Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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Doctors and the Fear of Web Permanence

Doctors and the Fear of Web Permanence | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
I recently read this Washington Post article on doctors and technology.  It took an angle that most of my readers are accustomed to.  Doctors at the precipice of major change.  Early adopters versus the old guard.  ‘Welcome to the new age of medicine.’...

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Humanizing eHealth tools boosts patient trust

Humanizing decision-support computer aids for patients helps to increase trust of such tools, according to new research out of Clemson University.


Design and look of an aid are important, according to Clemson psychology associate professor Richard Pak, who found that, for instance, adding an image of a person to an electronic support tool "significantly alters [patient] perceptions" for the better.


As a result, decision-making reaction time of patients becomes quicker.


"A plausible explanation is that the increase in trust led to an increased dependence on the aid, which led to faster performance," Pak said, according to a university announcement.

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Your laptop can now analyze big data

Your laptop can now analyze big data | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have devised a framework for running large-scale computations for tasks such as social network or Web search analysis efficiently on a single personal computer.


The software could help developers working on many modern tasks: for example, designing a new recommendation engine using social network connections. In order to make effective recommendations—"your friends liked this movie, so here is another movie that you haven't seen yet, but you will probably like"—the software has to be able to analyze the connections between the members of a social network. This type of task is called graph computation, and it is increasingly common. But working with large-scale data sets (such as online social networks) usually requires the processing horsepower of many computers clustered together, such as those offered by Amazon's cloud-based EC2 service.


The new software, called GraphChi, exploits the capacious hard drives that are becoming ever more common in personal computers. A graph would normally be stored in temporary memory (RAM) for analysis. With GraphChi, the hard drive performs this task instead.


"PCs don't have enough RAM to hold an entire Web graph, but they do have hard drives, which can hold a lot of information," says Carlos Guestrin, codirector of Carnegie Mellon's Select Lab, where GraphChi was developed. But hard drives are slow compared to RAM for reading and writing data, which tends to slow down computation. So Guestrin's student Aapo Kyrola designed a faster, less random method of accessing the hard drive.


According to Guestrin, a Mac Mini running GraphChi can analyze Twitter's social graph from 2010—which contains 40 million users and 1.2 billion connections—in 59 minutes. "The previous published result on this problem took 400 minutes using a cluster of about 1,000 computers," Guestrin says.

Via Andrew Spong
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True Healthcare Reform = ObamaCare + eHealth + mHealth

ObamaCare is looked upon both positively and negatively as the end-all / be-all of Health Care Reform in the United States. It is politically charged and sub...
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Guiding Principles for Connected Health Design

Connected health has enormous capacity as a tool to promote behavior change (in my opinion better than any other toolset we have). However when poorly implemented, it fails like any other poorly implemented strategy. In 18 years, have I learned all there is to know about connected health implementation? Surely not or I’d retire and find something else to do. I gain new insights every day. However, I do see a set of reproducible outcomes when programs have certain design characteristics, so I thought I’d write about them for a few posts. Rather than make this a textbook-like rendition, I am going to use particular examples from the marketplace that illustrate these principles done well.


Chances are, even if you follow the connected health industry, you have not heard of a firm called Fitlinxx. This is a small Massachusetts based firm and they’ve always been a bit ahead of the marketplace when it comes to activity monitoring. Their technology illustrates two guiding principles:


Wear and Forget Sensors and

Automatic Data Upload


(Both of these guiding principles are subservient to the importance of objective data collection and the need to avoid data self-entry when possible.)

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What guidelines docs follow when interacting with patients online?

Doctors must remember that, when using social media as a means to communicate with people, they may not be able to verify that the person on the other end of the computer / tablet / mobile device is truly the patient; and likewise, the patient may not be able to verify that a doctor is who they say they are when they are using social media as the medium for communication.


If you are a physician, what guidelines should you follow when you are online interacting with your patients?


1. Do not interact with current or past patients on personal social networking sites. In other words, don’t friend your patients on Facebook and then share your photos from New Year’s Even parties with them. Your patients may be less interested in taking health advice from you as a professional after seeing you drunk with your buddies .
2. Do not discuss medicine online. Any professional discussions of medicine, treatments and experiences should be limited to password protected sites that are for professionals only.
3. Privacy Privacy Privacy. Patient privacy should be upheld at all times. Any breaches of confidentiality could be in violation of HIPAA and other federal and state regulations. You should never give any information that could identify a patient in any way, including posting photos.
4. If you are writing online about your experience as a physician or commenting on a website as a physician, you must disclose that you are a doctor and you need to honestly state your credentials. Don’t pad your resume.
5. Anything you post online can be copied and posted elsewhere over and over. It may not be posted in context and you need to be aware of that. You also need to remember that whatever you say online is as a representative of the medical community. Take that seriously.
6. Be professional. Keep your personal and professional social media accounts separate. If you want to have those photos of you from New Year’s Eve on Facebook, then post them only on your personal account and set your privacy settings accordingly. Act as professional online as you would in person and remind others to do the same.
7. Remember that medical boards can sanction your unprofessional online activity just as they can sanction your unprofessional behavior offline.

Via Andrew Spong
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Patients want technology to manage their health

Patients want technology to manage their health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

The majority of patients are interested in using online tools to help self-manage their health care, but not if it means sacrificing face time with their physicians to do so.


A survey of 1,100 U.S. patients by Accenture, a management consulting and technology services company, found that 90% of patients want tools such as online medical record access and appointments to self-manage their health care. But nearly the same percentage (85%) say they want to preserve their in-person interactions with their physicians when needed.


What this means is that patients want choices, said Kaveh Safavi, MD, managing director of Accenture’s North America health industry group.


“They want the option to do some things on their own, but also the option to see a clinician when they want to see a clinician,” he said.

“When we say self-manage, we are talking about a much broader notion than clinical visits,” Dr. Safavi continued. Patients identify things they can do on their own schedules, when it’s convenient to them, and things physicians do on their schedules. There are ways technology can allow those tasks to be accomplished without a coordination of both patient and physician schedules, he said.


There are also ways patients’ online activities can supplement what happens in the office, said Julia Hallisy, DDS, founder of the Empowered Patient Coalition, a consumer advocacy organization. But physicians have to do their part to make sure their patients are engaged, she said.

Via Andrew Spong
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Patient care improves with high-tech charting

Patient care improves with high-tech charting | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Knox Community Hospital Director of Patient Access Amy Webster and Scheduling Registrar Kerra Carpenter lead a 33-member team responsible for patient registration and scheduling at the facility.


They are the front-line personnel who create patients’ first impressions of the hospital, and Webster said that surveys indicate patient satisfaction has improved.


“We were able to practice with the system in advance, and all in all, it is smoother and faster,” she said. “We went from 10-20 minutes registering a new patient to 5-7 minutes, and it’s even quicker for existing patients.”


Once a patient’s information has been keyed or scanned into the Paragon system, the next time around it just needs to be checked for changes.


Carpenter said the hardest thing about the new system has been breaking old habits. “The physical part of patient care hasn’t changed, but our medical records and charting are all new,” she said.


“The training process was the hardest thing for me, but I haven’t felt a lot of stress and we are able to work more efficiently,” Webster added.

Via Andrew Spong, Bart Collet
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Engage With Empathy : Health in 30

Engage With Empathy : Health in 30 | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Engage With Empathy : Health in 30 via @giomarsi @rohal @Healthin30 #health20fr...

Via Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, Dimitra Kontochristou
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From screen to script: physicians using digital tools

From screen to script: physicians using digital tools | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

hysicians are using digital tools more than ever before to make clinical and treatment decisions, presenting an opportunity for marketers to reach, engage and drive action in new ways. This infographic from the Google/Manhattan Research "The Doctor's Digital Path to Treatment" published in April 2012 illustrates how physicians are constantly connected and how they utilize search, mobile and video in their daily clinical decision-making and patient education.

Via Andrew Spong, Camilo Erazo
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3 smartphone apps help people lose weight | Main

3 smartphone apps help people lose weight  | Main | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
One app even includes a Glycemic Index calculator.
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Consumer use of social media in healthcare

Rich Meyer recently undertook a design initiative to gain an insight into how consumers are using social media for healthcare information and decisions. Here he shares his findings.

Over the last two months I had the chance to design and implement a qualitative research initiative designed to better understand how consumers are using social media for healthcare information and decisions. The research consisted of consumers who have searched for online health information within the last 3–4 months and varied in demographics.


Here are some of the key findings.

The search for health information is triggered by either health concerns of a patient or health concerns of a family member. Even people who believe they are in really good health do not proactively search for health information. It is usually driven by some type of trigger with the most saying they go online because of a concern (i.e. pain, problem) or because they are caregivers for a family member that is having problems.

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New smartphone app targets clinical miscommunication | Healthcare IT News

New smartphone app targets clinical miscommunication | Healthcare IT News | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

New smartphone app targets clinical miscommunication

July 06, 2012 | Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

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Maple Grove Hospital: Building Innovative Healthcare Communications From the Ground UpThe 4Cs of Global Healthcare ReformA Catalyst for Change: How Telemedicine is Transforming the Delivery of Healthcare and EducationSimplifying Medicare Cost Reporting through the use of Report AnalyticsWhere Information and Care Meet: Secure Mobile Healthcare Solutions that Drive Care Coordination

MENDHAM, NJ – With more and more doctors using their smartphones to conduct business outside of the office, the potential for communication errors – ranging from misunderstood directions to "he-said-she-said" moments – is increasing dramatically.

A New Jersey-based surgeon has created a mobile app designed to help doctors make sure their phone conversations are understood properly. The MedXCom app, part of a line of mHealth products developed by Giffen Solutions, records and stores the phone conversation between doctor and patient, giving both parties a HIPAA-compliant means of checking the facts.

"All we're doing is creating an environment where these messages are secure," said Michael Nusbaum, a bariatric surgeon at Morristown Medical Center who launched Giffen Solutions in 2010. "If (both doctor and patient) know their conversation is being recorded, this makes them more comfortable. This actually bumps up the level of conversation and improves the level of care."

[See also: Smartphones gain appeal with more docs.]

Nusbaum said the idea of securely recording doctor-patient conversations came out of an unfortunate legal situation faced by a colleague. A woman had filed suit against his colleague over medical instructions given over the phone for her husband, and Nusbaum was drawn into the court battle over exactly what was said in the phone conversation.

"We need to avoid those 'he-said-she-said' moments and make sure there are no mistakes," said Nusbaum. "The future is in smartphones, and they're becoming a comfort tool for doctors."

Nusbaum began his career in mobile health IT back in 1998, when he founded Hamilton Scientific on the concept of creating a cloud-based electronic medical record. He eventually sold the company to MeridianEMR, and continued to explore how EMRs could evolve from what he called static data repositories to systems that could be more dynamic. Giffen Solutions was borne out of that idea, and MedXCom was created to connect EMRs to mobile devices and allow for real-time access and adjustments.

MedXCom, which is designed to work with any EMR, enables the physician to access a patient's medical records on a smartphone before or during the conversation, and to add the conversation to the medical record. The patient-facing side of the product enables patients to add information to the app, make appointments and receive reminders. Another product, MedXVault, allows consumers to use the app regardless of whether their physician is a MedXCom subscriber.

[See also: Smartphones, medical apps used by 80 percent of docs.]

Nusbaum, who sees MedXCom as an alternative to answering services and after-hours messaging services that many physicians now use, said he's hoping to have more than 50,000 physicians in all 50 states using MedXCom by the end of the year.

Among the physicians using the app now is Richard Garden, DDS, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with Chesapeake Oral Surgery Associates in Wayne, N.J.

"As a surgeon, I receive numerous phone calls via my smartphone on the weekend and after hours," Garden said in a press release issued on June 6. "MedXCom allows me to record all calls in order to improve the quality of care I deliver to my patients. My primary goal is to make sure that my patients are comfortable and well cared for in all instances, and the technology allows me to deliver superior service and communication."

"MedXCom's platform allows me to connect instantly with my patients and their health profiles," Garden added. "The ability to have all secure pertinent information at my fingertips while all communications are recorded and archived is critical."

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Are Your Physicians Prescribing Mobile Apps?

Are Your Physicians Prescribing Mobile Apps? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
“Download this app and call me in the morning.”


A new type of prescription developing within the field of healthcare is reaffirming the impact that technology is having on medicine. In a recent Information HealthCare article titled, “Online Program Lets Docs ‘Prescribe’ mHealth Apps,” author Ken Terry discusses the emergence of mobile app prescriptions, an innovation that many patients may experience in the near future.

Via nrip, PEAS Healthcare, Parag Vora
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5 reasons that prevent doctors from using mobile apps

5 reasons that prevent doctors from using mobile apps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Despite exuberance in the technology community, there is much resistance in the medical community about the adoption of medical apps for prescribing.


(...) "Most physicians do utilize mobile apps for reference purposes. Despite exuberance in the technology community, there is much skepticism and resistance in the medical community about the adoption of medical apps for prescribing purposes. Ways in which digital health technologies may be more easily adopted by physicians have been reviewed previously. Some of the potential reasons for pushback by physicians are considered below:


1. Lack of reimbursement. As fee for service continues to be the financial model of most of healthcare today, any additional patient care workload whether it be a new procedure or technology is met first with the question “Is it a reimbursable service?” This is a reality for providers, hospitals, and companies developing the technologies. Changes in reimbursement models, emphasis on hospital cost containment, and the entrance of large corporations to the medical app development industry might mitigate this obstacle.


2. Bad taste from EHRs. Physicians are still experiencing the pain of adoption of electronic health records, Though medical apps differ significantly from EHRs with regards in technology, purpose, and ease of use, they might be the objects of a backlash to patient management technologies in general.


3. Many physicians are still ideologically distant from participatory medicine. The Society for Participatory Medicine defines Participatory Medicine as a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners. Many physicians are not used to patients being active partners in healthcare. The paternalistic nature of the way care is delivered still lives in the fabric of medicine today. It is hoped that medical apps are tools which will dismantle this mindset and pave the way for participatory medicine.


4. Medical apps do not represent sophisticated technology. There is a belief in the medical marketing community that unless a technology is robotic, made from materials never seen, performs a task never witnessed, or costs more than $1M, it is neither “cool” enough for a physician to get excited about nor sexy enough for a hospital to advertize that it has the only one on the block. While some apps are connected to relatively sophisticated tools or utilize complex nanotechnology, even apps simple enough as SMS texting can potentially make a significant difference in patients’ lives. Physicians need to get excited about this whole new care delivery model which engages patients, and will hopefully save money and simplify care.


5. Physicians don’t believe medical apps will be effective tools. This could be the biggest hurdle. In its recommendations to the HHS, the Text4Health Task Force recommended “Future health text messaging programs by HHS, or in which HHS is a partner (not specified whether operational partner or reimbursement partner) should also include a scientific evaluation component.” This is neither binding nor refers to other mHealth technology. While all app developers will not be able to afford nor desire to conduct clinical trials, the simple question as to whether an app is effective is a natural and valid one. Well-conducted clinical trials have been performed already for some technologies. Johns Hopkins University’s Global Health Initiative is conducting efficacy studies of medical apps, and should shed some light on this arena.


While these are reasons why physicians might not view medical apps as important tools in their present armamentarium, changes in the healthcare landscape will propel them to prominence. (...)

Via Camilo Erazo
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GP Ratings is a different type of UK patient education app

GP Ratings is a different type of UK patient education app | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

When it comes to patient education apps, physicians have a great selection. There are apps such as the Orca Health Decide series or the DrawMD visual education app series.


Some patient education apps are not focused on diseases or conditions but rather on the range and accessibility of services available to the user.


GP Ratings is the first app of this kind specifically for the UK which takes advantage of the recent GP patient survey conducted by the The UK Department of Health.


The app is designed to assist would be patients see ratings of their local GP surgery as deemed by information collected in a recent nationwide government study.


The app contains detailed ratings for the 8,300 surgeries in England. On average each surgery has 130 survey respondents for each of the questions below.


The measures are:


* Would patients recommend their GP Surgery to others?
* Are patients able to see a Doctor within 2 working days?
* Are patients satisfied with their ability to see a preferred Doctor?
* Are patients satisfied with the care they received?
* Do patients have confidence and trust in their Doctor?
* Do patients feel their Doctor involves them in decisions about their care?
* Are patients happy with the surgery opening hours?


The data is converted into a star rating so it’s easy to interpret. An average of these ratings is then taken and compared nationally to give an overall star rating.


Upon entering the app, each user is prompted to enter their postcode or alternatively search by GPS.

Via Andrew Spong
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Why health startups should care about ‘alpha geek’ caregivers

Why health startups should care about ‘alpha geek’ caregivers | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
According to a Pew Internet & American Life report released Thursday, caregivers are more likely than other Internet users to look for health information online and take advantage of social tools related to health.
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iRounds Social Network Helps Doctors Get Second Opinions

iRounds Social Network Helps Doctors Get Second Opinions | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
When Dr. Rafael Lugo posted photos of a rare tumor to iRounds — a social network for doctors — he received immediate feedback from specialists nationwide and ultimately referred his patient to the appropriate doctor for treatment.


“Medicine is very much a team sport,” said Lugo, who is one of the 30,000 doctors currently on iRounds.

Via Alex Butler, Bart Collet
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How Happtique plans to certify health apps

How Happtique plans to certify health apps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

This week Happtique, the healthcare-specific appstore and mobile app prescription technology vendor, published its draft document for the mobile health app certification process its panel of advisors has been developing over the course of the past few months. Happtique is looking for public comments on its draft, which certainly seems a lot like the process the FDA used for its draft guidance on the regulation of some mobile medical apps as medical devices. The FDA’s draft guidance document published last summer and the agency has yet to publish a final guidance document.


Happtique’s effort is less focused on the safety risks associated with a given app and more so on the app’s operational integrity, security, privacy policies, and content.

Via Andrew Spong
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Mobile 3.0 arrives: How Qualcomm just showed us the future of the cell phone (and why iPhone sucks for this new contextual age) — Scobleizer

Mobile 3.0 arrives: How Qualcomm just showed us the future of the cell phone (and why iPhone sucks for this new contextual age) — Scobleizer | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

The world just changed yesterday. You probably didn’t notice. But I guarantee strategists at Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google did.

What happened? Qualcomm shipped a new contextual awareness platform for cell phones.

Yesterday the Mobile 3.0 world arrived. First mobile was the standard old cell phone. You talked into it. The second mobile era was brought to us by the iPhone. You poked at a screen. The third era will bring us a mobile that saves us from clicking on the screen.

We’ve seen lots of precursors. Heck, Google itself, a couple of weeks ago, shipped something called “Google Now” that tells you stuff based on your context. “Hey, Scoble, you better leave for your next appointment because it takes 53 minutes to get there” my new Nexus 7 tablet tells me. You see the actual screen shot above.

But in the future your mobile device, whether it be something you hold in your hand like a smart phone, or wear on your face, like Google Glasses, will know a hell of a lot about you.


Well, Qualcomm just shipped the developer SDK, called Gimbal.

This SDK talks to every sensor in your phone. The compass. The GPS. The accelerometer. The temperature sensor. The altimeter sensor. Heck, we’ve known about sensors in cell phones for a while now. Here’s a New York Times report from May of last year.

But now, thanks to this SDK your smart phone will start to make sense of the data. Developers will have a single data pool on your cell phone to talk with (Qualcomm was very smart about privacy — none of this data leaves your own cell phone unless you give it permission to).

Today I was talking with Roland Ligtenberg, product developer at Qualcomm Labs. While talking with me I realized just what Qualcomm was up to.

See, if you do all this collection and analysis in software there is a battery cost. Remember Highlight? My favorite app of SXSW (and really the year). Did you ignore it? Well, investors aren’t. Ron Conway told me that aside from Pinterest Highlight is his favorite new company. Mine too because it showed me something no one else showed me before (a new kind of context of people who are near me). It actually is a lame app compared to what is coming, thanks to this Qualcomm SDK.

Qualcomm wouldn’t comment, but Roland told me that if you did all this in hardware there would be a lot less battery cost. So, look for this SDK to come to your mobile phone (or other wearable computing devices, like Google Glasses) soon.

Want to see what other use cases are coming? Check out this answer on Quora (actually 28 separate answers from techies) about what the Google Glasses world will bring (really they are talking about contextual and wearable computing, mashing together).

To add onto those answers, these new systems are going to know whether you are walking, running, skiing. Whether you are shopping, working, entertaining yourself (it knows whether you are in church, or in a strip club, or at school, or at work, or driving). Thanks to the wifi and bluetooth radios it can even know you are riding in your wife’s car, not driving. (Only available on Android, because Apple doesn’t let developers talk to the radios).

Which brings me to why Apple sucks.

Apple does NOT give developers access to the Bluetooth and Wifi radios. This is going to really hinder developers in this new contextual world.

Think about why your phone or Google Glasses might want to know you are in the kitchen, vs. sitting on your couch in the living room. The information that should automatically show up on your phone will be radically different. In the kitchen I’m in a food context. I want recipes, or healthy living guides, or I want my device to track just how many Oreo cookies I’m eating “hey, Scoble, you fat dude, this isn’t helping!” Already we’re doing this kind of quantified self stuff with Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band, and other devices. My wife is already tracking everything she eats and does on her cell phone.

Now, in the future our cell phones will know us at a very deep level. Already I’ve told Facebook more than 5,000 things I like. Check out my list. It’s public. On it you’ll see which startups I like. But also that I like Round Table Pizza. Think about that one for a moment.

In the future my cell phone will know I ordered a pizza. Will know when I get in my car. Will know who is in the car with me. And will give me contextual data that will make my life better. For instance, on my todo list I might have put “pick up a hammer at the hardware store.” It will know that Round Table Pizza is near the hardware store. It will know I have an extra 15 minutes. It can use Waze to route me to the hardware store first, tell me to pick up my hammer, and then head to Round Table to pick up that pizza. All while measuring how many steps I took (Nike Fuel points!) and telling me who has crossed my path. Oh, Joseph Smarr, who works at Google, is also at the Round Table? Cool! (He lives in Half Moon Bay too so this could happen at any time).

But when I get back, can my phone understand that I’m now in the dining room, eating? Or the living room, ready to watch a sports show (it knows already what sports I like — think about the next Olympics where it tells me that it has queued up the track and field finals for me to watch automatically)? Only if you don’t have an iPhone because Apple hasn’t given developers access to the wifi and bluetooth radios, so it can’t let developers let you map out your house accurately.

Which gets me to what Facebook and Amazon could do to totally disrupt the smart phone market (both are rumored to be working on hardware). See, you shouldn’t work on hardware if you only can match what Apple has already done. You should work on it if you can totally blow away what Apple has done.

I bet that Amazon and Facebook are building a new kind of contextual device. One that already knows you. Facebook already knows what I read, watch, listen to, and much more thanks to its Open Graph API system. Amazon already knows what I read, watch, and buy, thanks to its commerce system.

Add these two companies to Qualcomm’s new contextual platform and you have a new world.

By the way, Qualcomm is a $95 billion market cap company and is spending $3 billion a year in R&D and its chipsets are probably inside the phone you are currently holding. So, I take what they are doing very seriously.

So seriously that next week Forbes author Shel Israel and I will announce a new project all around contextual computing next week. See ya on Tuesday.

A new age just arrived. Mark yesterday in your calendar and see you on Tuesday.

By the way, for those at Rackspace, this will eventually change everything about our business too. We’re well positioned, thanks to our move to supporting a totally open cloud, which will pay big benefits next year as developers need to build new infrastructure to deal with this contextual age. The cloud is about to turn contextual in a very big way and that’s why we need to keep up with what Amazon, Google, and the other players are doing here and why we should start building support systems for this Qualcomm SDK now. It is that big a deal.

Watch this video to see a taste of what’s coming in the new contextual age.

Via Pierre Tran
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4 Reasons why mHealth will be the new normal in Healthcare

4 Reasons why mHealth will be the new normal in Healthcare | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
While many people feel the move to mobile health may be simply a fad, I believe it will become the new normal in healthcare. Here’s why:


#1 Hospitals are all about motion

Have you ever been to a hospital where everyone and everything wasn’t in constant motion? Patients, clinicians and equipment; everything is always on the move and in a hurry! But for the past few decades, we have designed technologies that require the user to sit and type at a workstation. At rest is not the natural state of a hospital. It also radically alters the natural workflows of everyone who must use these tethered systems. Mobile Health is the natural solution to this problem. It allows clinicians, clerks, maintenance, housekeeping and everyone else to stay on the move and still leverage all the benefits of technology.


#2 Physicians and nurses are in short supply

So is their time. It’s important to ensure that their time and efforts are maximized. Giving them the tools they need to care for more patients and provide better quality care is the key. Why is this important? Retention. While these have always been stressful occupations, the past several years have placed a greater and greater burden on fewer and fewer people in these roles. Making their workday more satisfying and less stressful benefits everyone.


#3 Patient engagement

The opportunities presented with mobile Health to innovate and re-imagine patient engagement not only between clinician and patient but also between the patient and their own health data is unprecedented. Home care, remote patient monitoring, adherence, tele-medicine, PHRs, prescribed apps, the list of opportunities is endless.


#4 Time

Untethering nurses from the nursing station allows them to spend more time providing quality and personal care at the bedside. Delivering results directly to clinicians via mobile devices may save critical time delays for providing a diagnosis to save a life. Mobile Health when implemented correctly should provide a return on time that can be invested in care. Speeding up technology allows clinicians to slow down, think, communicate and engage more often and more effectively.

Via nrip, dbtmobile
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Report: Value-Based Health Care Requires Data Standards, IT

Report: Value-Based Health Care Requires Data Standards, IT | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

A Boston Consulting Group report finds that value-based health care systems require certain data standards and IT infrastructure to operate effectively. 


Report: Value-Based Health Care Requires Data Standards, IT

Value-based health care systems need certain data standards and IT infrastructure to operate effectively, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, InformationWeek reports.

About the Report

For the report, BCG researchers examined how 12 countries are working toward implementing a value-based health care system. The 12 countries examined in the report are:

Australia;Austria;Canada;Germany;Hungary;Japan;The Netherlands;New Zealand;Singapore;Sweden;The United Kingdom; andThe U.S.

Factors Contributing to Value-Based Health Care

After evaluating the 12 countries, researchers identified four factors that contribute to the successful implementation of value-based health care:

Establishing a national health care infrastructure that includes certain shared IT platforms and unified standards for tracking diagnoses, outcomes, costs and treatments;Encouraging clinicians to collect and interpret clinical data as part of efforts to improve patient outcomes;Using disease registries to track patients' health outcomes so physicians and insurers can identify and promote cost-effective care; andProviding clinicians with incentives based on outcomes data to spur changes in care delivery.

U.S. Progress on Disease Registries

The report also compared countries' progress on implementing disease registries. Compared with other nations, researchers found that the U.S. has well-developed disease registries like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry.

However, the report noted that the U.S. falls short in other areas because it lacks certain types of registries, such as a hip-replacement registry (Lewis, InformationWeek, 6/21).

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Via Jim Brule, dbtmobile
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Microsoft Surface tablets: A natural fit for healthcare | ZDNet

Microsoft Surface tablets: A natural fit for healthcare | ZDNet | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Healthcare has always been an industry ripe for using tablets. Workers in healthcare are constantly flitting around the office, and having constant access to the medical practice's network is a big benefit. The highly portable Surface tablets on the way from Microsoft could revolutionize these offices, if developers jump on the Metro bandwagon.I have recently visited two medical practices that are entrenched in the tablet philosophy. The two offices are very different, but have each settled on the old Tablet PC to mobilize the workers providing healthcare.

These offices are using the old convertible notebook with Windows 7, tablets that can swivel the screen to expose a full laptop. The workers carry them all day, entering pertinent information at each stop which is instantly updated to the patient's record.

In one practice the nurses and physician assistants use old HP Tablet PCs, while the doctors carry Motion slate Tablet PCs. The nurses I interviewed always use the HPs in laptop mode as they find typing easier to enter information on the run.

The doctors use a pen with the Motion, primarily to access information in the patient record when they come in for the examination. The two doctors I spoke with hated having to use the pen to manipulate the interface.

These practices are a perfect fit for the Surface tablets. The keyboard covers can be used by those who are more comfortable with typing for data entry, and the touch tablet for those like the doctors who just need to tap and access information.

What needs to happen to get these healthcare providers rolled over to the better solution is for the developers behind the practice management software in use to convert it to the Metro interface for the Surface. It might take a fair bit of work to make the proper conversion, but the target market is huge and flush with funds.

I suspect in a year or two we might see a lot of Surface tablets when we visit the doctor. It's a case of the perfect tool for the job, with everyone winning. All day battery life and a computer that is easy to carry for extended periods. Throw Windows into the mix and it's almost perfect.

If I had a company with medical practice software, I would divert every resource to getting it perfected for Windows Pro/RT tablets.

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Doctors’ Use of Social Networking Sites Differs from Country to Country | L'Atelier: Disruptive innovation

Doctors’ Use of Social Networking Sites Differs from Country to Country | L'Atelier: Disruptive innovation | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
Doctors too use social networking sites for professional purposes, but not all of them to the same extent. Healthcare professionals in emerging countries are generally more ‘connected’ than in Europe.

In comparison with their European colleagues, physicians in Asia, India and Russia seem more inclined to use social networking sites to help them with their work. Cegedim Strategic Data, a leading provider of healthcare market research, has just released the results of its online study which shows that Japanese doctors are the biggest fans of online medical communities, with 78% of the medical profession in Japan making use of them. Next in line come doctors in China (55%), India (54%) and Russia (52%). In contrast, less than half of all doctors in European countries take part in online medical communities. In Spain the figure is 48%, in the United Kingdom 40%, and 39% in Germany. The countries which are the least advanced in the adoption of such dedicated communities are Italy (15%) and – lagging far behind – France with 9%.

Choose your network

Along the same lines, the adoption of the mainstream social networks Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for professional purposes is far more prevalent among physicians in emerging countries than in Europe. Out in front here are Indian doctors, some 58% of members of the profession in the subcontinent surveyed reporting that they use these tools. Usage figures then drop sharply however, with just 31% using mainstream social media in Brazil, 29% in China and 25% in Russia. Despite these lower figures, the emerging countries are still ahead of European countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany, where 21%, 18% and 11% respectively of doctors report using these online tools. Once again, Italy and France come in last – with 10% and 7% respectively.

A less clear-cut situation

However, the findings of the study are less clear-cut when we observe how doctors use the Internet for professional networking. Although the top two places are occupied by emerging countries - India with 65% and Brazil with 56% - some European countries are not that far behind. This is the case in the United Kingdom, where 51% use the Internet for medical networking; they are followed by German doctors, with a 47% rate. These two countries are even ahead of China (44%) and Russia (35%). Nevertheless one trend remains unaltered - the reluctance of Italian and French medical professionals, who once again appear least likely to use online networks, only 21% of the doctors surveyed in Italy and 16% in France doing so.

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mHealth Industry is ripe for investment

mHealth Industry is ripe for investment | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
The mobile health (mHealth) market is a burgeoning market, growing every year.

A typical industry diagram would demonstrate that it has moved from the introductory stage–where the first iPhone and medical apps were released, and is now in the decidedly growing stage of the product life cycle.

As the industry matures, more and more people are taking notice of this billion dollar industry.

Indeed, it would be absurd a couple years ago to see a doctor pulling out an iPhone to check a patient’s blood sugar, or cardiogram results. Now, such practices are commonplace.

In fact, we have reviewed apps such as Track 3 which is an patient-centric diabetes planner and carb counter that logs and charts the following: glucose levels, exercise, medications, and weights. There is also a study reported by the iMedicalApps team over Glucose Buddy, which concluded that there was a significant decrease in HbA1c in comparison to a control group receiving only usual care.

This represents one small aspect of the total global mHealth market and its possibilities for helping to improve patient care.

According to one article, investment in the kinds of companies that make health information apps rose 78% in 2011 to $766 million. Qualcomm has started a $100 million fund, Insight Venture Partners is putting $40 million into a startup and Oprah Winfrey is interested as well, with her company investing in a website that helps doctors and patients interact.

David Jahns, managing partner of Galen Partners LP, a Stamford, Connecticut-based private equity firm explains.

“Demand for apps that let doctors and nurses see test results quickly and monitor vital signs remotely, combined with a push from government and insurers to collect better data to contain rising medical costs, is propelling investor interest in an array of health information technology.”

Since demand is fueling the growth of this market, there is also a corresponding increase in money invested. The article mentions that investment in health information technology has doubled since 2006, and rose 78 percent in 2011 from 2010, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Funding totaled $184 million in 27 deals in the first quarter of this year, according to Mercom Capital Group, an Austin, Texas-based consultant to health-care companies.

Industry venture investments of $2 million or more per deal are up about 30 percent this year, with most startups getting an average of $11.8 million, said Halle Tecco, chief executive officer of Rock Health, a seed accelerator for health technology startups.

Not only that, but Oprah Winfrey is also investing in mHealth ventures. Galen Partners led a $14 million investment in WebMD founder Jeff Arnold’s newest project, Atlanta-based Sharecare. The company began in 2010 in partnership with Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah Winfrey fame — Winfrey’s Harpo Studios is also a backer.

Sharecare has built searchable drug, supplement and wellness databases and has online tools for providers to connect with potential patients. On the consumer side, the company’s website provides thousands of answers to health questions by experts from hospitals, care provider associations and companies like Pfizer and Walgreens.

The government has taken notice as well to the industry. Regulations are being developed and standards to constitute what a medical app actually is. Not only that, but the U.S. economic stimulus package in 2009 set incentives for health-care providers to adopt electronic records, and President Obama’s 2010 health-care system overhaul is fostering a climate of change as it pushed providers further to cut costs and improve services.

mHealth apps appear to be a step toward this drive to improve patient care. Stay tuned for more information on the exciting and growing mHealth market.

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