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TrueVault times data storage solution for mobile health with HIPAA Omnibus deadline

TrueVault times data storage solution for mobile health with HIPAA Omnibus deadline | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule implementation date is drawing closer and health IT startup TrueVault can hardly wait. It’s using the occasion as a marketing opportunity for the beta launch of its platform to provide back office compliance for apps.

TrueVault is targeting companies that collect protected health information. Although mobile health accounts for many customers such as healthcare app developers, it’s also providing its services to wearable health tech device makers, and other companies having trouble with HIPAA compliance.

For instance, the largest number of calls the company is getting are coming from e-commerce websites that collect PHI. They include companies that sell Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines, oxygen tanks, motorized scooters, among others. These e-commerce companies are storing diagnostic information, medical history records, past and present medication data. All of this needs to be stored in compliance with HIPAA.

Jason Wang and Trey Swann are the co-founders of this backend-as-a-service data storage solution. In the same vein as more widespread software as a service companies, backend-as-a-service is a niche but growing area. Companies in this space provide integrated cloud-based backends for mobile app developers.

TrueVault wants help companies store any data that’s created or received by a Covered Entity or a Business Associate, Swann said in an emailed response to questions. This data relates to past, present, or future physical or mental health conditions, the provision of health care, or payment for health care.

“Consumers want information, not data,” Swann said. “As a result, wearable health tech companies are building in features that allow the consumer-generated health information to feed up to Covered Entities for analysis. At this point the simple health data can become PHI. As soon as a doctor, an insurance company, or a pharmacy touches that data it may need to be protected at HIPAA-security levels.”

Swann adds that its customers want someone to carry them to HIPAA compliance, not just provide them a roadmap. He says its solution takes care of the physical and technical safeguards to help its customers comply with the final rule.

“TrueVault can help existing healthcare sites and apps become HIPAA compliant without going through a costly rebuild of their technology stack,” Wang said in a company statement. “We want our customers to focus on what they do best, leaving the ever-changing compliance requirements and security nightmares to us.”

Its data storage system allows users to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time from anywhere on the web, according to a company statement. It encrypts stored data with unique encryption keys for each object using AES 256 encryption algorithm.

It also has a business associate agreement with its hosting provider.

The most obvious challenge TrueVault faces is its age. It’s launching at a time when some companies are looking for a company with a more established record of securing data, especially when they are facing punishing fines for compliance hiccups. Still, its timing and niche market target could make a difference and help set it apart from competitors.

Wang and Swann previously co-founded Keenful, a customizable product recommendation service for websites. They also worked together at ticketing website ScoreBig.com.

Another company supporting mobile app developers in this area is catalyze.io.

Last week Verizon told MedCity News that the threat of punitive fines from failing to meet HIPAA compliance requirements has been driving hospitals and health IT vendors to the cloud.

[Photo credit: First Aid Mobile from BigStock Photos]


Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2013/09/health-it-startups-data-storage-aims-to-help-mhealth-hipaa-compliance/#ixzz2fMrmh6iR


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89% of US physicians would recommend a health app to a patient

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

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Dave Burianek's comment, May 15, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 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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The collaborative healthcare honeycomb: an infographic

The collaborative healthcare honeycomb: an infographic | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

HT @Scr1v


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Andrew Spong's curator insight, March 5, 10:15 AM

Ross Scrivener (@Scr1v) demonstrates some of the collaborative healthcare initiatives that didn't get a mention at eHealth Week.

Marc Senterre's curator insight, Today, 2:11 AM

Interesting view ...

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#mhealth: Effect of SMS, Mobile Health Technology on Patient Adherence

#mhealth:  Effect of SMS, Mobile Health Technology on Patient Adherence | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Effect of SMS, Mobile Health Technology on Patient Adherence

Posted by admin+ / March 6, 2015
SOURCE

March 4, 2015

Of all the forms of mobile health technology used to promote adherence of patients to chronic disease management (mAdherence), text messaging continues to exceed on others in terms of its availability, frequency of use, and effectiveness. This is one of several conclusions reached by authors of a recent study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Hamine et al. conducted a review of mAdherence literature between 1980 and 2014 and identified 107 articles that met their criteria for studies featuring the use of mHealth technology in the treatment of chronic disease patient populations.

Short message service (SMS) was the most commonly used mAdherence tool, featuring in 40 percent of studies. The remaining types of mHealth tools used in mAdherence fell into four categories:

23%: Phone plus software or application
18%: Wireless or Bluetooth-compatible device
13%: Phone plus specific instrument
4%: Other (e.g., pager, interactive voice response, electronic medication monitoring)

Not only the most commonly used, SMS also proved to have other benefits across these mAdherence studies although shortcomings were also apparent.

Able to be used by those with little technology experience or familiarity, SMS can be made available relatively inexpensively on any mobile phone, and can be automated, personalized, and easily integrated into existing health systems. However, it is highly operator dependent, relying on the active engagement of patients and providers to monitor symptoms and exchange information, and there is clearly room for improvement.

Usability, feasibility, and acceptability featured prominently in more than half of all mAdherence studies (57.9%), generally demonstrating the potential of mHealth technology to prove beneficial to this kind of population health management.

“Future mHealth tools will be able to draw on the knowledge generated when discrete hypotheses around the relative importance of, for example, patient-provider communication, optimal user-interfaces, or targeted motivational messages are tested,” write Hamine et al. “This could lead to better mAdherence tools that deliver improved health outcomes.”

According to the authors, this is especially for underserved patient populations, who were a recurring target audience for many of the mAdherence studies. “There is a clear recognition that mHealth tools have the potential to impact patients who are less inclined to engage traditional health services,” they observe.

One roadblock, however, is cost. Hamine et al. found that many mAdherence studies did not consider the limits that costly mHealth technology would impose on the ability of researchers to scale their mAdherence solutions to a larger patient population.

“Of note, few studies take seriously the issue of cost. In many of the small pilot studies, expensive devices or vouchers were given to study participants,” the authors conclude. “When implemented at scale, interventions that use patients’ existing mobile devices rather than relying on gifted devices will go further toward explaining feasibility and improving adherence.”

The developing world, the authors claim, can provide insight into reducing costs and expanding outreach in mAdherence as well as challenges presented by limited mHealth availability and connectivity constraints.

What’s more, the use of mAdherence solutions needs to work as a complement to existing adherence programs in order to be effective.

“mHealth tools are communication platforms and delivery mechanisms, not solutions in and of themselves,” argue Hamine et al. mAdherence will only work where there is already a functioning adherence program in place. Our review demonstrates that mAdherence can play a key role in translating mHealth technologies into better health outcomes. This role is becoming more explicit as mHealth research moves forward.”
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Statistics on mobile health mean little

Statistics on mobile health mean little | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Statistics on mobile health mean little

“Nobody has figured out how to make consumers — patients — care about mobile health technologies. “And if we don’t [figure that out], m-health will be another tech bubble”. Dr. Joseph Kvedar, director of the Center for Connected Health.

Surveys have found that half who use mobile fitness trackers to keep tabs on their workouts or diets stop using the programs within six months,” said a recent Los Angeles Times story on smartphones in healthcare.  All these wearable and mobile products, touted as “disruptive,” “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking” by so many vendors and Silicon Valley cheerleaders still haven’t proved value to healthcare providers or large number of consumers.

A number of recent studies have identified [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@richmeyer” suffix=””]medical apps that failed to measure up[/inlinetweet].  In 2011, pharma giant Pfizer recalled a rheumatology calculator app after the company found that its swollen-joint measurements—calculated using self-reported data—were off by as much as half. Even most simple pedometer apps don’t count your steps correctly, a 2012 study found. For a 2013 paper, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center tested four skin cancer diagnosis apps—similar to the one Hudak used on her kids—and three of them missed at least 1 in 3 melanomas.

So let’s look at some of the hype…I mean stats around mobile health..

Close to 75 percent of adults do not use a fitness device or app to track their weight, diet, or exercise, according to a survey of 979 US adults conducted by research firm Technology Advice.86 percent of the general population going online for health, half are mobile health users. Two thirds of people doing online searches use social media to seek health information, and one third communicate with doctors. (Manhattan Research)[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@richmeyer” suffix=””]About 20 percent of patients say that mobile is essential[/inlinetweet] for managing their care, the article said. That holds true for 32 percent of people with diabetes, and 39 percent of people with MS, according to the article.More Millennials (56%) than those 66 and older (45%) said they would be motivated by data showing the medication was more effective, or by fewer side effects (55% vs. 43%), while more people 66 and older (49%) than Millennials (43%) would be motivated by the recommendation of a healthcare professional.

Now what does all this mean?  Nada. Zilch. Zero.  Statistics don’t mean a thing until we understand why consumers are accessing mobile health and where.  Is it, for example, after being exposed to a DTC spot?  A symptom? A doctor’s recommendation?  The truth is that it varies by each disease state, and medication.  If you believe that someone is going to a drug.com website because they are bored you need to stop drinking.

What’s a DTC Marketer to do?

1ne: Analyze web analytics to determine percent of traffic from mobile, including platforms.

2wo: Find out, via testing and research, where and why people are accessing your site on mobile.

3hree: Provide the best mobile experience where and why your audience is accessing your site.

4our: Don’t fall into the “app” trap.  It’s costly and won’t provide any good to patients unless you test it with your audience and continually have a budget to upgrade/update it.

Mobile devices may cannibalize any desktop-based big screen Internet usage, but, for most companies, not a whole lot. Mostly, they’ll just increase overall usage. And they will enable consumers to interact with their favorite digital brands and services for all of their waking hours instead of just their hours at work.

These “mobile” users, moreover, won’t want to interact with their favorite brands and services ONLY on mobile, or even necessarily MOSTLY on mobile (It depends on the service: Mobile music, for example, is huge, as are some mobile games). They’ll want to interact with them everywhere.

Citing data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the Washington Post breaks it down: While 88% of Americans have a cell phone, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@richmeyer” suffix=””]only 10% have downloaded health-related mobile apps[/inlinetweet].


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Web therapy: 4 startups overcoming mental health taboos with technology

Web therapy: 4 startups overcoming mental health taboos with technology | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

For a new generation of patients, could the laptop — or even cellphone — replace the stereotypical shrink’s couch? A crop of new startups wants to take psychotherapy into the 21st century.

About one in five Americans will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. But experts say that 60 percent of them will never seek help. The lack of available care, inconvenience and cost are all barriers to access, but so is the fear of prejudice and discrimination from friends, family and even employers.

“Stigma and shame is a huge factor – maybe the most important one,” said Oren Frank, founder of mental health startup Talktala. “People who have been to regular therapy are less ashamed of it, but people who are newcomers are paralyzed by fear.”

Online options enable people to receive therapy on their own turf and terms, without needing to update others on their whereabouts – and they offer the benefit of anonymity.

For example, a study released last month from Case Western Reserve found that while many new moms suffering from postpartum depression wouldn’t seek help because of the stigma or lack of time, they would go online for support if providers were available and they could communicate anonymously.

It’s still a new and relatively small field — therapists may worry about liability issues or misdiagnoses, patients may harbor concerns about privacy and security online and getting insurance to cover it is a challenge — but it’s gaining support among patients and providers.

Here are four startups leading the way:
TalkSession

Launched last month, TalkSession’s goal isn’t just to provide online therapy; it has big plans to bust the stigmas surrounding it. “There are actually two stigmas — first the stigma against mental illness and then the stigma within the community against technology,” said founder and CEO Melissa Thompson.

Through regular livestreamed online conversations with top experts in the field, policymakers and other medical and mental health leaders, the startup plans to start by tackling sensitive issues in mental health. And it intends to launch a digital magazine to give leading mental health providers a place to share best practices and build an online presence.

Once it has established a strong network of providers, Thompson said, TalkSession plans to launch an OpenTable-like service to help patients find and book online therapy appointments. Already, the site has recruited 100 therapists and patients can complete a quiz that will help match them with their ideal therapist, but receiving the online therapy is still a little ways off.
Talktala

People readily tell friends (and even strangers) about relationship troubles or problems at work, but once you start dropping clinical terms, they’re often likely to clam up, said Talktala founder Oren Frank. That’s why his site is trying to build online therapy options that meet people where they are, in the language in which they want to speak.

Talktala
Instead of offering services tagged with terms from the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Talktala invites users to join online chats and forums with friendlier titles like “Relationships are complicated – some advice” and “How to communicate better with your partner?”

In the forums, patients can speak freely and anonymously with others experiencing similar challenges, but a therapist hosts the discussion. During the chat, he can guide conversation in productive directions and if he observes anything significant, he can follow-up with patients individually.

Patients can view any number of online forums and ask a limited number of questions for free, but if they want additional support — from asking unlimited online questions to participating in private and group chats or privately texting with therapists — they can pay up to $30 a month in subscription fees.

Frank said the site isn’t trying to be a solution for people with serious mental health issues and it doesn’t provide services that are reimbursable by insurance. But the service appears to be attracting positive attention — he said it currently has 250 vetted therapists on the site and recently partnered with the Huffington Post’s GPS for the Soul initiative.
iCouch

iCouch
iCouch launched as a service for U.S. patients and therapists but in the three years since its launch, co-founder and CEO Brian Dear said it’s actually attracted a strong international following. Not only has it recruited 165 therapists worldwide (from countries including the U.K., China and Australia), 30 to 40 percent of its clients are based outside the U.S.

Through the site, people can search for therapists according to specialty and gender, scan each therapist’s bio and price and then book online appointments. Via computer or iPhone, they can they videoconference with vetted therapists through the site’s HIPAA-compliant system.

The site helps people who want to receive therapy sessions in the privacy of their own homes but, Dear said, it can also be an advantage for people who live in areas where the culture may not be receptive to their particular issue. For example, the service has several clients from the Middle East who speak with their therapists about gender identity issues or homosexuality — topics that may be taboo in their cultures, he said.

“It breaks down the geographic barriers — it allows people to go into another culture that may be more accommodating to their concerns,” he said. It also enables expats to receive care that might be more difficult to receive in their new home countries, Dear added.
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(While most therapists are only licensed to practice in a given state, Dear said that it’s not illegal for therapists to conduct inter-state or international sessions.)
Breakthrough

One of the earliest startups to bring mental health services online, Breakthrough is only available to residents of California for now, but it plans to expand to Texas and other states soon. Through its site, patients can connect with a network of certified mental health professionals and conduct appointments via chat, email, phone or a custom HIPAA-compliant video system.

But while other services may not prioritize working with the insurance system, Breakthrough — which is backed by angel investors such as former Square COO Keith Rabois, PayPal director and former eHealth exec Avery Kadison, Charles River Ventures and others — aims to make online mental health services more mainstream by working with health insurers. Magellan, one of California’s largest health insurers, for example, last year agreed to extend coverage to Breakthrough.

In addition to showing real-time available appointment slots for therapists (ZocDoc-style), the company shows which doctors are online now and plans to enable on-demand, off-hour services.

Image by bloomua via Shutterstoc


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The best medical apps released in 2014 - iMedicalApps

The best medical apps released in 2014 - iMedicalApps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
A review of the best medical apps released this past year.

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Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software in the U.S

Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software in the U.S | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
mprove the Success of Personal and Non-Personal Promotion

 

Today’s Complimentary Reports

Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software:

According to SK&A’s continuing study on physician office adoption of electronic health records software, usage stabilizes from a year ago. EHR data offers message targeting in a more granular way to the specific physician. Understand adoption rates by practice speciality, size, ownership, geography and other variables.




Customer Testimonial

“Love the report, have followed it for the last two years, and cite it often when presenting to pharma audiences - always citing SK&A as well. Think of me as an ambassador for SK&A data.”
- Bill Cooney,
President and CEO,
MedPoint Communications, Inc.


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Healthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA Compliance

Healthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA Compliance | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Healthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA Compliance
Author: Cristy Salinas   Posted: October 14th, 2014 ˑ Filled under: Cloud, Healthcare, Mobile ˑ  0 Comments

Healthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA Compliance | Eureka Software

This post provides general information about HIPAA compliance for software and hardware development. Although Eureka Software has experience in this field, please consult your legal/compliance team for specific information on how to meet HIPAA compliance requirements.

Google Fit, Apple Health Kit, and even the Affordable Care Act have companies scrambling to build healthcare-focused mobile apps and/or upgrade existing medical devices. However, the process of bringing a new product to market in the healthcare industry brings about a whole other set of challenges. Not only do you have to worry about a product’s design and functionality, but now there’s the issue of HIPAA compliance and whether your product meets the criteria for FDA regulation. If you’re interested in building a healthcare-focused mobile app or medical device, don’t let these things deter you from doing so. Instead, let’s go over a few things you’ll need to be aware of before you jump in with both feet.
What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act, also known as HIPAA, was first signed into law in 1996. HIPAA was written with the intent to protect individuals from having their healthcare data used or disclosed to people or agencies that have no reason to see it. It has two basic goals:

1.) Standardize the electronic exchange of data between health care organizations, providers, and clearinghouses.
2.) Protect the security and confidentiality of protective health information.

There are four rules of HIPPA, but today we’ll focus on the HIPAA Security Rule.
What is PHI?

Protected Health Information (PHI) includes medical records, billing information, phone records, email communication with medical professionals, and anything else related to the diagnosis and treatment of an individual. Examples of non-PHI include steps on your pedometer, calories burned, or medical data without personally identifiable user information (PII).

When building a healthcare app or medical device with the intent to collect, store, and share PHI with doctors and hospitals, it is absolutely mandatory make sure you’re HIPAA-compliant (or else you’ll face some hefty fines). Additionally, if you’re planning on storing data in the cloud, you must take appropriate measures to ensure you’re properly securing the data and working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service, too.

Here are some steps you’ll need to take:
Determine if your mobile app or medical device must be HIPAA-compliant.

Are you collecting, sharing, or storing personally identifiable health data with anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare (aka a covered entity)? If yes, then you must be HIPAA-compliant.
Determine if your mobile app or medical device must FDA-regulated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices to ensure their safety and effectiveness. If you plan to market your product as a medical device, then it may be subject to the provisions of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. Find out if your product meets the definition of a medical device as defined by section 201(h) (or a radiation-emitting product as defined in Section 531) on the FDA website. (Visit Is This Product a Medical Device? for more information.) You can also contact the FDA directly if you are unsure whether your mobile app is considered a “Mobile Medical App” and will need to be FDA-regulated. (See Mobile Medical Applications.)
Work with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider.

Storing data in the cloud is appealing to the healthcare industry because of the amount of data that needs to be stored and easily accessible yet remain secure. The cloud allows individuals and businesses to store large amounts of information in massive data centers around the globe, rather than on internal servers and software. That data can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Depending on the amount of data (which in healthcare can be A LOT), it can be more cost-effective to store data in the cloud when you account for the costs of hardware, maintenance, staff, and energy when storing locally.

That being said, you need to make sure you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider, like Amazon Web Services or Google Apps, though there are several others you can consider.
Get a signed Business Associate Agreement.

Just because you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider doesn’t mean you’re covered. Any vendor or subcontractor who has access to PHI is considered a Business Associate, and therefore must sign a Business Associate Agreement. That includes your cloud storage service provider.
Secure sensitive data.

Developers should take appropriate safeguards to ensure that PHI is secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. People lose their smartphones and iPads or don’t enable passcodes at all, so it’s even more important to make sure the app or medical device is HIPAA-compliant. Things like data encryption, unique user authentication, strong passwords, and mobile wipe options are just a few requirements. See InformationWeek’s article about developers and HIPAA compliance for additional information.

Finally, there is no official certification process to ensure that you’re in compliance with HIPAA’s Security Rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website states:

    “The purpose of the Security Rule is to adopt national standards for safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI) that is collected, maintained, used or transmitted by a covered entity. Compliance is different for each organization and no single strategy will serve all covered entities.” (HHS.gov)

That means that it is up to the organization to implement its own strategy and follow the requirements, or else face those hefty fines.

So that’s an overview of HIPAA compliance. Have you gone through this process? What obstacles did you face? Are you interested in building a mobile app or medical device but concerned about the regulations? Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your questions.

Further Reading:
HIPAA Compliance Developers Guide | Github
- See more at: http://www.eurekasoft.com/blog/2014/10/14/healthcare-mobile-apps-cloud-hipaa-compliance/#sthash.8iZYbXfR.dpuf

Healthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA ComplianceAuthor: Cristy Salinas   Posted: October 14th, 2014 ˑ Filled under: Cloud, Healthcare, Mobile ˑ  0 Comments

This post provides general information about HIPAA compliance for software and hardware development. Although Eureka Software has experience in this field, please consult your legal/compliance team for specific information on how to meet HIPAA compliance requirements.

Google Fit, Apple Health Kit, and even the Affordable Care Act have companies scrambling to build healthcare-focused mobile apps and/or upgrade existing medical devices. However, the process of bringing a new product to market in the healthcare industry brings about a whole other set of challenges. Not only do you have to worry about a product’s design and functionality, but now there’s the issue of HIPAA compliance and whether your product meets the criteria for FDA regulation. If you’re interested in building a healthcare-focused mobile app or medical device, don’t let these things deter you from doing so. Instead, let’s go over a few things you’ll need to be aware of before you jump in with both feet.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act, also known as HIPAA, was first signed into law in 1996. HIPAA was written with the intent to protect individuals from having their healthcare data used or disclosed to people or agencies that have no reason to see it. It has two basic goals:

1.) Standardize the electronic exchange of data between health care organizations, providers, and clearinghouses.
2.) Protect the security and confidentiality of protective health information.

There are four rules of HIPPA, but today we’ll focus on the HIPAA Security Rule.

What is PHI?

Protected Health Information (PHI) includes medical records, billing information, phone records, email communication with medical professionals, and anything else related to the diagnosis and treatment of an individual. Examples of non-PHI include steps on your pedometer, calories burned, or medical data without personally identifiable user information (PII).

When building a healthcare app or medical device with the intent to collect, store, and share PHI with doctors and hospitals, it is absolutely mandatory make sure you’re HIPAA-compliant (or else you’ll face some hefty fines). Additionally, if you’re planning on storing data in the cloud, you must take appropriate measures to ensure you’re properly securing the data and working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service, too.

Here are some steps you’ll need to take:

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must be HIPAA-compliant.

Are you collecting, sharing, or storing personally identifiable health data with anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare (aka a covered entity)? If yes, then you must be HIPAA-compliant.

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must FDA-regulated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices to ensure their safety and effectiveness. If you plan to market your product as a medical device, then it may be subject to the provisions of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. Find out if your product meets the definition of a medical device as defined by section 201(h) (or a radiation-emitting product as defined in Section 531) on the FDA website. (Visit Is This Product a Medical Device? for more information.) You can also contact the FDA directly if you are unsure whether your mobile app is considered a “Mobile Medical App” and will need to be FDA-regulated. (See Mobile Medical Applications.)

Work with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider.

Storing data in the cloud is appealing to the healthcare industry because of the amount of data that needs to be stored and easily accessible yet remain secure. The cloud allows individuals and businesses to store large amounts of information in massive data centers around the globe, rather than on internal servers and software. That data can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Depending on the amount of data (which in healthcare can be A LOT), it can be more cost-effective to store data in the cloud when you account for the costs of hardware, maintenance, staff, and energy when storing locally.

That being said, you need to make sure you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider, like Amazon Web Services or Google Apps, though there are several others you can consider.

Get a signed Business Associate Agreement.

Just because you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider doesn’t mean you’re covered. Any vendor or subcontractor who has access to PHI is considered a Business Associate, and therefore must sign a Business Associate Agreement. That includes your cloud storage service provider.

Secure sensitive data.

Developers should take appropriate safeguards to ensure that PHI is secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. People lose their smartphones and iPads or don’t enable passcodes at all, so it’s even more important to make sure the app or medical device is HIPAA-compliant. Things like data encryption, unique user authentication, strong passwords, and mobile wipe options are just a few requirements. See InformationWeek’s article about developers and HIPAA compliance for additional information.

Finally, there is no official certification process to ensure that you’re in compliance with HIPAA’s Security Rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website states:

“The purpose of the Security Rule is to adopt national standards for safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI) that is collected, maintained, used or transmitted by a covered entity. Compliance is different for each organization and no single strategy will serve all covered entities.” (HHS.gov)

That means that it is up to the organization to implement its own strategy and follow the requirements, or else face those hefty fines.

So that’s an overview of HIPAA compliance. Have you gone through this process? What obstacles did you face? Are you interested in building a mobile app or medical device but concerned about the regulations? Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your questions.

Further Reading:
HIPAA Compliance Developers Guide | Github

- See more at: http://www.eurekasoft.com/blog/2014/10/14/healthcare-mobile-apps-cloud-hipaa-compliance/#sthash.8iZYbXfR.dpufHealthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA ComplianceAuthor: Cristy Salinas   Posted: October 14th, 2014 ˑ Filled under: Cloud, Healthcare, Mobile ˑ  0 Comments

This post provides general information about HIPAA compliance for software and hardware development. Although Eureka Software has experience in this field, please consult your legal/compliance team for specific information on how to meet HIPAA compliance requirements.

Google Fit, Apple Health Kit, and even the Affordable Care Act have companies scrambling to build healthcare-focused mobile apps and/or upgrade existing medical devices. However, the process of bringing a new product to market in the healthcare industry brings about a whole other set of challenges. Not only do you have to worry about a product’s design and functionality, but now there’s the issue of HIPAA compliance and whether your product meets the criteria for FDA regulation. If you’re interested in building a healthcare-focused mobile app or medical device, don’t let these things deter you from doing so. Instead, let’s go over a few things you’ll need to be aware of before you jump in with both feet.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act, also known as HIPAA, was first signed into law in 1996. HIPAA was written with the intent to protect individuals from having their healthcare data used or disclosed to people or agencies that have no reason to see it. It has two basic goals:

1.) Standardize the electronic exchange of data between health care organizations, providers, and clearinghouses.
2.) Protect the security and confidentiality of protective health information.

There are four rules of HIPPA, but today we’ll focus on the HIPAA Security Rule.

What is PHI?

Protected Health Information (PHI) includes medical records, billing information, phone records, email communication with medical professionals, and anything else related to the diagnosis and treatment of an individual. Examples of non-PHI include steps on your pedometer, calories burned, or medical data without personally identifiable user information (PII).

When building a healthcare app or medical device with the intent to collect, store, and share PHI with doctors and hospitals, it is absolutely mandatory make sure you’re HIPAA-compliant (or else you’ll face some hefty fines). Additionally, if you’re planning on storing data in the cloud, you must take appropriate measures to ensure you’re properly securing the data and working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service, too.

Here are some steps you’ll need to take:

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must be HIPAA-compliant.

Are you collecting, sharing, or storing personally identifiable health data with anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare (aka a covered entity)? If yes, then you must be HIPAA-compliant.

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must FDA-regulated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices to ensure their safety and effectiveness. If you plan to market your product as a medical device, then it may be subject to the provisions of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. Find out if your product meets the definition of a medical device as defined by section 201(h) (or a radiation-emitting product as defined in Section 531) on the FDA website. (Visit Is This Product a Medical Device? for more information.) You can also contact the FDA directly if you are unsure whether your mobile app is considered a “Mobile Medical App” and will need to be FDA-regulated. (See Mobile Medical Applications.)

Work with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider.

Storing data in the cloud is appealing to the healthcare industry because of the amount of data that needs to be stored and easily accessible yet remain secure. The cloud allows individuals and businesses to store large amounts of information in massive data centers around the globe, rather than on internal servers and software. That data can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Depending on the amount of data (which in healthcare can be A LOT), it can be more cost-effective to store data in the cloud when you account for the costs of hardware, maintenance, staff, and energy when storing locally.

That being said, you need to make sure you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider, like Amazon Web Services or Google Apps, though there are several others you can consider.

Get a signed Business Associate Agreement.

Just because you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider doesn’t mean you’re covered. Any vendor or subcontractor who has access to PHI is considered a Business Associate, and therefore must sign a Business Associate Agreement. That includes your cloud storage service provider.

Secure sensitive data.

Developers should take appropriate safeguards to ensure that PHI is secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. People lose their smartphones and iPads or don’t enable passcodes at all, so it’s even more important to make sure the app or medical device is HIPAA-compliant. Things like data encryption, unique user authentication, strong passwords, and mobile wipe options are just a few requirements. See InformationWeek’s article about developers and HIPAA compliance for additional information.

Finally, there is no official certification process to ensure that you’re in compliance with HIPAA’s Security Rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website states:

“The purpose of the Security Rule is to adopt national standards for safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI) that is collected, maintained, used or transmitted by a covered entity. Compliance is different for each organization and no single strategy will serve all covered entities.” (HHS.gov)

That means that it is up to the organization to implement its own strategy and follow the requirements, or else face those hefty fines.

So that’s an overview of HIPAA compliance. Have you gone through this process? What obstacles did you face? Are you interested in building a mobile app or medical device but concerned about the regulations? Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your questions.

Further Reading:
HIPAA Compliance Developers Guide | Github

- See more at: http://www.eurekasoft.com/blog/2014/10/14/healthcare-mobile-apps-cloud-hipaa-compliance/#sthash.8iZYbXfR.dpufHealthcare Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and HIPAA ComplianceAuthor: Cristy Salinas   Posted: October 14th, 2014 ˑ Filled under: Cloud, Healthcare, Mobile ˑ  0 Comments

This post provides general information about HIPAA compliance for software and hardware development. Although Eureka Software has experience in this field, please consult your legal/compliance team for specific information on how to meet HIPAA compliance requirements.

Google Fit, Apple Health Kit, and even the Affordable Care Act have companies scrambling to build healthcare-focused mobile apps and/or upgrade existing medical devices. However, the process of bringing a new product to market in the healthcare industry brings about a whole other set of challenges. Not only do you have to worry about a product’s design and functionality, but now there’s the issue of HIPAA compliance and whether your product meets the criteria for FDA regulation. If you’re interested in building a healthcare-focused mobile app or medical device, don’t let these things deter you from doing so. Instead, let’s go over a few things you’ll need to be aware of before you jump in with both feet.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act, also known as HIPAA, was first signed into law in 1996. HIPAA was written with the intent to protect individuals from having their healthcare data used or disclosed to people or agencies that have no reason to see it. It has two basic goals:

1.) Standardize the electronic exchange of data between health care organizations, providers, and clearinghouses.
2.) Protect the security and confidentiality of protective health information.

There are four rules of HIPPA, but today we’ll focus on the HIPAA Security Rule.

What is PHI?

Protected Health Information (PHI) includes medical records, billing information, phone records, email communication with medical professionals, and anything else related to the diagnosis and treatment of an individual. Examples of non-PHI include steps on your pedometer, calories burned, or medical data without personally identifiable user information (PII).

When building a healthcare app or medical device with the intent to collect, store, and share PHI with doctors and hospitals, it is absolutely mandatory make sure you’re HIPAA-compliant (or else you’ll face some hefty fines). Additionally, if you’re planning on storing data in the cloud, you must take appropriate measures to ensure you’re properly securing the data and working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service, too.

Here are some steps you’ll need to take:

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must be HIPAA-compliant.

Are you collecting, sharing, or storing personally identifiable health data with anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare (aka a covered entity)? If yes, then you must be HIPAA-compliant.

Determine if your mobile app or medical device must FDA-regulated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices to ensure their safety and effectiveness. If you plan to market your product as a medical device, then it may be subject to the provisions of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. Find out if your product meets the definition of a medical device as defined by section 201(h) (or a radiation-emitting product as defined in Section 531) on the FDA website. (Visit Is This Product a Medical Device? for more information.) You can also contact the FDA directly if you are unsure whether your mobile app is considered a “Mobile Medical App” and will need to be FDA-regulated. (See Mobile Medical Applications.)

Work with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider.

Storing data in the cloud is appealing to the healthcare industry because of the amount of data that needs to be stored and easily accessible yet remain secure. The cloud allows individuals and businesses to store large amounts of information in massive data centers around the globe, rather than on internal servers and software. That data can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Depending on the amount of data (which in healthcare can be A LOT), it can be more cost-effective to store data in the cloud when you account for the costs of hardware, maintenance, staff, and energy when storing locally.

That being said, you need to make sure you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider, like Amazon Web Services or Google Apps, though there are several others you can consider.

Get a signed Business Associate Agreement.

Just because you’re working with a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage service provider doesn’t mean you’re covered. Any vendor or subcontractor who has access to PHI is considered a Business Associate, and therefore must sign a Business Associate Agreement. That includes your cloud storage service provider.

Secure sensitive data.

Developers should take appropriate safeguards to ensure that PHI is secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. People lose their smartphones and iPads or don’t enable passcodes at all, so it’s even more important to make sure the app or medical device is HIPAA-compliant. Things like data encryption, unique user authentication, strong passwords, and mobile wipe options are just a few requirements. See InformationWeek’s article about developers and HIPAA compliance for additional information.

Finally, there is no official certification process to ensure that you’re in compliance with HIPAA’s Security Rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website states:

“The purpose of the Security Rule is to adopt national standards for safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI) that is collected, maintained, used or transmitted by a covered entity. Compliance is different for each organization and no single strategy will serve all covered entities.” (HHS.gov)

That means that it is up to the organization to implement its own strategy and follow the requirements, or else face those hefty fines.

So that’s an overview of HIPAA compliance. Have you gone through this process? What obstacles did you face? Are you interested in building a mobile app or medical device but concerned about the regulations? Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your questions.

Further Reading:
HIPAA Compliance Developers Guide | Github

- See more at: http://www.eurekasoft.com/blog/2014/10/14/healthcare-mobile-apps-cloud-hipaa-compliance/#sthash.8iZYbXfR.dpuf
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Exclusive: Apple's health tech takes early lead among top hospitals

Exclusive: Apple's health tech takes early lead among top hospitals | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) healthcare technology is spreading quickly among major U.S. hospitals, showing early promise as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs.
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Definition of Digital Health

Definition of Digital Health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Digital health is the convergence of the digital and genetics revolutions with health, healthcare, living, and society.
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High-tech bra with sensors helps detect breast cancer

High-tech bra with sensors helps detect breast cancer | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) --A new technology that could revolutionize breast cancer screening is about to begin clinical trials in the Bay Area. Rather than a mammogram or ultrasound, this system can be used at home, with potentially life-saving information transmitted through a smartphone.

For Dian Gaxiola, a routine breast screening at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View turned out to be a lifesaver. Doctors caught her cancer at a very early stage and saved her breast.

"I was very lucky, I think because of the early detection," cancer survivor Dian Gaxiola said.

El Camino Hospital Radiologist Dr. Sila Yitta says routine mammograms and self-screening are the best defense, although many women don't always take advantage.

"In my experience it is hit or miss, I think women, some women are consistent in doing breast exams at home, some women don't do them at all, and I often times get questions from women, asking simply, 'How do I do an exam,'" Yitta said.

However soon, an experimental technology could help thousands of women and doctors screen for breast cancer in a new way. It's called the iTBra.

"So you'll be putting that on, so it'll now be centered over you,"

Cyrcadia Health CEO Rob Royea says the patches can be worn inside any normal bra. He said, "It's a wearable device with a number of sensors that check what happens with your circadian patterns of heat change on your breast over time."

Roye says the heat changes correlate to the accelerated cell activity associated with breast tumors. The results are then processed using sophisticated algorithms and transmitted to a smartphone.

"You wear the device for a few hours, and that information is automatically communicated to your physician," Rob Royea, Cyrcadia Health

Because the system is heat based, developers believe it may also offer advantages for some women with denser breast tissue, which can be more difficult to image using traditional mammography.

"We believe we're tissue agnostic. Meaning that for all tissues we react about the same," Rob Royea from Cyrcadia Health said.

The clinical trial being conducted at El Camino Hospital will study the results on women wearing the device for different lengths of time. The goal is to produce accurate readings in roughly two hours, ultimately making the system more convenient for women to use.

"An ideal breast cancer screening test would catch the cancer when it's smaller and easier to treat," Sila Yitta, M.D., from El Camino Hospital said.

And whether it's a routine mammogram, or at home screening, cancer survivor Dian Gaxiola believes any investment in early detection, is worth the time.

"It's very valuable," cancer survivor Fulldian Gaxioloa said.

If the trial is successful, Cyrcadia Health hopes to have the iTBra on the market later this year.

Written and produced by Tim Didion
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Are Apple HealthKit and Google Fit Ready to Revolutionize Healthcare?

Are Apple HealthKit and Google Fit Ready to Revolutionize Healthcare? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Despite the advancements in medical technologies, healthcare continues to pose all levels of challenges of complexity, affordability and accessibility worldwide. In contrast to healthcare access, mobile access is becoming almost omnipresent across the whole world. This provides a strong foundation for mHealth — the use of mobile communication for health services or achieving health outcomes. The traditional IT giants Apple and Google joined the race of the fast-growing mHealth with their own solutions.

Apple Health Vs Google Fit: What are they?
Apple released its iOS 8 with a mHealth app, called Health, to track, record and analyse your Health Data across a variety of metrics (fitness data, nutrition data, sleep patterns, cholesterol levels, heart rate etc.) with your iPhone. Users can customize their own health dashboard and create a digital “emergency medical card” with crucial health information for emergency health service providers.

To compete with Apple, Google also published its Fit app, which also centralizes health data through collecting information from third party apps via your Android device. Google Fit app uses smartphone’s built-in sensors and can connect to compatible third-party gadgets and services. Google Fit app also built into Android smart watches such as Samsung Gear Live and Motorola Moto 360 to track your activates on-the-go.

What apps will support them?
In order to achieve talent worldwide, both Apple and Google open their health platform to developers. HealthKit is Apple’s tool for iOS developers to access and share your health data between apps. Some of the best health and fitness apps such as Jawbone’s UP app, Strava, MapMyRUN, WebMD etc. have already integrated with HealthKit. It’s important to note that Apple also enhance the partnerships with traditional health service providers such as NHS in the UK and hospitals in the USA to enter into health industry.

Google introduce its Fit SDK to its Android developer back in June 2014. Google Fit is an open platform allows third-party developers and devices manufacturers to connect and share health and fitness data. Apps and devices support Google Fit includes Withings, Runkeeper, Strava and Noom Coach etc. Google Fit attracts some large industry partners such as Adidas, HTC, Intel and Motorola.


Future and Concerns

Both Apple and Google describe their new Health/Fit platform as “the beginning of a health revolution”. With the ability to connect to wearable devices, HealthKit and Google can capture data such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation and hydration levels etc., which are normally associated with health professionals. For example, Google is currently working on a smart contact lens that can measure real-time glucose levels.

With all the information collecting from the apps and gadgets about our state of health, it is quiet possible in the near future our phone will know we are unwell before ourselves. This may completely change the old patient pathway where we feel sick, see a doctor, get tests and receive the results. The new patient pathway will be completely different: since our phones constantly track our medical results, they can help us to book medical appointments automatically. As health information grows more digitized, it could lead to time saving and efficiencies of the whole health system and help the society move towards the more cost-effective “preventative medicine”.


However, the promising Health/Fit technology also draws concerns from healthcare experts and public regarding data security, privacy and regulation. If all the personal medical records stored on smartphones and cloud, who owns the data has to be considered. Both Apple and Google haven’t clearly demonstrated how they are going to protect confidential health data from commercial abuse. There is also a risk that people will misinterpret their own health data and even develop unhealthy anxiety over less than perfect dataset.

Tech giants as Apple and Google may visualize the future of healthcare in the form of mHelath, but all the significant barriers need to be overcome and strategic collaborations and partnerships with all stakeholders, including healthcare providers and government, need to be built to deliver an effective, accessible mHealth system.

Follow us on Twitter: @TouchApp_uk


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Digital health in 2015: What's hot and what's not?

Digital health in 2015: What's hot and what's not? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
I think it’s fair to say that digital health is warming up. And not just in one area.
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4 KEY TRENDS IN MOBILE HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY

4 KEY TRENDS IN MOBILE HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

We are moving into an era of mobile only vs mobile first. I think of how I operate 95% of the time with just my mobile smartphone and a tablet while using a laptop or a desktop occasionally. Now I know there are some people that cannot accomplish their work on their smartphone or tablet; but, as healthcare is shifting towards a retail model mindset, it is the expectation of the consumers/patients and providers. Currently, 73% of healthcare providers are using some form of mobile health while 18% are hoping to incorporate mobile health as part of their delivery method (survey from Modern Healthcare).

Here are the 4 trends in healthcare as we move towards a mobile only platform

Smartphones on the rise as the device of choice:

In a survey by GlobalWebIndex, 80% of the folks surveyed globally own a smartphone. If you look at the number of physicians surveyed in 2012 by Booz & Company, 85% use or own a smartphone. I would not be surprised if that percentage is even higher. Let’s think about all of the grandparents that we originally thought would have problems using technology; guess what, they are all using it now to Skype with the grandkids or using Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. With the generation gap in technology adoption a non-issue anymore, mobile will be the platform of choice with the smartphone as the main access device.

Mobile Health Apps:

Mobile health applications are growing at a tremendous rate. In 2012, there were about 44M mobile health apps in the market with a projection of 144M mobile health apps by 2016 (Juniper Research). That projection is on target since according to the latest stat, there are currently about 100M mobile health apps on the market. CapGemini estimates that 4M mobile apps are downloaded daily. Consumers are downloading mobile apps from symptom checkers to fitness tracking and monitoring. The providers and healthcare system, on the other hand, are creating mobile apps to increase patient engagement, to allow for patient access to their medical information, to e-mail their physician’s office, request appointments, view test results, pay bills, and the list goes on.

Wearable Technology:

Wearable technology is becoming popular and it is becoming part of people’s daily routine. This revolutionary technology will empower patients, doctors, and the clinical staff. As we move towards big data in the enterprises, let’s also keep in mind the data that we will have on our health. We see Fitbit on wrists everywhere to track steps and fitness activities; in addition, we are seeing the rise of trackers to track sleep patterns, calorie food intake, blood pressure, and many others. This is just the beginning as we progress and have data that will allow us to be proactive in our health, with the goal of having relevant data so that individuals can take action.

Telemedicine

Virtual medical consultation will be the preferred route for medical treatment in the future. Telehealth, which allows patients to connect with doctors using mobile devices and video chat, is gaining traction as a cost-effective way for patients to receive care and will completely change our view of the traditional doctor’s visit. As technology in telemedicine expands, it will allow us to effectively perform the following:

Monitor and treat patients with chronic conditionsConnect rural parts of the world to provide careRemote ICU monitoring

Mobile healthcare is clearly on the rise and it will be the platform of choice between the provider and the patient. Pew Research conducted a survey in 2010 for the United States and at that time at least four out of five adults own a smartphone aka mini-computer. I expect that number to be higher in 2015 with an upward trajectory. I believe that healthcare will be moving towards a retail model where the consumers have increased mobile transactions and mobile will be the platform of choice. Healthcare will follow as the consumer expects the same level of service with healthcare transactions.


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IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century

IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st CenturyNov 28, 20144,336Views114Likes19CommentsShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google PlusShare on Twitter

In 2011, people witnessed an interesting competition on the television quiz show Jeopardy. It featured the two best players in the history of the show, Ken Jennings, who had the longest unbeaten run of 74 winning appearances, and Brad Rutter, who had earned the biggest prize of $3.25 million. Their opponent was a huge computer with over 750 servers and a cooling system stored at a location so as not to disturb the players. The room–sized machine was made by IBM and named after the company's founder, Thomas J. Watson. It did not smile or show emotion, but it kept on giving good answers. At the end, Watson won the game with $77,147 leaving Rutter and Jennings with $21,600 and $24,000 respectively.

Cognitive computers have been developing rapidly over the last few years following three technological breakthroughs. One is cheap parallel computation due to a new kind of chip called a graphics processing unit (GPU). The second one is accessible big data due to massive databases, web cookies, wearable devices and decades of search results. The third one is building better algorithms due to the services of Netflix, Google, Amazon and the others.

From Stethoscope to Cognitization

People, especially in medicine, do not like change. Moreover, after many of my talks, physician colleagues ask me whether artificial intelligence (AI) might replace them in their jobs and whether algorithms can eventually become better at making diagnoses. Both will happen but the job of physicians will transform into a new role because of that. They finally have more time to deal with patients instead of chasing the information they would need. They will get access to that immediately. Cognitive computers will help physicians diagnose the same way stethoscope could change the medical profession from the early 19th century when René Laennec developed a wooden tube that worked like an ear trumpet to listen to cardiac and lung sounds.

The use of AI does not have to lead to the loss of the human touch. In 1997, IBM's supercomputer Deep Blue could beat Garry Kasparov, the reigning chess grand master that time. He said he could have performed better if he had access to the same databases as Deep Blue. So later, freestyle matches were organized in which supercomputers could play against human chess players assisted by AI (they were called human/AI centaurs). Guess what! In 2014 in a Freestyle Battle, the AI chess players won 42 games, but centaurs won 53 games. The best potential pair is a human with technology. This is the only balance that can lead to a positive future with more and more disruptive innovations including ever-improving cognitive computing but an also ever-improving human intelligence and wisdom. This is the winning combination.

If AI can improve a chess player, it can improve a physician as well.

What even the most acclaimed professors know cannot match cognitive computers. As the amount of information they accumulate grows exponentially, the assistance of computing solutions in medical decisions is imminent. While a physician can keep a few dozen study results and papers in mind, IBM’s Watson can process millions of pages in seconds. This remarkable speed has led to trying Watson in oncology centers to see how helpful it is in making treatment decisions in cancer care. We need to prepare for its use but IBM has taken the first steps. Watson does not answer medical questions, but based on data it comes up with the most relevant and likely outcomes. Physicians make the final call. Computer assistance can only facilitate the work of physicians, not replace it. Just like how stethoscope did.

Read more stories about how artificial intelligence can impact medical decision-making in the new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

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Healthcare Providers warming up to mobile health

Healthcare Providers warming up to mobile health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The use of electronic health records has come a long way since 2010, but EHRs cannot stand alone, warns a PwC report. The next challenge is integrating mobile health devices into the EHR and the provider–patient relationship.

 

The consulting company interviewed 1,000 physicians and physician extenders—nurse practitioners, physician assistants—to discover how they use digital technology and some of the concerns they have about incorporating it into clinical practice (http://tinyurl.com/digital-study).

The number of providers using smartphones and tablets is increasing. For example, in 2010, about 1 in 8 (12%) used mobile devices to check medical records. In 2014, the survey found that almost half (45%) do.


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Five Ways Analytics in Digital Health Tools Will Change Healthcare

Five Ways Analytics in Digital Health Tools Will Change Healthcare | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Five Ways Analytics in Digital Health Tools Will Change HealthcarePosted on February 8, 2015 by davidleescher       6 Votes

 

There are many reasons cited why digital technologies hope to improve of patient care as well as the state of healthcare itself. They include improving efficiencies, patient safety, and cost. However, as has been seen with the most ubiquitous face of digital health technology, the EHR, these promises remain unfulfilled. One significant barrier to the utility of digital technology has been the heretofore unlinked status of ‘sterile’ data with analytical tools which can bring it into the world of clinical relevance to both the provider and patient. Analytics have been utilized in other sectors of society including retail, social and finance for decades. They drive efficiencies and outcomes at Amazon, IBM, telecoms, FedEx, financial institutions, and sports. Yet the millions of bits of discrete data amassed every minute in healthcare are warehoused in a contextual vacuum. To add insult to injury, even when utilized in hospital patient satisfaction surveys, bundled payment programs, and physician performance measures, the results are transmitted to healthcare enterprises and providers (who are eager to affect improvement based on these metrics) only after months (and up to a year) later. Analytics can be seen as mission control of digital technologies, putting all the pieces together in order to assure ultimate success of the vision. The filtered data needs to be delivered in real-time and incorporated into operational and clinical workflows without having to be mined. Barriers to the adoption of analytics were identified in a joint study by IBM and MIT. The biggest ones were: inability to get the data, the culture does not encourage the sharing of data, lack of understanding of the benefits of analytics, competing administrative priorities, and lack of executive sponsorship. It should be noted that this study was performed in 2010. Nevertheless it is the opinion of this author that these same barriers remain obstacles today. I will discuss some reasons why analytics will ultimately change healthcare.

Analytics will deliver value to electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs were developed to help improve and integrate the flow of clinical information.  However, they were designed as billing tools which also met regulatory specifications.  They do not follow clinical workflows. The American Medical Association has called for design overhaul of EHRs to improve usability.  Clinical decision support is rudimentary and can vary widely in its breadth and depth of use. The discussion of the utility of analytics with EHRs is not new. I suggested what this might look like in healthcare in a piece I wrote in 2011, with pilot studies using predictive analyticshave been done.Analytics can improve clinical workflow. It is intuitive that analytics can improve workflow. Actually determining this by way of metrics has been a challenge. One interesting study from the University of Michigan “focused on measuring clinicians’ ‘time expenditures’ among different clinical activities rather than inspecting clinical ‘workflow’ from the true ‘flow of the work’ perspective.”Proscribed therapies and digital health tools. Analytics will recommend, based on available data in the EHR (diagnoses, medications, vital signs, results of tests) treatment and discharge plans as well as digital tools for patients (patient education on diagnoses, medication, and follow-up and care instructions. Case managers (as well as the healthcare provider) who have backgrounds in informatics will review these recommendations. This will close the loop as a human element check.Population health management. ‘Population health’ is currently the buzz phrase for healthcare enterprises. It encompasses preventive health, outreach programs including telehealth, and the use of data to drive health outcomes. Analytics will facilitate this by analyzing real-time data gathered by EHRs, social media, genomics, and mobile health technologies including apps and remote patient monitoring. Crowdsourcing data, whether it is derived from a worldwide or single institutional database is very powerful.Analytics will transform Big Data into Actionable Data.Preventing hospital readmissions is becoming a significant focus of healthcare enterprises because of the financial penalties tied to them via CMS. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is becoming a significant tool in preventing these readmissions by providing continuity of patient-derived data with the hospital, recognizing actionable trending data before it results in a trip to the ER and a subsequent admission to the hospital. One of the unmet challenges of most RPM systems is to incorporate analytics with the technology, offering suggested changes in lifestyle, care, or other instructions to patients and/or caregivers, or changes in the therapeutic plan to the provider.  This is a far cry from the provider receiving a deluge of useless data for analysis.  This type of analytics can also incorporate clinical decision support based on evidence-based medicine.Use in clinical trials, post marketing of drugs and devices. Analytics can be extremely helpful in the recruitment and retention of patients in clinical trials. There are a few mobile health technology companies in this space. One not mentioned (by way of disclosure to which I am an advisor) is Parallel6 which utilizes patented technology to keep patients and investigators connected. Post-marketing surveillance of medical devices, new pharmaceuticals, and drugs which transition from prescription to over the counter is critical in discovering adverse reactions and other events not captured during controlled (relatively short-term) approval trials or regulated prescribing.Analytics will be the key to personalized medicine. Only via analytics can we combine the value of population health data and clinical and digital data from an individual patient in an expedited and accurate fashion. Should all patients with the same cancer receive the same treatment regimen? Analytics can potentially readily address variances of diagnosis and/or treatment of a disease based on geography, race, and genomics.Analytics will decrease gaps/bias in care (geographic, socioeconomic). It is well-known that geographic variations exist in healthcare utilization and costs. Analytics incorporated into EHRs can utilize best practices seen vis-a-vis pooled data such as this to ‘level the playing field’ with respect to both quality and cost of treatment.Analytics will decrease the cost of care. The use of analytics is readily seen with its incorporation in apps which provide healthcare cost transparency. Analytics can also help patients interested in medical tourism choose a destination. There are apps which allow patients to compare charges for a given procedure.I do not pretend to deliver the message that analytics is the Wizard of Oz of healthcare, nor that the successful revamping of our broken system lies solely in IT. As described above, barriers to the use of analytics are not technical but cultural. Organizations like Kaiser-Permanente and Geisinger Health System already realize the value proposition of employing high-grade real-time analytics to drive better outcomes and lower costs. It is important for hospitals to realize that remaining in just survival mode is not an option and that a vision of utilizing cost-effective resources such as analytics can be the best investment for success.
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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, February 25, 11:04 AM

Es posible convertir el Big Data en Actionable Data?

Andre Mouton's curator insight, March 2, 10:02 AM

Better be prepared. The wave is coming

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Stanford launches its HealthKit- and Epic-connected MyHealth app

Stanford launches its HealthKit- and Epic-connected MyHealth app | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Many large hospitals in the U.S. are evaluating or developing pilot projects around Apple’s HealthKit platform. Stanford Health Care is among the first to actually offer a working app that exchanges data between the Epic patient record system and Apple’s platform.

SHC quietly announced Tuesday the release of its new iOS 8 MyHealth mobile app for patients (no Android app yet).

The app was developed in-house by Stanford Health Care (SHC) engineers, and connects directly with Epic’s electronic health records system, and with Apple’s HealthKit to collect data from consumer health data monitoring devices like Fitbit wearables, for example.

SHC says patients can use the app to view test results and medical bills, manage prescriptions, schedule appointments, and conducti video visits with Stanford physicians.

The app supports Stanford Health Care’s new ClickWell Care, a telemedicine service that connects patients with Stanford doctors online. ClickWell also provides patients with a customized wellness coaching program from a certified personal trainer, who monitors data from the patient’s home health devices.

“We provide care for some of the most technologically sophisticated patients in the country, whose lives revolve around innovation,” said Stanford Health Care CEO Amir Dan Rubin in a statement. “After carefully evaluating all of the available mobile technologies, we recognized that to meet the needs and expectations of our patients we had to develop our own solution that worked seamlessly with our existing electronic health record system,” Rubin added.

The MyHealth app also creates offers a secure messaging platform where patients can communicate directly with caregivers. Using HealthKit, the MyHealth app syncs automatically with whatever consumer wellness devices or clinical home care devices the patient might use. The data received from the devices is automatically added to the patient’s chart in Epic for their physician to review remotely.

“By integrating with companies like Withings, our physicians have access to meaningful patient data right in Epic, without having to ask the patient to come in for an appointment,” said SHC CIO Pravene Nath, MD, in a statement. “We believe this is the future of how care will be delivered for many types of chronic conditions.”

Stanford Health Care consists of a large university hospital, primary care offices throughout the Bay Area, and outpatient clinics in Redwood City and Palo Alto, California.

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Mobile phone in asthma management and control through “myAirCoach” project

Mobile phone in asthma management and control through “myAirCoach” project | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

 

 Branding Home Clinicians Patients Partner Directory Mobile phone in asthma management and control through “myAirCoach” project February 16, 2015 Asthma, Featured, Patients European researchers have been awarded over €4.5 million to create a user-friendly tool for asthmatic patients to monitor and self-control their disease. The myAirCoach project will run for three years and involves numerous research centers in EU. The name of the project, myAirCoach, stands for analysis, modeling and sensing of both physiological and environmental factors for asthma’s customized and predictive self-management, and seeks to merge mobile health potential to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare with the daily needs of chronic asthma patients. European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) is one of the main partners in the project. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/myaircoach-asthma-management-and-control-mobile-phone Need for customized asthma treatment “Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in Europe, but if affects each patient differently”, says Giuseppe De Carlo of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), one of the partners of the project. “The place where patients live and work, the weather and season, age and even emotions (for example work-related stress) often impact the disease symptoms.” Mr. de Carlo added that asthma changes constantly – along with the patient’ life – making it compulsory to adjust treatments accordingly. This makes every case unique, even for a single patient and on a day to day basis, requiring a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs, he concluded A personalized asthma monitoring system According to the EFA, “mobile devices can today support medical and public health practice if the right apps are in place. Thus, mHealth can significantly contribute to patients’ empowerment, enabling them to manage their health more actively and to live more independently. It can also support healthcare professionals in treating patients more efficiently as mobile apps can track adherence to treatment and encourage healthy lifestyles. Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation framework program, myAirCoach aims to develop a patient-friendly, sensor-based tool to collect clinical, environmental and behavioral data relating to the patient. These measurements will serve as the basis for a digital model that will enable the medical and research community to make accurate predictions of the patient’s disease progression. “The patient will receive immediate feedback on how to manage his/her condition as well, especially when facing a higher risk of asthma aggravation, enabling patients to manage their health to avoid asthma symptoms”, says the EFA. The myAirCoach project will run for three consecutive years and involves research centers, academic organisations, patient organisations and private medical enterprises from across Europe, to bring various perspectives on asthma self-management to the project. More on the issue in: myAirCoach website

Read more at: http://www.salusdigital.co.uk/mobile-phone-asthma-management-control-myaircoach-project/ | Salus Digital


Via Dominique Godefroy, Marie Françoise de Roulhac, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, ChemaCepeda
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8 Examples Of How Google Is Moving Into Digital Health

8 Examples Of How Google Is Moving Into Digital Health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
8 Examples Of How Google Is Moving Into Digital Health
Stephen Davies

posted on Feb. 2, 2015, at 10:05 am
Google is moving into digital health perhaps more than you think.

In July 2014, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin sat down for a rare interview with Vinod Khosla where they discussed, among other things, Google’s involvement in health. When Khosla asked if Google would ever become a healthcare company, both founders were somewhat critical of the current healthcare system’s regulatory hurdles and because of this didn’t envisage becoming a big player in the space. The full interview is below.

Perhaps this was downplayed somewhat since Google is investing both money and resources in digital health in a number of ways and even Medtronic believes Google will be its main competitor in eight years’ time.

Here are 8 examples of how Google is moving into Digital Health
1. Google will store your genome in the cloud for $25 a yearGoogle Genomics



Google has been in the online storage business for sometime now but never like this. Google wants to help university laboratories and hospitals store their clients’ genomes in the cloud which they are calling Google Genomics. For $25 a year, Google will keep a copy of any genome in the cloud to allow researchers to access millions of genomes and run batch analyses efficiently.
Via MIT Technology Review
2. Google is developing a cancer and heart attack-detecting pill

Google nanoparticle pill



Google is working on a nanoparticle pill that could identify cancers, heart attacks and other diseases before they become a problem. Magnetic nanoparticles, less than one-thousandth the width of a red blood cell, will circulate through the blood to detect and report signs of cancer or an imminent heart attack.

Andrew Conrad, head of the Life Sciences team at the Google X research lab said at a Wall Street Journal event in October last year,“Every test you ever go to the doctor for will be done through this system. This is our dream.”
Via Wall Street Journal
3. Google is making fake skin to test its nanoparticles

In order to detect the light coming from the nanoparticle pills, Google had to understand exactly how light passes through skin so they started making synthetic skin. The synthetic skin had to be made the same as real skin with the same autofluorescence and biochemical components.
Via The Atlantic
4. Google is trying to unlock the secrets of agingGoogle Calico



In 2013, Google founded Calico (California Life Company) which is focussed on aging and age-related diseases. Google co-founder, Larry Page, described Calico as a company focussed on “health, wellbeing and longevity” and in Sept last year Calico announced a $1.5bn partnership with pharmaceutical company, AbbVie to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of age-related conditions such as neurodegeneration and cancer.
Via FT
5. Google Glass is being used in numerous ways in healthcareGoogle Glass Surgeon



Despite all the criticism of late and Google’s decision to cancel the public Explorer program, there are still high hopes for how hospitals can use Google Glass in the operating room. A number of hospitals around the world are experimenting with Glass to find innovative ways of adapting the head-mounted computer in a healthcare environment.
Via Bionicly
6. Google is developing a smart contact lens for people with diabetesGoogle Contact Lens



Partnering with global pharmaceutical company, Novartis, Google is developing a smart contact lens to help patients manage diabetes. The lens contains a microchip and a hair-thin electronic circuit that measures blood sugar levels directly from the tear fluid on the surface of the eyeball and transmits the data to a mobile device.
Via Forbes
7. Google is attempting to simulate the human brainGoogle Neural Network



Google acquired deep learning start-up, DeepMind, in January 2014 for a reported $400m and has since announced the launch of a computer that mimics the short-term memory of the human brain. The result is a computer that learns as it stores memories and can later retrieve them to perform logical tasks beyond those it has been trained to do. This neural network is based around the idea of creating a computer that simulates what happens in the human brain but implementing tweaks and changes to make it even more efficient.
Via Forbes
8. Google wants to make medical records open for sharing

Larry Page TED

In an onstage interview with Charlie Rose at TED2014 conference in Vancouver, Google co-founder, Larry Page said, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone’s medical records were available anonymously to research doctors? We’d save 100,000 lives this year. We’re not really thinking about the tremendous good which can come from people sharing information with the right people in the right ways.”
Via TED
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DrawMD Pediatrics is a great app for communicating with kids and their parents

DrawMD Pediatrics is a great app for communicating with kids and their parents | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
DrawMD Pediatrics is an easy-to-use app that gives clinicians the ability to use more sophisticated visual aids The post DrawMD Pediatrics is a great app for communicating with kids and their parents appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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The Possibilities for Improved Healthcare with the Use of Innovation

The Possibilities for Improved Healthcare with the Use of Innovation | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
by Elizabeth Regan, PhD, MA, BS, AS The potential for transforming healthcare delivery to increase access, improve outcomes, and reduce cost are tremendous, but far from guaranteed. As a nation we’...
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Decide Consulting's curator insight, February 3, 3:38 PM

Future Health IT innovation - data access across the board.

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mHealth Device | Eliminate Annual Checkup, Improve Research | HealthWorks Collective

mHealth Device | Eliminate Annual Checkup, Improve Research | HealthWorks Collective | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Imagine you're a 30-year-old who eats healthily, exercises regularly, doesn’t use tobacco products or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and has an unremarkable family medical history. You visit your regular physician for an annual checkup, and after a quick 15-minute chat with your doctor he schedules you for blood work and says to come back in two or three years unless the blood panel shows a problem or an illness appears. You likely don’t feel well cared for or very informed, do you?

You’re not alone in feeling that way. Any good nutritionist, trainer or counselor knows that preventive health care can't adequately be done in one 15-minute session per year, yet this scenario has been the standard of physician-patient interaction for decades and has caused growing disconnect among doctors and their patients. But technology is narrowing that gap. The idea of “modern medicine” is being revolutionized thanks to unprecedented amounts of data flowing from mobile health care devices (mHealth). Soon the concept of quick annual checkups will become obsolete, and doctors are going to be more frequently involved in their patients’ lives in inventive and intimate ways—resulting in a new era of understanding about disease management and prevention.

One of the biggest changes the health care industry faces is the increase of consumer available tests and data, which means people are becoming familiar with the kinds of things physicians look at during annual visits and more preventative tests can be done from home, says Dr. William Rusnak, a family medicine resident in Philadelphia.

This greater access means patients won’t need to visit the clinic for routine testing.

“My hope is that an annual check-up turns into more a quarterly checkup, and that can be a reality if the convenience is available,” Rusnak says. “Obviously people aren't going to take off time from work and schedule an appointment physically see a physician that often, so I see this happening in terms of mHealth.”

More frequent patient-physician interactions for at-risk patients can increase the likelihood of detecting early signs of cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, which are among the leading causes of deaths for Americans. The current method of screening for these ailments every few years leaves patients vulnerable to missing red flags and putting them behind the curve on preventative care, Rusnak says. And although home health monitoring is off to a slow start, mHealth tools are increasing in popularity and providing medical teams with new resources to manage and prevent these illnesses—resources which will eventually curb the contraction and mortality growth rates.

Politics, financial costs and shady data security methods means telemedicine and mHealth in their current form won’t entirely replace physical checkups, but digital visits are already transforming the type of health care patients receive — soon seeing your doctor only once every year or three will phase out completely.

Getting useful, consumer-friendly medical devices into the hands of patients and having physicians engaging with patients who use those tools is the first step. But this change is going to be a result of examining the types of data and information coming in from mobile health systems, which are providing way more information than researchers have ever had before and delivering insights to the ways diseases progress and the optimal ways to manage them, says Euan Thomson, the CEO of AliveCor, a mobile echocardiogram manufacturer and heart disease research company.

“The nature of the way that we understand and track diseases is going to change significantly. That's one of the main drivers [of mHealth], because data is going to give us better care and better insights than ever before,” Thomson says. “Not just through the logistics of telemedicine, but through a greater understanding of the disease process itself.”

This data is going to allow for more specialized care, and offer patients improved understanding of their chronic illness and how to manage it. In upcoming years, when patients establish care at a medical practice they're going to be working with entire teams, and depending on their individual needs they will spend more or less time with particular members of the team. For example, a diabetic needs more medical, dietary, and even podiatry care than a healthy teenager who likely requires more emotional counseling, personal development coaching, and fitness guidance. Medicine is going to become much more individualized, and that personalization is going to increase exponentially as more convenient, reliable mHealth devices enter the marketplace. 

But the replacement of irregular checkups goes further than wearing personal health care devices and having doctors use the results. The expansion that is going to happen the most because of these new telemedicine technologies is in rural areas where doctors will be able to do consulting from a health care center to a physician's office, monitor chronic diseases, and more slowly for psychiatric and therapeutic sessions, says Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief health care officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“Telemedicine has really been the promise for the last 10 or 15 years that has really never quite met its greatest potential, and I think that's because it was limited by technology, but those limitations are slowly falling away,” she says.

However, despite the proposed benefits of telemedicine and mobile health care various organizations, like the American Medical Association, urge caution when physicians begin implementing mobile devices into their treatment plan.

The AMA recommends doctors establish a physician-patient relationship prior to any telemedicine interaction taking place, with certain exemptions for specialties like pathology, radiology and urgent care situations where a face-to-face interaction is not fundamental in the standard of care. Physicians need to see their patients face-to-face in order to gather the background information necessary to make educated health care decisions and provide good care. Once that initial relationship is established, the AMA recommends that physicians use any mode of technology they choose so long as the technology allows them to meet the standard of care for whatever service they are providing.

Unlike Rusnak and Thomson, the AMA doesn’t foresee regular physician exams completely disappearing, but they’ll take on a different role than what’s currently practiced. The organization argues annual visits will become a critical summary between the patient and physician, where additional background information about the patient’s health over the course of the year is provided. This gives the patient quantifiable data and goals for the upcoming year.

mhealth / shutterstock


Via Celine Sportisse, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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The Future of Diabetes Management: 8 Reasons Why We Face Extraordinary Times!

The Future of Diabetes Management: 8 Reasons Why We Face Extraordinary Times! | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The Future of Diabetes Management: 8 Reasons Why We Face Extraordinary Times!by Dr. Bertalan Meskó on January 28, 2015

Around 400 million patients have diabetes worldwide according to estimations. And over the last few years, diabetes management has been improving but due to the new technologies and devices coming to the market very soon, the whole management of diabetes will significantly change in the coming years. Let me show you some examples how.

Digital Contact Lenses

Google has an augmented reality glass called the Google Glass which they just stopped developing, but they also patented a digital contact lens through which we can get more information from the digital world plus it can measure blood glucose levels from tears as an added benefit. Google launched a partnership with the pharmaceutical company Novartis to develop these smart contact lenses that can track diabetes and fix farsightedness as well.

Gamification

There are amazing applications for smartphones that can help you manage diabetes efficiently. MySugr, an Austrian company, released several applications that can add a little bit of gamification to the traditional diabetes management apps. The company also developed the mySugr Junior App designed for kids to learn how to manage diabetes properly. It also enables parents to keep control over the therapy when they are not around the kid. The app looks like a game in which the children get points for every entry and the goal is to score a particular amount of points every single day.

Patient empowerment with big data

Databetes helps patients better manage their diabetes by providing a good way for logging and measuring data, as well as a revolutionary concept to analyze the big data behind one person’s disease. Patients can support each other through social media channels and become coaches for each other. Look at sixuntilme.com for best practice examples.

Bionic pancreas

There is artificial pancreas which means that it’s a closed-loop insulin delivery system. The device can measure blood glucose levels constantly and decide upon the insulin delivery itself. Engineers from Boston University have developed a bionic pancreas system that uses continuous glucose monitoring along with subcutaneous delivery of both rapid-acting insulin and glucagon as directed by a computer algorithm.

Food scanners

TellSpec, a Canadian company is coming up with a food scanner this year which by scanning your food can tell you how many and what kind of ingredients, how many allergens, toxins, how many carbohydrates you actually have in the food you are about to eat.

Pocket-sized gadgets

When you live with diabetes, you get used to carting around with plenty of things such as meters, test strips, lancing devices, and so on therefore a pocket-sized gadget can change this called Dario that also comes with a diabetes management system.

Wireless monitors

The medical company Abbott just released a FreeStyle Libre system which makes it possible to constantly measure blood glucose levels in a wireless way.

Digital tattoos

Here is a digital tattoo that can measure glucose levels by using electric current to attract glucose to the surface of the skin. The proof-of-concept study was just published and it’s time to bring the era of wireless diabetes management to patients.

So there are more and more technologies that can help people manage diabetes properly besides potentially future therapies such as new drugs or islet cell transplantation but it’s really time to manage diabetes in a gamified and comfortable way and I believe that the best gadgets and the best technological solutions are just yet to come.

Please share your experience and thoughts on this!


Via Usalbiomedica, ChemaCepeda
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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, January 30, 11:57 AM

Avances e innovación en diabetes para a desarrollar durante el 2015

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Oncology Pocketcards app, a good concept with outdated content

Oncology Pocketcards app, a good concept with outdated content | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Quick reference apps are great, but only when their content is up to date. The post Oncology Pocketcards app, a good concept with outdated content appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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How Cloud Computing is Changing the Health Care...

How Cloud Computing is Changing the Health Care... | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The accelerating migration to cloud computing represents a change for the way the healthcare industry sources its health information technology.
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