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The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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Physicians are taking a closer look at telemedicine

Physicians are taking a closer look at telemedicine | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

For years, the compelling argument for telemedicine has been that it allows patients to access doctors at any time and from any place. Now doctors are finding that they can use telemedicine platforms to improve – and in some cases expand – their practice.

 

Telemedicine vendors like American Well, Teladoc and Ring-A-Doc are launching or have launched business plans aimed at physicians, enabling them to create platforms to communicate with their existing patients. Company executives say the platforms can also be used by physicians to enhance their practice, either by reaching out to more patients or developing a specialty service.

 

“We’ve introduced a whole different model of selling our system to private practices,” says Roy Schoenberg of American Well, which launched its physician-facing services earlier this year after “playing around” with the concept for most of 2011. “This is all completely brand-new to them.”

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Protect Your Clients: Social-Media Tips for the Heavily Regulated | Guest Columnists - Advertising Age

Protect Your Clients: Social-Media Tips for the Heavily Regulated | Guest Columnists - Advertising Age | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Companies in heavily regulated industries, such as financial services and pharmaceuticals, are looking for safer social-media options. While the promise of real-time engagement with customers is appealing, social presents regulatory challenges. Ad agencies must arm themselves with the proper information to help clients find the right balance between the creative use of social platforms and the security and controls required to meet complex compliance demands.

 

How can you best support even your most regulated clients and reduce the risks associated with social-media activities? Let's explore the two most critical steps.

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Transparency defines social media success for doctors

Want to understand social media? Physicians wanting to learn about social media must learn transparency. We must learn transparency on a personal level and also learn how to operate our medical practices with the same transparency as any other small business.

 

Our patients (and our prospective patients) now define “great” doctors as those who are willing to display transparency, that is, doctors must be willing to show a human side.

 

For us to distinguish ourselves from each other, we must respond to a digital society who now demands transparency, engagement and a review system of its doctors.

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The accuracy of using integrated electronic health care data to identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus

The accuracy of using integrated electronic health care data to identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Rationale, aims and objectives Diabetes mellitus is a growing health and economic burden. Identification of patients with unrecognized diabetes, or those at high risk for diabetes, provides an opportunity for timely intervention. This study assessed the accuracy of using electronic health care data to identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes.

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How do #Patients feel about #SocialMedia invitations?

Archive of select tweets from the 4/22/12 #hcsm chat. Are you a patient or a patient advocate? What do you recommend? Opinions are my own, and subject to change depending your feedback.
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Health Information Technology (Part II) — The End User

Health Information Technology (Part II) — The End User | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

With people getting used to easy access to information – and with automation of health records being one of the lynchpins of controlling healthcare costs, you would think there would be more progress – and technologically, there is.

 

But maintaining computerized health care records has its own set of issues, many of them non-technological. Aside from privacy issues, there are additional factors such as the variety of sources for a person’s information, the subjectivity of much of the information, the value of including handwritten notations, and the reluctance toward fully shared information between doctor and patient.

 

These are all issues that Debra Spruill discusses in the wide-ranging second part of Health Information Technology.

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Moore's Law Doesn't Apply to Health Care Technology

Moore's Law Doesn't Apply to Health Care Technology | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Moore's Law, which is more a rule of thumb than a law, originally applied to computer hardware and the notion that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The law has been used to describe the speed of advance in a wide range of technologies.

 

But there is a reason that people in health care should only be cautiously optimistic when applying it to their industry.

 

"I wish the enthusiasm was correct, but I fear it is not," said Dr. J. Deane Waldman, Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology & Decision Science at the University of New Mexico. Deane said the industry has three disincentives to innovation that will partly suppress the effect of Moore's law, including:

 

Regulatory oversight that is completely focussed on compliance. "It discourages risk-taking and innovation," Deane said.

 

Health care doesn't have the same financial reward system. Facebook isn't about to pay $1 billion for the latest hot-ticket item in imaging and informatics.

 

And, finally, Deane said, "Security always trumps information sharing, and so better, faster linkages are constrained because of security concerns, most of which are bogus."

 

"The problem is that with the plethora of mHealth apps... very few people are using them. Which begs the question: Why isn't the technology adapting to people's needs rather than the other way around?" - David Haddad, program director for Open mHealth

 

One of the other big problems is that, unlike other industries, new technologies in health care are not driven by consumer demand. It's up to doctors and hospitals to decide whether to implement the latest and greatest piece of health care tech.

 

"Consumers can be expected to embrace digital health tools more quickly, and this will drive a demand for improvement that should increase the pace of institutional change," said Robert B. McCray, president and CEO of the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance. "There is great economic resistance to change, however, and more trade protections in health care, so institutional and professional resistance, rather than technology, are the limiting factors in the creation of 'better health care'."

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How Twitter was used in a potential mass casualty scenario

How Twitter was used in a potential mass casualty scenario | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
It was the first time I caught a glimpse of what a powerful tool social media could potentially be in healthcare.
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Best Business Practices for Using Health Information Technology to Advance Patient Safety

This commentary reflects how high-performing healthcare organizations use health information technology to advance patient safety.

 

Despite increasing awareness of the risks to patients within the US healthcare system and the human and economic toll that medical errors exact, improvements in patient safety have been slow.1,2 While individual accountability for patient outcomes is essential for the delivery of high-quality medical care, the complexity of healthcare requires a highly reliable system built within a culture that recognizes errors and process defects as opportunities to learn and continuously improve. The Institute of Medicine report To Err is Human emphasized the important role of health information technology in preventing harm to patients.3 Through the automation of errorprone tasks and decision support systems designed to minimize reliance on human memory, health information technology has rapidly become an important tool to address problems faced by healthcare organizations and their patient safety programs.

 

In this essay, we describe the fundamental role of health information technology as a multifaceted and indispensable tool to achieve high reliability in healthcare. We illustrate how health information technology can contribute to the creation of high performance by discussing the operating characteristics of high-performing organizations and how they achieve superior outcomes. Finally, we caution readers that this technology has the potential to disappoint or even harm if poorly designed, implemented, or embedded within an institution that lacks a culture of safety. We write these opinions in our roles as healthcare leaders in an academic medical center that has a well-developed computer physician order entry system and a partially developed electronic medical record.

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Patient portal success factors improve acceptance and benefits

The patient portal--whose hallmark is direct consumer access to a provider EHR--can build many bridges between physicians and the public they serve.

 

For a portal to catch on, health care organizations should focus on two key areas, says John Moore, founder of Chilmark Research, which tracks the health I.T. industry. First, says, Moore, the portal needs to be promoted by physicians. “Physicians need to talk it up during the visit as a great way to interact with the practice,” Moore says. Second, the portal needs to give patients access to a handful of transactions and services they find most valuable, Moore says. These include access to lab results, the ability to request appointments, online bill paying and access to their own record. “This is the real basic stuff patients want to do online with physicians,” he says.

 

Given the fact that it is linked to a particular provider, the portal does have limitations, especially if patients seek services from other specialists, Moore says. “It does not create the full longitudinal record,” he says. Despite that, the portal offers several advantages over stand-alone personal health records, which patients control. “It will be difficult for stand-alone PHRs to make it,” he contends. “They don’t have the most basic tools. They don’t do appointments or refill requests.”

 

Health systems looking to build a portal have a ripe audience, says Harry Greenspun, M.D., senior advisor, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Citing data from Deloitte’s annual health I.T. survey of consumers, Greenspun says that medical associations and community hospitals stand at the top of the heap among consumers as a trusted source for an online health record.

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Mobile and the Cloud Combine to Transform Healthcare

Mobile and the Cloud Combine to Transform Healthcare | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The benefits of mobile in healthcare are obvious. Physicians and nurses can avoid mistakes by knowing more about the patient when they’re asked to make a decision. Doctors can use tablets to educate patients on their conditions and treatment. In many cases the firms start by replacing volume of paper or paper based processes with mobile apps.

 

Let’s look at the example of RehabCare Group, a 28-year-old provider of therapeutic services based in St Louis. RehabCare is using smartphones and iPads to improve the patient care experience. The company built a custom cloud-based app on top of SalesForece.com to create a paperless patient preadmission and screening process.


Mobile devices support an immediate information transfer. RehabCare also uses the app to capture vital information at the point of care to provide better documentation. Mobile devices are now being used for other tests such as training for physical therapists and to show a patient’s family a map of the facility. By combining mobile, mobile device management and the cloud computing, Rehabcare has secure access to its data anytime. It also has its medical information integrated with its CRM system to prevent customer care issues.

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3 Pits that a Life Sciences Company Must Avoid to Drive a Successful Crowdsourcing Business Model

Crowd sourcing business models like PatientsLikeMe, 23 and Me and innovation reward models like Innocentive have served as guiding beacons for pharmaceutical corporations looking to access rich data across patient populations. A fair share of companies engage in data licensing strategies to monetize the crowd sourced database. Some like Innocentive offer monetary rewards for competitive solutions. While certain others consider crowdsourcing as an idea pool that is gratis.


However, unlike a whole bunch of other industries where crowdsourcing does not have grave implications for society, the diffusion of crowdsourcing and creating a sustainable business model is faced with certain critical issues.


Issues , if you from the vantage of a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company, scientist or patient ignored could lead your crowdsourced business go bankrupt :

 

Build a Trustworthy Set of References: While boiling the ocean to save the world is a great philanthropic act, it is important for pharma biotechnology companies to ensure that data and solution contributions are at their authentic best. Similar to a host of Open initiatives, specifically those that are focused on knowledge building, the lack of a respectable source could potentially wreck an ambitious drug development program within the organization.

 

Whose Invention is it Anyway? The biggest dread of all pharmabiologists is the allegiance to inventions. The greatest challenge for your pharmaceutical organization is to ensure the demarcations of Intellectual Property Ownership. With the transition of the life sciences industry into a genetics driven enterprise, the spectre of "Informed Consent" become more important than ever. Hence drafting a strong legal protection against disruptions to your Crowd sourcing business is perhaps more valuable than filing a NME approval.

 

Separate the Music from the Noise: Large data does not necessarily mean better insight. For instance, given the alarming rate at which the NCBI database is growing, there is little chance that all the data available on cancer genetics and epigenetics is going to lead to much innovation within the next 5 years. Contradictory data points have emerged as a significant challenge for life sciences organizations. This in turn has lead to a massive churn of effort and tools being developed to validate the noise. Unfortunately, the crowd sourcing effort only compounds this problem. The influx of a wide array of ideas centralized towards a specific disease requires that pharma biotechnology organizations invest in a reference repository of past experimentations within their portfolio, to ensure that only the most relevant data is considered.

 


The key challenges of adopting crowdsourcing in the life sciences industry are unique but not insurmountable. Informed investment in data management and business model transformation, could transform crowdsourcing as a potent source of sustaining and disruptive innovation in the life sciences industry. More on how the life sciences industry could surmount the challenges in the next post.

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New smartphone scans from Stanford could prevent needless oral cancer deaths

New smartphone scans from Stanford could prevent needless oral cancer deaths | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Thousands of people die needlessly each year in developing countries from oral cancers that could have been detected early with regular dental checkups. But with fewer than one dentist per 100,000 people in many of the world’s rural areas, these checkups are not an option. Now an ultra-low-cost smartphone device being developed at Stanford may enable early diagnosis of these preventable deaths, with no dentist visits required.

 

Assistant bioengineering professor Manu Prakash, PhD, has developed a way to use smartphones to create detailed images of the oral cavity and screen patients’ mouths for suspicious lesions. The device, which is about the size of a pack of gum, could make it possible for millions of people who live in remote areas to get this imaging done as easily as snapping a photo on a smartphone.

 

Prakash’s oral cavity scanner, called OScan, consists of a mouth positioner, a circuit board and two rows of fluorescent-light-emitting diodes. It attaches to any smartphone’s built-in camera, and allows an operator — with a quick swipe — to take a high-resolution, panoramic image of a person’s complete mouth cavity. Illuminated by the device’s blue fluorescent light, malignant cancer lesions are easily detected as dark spots.

 

Images can be sent wirelessly to health workers, dentists or oral surgeons for diagnosis, anywhere in the world. The device is designed for mass production, with an estimated material cost of just a few dollars.

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Providing Patients with Access to their Personal Medical Records On-The-Go

These are the slides from my talk on "Providing Patients with Access to their Personal Medical Records On-The-Go" at the 2nd Annual Wireless Healthcare Asia Summit 2012 in Singapore. Instead of talking about hard core tech and uber cool technologies, this time I touched upon the issues which have hurt the adoption of patient record technologies and driven the usage down, and caused consequent fragmentation of potential solutions. I strongly feel that actively driving adoption is the key to realizing the benefits of healthcare technology. And my talk was about a 3 point strategy to electronic patient records. INTEGRATE , ENGAGE AND SHARE...

 

http://www.slideshare.net/nrip/providing-patients-with-access-to-their-personal-medical-records-onthego

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What providers in other countries can teach the U.S. about social media

Early adopters of social media in foreign countries have shown that it can improve communications, information sharing, clinical outcomes and speed of innovation, according to researchers at CSC.

 

Caitlin Lorincz, a researcher analyst at CSC, said the recent study of foreign healthcare organizations’ social media use found that many providers have expanded past the typical use for establishing a brand. They are using it for educating patients and sharing information between healthcare professionals.

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Meaningful use still a challenge despite strides, say hospitals

Meaningful use still a challenge despite strides, say hospitals | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Most hospitals and health systems report being well along in completing electronic health record implementation, but many still have doubts about their ability to meet new EHR standards, according to a new poll from KPMG.

 

Forty-eight percent of hospital and health system business leaders who participated in the survey said they were confident in their organization’s level of readiness to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements, say KPMG officials. Thirty-nine percent said they were somewhat confident, 3 percent said they were not confident at all, and 10 percent didn’t know what their level of readiness was.

 

The poll also found that nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of hospital and health system leaders said they are more than 50 percent of the way to completing EHR system adoption.

 

“The results show that organizations are moving forward, but it’s interesting that many are not more confident with their level of readiness, especially when considering anticipated Stage 2 requirements,” said Brad Benton, partner and national account leader for KPMG Healthcare.

 

“Achievement of meaningful use is a major organization-wide transformational initiative, and associated challenges must be effectively managed from the beginning or organizations may face serious project risk issues down the line.”

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Firewall Can Stop Medical Device 'Hacking'

Firewall Can Stop Medical Device 'Hacking' | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
Researchers say a prototype firewall can keep hackers from interfering with wireless medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin-delivery systems, which could lead to catastrophic outcomes.
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Primitive to Paperless in 6 Weeks

Primitive to Paperless in 6 Weeks | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Today’s post comes from Dr. Bill Adams. Dr. Adams is a pediatrician and he works at Triangle Pediatrics in Cary North Carolina. His office recently went live with an EMR. He wrote a really nice summary, so I asked him if I could publish it on the blog. He agreed, so I wanted to share it with you.

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The problem of mixing productivity with patient safety

The problem of mixing productivity with patient safety | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The fundamental challenge in any high-risk industry is balancing “productivity” versus “safety.” The term “protection” is frequently used within the scientific literature to express the role of safety departments within an organization. Described this way, it might sound as if the safety experts are framing the debate to suggest “the evil factory bosses are continually speeding up the assembly line, while the righteous safety-folks are yelling ‘slow down!’” This essential misunderstanding must be cleared up.

 

In healthcare, protection would appear to refer to “protecting the patient,” yet that is clearly not the case. By optimizing safety, what we are ultimately protecting is the financial health of our healthcare system. Productivity and protection are not at odds with one another: they are both vital to the success of any healthcare organization.

 

As an industry, healthcare spends more on bad outcomes than good outcomes. By one estimate, nearly 30% of our $2.5 trillion annual healthcare budget is spent without improving health of the nation, via unnecessary, inappropriate, and administrative costs. But the days of passing these costs on to the “consumer” are rapidly coming to an end. And the healthcare organizations which rapidly figure out how to simultaneously improve productivity and safety will be the ones to thrive and prosper.

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Amazon Web Services Creates Database of Genetic Information

Amazon Web Services Creates Database of Genetic Information | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
A new database developed by Amazon Web Services -- Amazon's cloud-computing arm -- aims to facilitate access to data from NIH's 1000 Genomes Project. AWS is incurring the costs of storing the 200 terabytes of data from the genome project.
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Motivation for Implementing an EHR System | EHRintelligence.com

Motivation for Implementing an EHR System | EHRintelligence.com | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Recently published updates by Medical Economics have indicated that money is the prime motivator for physicians adopting EHR systems.

 

Of the doctors surveyed, 95% indicated that achieving meaningful (and receiving incentive payments) was what drove them to adopt EHR systems. In comparison, improving patient care was listed as a secondary motivation for 53% of doctors.

 

Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that money is the reason most of us get out of bed in the morning. And why should health care be any different? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Programs have already doled out almost $3.8 billion in incentives to eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals that have demonstrated meaningful use.

 

According to a report from McKinsey Center for US Health System Reform, the US as a nation spends more on health care than any other nation. As of 2009, the US health care industry generated $2.5 trillion, which is 17.6 % of GDP. And health care spending continues to grow while the rest of the economy is experiencing historically low growth, with outpatient care representing one of the most significant rates of growth. Should we be concerned that our doctors are less concerned with the quality of health than the healthiness of their bottom lines?

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Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT): Creating Interoperability Models and Infrastructure for the Health and Health IT Community

Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT): Creating Interoperability Models and Infrastructure for the Health and Health IT Community | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

How do model-driven health tools improve EHR interoperability?

 

Imagine if you had a cell phone from a particular carrier that could only call other phones serviced by that carrier. A system such as that would limit the sharing of information and communication among all members in the cell phone community. The current wireless infrastructure allows cell phones to exchange data, text messages, emails, and phone calls across all networks—obviously the best way to facilitate effective communication.

 

But the same universality doesn’t necessarily exist in the world of health care information technology. A lack of standards and interoperability can create communication and information sharing that is stove-piped, ineffective, duplicative, incomplete—the opposite of the vision of streamlined, effective information sharing that health care information technology (health IT) is meant to facilitate.

 

The development of the Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT). MDHT started within the open source, health, and health IT community. The Office of Standards and Interoperability at ONC adopted MDHT into its S&I Framework to create the benchmarks, services, and tools to support standardization.

 

This initiative establishes a modeling framework and infrastructure to help drive the development of seamless national health IT standards for open communication, model sharing, and standard development within the health and health IT community. The model had to be user-friendly, open to feedback, flexible, and current. MDHT currently has a growing user-based community from the public and private sectors.

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How Mobile Technologies Are Shaping a New Generation

How Mobile Technologies Are Shaping a New Generation | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Mobile technology. Fifteen years ago, most home computers weren't even linked to the Internet. Today, our computers are both linked and, in many cases, mobile. With more than five billion mobile users worldwide and a massive global network, small mobile devices with significant computing power have become a routine part of day-to-day life for people of all ages. The combination of a smartphone's intuitive interface and thousands of apps for iPhones and Androids aimed at young children has fast made it a child's favorite plaything. And as the smartphone market continues to explode, more parents are passing their phones to their offspring as tools to educate or gadgets to pacify.

 

Two-thirds of 4- to 7-year-olds have used an iPhone or iPod

 

6% of 2- to 5-year-olds have their own smartphone

 

50% of 11 year olds have own cell phone

 

10% of households with children aged 6-12 have iPads (compared with only 3% of other households);

 

35% of these households with young children plan to buy some brand of tablet computer in the next year

 

72% of the 100 top-selling education apps in Apple's iTunes App store this year were aimed at preschoolers and those in elementary school

 

One of the first products aimed at putting an iPhone into a baby's hands (Fisher-Price's oversize case, providing coverage against drools and tantrums, while doubling as a rattle), rapidly sold out on Amazon; the three apps designed for the case have been downloaded more than 700,000 times

 

 

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Technology Enables Collaborative Doctor-Patient Relationships

Technology Enables Collaborative Doctor-Patient Relationships | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Not very long ago, a patient’s medical chart was considered proprietary information belonging to a doctor or a hospital. But just as technology is remaking the rest of the world, it’s also contributing to remaking the relationship between your doctor and you.

 

More patients have access to their data now that more doctors are moving to electronic medical records. Emerging technologies are also driving change. People with diabetes might use mobile apps to keep track of blood sugar levels, for example. So, with all this data at a patient’s fingertips, how is the doctor-patient relationship changing?

 

“Patients, when they come to the doctor seeking health care, aren’t necessarily looking for ‘raw data’ – they have already looked it up online. Instead, they are looking for meaning,” wrote Dr. Robert Rowley recently.

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Using Smartphone Technology to Monitor Physical Activity in the 10,000 Steps Program

Using Smartphone Technology to Monitor Physical Activity in the 10,000 Steps Program | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Website-delivered physical activity interventions are successful in producing short-term behavior change. However, problems with engagement and retention of participants in these programs prevent long-term behavior change. New ways of accessing online content (eg, via smartphones) may enhance engagement in these interventions, which in turn may improve the effectiveness of the programs.

 

Results:

Over the study period (90 days), the intervention group logged steps on an average of 62 days, compared with 41 days in the matched group. Intervention participants used the application 71.22% (2210/3103) of the time to log their steps. Logistic regression analyses revealed that use of the application was associated with an increased likelihood to log steps daily during the intervention period compared with those not using the application (odds ratio 3.56, 95% confidence interval 1.72–7.39). Additionally, use of the application was associated with an increased likelihood to log greater than 10,000 steps on each entry (odds ratio 20.64, 95% confidence interval 9.19–46.39). Linear regression analysis revealed a nonsignificant relationship between perceived usability (r = .216, P = .21) and usefulness (r = .229, P = .17) of the application and frequency of logging steps in the intervention group.


Conclusion:

Using a smartphone application as an additional delivery method to a website-delivered physical activity intervention may assist in maintaining participant engagement and behavior change. However, due to study design limitations, these outcomes should be interpreted with caution. More research, using larger samples and longer follow-up periods, is needed to replicate the findings of this study.

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