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Study finds increasing mHealth demand | Government Health IT

Study finds increasing mHealth demand | Government Health IT | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
More and more Americans are keen on the idea of using mobile devices to better monitor their health, according to new survey findings released Tuesday.    The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and HealthDay, revealed that one-third...

Via Sam Stern, Vincenzo Storti
Sam Stern's curator insight, June 21, 2013 6:44 AM

A new Harris Interactive study is out. It's nt surprising to see Americans are beginning to embrace the idea of using Apps to improve and monitor their health

Vincenzo Storti's curator insight, June 21, 2013 12:43 PM

Nei paesi anglosassoni hanno capito le potenzialità.... in europa??

Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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 |

Via Andrew Spong
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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Mobile Phone Text Messaging Intervention for Cervical Cancer Screening: Changes in Knowledge and Behavior Pre-Post Intervention

Mobile Phone Text Messaging Intervention for Cervical Cancer Screening: Changes in Knowledge and Behavior Pre-Post Intervention | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |


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Mobile Health (mhealth)  Medicine 2.0'13 London (Full Paper of Conference Presentation)  Medicine 2.0'13 (London)  Text-messaging (SMS)-Based Interventions  mHealth for Screening ArticleCited by (0)Tweetations (5)
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Original Paper

Mobile Phone Text Messaging Intervention for Cervical Cancer Screening: Changes in Knowledge and Behavior Pre-Post Intervention

Hee Yun Lee1*, PhD; Joseph S Koopmeiners2*, PhD; Taeho Greg Rhee3*, AM; Victoria H Raveis4*, PhD; Jasjit S Ahluwalia5*, MD, MPH, MS


School of Social Work and University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center
College of Education and Human Development
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
1404 Gortner Ave
St Paul, MN, 55108
United States
Phone: 1 612 624 3689
Fax: 1 612 624 3744
Email: hylee [at]


Background: Cervical cancer poses a significant threat to Korean American women, who are reported to have one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in the United States. Studies consistently report that Korean American women have the lowest Pap test screening rates across US ethnic groups.
Objective: In response to the need to enhance cervical cancer screening in this vulnerable population, we developed and tested a 7-day mobile phone text message-based cervical cancer Screening (mScreening) intervention designed to promote the receipt of Pap tests by young Korean American women.
Methods: We developed and assessed the acceptability and feasibility of a 1-week mScreening intervention to increase knowledge of cervical cancer screening, intent to receive screening, and the receipt of a Pap test. Fogg’s Behavior Model was the conceptual framework that guided the development of the mScreening intervention. A series of focus groups were conducted to inform the development of the intervention. The messages were individually tailored for each participant and delivered to them for a 7-day period at each participant’s preferred time. A quasi-experimental research design of 30 Korean American women aged 21 to 29 years was utilized with baseline, post (1 week after the completion of mScreening), and follow-up (3 months after the completion of mScreening) testing.
Results: Findings revealed a significant increase in participants’ knowledge of cervical cancer (P<.001) and guidelines for cervical cancer screening (P=.006). A total of 23% (7/30) (95% CI 9.9-42.3) of the mScreening participants received a Pap test; 83% (25/30) of the participants expressed satisfaction with the intervention and 97% (29/30) reported that they would recommend the program to their friends, indicating excellent acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of the mScreening intervention. Mobile technology is a promising tool to increase both knowledge and receipt of cervical cancer screening. Given the widespread usage of mobile phones among young adults, a mobile phone-based health intervention could be a low-cost and effective method of reaching populations with low cervical cancer screening rates, using individually tailored messages that cover broad content areas and overcome restrictions to place and time of delivery.

(J Med Internet Res 2014;16(8):e196)



Via ChemaCepeda
ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 1, 5:48 AM

El uso de mensajes de texto a través de teléfonos móviles como medio para aumentar la tasa de cobertura en el screening de cáncer de cérvix

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How An App Helped Me (And 20,000 Other Women) Get Pregnant

How An App Helped Me (And 20,000 Other Women) Get Pregnant | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Last summer I sat in the bathroom of an Irish pub, trying desperately to solve a math equation. I had abandoned my friends at the bar, where I'd been pretending to drink an IPA, to tend to this pressing arithmetic in private. If I solved correctly for 'x,' the answer would provide me with some crucial information—whether or not my pregnancy was going well.

Earlier, a key number in this formula had been left on my voicemail by a nurse at my doctor's office: The level of my human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG), a hormone the body starts making a few days after conception. The hCG number was supposed to be doubling roughly every 72 hours since then, according to a website I'd somehow Googled myself to—after I'd looked up what the heck this hCG thing was.

But I was missing one bit of information. "What we need to know," the nurse had said, "is when you got pregnant." Although I had a few rough estimates, based on, you know, having sex, I really had no idea. With my doctor's office now closed, it was up to me to master the sperm-egg algebra in this sticky, wood-paneled stall. I plugged in a few different potential dates, feeling for the first time in my life like my body was a foreign mass I happened to wear around me like a vintage sundress.

As I crunched the data, I started to see that even with the most generous calculations, my hCG wasn't behaving the way it was supposed to. There, with a faux-vintage Guinness mirror over my head, I realized that my pregnancy probably wasn't either.

I'd always known I wanted to have a family, yet I never experienced those maternal urges that everyone swore I'd start to feel as my biological clock ticked past 30. When my husband and I got married, that seemed as good a reason as any to get started. But I was still in no rush. During the winter I turned 35, I stopped taking my birth control pills. By summer, I was pregnant.

Or was I? The restroom math I hoped I had calculated incorrectly was confirmed a few weeks later at the doctor's office, as she peered inside my uterus with an ultrasound wand. Even with my shameful ambiguity factored in around when I'd actually conceived, she should have seen a viable embryo, a tiny heartbeat flashing like an LED bike light. Instead, there was only a hollow ring. She shook her head. "No, I'm sorry."

She left me in the room to change, the image of my empty womb still on the screen. I slowly reached over for my clothes, completely blindsided. The pregnancy that I'd casually and somewhat ambivalently stumbled into had been snatched away from me by a grainy image on a black-and-white monitor.

And suddenly, all I wanted in the world was to be pregnant again.

Since nobody ever talks about miscarriages, I can't really say that there are a few things I wish someone had told me about miscarriages. But here are three things I figured out about miscarriages after I had one. I'll call them two truths and a lie.

First truth: Miscarriages are far more common than you might think. If you asked three women of childbearing age that you know, chances are at least one will have lost a pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that up to one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many miscarriages are early, though, so sometimes women don't know they actually had one, attributing it to a late period.

Second truth: Most women will get pregnant again without any problems—miscarriage is not always a sign that something's wrong with you. Many miscarriages are the result of a random genetic abnormality that's determined at conception. Or as I like to think about it, a "bad egg" (or sperm!). As your body ages, you'll statistically have more bad eggs. That's why as you get older, your chance of miscarriage goes up.

And here's the lie: The miscarriage itself isn't the worst part. It's the days or weeks or months or years after it's all over, as you impatiently wait for the hormones to slowly evacuate your body, searching "miscarriage" on your phone in bed with the brightness level cranked way down so you don't wake up your husband, holding your hands over your abdomen as you sob quietly in the dark, wondering if you'll ever get pregnant again.

It was during one of those 2:00 a.m. Googling sessions that I stumbled upon a story about Glow, an app that was helping women concieve. I'd seen plenty of those those cycle-monitoring sites: cursive logos, a URL with "fertility" or "ova" inevitably embedded in it, lots and lots of pink. They worked by helping you track certain subtle hints associated with ovulation, like a basal body temperature increase and a change in your cervical mucus. I thought back to the first time I tried to get pregnant, when I jotted down fragments of data every few days (okay, whenever I remembered) on the paper chart that came with my Target thermometer. This seemed like even more work I wouldn't do.


Glow was designed to stand apart from its wide range of competitors with clean graphics and colors other than pink (thank goodness)

But there was something about this one that made me keep clicking. First, it was good-looking: It was almost like it was designed to match the new look of iOS 7. It also talked to me like an adult. Instead of cheesy euphemisms and abbreviations for periods and intercourse, the information was presented in normal, grown-up language. But here was the real clincher for me: The app was blue and purple, not pink.

Plus, it had something called Glow First, a kind of crowdfunding savings plan for couples having trouble conceiving. We could choose to pay $50 per month which would go into a fertility fund. After 10 months, most of the couples would get pregnant, statistically, and those who didn't would get to split the rest of the money for fertility treatments.

I downloaded Glow.

In over two decades of seeing reproductive health practitioners, not a single doctor had ever suggested that I track my cycle. When I had started to entertain the idea of getting pregnant, I asked one of my doctors for tips on what I should do, and she looked at me rather oddly and offered this sage advice: "Just have sex."

But as I would come to find, it's not actually that easy. The fertility window is already pretty narrow, and as you get older you're honestly only looking at a day or two when you can actually get pregnant. When you're 35, you don't have time to be casual about it. I realized that I had spent far too much of my life clueless about the happenings in my pelvic region. I wanted all the information laid out cleanly for me. Very quickly, and with lovely graphics that didn't offend my discerning taste, Glow managed to illustrate everything I didn't know.


The daily log tracks fertility cues as well as health information. The app actually made gathering information about cervical mucus (CM) pretty fun (well, as fun as it could be)

Using the app was enjoyable. I'd tap in my temperature and other fertility cues during my morning Instagram-feed viewing. Later, I'd fill in basic health information about my day—exercise, alcohol consumption, energy—while riding the bus. (Now the app syncs with fitness trackers to import all that data as well.) When I didn't log information, the app would ping me. But I didn't need the reminders very often. I became diligent about tracking. My husband was able to download the app, too, and have access to all my information. Dare I say, it was almost fun.

Right away I started to see patterns which surprised me. It turns out that even though I have a pretty average 29-day cycle, I ovulate really late, usually on day 17 or 18. Which means if I was going by the "typical" day 14 ovulation most women experience, I would have been missing my fertile window completely. In fact, this is one of the biggest insights Glow has gleaned from their users, says Jennifer Tye, Glow's head of marketing and partnerships: 50 percent of women are incorrectly estimating their cycle by up to four days.

I was intrigued why Glow would know something so specific about its users until I learned more about the company's roots: Glow was actually started by PayPal founder and Yelp chairman Max Levchin, who had identified fertility issues as a problem in need of a tech solution. "We're a data company at heart, but we're taking these capabilities from data science and machine learning and applying them to the very real world issue of reproductive health," says Tye.


An infographic prepared by Glow showing where 20,000 of their users have conceived and how up to half of their users were incorrectly estimating their cycle length

The data-driven perspective also informs Glow's educational focus and the way it talks to its users. "Educating women before conception is something we feel very passionately about, and that includes both physical and mental health," says Tye. "We're able to to flag potential risks or concerns and we approach it with very personal perspective. If you start to look things up on the internet you can end up reading a lot of scary stuff, so the goal is to give you insights that are specific to what's going on with you." The personalized information is what helped the app immediately feel relevant and useful to me: I got daily links to studies about fertility over 35 or getting pregnant after a loss.

Some women do need medical intervention to get pregnant. But Glow can help diagnose some of those problems, says Tye. Certain fertility issues, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), have symptoms like extra-long cycles which Glow's algorithm will isolate. A woman experiencing this might get a message telling her to ask her doctor about PCOS. Glow can then train the app to ask better questions related to symptoms that might be red flags.

The detailed information Glow is collecting can reveal very nuanced insights, like how often couples in their 20s are having sex during their fertile window or how long it takes for the average 35-year-old woman to get pregnant. In fact, Glow is presenting details culled from their first year of data collection at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine later this year. While they don't release figures for how many women have downloaded their app, Glow does have one number they're proud to promote: In less than a year, Tye says Glow has helped 20,000 women get pregnant. There's even a name for these successes: "Glow babies."

Via Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
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How an iPhone app could diagnose jaundice in babies

How an iPhone app could diagnose jaundice in babies | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
How an iPhone app could diagnose jaundice in babies11

Luke Dormehl (6:01 am PDT, Aug 28th)

One day apps like this could be routinely used in hospitals as a way of eliminating certain diseases.

The drive toward mobile health has seen more and more research into the possible medical applications of smartphones. The latest comes from a team of researchers at the University of Washington, who have developed an app capable of diagnosing jaundice in infants simply by taking their picture.


If untreated, severe jaundice can cause brain damage along with a potentially fatal condition called kernicterus. Since it is typically diagnosed by a yellowing of the skin, the iPhone app — called Bilicam — asks users to place a color calibration card on the baby’s stomach, which helps the software to work out lighting and flash conditions, then snap a photo, which is uploaded to the cloud for analysis.

Analysis is carried out by an algorithm, which provides results almost instantly — and could well be used in hospitals as a screening tool to determine whether infants need to take any further blood tests.

Currently the app is still in development, with the team planning to test it on 1,000 infants of different ethnicities, before pursuing the all-important FDA approval.

Apple believes its current push into mobile health, with devices like the eagerly-anticipated iWatch, is a “moral obligation.”

Via Alex Butler, Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
LE ROUX Arnaud's curator insight, August 28, 5:51 PM

Une équipe de chercheurs de l'université de Washington ont développé une application capable de diagnostiquer la jaunisse  à des enfants en bas âge simplement en les prenant en photo.

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Addictions : Moment sensibilise les accrocs aux smartphones

Addictions : Moment sensibilise les accrocs aux smartphones | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Dans notre univers toujours plus connecté, certains sont particulièrement sensibles aux attraits des technologies de communication, jusqu’à devenir accrocs. Différentes solutions permettent aujourd’hui de lutter contre cette nouvelle forme d’addiction, à l’image de l’application Moment.



Suivez Gizmodo sur les réseaux sociaux ! Sur Twitter, Facebook ou Google+ !

Cela pourrait sembler paradoxal, mais de nombreuses solutions devant permettre aux utilisateurs de lutter contre leur addiction au smartphone reposent sur… une application mobile. C’est le cas de Moment, une nouvelle application disponible exclusivement sur l’App Store.

La promesse de Moment est d’aider les utilisateurs d’iPhone à mieux connaître leurs habitudes de consommation du mobile. Ainsi, l’application envisage de sensibiliser les utilisateurs les plus accrocs en les mettant face à leur réalité.

Moment analyse automatiquement le temps passé à utiliser l’iPhone sur lequel elle est installée, ainsi que le nombre de consultations compulsives réalisées par l’utilisateur au cours de ses journées. Finalement, Moment présente à l’utilisateur le nombre de minutes ou d’heures pendant lesquelles il aura utilisé son smartphone, passant du vert à l’orange puis au rouge, suivant que cette consommation ait été très importante ou non.

L’objectif de cette application est finalement de faire prendre conscience aux utilisateurs et de les sensibiliser en ce sens afin qu’ils essayent de moins utiliser leur smartphone.

Tags :addictionapplicationMomentVia :Mashable



Via L'Info Autrement, Alain Hirsch
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Seniors And The Internet Of Things: Empowerment And Security

Seniors And The Internet Of Things: Empowerment And Security | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

I was quoted extensively in a Sunday Boston Globe feature on the IoT. It was in a special section aimed at seniors, and I’d been really passionate with the reporter about the IoT’s potential to transform seniors’ lives through new products such as bedroom slippers with sensors that can detect minute variations in a senior’s gait and alert a caregiver by app in time to avoid a fall, or a gorgeous necklace that can detect the onset of congestive heart failure). However, the article just ended up as a general introduction to the IoT.

Too bad.

While I was doing the interview, it dawned on me that this might really be a wonderful niche in the Internet of Things.  You see, I spend part of my time caring for two seniors who have faced serious health challenges, and it has really opened my eyes to the potential benefits of ambitious IoT programs for seniors.

We don’t have any time to lose: I’ve heard that a third of all doctors in the US will retire in the next decade, while they and about 10,000 others will turn 65 each day. There is simply no way that we can sustain this loss of medical professionals just when they are needed more than ever without fundamental change in the health care system!

To me, what the IoT represents is an opportunity for a fundamental change in the doctor-patient relationship, with empowered patients becoming full partners in their care through self-monitoring.

It will end the historic pattern, driven by necessity, of placing most emphasis on encounters in the doctor’s office, where the patient is forced to recall his or her symptoms, perhaps from several weeks ago, with no objective way of measuring them (not to mention factors such as “white-coat hypertension,” that may be induced by the very setting of the encounter. My blood pressure always goes up in my doctor’s office because she’s on the third floor, and I go up the stairs quickly rather than taking the elevator). Instead, the patient will generate a constant stream of data, and, over time, we will evolve efficient ways of reporting the spikes in readings to the doctor in a way that might actually trigger preventive care to avoid an incident, or at least provide an objective means of judging its severity to improve the quality of care.

Let’s also not forget about the benefits to seniors living alone and their families living miles away, of smart home devices.

I’m going to make this a major focus of my future IoT work, in large part because my personal experience working with seniors’ health needs has sensitized me to the wide range of issues that successful IoT solutions for senior must address:

Ease of use: Especially for those who aren’t comfortable with technology or who face issues such as diminished vision or arthritisNonstigmatizing: Hey, grey hair is enough of an identifier: seniors don’t need other things that would further identify and isolate themPrivacy and security: Seniors are already targets of enough scams and efforts to exploit them: they don’t need to become even more vulnerable, especially regarding something as critical as their healthAffordability: Especially with devices that they might be expected to pay for entirely or in part. That can be difficult on a fixed incomeCan they encourage mutual support?: I’ve seen first-hand how mutual support from an exercise group can encourage frail elders to keep exercising. Done right, I suspect apps that let you voluntarily share data might be very effective motivators.Fostering independence: Smart home apps that might help seniors manage household functions easily, as well as ones that could be monitored remotely by their adult children, might increase the chance they could stay in their homes independently for longer, an important factor in both reducing hospitalization costs and fostering self-worth.

What other factors do you think might be relevant to creating effective IoT devices for seniors?  Let me know.

The other day I had an e-mail exchange with one of my fav IoT pioneers, Dulcie Madden of Rest Devices, maker of the PEEKO “onesie” for babies, which (among other things) can reduce the possibility of SIDS among babies. Years ago, I was a day-care teacher, and now that I help care for seniors, I’ve noticed how similar they needs can be. IMHO, infant care and senior care are two of the most promising areas for life-improving IoT solutions. For both social and economic reasons, they should be a priority.

Let’s go!

The implications of collaboration in the networked economy will continue to shape every aspect of the world we live in today and the changing world we will live in tomorrow. Get involved in the conversations on The Future of Business and read, watch and learn about the networked economy.

Via Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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SaviOne the Butler Bot: Service Robot for Hospitality Industry

SaviOne the Butler Bot: Service Robot for Hospitality Industry | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Last year we talked about James, the new Barman and now we would be witnessing a robot butler developed by Savioke (pronounced “savvy oak”) entering the hospitality industry to maximize customers’ experience. As of August 20, Savioke’s first delivery robot (Botlr) nicknamed as A.L.O by the hotel, will be seen operating in hotel Aloft in Cupertino, California. In its pilot program, ROS powered autonomous robot, Botlr will be assisting hotel staff in delivering amenities such as mobile charger, towels, brush or even snacks, to the guest’s room and thus saving staff time for other important work. 


The butler robot dressed up in a vinyl wrap with a bow-tie, weighs 100 lbs and stand nearly 3 feet tall with a storage capacity of 2 cubic feet. Connected wirelessly with the hotel elevators, it moves on four wheels, traversing efficiently and independently between floors at a speed similar to the human walking pace, delivering goods from one corner of the hotel to the guest room.

Hotel staff input the room number for the delivery on the robot touch pad. When A.L.O carrying required item reaches the assigned guest’s room, it makes a phone call to let the guest know about its arrival at the door. The sensors and cameras installed help the robot to know when the door is to be opened and subsequently unlocks its storage bin’s lid for the delivery of the item. The touch pad displays instruction for the guest to collect its item and close the lid, after which the robot heads back to the front desk and plugs itself for recharging.

Tweets replace tips

The guests who happen to get assistance from the robot, are asked to rate its service on the touch pad. No tip required in return, rather tweets and selfies at #meetbotlr are welcomed. Robot upon receiving high ratings often expresses its gratitude with a small dance.

If this pilot program receives overwhelming response from the guests, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the parent company of Aloft Hotels plans to employ these robots in their other hotels by next year. But the question arises, will this robot will downsize humanitarian staff in the hotels? CEO Steve Cousin says that Savioke aims to develop robots that can help individuals with disabilities. The robot in hotels will give staff members to build a better-personalized relationship with the customers, rather than rushing to deliver product to individual rooms, which is often tedious. Nevertheless, its impact on the jobs of staff can be only seen in the future. Right now, you can pack your bag and book a room in Aloft hotel to get firsthand experience of the service breakthrough provided by Botlr.

In coming years, we may see more innovative bots from Savioke not just restricted to hotels, but hospitals, elder care facilities, restaurants and offices will also find specialized helping robots as per requirements.

Source: [IEEE Spectrum] & [Savioke]

Via TechinBiz
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World’s First 3D Printed Vertebral Implantations

World’s First 3D Printed Vertebral Implantations | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Advancements in 3D printing has allowed for progress to be made in the field of biomedical engineering. In the world, there have been hip and knee replacements made with 3D printing; however, this is the first time that an artificial vertebral body has been 3D printed to be used in humans. The main advantages in 3D printing are the preciseness and flexibility in creating extremely complex shapes and features. This allows each implantation to be personalized towards each patient.

Doctors at Peking University Third Hospital (China) recently announced the results of their clinical trials with this new technology. These implants are created with a commonly used material in orthopedic implants, titanium. They are also printed so that they contain a porous structure so that bone cells can regrow and fuse with the implant. All these techniques allow for very few complications in humans. There have already been more than 50 patients that have had the implants, and a year later, all the patients have been recovering well with great results in treating their problems.

One specific success story that has garnered much attention is the addition of a vertebra in a 12 year old boy in China. He originally had a spinal cord injury while playing soccer and then was diagnosed with a vertebral tumor. Doctors were able to place an implant between the first and third vertebra to help the boy regain a full range of motion in his neck after he had the surgery.

More information from 3D Printing News: World’s First 3D Printed Vertebrae…

Press Release from Peking University: Hospital uses 3D printed orthopedic implants…

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Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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HIPAA compliant text messaging app TigerText can make pagers obsolete

HIPAA compliant text messaging app TigerText can make pagers obsolete | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
An app that enables secure communication with real potential to improve care. The post HIPAA compliant text messaging app TigerText can make pagers obsolete appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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HealthTap Wants To Be Your New On-Call Doctor

HealthTap Wants To Be Your New On-Call Doctor | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

HealthTap, an app that lets users ask questions of doctors and get almost immediate answers in written form, is a hypochondriac's dream. (Sample question that pops up on my screen: What's the best way to increase and boost testosterone levels to the peak?") Over 100 million people have asked questions of the 60,000 doctors signed up to the service since its launch in 2011.

But founder Ron Gutman now wants to take HealthTap further, providing actual health care in addition to information. This week, he launched HealthTap Prime, a subscription program that includes video consults with doctors, constantly curated health news, and app recommendations from doctors, customized wellness checklists, and prescriptions. The basic HealthTap service will remain free.

Gutman divided the new service into three modules: learn, get help, and take action. The "learn" module includes customizable Facebook-like feeds for patients that offer doctor-recommended health news and apps. The "get help" module offers immediate access form any mobile device to licensed physicians using text, voice, and video. Appointments don't need to be scheduled in advance. Doctors can also prescribe medication.

We don't see ourselves as telemedicine. The idea here is that there's a much bigger end to end experience.

At launch, this feature will be available to about 70% of the U.S. population (doctors can only practice in the states where they're licensed, so the whole population will only be covered when HealthTap has on-call doctors in every state).

Finally, the "take action" module consists of checklists--for example, a list of ways to handle heart disease--offered up to patients by their HealthTap doctors, who have access to any health records the patients provide, along with their HealthTap history.

"We don't see ourselves as telemedicine," says Gutman. "The idea here is that there's a much bigger end to end experience."

Not every HealthTap doctor can participate in Prime; they have to apply and go through training. Gutman won't disclose how much they're paid. "They get paid for every consult. It's exactly like the real world," he says. They can practice from the app, do live video from an app, iPad, or iPhone."

It's not the only app offering remote consultations with doctors. For example, a startup backed by the prestigious Mayo Clinic launched its own service earlier this year. For HealthTap's service, patients pay $99 per month, plus $10 per month extra for each additional family member. Unlike most other services that offer video appointments with doctors, no one-off consultations are available.

"It's more than just transactional. We want people to stay in touch beyond the acute situation," says Gutman. It's kind of like the normal doctor-patient relationship, in other words--except without the commute and long wait for an appointment. We haven't had the chance to test out the virtual visits, however, so their utility remains to be seen.

[Image: Doctor via Shutterstock]

Via Sam Stern, eMedToday
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Updated PediQuikCalc app is a great tool for Pediatricians

Updated PediQuikCalc app is a great tool for Pediatricians | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
PediQuikCalc Version 3.0 is a comprehensive pediatric and drug dosing calculator The post Updated PediQuikCalc app is a great tool for Pediatricians appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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Quatre applications destinées aux seniors

Quatre applications destinées aux seniors | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Quatre applications destinées aux seniors29 juillet 2014 Pas de commentaire  Les applications de santé à l'adresse des personnes âgées et de leur entourage sont de plus en plus nombreuses. — D. Closon / SipaMOTS-CLÉSDmd SantéDmdpost.comSanté connectéeCONTRIBUTEUR –  Le site de Dmd Santé teste les applications mobiles de santé connectée. Pour les lecteurs de Se Coacher, il revient sur les applications pour seniors.

Sur les stores, il n’y en n’a pas que pour les bébés, les femmes enceintes, et les sportifs. Les personnes âgées et leur entourage y trouvent également de quoi faciliter leur quotidien, s’informer ou simplement se tester.

Alzheimer Infos pour en savoir plus

La maladie d’Alzheimer apparaît plus fréquemment chez les personnes âgées. Editée par la Fondation Plan Alzheimer, l’application Alzheimer Infos donne accès de façon claire et synthétique aux informations récentes concernant l’avancée des recherches et des différents aspects de la maladie : origine de l’affection, diagnostic, thérapeutique, prise en charge médico-sociale et vie au quotidien. Des experts français ou étrangers interviennent et informent via des séquences audio ou vidéo.

Gratuite et disponible sur l’App Store.Diamon pour surveiller le diabète 

Elle recueille un enthousiasmant 17/20 sur L’application Diamon est un carnet d’auto-surveillance du diabète. Elle peut être très utile pour les personnes âgées atteintes de diabète de type 2. Disponible sur tablette, celle-ci a pour but de remplacer les carnets papiers.

Il est alors possible de consigner ses résultats des tests de glycémie et de bandelettes urinaires, le nombre d’unités et le type d’insuline de chaque injection, la valeur de son hémoglobine glyquée trimestrielle. Les données sont sécurisées et stockées sur des serveurs. Cloud oblige, le compte Diamon est accessible sur n’importe quel iPad.

On apprécie le design soigné dont le rendu visuel facilite le suivi de ses glycémies capillaires. Bénéficiant d’une prise en main facile, cette application conviendra aux seniors désireux de surveiller leur diabète au quotidien, et d’échanger avec son professionnel de santé.

Gratuite et disponible sur l’App Store.Mal de dos : soulager et prévenir la douleur avec Doctissimo

L’application développée par Doctissimo permet de comprendre la source des douleurs inexpliquées du dos, et de définir un programme personnalisé. Elle est particulièrement intéressante pour les seniors qui aimeraient apprendre quelles sont les bonnes pratiques quotidiennes qui soulagent et protègent efficacement le dos. Développée en collaboration avec François Stévignon, kinésithérapeute et ostéopathe, l’application délivre des conseils pratiques ainsi qu’un coaching de qualité.

2€99, disponible sur l’iOSTestez votre vue

Recueillant une note de 15,5/20 sur, l’application Testez votre vue permet, sans remplacer un rendez-vous chez un professionnel, de faire un état des lieux rapide de sa santé visuelle. Grâce à des tests qui prennent moins de 5 minutes à réaliser, il est possible de rechercher d’éventuels troubles d’accommodation comme la myopie ou astigmatisme, ou de la vision des couleurs (daltonisme). Une fonctionnalité géolocalise également les opticiens présents à proximité.

Il s’agit donc d’une application très bien conçue, qui invite à consulter un ophtalmologue en cas de test défaillant.

Néanmoins elle ne peut être utilisée qu’en supplément d’une consultation.

Gratuite et disponible sur iOS.
>>>Retrouvez les autres sélections d’applications santé de Dmd 
Via Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
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Evaluation of an eHealth Intervention in Chronic Care for Frail Older People: Why Adherence is the First Target

Evaluation of an eHealth Intervention in Chronic Care for Frail Older People: Why Adherence is the First Target | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Older people suffering from frailty often receive fragmented chronic care from multiple professionals. According to the literature, there is an urgent need for coordination of care.


The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an online health community (OHC) intervention for older people with frailty aimed at facilitating multidisciplinary communication.


The design was a controlled before-after study with 12 months follow-up in 11 family practices in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Participants consisted of frail older people living in the community requiring multidisciplinary (long-term) care. The intervention used was the health and welfare portal (ZWIP): an OHC for frail elderly patients, their informal caregivers and professionals. ZWIP contains a secure messaging system supplemented by a shared electronic health record. Primary outcomes were scores on the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale (IADL), mental health, and social activity limitations.


There were 290 patients in the intervention group and 392 in the control group. Of these, 76/290 (26.2%) in the intervention group actively used ZWIP. After 12 months follow-up, we observed no significant improvement on primary patient outcomes. ADL improved in the intervention group with a standardized score of 0.21 (P=.27); IADL improved with 0.50 points, P=.64.


Only a small percentage of frail elderly people in the study intensively used ZWIP, our newly developed and innovative eHealth tool. The use of this OHC did not significantly improve patient outcomes. This was most likely due to the limited use of the OHC, and a relatively short follow-up time. Increasing actual use of eHealth intervention seems a precondition for large-scale evaluation, and earlier adoption before frailty develops may improve later use and effectiveness of ZWIP.

Keywords: eHealth, frail elderly, care coordination, chronic careGo to:Introduction

Chronic care for frail older people is fragmented, with involvement from a large and constantly changing group of professionals who are frequently unaware that they provide care to the same patient [1]. Such professionals include home care professionals, general practitioners (GPs), clinicians, physiotherapists, and case managers dedicated to long-term care of the patients in the community. Frail elderly often suffer from comorbidities, which results in care by multiple health care professionals [2]. Therefore lack of communication between professionals leads to a fragmented and ineffective health care delivery for frail elderly [3]. To reduce fragmentation and promote continuity of care, better coordination and communication between professionals and with patients is necessary. Online health communities (OHCs) have been recognized as an effective mechanism for supporting continuous care for frail older people [4], allowing better coordination and more efficient communication with patients and among professionals. OHCs consist of Internet-based platforms that unite groups of individuals with a shared goal or similar interest, including both professionals and patients [5]. The main strength of OHCs is that they allow communication between people who would not have met each other otherwise [5]. Thus, OHCs are particularly suited for improving the coordination of care for frail elderly who have multiple professional caregivers. For this purpose, we developed and evaluated the Health and Welfare Information Portal (Zorg en Welzijns Informatie Portaal, ZWIP, in Dutch) [1,6] on its effectiveness.

Go to:MethodsIntervention

ZWIP is an OHC [5] that aims to facilitate communication for patients, their informal caregivers, and their professionals. ZWIP contains a secure messaging system supplemented by a shared electronic health record. All messages shared in a patient’s ZWIP are visible for all users, thus stimulating involvement of and discussion between patients and a team of health professionals. All informal caregivers and health care professionals have access to the electronic health record. To ensure confidentiality, professionals can participate in a patient’s personal care network in ZWIP only at the invitation of the patient. Patients who were not able to manage their own ZWIP account could appoint an informal caregiver to act on their behalf. Figure 1 demonstrates the conceptual model underlying ZWIP, and the video in Multimedia Appendix 1 illustrates the use of ZWIP by a patient and an informal caregiver.

Figure 1A conceptual model of the ZWIP.Development and Implementation

The development of ZWIP and the process of implementation have been described elsewhere [1,6]. In brief, ZWIP was developed using intervention mapping [7], a stepwise approach for the systematic development of interventions informed by both evidence and theory [1]. Main steps of intervention mapping for ZWIP were (1) needs assessment in frail elderly, (2) developing program objectives, (3) selecting theory informed intervention methods and strategies, (4) creating and pilot testing program components, (5) planning program adoption and implementation, and (6) planning for evaluation [1]. Theoretically, ZWIP was based on social cognitive theory [8], with special attention paid to improving self-efficacy, the belief people have in their ability to complete tasks and achieve specific goals [9]. Following the steps of intervention mapping and as suggested in the guideline on development and evaluation of complex interventions [8], the ZWIP was piloted by 2 frail elderly and 7 professionals, including one GP. Furthermore, newly developed elements of ZWIP were regularly piloted by similar user panels.

To enhance implementation of the ZWIP, we used several strategies for professionals such as a continuing medical education (CME) accredited education program based on active learning theory [10], direct experience, and modeling [1]. Additionally, drawing from organization theory, we installed a telephonic helpdesk and provided e-coaching and financial compensation to support the uptake of ZWIP by professionals [7,11]. To facilitate the use of ZWIP among elderly patients, a number of approaches were used: flyers were distributed in the primary care centers, a hard-copy version of ZWIP was provided in order for patients to familiarize themselves with ZWIP, coaching on the use of ZWIP was made available, involvement of informal caregivers was encouraged, and the GPs actively advocated the use of ZWIP, thus drawing on modeling, guided practice, and tailoring support for use of the intervention [1,6]. During the implementation phase, we designated one key person in each family practice who coordinated implementation activities and helped colleagues with questions [6].

Inclusion and Design

Between July 2010 and July 2011, frail older patients were included in an observational, controlled before-after study with 12 months follow-up to investigate ZWIP’s effects on patient outcomes. Participating primary care centers were recruited from the university primary care network around the city of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. These centers identified their frail older people using the EASYcare Two-step Older person Screening (TOS) instrument [12]. Therefore, both intervention and control practices had to implement an identification scheme and redesign care for their frail elderly. Interventions centers were selected based on willingness to participate in ZWIP, whereas control practices were selected from a separate project: the EASYcare-TOS validation study [13]{van Kempen, 2013 #7718}. Frail status as determined by the EASYcare-TOS was the only inclusion criterion for included patients. Patients in the intervention group patients needed to agree to the creation of a ZWIP account. No exclusion criteria were specified.

All measurements were performed by trained nurses in the patients’ homes, using a face-to-face questionnaire at baseline and at follow-up. The study was exempt from ethics review by the local ethics committee because of its observational nature and nonintrusive data collection. Nevertheless, oral informed consent was obtained to analyze the data during data collection.


Primary outcomes were Activities of Daily Living (ADL) as measured by the Katz index [14], combined ADL and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) as measured by the Katz-15, a combined measure of the ADL and Lawton-index [14,15], SF-36 mental health and social activity limitation dimensions [16]. The Katz index consists of yes or no responses on ADL items such as bathing or dressing. ADL scores range from 0-6 with higher scores indicating higher dependency. The Katz-15 consists of yes or no responses on ADL and additional IADL items such as using the telephone and managing money [14]. The Katz-15 scores range from 0-15 with higher scores indicating more limitations. Both scales are established in the literature and have adequate reliability and validity [17]. The SF-36 mental health dimension, consisting of the following subscales: happy, calm, blue, down, nervous scoring from 0-5 with higher numbers indicating a higher score. The scores were summed into a summary score ranging from 0-100, with 100 indicating full mental health, and 0 low mental health [16]. To assess differences in social activity limitations, the social activity limitation item from the SF-36 was used [16]. This item measures the frequency in which respondents experienced social activity limitations due to health. The item used in this current study is scored from 0 (none of the time) to 5 (all of the time). The various SF-36 subscales have excellent reliability and validity [17]. Secondary outcomes were several self-developed scales of patient satisfaction and GPs’ subjective experience with care coordination. Patient satisfaction items were scored on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (way too little or way too much) to 5 (optimal), similar to this article [18]. GP experience with coordination of care was scored between 1 (uncoordinated) to 10 (optimal coordination). Important covariates were measured including a frailty index based on the accumulation of deficits concept [19,20]. The frailty index is the number of deficits present divided by a total possible number of deficits [2]. As such, the frailty index can account for all kinds of health-related imbalances between the intervention and control group and provides an accurate measure of individuals’ frailty.


For comparing baseline characteristics, chi-square tests were used to compare nominal variables, and t tests were used for normally distributed continuous variables. Effects were determined using linear mixed models within a highly efficient analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) framework [21] to allow for clustering within a primary care center. Adjustments were made for frailty status and centered baseline status of the outcome variable and additional covariates with baseline imbalance. All analyses were performed with SAS 9.2.

Go to:Results

Overall, 290/622 (46.6%) of all frail persons identified within 11 practices participated in the intervention group. From 6 practices 392 frail older people participated in the control group. At 12-month follow-up, in the intervention group 179/290 (61.7% of original) patients provided data at follow-up, versus 270/392 (68.8% of original) patients in the control group. At baseline, participants in the intervention group were more likely to have completed primary education only, have more informal caregivers, and have higher complexity of care compared to the participants in the control group. Further, participants in the intervention groups also had a higher average frailty index score, and GPs had lower experience with coordination of care (Table 1).

Table 1Demographic and care-related characteristics in the intervention and control group.

One quarter 45/117 (25%) of all patients in the intervention group used ZWIP at least once a month during a period of 12 months. Controlling for frailty and other unbalanced baseline characteristics, we found no significant differences in primary patient outcomes (Table 2). Change in coordination of care as reported by GPs improved in the control group.

Table 2Change in outcomes by 12 months application of the ZWIP Web-based tool for patient-professional and interprofessional communication.Go to:DiscussionSummary of Results

There were 290 patients who participated in the intervention group and 392 in the control group. In the intervention group 76/290 (26.2%) of the patients actively used ZWIP. After a follow-up of 12 months, we observed no significant improvement on primary patient outcomes, ADL, IADL, and mental health.

Strengths and Limitations

The online ZWIP platform was specifically developed for reducing fragmentation of care delivery in older people. Almost half of a frail elderly population without exclusion criteria could be included in the intervention group for using the online ZWIP tool [6]. This is modestly higher than what can be expected in the Dutch context, where 39% persons older than 75 years report having Internet access [22]. This study has two important limitations that can impact results. First, due to the observational nature of the study, comparability between the intervention and the control groups was limited. Despite adjusting for a range of covariates, there may be residual confounding.

Observational, controlled before-after designs are common for complex interventions, where randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are often not appropriate or feasible for evaluation [23]. In the case of ZWIP, contamination between patients would have made individual-level randomization inappropriate. Cluster randomization was not feasible because the level of commitment required from a number of local stakeholders could not be sustained in the control group.

A second limitation was the fact that actual usage of ZWIP was low, even though the implementation of ZWIP was prepared systematically during the development of ZWIP, as this is a structural part of intervention mapping [1,6,7,24,25]. Additionally, implementation strategies were added or adapted when needed during the actual implementation phase. A wide range of implementation strategies were used to encourage uptake; for example, a training program was developed for professionals and an active recruitment phase led to a high participation of older persons. Therefore, low levels of use were attained not because of the lack of, but despite using state of the art implementation techniques. Failure to integrate eHealth interventions in health care is widespread [26], and therefore the low levels of use of these frail older subjects is not surprising. This is especially true for sustained usage of an eHealth intervention [27]. As in other studies [26], further efforts should be focused on improving usability of the intervention, in terms of compatibility for frail older people in chronic disease trajectories [28].

Future Directions

In addition to further refinement, it is essential to identify those who benefit most from ZWIP and eHealth applications in general. The use of eHealth applications in frail populations could be increased by first identifying frail people with a high likelihood of early adoption of the eHealth intervention, such as people with high computer literacy. Which frail elderly are likely adopters requires further research [26]. Therefore, we plan to perform a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of ZWIP usage as well, going beyond the scope of this paper. We must recognize that in the early stages of evaluation, we take more of an efficacy approach to the evaluation, rather than a pragmatic trial approach. Although the efficacy approach limits generalizability, it allows a thorough investigation of the intervention’s working mechanisms under more controlled, laboratory-like conditions. Such work may also reveal ideal levels of use of ZWIP, as it is possible that communication was already adequate in the case of some patients, making ZWIP usage superfluous. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods in this development phase may elicit remaining barriers and reveal more effective implementation strategies. Only after adapting to this group and proven efficacy is large-scale implementation warranted. Successful wide-scale implementation is a precondition for investigating the effectiveness of eHealth interventions. Otherwise finding no differences between treatment arms cannot be interpreted as a lack of effectiveness. These arguments show that, sufficient time and resources are required to develop, test, and retest new eHealth interventions before finally evaluating their effectiveness in pragmatic trials [29,30].


Overall, the study confirmed that introducing eHealth interventions in the elderly is a difficult task. Despite using a theory-driven intervention design and state of the art implementation techniques, usage remained low and effectiveness was not observed. Performing a thorough proof of principle study in early adopters may be crucial to improving the use of eHealth interventions in the elderly before evaluating effects on a larger scale.

Go to:Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Health Service and Development (ZonMw) project #311050201. The funder had no role in conducting the study, analysis of the data, or publication of the manuscript.

We would like to thank Wilma Derksen-Driessen, Emile ter Horst Mark Kuster, Charlotte Neger, Jean Nielen, Joep Scheltinga, and Leontien van Nieuwenhuijzen for their assistance in the development and implementation of the program. We would also like to thank Jennifer Lutomski for English editing.

Go to:AbbreviationsADLActivities of Daily LivingANCOVAanalysis of covarianceEASYcare-TOSEASYcare Two-step Older person ScreeningGPgeneral practitionerIADLInstrumental Activities of Daily LivingOHCOnline Health CommunityZWIPHealth and Welfare portalGo to:Multimedia Appendix 1

Short video of ZWIP in use.

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Mobile Applications for Diabetes Self-Management: Status and Potential

Mobile Applications for Diabetes Self-Management: Status and Potential | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Vol. 7, Issue 1 Jan. 2013.

El-Gayar, Timsina and Nawar.



Advancements in smartphone technology coupled with the proliferation of data connectivity has resulted in increased interest and unprecedented growth in mobile applications for diabetes self-management. The objective of this article is to determine, in a systematic review, whether diabetes applications have been helping patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes self-manage their condition and to identify issues necessary for large-scale adoption of such interventions.
The review covers commercial applications available on the Apple App Store (as a representative of commercially available applications) and articles published in relevant databases covering a period fromJanuary 1995 to August 2012. The review included all applications supporting any diabetes self-management task where the patient is the primary actor.
Available applications support self-management tasks such as physical exercise, insulin dosage or medication, blood glucose testing, and diet. Other support tasks considered include decision support, notification/alert, tagging of input data, and integration with social media. The review points to the potential for mobile applications to have a positive impact on diabetes self-management. Analysis indicates that application usage is associated with improved attitudes favorable to diabetes self-management. Limitations of the applications include lack of personalized feedback; usability issues, particularly the ease of data entry; and integration with patients and electronic health records.
Research into the adoption and use of user-centered and sociotechnical design principles is needed to improve usability, perceived usefulness, and, ultimately, adoption of the technology. Proliferation and efficacy of interventions involving mobile applications will benefit from a holistic approach that takes into account patients’ expectations and providers’ needs.

J Diabetes Sci Technol 2013;7(1):247–262    

Via rob halkes, Rowan Norrie
rob halkes's curator insight, August 29, 10:29 AM

There is good perspective to mobile health (ehealth) applications to self management in diabetes. However, as this research review suggests: we need to know more about use and socio technological influences. As I repeat myself: ehealth mhealth is NOT about technology: it is about implementation. Let's go for that!

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#mhealth : Doctor-patient video visits to triple to 16 million next year

#mhealth : Doctor-patient video visits to triple to 16 million next year | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

According to research firm Parks Associates the number of doctor-patient video consultations in the US will almost triple over the next year.

“The number of doctor-patient video consultations will nearly triple from this year to the next, from 5.7 million in 2014 to over 16 million in 2015, and will exceed 130 million in 2018,” Harry Wang, Director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates said in a recent statement.

The firm has also teased a number of other digital health metrics in recent weeks.

Parks said that 42 percent of households in the US with broadband services had used at least one online service offered to them by their physicians. The most commonly offered and used service was requesting a prescription refill online, according to the firm.

Nearly 30 percent of these US broadband households also own and use at least one connected health device, according to Parks. 

Parks also predicted recently that the number of connected digital trackers sold worldwide would double again in 2014 — and top 22 million. The number sold in 2012 was 6.6 million by Parks’ count and 13.6 million last year.

“Connected trackers will account for 52 percent of all digital fitness tracker unit sales in 2014 and reach 81 percent by 2018 (66 million units),” Wang said in a statement. “Smart watches are another wearables category poised for tremendous growth, with sales of almost 18 million units worldwide in 2014 and 121 million in 2018. These connected devices open new avenues for new fitness apps, health solutions, and data analytics.”

Only 2 percent of US broadband households had bought a smartwatch in 2013 and another 4 percent are likely to buy one over the course of the next 12 months, Parks predicted based on a survey of 10,000 such households in the US during the first quarter of 2014. Within that small group of buyers, 20 percent bought their smartwatch right from its maker, 18 percent from Amazon, and 17 percent from Best Buy. Almost half of those with smartwatches had received it as a gift.

Via Xavier SEDES, Laurent FLOURET
Laurent FLOURET's curator insight, August 29, 11:07 AM

"The most commonly offered and used service was requesting a prescription refill online, according to the firm."

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These Fascinating New Nanobots seek out & Destroy Cancerous Tumors

These Fascinating New Nanobots seek out & Destroy Cancerous Tumors | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Whether they're sneaking between cells or turning cockroaches into living 8-bit computers, nanobots are insanely fascinating. Now, they're about to become an army of impossibly small weaponized robots, swarm into the human body, hunt down malignant tumors and destroy them once and for all.

New research from the University of California's Davis Cancer Center published in Nature Communications has enabled doctors to develop a nanoparticle called "nanoporphyrin", which will both hunt down and destroy cancerous tumors within the human body. This was achieved by installing a tumor-recognition module in a nanobot, which would inject drugs directly into the affected cells.

Unlike standard chemotherapy, which simply blasts all of a certain type of cell and often ends up doing more damage than good, this new treatment leaves healthy cells completely unharmed. has an in-depth, technical explanation of how the system works, so head over and check it out. []

Top image: Shutterstock


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Pharma puts Watson brain to work to speed up R&D, cut drug development costs

Pharma puts Watson brain to work to speed up R&D, cut drug development costs | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Johnson & Johnson and Sanofiare using IBM Watson’s computer brain/big data cruncher to support research and development. It will be used to identify new applications for drugs that have already been developed and to leaf through scientific papers that detail clinical trial outcomes, according to a statement from IBM. The partnerships follow a new development in Watson’s evolution that help it visually uncover patterns and pinpoint connections in related data to accelerate the discovery process and advance science research.

“Watson now has the ability to understand the language of chemistry, biology, legal and intellectual property, giving scientists the ability to make connections with data that others don’t see, which can lead to rapid breakthrough in discoveries,” the statement said.

In one demonstration of the technology, cancer researchers at Baylor College of Medicine published a study showing how they used Watson to analyze tens of millions of abstracts from scientific research on one cancer suppressing protein called p53. The Baylor cancer researchers discovered six potential proteins to target for new research as a result of Watson’s work. To put that in context, the announcement said it’s more common to find one potential protein target in a year. So the work is encouraging that Watson can speed up cancer research.

J&J is also using Watson to do some heavy reading but with broader applications. It will analyze scientific papers that detail clinical trial outcomes to improve and accelerate comparative effectiveness studies of various treatments. This work tends to be laborious and can take three people 10 months to go through these papers. It will allow researchers to start asking questions about the data immediately to determine the effectiveness of a treatment compared to other medications, as well as potential side effects, according to the statement.


Sanofi’s work with Watson will help it identify alternate applications for existing drugs. Watson will extract and organize toxicological information to help researchers make more informed decisions on which drug candidates to use to pursue new indications.

Although Watson has collaborated before with hospitals and institutes such as New York Genome Center on identifying appropriate treatments for cancer and brain tumors, it’s the first public announcement of pharmaceutical companies embracing the supercomputer that became known for its appearances on Jeopardy!.

Via Celine Sportisse
Laurent FLOURET's curator insight, August 29, 11:16 AM

It’s the first public announcement of pharmaceutical companies embracing the supercomputer that became known for its appearances on Jeopardy!


What do patients want in "mobile health" - #mhealth #hcsmeu

What do patients want in "mobile health" - #mhealth #hcsmeu | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
there is a big gap in what patients expect and what's available.

Via eMedToday, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, IHEALTHLABS EUROPE
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#mhealth : Apple is assembling a dream team of wearables and Health experts

#mhealth : Apple is assembling a dream team of wearables and Health experts | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

The above list of 17 hires collected by Morgan Stanley shows 9 positions related specifically to wearable or medical health fields. This obviously isn’t all of the hires Apple has made in recent months, but it paints a good picture of what Apple is interested in.


Two key hires Apple made from Nike include Jay Blahnik and Ben Shaffer. Both men were key in the making of the FuelBand. It’s curious that Nike has ceased future development of the FuelBand with Apple’s wearable rumored to see the light of day in October.


Just look at all the medical researchers Apple has brought on. Everything from sleep to blood research is being worked on, which will all be trackable in Apple’s new Health app in iOS.


It’s widely believed that the sensor-laden iWatch (or whatever it’s called) will focus heavily on health and work closely with the HealthKit API to help keep track of important vitals.

Via Alex Butler
José Manuel Taboada's curator insight, August 29, 3:26 AM

el  iWatch-sensor cargado  (o como se llame) se centrará en gran medida de la salud

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Google Glass inventor sees big things for the wearable in health care

Google Glass inventor sees big things for the wearable in health care | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

SAN FRANCISCO — Google didn’t design its Glass wearable for medicine, but that use continues to be a hot topic of conversation among medical technologists and the investors who love them.

The”Augmented Humanity” panel at today’s Rock Health’s Health Innovation Summit spent much of its time on Glass-based medical apps. This is because one of the panelists was Dr. Babak Parviz, the former Google X director credited with inventing Google Glass and the glucose level-detecting smart contact lens.

Interestingly, Parviz now works at Amazon. He was asked several times what Amazon is doing in health care, but Parviz declined to say. Speculation centers on the company’s chances to jump into the space next year, possibly with a health platform like Apple’s Health Kit. Much more on that later.

“Lots of times doctors collect their information by palpating (by touch),” Parviz said. “They are trying to understand molecules by touch, and that might not be the best way of doing it.”

Parviz explained that if a doctor could see another layer of information over what she normally sees in front of her, perhaps showing a molecular view of the thing being palpated, it might make her more effective.

Parviz says he’s already seen several interesting applications for Google Glass in health care settings. “They cover a pretty wide range,” he said. “In the surgery, it can be used as a tool for medical education. The doctor can transmit a first-person point of view to the student; even if you’re standing right next to the doctor in the surgery, it’s hard to see what’s going on.”

“Another application has been for documenting procedures,” he said.

But Google Glass medical applications have already gotten more interesting than even Parviz may know.

Augmedix has designed a Glass-based system that’s designed to take much of the paperwork and documentation time out of the practice of medicine. The camera on the glasses constantly records the audio and video of what the doctor is doing; it then later pulls the data from the footage that’s needed to fill out the fields in the electronic patient record.

Another startup, Wearable Intelligence, has developed a Glass-based system that delivers key clinical information like patient updates and reminders to the inside of the wearable worn by the doctor.

Those are two key pain points in the physician’s day: on the one hand, the desire to practice medicine and do far less paperwork, and on the other the desire to have all needed information when and where it’s needed.

More information: Google

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

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Health Care Social Media and Professionalism

This course is part of Social Media Residency, a project of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media that provides in-depth, hands-on learning to promote effe...

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Sports App helps baseball athletes prevent Tommy John surgery

Sports App helps baseball athletes prevent Tommy John surgery | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
This app can help protect against elbow injury. The post Sports App helps baseball athletes prevent Tommy John surgery appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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How young French oncologists are using medical apps

How young French oncologists are using medical apps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
#mHealth: How young French oncologists are using medical #apps via @MobiHealthNews


A new study in the Journal of Radiation Oncology looked at self-reported smartphone and tablet ownership and usage statistics in young, French, radiation oncologists. While the sample is quite specific and not necessarily generalizable, it does present an interesting look at the up-and-coming generation of physicians (most of the subjects had five years of experience or less).

The survey, conducted online among 131 members of a summer educational session for radiation oncologists, showed that 93 percent of the specialists owned a smartphone and 32.8 percent owned a tablet. The smartphone users were more likely to use their device at work than the tablet users: 78.6 percent of the residents owning a smartphone used it at work, while just 29.4 percent of tablet owners did so.

More than half of the residents (57 percent) used their smartphone more than five times a day, with another quarter reporting that they used it exactly five times a day. Most smartphone owners (91 percent) had at least one medical app on their phone, and 33 percent had more than five. Asked whether they had verified the validity of the apps on their phones, only 60 percent said they had. The survey also asked the oncologists which apps they used specifically. 

“A total of 78 percent of the residents used their smartphone to take pictures of lesions for diagnosis, follow-up, or second opinion,” the study authors wrote. “In line with this, 75.2 percent of them used utility apps for drug interactions, essential points, manufacturer contact, and so forth. Only 30 percent used their smartphone to search and read articles. In all, 68 percent of the residents also used their smartphone to calculate equivalent doses for radiation treatments. Even if these applications had been created for academic purposes only, 67.2 percent of the residents used them for medical purposes with direct consequences to the patients’ treatment, thereby breaching the apps’ End-User License Agreement.”

The study also looked at the operating system of smartphones and tablets used. Sixty-two percent of residents had iPhones, 26 percent had Android phones, and 11 percent had Windows phones, while on the tablet side 84 percent used iPads and 16 percent had Android tablets.

Researchers also delved into residents’ use of social media. They found that residents were much more likely to be on Facebook than Twitter, and most of them did not have contact with patients on these platforms. Seventeen percent had signed up for a dedicated physician social network, which they used to discuss cases anonymously with other physicians.

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Comprehensive review of concussion screening apps for the sidelines

Comprehensive review of concussion screening apps for the sidelines | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Review of current concussion screening apps for iOS The post Comprehensive review of concussion screening apps for the sidelines appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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PerfectServe DocLink: Talk and text in real-time

PerfectServe DocLink: Talk and text in real-time | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

To contact another physician, users launch the PerfectServe mobile application or dial the toll-free 855-DocLink number. The only information they need to initiate communication is the name of the colleague the user wishes to reach. PerfectServe DocLink allows individual contact status control, so users can select the following settings based on how they prefer to be reached during certain days of the week or throughout the day: available for real-time calls and secure voice and text messages; available for secure voice and text messages only; or unavailable — voice and text messages stored without notification.

Market positioning (responses provided by PerfectServe DocLink):

How does this technology enhance the physician experience or business operations within a small-medium sized practice? Using PerfectServe DocLink, a small or midsize practice can establish a private and secure communications network that connects all medical staff member users by allowing both real-time conversations and secure text messaging in a HIPAA-compliant environment, resulting in significantly improved physician workflow. With PerfectServe DocLink, physicians connect with one another quickly without having to search for phone numbers or navigate through switchboards, answering services or front-office staff. PerfectServe DocLink provides one-step access to every referring physician and medical staff member — which means better quality of care.What makes PerfectServe DocLink unique in the market? It enables both secure text messaging and real-time conversations. Sometimes physicians want to send a text. Other times they need to have a conversation. With PerfectServe DocLink, physicians choose the best communication mode for each clinical situation.  What attributes interest your physician clients the most when it comes to messaging technologies? The ability to take nurses and staff out of the consult process by providing one-step, secure, real-time access to every referring physician and medical staff member (which speeds up cycle times). Other appeals include managing HIPAA-compliance risk across every communications mode; alerting multiple people simultaneously (which provides backup and quicker response time); determining how to receive different types of calls, giving personal control over how physicians are reached to the physician; automatically filtering all ePHI from the body of messages sent to non-secure mobile devices (e.g., pagers, email and SMS text); fewer interruptions for routine matters (nighttime messages can be held for morning delivery); and private phone numbers, which are kept private — an office caller ID can display instead of a personal cell number for patient calls.What are your development goals for this technology from now through the next two years? PerfectServe’s development goals are confidential but we continue to gather feedback from our users to guide our roadmap.Founded InWebsiteTwitterHeadquartersPricing1997Knoxville, TNN/A

Want more? Find out about other secure messaging solutions that made Medical Practice Insider's list: 

DocbookMD: Where over 300,000 docs connect

hippomsg: Communicating without the financial squeeze

Imprivata Cortext: Seamless, secure messaging on a range of devices

Medigram: Timely care team conversations

MedXCom: Virtual house calls, secure messaging and more

TigerText: Singularly focused on security

Vocera Collaboration Suite: Convenience via voice and text


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Genomic Medicine is Just Beginning | Digital Health Post

Genomic Medicine is Just Beginning | Digital Health Post | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

“A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures,” said a New York Times headline in June 2010.  It declared the failure of the $3 billion Human Genome Project and claimed that medicine had seen none of the benefits that Bill Clinton had promised in announcing the first draft of the human-genome sequence in 2000.  According to the article, geneticists were “almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease.”

The New York Times judged the project too soon.

The cost of sequencing a human genome had fallen from about $100 million in 2001 to $30,000 when the article was written; today it can be done for nearly $1,000.  And the promise is coming true.

Hardly a week goes without the announcement of a major scientific breakthrough in genomics.  The March 6 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine detailed how human cells can be genetically engineered to make them resistant to the virus that causes AIDS.  A week earlier the journal published a finding that analyzing fetal DNA in a pregnant woman’s blood was a more accurate — and less intrusive — way of screening for Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders than methods such as ultrasound imaging and blood tests.

Genome analysis is already being used to guide the treatment of cancers of the brain and the breast.  Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, explains that cancer is essentially a genomic disease: “Instead of classifying cancers by the tissue where they are first detected — colon, breast or brain, doctors are beginning to categorize cancer by its genomic characteristics and select treatments based on the signature of different mutations.  This approach promises to treat patients with the most effective medicines while minimizing undesirable side effects, especially when chemotherapy is unlikely to help.”

Green says that the end of the Human Genome Project was the starting point on the path to genomic medicine.  At first, a decade ago, scientists focused on using DNA-sequencing and computational technologies to interpret the genome and understand its biology.  Now they are using them to improve diagnostics, medicines, and clinical practice.  He predicts that before long, doctors will tailor treatment for many diseases on the basis of an individual’s genomic information.

The early triumphs are being seen with rare inherited diseases—which together afflict more than 25 million Americans.  Genomic strategies, driven by the plummeting cost of genome sequencing, have led to the identification of the genomic defects for more than 5,000 of the inherited diseases caused by mutations in a protein-encoding gene.  An intense four-year, more than $400 million, research program, the Centers for Mendelian Genomics, is working to find the genomic cause of the remaining 2,000–4,000 rare genetic diseases.

We may be predisposed to certain diseases because of our genes, but it is not only genes that determine our health. It is also our lifestyle, habits, and environment. These may cause genes to be switched on and off and even altered. There is also still a lot to be understood about what was once-called “junk DNA” — which is now known to contain important control mechanisms over the bits we recognize as genes. And then there is the microbiome – an ecosystem of microorganisms that live on and in the human body. So a lot more data are needed and much more research and analysis still needs to be done.

The good news is that other technologies are also rapidly progressing which will facilitate this. With the cost of genome sequencing dropping to affordable levels, there will soon be genome data available for millions of people. Additionally, the smartphones we carry are capturing information about our lifestyle and habits, location, and activity levels. Wearable medical devices, which many companies are developing, will record our vital signs such as temperature, blood oxygenation, and heart rhythm. When you combine these data, you gain the ability to rapidly analyze the correlation between our genome, habits, and disease—exactly what is needed to develop individualized treatments for disease.

This is the same type of data analysis that is done of social media streams and shopping and online-browsing data by Silicon Valley start-ups and marketers. In other words, we human beings have become data and software—and entrepreneurs can now do the work of pharmaceutical companies and medical research labs.

Indeed, one entrepreneur has declared his intention to do just that. Craig Venter, who used Human Genome Project data to compete with the project in sequencing the first human genome, 13 years ago, recently announced that he was starting a company called Human Longevity. This will focus on extending the healthy human lifespan by using stem cell therapies and genomics to tackle the diseases of aging. It plans to sequence 40,000, increasing to 100,000, human genomes per year. It will also sequence the microbiome of these patients.

No doubt many other start-ups will enter this field and accelerate the rate of medical breakthroughs. This means that medicine will, within a few years, start advancing at the same pace as the Internet and software. We will see a revolution in health care.

The government shouldn’t step out of the ring, however. It needs to keep investing in the types of basic research that led to genome sequencing and the Internet itself. Such technologies often take decades to bear fruit and there are many disappointments and failures along the way. There is also still much more basic research to be done in genomics—that entrepreneurs can’t do. Yet, the National Institutes of Health, of which the National Human Genome Research Institute is one of 27 institutes and centers, has experienced a research-funding decline of about 25 percent (in purchasing power) since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. This doesn’t make sense. We are finally on the verge of ridding humanity of the diseases that have plagued it. It is time to double down on, not walk away from a great investment.


This article originally appeared in the Washington Post as “The triumph of genomic medicine is just beginning“, March 13th 2014 – Reprinted with permission of Vivek Wadhwa

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