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

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

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

Connected health is progressing, but obstacles remain (and some of them are doctors) | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Technological developments in the health care sector hold great promise for delivering a better standard of care in the United States. But just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Doctors, that is.

Electronic prescriptions are a good example. The majority of doctors in the U.S. have no idea if the prescriptions they write actually get filled by the patient. Surescripts, for example, has a platform that lets doctors send prescriptions electronically and track when and if they are picked up.

The technology is there. But Seth Joseph, vice president of corporate strategy at Surescripts, says doctors may be reluctant to access that data and check in on a patient outside of an appointment.

“We have doctors that say ‘what would it mean from a liability perspective if doctors had access to that info and don’t take action’,” says Joseph. There are also questions around how long a doctor should wait before getting in touch with a patient about not picking up medications, for example, or what other steps they should take.

The 2009 Health Information for Economical and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) incentivized health care providers to adopt electronic health records (EHR) systems and use them in specific and meaningful ways. One of these is for EHR systems in one office to connect with EHR systems in another — a hospital, for example.

As a testament to how well the incentives have worked, Joseph has noted a surge in the number of EHR providers alone. His company currently connects with over 300 EHR vendors — up from just under 100 in the first quarter of 2009. By 2012, the company had seen a flood of EHR vendors, which he documented in a recent study. Considering that Surescripts was founded in 2001 and active by 2003, that’s a significant bump in a three-year period.

Some of the brightest lights in digital health will be discussing connected clinical systems at VentureBeat’s HealthBeat conference on Oct. 28 and 29.

Some hospitals and emergency rooms can already query a network of health care providers about a new patient, to see if that patient has received any prescriptions in the last 13 months and from whom. Some of these networks even have email and chat functions.

But for the most part, doctors don’t coordinate care with caregivers at other facilities using electronic systems. A general practitioner may be able to make an electronic referral specialist, but they can’t manage a patient’s overall health regimen.

As it stands, doctors are paid mainly on a fee-for-service basis, which conflicts with the whole notion of coordinated, preventative care. Rather than making doctors responsible for a patient’s overall health and incentivizing them to provide follow-up care (like checking in with doctors or services they’ve referred patients to), the current system encourages doctors to provide as many single services in a day as possible — leaving little time for follow-up care.

“We need to see payment reform,” says Joseph. He goes on to say that new legislation needs to shift doctors away from a fee-for-service model and towards incentivizing ongoing care.

This would require Congress to enact new laws that enable doctors, nurses, or case managers to focus on the whole “patient journey” whether well or sick. Until then the movement to coordinate care is not likely to progress quickly, he says.

Still, there’s promise managed care will catch on without a new law, Joseph goes on to say. Federal Medicare programs are already offering accountable care pilot programs in which health providers are paid a set amount to manage the health of a given population. Experiments in public health programs often lead to broader changes in the market.

In the coming years, we’re likely to see the health care system moving away from the fee-for-service model and toward one that prioritizes preventative and managed care. As the system transforms itself, the people in it will have to answer questions about liability, reassess the role doctors play in a coordinated care schema, and potentially create the new role of a health care manager who can utilize digital records to better supervise patient health.

Via Andrew Spong
Andrew Spong's curator insight, October 23, 9:44 AM

Healthcare professional reticence can have as much to do with concerns about patient safety as it can with personal skepticism.


Let's remember that the personalised medicine agenda extends to doctors, too. Many doctors do an outstanding job in terms of delivering exceptional care and supporting optimal patient outcomes without a battery of gizmos and gadgets.


Push through the legions of techno-zombies and wild-eyed advocates, and find the solution that works for you, in whatever combination of digital and analog forms, in tandem with your care team.

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mHealth Evidence

Mobile and Wireless technologies have the ability to enhance health because of frequent and less burdensome measurement and the ability to intervene in real time and in the context of a person's...
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Is Google Glass headed for extinction?

Is Google Glass headed for extinction? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Is Google Glass quickly falling into the waste bin of  seemingly great but ultimately futile ideas?

That’s the view from PC Magazine UK, which likens Glass, and it’s seeming drift toward irrelevance, to buzzword trends of technology and the internet of yore, including VCRPlus and “the once ubiquitous ‘keyword’ employed by AOL.”

The backlash that Glass felt was high-profile (especially here in Google’s backyard) and, in a lot of ways, understandable – people simply don’t like, appreciate, or are outright hostile to the idea that their every move and every word are being recorded and transmitted to some unsecured cloud controlled by Google. The difference is important, PC Magazine writer John Dvorka notes – while other technologies faded away because they were no longer useful, Glass’s issues lay with the public perception.

“It wasn’t outliving its usefulness like VCRPlus and keywords; it was negative social pressure that made them go,” Dvorka writes, predicting that Glass will be shutdown within a year.


Importantly, he correctly notes:

“In some ways this is a shame since a number of Google Glass applications still being developed could be useful for customer service and other business applications. Now they’ll probably never see the light.”

One area that became obvious – and far less socially awkward – is healthcare. Glass has shown usefulness in aiding surgeons and communication between providers and ambulances, adding another tool in the growing field of medicine, among dozens of other potential applications.

Just this past September, Pristine, which specializes in developing wearable healthcare technology, raised $5.4 million to develop Glass into a “more manageable, hands-free approach to telemedicine,” esteemed MedCity News colleague Stephanie Baum reported.

And MedGift, a project at Switzerland’s Institute of Information Systems, shows medics using Glass to stream video of a patient while en route to be treated by a physician, who is then better prepared when the patient arrives.

There are literally dozens of potential applications within healthcare. It’s arguably too soon to say which ones will really stick and which ones, like Glass itself, are hype. Nevertheless, that the healthcare world is more willing to embrace Glass than the general public is an interesting role reversal: the American healthcare system traditionally has embraced consumer technologies at a far slower clip than the average consumer.

So who’s to blame? Dvorka posits that the problem resides with Google’s naiveté toward the public-at-large. Some might say arrogance.

“The company has exhibited a very cavalier attitude towards individual privacy,” Dvorka says.

It’s certainly a fair point and a widely held sentiment among those who view Glass with a disdainful eye. The writer goes on to predict that, in the near future, Google will abandon Glass due to slumping interest.

But if healthcare is any guide, perhaps it’s possible for Google to refocus the product toward those who want to work with Glass versus cavalierly trying to convince all consumers to walk around like robots recording conversations in bars and dismissing critics as mere Luddites. It’s one thing for a person in an ambulance to connect with an ER physician – that has huge potential benefit; it’s entirely another to wonder if that shot of Jameson you take at happy hour is on full public display because of some socially awkward cyborg.

“With security cameras everywhere combined with unapologetic government surveillance of law-abiding citizens, adding Glass is just too much. They turned out to be a straw the broke the back of the privacy camel’s back. … No one needs friends acting as if they were agents of the government, perhaps streaming your image and words directly to the cloud during what should be casual conversation.”

It’s perhaps time that Google and other tech behemoths wake up to this basic fact. To be fair, it’s not just Google; it’s just that Glass was and continues to be literally the most visible intrusion – real or perceived – into peoples’ personal lives.

The technology itself is not the problem; the application and tone-deaf roll out is what will doom Glass, and that would be a shame given that there is some promise.

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SelfEcho Launches Pilot Study Of New Mental Healthcare Mobile Platform ... -

SelfEcho Launches Pilot Study Of New Mental Healthcare Mobile Platform ... - | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Mental Health Clinicians Enrolling in Study to Use Mobile Therapy System With Patients

PR Newswire

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 7, 2014

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, mental health clinicians have the opportunity to preview a new mobile platform that provides them with patient data between therapy visits to accelerate diagnoses and improve care.  SelfEcho, a leading developer of technology solutions for mental health, is launching and enrolling clinicians in a pilot study of its new Mobile Therapy system.  Mobile Therapy collects patient data on an ongoing, voluntary basis that clinicians can access through a centralized dashboard to monitor progress and enhance treatment.  The system also offers practice management tools for clinicians. 

SelfEcho is enrolling selected, licensed clinicians from various mental health practice areas in the pilot study, including professional counselors, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists.  The pilot studies will be conducted in two groups of clinicians who will utilize the system within their practices, free of charge.  Licensed mental health clinicians treating adult patients are eligible to participate and can find enrollment information at

"Mobile technology has incredible potential to transform mental health care treatment and we're excited to be at the forefront of bringing new applications to professionals," commented Jacques Habra, SelfEcho's co-founder and CEO. "Our goal in launching the pilot study is to give clinicians a preview of the Mobile Therapy system and to solicit their input to ensure that we're meeting the needs of their practices."

SelfEcho's Mobile Therapy is designed to empower clinicians through mobile technology by collecting patient data in a scientifically validated manner, which is then analyzed by psychology-based algorithms.  Clinicians invite patients to utilize the system and then customize each user's account based on the patient's condition and treatment plan.  In full compliance with HIPAA requirements, Mobile Therapy collects data actively and passively via patient self-reports and smartphone sensors.  Mobile Therapy uses passive linguistic analysis technology, based on 20 years of research stemming from Professor James W. Pennebaker's work at the University of Texas at Austin.

Over time, clinicians can view metrics from Mobile Therapy's centralized dashboard that enables them to more efficiently diagnose, track patient progress, identify triggers and make more informed decisions about treatment planning.  The dashboard also provides clinicians with HIPAA-compliant note-taking tools and will soon offer variety of insurance, scheduling and billing features to streamline and centralize practice management.

According to a recent national survey commissioned earlier this year by SelfEcho, mental health practitioners believe mobile technology applications geared to mental healthcare treatment have the ability to improve patient care and practice management.  More than half of survey respondents (66 percent) believe that being able to obtain additional data on clients using mobile technology would improve their ability to treat them.  Furthermore, 68 percent of clinicians surveyed felt that integrating additional data from apps for mental health tracking into therapy practices would help clinicians advance their profession. 

"Many patients do not provide reliable or consistent information to their mental health professionals about their emotional well-being during the time between appointments," said Dr. Daniel Gilbert, a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and a senior research director at SelfEcho.  "Mobile technology systems like Mobile Therapy give clinicians a powerful tool to better understand what is happening in their clients' lives so they can work together to tailor treatment to patients' needs."

About SelfEcho

Based in Santa Barbara, Calif., SelfEcho applies technology in creative ways to enhance well-being, mental health and productivity.  SelfEcho's suite of products includes Mobile Therapy, a web-based platform designed to empower clinicians to provide better patient care and, a web-based corporate wellness application designed to improve employee positivity and productivity.  Its founders and employees are committed to the bridging the gap between clinical experts within the field of psychology and the business sphere.  SelfEcho's management team includes accomplished experts in psychology and award-winning entrepreneurs.  SelfEcho is a project incubated and funded through the Santa Barbara start-up incubator, Noospheric.

Photo -

Via Laureen Turner, Sergey Go
Laureen Turner's curator insight, October 15, 4:54 PM

This is a great tech talk topic !!!! 

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Packing evidence-based medicine into mobile apps | mHealthNews

Evidence-based medicine has quickly moved from the background to the forefront as a determiner of treatment pathways, and the mobile health app marketplace has responded in kind.

Dozens of EBM apps are available in Apple’s AppStore and Google’s Android Play for smartphones and tablets, many from major medical institutions and most of them free or for a nominal fee. All are designed to help physicians make decisions at the point of care.

While none of these apps can substitute for a physician's judgment and professional expertise, they can be valuable in guiding clinical decision-making and eliminating errors such as “anchoring” - or making a diagnosis or assumption without having all the data - said Kulleni Gebreyes, MD, a physician and current director in PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Industries practice. 

“When you use EBM it allows you to consider more comprehensive diagnosis possibilities and treatment options,” Gebreyes said.

[Roundup: 10 mobile apps for evidence-based medicine.]

When doctors are overwhelmed with data points and don’t have the time or bandwidth to read through all the journals and abstracts, these programs can separate the signal from the noise and allow them to focus on the most relevant information, as well as making sure they answer the right questions.

“They are useful if you know the right context,” Gebreyes said.


Before browsing through the summaries of these 10 mobile EBM applications, bear in in mind that somewhere in the software itself or in the accompanying literature is this disclaimer:

The application … “is not a substitute for clinical decision-making. We make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained in this application. Clinicians should perform their own review of pertinent literature before making a clinical decision.”

This is more than just a legal notice like those seen on television for Viagra and other meds, said Greg Caressi, senior vice president of healthcare and life sciences at Frost & Sullivan. Rather, it's a statement of where we are in the industry.

“In this case we have to take these disclaimers more seriously,” he said. “We don’t have enough evidence and a high level of understanding that this application works better than others and will get better results in cost and outcomes. This is a challenge for clinicians.”

Not ‘cookbook medicine’ any longer

Challenges linger, but if EBM can minimize the variations that exist when hospitals and physicians practice from their own experience, then outcomes will improve and, in turn, costs will go down.

As far as outright opposition to the concept of EBM, one can only say that no one is calling EBM  ‘cookbook medicine’ anymore. Indeed, EBM is how the younger generation of physicians is being trained. 

That doesn’t mean clinicians don’t have some concern. But clinicians are worried about the payers, fearing that insurers will determine which treatment pathway is best and dictate that if doctors don’t follow the recommended treatment they had better have a great deal of backup as to why not, or the insurer won’t pay. 

“The question is how much will payers drive this?” Caressi said.

Both Caressi and Gebreyes believe that in time, these mobile EBM applications will improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Looking five years down the road, Caressi sees the day when a mobile application connected to an IBM-type Watson supercomputer will be used in emergency circumstances, with the doctor punching in the situation and the application immediately returning a clinical decision support response. Gebreyes, meanwhile, sees the day when these tools will be able to take population-based probabilities and translate them to individualized probabilities for patients based on their unique characteristics.

Ephraim Schwartz is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Vt. Schwartz is a recognized mobile expert and columnist, having spent 15 years as Editor-at-Large for InfoWorld, half of them covering the mobile space. Prior to that he was Editor-in-Chief of Laptop Magazine. 

Related articles: 

Top 10 mHealth stories of 2014 (so far)

Hospital-issued tablets target patient education, satisfaction

5 steps to get payers and providers to tap mHealth apps

Topics: Innovation, Clinical

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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Is your health app tourist or local?

Is your health app tourist or local? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

English is one of the most common second languages in the world, with its estimated one billion speakers equating to 14% of the world's population. However, if you are developing an app and think this means you can avoid having it translated into other languages, you might want to think again.

The reality is that only 6% of people on the planet speak English as their first language, while 22% will own a smartphone by the end of 2014. The ten countries with the highest smartphone sales in 2014 are China, India, the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Germany, France and the UK. These simple statistics paint a clear picture of the need to localize and translate all apps for the global market.

Take the following scenario: wanting to improve its relationship with the end customer, a pharma company creates two apps. The one for the customer offers online help, easy daily monitoring of a condition and collection of data associated with it. The other app, for sales reps, is designed to help them present information and choices to HCPs. The English-language apps are launched across Europe but, after an initial burst of enthusiasm, there is little interest. Why?

The answer is simple: the apps aren't personal, and that's what mobile health is all about. It's about being accessible to customers at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day, and making their life easier. The key to providing a personal service is being able to communicate with the customer in his native language.

If you are going to be involved in your customer's daily life, you want the product to be easy to use and to fit seamlessly into his or her daily routine. For example, some apps monitor type and intensity of pain in order to give an indication of disease progress. Can you imagine waking up at 3 a.m. in excruciating pain and then trying to navigate through different pain assessments in a foreign language?

Health is a very personal issue and it is crucial that the information patients share with their doctors is accurate. Collecting information with an English-language app but discussing it in Spanish is far from ideal; misusing words with subtle differences in meaning could result in an incorrect or even harmful clinical decision, not to mention poor patient compliance.

If you really want your app to be successful on a global scale, you need to localize it and speak the language of the local market. This is where transcreation comes in – it's what defines you as a “local” rather than as just a “tourist.”

“Transcreation” combines “translation” and “creation” to provide tailored copy for a target market; in contrast with literal translation, transcreation takes into account local culture, tone and vocabulary. In the UK, “sick” means “vomit,” whereas in countries including the US and New Zealand it simply means “unwell.”

In order to create a global app, you need to ensure that the original version has been internationalized, which makes it easy to localize for a given market. Internationalization is a design principle which aims to produce software applications that can readily be adapted to other languages and regions without costly engineering changes. Internationalization has a few key characteristics, including using Unicode to make sure all characters are displayed correctly, options for formatting time and date according to local style and making sure that the correct currencies and measurement units are used.

In terms of translation, internationalization requires an app to be flexible enough to allow for discrepancies in word length, which can differ between languages by as much as 40%. There are also differences in character sizes (e.g., Latin characters require less space than Chinese ones). App creators should also pay close attention to layout, as this will be mirrored when working with languages such as Hebrew and Arabic that read right to left.

Of course, countries that primarily speak a single language still have regional differences, so pharma brands that don't want to seem like a tourist might want to take this into consideration. The British mental image of a vacationing American's “fanny pack” might be just as awkward as an American host's interpretation of a traveling Brit's “bum bag.” App creators should always use translators who are based in the country where the company is launching its app. Language changes quickly and it is vital for transcreation that writers are immersed in their local culture.

Finally, there are an estimated 50.5 million expats in the world, so it is increasingly important to avoid assuming a user's location from his language and vice versa. Expats are a prime example of people whose mother tongue differs from the native language of the country in which they work. An English native speaker in Italy, for example, would probably want an app in English but with Italian localization options.

The more flexible a pharma company is when designing its health app, the more effectively the app will fulfill its huge global potential. The key to success lies in effective internationalization and localization. To deliver a personal app that makes a customer feel connected and supported, transcreation is an essential task.  

Joanna Laurson-Doube, PhD, is group account director at Mother Tongue Life, the medical arm of transcreation agency Mother Tongue Writers

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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Exclusive - Facebook plots first steps into healthcare

Exclusive - Facebook plots first steps into healthcare | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health. On the heels

Via Ginny Dillon
Ginny Dillon's curator insight, October 14, 11:24 AM

Anyone else concerned about patient PRIVACY on FaceBook?

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Google Glass app that transcribe spoken words and helps hearing-impaired users

Google Glass app that transcribe spoken words and helps hearing-impaired users | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

A new app allows Google Glass to help the hearing-impaired with a real-time closed-captioning feature. Developed at Georgia Institute of Technology, the app can transcribe spoken words using the microphone of a paired smartphone.
  "Captioning on Glass provides real-time closed captioning allowing the deaf or those who are very hard of hearing to converse with others. Your conversational partner speaks into the phone using this application and the speech is converted to text and displayed in the companion Captioning on Glass Glassware," read the description of the app on Google Play. Work on the app started when School of Interactive Computing Professor Jim Foley learned he had trouble hearing. He said the system allows wearers to focus on the speaker's lips and facial gestures. Hard-of-hearing people who can understand the speech need not wait for the caption if they can understand what the speaker is saying. But a wearer who misses a word "can glance at the transcription, get the word or two I need and get back into the conversation," he told CNET. — Joel Locsin/JST, GMA News



Via ChemaCepeda
ChemaCepeda's curator insight, October 13, 10:45 AM

Interesante aplicación de ayuda a personas con problemas de audición, que transcribe la conversación en tiempo real y la muestra en forma de texto a través de las Google Glass.

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ePharma Summit: mHealth Explained in Facts

ePharma Summit: mHealth Explained in Facts | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
How do patients feel about mHealth?

78% of US consumers are interested in mHealth solutions. (Booz & Co.)
Which is part of the reason the U.S mobile health audience (those looking for health information through mobile web or apps) reached 95 million in 2013—Up 27% from the same point a year earlier. (Manhattan Research)
69% of US adults are willing to communicate with providers by email, 49% are interested in communicating via online chat or web portal, 45% by text message and 40% by mobile health applications. (PWC)
46% of people indicated they’re interested in using technologies such as smart phones and tablet applications to manage issues such as blood sugar or breathing function in the future. (Deloitte)
75% of Americans said they would check their vitals more often if it meant saving money on insurance premiums. (mHealth News)

What about physicians?

82% of healthcare professionals use a mobile device for professional reasons at least once daily. (eMarketer)
64% of HCPs use medical apps at least monthly. (eMarketer)
37% of physicians have already prescribed an app to a patient. (QuantiaMD)

Most agree: Mobile devices can expedite decision making

The result:

Health and wellness apps are growing 87% faster than the app industry as a whole. (Flurry)
In terms of year over year mobile spend, the pharma industry led the way with a 491% growth in Q1 2014 versus Q1 2013. (Millenial Media)
In 2014, there are projected to be over 100 million eVisits globally resulting in more than $5 billion in savings over face-to-face visits. (Deloitte)
The mobile health market is projected to reach $26 billion by 2017. (Mobile Health Market News)

How is the industry reacting?

More than $750 million in venture capital has been invested in mHealth apps since the start of 2013. (MIT Technology Review)
There are over 100,000 mHealth and fitness apps currently available for download. (mHealthWatch)
This year, researchers have developed technology capable of measuring heart rate through Wi-Fi signals with 99% accuracy. This technology has the potential to be used in health tracking apps. (Mobiloitte)


Only about 7% of people use an app or tool on their phone to track the “health indicator they care about the most”. (Pew Research)
36% of healthcare companies currently have no mobile technology strategy. (Robert Half Technology)
More othan two-thirds who have downloaded a mobile health app have stopped using it. (MIT Technology Review)
One third of consumers who own wearable health devices stop wearing them after six months. (MobiHealthNews)

What are the issues?

Compliance: Only 1 in 1,000 mHealth apps are approved by the FDA. (mHealthWatch)

User Experience: Only 28% of physicians report being “very satisfied” with the quality of medical apps currently available (Booz & Co.). In addition, of this enormous group of health and fitness apps, more than half have generated less than 500 downloads. (iHealthBeat)

Data Security: 61% of internet users would stop using their favorite mobile health app if a data breach occurred. (HealthIT Security)

We'll have more on the latest in digital at this year's ePharma West. Join us September 22-24 in San Francisco, CA. Download the agenda to see what we've got on tap.

Now you can SAVE $100. Register here and use code XP1956BLOG.

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Health and wellness infographics

Health and wellness infographics | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
How healthcare consumers connect and engage online // #healthcare #searchmarketing #socialmedia #infographic

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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Providers Could Impact Wearable Usage

Providers Could Impact Wearable Usage | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Consumers traditionally have driving the wearables market, but a new study shows doctors and insurers are becoming bigger players.

Doctors and insurers have the power to influence consumers’ decisions when it comes to wearables, according to a study – Wearable Technology & Preventative Medicine – conducted by Technology Advice.

"If healthcare providers help make fitness tracking devices (or apps) available to their patients or work with health insurance providers to encourage device usage through discounted premiums, they should be able to significantly increase the number of self-tracking adults in the U.S.," the report states.

Of those surveyed, 11 percent used a fitness tracker and 14 percent used a smartphone app to keep track of their weight or exercise. Another 14.5 percent say they plan to use one in the future.

According to mHealth News, the report found that of the 75 percent of those surveyed who aren’t using the device:

44 percent have no specific reason27 percent have no interest in tracking their data18 percent are concerned about costs10.5 percent had concerns about privacy8 percent weren’t satisfied with the designs

Although doctors have an influence on what their patients do outside of the office, this study found that insurers may have the upper hand when it comes to influencing whether or not they use fitness trackers.

"Over 57 percent of adults indicated that the possibility of lower premiums would make them more likely to use a fitness tracking device. Health insurance companies have greater means to subsidize the cost of such devices, and stand to benefit from the collected data in the form of better risk profiles. If healthcare providers worked in tandem with health insurance companies, both stakeholders could benefit from the collected population health data."

Via veetechnologies
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mHealth, an Opportunity to Improve the Quality of Life of our Senior Citizens

mHealth, an Opportunity to Improve the Quality of Life of our Senior Citizens | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

“ Telemedicine and mHealth apps will adapt more and more to smartphone technology in the future, especially those targeting the senior citizens segment.”

Via ET Russell, eMedToday, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, Usalbiomedica
eMedToday's curator insight, October 21, 2013 4:26 AM

telemedicine will adopt to smartphones

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Top 10 Medical Apps for Cardiology

Top 10 Medical Apps for Cardiology | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

When you search the term “Cardiology” in the iTunes app store and Google Play you get about 400 and 250 results respectively. Finding those needles in the haystack, those few apps that will actually help you deliver better care can be challenging to say the least. So leave that search to us.

Here’s a list of 10 great cardiology apps to get you started. The apps in this list are based on our experience reviewing over a thousand apps to date and my personal experiences using many of these apps as a cardiology fellow. We’ll be updating and amending this list in the future as we discover more new, innovative apps.

In this edition, you’ll notice a few themes including several apps for patient communication as well as a strong presence from professional societies.

DrawMD Cardiology

DrawMD has been an iMedicalApps favorite for some time. Designed to facilitate discussions between cardiologists and their patients, the Cardiology edition of the DrawMD series has several sketches of cardiac anatomy on which you can draw either free form or using “stamps.”

For example, one of the including drawings is an artery in cross-section. When explaining a focal stenosis, you can add a stamp that adds an atherosclerotic plaque to the vessel. When talking about pre-dilating the lesion, you can add a stamp that adds an intracoronary balloon inside the stenosis. There’s a library of stock images and stamps designed to faciliate common discussions cardiologists have with their patients.

One nice feature worth mentioning is the ability to import images or take pictures within the app that can then be drawn on. All of the images, including annotations, can be shared with your patient by email.

Price: Free
Platforms: iPad
iMedicalApps Review: Our review of this version is coming, but check out our prior reviews of DrawMD Surgery and DrawMD OB/Gyn.
Download: iTunes

Via Philippe Loizon, Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
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mHealth-Enhanced Support from Informal Caregivers Improves Medication Adherence

Speaker: James E. Aikens, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Department of Family Medicine and Faculty Affiliate, Center for Managing Chronic Disease University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Description:...
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Health Wearables Still In Its Early Days, PwC Reports Reveals

Health Wearables Still In Its Early Days, PwC Reports Reveals | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Health wearables are still in the early stages of technology and product adoption cycles, according to PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series – The Wearable Future report – an extensive U.S. research project that surveyed 1,000 consumers, wearable technology influencers and business executives, as well as monitored social media chatter, to explore the technology’s impact on society and business. In conjunction with The Wearable Future report, PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) also launched a separate report, Health wearables: Early days, further examining consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward health wearable technology.

According to Greentech CEO Ian Clark, health wearables are “a bit trivial right now.” “I don’t doubt that the wearable piece is going to be a productive business model for people. I just don’t know whether it’s going to bend the curve in terms of health outcomes,” Clark said at the recent Rock Health Innovation Summit.

While fitness bands, smart watches and other wearables are already established in the market, many of them have under-delivered on expectations. Consider that 33 percent of surveyed consumers who purchased a health wearable technology device more than a year ago now say they no longer use the device at all or use it infrequently. Currently, only 1 in 5 American adults owns a wearable device with only 1 in 10 using it on a daily basis.

Key drivers of the low adoption rate include:

- Price

- privacy

- security

- lack of “actionable” and inconsistent information from such devices

In fact, 82 percent of respondents were worried that wearable technology would invade their privacy and 86 percent expressed concern that wearables would make them more vulnerable to security breaches.

In order for health wearables to take advantage of the $2.8 trillion healthcare opportunity, companies must better engage the consumer, turn data into insights and create a simplified user experience to improve consumer health.  Additional key findings and recommendations from HRI’s Health wearables: Early days report include:

- Consumers have not yet embraced wearable health technology in large numbers, but they’re interested. More than 80 percent of consumers said an important benefit of wearable technology is its potential to make health care more convenient. Companies hoping to exploit this nascent interest will have to create affordable products offering greater value for both users and their healthcare partners.

- Consumers do not want to pay much for their wearable devices; they would rather be paid to use them. Companies – especially insurers and healthcare providers – offering incentives for use may gain traction. HRI’s report found that 68 percent of consumers would wear employer-provided wearables streaming anonymous data to an information pool in exchange for break on their insurance premiums. Moreover, consumers are more willing to try wearable technology provided by their primary care doctor’s office than they are from any other brand or category.

- While employers and health company executives expect wearables to provide valuable insights, few consumers are interested in using wearables to share health data with friends and family, and, citing concerns about privacy, consumers trust their personal physicians most with their health data. Therefore, companies should ensure privacy policies are crystal clear. Physicians already have the trust of consumers, and healthcare organizations have expertise in protecting personal health information. Consumers will want to see those high standards applied to health wearables data, especially as they become integrated into electronic medical records.

- Consumers may need a human touch to help them choose a device and its associated apps. An “apps formulary” of apps vetted by medical teams (and available in a virtual apps pharmacy) could help consumers wade through the thousands of health apps and devices.

“For wearables to help shape the New Health Economy, next generation devices will need to be interoperable, integrated, engaging, social and outcomes-driven,” said Vaughn Kauffman, principal, PwC Health Industries. “Wearable data can be used by insurers and employers to better manage health, wellness and healthcare costs, by pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to run more robust clinical trials, and by healthcare providers to capture data to support outcomes-based reimbursement. But it will be critical to address the consumer concerns that we’ve identified, such as cost, privacy, and ease of use.” For more information,

Both reports are available for download at: 

Via Celine Sportisse
Daphne Press, RN LNC's curator insight, October 21, 8:40 PM

Coordinating the upcoming ABA Health Law Section FDA Medical Device Fundamentals webinar. So, radar tuned to devices.

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Panasonic Launches Tablet-based Telehealth Service for Seniors

Panasonic Launches Tablet-based Telehealth Service for Seniors | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Panasonic Corporation announced it will launch a tablet-based telehealth service in November called On4Today, a non-clinical telehealth service provided to long-term care and assisted living facilities. Designed as an ‘always on’ service, On4Today bridges potential communication gaps between assisted living facility residents and their families, friends and care providers. It delivers connectivity and easy-to-use communications intended to improve staff efficiencies, reduce anxiety for residents, promote peace of mind among family and friends and encourage stronger levels of resident engagement.

The new Health and Wellness Solutions business group is part of Panasonic’s ongoing business transformation and will deliver technology solutions to the healthcare market.

With the launch of On4TodayTM, Panasonic is demonstrating the types of solutions and new generation of networked health information technologies that are enabling providers to deliver cost-effective services. Health and Wellness Solutions will leverage Panasonic’s engineering roots and technology portfolio to address the challenges associated with individual and population health management. 

 How It Works

On4TodayTM is delivered on a tablet and the tablet connects through WiFi. The lightweight device is portable and gives residents options to manage daily activities with calendar appointments and reminders, view photos and videos, and participate in video chats and messaging. Large font size, audio and visual prompts and touch screen scrolling features simplify site navigation and message access. The service is intuitive and can be customized, depending on long care or assisted living facility needs or individual preferences. 

“Quality and reliability are essential attributes for any long-term care or assisted living facility,”said Bob Dobbins, Vice President, New Business Development, who leads Panasonic’s new Health and Wellness Solutions group. “Panasonic’s health and wellness solutions reinforce the importance of those characteristics by bringing advanced technology into the care continuum to create more meaningful interactions, generate higher levels of resident well-being and reduce facility costs.”

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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The Promise of Mobile Tech in Focus During Flu Season

The Promise of Mobile Tech in Focus During Flu Season | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
According to a recent report by the CDC, from 1976 to 2006, between 3,000 and 49,000 people have died every year due to complications from the flu.

People 18 to 64 years of age accounted for nearly two-thirds of all flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in last year’s H1N1 epidemic.

Of course, flu outbreaks and death are nothing new. During the 1918 pandemic, more than 500 million people worldwide were infected and between 50 and 100 million died- nearly 5% of the planet’s population.

No effort to combat the flu has been as impactful as the flu vaccine in minimizing death, hospitalizations, and the costs of caring for flu patients. Fortunately, new technologies now aim to be just as beneficial in the war against flu.

A range of cutting edge apps as well as big-data mining and real-time interactive maps of outbreaks may revolutionize the public’s understanding of influenza and prevent its spread.

But it will take time to get there.

“I don’t think we have something of the magnitude of the vaccine, that’s a pretty fundamental change that suddenly your immune system can deal with the flu,” David Lazer, Northeastern professor of political and computer science, tells Gigaom. “I do think, however, that it’s clear that if we knew where and when the flu would be bad that we could intervene in ways that save lives, so I do think this kind of methodology offers an approach that could allow us to use our resources more efficiently to save more lives. That’s clearly the potential. And I don’t think we’ve realized that potential.”

Today, less than 50% of the population gets a flu shot. Apps can help people find nearby clinics with the shots, warn people about outbreaks, and serve to improve outcomes by getting people to protect themselves via vaccines or improving hygiene.

Technology, however, still has its fair share of struggles to overcome. Google Flu Trend’s estimation of flu cases based on search results overshot actual cases over several flu seasons. Doctors concluded that using weekly CDC reports from doctors on influenza-like illness, even though they lag by two weeks, outperforms Google Flu Trends as a predictor.

Lazer countered that “if Google were more transparent with its data, as Twitter is, scientists could develop algorithms that improve Google Flu Trends and provide finer granularity in their data.”

There are, unfortunately, also issues with this approach. The problematic matter with projects using Twitter data is that bots manipulate the data and people who are well enough to be tweeting about symptoms may not be suffering from the flu.

Flu Near You, on the other hand, is a community-driven tracker that offers real-time data based on weekly-reports provided by users. This can provide hyper-focused data about hospitalizations, immunizations, and symptoms. However, this does require active participation from users.

At the end of the day, Gigaom’s summary concludes, personal apps may truly hold the greatest non-medicinal potential, as they can offer symptom identification, prevention tips, recent flu activity, and vaccine finders which, all told, have the potential to reduce the spread and severity of flu outbreaks.

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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How can clinicians actually evaluate mobile health apps?

How can clinicians actually evaluate mobile health apps? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

While mobile healthtechnologies and companies offer great promise is reaching patients and consumers, perhaps the greatest challenge is quantifying actual success versus hype and simply touting the next app.

Partners Healthcare in a blog post notes that the success of mHealth platforms is increasingly difficult to gauge or is taken from a tiny sample size. Part of the issue, however, is the fast-moving world of mobile technology contrasted with the lumbering healthcare system that is often averse to change.

“mHealth represents the collision of two interesting worlds — mobile, which changes on what seems to be a daily basis, and health care, which changes infrequently, only after significant deliberation and usually much empirical analysis.”

The seeming breakneck speed of mobile technologies, and the entrepreneurs who tout them, make sense from a pure consumer point of view – get the minimally viable product out to market ASAP and see how often it’s downloaded. But that’s no so readily applicable with healthcare clinicians, at least not at the moment.


“But does this work in health care? I’m not so sure. As clinicians, we’re trained to turn our noses up at this sort of measure of success. But maybe we’re the ones who are wrong.”

More specifically, the author notes that a recent mobile health company touted the success of its program, which wasn’t named, using a 10-patient sample size over three months. That exposes obvious issues like selection bias, regression to the mean, sample size bias and, lastly, a novelty effect.

The author posits that the reason for such a seeming disconnect between mHealth advocates and the staid clinical standpoint is not hard to figure out – lives can literally be at stake when it comes to healthcare.

“It is cliché to say it, but lives are at stake.  So we’re more careful and more demanding of evidence.  Is this holding us up from the changes that need to occur in our broken health care non-system?  Possibly.”

So how does one design a scientifically sound trial that can keep pace with the technology?

“One thing we’ve done at CCH is design studies that use a large matched data set from our electronic record as a comparator.  This speeds things up a bit, eliminating the need to enroll, randomize and follow a control group.  Results are acceptable to all but the most extreme purists.”

Via Celine Sportisse
Keith McGuinness's curator insight, October 15, 7:00 PM

We have to divide the discussion.   We must allow for apps that do not put ‘lives at stake’ to evolve separately from those that may.  mHealth is an unfortunate term.  The trustworthiness of a Mobile Diagnostic app or a Mobile Behavior Change app depends on very different realities.  Lumping them together burdens the progress of those apps that do not place lives at stake. 


Lets dissimilate mHealth.  Are we still interested in the prevention and management of chronic diseases?  Then lets promote discussion about the category of apps that may help with that.  And lets ask primary care providers to be direct about why they are less than enthralled about this category.  It would be most helpful if payers and providers paid enough attention to the potential of this category to confront downloads measurement and instead demand outcomes measurement.  Insist that the app sponsor measure the effect of the app on those health metrics that affect the health of the patient, the accountability of the physician and the cash flow of the payer.  If the app promises to improve blood pressure, then say, “show me the numbers.” 


Unless we demand that lifestyle apps measure outcomes, they will continue to measure downloads, that is what advertisers demand after all. 


Of course, this is not important if there is no one that believes behavior change apps may affect health outcomes.  But if we do believe it, then we should be using outcomes measures as the primary evaluation criterion.

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Infographic: 12 ways to put patients first in healthcare | mHealthNews

Infographic: 12 ways to put patients first in healthcare | mHealthNews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
The Innovation HealthJam, a 3-day virtual brainstorm, identified potential solutions for some of the most pressing issues in healthcare today.

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Sensors in digital health: what do consumers want and need?

Sharing this nice deck from Maneesh Juneja (@ManeeshJuneja)

Via Andrew Spong
Michael Seres's curator insight, October 14, 11:22 AM

Fascinating insight by @Maneesh Juneja the figures seem to correlate to much of the evidence out there

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Your Doctor Knows You're Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her

Your Doctor Knows You're Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

Via Ginny Dillon
Ginny Dillon's curator insight, October 13, 3:07 PM

Patient Privacy is no laughing matter ...

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Will remote consultations lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?

“[ET @16min] when you get to this Deloitte recent survey (‘eVisits the 21st century house call’) that says by the end of this year one in six office visits between Doctors and Patients will be virtual and that with all these tele medical entities the majority of visits will be virtual. Do you think that’s going to lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?

[AV] I’m not sure. I’d love to see what that ultimately looks like. I do think that there’s a lot of visits where we can spare the Patient the hassle of you know parking, climbing up to the clinic and certainly many many things can be transacted not just with us (Doctors) but on telemedicine with the wonderful teams that we have of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, I’m a big believer in that and often they do the very things that we don’t do which is listen and touch and spend time. But I do think for many Patients there will be a moment in the trajectory of their illness where a face to face visit will be performed and be of importance“

Dr Eric Topol interrupts Dr Abraham Verghese from attending rounds for this unmissable Medscape interview in which he shares a few thoughts on the challenges we face as we move beyond the office visit with remote consultations.

mHealth Insights

“Visits will be Virtual”

I think it’s important that we all accept that the idea of one person virtually caring for another individual is nonsensical. Much more useful if we talk about providing care remotely (eg. remote consulting) unless of course we are talking about computers reading scripts to humans via avatars to deceive Patients into the illusion of being cared for.

Many Patients have already moved beyond the visit

One of the reasons I am confident that mHealth models that successfully aid Diabetics will create the template for most other chronic diseases to follow is that diabetics have already gone beyond the office visit (eg. Diabetics are self managing their care and routinely doing things that only a few years ago would’ve only been possible with a visit to a Doctors office).

A quote from Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim

I think this Paracelsus quote shared by Dr Verghese makes a great screensaver:

Via Emmanuel Capitaine
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The tension between mobile apps and health care

I saw another exciting news story on a mobile health intervention the other day.  I honestly don’t remember the company or product, but what stuck with me was the declaration of success based on 10 patients using the product for three months.  Success was touted in terms of cost reduction and resource utilization reduction in a before/after analysis.  This inspired me to collect some thoughts on some of the challenges around evaluating success in mHealth.

mHealth represents the collision of two interesting worlds: mobile, which changes on what seems to be a daily basis, and health care, which changes infrequently, only after significant deliberation and usually much empirical analysis.  In the tech (mobile) world, companies are talking about creating a minimally viable product (MVP), getting it out in the market, assessing adoption through metrics such as downloads and customer feedback, and iterating accordingly.  This would seem to make sense in the consumer world where the goal is to sell a game, an information app or productivity app.  If people use it and are willing to pay, that proves its utility, right?


There is something to this line of thinking.  Empiric market success is in some ways the ultimate success, at least for those who want to make a big difference in how humanity benefits from technology.

But does this work in health care?  I’m not so sure.  As clinicians, we’re trained to turn our noses up at this sort of measure of success.  But maybe we’re the ones who are wrong.  Let me use the “10 patients for three months” example to illustrate some issues.

1. Selection bias. Virtually all pilots and trials of any sort suffer from this to some extent.  These days, it seems that patient/consumer engagement is the holy grail and we all must realize that people who show up to enroll in any sort of study are already engaged to an extent.  What about the people who are great candidates for an intervention (conventional wisdom says the disengaged are sicker and more costly) but are too unmotivated even to show up to enroll? Does anyone know how to handle this one?

2. Regression to the mean. This is a pesky and annoying one — and a favorite of folks trained in public health — but unfortunately it is a real phenomenon.  This is the stake in the heart of virtually all before/after studies.  If you follow a group of people, particularly sick ones, a certain percentage of them will get better over time no matter what you do.  The more sick the starting sample, the more dramatic the effect.  This is why some sort of comparison group is so helpful and why before/after studies are weak.

3. Small sample size bias. This one can go either way, meaning you can exaggerate an effect or miss one.  If you want to run a proper study, find someone who has training in clinical trial design to estimate the size of the effect of your intervention, and thus the size of the sample you need, to show its efficacy.  Lots of technical jargon here (power calculations, type I error, type II error, etc.), enough to make your head spin. But bottom line, you can’t really say much about the generalizability of data based on 10 patients.

4. Novelty effect. I made that up, and there is probably a more acceptable scientific term for it. But what I’m referring to is, when you take that same group of people that was motivated enough to enroll in a study and apply an intervention to them, the newness will drive adoption for a while.  We see this all of the time in our studies at the Center for Connected Health (CCH).  The novelty always wears off over time.  In fact, I’d say the state-of-the-art in understanding the impact of connected health is one of cautious optimism because we haven’t yet done long term studies to show if our interventions have lasting effects over time.  There is room for argument here, I guess, but three months is awfully short.

Why is health care tech different than finding the MVP in the rapidly-changing, market-responsive world of mobile tech?  One reason may be that we’re dealing with health and sickness which are qualitatively different than sending a friend the latest snapshot from vacation.  It is cliché to say it, but lives are at stake.  So we’re more careful and more demanding of evidence.  Is this holding us up from the changes that need to occur in our broken health care non-system?  Possibly.

It is true that a well designed trial with proper sample size is expensive and takes time.  Technologies change faster than we can evaluate them.

One thing we’ve done at CCH is design studies that use a large matched data set from our electronic record as a comparator.  This speeds things up a bit, eliminating the need to enroll, randomize and follow a control group.  Results are acceptable to all but the most extreme purists.

What ideas do you have on this dilemma?

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

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Wearable Technology That Feels Like Skin

Wearable Technology That Feels Like Skin | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

When it comes to the future of computing, there is one major known and a principal unknown.

The known, with almost guaranteed certainty, is that the next era of computing will be wearables. The unknown, with commensurate guaranteed uncertainty, is what these wearables will be and where on your body they will live.

Apple and Samsung, for example, are betting on the wrist; Google, the face. A slew of tech companies believe clothing will simply become electronic. Yet there’s a whole new segment of start-ups that believe all of the above are destined for failure and that we humans will become the actual computers, or at least the place where the technology will reside.

Their enthusiasm is on an emerging class of wearable computers that adhere to the skin like temporary tattoos, or attach to the body like an old-fashioned Band-Aid.

Continue reading the main storyRelated CoverageGadgetwise: Fashion and Functionality Meet in Smart JewelryOCT. 8, 2014Disruptions: Can the Apple Watch Woo Traditional Watch Fans?SEPT. 12, 2014Disruptions: ‘The Innovators’ by Walter Isaacson: How Women Shaped TechnologyOCT. 1, 2014Disruptions: Big iPhone 6 Bulges in All the Wrong PlacesSEPT. 24, 2014Disruptions: Science Fiction Writers Take a Rosier ViewSEPT. 17, 2014

Many of these technologies don’t look anything like today’s gadgets. Instead, they are stretchable, bendable and incredibly thin. They can also be given unique designs, to stand out like a bold tattoo, or to blend in to the color of your skin.



MC10 attachable computers. Credit John A. Rogers/The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

While these wearables raise novel privacy concerns, their advocates say there are numerous benefits. Attachable computers will be less expensive to make, provide greater accuracy because sensors will be closer to a person’s body (or even inside us) and offer the most utility, as something people won’t forget to wear.

MC10, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., is testing attachable computers that look like small rectangular stickers, about the size of a piece of gum, and can include wireless antennas, temperature and heart-rate sensors and a tiny battery.

“Our devices are not like wearables that are used today, where people wear them for a little bit and then throw them into a drawer,” said Scott Pomerantz, the chief executive of MC10. “Ours are always on you. We have the smallest, most flexible, stretchable, wearable computer, and you can collect all sorts of biometric data tied to your motion.”

MC10 recently teamed up with John A. Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has been working for nearly a decade to perfect flexible devices that can be worn on the skin or implanted internally.

How would these gadgets work? Imagine being able to slap a few Band-Aid-size sensors to your body when you go for a run, then seeing a micro-level reading of your exercise on your phone.

Maybe you want to figure out which deodorant would be best for you. This would be done with a sticker that tracks your sweat level, then emails you a few brand recommendations. Or if you want to monitor your baby’s breathing, you would stick a little sensor on the baby’s chest that will alert you to any problems.



MC10 attachable computers.

“We’ll eventually see a more intimate integration of electronics and biological systems,” Mr. Rogers said in a phone interview. “Without that kind of intimate physical contact, it’s going to be difficult, or maybe even impossible, to extract meaningful data.”

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story

The health applications are enormous. Over the past year, Mr. Rogers and his team of scientists have been working with patients with Parkinson’s disease to monitor their motions, dermatologists to treat skin diseases, and beauty companies like L’Oréal to develop digital stickers that track skin hydration.

Wearable-computer advocates are also giddy about the infinite style possibilities. “It turns out that the mechanics of these devices are 100 percent compatible with kids’ standard temporary tattoos,” Mr. Rogers said. Meaning, they can be made to look like tattoos, with each segment containing different sensors.

Anke Loh, the chairwoman of the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been experimenting with making the attachable computers look like body art. “You see these patches and you really want to put them on your skin, even without knowing what the function is,” Ms. Loh said, noting that most wearable computers today are clunky and ugly. “There’s a lot of potential to combine fashion and technology.”

On a more futuristic front, scientists at the University of Tokyo have been working on an “e-skin,” which, as you may have guessed, is an electronic skin that sits on top of real skin. It looks like a flexible and stretchable sheet of plastic wrap, yet contains lots of health-related sensors.

In another iteration of e-skin, scientists are working to add a layer of LEDs, turning it into a functional screen that sits on the body.

Digital skins offer numerous applications, not only in monitoring a user’s health, but also as a visual user interface. They can be used on lifelike prosthetics and even replace smartphones one day. (Imagine your forearm as a touch-screen display.)

But don’t throw aside your smartwatch or say goodbye to Google Glass just yet. It will be a while before our wearable future becomes known.

Via Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
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Digital Health Companies Rush To Integrate With Apple's HealthKit

Digital Health Companies Rush To Integrate With Apple's HealthKit | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Notwithstanding HealthKit’s aborted launch due to a software bug, digital health companies have jumped at the opportunity to integrate their products with Apple AAPL +0.51%’s HealthKit, a hub of personal health data that consumers can display in Apple’s new Health app in iOS 8. Many are betting that the tech giant has the clout and reach to make Health an indispensable tool for patients looking to engage with their doctors outside the clinic. “It’s going to be the biggest health release ever,” says Daniel Kivatinos, a founder of electronic health record provider drchrono.

It might take some time for doctors still struggling with electronic health records to widely accept the deluge of data HealthKit brings, but many companies don’t want to be caught flat-footed. Soon after Apple announced HealthKit in June, HealthLoop went to work to integrate its software. The start-up allows doctors to check in with their patients between visits, especially post surgery, to follow their progress. Patients who underwent joint replacement, for example, can now opt to share with their doctors who prescribe HealthLoop, the number of steps they took or their temperature from trackers and blue-tooth enabled devices uploaded through HealthKit.  A lack of activity or a spike in fever, can prompt a clinician to intervene. “HealthLoop is able to wrap these streams of biometric data with clinical context,” says Jordan Shlain, founder of HealthLoop and a practicing internist.

The application of biometric data in a defined clinical context, such as hypertension or diabetes, is critical in determining the success of monitoring devices with health care providers, as well as patients who are motivated to engage because of illness. “If data comes in and is not actionable, no one is going to bother,” says Michael Blum, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and director of its Center for Digital Health Innovation, which validates tracking devices in a clinical setting.

iHealth Labs, a subsidiary of Chinese medical equipment company Andon Health, which Apple chose as a partner to pilot HealthKit, sells FDA-approved wireless blood pressure and glucose monitors, among other tracking tools. Data from blood pressure cuffs are uploaded onto mobile devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, and are currently used in clinical studies at UCSF, and the VA Medical Center in San Francisco.

iHealth’s chief marketing officer Jim Taschetta says Apple introduced the company to electronic health records vendors Epic Systems and UK-based EMIS Group, as well as Stanford University, and Duke Medicine. To test HealthKit, Duke incorporated readings from iHealth blood pressure monitors into its Epic patient portal. Epic has integrated its MyChart with HealthKit, but it is up to its customers to decide whether they want to enable sharing. Taschetta is encouraged to see a handful of health care leaders adopt HealthKit. “The odds are in our favor to see widespread adoption,” he says.

Other companies tying into HealthKit include electronic health record providers Cerner CERN +0.29%, drchrono, and athenahealth .

Via Tictrac, Sébastien Letélié
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