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Can Mobile Money Enhance Access To Healthcare?

Can Mobile Money Enhance Access To Healthcare? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Mobile health (mHealth) deployments have grown dramatically in recent years, particularly in emerging markets, where base-of-the pyramid populations often lack access to basic health services, but possess a mobile phone. However, despite the proliferation of mHealth platforms, many remain limited in scale and are poorly integrated into existing healthcare systems. Introducing mobile financial services (MFS) within these platforms may offer a way to drive reduced costs and enhanced efficiency – resulting in more affordable, inclusive healthcare systems. 


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Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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89% of US physicians would recommend a health app to a patient

89% of US physicians would recommend a health app to a patient | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

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Dave Burianek's comment, May 15, 8:45 AM
I think this is interesting.. and as we think about the whole integrated care delivery model, this data and information will play a critical part. Of those practices that Humana will own or be part of in a significant way, I believe we can make this happen. For those docs with small practices, we would need to find the right motivation to have them leverage this info. Do we offer it to them? such as ipads for usage during an office visit? we have to make it simple yet provide the best information so they could provide the best quality of care.
Scott Normandin's comment, May 16, 10:24 PM
the question begs: is/are applications that make access to health care the domain of the younger generation, or as some would content, are applications an additional level of complication to our senior population. Personal experience from the lens of my parents is that "absent" a vetted and universally adopted application that supports a universal view for all, this may by perceived as the "new best new toy" and fade with time. Our seniors; albeit are digital immigrants, working their way into the development of new technologies clumsily, whereas Gen X/Y find the technology adaptable, available and importantly expendable when the next best thing comes available. What defines consumerization: speed of development and release, or the ability to support end users?
Scott Normandin's comment, May 16, 10:24 PM
the question begs: is/are applications that make access to health care the domain of the younger generation, or as some would content, are applications an additional level of complication to our senior population. Personal experience from the lens of my parents is that "absent" a vetted and universally adopted application that supports a universal view for all, this may by perceived as the "new best new toy" and fade with time. Our seniors; albeit are digital immigrants, working their way into the development of new technologies clumsily, whereas Gen X/Y find the technology adaptable, available and importantly expendable when the next best thing comes available. What defines consumerization: speed of development and release, or the ability to support end users?
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Health wearables that could change atrial fibrillation screening

Health wearables that could change atrial fibrillation screening | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
In this three part series, we’ll look first at current screening strategies and some of the limitations that create an opportunity for emerging tools. Then we’ll dive into some of the tools that will define the next generation of atrial fibrillation screening. This is Part 3.

Atrial fibrillation is an increasingly prevalent arrhythmia; it currently affects three to six million of Americans and that number is expected to rise. And unlike many other medical conditions, it is often silent until discovered either incidentally or after a serious complication like a stroke.

Recently, the EMBRACE and CRYSTAL-AF trials looked at the use of continuous long-term cardiac monitoring in a high risk patient population – individuals with recent cryptogenic CVA5,6. Both trials found an increase in the detection of atrial fibrillation as well as the use of oral anticoagulant therapy.

There were however notable limitations in the screening strategies used. In EMBRACE, patients had to wear a cumbersome chest strap with several wires attached to a belt-clipped event monitor. Not unexpectedly, the compliance rates were less than stellar. In CRYSTAL-AF, the $5,000 price-tag of the Reveal XT monitor coupled with its complication rate, albeit low, are important limitations when considering whether this strategy can be applied on a large scale.

Here, we’ll look at some of the growing cadre wearable devices that can provide continuous cardiac monitoring options to address those limitations.

Low profile, durable wearable heart monitors for long-term monitoring

There are a number of emerging options that have become available that could help address these concerns by using low-profile, wearable patches. While there isn’t yet much data available in using these devices for atrial fibrillation screening, they certainly have advantages when it comes to their cost and the burden imposed on patients in comparison to Holters and event monitors.

One option is the Zio patch from iRhythm. A low profile patch free of wires or a bulky controller unit, the monitor is certainly sleek in appearance. The elegantly designed Zio patch is also water resistant and can be worn for up to 14 days. It additionally includes a button on the patch that patients can use to mark symptoms and events. The Zio is mailed back to iRhythm for processing and interpretation.

Another similar option is the Piix patch from Corventis, now owned by Medtronic. Also water-resistant with a low-profile design, Piix patch is another great example of a usable device. The device also includes a button on the patch that allows patients to mark events and symptoms. Data collected by the patch is then transmitted wirelessly via a base station usually kept at home. And now that the company has been acquired by Medtronic, the data can be captured through the CareLink tele-monitoring system used for Medtronic’s other implantable devices.


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mHealth Insights from Doctors 2.0 & You Paris | mHealth Insight: the ...

mHealth Insights from Doctors 2.0 & You Paris | mHealth Insight: the ... | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Billed as “The international event in Healthcare Social Media, Mobile Apps, & Web 2.0” it proved to be a fascinating 2 days in Paris learning from Patients, Healthcare Professionals, Healthcare Insurance/Provider execs, and Research and Marketing...

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Apple's HealthKit Now Sends Medical Data Right to Your Health Record

Apple's HealthKit Now Sends Medical Data Right to Your Health Record | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

iHealth was the first company to sell a medical device through Apple, so it's only natural it's also the first to fully integrate its products with Apple's HealthKit. That means all the data iHealth's connected monitors and trackers collect not only gets sent straight to the app, it's also automagically logged in your electronic health record.

This is really exciting news. When Apple initially announced the Health app and HealthKit platform, it sounded like the holistic approach to health data we'd been waiting for. The app looked like an ever-evolving, personal electronic health record. Even hospitals were helping design the thing! Of course, anybody who got a sneak peek at the app wondered where exactly the health data was going to come from and how it would get to doctors. Obviously, Apple was thinking about this, too.

So a couple of months ago, Apple approached iHealth to help fully integrate the company's popular suite of connected medical devices into the Health app. In developing the new workflow, iHealth maintained its tradition of making the device experience as simple as possible. That also means that it also needed to be easy to transfer the data between devices and to allow it to be shared. You can manually input data, as well, and which data gets shared is up to you. Indeed, the finished product is downright elegant.

Now, if you've upgraded to iOS 8, you can seamlessly send data from your iHealth devices to the Health app, where you can look at and compare trends over time. If your health care provider uses Epic to manage electronic health records, that data can then go straight to your chart, so your doctors has it at his fingertips next time you go in for a visit. The Health app and HealthKit integration works across all nine of iHealth's medical devices and can collect up to 15 different vital signs.

"Doctors have a more informed view," iHealth CMO Jim Taschetta told Gizmodo in an interview. "They can literally look at data you collected and adjust medication based on that." He added, "I think this is a really important turning point in how digital health monitoring can make a difference. This is an exciting time."

Of course, if your doctor doesn't use Epic for electronic health records, this innovation is probably slightly less exciting. There are other ways to share the data with your doctor, and over time, the HealthKit platform will surely support more hospitals, doctors, and electronic health records systems. Just as iHealth's first connected devices opened up a new category of medical devices so many years ago, this new, deep integration with iOS is only the beginning.

Images via iHealth


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Sandy Williams Spencer's curator insight, September 30, 10:53 AM

This could be so important during a medical event. 

www.free-alzheimers-support.com

Olivia Klenda's curator insight, September 30, 6:50 PM

The new HealthKit is a great way to keep track of your personal health records, exercise, and eating habits. 

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The future of healthcare: live-saving innovations for the bottom billion

The future of healthcare: live-saving innovations for the bottom billion | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
From India to Mexico, meet the innovators in open-heart surgery and palliative care developing unconventional health solutions Many of the most radical health innovations, that will improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people, will come...

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3 Digital Health Categories That Will Transform Healthcare Forever

3 Digital Health Categories That Will Transform Healthcare Forever | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The patient-centric health approach is an inevitable evolution in the healthcare industry that is happening faster than expected. Recent changes in regulations, coupled with new technological advancements and the speedy adoption by caregivers and patients of these new technologies, have created an infinite amount of opportunities for disrupting and ultimately improving the healthcare industry.

Below are three categories of digital health startups that rightfully put patients at the center of their business and build products and services that serve unmet patient needs:

1) Telemedicine Services: Telemedicine is modernizing healthcare. Companies such as Doctor on Demand, which connects patients to physicians via mobile or web video chat, and First Opinion, which matches patients with doctors for unlimited medical text messaging, deliver healthcare services to broader groups. These companies are democratizing medicine by eliminating limitations of distance to a doctor’s office, difficulty of scheduling an appointment, and high costs of doctor visits. Telemedicine companies enable 24/7 access to doctors for primary health issues. That is a powerful disruption to the healthcare industry!

These telemedicine companies each offer slightly different services and are priced differently. Doctor on Demand offers video calls with doctors and charges $40 per session. This price is on par with most insurance co-pays and cheaper than most urgent care as stated by Adam Jackson, the Co-Founder and CEO of Doctor on Demand. First Opinion’s texting service is free for all unless you desire a response from a doctor under 5 minutes, in which case you can upgrade and subscribe to the premium version for $9 per month.

“There are 1.2 billion ambulatory care visits every year, and the vast majority of people are walking in for something like colds or urinary tract infections that are very amenable to an initial consult over video,” says Adam Jackson. If telemedicine companies could decrease these visits by 10-30%, there would be significant cost saving for the healthcare system and much time saving for patients.

2) Digital Therapeutic Solutions: Whereas telemedicine companies want to offer quick access to doctors for basic health questions, digital therapeutic companies aim to bring medicine to your home to address more chronic health issues (e.g. diabetes, depression, back pain) and permanent behavioral changes. Digital therapeutic companies utilize mobile and web technologies to bring clinically proven programs to patients more conveniently and cost effectively. Most of these companies also have a coaching system in place to help patients stick to their programs.

As Sean Duffy, the CEO and Co-Founder of Omada Health, finds that for any digital therapeutic to be clinically meaningful, the provider needs to clear two significant hurdles. One, the provider needs to genuinely engage and inspire the patient, both initially and over time. Two, the provider must unequivocally demonstrate efficacy of its programs to the medical community by rooting itself in the best science and by producing clinically-significant outcomes.

Omada, which raised $23 million Led by Andreessen Horowitz, is a pioneer in digital therapeutic solutions, offering a 16-week web-based program combined with coaching for pre-diabetes individuals. Another company in this category is ThriveOn, which offers 8 to 12 week personalized programs that are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to users with mental health issues. Other companies such as Reflection Health have reimagined physical therapy by offering customized programs and interactive online tools to make physical rehabilitation engaging, effective, and affordable.

3) Patient Engagement Portals: Engaging and educating patients beyond a doctor visit or post-surgery has become an important topic in the healthcare system. The goal is to offer tools and technologies that facilitate communication with patients beyond the hospital environment, educate them about their health situation, empower them to stick to their medications and diet, and help them monitor their recovery.

Due to the Affordable Care Act, the 30-day readmission rate has become a significantly more important figure for health centers and hospital executives to monitor and manage. Prior to this, hospitals were paid piecemeal for every admission and procedure during patients’ stays. Now hospitals are penalized when patients return within 30 days for the same problem or because of a complication from their previous stay.

As a result, many health providers have started using technology to address patients’ needs after an operation or after an office visit with their physician. Startups that are offering patient engagement tools and technologies include: HealthLoop, Self Health Network, and Wellframe.

The companies in the three categories above will be changing the relationship between patients and their physicians, care teams, and hospitals forever. I’m curious to hear your insight and opinion about the points above and your experience using any of these services. Please share your view below.


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Keith McGuinness's curator insight, September 26, 12:41 PM

In my opinion, Sean gets this mostly right.  From my point of view, the most important words are "both initially and over time."  I would modify the second "hurdle" to read:


Two, the program provider must unequivocally demonstrate the effectiveness of the program, in terms of specific health outcomes, both initially and over time.

Debbie Irwin's curator insight, September 28, 8:57 AM

Patient Engagement Portals,Telemedicine Services and

Digital Therapeutic Services... game changers in the healthcare landscape.

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HealthMap: real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases

HealthMap: real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital founded in 2006, is an established global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats.

 

The freely available Web site 'healthmap.org' and mobile app 'Outbreaks Near Me' deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases for a diverse audience including libraries, local health departments, governments, and international travelers.

 

HealthMap brings together disparate data sources, including online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports, to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. Through an automated process, updating 24/7/365, the system monitors, organizes, integrates, filters, visualizes and disseminates online information about emerging diseases in nine languages, facilitating early detection of global public health threats.


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 26, 9:43 AM

Curiosa herramienta que muestra en un mapa a tiempo real la distribución de enfermedades infecciosas declaradas en el mundo.

Salud Pública 2.0's curator insight, September 27, 2:04 AM

Curiosa herramienta que muestra en un mapa a tiempo real la distribución de enfermedades infecciosas declaradas en el mundo.

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Digital Health: How Apps Can Help Physicians

Digital Health: How Apps Can Help Physicians | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Fitness, weight management, diet and nutrition, and even condition-specific apps (e.g. diabetes management) are popular and on the rise, helping Canadians to become better informed and proactive about their health.

Mobile and tablet devices are not only changing the way we monitor our health, but also the way doctors approach healthcare and treatment. There are a host of apps that enable physicians to review prescribing protocols and information, perform medical calculations, and find medical studies and developments.

One of the unique apps we discovered is The Rounds, a Canadian network that helps Royal College registered physicians engage with each other other on subjects such as patient care and cases, research, and tips on running a practice.

I was surprised to learn that Canadian physicians search Google for medical information around eight times a day. The Rounds can help doctors communicate and engage with their peers, and feel confident with the information they receive. It’s a chance to collaborate on complicated cases and get input from other doctors across the country. A doctor in Nova Scotia, for example, can now share his/her experiences with various treatments with a doctor in British Columbia. Physicians can also exchange creative and innovative aspects of their practice.

An app like this could certainly be used in other medical fields as well. Occupational therapists, for example, are often required to be innovative and resourceful in assisting their clients. A tool like The Rounds could help them share ideas and practices.

As long as health care providers aren’t spending more time with their phone than their patients, apps like this one can be excellent communication tools and resources.

 


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mHealth startup funding targets provider needs | mHealthNews

mHealth startup funding targets provider needs | mHealthNews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

 

Start-up funding for mHealth is expected to double in the United States over the next three years, according to new research from Accenture. What's more telling, though, are the types of start-ups being funded.

While the market seems dominated by consumer-facing tools like smartwatches and other types of personal monitors, those with the money are more interested in devices and platforms that benefit the provider first.

The Chicago-based analyst firm says an estimated $2.8 billion was spent on digital health start-ups in 2013, with an annual growth rate of 31 percent since 2008. The company said it expects such funding to grow to $4.3 billion in 2015 and $6.5 billion by the end of 2017.

Of particular note are the four market segments identified by Accenture as driving this growth: infrastructure capabilities, engagement solutions, treatment tools and diagnosis technology. All four skew toward the provider, as opposed to the consumer, indicating the market's desire to merge clinical and patient-centered interests.

“A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare that will change social interactions, alter consumer expectations and, ultimately, improve health outcomes,” Dipak Patel, managing director of Accenture’s patient access initiatives, said in a press release. “This momentum will be sustained if digital healthcare start-ups apply capabilities that create a seamless patient experience and result in both medical cost savings and improved outcomes.”

“Healthcare leaders will need to embrace digital capabilities, not only to stay relevant to consumers, but to influence behavioral change, improve access to care channels and reduce per patient costs,” Patel continued. “Organizations need to weave digital capabilities into the core of their business models so technology becomes embedded in everything they do.”

It's not a new concept. Patel's colleague at Accenture, Tom Heatherington, recently told mHealth News that the Apple Watch and HealthKit platform might signal a shift from consumer-first mHealth to consumer-and-provider solutions. That's because companies like Apple are pushing their way into the healthcare market with platforms that move toward the provider's needs.

That said, it's still up to the provider community to adopt these new tools. And it's up to the businesses – both established and up-and-coming – to find that critical connection between what consumers want and what doctors need.

Related: 

Mobile app safety concerns not going away anytime soon

mHealth masters: Continua's Chuck Parker says the time is right for smartwatches

Vicious circle: IT sets BYOD and social media policies, but users disagree

Topics: Innovation, Clinical

 


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Top 10 Emergency Medicine Apps

Top 10 Emergency Medicine Apps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The following is a list of 10 essential medical apps Emergency Medicine providers should have on their smartphones. Links to iPhone and Android platforms are provided for each app. The apps are listed based on my experiences working in the Emergency Room and the app reviews that have been done prior at iMedicalApps.

1) EMRA PressorDex

An essential tool for Emergency Medicine physicians. This app not only includes information about vasoactive agents, but gives dosing and treatment information for almost every single type of critical care situation that arises.

Price: $16.99
iTunes Link
Android Link: Currently not available — it’s unfortunate EMRA has not created an Android version of their popular critical care handbook.

2) ERres

ERres is the swiss army knife of apps for Emergency Medicine providers. ERres is essential for all physicians who work in the ER setting due to the breadth of content contained. It can be used at the point of care for a wide acuity of conditions.

If there is one app you’re going to download from this list, ERres is going to be the most useful. The only reason it wasn’t the number one app was due to the significant amount of content contained in PressorDex.

Price: $4.99
iMedicalApps Review
iTunes Link
Android Link

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Why the Apple Watch Left Healthcare Enthusiasts Disappointed, Yet Hopeful

Why the Apple Watch Left Healthcare Enthusiasts Disappointed, Yet Hopeful | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Despite months of anticipation, Apple’s Keynote suggests that the Apple Watch is not ready to meet our lofty healthcare aspirations – at least for now.
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Why do docs think mHealth is useless for patient monitoring? | HealthITAnalytics.com

Fitness trackers and smartphone mHealth apps have been enjoying a huge surge in popularity as shiny new technologies attract the consumer eye, but physicians are still not sold on the benefits of mHealth to truly improve patient health, according to a new survey by Deloitte.  Despite studies and pilots that show the potential for mobile communications to improve relationships with providers and bolsterpopulation health management programs, just 38% of physicians believe that adherence and patient monitoring are a potential benefit of the mHealth spectrum.The low percentage is notable for two reasons: firstly, because it contrasts sharply with the 60% of consumers who want to use mobile health technologies to keep track of their fitness, sleep, or chronic diseases, and secondly because the vast majority of physicians are eager to embrace smartphones and other devices for clinical uses that make their jobs easier.Nine out of ten physicians agreed that they are interested in mHealth technology and that it has clinical value, even if they were not adopters.  Three-quarters of mHealth users and 59% of non-users believe accessing clinical information during a patient encounter is one of the primary benefits of mHealth, while similar numbers like the ability to perform research on specific conditions, interventions, or medications while making clinical decisions.  Sixty-three percent of users and 48% of non-users would use mHealth for catching up on journal articles and news items or for engaging in continued medical education.So why don’t physicians believe that patient monitoring through mHealth is a worthwhile goal?  As with so many other issues plaguing the healthcare system, it might come down to a lack of communication.  A recent report by Mobiquity found that while up to 70% of consumers engage in the use of wristbands or smartphones to track at least one long-term health issue such as weight gain or exercise, just 40% have shared that data with their physicians.  Eleven percent of those patients who kept their data to themselves are afraid that their physicians won’t take them seriously if they proffer the information.Providers and patients may be caught in an mHealth catch-22.  If providers were more welcoming of patient-generated data, patients might be more willing to offer it.  If patients are more willing to share, providers may end up becoming more comfortable with the notion of using mHealth data to monitor health and make clinical decisions, and could start seeing more value in the data.  But mutual distrust and a lack of understanding and comfort with the patient-provider relationship might be keeping unnecessary siloes firmly in place.Part of the problem could be that EHR systems are not yet optimized to accept large volumes of patient-generated health data (PGHD), and physicians fear becoming overwhelmed by useless statistics that don’t actually benefit the patient.  Yet another mHealth survey, this one by eClinicalWorks, found that a whopping 93% of physicians would be more likely to embrace mHealth apps if they were better integrated with their EHRs, and that the marriage of clinical systems with PGHD could be the key to improving outcomes.“There’s a huge opportunity for medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies and health organizations to use mobile to drive positive behavior change and, as a result, better patient outcomes,” said Scott Snyder, Mobiquity’s President and Chief Strategy Officer. “The gap will be closed by those who design mobile health solutions that are indispensable and laser-focused on users’ goals, and that carefully balance data collection with user control and privacy.”

#mHealth is useless for #PatientMonitoring?


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Opportunities abound for mHealth in Africa

Opportunities abound for mHealth in Africa | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Africa presents a unique opportunity for those who wish to pioneer mHealth or mobile technology healthcare solutions on the continent.

Mobile cellular subscribersAfrica presents an interesting opportunity for mobile health. PHOTO: TechHealth Perspectives

This is according to Doctor Harry Greenspun, a director at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, who believes that healthcare in Africa could follow suit behind the continent’s unique adaptation to telecommunications technology.

(READ MORE: The changing face of Africa's healthcare sector)

“Africa presents a really interesting opportunity for mobile health which is different from other parts of the world. If you look at some of the more developed countries in the world, the opportunity in Africa is really around using mHealth as the basis for healthcare infrastructure,” Greenspun told CNBCafrica.com.

“In healthcare, as countries develop more sophisticated healthcare delivery systems, they’re not going to model it on the old-fashioned bricks and mortar type-of healthcare system. They’re going to be using technology in order to provide better access, better quality, better safety at a lower cost.”

HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE

Greenspun also stated that an increased use of mobile healthcare solutions would be able to service those who live in inaccessible areas.

“If you think about the way healthcare’s traditionally delivered, you need facilities, you need trained people, as opposed to a lot of the ways healthcare is delivered in Africa, where it is often delivered in the homes and in the community,” he said.

“The spread and adoption of mobile devices opens the door to use these as the healthcare infrastructure, to bring better information to individuals, provide specialist care, remote monitoring to do remote diagnosis. [By] connecting people via phones, you can create infrastructure.”

SAFETY AND SECURITY

He added that as a result of this need, there is a lot of innovation in the use of mobile and other devices to provide a higher level of care and emphasised the need to provide healthcare solutions in the safest and most secure way possible.

(WATCH VIDEO: Trends that create variance to healthcare in Africa)

“There’s always a concern about privacy and security so establishing trust is going to be very important. It has to be done in a safe way with the right safeguards or training. You have to match the level of care with the ability for the people on the other end to be able to take advantage of it,” he explained.

“There is a lot of interest in mobile health in Africa because people recognise that it’s going to be important for public health. The important thing for people to understand is there are differences between how mobile gets deployed in the industrialised world versus the opportunity to improve healthcare in the developing world.”


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Will 2015 be the year mHealth takes off?

Will 2015 be the year mHealth takes off? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

I’ve been toiling in the field of connected health for 20 years now, watching for signs of adoption that will move us into the steep part of the curve.  I have to wonder, with announcements from several huge consumer companies recently, if that time is coming.

By now you’ve heard about Apple’s HealthKit announcement, which involved not only Apple, but Mayo Clinic and Epic.

Samsung is not sitting still, having released increasingly sophisticated versions of their S Health app.

 

Rumor has it that Samsung will also be coming out soon with the next version of their Galaxy Smartphone accompanied by a developers’ toolkit for health apps.  Google will be launching Google Fit.

Some of this exuberance (is it rational?) also involves excitement around wearables, and the intersection of mHealth and wearables is an area of particular interest.  To wit, Microsoft is rumored to be introducing a smartwatch this fall, amid lots of interest at Google, Apple and Samsung in the role of the smartwatch in mHealth.

OK, you get the picture.  Any analyst worth her salt has got to be predicting a break-out year for mHealth.  The mHealth market is said to have been $1.95B in 2012, growing to $49B by 2020; the wearables market is predicted to be $12B by 2018, of which 60% will be health tracking.  We just coined a new term, the Internet of (Healthy) Things to describe this convergence.

What’s not to like here?  Well, I’m not sure, but there are some reasons to be cautious.  Better still, there are some things we must get right as we steward this amazing opportunity to harness a game-changing technology (mobile) and apply it to the laudable goal of improving the health of our citizens.

First the words of caution.  My friend Nancy used to tell me she hated to be the skunk at the picnic, and those words ring true here. But allow me a couple of comments contrary to all of the enthusiasm.  As noted previously, if HealthKit is just another place to store health-related data — moving from a web application to a mobile phone — do we really think consumers are going to jump for joy?  Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Did we learn the lessons from Google’s failed PHR? From Microsoft’s HealthVault?  If you build it, they do not necessarily come.  For health, it has to be more compelling than that.

Here are some facts that remind us of the challenge:

Although one out of ten U.S. adults over the age of 18 owns an activity tracker, within six months, one-third stops using it.More than 80% of health apps that are downloaded are abandoned within two weeks.Also of note, Aetna discontinued CarePass, seemingly because their members weren’t enthralled by it.

Most app development is based on the adage, “Give the people what they want.”  Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder, etc., are all designed to meet a basic human need in a very simple way.  The challenge in health care is that, though we know what patients/consumers need to do to improve their health, most of them don’t want to hear about it. That makes building “sticky” health apps and devices much tougher than a messaging or photo sharing app.

Today, most health care app development is still confusing education with inspiration. They are not equivalent!  I’ve told the story before about how we check our smartphones 150 times per day. But in a blood pressure monitoring study at the Center for Connected Health, we had difficulty getting patients to push one button once a day to participate in a program their doctor enthusiastically recommended for them.

What, then, do we do to take full advantage of the opportunity that Samsung, Apple, Google and others are providing us?  The answer, simple and yet elusive, is this: focus on engagement.

Over these 20 years, I’ve seen technologies come and go, trends take hold and others fade away. We are learning a great deal about how to empower patients to self-manage their health, and what to do with all of this patient-generated data. The common denominator, the one critical element we must get right, is how to ‘sell’ health to consumers and keep them coming back for more. I say it’s got to be personal, motivational and ubiquitous. What do you say?

Joseph Kvedar is director, Center for Connected Health, Partners HealthCare. He blogs at The cHealth Blog.


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Keith McGuinness's curator insight, October 1, 7:43 PM

One reason to be cautious is a problem of semantics.  There are too many words that seem suddenly to mean different things to different people.  ‘Engagement’ is one of them.  Jargon proliferates rapidly at the beginning of something.  As the stewards of connected health or mHealth, or whatever more useful term emerges, we must be cautious about jargon.  I believe the perfectly good word ‘engagement’ is becoming jargon.  Too many are using this word as if it were a bona fide health metric. 


I too have been at this for more than 20 years, but from the developer side.  Developers love engagement.  They compete for advertising dollars based on engagement.  Engagement can mean, ‘whatever gets a consumer to return to my app.’ Stickiness is neutral.


Consider this.  A consumer (aka a patient) is offered a choice between two apps.  Both apps promise to help with behavioral issues that affect hypertension.  Both apps are equally engaging.  But only one of them is effective to reduce hypertension.  The consumer does not know which one.  Under such conditions the choice, based on engagement alone, is a 50-50 proposition.  Half of the patients, drawn in by ‘engagement’ will choose a behavioral placebo.


As for CarePass, it is/was a platform offered by Aetna, a health plan.  If you are a health plan that wants to enthrall app developers, provide a platform that reimburses for the apps that join it, that would be enthralling.  To be fair to Aetna, if you are an app developer that wants to enthrall a health plan, measure outcomes continuously, that would likewise be enthralling, and reimbursable.


Outcomes first, then engagement.

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Find out how connected you are with your body thanks to WLSA

Find out how connected you are with your body thanks to WLSA | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Find out how connected you are with your body thanks to WLSA!


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Can Google Glass Transform Into A Real-Time Health Sensor?

Can Google Glass Transform Into A Real-Time Health Sensor? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The latest fixation on quantified self movement in the form of wristbands, cuffs and watches has been given a new dimension. It may now be possible to prevent diseases even before you start seeing visible symptoms. According to a recent study, researchers at Affective Computing Group, part of the MIT Media Lab and Georgia Institute of Technology, have transformed Google Glass into a health sensor.

The research team has found that the head-mounted wearable device can seamlessly monitor the physiological signals of the wearer, such as the respiration rhythms and pulse activity, by making use of a combination of sensors in real time. Google Glass is also believed to have the capability of assisting in the early detection and diagnosis of a number of chronic diseases related to the heart and respiratory system, by preventing therapeutic interventions and monitoring chronic illnesses.

The question that rises now is, can Google Glass join the quantified self movement? The answer is yes, according to the researchers. They believe that the device will, in due time, become an indispensable health sensory tool.

An overview of the study

The Google Glass health sensor is designed to capture the egocentric view of the wearer, measuring each periodic movement of the body. A custom-built Android application logs information into the accelerometer to track the linear movement, gyroscope to measure the head’s movement, and the camera to capture the eyes’ imagery—all integrated and built into the device.

The device is designed have a see-through display and a touch screen pad, as well as the range of motion sensors that are available in today’s smart phones. Using these features, it can capture even the subtle movements of the wearer’s head that arise from mechanical ballistic forces exerted by the heart even when the person is absolutely still. The best part is that the wearer can carry on with his/her activities without any interruption.

A team of 12 volunteers (6 women and 6 men) of an average age of 27.3 were asked to wear a beta version of the Google Glass device, stare at a static scene, and breathe normally in a variety of positions such as lying flat, standing, and sitting. The ground rate physiology of each volunteer was calculated using an FDA-approved sensor that recorded the values of pulse and respiration. The same experiment was conducted after the volunteers took part in a rigorous exercise for one minute, to record the post-workout health data.

The results found that the most accurate sensor of the three was the gyroscope. It tracked the respiratory and heart rates, with a mean error of 1.39 breaths per minute and 0.83 heart beats per minute respectively. The other two sensors were not lagging behind either, for it was found that on an average, all sensors provided an optimum performance level. Also, out of the three sensors, the camera consumed significantly higher energy.

One possible risk of the experiment is that the device has currently been tested only in controlled lab environments. The study does not offer feasible solutions to track/monitor motions that are associated with daily fundamental activities. The experiment has, however, opened doors to a whole new era where non-intrusive health monitoring can become the norm.

The future of Google Glass health sensor

Traditional devices used for monitoring a person’s health data require attaching electrodes to the body, which can be quite difficult to do on a daily basis. Google Glass health sensor, however, is so advanced that its power consumption, size, and weight are less than a fraction of conventional devices. Although not originally designed for tracking physiological measurement, the device is proven to be more effective than a dedicated heart sensor.

It is certainly possible to take the device to the next level, bringing in new parameters that can monitor an even wider range of sensors. It can be used not just as a fitness tracking device, but it may be capable of saving life one day too. For example, if you’re wearing the device and have a stressful day at work, you can immediately see the changes in your health data. Then, you can make alterations in your behavior to lead a healthier life. It is estimated that a host of health issues, including sleep apnea and chronic insomnia, can be monitored and overcome using Google Glass.

With endless possibilities visible on the horizon, it is certain that the Google Glass health sensor will undoubtedly be an integral part of the future of tracking the health of an individual.


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 30, 10:41 AM

Nuevas aplicaciones de las Google Glass permiten monitorizar distintos parámetros, mediante el uso de acelerómetros y giroscopios

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Twitter in healthcare - Statistics

Twitter in healthcare - Statistics | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

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Senior, Personnes Agées & Silver Economie's curator insight, September 30, 4:21 AM

add your insight...


Ignacio Fernández Alberti's curator insight, September 30, 2:13 PM

agregar su visión ...

Barbara Letscher's curator insight, Today, 4:45 AM

Très bonne infographie, claire, sourcée, intéressante. Où l'on voit bien tout l'intérêt de suivre ce qui circule sur les réseaux sociaux à propos d'un produit ! Chez Takeda, il y a des actions à mener par exemple...

Et vous, vous suivez ?

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Five Expectations For Physicians About The Future of Medicine

Five Expectations For Physicians About The Future of Medicine | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Five Expectations For Physicians About The Future of Medicineby Bertalan Meskó (MD, PhD) on September 25, 2014

The waves of technological changes coming towards us will generate new possibilities as well as serious threats to medicine and healthcare. Every stakeholder must prepare for these changes in order to reach a balance between using disruptive technologies in medicine and keeping the human touch.

I remain confident that it is still possible to establish that balance and there are reasons not only for patients but also for physicians to look forward to the next few years in medicine. Here are 5 of them.

1) Finally focus on patients

Technology is not against physicians and algorithms are not designed to replace them. Instead, by using efficient and simple technologies in the practice, physicians will finally have time and energy to focus on the patients.

Looking into their eyes while inputting data with augmented reality (Google Glass or digital contact lenses); listening to patients instead of trying to find the right information (as IBM Watson provides that already); and having access to all the devices that are needed to provide a good care (smartphones serving as biosensor packages). What is it if not a great prospect?

2) Avoid burning out

With supercomputers being used in medical decision making; physicians having skills related to digital literacy; using intuitive IT solutions that make it simple to input, export and move around data just like how children today use touchscreen devices; and getting access to the medical information they actually need, hours can be saved every week.

With less effort and time, they will be able to provide more care for their patients. This way, patient reward becomes an essential part again in the process of practicing medicine helping caregivers avoid burning out.

3) Use data that patients collect

The wearable revolution in health peaking this year gives patients the chance to take care of their own health, thus measure health parameters that have only been available and accessible in the ivory tower of medicine.

By bringing this data to the doctor visit, they can save time and effort, moreover, a true partnership between them can be established. As devices become better, cheaper and more efficient, physicians can soon start encouraging their patients to measure parameters relevant to their health and the results will be discussed and used during the next visit.

4) Crowdsource, crowdfund and crowdsolve

With the advances of social media and technologies that give access to these channels, no medical professional should feel alone when dealing with a complicated medical problem of challenge.

If information is needed, it can be crowdsourced; if funding is needed for a new project; it can be crowdfunded; and when a real medical solution is needed, they can find that through an inter-connected network of experts, resources and services.

5) Share responsibility with patients

Although it is now the responsibility of physicians to become the guides for their patients online (that requires new skills), by empowering them, actually responsibility can finally be shared. Medical professionals don’t have to make decisions alone, but in a close partnership with the patient.

But for this, every stakeholder must start preparing in time.


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Jerome Leleu's curator insight, September 30, 2:02 AM

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23 notable FDA clearances for digital health apps, devices so far this year | mobihealthnews

23 notable FDA clearances for digital health apps, devices so far this year | mobihealthnews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

MobiHealthNews has been tracking FDA clearances for smartphone-connected medical devices and standalone apps for many years. So far 2014 has had its fair share — about two dozen digital health-related FDA clearances have been secured this year. Here’s a roundup:

New York City-based Kinsa Health received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Kinsa smart thermometer, which can be used, orally, under-arm, or rectally. The device transmits data to a companion smartphone app.

Samsung’s S Health app received 510(k) clearance from the FDA as a cardiology signal transmitter suggests that the clearance will allow S Health to interface with additional connected medical devices in the United States.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based EarlySense, which makes a passive and contactless bedside monitor that continuously measures respiration rate, heart rate and motion, has received a new FDA clearance for a sensor designed to work with not a bed, but a chair.

Alere Connect, formerly known as MedApps before it was acquired by Alere, announced FDA clearance for its latest home health hub, HomeLink.

A British company, Camntech, has received FDA clearance for a motion-tracking wristband and a wristworn electronic diary, likely for use in clinical trials. The devices are called the MotionWatch 8 and PRO-Diary. 

Carestream received FDA clearance for VUE Motion, a mobile radiology viewing and reading software that can be accessed on iPhone 4s, iPad 2, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III mobile devices.

Remote patient monitoring company HealthInterlink received FDA 510(k) class II clearance for Beacon 2.0, a mobile-centric software system that integrates data from various home health devices. Beacon was previously classified as a class I medical device (MDDS).

The FDA disclosed 510(k) clearances for about a dozen digital health apps and devices during the second quarter of the year.

Propeller Health, formerly Asthmapolis, received FDA clearance for a platform that includes a new smart inhaler and is geared for patients with either asthma or COPD.

In June San Francisco-based Qardio received FDA 510(k) clearance for its connected blood pressure monitor, called QardioArm. The device went on sales for $99 on Qardio’s website and in select stores the following week.

New Zealand-based medical device company Nexus6 received FDA clearance for its smartphone-connected inhaler, SmartTouch, as a class II medical device. The new SmartTouch device has been cleared as a prescribable Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) with a handful of intended uses: in clinical trials; in clinical practice, and for patient self-management.

Atlanta, Georgia-based health device maker CardioMEMS received FDA clearance for its CardioMEMS HF System, which monitors pulmonary artery pressure. The clearance was only for patients who have experienced New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III heart failure and have been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous year.

Alberta, Canada-based Calgary Scientific announced that it received a new FDA clearance for its diagnostic medical imaging software, called ResolutionMD, that enables providers to use the mobile software for all imaging modalities, except mammography.

McKesson secured clearance for a mobile medical app called McKesson Cardiology ECG Mobile. The web-based version of McKesson Cardiology ECG has been around for a few years and it enables clinicians to analyze and review ECG waveforms captured by a variety of vendors’ ECG devices.

InTouch Health received clearance for an app that would allow auscultation from digital stethoscopes in near-realtime. InTouch says that up until now digital stethoscopes have relied on store and forward technology, but InTouch’s CS App transmits live from a patient to a doctor at a remote location.

Reflectance Medical secured a 510(k) clearance for a tablet-based version of its Multi-Parameter Mobile CareGuide 3100 Oximeter system. The original device offers a “non-invasive assessment of hemoglobin oxygen saturation and pH in a region of skeletal muscle tissues beneath the oximeter sensor,” according to the company.

Vital Connect received FDA clearance for its Vital Connect Platform, which is the system that supports the company’s peel-and-stick, Bandaid-like vital signs monitor HeartPatch. The wearable device captures single lead ECG, heart rate, HRV, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posturing (fall detection), steps, stress, and sleep staging. The company also received FDA clearance for the system’s use in the home.

Gauss Surgical announced that it has received de novo FDA clearance for an app that uses the iPad’s camera to estimate the amount of blood lost during a surgery and captured with surgical sponges. The system is called the Triton Fluid Management System.

Entra Health Systems, one of the earliest entrants into the smartphone-connected glucometer space, received clearance for the MyHealthPoint telemedicine manager, an online and mobile software offering that would collect and store biometric data from a variety of sources. It measures vitals including glucose, blood pressure, weight, body composition, activity, body temperature, ECG, and pulse oximetry.

So far, the third quarter of the year has produced a handful of FDA clearances for digital health devices and apps, too.

Another clinically-focused, activity tracking wearable has now been cleared by the FDA, this one aimed specifically at the monitoring and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The Personal KinetiGraph, from Melbourne, Australia-based Global Kinetics Corporation, “offers comprehensive, automated reporting of a Parkinson’s disease patient’s movements so that neurologists and other physicians can more easily identify changes in movement symptoms to assist in decisions to optimize therapy,” according to the company.

Otoharmonics, a startup out of the Baker Group supported by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, received FDA 510(k) clearance for an iPad or iPod Touch application that treats a medical condition called tinnitus.

Australian company dorsaVi received FDA clearance for its ViMove sensor system. The sensor tracks movement as well as muscle activation, and is intended to be used in a clinical setting or with athletes in training.

AliveCor has received an additional FDA 510(k) clearance, this time for an algorithm that allows its smartphone ECG to detect atrial fibrillation — an abnormal heart rhythm that isn’t always detectable to the patient, but if left untreated can lead to stroke or congestive heart failure — with high accuracy.

New York City-based medical device maker Philosys received FDA 510(k) clearance this week for its smartphone-connected glucose meter, Gmate Smart.


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Essilor to Launch a Mobile App to Inform Consumers About Eye Health and Encourage Eye Exams

Essilor to Launch a Mobile App to Inform Consumers About Eye Health and Encourage Eye Exams | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
AS VEGAS— Essilor of America announced yesterday that it is launching a mobile application that addresses what the company sees as a rising demand by consumers for timely, reliable eyecare information online. Once launched, the AskAboutEyes app will help consumers find relevant information on individual issues or concerns about their eyes prior to visiting their eyecare practitioner (ECP).

Although only 3.5 percent of eyewear is purchased online today, nearly 40 percent of consumers reportedly search the web for information prior to visiting an eyecare practitioner, according to Essilor. Because of the specialized nature of eyecare, there are few trusted and credible options for consumers seeking information on vision and vision correction, even among traditional medical resource websites.

“We at Essilor know that a trained eyecare practitioner is the only way to get accurate recommendations for vision correction options, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of any eye condition or disease, but we also recognize that many consumers like to feel informed and prepared before meeting with an eyecare professional,” said Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, Dipl., senior vice president customer development, Essilor of America. “The AskAboutEyes app will allow consumers to easily learn more about their options in a convenient way, while helping them find a practitioner who can deliver the expertise they need when making these important healthcare decisions.”

Speaking at a news conference here yesterday, Purcell said AskAboutEyes “will provide an opportunity, 24/7, 365, for consumers to access information about eyewear and eyecare.”

AskAboutEyes will be available as a smartphone app, and the identities of the consumer and the eyecare professional (ECP) will not be revealed. This will allow consumers to ask individual questions and even send photographs to an ECP for additional details and guidance. To develop the most comprehensive content, Essilor partnered with AllAboutVision.com, an independent resource providing consumers with trustworthy, up-to-date information on vision correction and eye health.

AskAboutEyes will be led by Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, an esteemed practitioner and key opinion leader in medical optometry. Dr. Karpecki will manage a network of ECPs across the country to ensure users are receiving precise and timely answers and advice. Essilor will provide financial compensation to the practitioners based on the amount of time they spend answering consumer questions received via the app, although the details of the compensation program have yet to be worked out, Karpecki said. Karpecki said he believes ECPs will also find the app valuable because it can drive more eye exams to their offices through its doctor locator live link that will be incorporated into the app.

The app is not intended to be a diagnostic tool or to usurp the independent ECP, according to Karpecki. It is to serve as a trustworthy informational resource that will drive more consumers to their eyecare practitioners for comprehensive eye exams and treatment, as well as products and other valuable services.

Expected to launch later this year, the AskAboutEyes app will be highlighted on the Essilor Newsroom at  news.essilorusa.com and available free for download on the App Store and Google Play.
- See more at: http://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/essilor-to-launch-mobile-app-to-inform-consumers-about-eye-health-encourage-eye-exams/#sthash.GjJlHqVe.dpufAS VEGAS— Essilor of America announced yesterday that it is launching a mobile application that addresses what the company sees as a rising demand by consumers for timely, reliable eyecare information online. Once launched, the AskAboutEyes app will help consumers find relevant information on individual issues or concerns about their eyes prior to visiting their eyecare practitioner (ECP).

Although only 3.5 percent of eyewear is purchased online today, nearly 40 percent of consumers reportedly search the web for information prior to visiting an eyecare practitioner, according to Essilor. Because of the specialized nature of eyecare, there are few trusted and credible options for consumers seeking information on vision and vision correction, even among traditional medical resource websites.

“We at Essilor know that a trained eyecare practitioner is the only way to get accurate recommendations for vision correction options, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of any eye condition or disease, but we also recognize that many consumers like to feel informed and prepared before meeting with an eyecare professional,” said Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, Dipl., senior vice president customer development, Essilor of America. “The AskAboutEyes app will allow consumers to easily learn more about their options in a convenient way, while helping them find a practitioner who can deliver the expertise they need when making these important healthcare decisions.”

Speaking at a news conference here yesterday, Purcell said AskAboutEyes “will provide an opportunity, 24/7, 365, for consumers to access information about eyewear and eyecare.”

AskAboutEyes will be available as a smartphone app, and the identities of the consumer and the eyecare professional (ECP) will not be revealed. This will allow consumers to ask individual questions and even send photographs to an ECP for additional details and guidance. To develop the most comprehensive content, Essilor partnered with AllAboutVision.com, an independent resource providing consumers with trustworthy, up-to-date information on vision correction and eye health.

AskAboutEyes will be led by Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, an esteemed practitioner and key opinion leader in medical optometry. Dr. Karpecki will manage a network of ECPs across the country to ensure users are receiving precise and timely answers and advice. Essilor will provide financial compensation to the practitioners based on the amount of time they spend answering consumer questions received via the app, although the details of the compensation program have yet to be worked out, Karpecki said. Karpecki said he believes ECPs will also find the app valuable because it can drive more eye exams to their offices through its doctor locator live link that will be incorporated into the app.

The app is not intended to be a diagnostic tool or to usurp the independent ECP, according to Karpecki. It is to serve as a trustworthy informational resource that will drive more consumers to their eyecare practitioners for comprehensive eye exams and treatment, as well as products and other valuable services.

Expected to launch later this year, the AskAboutEyes app will be highlighted on the Essilor Newsroom at  news.essilorusa.com and available free for download on the App Store and Google Play.
- See more at: http://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/essilor-to-launch-mobile-app-to-inform-consumers-about-eye-health-encourage-eye-exams/#sthash.GjJlHqVe.dpuf

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Genetic testing - Colorful nanoprobes make a simple test

Genetic testing - Colorful nanoprobes make a simple test | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Nanowerk News) Tests for identifying genetic variations among individuals, which can be used to develop precisely targeted drug therapies, are a current focus in the emerging field of pharmacogenomics. A*STAR researchers have now developed and patented a customized and elegant nanoprobe for assessing sensitivity to the drug warfarin ("Nanoprobe-based genetic testing").
gold nanoprobe tests
Before (top) and after (bottom) images of gold nanoprobe tests. In DNA samples containing no genetic variations, the pink solution became colorless within 10 minutes. (Image: A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology)
To develop the nanoprobe, Jackie Ying at the A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and co-workers in Singapore, Taiwan and Japan devised a relatively simple procedure that uses standard laboratory equipment and can be easily adapted for other genetic tests.
“Our method is faster, more cost-effective and more accurate than existing alternatives,” says Ying.
Ying’s method detects genetic variations known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that differ in only a single-nucleotide building block of DNA. In the case of warfarin — the most frequently prescribed anticoagulant — there are SNP differences in specific parts of the genome that indicate whether a patient will tolerate the drug or suffer serious side effects.
The researchers used gold nanoparticles attached to short sections of DNA that bind to specific complementary sequences of DNA through the base pairing that holds together double-stranded DNA. These nanoprobes were exposed to fragments of DNA that had been cut out and amplified from a patient’s genome.
The nanoprobes are initially pink due to surface plasmonic effects involving ripples of electric charge. When analyzed, if the probes do not bind to the DNA fragments, they aggregate and become colorless on exposure to a salt solution. If they do bind to the target, they will not aggregate but will remain pink until heated to a ‘melting temperature’ at which the base pairing is disrupted and the DNA strands of the probe and the genome fragments separate. For cases of partial complementarity — in which the fragments are mismatched by a single nucleotide — the melting temperature is lowered by an amount depending on the level of mismatch. This allows SNPs to be detected through their different melting temperatures.
The resulting color change is easily visible to the human eye but can also be evaluated automatically (see image). The system can also distinguish between homozygous genotypes (where a person caries the same SNP on each member of a pair of chromosomes) and heterozygous genotypes (where a person carries different SNPs on each chromosome).
“The patented warfarin test kit is available for commercialization or licensing,” says Ying. “We have developed and are validating assay kits for several other applications in pathogen detection, pharmacogenomics and genetic disease screening.”
Source: A*STAR

Read more: Genetic testing - Colorful nanoprobes make a simple test http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=37495.php#ixzz3ELzyk4KP
Follow us: @nanowerk on Twitter


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How biosensors could put a smartphone at the center of 21st-century medical care

How biosensors could put a smartphone at the center of 21st-century medical care | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Biosensors are on the verge of changing the way we use our smartphones to investigate the world around us.

A few years ago, University of Illinois engineer Brian Cunningham hosted an alumnus who’d made a fortune developing one of the earliest iPhone apps. “This person made a gazillion dollars on some trivial game,” he recalled with an incredulous laugh. “I thought, ‘there must be something better you can do with a smartphone.’”

Earlier in his career, after his parents died relatively young and within a few years of each other of lymphoma and prostate cancer, the electrical and computer engineering professor decided to shift his focus from biosensors for military applications like heat-sensing missiles to monitoring one’s health.

“Rather than bombing people, I decided to work on biosensors that could help diagnose disease,” he told me in a recent interview.

Brian Cunningham, University of Illinois

And his meeting with that wealthy game developer would prove to be another game changer. Cunningham gathered a group of students who agreed to volunteer their time for their senior design project developing a cradle and app for the iPhone 4 that would be capable of detecting a wide range of chemical and biological agents.

Their achievement made a big splash, but Cunningham said they’ve already gone well beyond it with additional work, and the future of smartphones that come equipped with built-in biosensors and dedicated cameras could be just a few years away.

To be clear, biosensors have been hot for years now. Sensors currently exist or are being tested for their ability to detect a wide range of targets, including:

gases like methane and sarinexplosives like TNTchemicals like isopropyl alcoholfoodborne bugs like salmonella and listeriaallergens like peanutswater contaminants like lead and pesticidesand infectious diseases like influenza and HIV

But it’s only in the past few years that more scientists have been developing ones that can or will be integrated into smartphones. Cunningham’s cradle, for instance, is in its worst light a clunky piece of extra hardware most people aren’t going to lug around every day. Integrating the sensor into the phone itself, and adding a second camera dedicated to biosensing instead of selfies, is the next step.

Based on the interest Cunningham is getting from phone developers and end users, he predicts this advancement is coming in just two or three years.

 

And then there’s the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, which has 10 finalist teams from six countries working to build a “consumer-focused mobile device” that can not only capture five health metrics but also diagnose and interpret 15 different medical conditions. Teams are expected to showcase a range of next-gen biosensors behind their proposed devices when consumer testing begins in 2015. The winner is scheduled to be announced in early 2016.

 

Alex Hsieh, widely known for his work developing a fitness tracker for Atlas Wearables before being snatched up by Apple in June, isn’t so sure. The limiting factor when it comes to integrating all these sensors into gadgets, he said, is power consumption: “In the coming years more and more sensors will be added, whether to phones or watches, but I think the first issue that has to be addressed is power consumption. The more sensors you add on, the more battery draw.”

The wide range of biosensing applications could also act as a deterrent, he added, given people can be overwhelmed by too many choices. “It could take some time to get to a point where it’s useful data for the consumer,” he said. “And as soon as you overload, people start to not care, and that’s a line you should try not to cross.”

Overwhelming or not, the range of coming possibilities is certainly wide, and to people like Cunningham, tantalizing. A new mom could measure BPA levels in her breast milk or lead in her home’s water; a nurse could test for drug-resistant bacteria on the door knobs and light switches of a health clinic; a backpacker could check for contaminants in lake water; a teacher could confirm the absence or presence of peanuts in cafeteria food; a rancher could diagnose infectious disease on a cattle farm; an HIV positive patient could monitor viral load on a regular basis; the list goes on and on.

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the latest biosensor research that is already adapted or being adapted to smartphones:

Cunningham’s cradle and app to detect a wide range of materialsCell-all sensor sniffs the air to detect toxins and biohazardsSERS substrate for detecting toxins and explosivesMagnetoelastic biosensor to detect foodborne illnessesSmarthpone-ready biosensor that takes its cue from turkeys

In Alex’s world, fitness is king. He acknowledged that his focus may bias him, but he sees the general consumer being most interested in measuring metrics like heart rate and sweat content for day-to-day health and fitness tracking. Testing for things like the flu or allergens have a time and a place, but when it comes to the general consumer, being able to detect things like explosives and gases is way too niche to justify spiking a phone’s battery consumption or overall cost.

How long it takes for biosensors to work their way into the vast majority of smartphones, and exactly what most of them will be used to detect, of course remains to be seen. But as the folks associated with Cell-all wrote: “The goal seems imminently achievable: Just as Bill Gates once envisioned a computer on every desk in every home, so [the Cell-all creator] envisions a chemical sensor in every cell phone in every pocket, purse, or belt holster.”

Related researchSubscriber Content

How the health care industry can benefit from open data

 


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 24, 10:08 AM

Wearables, biosensores, big data, ... Se avecinan tiempos de recogida de millones de datos. ¿Seremos capaces de interpretarlos en el contexto de la salud? ¿Y de traducirlos en una mejor atención sanitaria?

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Smartphone sensors used to determine mental health

Smartphone sensors used to determine mental health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

When using smartphones to assess mental health, researchers traditionally create apps that require the patient to manually update information. For example, for an app that helps track depression symptoms, you instruct the patient to either open the app, or respond to a notification on their phone to input various metrics.

This technique isn’t ideal as you have to rely on the content to be updated manually by the end user, often perceived as a hassle.

Researchers at Dartmouth created a study that addressed this issue by using an Android phone’s sensors to passively collect information. They created an app called StudentLife. The app collected the phone’s motion and location and the timing of phone calls and texts. The app kept track of sleep, kept an estimate of how often the person was involved in a face to face conversation (the microphone occasionally would be activated on the device), and had several other inputs.

The study included 48 students and the app collected information for a 10 week term. The Android phone used was a Google Nexus 4. For the first time, based on a phone’s native sensors, researchers were able to correlate patterns in behavior to stress, depression, and loneliness — these patterns even correlated with grades.

This study gives other researchers an example of how they can implement passive forms of data collection when studying behavior.

Sources: PDF of Study, Technology Review


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 24, 3:40 AM

El teléfono móvil como dispositivo 'wearable' para medir nuestros hábitos e interacciones

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Is Wearable Tech Changing Behavior?

Is Wearable Tech Changing Behavior? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Are you being recorded? Thanks to the ubiquity of CCTV and camera phones, the answer is more than ever before likely to be “Yes”. Add to this the growth of wearable technology such as Google Glass and people are increasingly exposed to devices that can monitor and record them, whether they realise it or not.

The privacy implications are obvious, but also interesting to psychologists such as myself, are how such invasions of privacy – real or perceived – change the way people behave in everyday life.

 

My colleagues and I have been examining the ways people change their behaviour when they are being recorded. In a typical psychology experiment, participants are aware that they are being watched, and a range of equipment monitors their responses, from computers and cameras to eye-trackers and electrodes. Do people in this scenario behave the same way as they’d behave, unwatched, in everyday life? While this may be true for some people and some behaviour, it is not in all cases. Thankfully, with some ingenuity, we can investigate whether being monitored changes how people behave. This should be a crucial topic for psychologists.

Research using eye-tracking devices, led by Eleni Nasioupolous and Alan Kingstone from the University of British Columbia, Evan Risko at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and myself, provides a good example. In several situations participants were left alone in a room with a calendar featuring a scantily-clad female, behind which lay a hidden spy camera. When people were free of any recording device, they usually looked at the calendar. However, when they wore an eye-tracking device, which records the wearer’s field of view and their eye movements within it (just like Google Glass) they stopped behaving naturally and avoided looking at the saucy image.

In other words they were aware that what they were looking at was being watched and changed their behaviour accordingly. This reinforces our natural assumption that we can’t take for granted that people will behave normally when they know they’re being watched, both in lab experiments and when using wearable technology out in the world.

Those aware that what they are looking at is being monitored seem to act in a more socially acceptable manner, something that is consistent with a range of behavioural research. The presence of others leads us to act in a way that converges with social norms. Security cameras – even a picture of someone’s eyes – can have the same effect by implying that someone is watching.

In our recent paper published in the British Journal of Psychology we varied the amount of time that people had to get used to wearing the eye-tracker. Surprisingly, we found that even after only 10 minutes of wearing the equipment, users essentially forgot about being monitored and started acting normally again. Soon enough the socially acceptable behaviour associated with being watched dissipated and they again spent time, for example, looking at the calendar.

But while the implied social presence of another watching the participant’s behaviour wore off surprisingly quickly, when they were reminded that they were wearing the eye-tracker they once more reverted to a socially acceptable pattern of behaviour and averted their eyes.

So what does this mean for privacy in the age of Google Glass and other wearable smart devices? We shouldn’t assume that people will be sufficiently self-aware to regulate what they’re doing while using wearable technology. Our research shows that users can easily forget that they are recording (or being recorded) and even with the best intentions could violate the privacy of others.

This is good news for those of us who seek to measure and understand natural behaviour, and particularly for using eye-trackers to achieve this. However it could be bad news for those who champion the use of wearable computing in everyday life. With even short periods of use, people may stop being aware of their own actions and in doing so end up recording things they would rather not be seen – look away now if you value your privacy.

Tom Foulsham receives funding from The British Academy.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.


Are you being recorded? Thanks to the ubiquity of CCTV and camera phones, the answer is more than ever before likely to be “Yes”. Add to this the growth of wearable technology such as Google Glass and people are increasingly exposed to devices that can monitor and record them, whether they realise it or not.


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 22, 11:56 AM

¿El simple hecho de sentirnos monitorizados hace cambiar nuestro comportamiento?

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Enhancing Clinical Decisions through Mobile Health Devices

Enhancing Clinical Decisions through Mobile Health Devices | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become indispensable in doctor’s offices and hospitals. The mobile health devices help in simplifying the implementation of electronic health records. According to a 2013 survey conducted on behalf of Wolters Kluwer Health by Paris-based market and technology firm Ipsos, nearly 80 percent of the 300 practicing primary care, family and internal medicine physicians surveyed said they were using a smartphone in their day-to-day practice. Another 61% were using tablets.

A 2013 infographic on mhealth compiled by Strategy& supports these findings, reporting that 85 percent of doctors use smartphones and medical apps. In addition, 86 percent of all clinicians – doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners – now use smartphones in their practice areas every day, up from 78 percent in 2012.

Also See : How Smartphone Apps Are Expanding the Role of EMRs And Managing Chronic Care

The 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health Physician Study suggests that more than half (55%) of physicians who use mobile devices use both smartphones and tablets in their daily practice. The major use for which smartphones are used is to access drug information while tablets are primarily used to access medical research. At Catholic Health partners, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the U.S., we use mobile devices to provide our clinicians with anytime, anywhere access to the clinical answers they need alongside our mobile electronic medical record (EMR) system, during rounds, in the hall between patients or at home catching up on charts, said their spokesperson.

At CHP (Catholic Health partners), we also are committed to offering mobile EHR viewer access on iPad, iPhone, or Android to any physician provider. This allows access in remote areas where Internet or PC access is not available so providers can view data when off-site and on-call.

Our secure patient record viewers store no information on the local device and do not require a unique log in so private information is protected, said the spokesperson. With the Affordable Care Act already in effect mobile devices are sure to play an even more larger role in easing communication in healthcare facilities.
- See more at: http://www.kmgus.com/blogs/healthit/index.php/2014/09/04/enhancing-clinical-decisions-through-mobile-health-devices/#sthash.huLVIskw.dpuf

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become indispensable in doctor’s offices and hospitals. The mobile health devices help in simplifying the implementation of electronic health records. According to a 2013 survey conducted on behalf of Wolters Kluwer Health by Paris-based market and technology firm Ipsos, nearly 80 percent of the 300 practicing primary care, family and internal medicine physicians surveyed said they were using a smartphone in their day-to-day practice. Another 61% were using tablets.

A 2013 infographic on mhealth compiled by Strategy& supports these findings, reporting that 85 percent of doctors use smartphones and medical apps. In addition, 86 percent of all clinicians – doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners – now use smartphones in their practice areas every day, up from 78 percent in 2012.

Also See : How Smartphone Apps Are Expanding the Role of EMRs And Managing Chronic Care

The 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health Physician Study suggests that more than half (55%) of physicians who use mobile devices use both smartphones and tablets in their daily practice. The major use for which smartphones are used is to access drug information while tablets are primarily used to access medical research. At Catholic Health partners, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the U.S., we use mobile devices to provide our clinicians with anytime, anywhere access to the clinical answers they need alongside our mobile electronic medical record (EMR) system, during rounds, in the hall between patients or at home catching up on charts, said their spokesperson.

At CHP (Catholic Health partners), we also are committed to offering mobile EHR viewer access on iPad, iPhone, or Android to any physician provider. This allows access in remote areas where Internet or PC access is not available so providers can view data when off-site and on-call.

Our secure patient record viewers store no information on the local device and do not require a unique log in so private information is protected, said the spokesperson. With the Affordable Care Act already in effect mobile devices are sure to play an even more larger role in easing communication in healthcare facilities.

- See more at: http://www.kmgus.com/blogs/healthit/index.php/2014/09/04/enhancing-clinical-decisions-through-mobile-health-devices/#sthash.huLVIskw.dpuf

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become indispensable in doctor’s offices and hospitals. The mobile health devices help in simplifying the implementation of electronic health records. According to a 2013 survey conducted on behalf of Wolters Kluwer Health by Paris-based market and technology firm Ipsos, nearly 80 percent of the 300 practicing primary care, family and internal medicine physicians surveyed said they were using a smartphone in their day-to-day practice. Another 61% were using tablets.

A 2013 infographic on mhealth compiled by Strategy& supports these findings, reporting that 85 percent of doctors use smartphones and medical apps. In addition, 86 percent of all clinicians – doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners – now use smartphones in their practice areas every day, up from 78 percent in 2012.

Also See : How Smartphone Apps Are Expanding the Role of EMRs And Managing Chronic Care

The 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health Physician Study suggests that more than half (55%) of physicians who use mobile devices use both smartphones and tablets in their daily practice. The major use for which smartphones are used is to access drug information while tablets are primarily used to access medical research. At Catholic Health partners, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the U.S., we use mobile devices to provide our clinicians with anytime, anywhere access to the clinical answers they need alongside our mobile electronic medical record (EMR) system, during rounds, in the hall between patients or at home catching up on charts, said their spokesperson.

At CHP (Catholic Health partners), we also are committed to offering mobile EHR viewer access on iPad, iPhone, or Android to any physician provider. This allows access in remote areas where Internet or PC access is not available so providers can view data when off-site and on-call.

Our secure patient record viewers store no information on the local device and do not require a unique log in so private information is protected, said the spokesperson. With the Affordable Care Act already in effect mobile devices are sure to play an even more larger role in easing communication in healthcare facilities.

- See more at: http://www.kmgus.com/blogs/healthit/index.php/2014/09/04/enhancing-clinical-decisions-through-mobile-health-devices/#sthash.huLVIskw.dpuf
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The Near Future Of Implantable Technology - YouTube

Jennifer French is the 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, a silver medalist in sailing, and a quadriplegic. She is the first woman to receive the implanted ...

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