Google confirmed today that it is currently testing a health software suite it calls the "Study Kit," made up of Android and iOS apps, and a Chrome extension, in the pilot for its Baseline Study project, developed by Google's experimental Google X wing and first detailed last July. According to TechCrunch, the testing comes ahead of a wider launch for the project scheduled for later this year. Baseline Study, which began as a limited trial at Stanford and Duke Universities, will take medical data from thousands of individuals to build a picture of ideal human health.
In the seven or so years I’ve been blogging, I’ve only written a few posts that prompted controversy in the comments section. Looking back, I notice that these posts have involved chronic illness management, motivation, adherence and/or engagement. In fact, a commentator recently felt my writing was that of an old-fashioned doctor who believes that paternalistic messaging is key to engaging patients in an effort to improve their health.
I’m paraphrasing but you can read the post and commentary for more context. This spirit prompted me to reflect on my writing and intent. I believe sincerely that our work at Partners Connected Health is patient-centered in every way, so why the disconnect?
In July 2014, Google announced Baseline Study, a Google[x] “moonshot” that involves collecting and analysing diagnostics from people to paint a picture of “what it means to be healthy.” While Baseline Study started as a limited pilot with Duke University and Stanford University in July 2014 with 175 participants, TechCrunch has learned that Google is now preparing for the next stage of the project: a bigger launch for later this year.
As part of that, the company has confirmed that it is testing something called the “Study Kit,” the first apps that are being used to collect data.
Study Kit comes in the form of iOS and Android apps as well as a Chrome extension — all of which are currently only open to a limited number of registered participants in the Baseline pilot.
Mobile health technology may be able to play a strong role in improving healthcare services in third world countries, as one case study illustrated the benefits mHealth brought to several nations in Africa. Whether it's in fighting the Ebola virus or providing maternal medical care, mobile health technology has offered key solutions that have improved the health of citizens in impoverished regions.
According to a report released by the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, mobile health technology may be used to manage disease epidemics, maternal healthcare, and chronic conditions. In particular, telehealth platforms and wearable devices can better track patient health as well as the effectiveness of treatments and diagnostics.
While wearable patch technology is a still-growing mHealth market, its future bodes bright as a worthwhile investment for providers and as a valuable consumer tool. However, currently there are challenges to the devices that need to be addressed, according to a recent Tractica report.
Connected wearable patches range from tattoos to small devices affixed to the skin, as defined by Tractica The patches feature wireless connectivity for monitoring physiological data, delivering medication and more.
Tractica forecasts worldwide unit shipments will hit 12.3 million annually by 2020, a big jump from the 67,000 shipped in 2014. The market is expected to increase to $3.3 billion annually, states the research.
Today, Doctor Evidence, a clinical health research data provider, announced a content partnership with IBM Watson to contribute valuable clinical cancer research content to Watson's oncology solutions and developer ecosystem. The partnership is part of IBM's work to help the medical community advance patient-centered care through its new Watson Health unit.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and has a tremendous economic impact with costs upward of $200 billion annually.1 Risk factors include smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity.
There are numerous health-related apps and digital health technologies that seek to modify these risk factors. However, there is a lack of high-level evidence on the effect of digital health technologies on actual CVD outcomes. With a shift in focus on quality and outcomes in healthcare, evidence supporting a positive effect on outcomes is needed prior to the widespread adoption of digital health tools.
Gamified medication adherence app maker Mango Health is moving beyond medications, using a new Google Fit integration to add tracking of blood pressure and weight, as well as activity tracking, into its app, the company announced today.
“From a patient or consumer’s perspective in the app, it leverages the existing paradigm around reminders, which we think is a very effective way to begin encouraging patient populations in other forms of even more proactive health,” CEO Jason Oberfest told MobiHealthNews. “So whether it’s recording blood pressure regularly, or moving regularly, monitoring glucose regularly, whatever the case may be, it was a very logical extension for the app.”
A new mHealth app called Wellzilla is now available to both professional and family caregivers. The app is designed as both a communication tool, as well as a platform through which caregivers can purchase all of the over-the-counter medical supplies they require.
When speaking of medical supplies required for hygiene and other Activities of Daily Living, supplies are more affordable in Wellzilla because the app cuts out the middle man. The app currently has over 40,000 medical supplies, some of which are as much as 80% cheaper than paying the full retail price.
Aside from purchasing required medical supplies, the app allows caregivers to manage their patients through the app. They can create a patient profile to be shared with other family members or caregivers, and they can use the app to send pertinent notifications to a designated group of individuals.
About two weeks ago, a story was making the rounds on Android blogs about how a developer has made it possible to monitor blood glucose levels on Android Wear devices. I happen to have type 1 diabetes and I have been using this very software developed by Stephen Black on my LG G Watch for a couple of months now. I am super excited to see the work of Stephen Black get some exposure. He’s done some great work and it’s really made a difference in my daily life, but I think the posts making the rounds on the Internet missed out on really sharing how life-changing, even life-saving, this tool can be.
Fitness wearables and mobile health tracking devices continue growing in popularity. Companies like Fitbit sell millions of devices each year. But despite the health benefits, people stop using the product.
The adage of regular, moderate exercise and a proper diet being the simplest, surest ways to remain healthy still guides many people in their day-to-day health routines. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, which amounts to about 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day—about 1,000 to 2,000 more than the average American walks daily, according to the Washington Post. But sometimes a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy to achieve and people fall short of hitting those goals.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is keen on starting a revolution in the wearable tech field to help children and women. In a competition called Wearables for Good, UNICEF together with ARM and frog design will gather submissions from individuals or teams that want to leverage the the tech category for improving lives of those in need.
The international organizations wants wearables to be a dark horse and to replicate what mobile phones did to many communities in recent years. Mobile phones provided a low-cost, highly-available way of reaching out. For example, mobile phones created India’s “Baby’s Gurgle” which uses voice messaging to relay information to mothers during their different periods of pregnancy. Similar projects has since been adapted in other Asian communities.
A recent survey by Research Now Group, a market research company based in Texas, sought to determine the usage of mobile health apps and their potential in healthcare.
The survey focused on some key issues including the use of smartphones by healthcare professionals in their clinical work, whether health care professionals find this technology beneficial for patients and for which types of patients, and the types of health apps used commonly and how users feel about the use of this technology for their health.
The survey included 1,000 healthcare professionals and 2,000 smartphone owners who indicated that they used mobile health apps. Half of the survey participants were from the United States and half from the United Kingdom. The survey occurred from January 9, 2015 to January 22, 2015.
While being sick is never a good situation to be in, the majority of people can still take solace in the fact that modern medicine will be able to diagnose their problem and get them on the path to a quick recovery. For a small percentage of patients, however, simply finding out what ails them can be a challenge. Despite countless visits to specialists and mounting costs, these individuals can struggle for years to find out any reliable information about their illness.
In a recent article published in Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers from Hebrew University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel sought to determine if the use of an app (eBalance) would encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle as compared to people receiving lectures on healthy living.
This is a useful and practical research question with the increasing number of consumers/patients using apps to help them live healthy lives. Most of the apps currently on the market, even the most popular ones, lack evidence. So, this study, among others, helps provide some evidence regarding the potential benefits of this ever increasing category of apps.
If you’re an Apple Watch owner with a keen interest in your health and fitness, you might have noticed some odd changes in heart rate monitoring since the roll-out of Apple Watch OS 1.0.1. Apple has confirmed that these changes are intentional, and the device is now monitoring heart rate less regularly as a deliberate feature rather than a bug.
Back in the days of Watch OS 1.0, heart rate was recorded every 10 minutes. Now — as users had noticed and Apple has now confirmed with an updated support page — readings aren’t taken as frequently if your arm is moving or your whole body is in motion. The tweak is probably aimed at eliminating erratic readings during exercise, but not all users are happy.
The Internet of Things Can Revolutionize Healthcare, But Security is Key By David Ting The Internet of Things (IoT) holds tremendous promise in healthcare, potentially enabling a digital health revolution and support the future of care delivery.
The tech giant has been granted a patent in the form of a wearable technology device that could identify any cell that "may be indicative of a medical condition"
Earlier this year Google proposed a new bracelet that is being described as a disease-fighting wearable technology. The pitch was recently accepted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which shows the true potential of the product.
The consumer technology companies that own desktop software, Web search, and mobile phones have set themselves a new goal. They’re aiming to carve themselves a slice of health care, the US $3 trillion industry that represents nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy.
There’s a lot at stake here, and not just financially. Pundits have described a future in which your body is minutely and continuously monitored. Your wearables and assorted wireless-enabled gadgets—your bathroom scale, perhaps a blood-glucose monitor—would gather torrents of physiological data. Someday, the data might even come from biosensors worn on the body, like tattoos, or ultimately, from implanted devices. This flood of info would sluice to your smartphone before streaming off to the cloud. Apps could continuously monitor the data and, if it took an alarming turn, bring it to the attention of a medical professional. Although the quantities of data might well be huge, this vision could be realized with technologies available now or anticipated soon.
To follow up on the mHealth Green Paper, the European Commission has started paving the way for an industry-led Code of Conduct for mobile health apps. This initiative was presented during an mHealth stakeholder meeting at eHealth Week 2015. Find the results and polls of this meeting here.
On 12 May, at the eHealth Week in Riga, an mHealth stakeholder meeting took place. It interactively addressed ongoing and potential future policy actions in the field of mobile health (mHealth). The discussion built on the results of the public consultation on the Green Paper on mHealth, but also on the outcome of an ad-hoc consultation via the on-site voting system.
The meeting was attended by about 80 people, ranging from public authorities, ICT industry, and academia to healthcare professionals.
With a sweeping shift to patient-centered and value-based care, mobile health technologies are increasingly being used to improve care in unprecedented ways.
In the new healthcare, one which emphasizes comprehensive, team-based and accessible care, provider organizations will need to make concerted efforts to become more patient-centered. For many providers,patient engagement is no easy task, but it’s certainly at the top of mind for healthcare CIOs.
Indeed, according to findings of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, sponsored by the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and released at the annual HIMSS conference this past April, patient satisfaction, patient engagement, and quality of care improvement have raced to the top of healthcare CIOs’ and senior IT executives’ agendas in the past year, a stark change from previous years which found that health IT leaders were more focused on business and financial goals. Nonetheless, it’s been a struggle for physicians to truly engage their patients, especially the 45 percent of U.S. adults with at least one chronic condition.
Academics in Australia at the University of Queensland have launched a three-year research project that will examine the impact of using digital health tools in physical education programs with kids. The project has received $177,000 AUS (about $137,000 US dollars) from the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant and is being conducted in collaboration with researchers in Melbourne and Illinois.
University of Queensland Associate Professor Michael Gard, who works in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences plans to research the philosophical and educational consequences of using the tech with kids in PE programs.
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