more drug options designed specifically for sarcoma patients with an appreciation of the diverse variations on the rare condition. Although there are 50 different types of sarcoma, only one drug is designed for one of these subtypes but is used for the others and it was developed more than 30 years ago..
Less than four months after the Apple Watch launched, many early adopters are finding that the wrist-worn device has motivated them to make healthy lifestyle changes. From walking and exercising more often to making healthier choices and playing more sports, market research firm Wristly found that many Apple Watch buyers are taking full advantage of the wearable's health and fitness features. More than 75% of survey participants among Wristly's panel of nearly 1000 Apple Watch buyers indicated that they "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" that they have been standing more since receiving the Apple Watch. Similarly, 67% of participants agreed that they walk more, 59% agreed they make better health choices and 57% said they exercise more often with the Apple Watch.
Healthcare is the next growth frontier for software solutions because of the benefits and cost-savings it brings to a traditionally paper-run industry. Healthcare providers and their partners are increasingly adopting digital healthcare software platforms, and this is ushering in an era of rising healthcare quality and falling healthcare cost. It’s about time. We’ve all heard the infamous reports lambasting the healthcare systems for excessive spending while failing to live up to high standards of care. Well, digital healthcare solutions have come to save the day! The digital health solutions I am referring to in this article include all types of interconnected health systems that aid healthcare professionals and patients manage illness and health care risk as well as promote health. These include Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), ePrescribing where prescriptions can be sent directly to pharmacies electronically, patient portal where patients can access their health records and communicate with doctors etc. Having said this, the adoption of digital healthcare solutions has been bumpy because many platforms are complex and difficult to navigate. To smooth out these bumps, digital healthcare software must become more user-friendly and healthcare professionals must know how to use these platforms correctly.
A pilot involving wearable monitors is in its second week of a three-week test within the University of Pennsylvania Health System and early feedback is positive, according to a project leader.
The pilot is a "proof of concept" to determine how patients and clinicians view mHealth technology, Penn Medicine Associate CIO Jim Beinlich told MedCity News.
The monitors are being tested by medical surgical cancer unit patients. Beinlich said the device is a Food and Drug Administration-approved hospital product being worn on the arms of inpatients. The goal is to determine if such technology would prove valuable to patients and clinicians,
Do healthcare providers offer sufficient mobile health applications to connect with their patients? According to a global survey from Kentico Software, there may not be enough capabilities among medical facilities when it comes to patient portals, secure messaging, and general mobile health technology. At least half of survey takers issued a C rating with regard to the use of mobile health applications to communicate with healthcare professionals.
The Kentico Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web Survey shows that about one-third of survey respondents said that it was complicated and often difficult to access or navigate medical-based websites via mobile devices and 43 percent stated that they only use desktops when looking at health-related sites. Also, the majority of users prefer to communicate with their primary physicians via mobile texting, but only 19 percent are offered this opportunity through their healthcare providers.
Every once in a while an Apple patent application will surface in Europe that has bypassed the U.S. Patent Office for reasons unknown. Late yesterday Patently Apple discovered a patent application covering Apple Watch that specifically discusses a multi-modal physiological sensing system. In plain English, the patent is covering the Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor. And, it looks as though Apple may be introducing a new method for compensating for motion so that users could perhaps one day jog and swing their arms without affecting the heart rate readings as they do today.
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