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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Improving The Way Doctors And Patients Communicate – A Silver Bullet For Fixing What’s Wrong With Health Care?

Improving The Way Doctors And Patients Communicate – A Silver Bullet For Fixing What’s Wrong With Health Care? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words…...
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The Internet Usage Patterns of Depressed College Students

The Internet Usage Patterns of Depressed College Students | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
A recent study correlates frequent Internet usage with depression. The study also showed specific web habits correlates with being depressed.

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The Real Reason Some Doctors Fear Social Media - Howard J. Luks, MD

The Real Reason Some Doctors Fear Social Media - Howard J. Luks, MD | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Many doctors do not fear social media because of HIPAA concerns, but because social amplifies how you are perceived in real life.

 

Be social.


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Biosensors to monitor U.S. students' attentiveness

Biosensors to monitor U.S. students' attentiveness | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

By Stephanie Simon

DENVER (Reuters) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an "engagement pedometer." Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them -- and which fall flat.

The foundation has given $1.4 million in grants to several university researchers to begin testing the devices in middle-school classrooms this fall.

The biometric bracelets, produced by a Massachusetts startup company, Affectiva Inc, send a small current across the skin and then measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic nervous system responds to stimuli. The wireless devices have been used in pilot tests to gauge consumers' emotional response to advertising.

Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.

Existing measures of student engagement, such as videotaping classes for expert review or simply asking kids what they liked in a lesson, "only get us so far," said Debbie Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation. To truly improve teaching and learning, she said, "we need universal, valid, reliable and practical instruments" such as the biosensors.

IS AROUSAL A SIGN OF LEARNING?

Skeptics aren't so sure. They call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged. Plus, they say it's absurd to think spikes in teenagers' emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning.

"In high school biology I didn't learn a thing all year, but boy was I stimulated. The girl who sat next to me was gorgeous. Just gorgeous," said Arthur Goldstein, a veteran English teacher in New York City who has long been critical of Gates-funded education reform.

The engagement pedometer project fits neatly with the Gates Foundation's emphasis on mining daily classroom interactions for data. One of the world's richest philanthropies, the foundation reflects Microsoft founder Bill Gates' interest in developing data collection and analysis techniques that can predict which teachers and teaching styles will be most effective.

The Gates Foundation has spent two years videotaping 20,000 classroom lessons and breaking them down, minute by minute, to analyze how each teacher presents material and how those techniques affect student test scores.

The foundation has also asked 100,000 kids around the country detailed questions about their teachers: Does she give students time to explain their ideas? Does he summarize the lesson at the end of class? That data, again, will be correlated with test scores to try to identify the most effective teaching styles.

The foundation has spent $45 million on such research, under the umbrella name Measures of Effective Teaching.

'MEASUREMENT MANIA'

The engagement pedometer is not formally part of that program; the biosensors are intended to give teachers feedback rather than evaluate their effectiveness, said Robinson, the Gates spokeswoman.

Still, if the technology proves reliable, it may in the future be used to assess teachers, Robinson acknowledged. "It's hard for one to say what people may, at some point, decide to do with this," she said.

That alarms some educators who have long been critical of the Gates Foundation's efforts to boil down effective teaching to an algorithm.

"They should devote more time to improving the substance of what is being taught ... and give up all this measurement mania," said Diane Ravitch, an education professor at New York University.

Ravitch blogged about the biosensor bracelets a few days ago after a critic of the Gates Foundation flagged the grants on Twitter. Her posts generated a small storm of angry commentary online, with some teachers joking that they would have to start screaming at random intervals or showing the occasional soft porn film to keep arousal rates among their students sufficiently high.

In fact the sensors do not distinguish between fear and interest, between boredom and relaxation, so researchers plan to videotape each class that uses the biosensors. That way they can see what was happening in the classroom at moments of peak engagement.

"It could be that the bell rang or that someone sneaked up behind you," said Shaundra Daily, an assistant professor in the School of Computing at Clemson University, in South Carolina, who is setting up the middle-school research.

Clemson received about $500,000 in Gates funding. Another $620,000 will support an MIT scientist, John Gabrieli, who aims to develop a scale to measure degrees of student engagement by comparing biosensor data to functional MRI brain scans (using college students as subjects). A third grant, for nearly $280,000, supports research by Ryan Baker, a Columbia University professor who specializes in mining data about educational practices.

POTENTIAL FOR MISSION CREEP

Daily and others working on the project say it's still far too early to tell if biosensor bracelets will be effective. But they can envision many ways to use the technology, which is sometimes referred to as "galvanic skin response measurement."

Teachers could, for instance, use the bracelets to monitor student response to a video or a reading, then use that data to spark a lively discussion by zeroing in on the most engaging points, said Rosalind Picard, a computer scientist at MIT and a co-founder of Affectiva, which makes the sensors.

Educators could also deploy the sensors to test different approaches: Are ninth-grade algebra students more engaged by an online lesson, by math-related video games, or by a traditional teacher lecture at the blackboard?

To Sandi Jacobs, the promise of such technology outweighs the vague fear that it might be used in the future to punish teachers who fail to engage their students' Q Sensors.

Any device that helps a teacher identify and meet student needs "is a good thing," said Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, an advocacy group that receives funding from the Gates Foundation. "We have to be really open to what technology can bring."

(Editing by Jonathan Weber and Prudence Crowther)

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Physicians could see more medical devices going mobile

If all goes as the wireless health industry plans, it can start introducing far more products that allow physicians to monitor patients with no wires attached.

 

The Federal Communications Commission announced that wireless monitoring devices will be allowed to transmit data by spectrum bands previously reserved for use by the aerospace industry for flight testing. This dedicated spectrum will allow physicians to monitor patients anytime from anywhere without the worries of an unreliable network disrupting data flow.

 

While the FCC and health care may not appear to have shared interests, when it comes to mobile health, the FCC is key to how those technologies are deployed and used. Everything from radio signals to cellphone calls are transmitted across U.S. airwaves through dedicated spectrum bands. When mobile device manufacturers develop new products, they are designed to work on specific spectrums that the FCC has granted permission to use. Due to the overwhelming number of mobile devices in use today, existing Wi-Fi networks have been deemed not reliable enough for use by critical monitoring devices.

 

GE Healthcare and Royal Philips Electronics, both of whom have devices in development that are awaiting spectrum allocation before taking them to market, advocated the reallocation of spectrum used by the aerospace industry for test flights to be shared with Medical Body Area Networks, low-cost wearable sensors that collect and transmit vital signs. In 2011, representatives from the medical and aerospace industries submitted a joint proposal to the FCC that detailed a shared wireless spectrum. The FCC acted on the recommendation and announced its plan on May 24.


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How social media is changing health care (Infographic)

How social media is changing health care (Infographic) | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Monitoring The Pulse Of Health Care Social Media (by Editor)...

...


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Top 10 free iPad Medical Apps : Patient Education apps: Draw MD series / Cancer.net / inMotion 3D

The iPad has not only improved the physician workflow with a gamut of reference applications, but it has enabled us to communicate better with our patients — quite possibly the device’s most resounding accomplishment.

In the past year we have seen an influx of medical apps aiming to help improve the physician patient relationship.

The flagship of this ideal has to be the Draw MD series. The Draw MD apps do exactly what their name state. They enable physicians to draw out surgical procedures to their patients in a palatable manner.

The series contains nine app currently, with seven specialties covered: Cardiology, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, OB/GYN, Urology, ENT, and Anesthesia.

To get a true insight into how this app can be used by physicians check out the below video where we demo some of the Draw MD apps. These apps by Draw MD alone should give physicians a legitimate reason to purchase an iPad.

Cancer.net is not an app that physicians themselves can use, but is an app included on this list due to it’s ability to transform a patient’s cancer experience. We included this app in our list of three healthcare apps physicians should consider prescribing to patients. The app is a product of the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO). It enables patients to meticulously track their cancer therapy and also provides them a wealth of legitimate information on their disease. Physicians should consider prescribing this app to every patient who is going through cancer therapy.

InMotion 3D is an app by the Stryker Corporation, a medical device company with a focus on orthopedics. The app can be used for patient education of knee anatomy. Obviously, Stryker is promoting their own devices within the app, but the 3D interactive anatomy of the app is tremendously fun to use. In the below video we show the type of fun you can have with the app.

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Communication skills are lacking in health care today

Communication skills are lacking in health care today | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
As we begin to create more connectivity, especially through e-mail and mobile phones, the person-to-person relationship that we enjoy and have known of for centuries is quickly being lost into the wilderness. What we have to make sure is that this problem does not carry over into the field of medicine.

 

It is a general rule that physicians become physicians in order to experience the reward of being able to connect with patients and helping them get better. This connection—the human touch- the special, trusting relationship between the doctor and his patient—is the very heart of medicine; and without this high-touch, the meaning of medicine will be nonexistent. Unfortunately, with the recent advances in connectivity, and as we develop more devices that foster connectivity, we begin to fear the loss of what health care is built up around: the person-to-person communication between the doctor and his patient. So now, the real question is can we save health care by utilizing a balance between high-tech and high-touch?

 


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Apps for the Traveler With Medical Issues

Apps for the Traveler With Medical Issues | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Apps can now deliver information like blood glucose levels, the location of a stent or the name of the nearest specialty hospital.

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mHealth - Emerging MHealth.. path for growth - Pwc Report

mHealth - Emerging MHealth.. path for growth - Pwc Report | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
PwC report shows developed and emerging markets see mHealth's potential to transform healthcare innovation, but resistance to change could be a barrier.

 

Read more on: Expectations vs reality Innovation vs resistance and other hot topics


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How doctors' iPad use is improving patient care in hospitals

How doctors' iPad use is improving patient care in hospitals | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Ottawa Hospital’s groundbreaking decision to equip its doctors with iPads is already improving patient care, the hospital says.

 

The hospital has deployed about 1,900 of the Apple tablets to doctors since 2010.

 

Doctors use the devices to:

* access the latest patient records and test results while doing their rounds in hospital

* access test results

* order X-rays from a patient’s bedside, improving 'the efficiency of the process and patient confidence in the level of care'

 

Later this year, Ottawa Hospital's healthcare professional will be able to"

* order lab tests

* order medication

* match medication bar codes with bar codes on patients’ wristbands, reducing the risk of error

 

Future plans include:

* secure messaging between care team members.

 

The introduction of iPads and other Apple mobile devices is part of a larger strategy the hospital calls “back to the bedside,” says Chief Medical Information Office Dr. Glen Geiger.

 

“Over the past 10 years or more, many of our clinical teams have become computer-centric as opposed to being patient-centric. People are always gravitating back to our nursing stations where the computers are to get information.” By introducing iPads and other mobile devices, he says, “we’re trying to free up our clinicians’ time so they spend more time with the patient.”

 

While it takes longer for doctors to complete their rounds using iPads, “it’s better care for patients,” Geiger says. “I’ve been able to explain very complex things to family members in sometimes very desperate circumstances where images or lab tests have indicated how severely ill the relative was.”

 

As a result, patients feel more empowered and engaged with their care, Geiger says.

 


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European hospital social media monitor

European hospital social media monitor | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

From the hospitalseu blog:

 

'Recently we published our findings on the use of Social Media by European Hospitals in JMIR. In this longitudinal study, we explored the use of social media by hospitals in 12 Western European countries through an Internet search.

 

The next step was to share social media usage by individual hospitals on a map, combined with the great work that Ed Bennet (@edbennet) did in the United States. Looking for a nice way to present this, Silja (@whydotpharma) showed us her idea to do just that. So here it is : The first worldwide Hospital Social Media Monitor. You can easily embed this map into your own website or blog, and we look forward receiving your feedback (Please use @hospitalseu).

 

N.B.: The data are not complete. So far, only 12 countries are in the database and some hospitals are missing. Furthermore, hospital information may be incomplete. Therefore, your help is needed!

 

To add a European hospital or to modify your information, please use this online form:' http://bit.ly/NmwMGT


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Hospital Impact - Understanding barriers to patient behavioral change

Hospital Impact - Understanding barriers to patient behavioral change | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Healthcare, wellness, hospital care and post-acute care all depend on relationships between providers and patients. The gap between health care professionals and the public that has been documented in Kaiser Family Foundation pollsindicates that these relationships are not working perfectly.For example, professionals believe 30 percent of healthcare services are not necessary, but 67 percent of the public say they do not get all the care they need. Professionals state there is wide variation in quality of providers, but 70 percent of the public believes there is not much difference in quality of physicians in their area.

[More:]

Much of the discussion about both the cost and quality of American healthcare centers around the lack of responsibility that patients exhibit when they smoke, lead sedentary lives and eat an unhealthy diet. And yet most attempts at behavior change have been disappointing, to say the least. It has been frustrating for physicians and public health officials that we do not really know how to effectively influence lifestyle behavior.

A new book by a Nobel Prize winner summarizes how he established the new field of behavioral economics, which sheds light on how human beings make decisions and what works (and doesn't) in trying to get people to change behaviors. Anyone interested in the transformation of the American healthcare delivery system needs to read Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" (New York: Farrah, Straus, and Giroux, 2011).

Kahneman describes the two ways we humans interact with our world: the largely unconscious, always on, fast system that depends on intuition and the conscious; and the lazy slow system that depends on critical examination of the evidence. Humans are consciously aware of only 40 of the 11,000,000 pieces of information that are influencing their behavior at any one moment. The 10,999,960 pieces of information coming in through the five senses that unconsciously affect us do so largely through the fast system that is always monitoring our environment for danger and making up causal interpretations of what is happening in our world.

The fast system, under conditions of time pressure and uncertainty, uses shortcuts (heuristics) to make judgments that can lead to a predictable pattern of cognitive illusions and errors. Kahneman received the Nobel Prize because his work with Amos Tversky established that we humans overestimate how much we understand about the world and underestimate the role of chance in events. "We can be blind to the obvious, and we are blind to our blindness."

A study of the incidence of kidney cancer in the 3,141 U.S. counties revealed the occurrence is lowest in rural, sparsely populated, traditionally Republican states in the Midwest, the South and the West. When most are asked about this finding, their fast system comes up with a plausible cause associated with clean living, little pollution and access to fresh food.

When it is revealed that the same study also showed the incidence is highest in the same counties, the fast system comes up another believable cause associated with rural poverty, limited access to medical care, and poor diet and smoking habits. Our human fast system is inept when faced with statistical facts, which change the probability of disease outcomes but do not cause them. Extreme outcomes--in this case high and low incidences--are always more likely to be found in small rather than large samples. Kahneman calls this cognitive illusion the law of small numbers.

The affect heuristic shows that our predictions of frequency of events are distorted by the prevalence and emotional intensity of messages we are exposed to in the 24/7 news cycle. Although strokes cause twice as many deaths as accidents, 80 percent of the public judged accidents more likely. Although asthma causes 20 times more deaths than tornadoes, the dramatic news reporting of tornadoes contributes to the public thinking this weather event is more deadly than the respiratory disease.

It turns out that humans, physicians and patients, are not good intuitive statisticians. If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long will it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? When given the choice of 100 minutes or five minutes as the answer, the majority of humans will pick the wrong answer of 100 minutes because the fast system intuitively thinks it makes sense.

The well-documented difficulty of physicians and patients to understand statistics when they attempt shared-decision making now makes more sense. Our intuition often leads us astray because human beings are not good intuitive statisticians. Kahneman makes it clear that statisticians are Homo sapiens, and they too often get tripped up by their fast system of thinking. The new field of behavioral economics has much to teach all of us concerned with decreasing the per-capita cost and increasing the quality of American medicine.

Dr. Kent Bottles is a Senior Fellow at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health.

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Should doctors really want ideal patients?

Should doctors really want ideal patients? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
If the doctor had repeatedly such ideal patients, caring for them might be a boring experience.

 

What do you think is the physician-view of an “ideal patient”?

Well, as physicians, though we would like to think of caring for an ideal patient, we have to face the reality that this would rarely happen. You see, the ideal patient would be one who, first of all, bears many of the views and goals of the physician.

 

As physicians, we really can’t believe that we will be so lucky. Then, physicians generally yearn for illnesses which they can easily diagnose and readily treat to an outcome which is optimal for the patient.

That usually means that the patient has real physical symptoms, one acute disease — not confusing multiple new diseases at the same time and, finally, clear cut physical findings and lab tests.

 

The illness, hopefully, would have standard treatment which is virtually universally satisfactory and the risks of treatment being minimal, if at all.

 

The patient should be alert, in good spirits (not too sick), have confidence in the physician, readily competent to make decisions, thoroughly interested in learning about the illness and its treatment and willing to take time to listen carefully to the explanation by the physician and the options of further diagnostic tests and treatment.

 

And when it comes to treatment, the ideal patient will make the effort to follow the physician’s prescription directions and remain fully compliant.

 

The patient will also carefully monitor their reaction to the medication and promptly report to the physician any side-effects or complications. The ideal patient will also have the ideal family. Such a family will support the patient but also show confidence in the physician and support the physician.


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Ipad Toting Doctors Spur Venture Funding in Medical Apps - Businessweek

Venture capitalists seeking to profit from innovations in health care are turning to startups that make smartphone and tablet applications for doctors and hospitals.

Two years ago, patients would be surprised to see their doctors pulling out an Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone to check their blood sugar, or cardiogram results. Now they’re finding such practices commonplace as investment in the kinds of companies that make health information apps rose 78 percent in 2011 to $766 million. Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) has started a $100 million fund, Insight Venture Partners is putting $40 million into a startup and Oprah Winfrey is dipping in as well, with her company investing in a website that helps doctors and patients interact.

“We’re at a sea change,” said David Jahns, managing partner of Galen Partners LP, a Stamford, Connecticut-based private equity firm that invested in a company called Sharecare.

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, Jahns said.

“We really have to improve our costs,” he said. “The best thing that our country can do is invest in technology that gets better outcomes with fewer procedures.”

Timothy Kreth, a cardiologist at TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, uses an application from AirStrip Technologies that lets him view emergency room patients’ electrocardiograms on his iPhone.

More Convenient

“It’s more convenient for the patient,” Kreth said in a telephone interview. “I can look at it and determine some of the subtle nuances the emergency room doctor maybe could not. It gives us the opportunity to make diagnoses quicker.”

Kreth and the five other cardiologists have used the AirStrip technology for about six weeks at his hospital, which is part of HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA) Previously, emergency room doctors faxed cardiologists the EKGs, Kreth said.

AirStrip, based in San Antonio, Texas, was the first investment from the $100 million Qualcomm Life Fund that formed in December. Qualcomm Life doesn’t disclose how much it invests, though typically puts down $2 million to $5 million, Jack Young, who manages the fund, said by telephone.

Taking Off

Richard Wells, a managing director at Insight Venture, defines the burgeoning market as software as a service -- scheduling technology for doctors, patient-monitoring data for hospitals and online wellness tools for corporate health plans.

“In a way it’s like outsourcing,” Wells said in a phone interview. “You don’t need IT guys, it’s all done for you.”

Qualcomm had invested in health previously through its $500 million Qualcomm Ventures that funds a broader range of tech startups. Now the San Diego-based wireless communications- equipment company markets a cloud-computing platform that can connect medical devices and applications over the Internet, a specialty Young said will be mutually beneficial when Airstrip moves into home care for patients discharged from the hospital.

“We’ll continue to see this caliber of investing,” he said. “The ecosystem is slowly but surely taking off.”

Money Flow

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.

As information technology reaps the benefits, investment in traditional medical-devices makers, though still magnitudes larger than medical app investments, has stalled to $2.8 billion in 2011, from $2.9 billion in 2006. Devices, unlike most information technology, are subject to a regulatory review where companies must show that a product is reasonably safe and effective before sales can begin.

The timing of the Food and Drug Administration reviews has become too unpredictable for some early investors, Thomas Gunderson, senior analyst at Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co., said in a telephone interview.

Economic Stimulus

“If they’re supposed to make investments and they think it’s going to take six years to get the returns on their investments, that’s one thing,” he said. “If it’s seven, eight or 12 years, that’s unpredictable and they’re backing away.”

The FDA is considering stricter standards for medical apps that directly diagnose or treat conditions. The agency released draft guidelines in July that said some mobile apps pose a potential risk and may have to meet medical-device quality standards before being sold for use with smartphones and tablets.

For now, insurers are still embracing the proliferation of new technology that helps hospitals and doctors keep better records or operate their practices in a less costly way.

The shift is being aided by government efforts to arm doctors with more data and coordinate care to reduce health costs, said Jahns.

The U.S. economic stimulus package in 2009 set incentives for health-care providers to adopt electronic records, and President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care system overhaul pushed providers further to cut costs and improve services.

“Anyone who can save money goes to the front of the line” for investment, Gunderson said.

Oprah’s Backing

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 provides online tools for doctors 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 such as Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the world’s largest drugmaker, and pharmacy chain Walgreen Co. (WAG)

The website’s landing page includes a bar where users can enter any health question they conjure with some clickable prompts such as “Can I burn extra calories eating celery?”

“For us, we want to get to scale and become the front door to online health,” Arnold said in a telephone interview. “Basically, to health care the way Facebook is to the way people make lifestyle choices.”

Digital Frontier

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the largest U.S. health insurer by membership, had its employees use Sharecare for a 12-week “Move It & Lose It Challenge,” Tyler Mason, a spokesman for the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company, said in an e-mail.

Arnold wants to open Sharecare up to other entrepreneurs to give patients access to electronic medical records, allow people to schedule doctor appointments and provide a home for data from apps that are operating like traditional devices, such as blood sugar management systems.

Wells of Insight Venture said desire for digitization to control health costs will continue to spark venture capital interest. Insight in March invested $40 million in Kinnser Software, which gives home-health providers access to patient records and the ability to enter data digitally on the site or using an app on a tablet.

“This keeps going for a while,” Wells said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at aedney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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Obstacles to mobile health's ability to ease health disparities

Obstacles to mobile health's ability to ease health disparities | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Neil Versel writes:

 

'Might mobile health technologies help alleviate health disparities between African-American and white men? That is the implication in a recent Huffington Post commentary.

 

Writing in the Huffington Post, Washington, D.C., lawyer John M. Burns cited statistics indicating that black males live 7.1 fewer years on average than men of other races and are 2.4 times more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and HIV/AIDS also are far more prominent in African-Americans than in white Americans.

 

“To improve the health of black men, we must ensure that: 1) They have affordable access to health care; 2) they become more knowledgeable and educated about the resources at their disposal to better care for themselves; and 3) we work, as a community, towards changing attitudes and priorities so that men take a more proactive and preventative approach to their individual health care,” Burns wrote.

 

With June being Men’s Health Month in the U.S., Burns said this is a good time to examine ways to improve the well-being of men of all races and ethnicities. “One way for us to do this more efficiently is by taking advantage of the mobile platforms that are making health care more accessible and giving us tools to better manage our health,” he suggested.'

 

[AS: access to health information in a mobile setting is one thing (although smartphones are not cheap, and issues around exclusion remain), but presumptions that:

 

a) that reliable, relevant, accurate health information is easy to find,

b) that mobile health apps are discoverable and fit for purpose, and

c) health literacy issues have been addressed make this more of a leap of faith than I am prepared to undertake.

 

I remain unconvinced -- not of the inexorable rise of mobile, but rather of our collective creation of the conditions of possibility for the execution of such a strategy.

 

So much needs to be torn down; so much more needs to be created]


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How Social Technologies Contribute to a Better Customer Experience | CustomerThink

How Social Technologies Contribute to a Better Customer Experience | CustomerThink | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

During each interaction with a brand, organization, or institution, the person on the other end of the interaction has a perception of how things went. Over time, the accumulation of these touch points deepen the customer’s perception of the organization. These perceptions influence actions (to engage, to buy, to defect, to complain, to share the experience with others…). These actions and interactions establish the long term relational value between organizations and their customers.


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Social media a godsend for those with rare diseases

Social media a godsend for those with rare diseases | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Naperville woman with heart condition among those who find support, information online

 

Deb McGarry had just delivered the eulogy at her grandmother's funeral when pain shot through her chest. A wave of nausea followed.


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WHO Finds Social Media Indispensable in Managing Global Health Crises

WHO Finds Social Media Indispensable in Managing Global Health Crises | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
his month I was visiting the Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC), deep inside the World Health Organization. SHOC is WHO's equivalent of the White House Situation Room, where a multi-disciplinary team of experts gather to access and share information that enable rapid situation assessment and decision-making during global pandemics and other health crises.

 

Along with an impressive array of state-of-the-art communications, collaboration and coordination tools were four large screens for monitoring crises. I was fascinated to see that one of them displayed TweetDeck, the application that facilitates Twitter searches by selected key words or phrases.

 

WHO uses social media to manage global health crises, I asked Christine Feig, WHO's head of communications? Yes, they are, and she recounted a tale of how social media have fundamentally changed WHO health surveillance in the age of Twitter and Facebook. WHO's seminal social media event occurred the last time the SHOC was staffed 24/7 -- the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima radiation crisis of 2011. Here's how it played out:


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4 unexpected mobile health findings from physicians, payers and patients

4 unexpected mobile health findings from physicians, payers and patients | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

A new mobile health survey of physicians, payers and patients reveals some unexpected findings about mobile health reimbursement, health management and data tracking. Read more.

 

"A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers exploring the opportunities for using mobile health and the potential barriers for its growth challenges some assumptions made about how physicians, payers and patients are thinking about this area, such as how it is perceived by young physicians and how physicians would like it to be used.


Young physicians are worried about how patients use it. Although about 44 percent of the 433 physicians surveyed are “worried” about mobile health making patients more independent, the majority of young physicians — those with five years of experience or less, or 53 percent, feel this way. And 24 percent of these young doctors discourage their patients from using mobile health. It’s tough to say why, and the report’s authors don’t shed much light other than speculating that their junior positions may lead them to be more impacted by disruption, like fewer jobs.

 

Payers would like patients to provide more data to physicians and so would physicians. About 40 percent of the 345 payer participants said they would like their members to use mobile devices to provide more data to physicians, a finding that jibes with something physicians want. About 51 percent of doctors would like to receive data to monitor patients and another 51 percent say they would like to use it to provide instructions on drug adherence and other health-related communication. Approximately 48 percent would like to use it as an explanatory or demonstration tool for patients during office visits." (...)

 

CE: The slideshare with the main findings is in the link. More data is needed to sustain the claim that young doctors are discouraging patients for fear of disruption, but it is certainly an avenue to explore...


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CHART OF THE DAY: More People Have Mobile Phones Than Electricity Or Drinking Water

CHART OF THE DAY: More People Have Mobile Phones Than Electricity Or Drinking Water | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
How big is mobile? Really big. This slide from analyst Chetan Sharma shows that mobile is the most pervasive technology ever invented.

As you can see, mobile has deeper penetration than electricity and safe drinking water.

 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-putting-global-mobile-in-context-2012-4#ixzz1xZqWk176

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Ginny Dillon's comment, June 12, 2012 10:40 PM
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Is ur #MD 2 square? Some use e-tech with patients

Is ur #MD 2 square? Some use e-tech with patients | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Is your doctor a technophobe? Increasingly, the answer may be no.

 

(...)" Many doctors still cling to pen and paper, and are most comfortable using e-technology to communicate with each other — not with patients. But from the nation's top public health agency, to medical clinics in the heartland, some physicians realize patients want more than a 15-minute office visit and callback at the end of the day.


Far from Silicon Valley and East Coast high-tech hubs, Kansas City pediatrician Natasha Burgert offers child-rearing tips on her blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, and answers patients' questions by email and text messages.


"These tools are embedded in my work day," Burgert said. "This is something I do in between checkups. It's much easier for me to shoot you an email and show you a blog post than it is to phone you back. That's what old-school physicians are going to be doing, spending an hour at the end of the day" returning patients' phone calls, she said.


She recently received a typical email — from a mother wondering how to wean her 2-year-old from a pacifier. With a few thumb clicks, Burgert sent the mom a link to a blog post offering tips on that same topic.


Sarah Hartley, whose two young daughters are Burgert's patients, loves having e-access to the doctor and says even emails late in the evening typically get a quick response.


"It's so useful," Hartley said. "Sometimes parents get concerned about a lot of things that maybe aren't necessarily big deals" and getting off-hours reassurance is comforting, she said.


Burgert, 36, doesn't charge for virtual communication, although some doctors do. She says it enhances but doesn't replace office visits or other personal contact with patients.


Colleagues "look at me and kind of shake their heads when I tell them what I do. They don't have an understanding of the tools," Burgert said. "For the next generation that's coming behind me, I think this will be much more common." (...)"


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Why It’s So Important For Physicians To Listen – The Patient’s Perspective

Why It’s So Important For Physicians To Listen – The Patient’s Perspective | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
A recent qualitative study (structured interviews) of patients conducted at       McGill University School of Medicine underscores the importance of listening in physician-patient interaction...

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SPM Rolls Out Participatory Seal Program | e-Patients.net

SPM Rolls Out Participatory Seal Program | e-Patients.net | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
At Health Datapalooza today in Washington, DC, the Society for Participatory Medicine announced the live beta launch of our Seal Program.

 

"At Health Datapalooza today in Washington, DC, the Society for Participatory Medicine announced the live beta launch of our Seal Program. The SPM Seal will be awarded to clinicians and to patients who make four simple, achievable, but powerful participatory commitments. Clinicians also agree to allow patients to verify that they are keeping those commitments. Their seal will not go live unless they have been nominated or verified by at least one patient.

 

This gives us a growing, searchable database which people and services can use to identify participatory providers and patients. Beyond this, the commitments teach core participatory principles as well as raise the bar. Each of the four commitments expands participation and has power to instigate change.

 

Clinicians are also encouraged to take the Participatory Patient pledge for themselves.

 

Meanwhile, we’ll be collecting individual stories of participation to display on the Seal website.

 

The SPM Seal dovetails nicely with the ONC and their pledge program for organizations, with our live beta announcement occurring in their consumer session at HDI.

 

Come to seal.participatorymedicine.org to nominate clinicians, to take the participatory provider and/or patient pledge, to search for those who have, to validate clinicians, or to submit participatory stories.

 

This fall, after we’ve had a chance to learn from the beta, we’ll roll out the Society for Participatory Medicine Seal Program in a big way. Participatory Medicine is Better Medicine, and it’s time to put in on the map."

 

CE: I look forward to see how this develops, and the adoption of this principles by providers. How many will commit? 


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Connecting digital health with real, unmet needs

Connecting digital health with real, unmet needs | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

David Shaywitz (@DShaywitz) writes:

 

'Instagram and similar apps are delightful, but hardly essential; most imitators and start-ups inspired by their success are neither. It doesn't strain credulity to imagine investors in these sorts of companies waking up one day and experiencing their own Seinfeld moment, as it occurs to them they've created a portfolio built around nothing.

 

I confess to believing that health is different: I'm overwhelmed by the extent of real, unmet need - by the need for meaningful innovation to impact the lives of people and patients. The fundamental human need is there - and a market for innovative products exists; there's real money here, and real business opportunities for companies that are able to deliver and demonstrate value.'


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