Mobile health devices have moved forward once again and made an impact on patient care. IBM and Apple have announced that they will be working with the health and life insurance company Japan Post to offer elderly citizens iPads in hopes of improving their health and wellness, according to Forbes magazine.
By offering its citizens these mobile health devices, Japan Post will be able to gather more data about its customers and thereby help improve their overall well-being. By enabling elderly citizens to live longer and healthier lives, Japan Post will also be strengthening the financial backbone of its insurance business.
"[This project has] the potential to affect an entire generation of people and bring our elderly citizens into the world of connection and convenience that come with iPhone and iPad. It’s my vision to enrich their lives,” stated Japan Post Chief Executive Taizo Nishimuro.
In an interesting find by iFixit — the company known for breaking apart popular gadgets to study their internals — the Apple Watch was found to have the ability to measure blood oxygen saturation.
Traditionally we measure blood oxygen saturation using a sensor we attach to your finger, earlobe, or forehead. This is the plastic sensor that your physician might connect to your index finger when your vital signs are being taken before a visit.
My vision of a digital health revolution is in four parts, those being:
Access to information (the internet age)
Access to each other (the socialised internet)
Access to ourselves (the rise of quantified self, expressed through mobile and wearable health technology)
Access to everyone (the subsequent development and application of big data)
What is interesting is that it is really a revolution in five parts, the final one is not as noisy as the previous four. It could even be called silent, but there is good reason to believe it will be the most important for the future of medicine, healthcare and well-being. This is the connectivity to everything.
Mobile health apps grabbed big investment attention with $220 million in 35 deals in the first quarter of 2015, and a new report attributes the healthy funding to the hands-off regulatory approach by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its final guidance on mHealth apps, which provided needed clarity.
Venture capital funding for mHealth companies, overall, accounted for 36 percent of financial investment among digital and IT health companies in Q1 of 2015; mHealth was the lone tech industry that did not experience a significant funding decline compared to Q4 of 2014, according to a Mercom Capital Group report.
As the Apple Watch begins to find its way into the hands of consumers, it’s also becoming clearer that there’s a lot of interest in the health features of the device. On April 24th, the day the Apple Watch began shipping, MobiHealthNews found 264 Apple Watch apps related to health or fitness in the Apple AppStore, including apps from Humana, Cerner, the Mayo Clinic, athenahealth, and Walgreens, to name just a few.
Although a majority were fitness and workout apps, we found 13 apps related to medication adherence, 15 apps specifically for doctors or patients, 12 hydration tracking apps, and 13 apps for tracking fertility and/or pregnancy. And that was just on day one.
We’re also learning more about the sensors in the device. The big (and often misinterpreted) news about Apple Watch’s health features is that they were not what they could have been. The Wall Street Journal broke the story that Apple initially planned a much more ambitious health device, but concerns around accuracy and regulation stymied those plans.
Apple’s ambitions as a mobile health company took a giant leap forward over the weekend, as HealthKit was connected to more than 80,000 patient files at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
This means that Cedars-Sinai doctors now have the ability to take iOS Health data into account when making clinical and medical judgments — allowing physicians to easily access patients’ weight, blood pressure, steps taken, glucose levels, and oxygen saturation levels as gathered from their iOS devices.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Cedars-Sinai’s chief information officer Darren Dworkin described it as something of an experiment.
“We don’t really, fully know and understand how patients will want to use this and we’re going to basically stand ready to learn by what will happen,” he said.
The role that mobile apps can play in day-to-day health and wellness is still something that is being explored — but all signs point to promising results.
Now, in a joint partnership, Avella Specialty Pharmacy and leading mobile health provider mscripts have completed a 6 month study to determine how a mobile app can help improve prescription medication management.
This study will be presented at the 2015 Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit, which is being held on May 7 in Las Vegas. The study found that over a period of 6 months, HIV patients were 2.9 times more likely to adhere to their prescription schedule. The mobile app did more than provide daily dosage reminders, but refill reminders, and a wide range of other prescription management reminders and functions.
ResearchKit has finally arrived for iOS devices. Back at the launch of the Apple Watch and the new Macbook Apple also announced a new open source platform for Medical research called ResearchKit. They spoke about the possibilities and how this would be a true step forward in Medical Research, however the details of how this would come together were few and far between (read our post ReasearchKit: 3 Reasons For Pharma to be Optimistic)
New York City-based Health Recovery Solutions announced that its tablet-based program reduced the 30-day readmission rate for 130 congestive heart failure (CHF) patients at Penn Medicine’s Penn Care at Home program by 53 percent.
Health Recovery Solutions looked at Penn Care at Home’s data between July 2014 and February 2015. During this time, the readmission rate fell from 8 percent to 3.8 percent.
Ford Motor Co. is trying to figure out how to accommodate a bevy of new Internet-connected devices such as fitness bands and smartwatches in its vehicles. The automotive giant said that these new devices could lead to efforts to increase safety and promote good health behind the wheel. “Now the car is becoming the ultimate technology product, and we are becoming more of an information company,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told CIO Journal.
For months and months speculation was rife about the Apple Watch (or iWatch as was the expected moniker) and the possible implications and applications for healthcare. Then we had the 9th March launch event in San Francisco and theApple Watch seemed to sink like a lead balloon in the minds of health technology enthusiasts. This was aided by articles such as the one in the Wall Street Journal that claimed much of the exciting health sensor technology had been scrapped and asked: What Exactly Is an Apple Watch For? (Subscription required)
I believe that technology only becomes socially interesting when it becomes technologically boring. We can only really impact health at scale when we utilise technology that has true mainstream reach. However I feel there are still a number of key reasons the Apple Watch is worth thinking about for healthcare broadly, and pharmaceutical companies specifically. Here are five reasons pharma should care as we approach the April 24th Apple Watch launch date
The development and availability of wearables is running hand in hand with the exploding interest in the digital health space. Managing our health via apps and devices is slowly becoming the norm. And patients that need to monitor their condition day-to-day have even more to benefit from this powerful combination. Startups are of course entering this space in droves.
The latest is a startup which launches out of stealth today: MyHealthPal, an iOS app and analytics platform that enables people with long-term health conditions to manage their condition, is initially focusing on Parkinson’s Disease, but could be applied similar diseases.
It’s now secured an initial seed funding of £500,000, and launched a trial with the highly respected Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
In fact, any Android app that uses Android notifications will pop up automatically on Android. This makes it quite handy, for instance, to follow medical Twitter feeds, get alerts from colleagues, and send emails and text messages to them.
My experience over the past year with my Samsung Gear Live watch has been very positive. I’ve been able to manage flights, scheduling, messaging, and more from my wrist — and even get some advice from Johns Hopkins’ @PsychPearls and follow live thoracic surgeries at UC Davis. Even Evernote is available to capture, display, and search notes on Android Wear.
From fitness trackers to smart watches, the trend in gear is tracking and customization. Once a status symbol for fitness-focused folks and tech geeks, wearable tech has become ubiquitous, as has the underlying concept of using passively tracked information for personal benefit.
But in sporting the new connected accessories, there's a fine line between looking sophisticated and helplessly nerdy. Fashion is as important to men as it is women—and the majority surveyed by Men's Health said they'd think twice before donning a connected coat.
The mobile health market is making headway and many industries around the world are stopping to take notice. At the CARTES SECURE CONNEXIONS AMERICA 2015 taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC next month, mHealth will be one of the topics discussed in great detail, according to a press release from events organizer COMEXPOSIUM Group.
It is revolutionary that mobile communications technology like tablets, smartphones, and laptops can all lead to better follow-up care and healthcare diagnostics or treatments. Mobile applications like fitness trackers can also be incorporated in preventing disease.
IN RWANDA, PEOPLE have to deal with all kinds of threats to their health: malaria, HIV/AIDS, severe diarrhea. But in late 2012, Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, realized her country’s key health enemy was something far more innocuous.
The thing causing the most harm to her people, the leading risk factor for premature death and disability, was inside their own homes: Dirty indoor air, from cooking food over burning dung and vegetation in poorly ventilated huts. Within weeks, Binagwaho announced a program to distribute one million clean cookstoves to the poorest households in the young, mostly rural country.
A New Orleans health systems is piloting the Apple Watch as an mHealth tool to help patients manage high blood pressure and live a healthier lifestyle.
Ochsner Health System says the program is all about helping patients make positive changes in their day-to-day routines and become more proactive in their healthcare, according to an article at Forbes.
"We need to fundamentally change behavior," Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation officer say. "And thse Apple Watch has the potential to [do] it."
If you've seen Still Alice, you know how important a smartphone can be for an Alzheimer's patient -- it helps jog memories that might otherwise be lost. Samsung is clearly aware of this, as it just released a dedicated Backup Memory app to stimulate the memories of early-onset patients. The Android tool uses Bluetooth to detect when friends and family running the app are nearby. If they are, it'll both identify the person and show user-uploaded photos and videos that recall past events.
A study conducted by Research Now has added hard numbers to the mobile health conversation and found that patients — and doctors — see value.
In a survey that was completed by 1,000 health app users in the UK and 500 health care professionals, the researchers asked questions about the use of smartphone technology, expectation of benefits, and potential for improving lives.
The mobile health market will be growing across the globe over the next several years, as it isexpected to reach $32 billion by 2019. The US is not the only country leading in mobile health adoption, as Denmark is a leading nation in Europe advancing in the mobile health market, according to a survey published by market research company Research2Guidance.
The results are based on the 2015 mHealth App Developer Economics study, which is the largest mobile health study completed by HIMSS and Research2Guidance. Denmark was the first in mHealth adoption among 25 European nations.
IBM on Monday announced alliances with Apple and others to put artificial intelligence to work drawing potentially life-saving insights from the booming amount of health data generated on personal devices.
IBM is collaborating with Apple, Medtronic, and Johnson & Johnson to use its Watson artificial intelligence system to give users insights and advice from personal health information gathered from fitness trackers, smartphones, implants or other devices.
The initiative is trying to take advantage of medical records increasingly being digitized, allowing quick access for patients and healthcare providers if the information can be stored and shared effectively. IBM wants to create a platform for that sharing.
"All this data can be overwhelming for providers and patients alike, but it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform the ways in which we manage our health," IBM senior vice president John Kelly said in a news release
More than half of today's smartphone users, 62 percent, are using their devices to get health information, according to Pew Research Center's new report, "U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015." The report is based on surveys conducted by the center in conjunction with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Steven Keating, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and a brain cancer survivor, was the subject of an article this week, presented as a super data cruncher of his own patient information.
The young scientist’s collection and analysis of his own data makes him an extraordinary exception today, but physicians and health care experts say he is a sprinter along a path others are walking — toward consumers taking a more active interest in gathering, studying and sharing their medical data. Better-informed patients, they say, are more likely to take better care of themselves, comply with prescription drug regimens and even detect early-warning signals of illness, as Mr. Keating did.
With Apple Inc. and fellow Silicon Valley companies edging further into health care, the U.S. agency in charge of oversight says it will give the technology industry leeway to develop new products without aggressive regulation.
Bakul Patel, who oversees the new wave of consumer-focused health products at the Food and Drug Administration, said most wearable gadgets such as the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch and health-focused applications for smartphones have a way to go before warranting close scrutiny from the agency.
Apple, known for keeping its product developments under the strictest of lock-and-key, gave ABC News exclusive access into its top secret health and fitness lab, where only Apple employees became test subjects for the new Apple Watch.
Apple engineers, managers and developers have been secretly volunteering for the past year in this state-of-the-art lab to participate in rowing, running, yoga and many more fitness activities in order to collect data for the Apple Watch’s inner workings.
“[The employees] knew they were testing something, but they didn't know it was for the Apple Watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations. “We hooked them up with all the masks and so forth, but we would put on an Apple Watch covered up.”
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