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JOIN For ME Engages and Educates Kids about Weight Management
We’ve all been in the same boat – you’re running on the treadmill, seemingly for ages, yet you glance at the clock and it’s only been three minutes. We want to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it can be so boring. We especially want to set a good example for today’s youth, as childhood obesity rates are soaring and children are at a higher risk for developing dangerous health issues like diabetes. The question is: if we are bored with our attempt at a healthy lifestyle, why should we expect children to embrace it?
It’s true that an overwhelming majority of children today spend their time sitting in front of televisions and computers. They cling to their electronics as a drowning man would cling to a life raft. Parents become frustrated when their attempts to engage their kids in a more active lifestyle result in failure. How can you interest your child in going for a run when they are completely enthralled in a group chat on their phone about the doubtlessly dramatic occurrences of the day at school? How do you pull a kid out of a virtual world where they are saving soldiers or fighting monsters to toss around the old football? Why not incorporate the technology that kids love so much into a new, healthy lifestyle? The answer to the challenge of getting our kids to embrace physical activity is to offer them this activity in a package that will appeal to them. We’ve seen a great gamification example in Zamzee, and, very recently, LeapFrog, both in the kids’ wearables category. What
Study: Does Gaming Help Obese Children Increase Physical Activity?
Many health care groups have recognized the benefits of games in health. UnitedHealth Group recently participated in a pediatric study of the benefits of gaming in their weight-management program, JOIN for ME. JOIN for ME encourages overweight children to engage in physical activity and set realistic goals that help to reach a healthy weight. Half of the participants in JOIN for ME’s program received an XBox Kinect console and two games in order to evaluate the effects that physical gaming can have on weight loss.
The program was effective for both groups in the study, but the group using the Xbox Kinect had higher weight loss. The children enjoyed the use of the games, and did not feel as if they were being forced to exercise while they were playing. They had not been given any specific amounts of time that had to be dedicated to the games, so all of the time spent on the physically active gaming was done of their own accord. Deneen Vojta, a UnitedHealth Group executive physician, spoke highly of the study’s results:
One participant, Ravyn Hill, liked the fact that the games provided a way to exercise without being bored:
Ravyn lost almost 8 pounds during the four-month study period.
JOIN for ME is also educating children who have excessive weight and their families on healthy eating habits, choosing the right foods and portion sizes through classes at community centers and schools nationwide.
Several games have been launched in recent years to help motivate Americans to live a healthy lifestyle. Many of these exercise-based games are still geared toward adults, though, and we still struggle to implement higher levels of activity in children. Researching and using the technology that so interests youth is a very successful answer to the problem.
Via Alex Butler, ChemaCepeda
Via Sam Stern, eMedToday, E. Lacoste-Mbaye
CliniWorks today announced a strategic alliance between and Pfizer Inc.to jointly advance the parties’ respective capabilities in working with healthcare provider organizations to identify and close clinical or quality gaps to improve population health. The two companies are partnering to develop a population health management platform solution that leverages CliniWorks’ technologies in disparate data aggregation and Natural Language Processing (which interprets free text information) of de-identified healthcare data and Pfizer’s scientific, clinical and disease expertise. This platform will aim to enable large medical groups and integrated delivery system institutions to deliver near real-time and more efficient and effective quality healthcare, as well as improve patient engagement or activation, reaching the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Triple Aim. The development work will be partially supported by a grant received by CliniWorks and Pfizer from the BIRD Foundation ( www.birdf.com ).
Nitzan Sneh, CliniWorks CEO, said, “Pfizer’s leadership position in global healthcare and patient care complements our technology capabilities and, collectively, will bring about significant efficiencies for healthcare delivery organizations involved in the continuum of patient care.”
“This alliance builds on our existing relationship with CliniWorks and will allow us to collaborate with our key customers in innovative and impactful ways to potentially improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes,” said Teresa Griesing, VP North America Medical Affairs, Pfizer Global Innovation Pharma Business Unit.
Pfizer Forms a Strategic Alliance with CliniWorks to Develop Population Health Management Platform by Jasmine Pennic
Via Emmanuel Capitaine
Even if big data faces much controversy and open data still has so many hurdles to go through in the healthcare industry, there is no doubt that this progress has pushed the industry straight into the information age and California's Kaiser Permanente is showing what can be done with the huge influx of data they are receiving.
Via Sébastien Letélié
What Benefits Will They Bring?Related Posts
Via Emmanuel Capitaine
Health-related apps and devices are flooding the digital market. A recent BI Intelligence analysis foundthat "health and fitness app usage has grown at nearly twice the rate of app usage overall through the first half of 2014."
Via Alex Butler, Bart Collet
The Future of Healthcare: The Connected HospitalShare this infographic:
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Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2014/07/startup-wants-fix-nutrition-communication-gap-mds-parents-children/#ixzz36FRuGkdT
Via Celine Sportisse
It’s been a few weeks since Apple’s announcement about its Health app, the consumer electronics giants’ new dashboard for capturing health data; and HealthKit, its foray into establishing a healthcare integration platform for wearables and other sensor-generated data.
In February, Optum’s acquisition of Audax was market validation for using mobile and rich media features as one approach to helping plan members to get and stay healthy. Since then, several other well know information technology players have put their chips on the table relative to announcements about connected, wearable health solutions.Google. This week Google announced Google Fit as a hub for data connectivity with fitness tracking wearables and cross-platform APIs that developers can use to provide consumers with the means to better keep track of their fitness goals. This is Google’s second act in health, and with their previously announced diabetic-sensor-in-a-contact-lens, they seem to have a well thought out technology and product strategy.Microsoft. In February, Microsoft added to its quietly evolving Healthvault platform by announcing the Bing Health & Fitness App, a fitness and medical reference tracker focused on wellness.Salesforce.com. Also this month, the CRM market leader began messaging around its abilities as a healthcare platform with a focus on mobile. Salesforce.com is not to be trifled with, and while they’ve been quietly amplifying their healthcare footprint via application partners in recent years, the timing of their announcement is notable.Samsung. In May, Samsung began several announcements (SAMI – Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions; its ‘Voice of the Body’ initiative; and gear like the Simband sensor watch); and built on its focus of becoming a global leader in healthcare with mobile at the forefront.WebMD. In conjunction with Apple’s announcement, WebMD Healthy Target was announced as an iOS feature that will allow users to track biometric data from sources such as wearable activity, glucose and other trackers. Goal setting, progress reports and other summaries are part of the package.
Consumers who use tracking tools and related sites like these are typically individuals already in tune with their health. At first glance, it’s hard not to wonder how much useful data are being generated and not already being captured by the likes of DigiFit, Jiff, Health Advocate, LiveHealthier, MapMyFitness, RedBrick, RunKeeper, ShapeUp, Vitality, Viverea and WellTok. A well-deserved nod to the consumer appeal of Apple, but if you’re already engaged in monitoring your health by using one of these great tools, why migrate?
Does harmonizing data between wearables and enterprise health systems call for a “Switzerland” strategy? As the volumes of healthcare data grow and sensors become more sophisticated, the importance of broader interoperability and data integration between wearables and enterprise healthcare engines (EMR, claims, clinical and population health management) are growing too.
The need is founded on managing risk for members / patients and knowing as much as possible about these consumers or a population. Microsoft’s Healthvault struggled and Google Health outright failed because both vendors assumed consumers would actively enter health data into their tools, creating a useful database.
The two most interesting aspects of the Apple announcement were the endorsement from Mayo Clinic and an undefined partnership with Epic. On the surface, Apple and Epic don’t have a lot in common with very different underlying technologies, so a shared developer ecosystem is hard to imagine.
However, the usefulness of Apple Health Kit might boil down to whether it can extract a patient’s clinical data from Epic, securely sync that data with an iPhone such that it’s simple for the patient, and make that data portable so it can be leveraged by other healthcare professionals who are serving that patient.
Apple aside, the ramifications of how wearable data can be used is wide ranging as payers and providers look to manage risk — and employers consider how their wellness models might include rewards for monitoring and reporting activity levels to help employees be healthy and spend less on healthcare.
Additionally, we think the ability to enhance data interoperability regardless of technology or device is increasingly important. One new player in the healthcare interoperability stack is Validic, who is integrating both provider and payer enterprise systems with consumer wearables and allowing their clients to in fact, be Switzerland.
The simple graphic below depicts how some of the current announcements in consumer health platforms may begin to realign because of the influence of wearables, and emphasize the growing importance of healthcare interoperability and workflows.
What about the FDA? Through sources close to TripleTree, we’re aware of how the FDA has been refining and expanding its definitions of a ‘health app’ versus a ‘diagnostic app’. In some reports surrounding the Apple HealthKit announcement, it appears that Apple asked the FDA about their approaches to messaging for healthcare solutions on the iPhone and iPad. Just having an app gathering data is not a conclusion of anything medical. So while we’re in the early but exciting innings of connected health and wearables, there is still little evidence validating the accuracy of the hundreds of sensors and thousands of apps in the market.
Regardless, in the quest for harvesting consumer healthcare data, wearable devices, digital apps and consumer services will remain front and center in transforming health and healthcare. Convenience and the ability to engage consumers on their terms will carry the day because in connected health without convenience, there is no engagement.
Regardless of the quickened pace of investment which we recently summarized, the noise around this area of the market is loud and will be confusing for several quarters. Fortunately, macro-economic forces have a way of shaking out the solutions that are half-baked, so as leading approaches and solutions emerge we’ll review and opine about them.
Until then, let us know what you think.
Via Sam Stern, Celine Sportisse, Laurent FLOURET
Medicine and Healthcare:Is it true that oncologists refuse to be treated for terminal cancer? Doctors:What do doctors think about 23andme?Apple:Why did Tim Cook need to attack Android at WWDC 2014?
Via EuroHealthNet, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Researchers in Ireland evaluated the use of an Android smartphone app to increase patients’ activity levels, as measured by step count.
When it comes to tackling the epidemic of obesity and its associated morbidities, promoting active lifestyles is key. For many patients, setting specific achievable goals is a helpful tool in accomplishing that.
Here, researchers from the National University of Ireland and University of Aberdeen selected an app to trial among patients followed at three primary care centers to evaluate whether it could be effective in increasing activity levels. Over the roughly two month period, they found a 22% increase in basal activity levels.
A total of 90 patients using Android devices were randomized to either an intervention group which used the smartphone app or a control group. To pick the intervention app, researchers scored available pedometer apps based on three general criteria includingAutomatic feedback and trackingVisually appealing displayGoal setting functionality and feedback
Based on these criteria, they selected the Accupedo-Pro Pedometer app. All patients received up front education and counseling. After a one week run in period, patients in the intervention group were taught how to use the app. Beyond that, all patients received the same education and follow up including sharing data at the same intervals.
They found a mean difference in improvement in step count between the intervention and control groups of 2017 steps, or a 22% increase in mean step count. Other parameters followed including BMI and blood pressure did not significantly change however.
Interestingly, they found that both groups had an initial increase in step count but the control group quickly returned essentially to baseline while the intervention group continued to improve.
There are several useful takeaways from this study. First, it suggests that use of a low-cost smartphone app can help reinforce and sustain behavioral interventions. Second, it highlights the importance of “app training,” or helping patients understand how to use an app to achieve a specific goal.
As the researchers noted, 90% of Americans who own mobile phones carry their devices 24 hours a day. Here, they demonstrate how some of that time can be used to make meaningful improvements in health.Author:Satish Misra, MD
Satish is a Cardiology Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a founding partner and Managing Editor at iMedicalApps. He believes that mobile technology offers an opportunity to change the way health care is delivered and that iMedicalApps is a platform through which clinicians can be empowered to lead the charge.
Glynn LG, Hayes PS, Casey M, Glynn F, Alvarez-Iglesias A, Newell J, OLaighin G, Heaney D, O’Donnell M, Murphy AW. Effectiveness of a smartphone application to promote physical activity in primary care: the SMART MOVE randomised controlled trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2014 Jul;64(624):e384-91. doi: 10.3399/bjgp14X680461.
Wearables, devices used to sense data and process it into information, are generating quite the buzz in healthcare these days. But down the line, does that buzz come with a sting?
Frank X. Speidel, MD
In Wearable Tech News, Tony Rizzo reports wearable technology spending predictions of $50 billion by 2018. He also reports on a ground-breaking, glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetics that will be a “true solution for a very real medical problem that affects hundreds of millions of people.”
By 2016, wearable wireless medical device sales will reach more than 100 million devices, according to a Cisco blog on the future of mobility in healthcare. The importance of these devices is that healthcare professionals can access critical data via mobile apps before, during and after a patient’s hospitalization, thus boosting the speed and accuracy of patient care, the blog says.
In acute situations, such as a patient’s complaint of sudden heart pain or chest tightening, wearables may allow doctors to “see” patients remotely to determine the seriousness of the discomfort, said Lydia Leavett in a Forbes article on wearables.
The Age of Wearables has a few caveats, though – note that a doctor “can,” “could,” “may” or “potentially” be able to monitor a patient from a wearable, as the products are still under development. One product cites unpublished research as support, and another uses a modality, thermography, that the National Cancer Institute states has no additional benefit for breast cancer screening.
There is also an almost entertaining naivety from some writers of the complexities of wearables. Speaking of FDA approval for a smart contact lens, one writer said it would be easy because “these devices are benign, with really small embedded sensors, so their risk is nonexistent.” Really? For decades, I have watched the simple contact lens cause conjunctivitis, keratitis and corneal ulcers. And concerns abound about low-level, electro-magnetic radiation and cataract formation in the human lens. I suspect the FDA will have significant interest in smart contact lenses.
I’ve also seen the misunderstanding that physicians are eagerly awaiting and prepared for a tsunami of clinical data from their patients.
“The vision is the doctor is sitting waiting for all this, and the doctors aren’t,” said Dr. Michael Blum, Associate Vice Chancellor of Informatics at UCSF School of Medicine to PC World. “They are running around with their hair on fire trying to do what they do right now.” I agree with Dr. Blum.
The new, intense focus on wearables is the engagement of the general public, both the ill and the well, and how they collect and transmit patient information to physicians and EHRs. This presents two challenges:
1. Are physicians prepared for this tidal wave of data and information?
Are algorithms ready to receive, store, analyze and respond to this data? The “alarm fatigue” effect is real – and well documented. In Medical Design Technology, GlobalLogic Director of Program/Account Management Jeremy Schroetter said the solution is “… careful data analysis and algorithms in order to provide physicians with the information they need…” The remedy is to apply smart business intelligence to this data flood, but a staggering undertaking to achieve. Until then, we are quenching our thirst from a fire hose.
2. What is the true cost of the data surge versus its benefits?
And who will pay for it? Consider a micro-transmitter that when attached to a medication and ingested signals a wearable device, which records the ingestion date and time and coincident heart rate of the patient. A log-in summary of this information can be provided to the patient and their physician. We can quantify the cost of obtaining this information. What is the value of the information? Is compliance or noncompliance with drug therapy not already known to the patient? Is it really information if we already know it? Is the value of this product then actually as a motivator?
The cost of wearables is more than simply the cost of the device and maintenance. We need to recognize the cost the care provider incurs in receiving, storing, analyzing and responding to the information.
Helping patients understand their health information also costs money. Providing the patient access to information about themselves empowers the patient, but without providing education with it, access to information just isn’t fair.
None of this should dismiss wearables as the “pet rock” of healthcare information technology. We stand on the verge of an artificial pancreas for diabetics. We have decades of experience with insulin infusion pumps. CGM, continuous glucose monitoring, is no longer new. Although currently “under development,” the fusion of these two technologies is both achievable and hugely clinically meaningful.
Like all healthcare information technology, wearables have huge potential – married to massive challenges.
Frank X. Speidel, MD, MBA, FACEP is Chief Medical Officer for Healthcare IT Leaders, a consultancy and HIT staff augmentation firm that matches IT talent to hospitals and health systems for EMR, ICD-10 and analytic engagements.
photo credit: IntelFreePress via cc
Wearables: A Solution Searching For Problems? by Frank SPEIDEL, MD
Via nrip, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
High School Story, the iOS and Android game from former Electronic Arts developers that previously took a stand against cyberbullying, is now aiming to raise awareness for another issue affecting teenagers: eating disorders.
Pixelberry Studios has partnered with the National Eating Disorders Association to create a new in-game storyline centered around eating disorders. The game will also offer educational resources to the estimated 20 million teenagers across the United States who are not happy with their bodies.
The new version of High School Story available today follows a character named Mia. After hearing an insensitive comment about her body type, she takes up an unhealthy diet and exercise regimen. She even edits her yearbook to make herself appear thinner.
Through High School Story's new narrative around Mia--researched by Pixelberry and NEDA--players will learn all about the causes and consequences of body image issues. The game will even allow players to reach out directly to the NEDA through the app.
Pixelberry says High School Story's previous anti-bully campaign helped 2.5 million teens learn more about cyberbullying prevention. In addition, Pixelberry adds that more than 100 players every week were directed to professional counselors through the game and that it raised over $250,000 for an anti-bullying charity.
To go deeper into what the new eating disorder content means for High School Story, we caught up with Pixelberry co-founder Oliver Miao. Our conversation is posted in full below.
GameSpot: What led you to want to tackle the issue of teenage eating disorders in High School Story?
Oliver Miao: The first inspiration came from our players, some of whom wrote to us to ask that we address the issue. Those requests really resonated with our writers, many of which also struggled with body image issues during their high school years or knew of people that had. Once we decided to tackle that issue, we were also inspired by real-life stories of teens who had done things like lobby fashion magazines to stop publishing photoshopped photos.
GS: What does your partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association let you accomplish that you couldn't before?
OM: We’re very happy that we've been able to partner with NEDA. First, they helped us make make sure our messaging around body image issues and eating disorders is accurate and helpful by providing us feedback based on the issues they've encountered. They also allow us to give our players direct support about these issues without having to leave the game. Whenever a player writes in to our in-game support system with a question about eating disorders, helpline staff from NEDA will respond. Lastly, they worked with us to create an in-game FAQ players can read to learn more about these issues.
On the other side of things, we now have over 10 million players, many of whom are teenagers. With our platform, we’re able to help an organization like NEDA reach a large number of teens through a channel that's otherwise hard to reach. In this regard, we're able to educate and support millions of teens about issues that are relevant and important to them.
GS: What kind of response have you seen from users who maybe download the game and don't necessarily know that it's tackling the kinds of social/health issues that it does?
OM: We strive to make High School Story fun first and find ways to layer in socially impactful elements afterwards. These particular quests are purposely introduced later in the game, so that when players engage these quests they’re hopefully already connected to the characters and can therefore draw more of a personal understanding to the issues these characters are facing.
So most players come to the game not because it addresses these specific issues, but because it's fun and because it speaks to their interests in general. And when they come across the quests about cyberbullying and body image, we find that most of them are really excited and happy. Not because those quests are 'socially impactful,' but because they address issues that are important to them and their friends.
GS: What kinds of data do you have that shows High School Story is actually making a difference in the way you want it to?
OM: We look at this in several ways. We have metrics that track how many players complete our special quests. We're also providing a prominent in-game link to NEDA's teen-focused site, Proud2BMe, and we'll be able to see how many teens use it. We hope to get statistics from NEDA about how many teens reach out to them after playing our game, and we also pay very close attention to our players' reviews.
The body image features are new, so we don't have any comprehensive results from them yet. But similar results from our earlier anti-cyberbullying campaign show that it's been a big success. Over 2.5 million people have played our cyberbullying-themed quest. Through the support of our players, we've already raised over $250,000 for The Cybersmile Foundation, a non-profit we partnered with for that campaign. Cybersmile also told us that after the launch of the quest, every week over 100 of our players reach out to them for help. These are often teens who are being bullied, self hurting, or even thinking about suicide. With NEDA, we are really hoping that we can have the same type of impact with teens who are facing challenges with body image or eating disorders.
GS:. Are there any specific 'success stories' you can share that have come from High School Story?
One of the first times we saw the effect High School Story could have on players was when a player wrote in telling us that she had recently moved to a school in a new country and had been struggling with fitting in. After playing our game, she realized that she liked who she was and didn't have to fit in to feel good about herself. It was a very heartwarming moment for us.
We've also had several incidences of lives actually being saved because of High School Story. The first time it happened was from a player who wrote directly to us that we were able to encourage to seek professional help. Our partner Cybersmile has also shared amazing stories with us, including a time they were able to help a High School Story player who was right on the precipice of hurting themselves.
Every time we hear one of these stories, we're amazed that the work we do really is making a difference. It's an incredible feeling.
GS:. Why did you decide to make the Mia character female instead of male?
OM: Over 60% of High School Story's players are female, and research has shown that by the time they are 17, nearly 4 out of 5 females have had body image issues. We hope that by making the Mia character female, a majority of our players can more easily identify with her and be more willing to reach out for help, if they need it.
At the same time, we recognize that these issues affect both men and women, so our writers crafted the story to appeal to both our male and female players.
GS: You've taken a stand against cyberbullying and now you're raising awareness about the dangers of eating disorders -- What other social/health issues are you looking at for future versions of High School Story?
OM: For the time being, we're focusing on body image, and are continuing to address cyberbullying as well. When we take on serious issues like these, we want to show long-term commitment to them. This gives our players time to engage with the new content and respond to it at a pace that they're comfortable with. It also allows us to build strong relationships with our nonprofit partners.
That said, we definitely plan to continue with these types of campaigns in the future. In fact, we’re about to launch a "Your Voice" feature that lets our players first share their thoughts on fun topics, like music and memes, and then later share their opinions on current events and other more serious topics. Our hope with this feature is to encourage teens to develop their voices on important issues and to discuss these issues with their friends and communities.
Via Alex Butler
he human brain may be nature’s finest computer, but artificial intelligences fed on big dataare making a convincing challenge for the crown. In the realm of healthcare, natural language processing, associative intelligence, and machine learning are revolutionizing the way physicians make decisions and diagnose complex patients, significantly improving accuracy and catching deadly issues before symptoms even present themselves.In this case study examining the impact of big data analytics on clinical decision making, Dr. Partho Sengupta, Director of Cardiac Ultrasound Research and Associate Professor of Medicine in Cardiology at the Mount Sinai Hospital, has used an associative memory engine from Saffron Technology to crunch enormous datasets for more accurate diagnoses. Using 10,000 attributes collected from 90 metrics in six different locations of the heart, all produced by a single, one-second heartbeat, the analytics technology has been able to find patterns and pinpoint disease states more quickly and accurately than even the most highly-trained physicians.Dr. Sengupta explained his ongoing work with big data analytics to HealthITAnalytics, and discussed the impact such technologies can have on cardiology patients and their outcomes.What were the underlying medical issues you were trying to solve with this study?One of the most commonly ordered diagnostic tests in cardiology is the echocardiogram. We were amazed at the amount of information that was coming in during each patient consultation, so the biggest challenge was how to make the information, which is extremely rich, easily understandable and use it in real-time in patient care scenarios. Working with Saffron, we decided that we will look into a scenario which is extremely complex which usually requires a lot of expertise, and it usually is associated with fairly complex sets of information.We decided to do a pilot test with two diseases: cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart, and pericarditis, which masquerades as if the heart is involved, but actually the heart muscle is not involved. Both diseases present with heart failure, and patients are very complex in their assessments. If you make the correct diagnosis the treatments are very disparate, very different. For pericarditis, you would do a surgery, whereas if it’s cardiomyopathy, it’s a different course. It’s medical management or a heart transplant.Misdiagnosis of these conditions is a fatal error, because if you make the wrong decision, you’re going to send a patient who’s going to be treatable by surgery to get a heart transplant and vice versa. If you open up a patient because you think they have pericarditis, and then you have to close the patient because the patient didn’t have the thickening of the membranes around the heart, that’s expensive for the hospital and puts the patient at an unnecessary risk of complications. So that’s why we use this particular technology on these diseases, because the risk of not diagnosing this disease properly is immense.How can clinical analytics supplement human intelligence to identify patterns and make diagnoses?For the study, we took a lot of the ultrasound information, which is the first step for diagnosing these patients. We took the information, which is extremely complex and started working on that using the natural intelligence platform to see if we could come up unique characterization of the disease, so that the information can be clustered for pattern recognition. You use a lot of intuitive skills to go through these datasets. I was interested in seeing how processing this data through clinical analytics can provide better decision support.The problem is that the data is scattered everywhere. It’s in the EMR, but everything is still in siloes. So either you have to make an effort to look in the EMR, then look into the e-measures, which may be existing on another system, look at the PACS system, and the himself patient is somewhere else. So, they’re all in different locations. How do we take all the information just coming from different sources and merge them together, so that we can apply it right away to the patient in real-time? That’s what we are currently focused on.Let’s say I just analyzed an echocardiogram of a patient and I track the information into am Excel file. You open that Excel file, and it will have about 30 columns and 50 to 60 rows. What we do right now is go row by row, and it’s very painful. But the analytics engine takes an entire dataset all at once, and then comes out with these rich associations. Based upon its previous learning, using its associative memory capabilities, it can tell that this dataset looks like this disease, and that dataset looks like another disease.This kind of an application can be done for any scenario. For example, diabetes can produce some very early changes in the heart muscle which the patient doesn’t even know about. He’s completely asymptomatic. You might have a signal present in this big data, but you might not be able to discover it on your own. You might not even really be looking for it, but when you process it through a complex analytics engine, you might be able to come up with some kind of signal that will show the early disease state.Diseases come in clusters, so heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, they don’t come independently. They all together in one given patient, so my hope is that in future we will be able to take all the risk factors, which are common for these diseases, which are growing to epidemic proportions, and we will be able to deliver forecasting models based upon them.That’s kind of the vision. I think it would be really terrific to have a forecasting model, so then this patient has such risk factors, goes into the hospital for, let’s say a knee surgery, what are his chances he’s going to develop a heart attack when he comes out of the surgery? That’s the kind of the risk modeling we’ll be very interested to develop in the future.After using the clinical analytics engine to examine the data, what results did you find?In the initial pilot phase, when I did my own statistical algorithms, we had about 73% ability to differentiate the two diseases. But when the initial pilot run happened, we were very pleased to see that there was a discrimination of 90% between the two datasets and without any human intervention. What that means is that the highly complex analyses that were done produced a discrimination which exceeded human ability to diagnose the two conditions. Having said that, you have to be extremely cautious, but it’s very exciting that machine learning and learning intelligence platforms can reach the ability to do this differentiation, if not exceed it.Related White Papers:Webcast: Gain Deeper Insight into your EMR with Care Systems Analytics from VMwareActionable Analytics: 10 Steps to Improve Profitability and Patient ExperienceImprove Outcomes with the VMware Care Systems Analytics SolutionPredictions for Big Data in Large and Small PracticesHL7 Survival GuideBrowse all White PapersRelated Articles:NIH to boost role of genomics in research, clinical analyticsGenomics, big data can thrive through CDS, analytics tools2.5 petabytes of centralized cancer data to accelerate genomicsNew law would increase access to Medicare data for analyticsHow big pharma uses big data to develop better drugs
The physical exam is especially important to orthopaedic specialists. There are numerous eponyms and unique maneuvers that complicate the understanding of the orthopaedic exam. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has attempted to clarify the intricacies of common physical exam maneuvers with a series of mobile apps. This review follows a previous review on the AAOS physical exam of the shoulder and focuses on the exam of the knee.
The application is produced by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The AAOS is one of the largest and most trusted medical specialty societies in the Unites States. The AAOS has a long tradition of producing quality educational content. They were one of the first specialty societies to use mobile technology as a means for member education.
The app opens with a disclaimer, credits, and then a list of exam sections on the main menu. The sections include: inspection, palpation, muscle testing, range of motion, and special tests.
Selecting any topic heading from the list takes you to more information. The Special Tests tab has several good maneuvers including pivot-shift, anterior/posterior drawer, McMurray, Ober’s test and eight other common tests. The inspection/palpation tab covers basic exam topics.
Selecting a maneuver reveals a short description of the exam maneuver with associated references. The content in these descriptions is referenced well with many up-to-date articles on the topic.
Additionally, most maneuvers have the listed specificity and sensitivity in the description section which helps in the understanding of the clinical utility of that exam.
In the upper right corner is a tab that connects to the exam video. Every exam topic has an associated video of the physical exam maneuver. The quality of the video and audio is good but short and without demonstrations of pathology.
Similarly, there are no pictures or diagrams to enhance the explanations of the exam maneuvers. The app covers most of the common exam tests and is ideal for the beginner or intermediate healthcare professional learning to perform the knee exam. There would be utility for review or consolidating the information in a single app for the more experienced clinician.
Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app
Any healthcare worker who has a role in performing orthopaedic knee exam maneuvers.
Short, to the point, explanations of exam maneuvers with references.
No images or diagrams of the exam maneuvers.
This application is easy to use, delivers well on its intended purpose, and covers several common exam maneuvers in orthopaedics. There is slightly more content in this app compared to the similar AAOS shoulder app. The app design is simple and straightforward., however, the amount of content is limited and could be enhanced with images and diagrams of techniques. Having the information consolidated into one location with this app will be beneficial to some practitioners. E.g. currently AAOS has multiple apps for multiple body parts, it would make sense for them to put their Shoulder, Knee, and Spine apps into one consolidated app.Overall ScoreUser Interface
The information is presented in a list format interface that is easy to navigate. With a few clicks, the user can navigate to topics of interest and view the associated video example.Multimedia Usage
The videos are good quality but could be enhanced with pathologic videos or positive findings. Similarly, images and diagrams would improve teaching the exam maneuvers.Price
The application is not cheap, but not expensive when taking into account the multimedia content included and the quality of content.Real World Applicability
This is a good application for quick review of common shoulder maneuvers, practical to use in practice.Device Used For Review
iPhone 5Available for DownloadiPhone
FCC: 'Telemedicine, it's coming'
Via Sam Stern
Via Alex Butler, Bart Collet
Eighty percent of smartphone users are interested in using their smartphones to interact with health care providers, according to a FICO survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users from the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.
The survey analyzed how consumers prefer to interact with health care providers on mobile devices, online and in-person.
“The way health care organizations communicate with people is changing, as individuals become more and more sophisticated about using information technology to make health-related decisions,” Stuart Wells, FICO’s chief product and technology officer said in a statement. “People are especially interested in mobile services that can help them manage their personal health and shop for health care services. The leading health care providers are increasingly turning to mobile technologies to meet this demand, and to engage frequently and proactively with consumers.”
Of those that want to do more health-related tasks on their smartphones, 80 percent already receive reminders of upcoming appointments, 60 percent receive reminders to arrange appointments and health checks, 40 percent receive reminders to take medication, 34 percent use their smartphones to look for medical advice, and 32 percent receive reminders to monitor personal health risks.
The survey also found that 56 percent of people trust health care organizations with their personal data, 71 percent of smartphone users are “open to offers of relevant healthcare services from businesses”, and 53 percent are open to provider-initiated communications.
Currently, FICO noted, 54 percent of smartphone owners do not receive reminders to take their medications on any channel, 12 percent of consumers don’t receive reminders to arrange an appointment or health check, and only 7 percent do not receive reminders about upcoming appointments.
Smartphone users were also interested with interacting with their physician remotely. Almost two-thirds of respondents would rather receive medical advice on mobile devices instead of going to the doctor’s office.
Via Alex Butler, Andrew Spong, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Patients Want Digital from Pharma
by Sam Welch on June 9th, 2014
New survey data released by Accenture found that more than 75% of consumers expect drug companies to provide additional services that complement their medical products.
Digital platforms are frequently mentioned as the preferred method of contact. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they’d prefer information from pharma companies via email, followed by printed materials (66%), websites (48%), mobile apps (44%) and social media (38%). Print media made the list, though patients have made it clear that they are seeking resources through digital channels.
Of interest to marketers, the data show that 64% of patients are willing to trade personal information to get free, relevant content. Not only should we engage around this opportunity, this indicates that marketers can achieve access to more customer data in order to personalize information to each patient’s needs. And digital expands opportunities to track outcomes and tailor content to the individual.
Consumers want more tools to manage their healthcare. If we’re really moving into an age where “an app a day can keep the doctor away,” then we must address this need to make valuable tools available to patients.
Read the full Accenture report here.
Via Laurent FLOURET
Massive pan-African mobile health advice and analysis service launches
The GSMA, the group of mobile operators and companies dedicated to standardising mobile phone communications, has unveiled a Mobile for Development mHealth programme, which will provide various mHealth health care services to women and children across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The list of partners involved includes tech companies like Gemalto, Samsung and MTN, along with health specialists Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium and Omega Diagnostics. Initially, the program will focus on maternal and child health in seven countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. A second phase planned for next year includes Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
From the press release:
The main thrust of the initiative appears to be subsidised Samsung phones and tablets with free data connections via MTN. Where it gets interesting is in the embedded apps for healthcare promised, and discounted accessories such as monitors that attach to phones to test the CD4 count of HIV sufferers in the field – something that cuts down on weeks of lab time.
It’s intriguing news and one of the most ambitious plans to use mobile phones for health we’ve heard of yet. We’ll be following up in due course.
[Image - Shutterstock]
Via Alex Butler, Bart Collet
Imagine for a moment that your allergies have been troubling you for the past few days. What do you do? Complain on Facebook? Probably. Make an appointment with your doctor? Maybe. Talk to a virtual doctor on your iPad? Never. Well, soon you will.
A company called Geppetto Avatars is about to turn health care on its head with virtual physician's assistants that very well could be smarter than any doctor who ever walked the Earth. In one of the company's allergy applications, a sympathetic young doctor named Sophie talks you through air quality and the pollen index in your neighborhood. Then, she makes sure that you're taking your prescriptions right. When you tell her you're feeling really bad, she gives a gentle "mmm-hmmm," to let you know she's been there and wants nothing more than to help you feel better.
Except she hasn't been there. Because she's a computer program.
If you saw the move Her, it's a lot like that. Only better, because this virtual chick won't break your heart. If anything, she'll try to fix it.
FUTURE OF MEDICAL WORK: The computer will see you now
The thought of using computers to help keep us healthy isn't new or even all that novel: Let's face it, when it comes to raw data, computers are smarter than us. They might not be able to take over the world, Terminator-style, but IBM's Watson shamed its human competition on Jeopardy, and that's pretty close.
The wealth of wisdom housed on connected hard drives around the globe is simply more than a human brain can handle. When you go to the doctor, you have access to a fraction of that knowledge, and while health care professionals know a heck of a lot more than the average person, it seems safe to say that more is better when it comes to your well-being.
But computer programs have always lacked the ability to read body language, non-verbal cues, and all those parts of communication that make us human. Just asking Siri for directions to the nearest pizza place is a far cry from getting advice from a virtual robot on something as serious as your health. At best, we're often left hoping for a response that borders on intelligent — as the computer crunches key words and text strings — trying to mix and match words versus meaning.
Geppetto Avatars tackles the human component. Just as your real doctor learns from the tone of your voice and your facial expressions, so does Sophie. The system uses your device's camera and microphone to see and hear what you say, then uses natural language processing, sentiment analysis and voice-to-text recognition to analyze the meaning behind your words. If you sound down in the dumps about a health issue, you'll get a sympathetic response from your virtual practitioner, and if you're super happy about a new exercise plan, the digital doc will share your excitement.
As with most AI applications, the more you use it, the better job it does at reading you — picking up whether your voice is hoarse or your breathing labored, or whether you sound worried or anxious. The hope is that with some training, it will be able to detect your mood, read your state of mind, and respond accordingly with one of its tens of thousands of recorded answers. It will also share your information with your real, living health care professionals.
Geppetto's founders say the idea here is not to replace your doctor, but to provide tools for both patient and practitioner to get the information they need. In addition to applications for allergies, Geppetto's working on versions of Sophie to work with kids with asthma, people with diabetes and arthritis, and developing a product targeting Parkinson's disease.
If this all seems really far-fetched, consider this: Geppetto creators say their Avatars will be talking with people within three to five months. The founders also told us that they're in a daily patent race with Apple, Google, Microsoft and a handful of other massive tech companies working on similar applications to move ahead with a more realistic relationship between computers and man. So … this is likely just the tip of the communicating, mood-reading, mind-interpreting Avatar iceberg.
Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech contributor and host of USA TODAY's digital video show TECH NOW. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @JenniferJolly.
Via Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
Consumer use of mobile health and fitness apps in the first half of 2014 is almost double that of the mobile platform market in general, according to mobile analytics and optimization vendor Flurry.
"We have studied the usage of over 6,800 iPhone and iPad apps listed in the health and fitness category on Flurry’s platform and we have seen a 62 percent increase in usage of health and fitness apps over the past six months," Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf writes in a blog post. "This compares to 33 percent increase in usage, measured in sessions, for the mobile app industry in general. Growth in health and fitness is 87 percent faster than the industry, which is itself growing at an astounding rate."
Khalaf says the trend was a stark turnaround from 2013, in which general mobile app use grew by 115 percent, while health and fitness app use increased by only 49 percent.
The company's analysis found two factors encouraging the rapid groth of mobile health and fitness apps: the ability of smartphones to replace discrete devices as the hardware platform for the apps, and the integration of the apps--such as MapMyFitness--with social networking platforms.
The audience segment leading the mobile health app charge, according to Khalaf, was mothers aged 25-54 who are sports fans and who also lead healthy lifestyles.Consumer HealthMobile TechnologyWireless/MobileComments (0)
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