Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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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, 2015 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


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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!


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, January 30, 2015 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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Big-Data in Health Care: Patient data analyses has great potential

Big-Data potential in Health care and daily practical work of doctors, nurses and health care professionals. Through self tracking, social media & text analysi…

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Oncologist use of Digital in Q2 2014 [Infographic]

Oncologist use of Digital in Q2 2014 [Infographic] | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
[fullwidth_text alt_background=none width=1/1...

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Happy New Year and thanks for an amazing 2014! - Blog - Healthy Startups - Storytelling for health innovation

Happy New Year and thanks for an amazing 2014! - Blog - Healthy Startups - Storytelling for health innovation | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Jason Berek-Lewis Founder @ Healthy Startups What an amazing year! 2014 has been the ul...
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Review of UCSF’s musculoskeletal medical exam app

Review of UCSF’s musculoskeletal medical exam app | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
A great evidenced based medical app that helps you perform various MSK exams effectively The post Review of UCSF’s musculoskeletal medical exam app appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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Why Virtual Reality Doesn't Need a Killer App to Get Huge | WIRED

Why Virtual Reality Doesn't Need a Killer App to Get Huge | WIRED | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

On a frosty December morning in 1783, some 400,000 people gathered in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris to see the world’s first manned flight in a hydrogen balloon. Jacques Charles and his assistant, Nicolas-Louis Robert, ascended 1,800 feet into the sky accompanied by a mercury barometer, some sandbags, and a few bottles of champagne.

“Nothing will ever quite equal that moment of total hilarity that filled my whole body at the moment of take-off,” Charles later wrote. “I felt we were flying away from the Earth and all its troubles for ever.”

Back on the ground, feelings were more ambivalent. Benjamin Franklin, then the American ambassador to France, watched the scene from his carriage. A cynical companion remarked, “What’s the use of a balloon?” Franklin, aghast, replied, “What’s the use of a newborn baby?”

His point: You’re not thinking big enough.

When Joseph Banks, then the president of England’s Royal Society, first got word in a letter from Franklin about the balloons, he too demanded to know their practical applications. There were some obvious implementations—geographical mapping and military reconnaissance sprung first to mind—but he questioned whether ballooning could otherwise “prove beneficial either to society or science.” Banks proposed one such practical use-case: a system using balloons to reduce the load on horse-pulled wagons. The idea was that broad-wheeled wagons, which normally would require eight horses to draw, would need just two using such a method.

Franklin, with a bit more foresight, argued ballooning could “pave the way to some discoveries in Natural Philosophy of which at present we have no conception.” He compared ballooning to “magnetism and electricity, of which the first experiments were mere matters of amusement.”

The Small Thinking That Plagued Ballooning Also Plagues VR

Like those hydrogen balloons, small thinking has plagued the development of one of today’s flashiest technologies, virtual reality devices. When Oculus, the company that (literally) kickstarted the new VR revolution, originally pitched its device as a “headset designed specifically for video games that will change the way you think about gaming forever,” hardly anyone—least of all gamers—questioned the idea that VR should be anything other than a high-end gaming accessory. Like a new graphics card or a better TV, it would be a logical, utilitarian improvement to current display technology for games—a horse-drawn carriage, now improved with balloons.

We’ve had a few years to get used to the idea of VR, and some have started getting a little more high-minded about its possibilities. WIRED has been eager to lead the charge, as when it declared a few months ago that VR will “change gaming, movies, TV, music, design, medicine, sex, sports, art, travel, social networking, education, and reality.” Of course, it always has been the tendency of magazines to breathlessly celebrate new technologies. In a 1788 article, Gentleman’s Magazine (the first periodical to use the word “magazine” to describe itself) celebrated the advent of hydrogen ballooning as “the most magnificent and astonishing discovery that has been made for many ages, or perhaps since the creation.” Time, Gentleman’s Magazine assured its readers, would reveal the utility of ballooning experiments.

Now, though, even the most breathlessly optimistic VR fanboys can’t help but ask: What will be “the killer app” for these new devices? (Palmer Luckey’s Franklin-esque response? “What’s the real world’s killer app?”)


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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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Healthy Children is a useful app for parents

Healthy Children is a useful app for parents | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The Healthy Children app provides the AAP’s popular patient and parent site in mobile app form. The post Healthy Children is a useful app for parents appeared first on iMedicalApps.
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Scientists are trying to model our mental health based on our tweets

Scientists are trying to model our mental health based on our tweets | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

During the holiday season, ideally filled with family, food, and festivities, the topic of depression is often sidelined; even more of a taboo subject than usual. But research suggests it is one of our most persistent blights, ranked ninth in the world behind the major killers, such as heart disease, stroke, and HIV, according to Nature.

 

Now researchers from multiple disciplines, in both the public and private sectors, are working on various algorithms and approaches to measure a range of mental health trends via large volumes of online activity. Issues such as depression and seasonal anxiety disorder aren’t the first health trends to be investigated in this way – think Google Flu Trends, for instance – but they represent an entry point for researchers, one that most recently has been hailed by a team at Johns Hopkins reporting on techniques that could play a key role in measuring mental health metrics.

 

 


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Ebola, Twitter, and misinformation: a dangerous combination?

Ebola, Twitter, and misinformation: a dangerous combination? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

#The recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa has affected countries deeply in need of foreign aid.1 People desperately need correct information on how to prevent and treat Ebola. Despite the poverty, the increasing spread of computers, tablets, and smartphones in the region creates an opportunity for the rapid dissemination of information through the internet and social media, but there is no guarantee that this information is correct. After reports that misinformation spread by text messages led to deaths,2 3 we checked the quality of Ebola related information on Twitter.

We used the Twitter search engine to collect all tweets in English with the terms “Ebola” and “prevention” or “cure” from Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria during 1 to 7 September 2014. We grouped them into medically correct information, medical misinformation, and other (including tweets of a spiritual nature). Most tweets and retweets contained misinformation, and misinformation had a much larger potential reach than correct information (table⇓).

The most common misinformation was that Ebola might be cured by the plant ewedu or by blood transfusion (unqualified—not just from Ebola survivors). Drinking and washing in salty water were also mentioned. Among these tweets, 248 (44%) were retweeted at least once; 95 of these contained scientifically correct information (38.3%), whereas 146 contained medical misinformation (58.9%; P<0.001). Two of these tweets—“Take ewedu daily to prevent and cure Ebola LUTH doctor urges Nigerians” and “Herbal healers’ claim to cure Ebola false”—were retweeted 23 and 24 times, respectively.

While most erroneous tweets were left undisputed, in some cases they were corrected by a Nigerian government agency and this correction spread on Twitter three days later. Public health and government agencies in west Africa should use Twitter to spread correct information and amend misinformation on how to deal with this emergency.


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2014's Most Popular Medical Stories About The Future of Medicine

2014's Most Popular Medical Stories About The Future of Medicine | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Here are the most important and interesting news and announcements about the future of healthcare & medicine in 2014 month by month. I hope you will enjoy looking back in time. January 20 Predi...
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Healthcare dominates Google's venture investments in 2014

Healthcare dominates Google's venture investments in 2014 | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Healthcare accounted for 36 percent of Google Venture investments in 2014 in 12 companies spanning diagnostics, predictive analytics, telemedicine.
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Carrie Yeager's curator insight, December 28, 2014 9:59 PM

Healthcare offered via the Internet is gaining momentum.