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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Cell phone as wallet, human battery, fuzzy Glomper stand out in SXSW marketing blitz

Cell phone as wallet, human battery, fuzzy Glomper stand out in SXSW marketing blitz | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
This annual Internet conference is a visual extravaganza. These are the companies and the marketing efforts that rose above the noise.The most memorable brands were the ones that provided a critical service. Catch a Chevy cars picked up and dropped off festival folks all over town. People who had waited an hour or more for a shuttle ride to the convention center were thrilled to get a fast, free ride downtown. Also, Samsung charging towers were ubiquitous in the session halls.

Customers will remember those experiences long after the made-up name of a fuzzy mascot has faded.

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O2 Health launches Help at Hand mobile telecare service | Mobile News Online

O2 Health launches Help at Hand mobile telecare service | Mobile News Online | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
GPS device aimed at people with long-term conditions runs with O2 mobile coverage and connects to alarm receiving centre in an emergency

O2 Health has launched ‘Help at Hand’, which it claims is the UK’s first telecare service built around mobile technology.

It sees the user carry a mobile-enabled pendant or wristwatch that is connected to a UK-based alarm receiving centre, with specially trained staff supervising it around the clock. The device runs with O2 mobile network coverage.

Features of the device include a fall down detector and GPS so the user’s location can be identified.

Safe zones can also be defined, so if the individual moves out of this zone, the receiving centre is alerted and staff can take the appropriate action.

The Help at Hand website allows users, carers or social care organisations to manage the user’s profile, setting up bespoke guidelines based on their care requirements and detailing how to react to any issues should they arise.

O2 said that according to a review conducted by Medipex, which provides technology services to the NHS, £5.8 million has been saved in care services across 1,722 service users in England.

It added one per cent of telecare solutions in the UK are mobile-based, leaving many people with long-term conditions with little choice when it comes to accessing support beyond their homes.

O2 said the use of telecare helps delay or avoid unnecessary admission to care homes, reduce emergency call outs, days in hospital and reduce the risk to the user.

O2 Health managing director Keith Nurcombe said: “For many groups of patients now being considered for telecare services, being confined to their homes is no longer acceptable. They want to be able to go about their daily lives with the reassurance that help is quickly available should they need it.

“Mobile technology is a natural fit – this is where we have identified a need and developed Help at Hand to meet it.”

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E-diagnosis tool at HealthPartners has treated 22,000 patients since launch

E-diagnosis tool at HealthPartners has treated 22,000 patients since launch | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Health system HealthPartners has treated 22,000 patients using the online diagnosis since September.

Telemedicine and mobile health’s popularity and efficacy have spurred a plethora of innovations, not the least of which is the online diagnosis of common ailments.

One integrated health system in Minnesota, which functions both as a healthcare provider and insurer, has witnessed growing popularity of its e-diagnosis system. Called Virtuwell, the online service of HealthPartners has treated around 22,00o patients since its launch in October 2010, said Kevin Palattao, the service’s vice president.

Patients log on to the Virtuwell website, select the symptoms they are having and enter information about their medical history, including allergies and any medications they are on. A nurse practitioner reviews the information and texts or emails back a treatment plan, which may include filling a prescription, in 30 minutes. The patient can also request to speak with a nurse practitioner, and the service is available 24 hours, all year round.

“We are trying to leverage our know-how about clinical protocols with online and modern communication tools to deliver these more affordable and convenient healthcare experiences for patients,” Palattao said in a phone interview.

The premise for Virtuwell is simple: to treat common ailments — like bladder infections, acne, cold, cough and allergy as well as sunburn and ear pain — safely, quickly and in an affordable manner, Palattao said.

In fact, the service costs $40 or less, depending on insurance co-pay, and a nurse practitioner texts or emails the diagnosis and treatment plan in half an hour. Patients don’t have to take time off from work and wait at the clinic or an urgent care center. Nor do they have to shell out a lot of money to see the doctor in person.

“At Virtuwell’s price point on average we are saving $70 per visit over all other venues,” Palattao said. “We have saved probably over $1.5 million for Minnesota and Wisconsin residents who have used our service.”

And in terms of time, patients can save between two to four hours, he said.

However, not all patients can be treated through telemedicine. If during the course of the e-visit, the nurse practitioner determines that lab work or imaging or detailed analysis needs to be done, the patient is directed to go to a clinic or other in-person center, Palattao said. In fact, since Virtuwell launched, 40,000 patients were told that they needed to come to get checked out instead of getting a diagnosis online.

“In essence these patients received free triage,” Palattao said.

While HealthPartners introduced Virtuwell in October 2010, earlier in the spring Park Nicollet Health Services began to offer a similar service powered by a Minnesota software company named Zipnosisfor $25. A year later, Park Nicollet did not renew its contract with Zipnosis. A spokesman for Park Nicollet wasn’t immediately able to say whether the health system plans to offer such a service again.

Meanwhile Zipnosis has found a taker in Fairview Health Services. Since January, Fairview is offering Minnesota residents the option of online diagnosis. Fairview alsooffers a virtual diagnosis through a video platform where patients can use the Internet to schedule a remote, video appointment that enables a conversation between them and their doctor.

Another Twin Cities provider — Allina Health — has been offering ane-diagnosis toolthrough its MyChart service since September. The service costs $35 and is submitted to patients’ insurance providers. Unlike Virtuwell, the service is not 24 hours (it is only available between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week) and takes slightly longer for a diagnosis — one hour.

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Apple launches remote configurator to remove even more complexity – a big advance for mHealth care providers

Apple launches remote configurator to remove even more complexity – a big advance for mHealth care providers | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
“Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution”

I’m a massive fan of the remote device management services that Doro have implemented with their easy to use mobiles (a few clicks and I can add/change a number/shortcut on a patients mobile) so it’s great to see this functionality arriving on much more complicated devices. A big plus for care providers who are trying to use Apple devices with patients.

Imagine being able to send a message like this to your patients:

“Dear David, Dr Jones has sent you out a new health monitoring device in the post (click here and you can watch a video all about it). When it arrives simply send a reply to this message at a convenient time and I’ll give you a video call and we’ll set it all up so that you can get started using it. Glad to see your keeping so active! Nurse Jane“
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Digital Records May Not Cut Health Costs, Study Cautions - The New York Times

Computerized patient records are unlikely to cut health care costs and may actually encourage doctors to order expensive tests more often, a study published on Monday concludes.

Industry experts have said that electronic health records could generate huge savings — as much as $80 billion a year, according to a RAND Corporation estimate. The promise of cost savings has been a major justification for billions of dollars in federal spending to encourage doctors to embrace digital health records.

But research published Monday in the journal Health Affairs found that doctors using computers to track tests, like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, ordered far more tests than doctors relying on paper records.

The use of costly image-taking tests has increased sharply in recent years. Many experts contend that electronic health records will help reduce unnecessary and duplicative tests by giving doctors more comprehensive and up-to-date information when making diagnoses.

The study showed, however, that doctors with computerized access to a patient’s previous image results ordered tests on 18 percent of the visits, while those without the tracking technology ordered tests on 12.9 percent of visits. That is a 40 percent higher rate of image testing by doctors using electronic technology instead of paper records.

The gap, according to the study, was even greater — a 70 percent higher rate — for more advanced and expensive image tests, including M.R.I. tests and CT, or computerized tomography, scans.

“Our research raises real concerns about whether health information technology is going to be the answer to reducing costs,” said Dr. Danny McCormick, the lead author of the study, who is an assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School and a member of the department of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a health system north of Boston.

Dr. McCormick had three co-authors: Dr. David H. Bor, chief of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance; and Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler and Dr. David U. Himmelstein, both professors at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College.

The research was based on a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, which collected data from more than 28,000 patient visits to more than 1,100 doctors in 2008.

Health policy experts who have championed the adoption of electronic health records were critical of the study. They noted that the data came from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which is intended mainly for another purpose — to assess how medical care is practiced.

The study, they noted, included any kind of computer access to tracking images, no matter how old or isolated the function.

By contrast, modern electronic health records are meant to give doctors an integrated view of a patient’s care, including medical history, treatments, medications and past tests. The 2008 data predates federal incentive payments for doctors and standards for the “meaningful use” of electronic health records that began last year.

The new study, they said, was also at odds with previous research. It is “one of a small minority of studies” that have doubted the value of health information technology, said Dr. David Blumenthal, a professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Blumenthal, the former national coordinator for health information technology in the Obama administration, was co-author of a study, published last year in Health Affairs, that surveyed articles in professional journals in recent years on electronic health records.

It found that 92 percent of those articles were “positive over all” about the prospect that technology would improve the efficiency and quality of care.

But Dr. McCormick said the previous research had been primarily statistical models of expected savings, like the RAND study, or research that looked at the use of electronic health records at a relatively small number of flagship health systems.

“We looked at not just a few cutting-edge institutions, but a nationally representative sample,” Dr. McCormick said.

Dr. David J. Brailer, who was the national coordinator for health information technology in the administration of George W. Bush, said he was unconvinced by the study’s conclusions because they were based on a correlation in the data and were not the result of a controlled test.

The study did not explore why physicians in computerized offices ordered more tests. Dr. McCormick speculated that digital technology might simply make ordering tests easier.

Dr. McCormick said he hoped the study would damp any inflated expectations about electronic records. But he added that the technology can improve the actual practice of medicine.

The Cambridge Health Alliance, where he practices, made the switch to electronic records in 2005.

“I’m a primary care doctor,” Dr. McCormick said, “and I would never go back.”

A version of this article appeared in print on March 6, 2012, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Digital Records May Not Cut Health Costs, Study Cautions.

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How Physicians Can Use Social Media to Improve Client Interactions | PHARMA GEEK & SOCIAL MEDIA

How Physicians Can Use Social Media to Improve Client Interactions | PHARMA GEEK & SOCIAL MEDIA | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Social media sites can be an effective way for clinics to boost their online presence and for physicians to have more meaningful electronic interactions with clients and other physicians. In fac...

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3 Solutions for Major Telemedicine Barriers | Healthcare Information Technology

3 Solutions for Major Telemedicine Barriers | Healthcare Information Technology | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
A recently published study in Telemedicine and e-Health found that despite numerous benefits there are three major barriers to telemedicine implementation and use that need to be addressed.
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Gene-Z Point of Care Genetic Testing System Update

Gene-Z Point of Care Genetic Testing System Update | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Last summer scientists at Michigan State University reported about a new device they developed, called Gene-Z, that performs genetic analysis on microRNAs. The device is low cost, uses an Apple iPod Touch as an interface, and doesn’t require much energy, so can be charged using solar panels (you’ll need bigger ones for the iPod).


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TechCrunch | Three Free Healthcare Apps That Empower Patients

TechCrunch | Three Free Healthcare Apps That Empower Patients | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The significant adoption of smartphones among physicians has not only led to an explosion of medical apps aimed at healthcare providers, but it has also cultivated an emerging trend of health and wellness apps aimed at empowering patients.

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An e-Patient Goes to the Eye Doctor – and, ahem, expresses himself « e-Patient Dave

An e-Patient Goes to the Eye Doctor – and, ahem, expresses himself « e-Patient Dave | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

This started out as quick and simple, but there turned out to be more to chew on than I expected.

There’s nothing here that will be a surprise to any experienced patient advocate, but it may be useful to newbies. (If you’re not familiar with our movement, e-patients are Empowered, Engaged in their care, Equipped, Enabled… pick your e. We and our clinicians have a Society for Participatory Medicine, about patient-provider partnerships.)
________________

I noted two weeks ago that when I got a prescription for new glasses, the optometrist (eye measurement guy) said his eye-puff-tester found high pressure in one eye. Re-tests said yeah, I have high intraocular pressure, which can be a precursor to glaucoma, which can cause blindness. Good example of a simple routine screening test finding something before it becomes a problem. Rx: go to the ophthalmologist (eye doctor, as in MD).

(The high pressure is often caused by failure to drain the fluid (aqueous humor) that’s constantly flowing into the eye… pressure builds up, and can damage the optic nerve, generally starting at the edges – the blindness often starts as a loss of peripheral vision.)

Well, I don’t really have an eye doctor, but the only shop in town (literally) is Nashua Eye Associates, so I called them. I got hooked up with a doctor, who did an exam with a fancier machine and said yeah, I have high pressure in both eyes. But my optic nerve looks fine, and so does the “optical angle,” where the fluid drains. So, no problem yet.

She prescribes eye drops to promote drainage. $9 co-pay. We discuss the two additional tests I need, after which she’ll see me again.

Now:

Expression of e-Patient #1: gimme my data

My primary, Dr. Sands, had asked for a copy of my visit notes so he could incorporate them in his system. I asked the front desk, and they insisted that I sign a HIPAA release form. Privately I rolled my eyes; a HIPAA release is my permission for them to give my data to someone else – not to myself. But this one’s not a fight worth fighting; at least they didn’t resist giving it to me, as some practices do. Yay.

Expression of e-Patient #2: scheduling that works

I call in to schedule the two tests and visit. They say the first date available is May.(!!) I say “If I’m progressing toward glaucoma, I really don’t want to wait three months for the next update.” Some dialog reveals the staff person’s sense that I’m supposed to have both tests and see the doc on the same day, perhaps to avoid multiple trips. But I live 5 minutes away and work at home.

Eventually I ask to speak to a manager. This guy’s sharp and quick; a few questions, and it turns out I can do them separately. Yay: by expressing my needs effectively, we break through the non-existent requirement and I get what I need.

Expression of e-Patient #3: expecting appropriate information

The drops burn the hell out of my eye – redness, itching, swelling. On the second day I say “Enough!” and call to get them changed. I come in, and the doc asks why I want to change, and I cite the burning. She says, “Yes, they do that for the first week.”

What???

Me, approximately: “Was I supposed to know that? … Was there some patient education flyer I was supposed to get, to tell me what to expect? Is there anything I was supposed to do if that happened?”

Her: silence; the look on her face politely suggests “What’s your problem?” And she doesn’t answer, just looks away.

Me, explaining e-patient: “I’m the kind of patient who likes to know what’s going on – I like to understand as much as I can.” She smiles, nods, chuckles a little and orders (online) another prescription. We briefly note my upcoming tests and I leave.

This one’s a $45 co-pay. “Nice of her to warn me,” I think to myself. It’s still not pleasant, but it doesn’t hurt. The eyes itch, but I’m also getting over a cold. I’m careful not to rub the eyeball itself; I have much experience over the years at safely getting grit out of my eyes, lifting the eyelid the right way, etc.

I go off to the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas – an eight day trip.

Expression of e-Patient #4: finding a doctor who’s a good match for my style

Two days ago (Sunday night) it got bad: I got really tormented, could not make it stop being uncomfortable. By bedtime I asked my wife to look. (Veterinarians make a lot less than MDs, but that’s because (he said ironically) they handle all specialties for multiple species :-), so she has plenty of experience at examining mammal eyes that have things in them.)

She sees that I now have a raised lesion on the white of the problem eye, which (with some difficulty) I can see in the mirror. She rinses it with copious amounts of saline solution, which we’d bought the day before. I keep the eye closed and sleep well. In the morning, bang, immediately I call Nashua Eye and ask to see a doc stat.

Happily for me, this time I get someone different: Dr. Riddle. This is my kinda doc: fast, thorough, steady patter of information as he examines my eye, while the tech Holly enters what he’s saying into their EMR. (Which, btw, got upgraded over the weekend and is Not Working At All Well.)

Riddle is my kinda guy. A dye test (which Ginny suspected he’d do) says the eyeball is not scratched (good). He says the lesion is in fact a reaction to the first drops I had, even though I’d only used them two days, two weeks ago; it’s gotten irritated. Twice he asks whether my eyes were examined when I first returned with the burning, as he’d just examined them; no, I say, twice: she just gave me the other prescription. Hm.

He also notes twice that the visit wasn’t recorded in the EMR – they found the new script recorded as a progress note appended to the previous visit. I guess if there was no exam, that might be reasonable, but I don’t know the protocol in their practice.

He also says that whether to treat my level of pressure (25 & 26) is up for debate; some docs do, but treatment always has costs & risks, so he wouldn’t. But considering my reaction to the drops, he suggests ditching the existing drops and just giving me something to treat the irritation.

To him, too, I describe my preference for information and engagement. He’s receptive enough that I progress to describing SPM.

Expression of e-Patient #5: communicating my concerns

I’m asking the practice to change me to be Dr. Riddle’s patient. My remaining test is Thursday, and I’ll see him again. Then I need to let the first doctor know what didn’t work for me, and let the practice manager know.

p.s. Crap, now I gotta get (paper) copies of all those records for Dr. Sands…. boy will I be glad when we have health information exchange, and nifty new software that pulls it all together so this isn’t such a chore! Thanks to the regulators at HHS who are finally carving out the stones that will make that a reality – a few years from now. And thanks to the innovators who will tie it all together – get to work, you guys! How are we supposed to be responsible engaged patients if this is so much work, for us and for the providers??

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Online Therapy Helps Teens Recover From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : NPR

Online Therapy Helps Teens Recover From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : NPR | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Online cognitive behavioral therapy worked much better than office visits for teenagers with chronic fatigue syndrome, according to a new study. The convenience of online behavioral therapy may be one big reason why.

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Scan Your Food For Bacteria With Your Cell Phone | Popular Science

Scan Your Food For Bacteria With Your Cell Phone | Popular Science | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Have you ever been tempted to order steak tartare but decided against it for fear of getting sick? This little cell phone scanner can take a look at it for you and let you know if it does in fact harbor any E. coli bacteria.


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HIMSS put mobile in the basement | mobihealthnews

HIMSS put mobile in the basement | mobihealthnews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

When it comes to IT, healthcare providers are currently focused on achieving meaningful use. No surprise there. That was one of the key findings of the 23rd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, which was published at the association’s massive health IT tradeshow in Las Vegas last week.Last year’s survey also found that fewer than 1 percent of those providers surveyed planned to make providing patient-centric solutions like web-based self services, personal health records and mobile devices a top IT priority. This year’s survey found that, despite the consistent buzz around smartphone and tablet adoption among physicians, only 18 percent of respondents to the HIMSS survey said that supporting mobile devices was a top infrastructure priority.

Considering that tepid response, it seems fitting that HIMSS corralled the mobile health companies, startups, and pavilions into an echoing, low-cielinged exhibition space in the basement of the main event.

Upstairs those HIT vendors offering up technology platforms that aim to help providers achieve meaningful use, had plenty of iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices on display. Stripped down and streamlined versions of their HIS platforms, often squeezed into a handheld form factor, were a part of almost all of the big vendor demos. One long time hold out, athena health, also finally showed off its initial mobile plans at the event.

Providing physicians more efficient access to HIS systems is certainly a key opportunity for mobile in healthcare. Pulling information out of the healthcare system so that providers can view and analyze it on tablets right at their fingertips, however, is just one side of the coin.

In the basement of the Venetian’s Sands Expo Center were many of those mobile health startups that have created apps, services, and wireless health devices that — in the words of the West Wireless Health Institute’s Dr. Eric Topol — help to “digitize humans”. This is the other side of the coin. Some of these companies are developing easy to use, engaging consumer health tools that collect and transmit personal health data that was too cumbersome to collect in the past.

The opportunity for HIMSS13 and the opportunity at the mHealth Summit this December, which HIMSS recently acquired from the FNIH, is to bring together those hospital information system vendors along with those working in mobile health. For the past three years the FNIH’s mHealth Summit has been the destination mobile health event for the emerging sector.

HIMSS can help bridge the gap between HIS and mHealth. It is one of just a few organizations that is in a position to catalyze that integration. This is the association’s next opportunity, but first, it has to invite mobile out of the basement.

 

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The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Technology : Mobile devices change web access patterns, says study

The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Technology : Mobile devices change web access patterns, says study | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — that had a windfall sales year in 2011 are shaping an online landscape in which consumption patterns are rapidly changing, according to research agency comScore's report, ‘2012-Mobile Future in Focus,' which was released on February 23.

Based on mobile markets, primarily the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Canada, the report lays out a road map for trends likely this year. Central to the theme is the spike in the use of mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — as a gateway to access the web.

The trend is most visible in Singapore, where it is estimated that mobile devices account for nearly 11.5 per cent of the web traffic.

The U.K. and the U.S. come second and third at 9.5 and 8.2 per cent. India figures eighth in the list, with 5.1 per cent of the web traffic through mobile devices. With nearly 100 million internet users, in terms of actual numbers, India should rank as one of the biggest markets in terms of potential.

Health apps popular

Health ranks as one of the key segments of interest for smart mobile device users. In the U.S. as well as key European segments, access to the web through Apps gained parity with access through mobile web browsers, the report notes. Health Apps is the fastest-growing mobile Apps category, followed by retail and other e-commerce applications.

Conversely, other classical web applications like the web mail and weather services are seeing a lack of interest.

Access to news

The report lays stress on news consumption in markets where newspaper circulation is being challenged by online consumption. (In India, the scenario is different as of now.) It points to a change in the consumer pattern on the devices the readers used to access news through the course of the day. The use of smartphones and tablets peaked through the course of the day, whereas access to news through the traditional desktop computer seems to be on the wane. This could be one of the opportunities for publishers to look at this year.

New category of consumers

Defining a new category of consumers — “digital omnivores” who engage online through multiple touch points through the day — the report has predicted that 2012 could well be the year of a pitched battle among mobile operating systems (OS). Consumers in the U.S. and Europe reckon that network connectivity and strengths of the mobile operating system are key considerations before buying a smartphone.

The main contenders are Google's Android and Apple's iOS, but the report notes that Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS, which is making a comeback of sorts, and Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which is trying to reach out with the Metro interface that integrates the desktop and the mobile experience, could set things up this year.

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Medicine in 2012- You, the ipatient, and Your Doctor - Forbes

Medicine in 2012- You, the ipatient, and Your Doctor - Forbes | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
  Image via Wikipedia As technology has infiltrated all aspects of our society, many patients have witnessed their doctors becoming more tech savvy.

This can be seen from the use of electronic tablets upon checking into the office for appointments, along with emergence of electronic filing of prescriptions, and finally with electronic medical records (EMRs) becoming more commonplace in medical offices, emergency departments, and hospitals in general.Originally designed to streamline patient care and produce legible records for other providers caring for patients, this technology also has the potential to alienate patients, feeling that they are in essence a placeholder for the real patient in our modern age- the “ipatient”.

Dr. Abraham Verghese, a well known physician practicing at Stanford, has become an authority regarding the excesses of computers and technology in medicine, noting how technology has significantly altered the “traditional” doctor-patient relationship. While technology has helped doctors access data and treat patients more efficiently, the computer has shifted our focus and attention from the real patient, and instead produced the “ipatient”.

In the past few years, I needed outpatient surgery at a modern computerized hospital. My nurse would come in infrequently to visit the computer workstation near my bedside with her back to me as she clicked away. As my nurse was focused on the computer, it created a sense of isolation or distance for me. Her focus was clearly on the computer record, as opposed to my needs as a patient when I required comforting and reassurance after a painful procedure. She was focused on charting, typing away feverishly, as though she had to finish an overdue project.

In many ways, the computer generated medical record after my surgery was nearly perfect- demonstrating close monitoring, excellent charting with precision detail, but lack of evidence of any human compassion. I certainly do not blame the nurse, because as an emergency medicine physician, I also spend a significant amount of time in front of the computer reviewing past medical records, lab and radiology results as I complete a patient’s chart.

The question, however, is this-how can we bring the real patient closer to the physician-so that the ipatient doesn’t threaten to erode the human bond you have with your doctor or other provider taking care of you.

That is the daunting challenge in practicing medicine in this modern computer age.

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ICD Software Predicts Earlier Device Failure

ICD Software Predicts Earlier Device Failure | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. have reported that commercially available implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) monitoring software could identify problems with ICDs earlier than current monitoring practices.Modern ICD devices are capable of sophisticated sensing and data logging techniques which aim to both optimize therapies and monitor device performance. This logged data can easily be read by a clinician in an outpatient setting using existing ICD monitoring software. The study, which was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, aimed to identify whether this existing data could be used to predict device failures at an earlier stage.

From the announcement:

“Current monitoring approaches aimed at reducing harm from malfunctioning medical devices rely largely on voluntary reporting of adverse events by manufacturers, possibly leading to missed warning signs and delayed responses to the problems, such as late recalls,” said Robert G. Hauser, M.D., lead study author and senior consulting cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. “We looked at whether using an automated software program to monitor large databases of ICD patients might help us detect potential device-related problems earlier.”

Hauser and colleagues used a commercially available software surveillance program to compare data from about 1,000 patients with recalled leads to about 1,600 patients implanted with ICD leads still on the market. Patients in both databases had their ICDs implanted between 2001 and 2008.

Using the surveillance software, researchers simulated what occurred years earlier. The software detected problems with the recalled leads at least a year before the company had recalled them.

This is quite a significant finding and another example of a growing need for data aggregation and mining techniques to help us keep on top of the ever-growing heap of medical sensor data.

Press release: Computer software monitoring detects ICD malfunctions sooner…

Abstract in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes: Early Detection of an Underperforming Implantable Cardiovascular Device Using an Automated Safety Surveillance Tool CIRCOUTCOMES.111.962621
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E-way to health: Govt bets big on telemedicine - The Times of India

E-way to health: Govt bets big on telemedicine - The Times of India | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Skype, biometrics, M-health (use of mobile phones) and E-health are all set to make an entry into India’s primary health centres (PHCs) and sub-centres as the health ministry plans to go hi-tech. The steering committee on health said that in the 12th plan (2012-17), all district hospitals would be linked to leading tertiary care centres through telemedicine, Skype and similar audio visual media. M-health will be used to speed up transmission of data. The ministry plans to give a big push to support telemedicine services in primary, secondary and tertiary care. Disease surveillance based on reporting by providers and clinical laboratories (public and private) to detect and act on disease outbreaks and epidemics would be an integral component of the system.


Via Dinesh Chindarkar, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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5 must-haves for successful #telehealth initiatives

There’s no denying the impact telehealth initiatives have on patients in rural areas and those who are elderly and/or homebound. “Telehealth also addresses the critical shortage of medical specialists providing care to patients who previously didn’t have access,” said Fred Pennic, founder of HIT Consultant and senior advisor at Aspen Advisors.

“With the widespread adoption of EMRs, digital health records provide physicians/clinicians with the remote monitoring capabilities to communicate with their patients,” he added. But, according to Pennic, certain “must-have” endeavors still need to take place for the industry to fully feel the positive impacts of telehealth programs.

Pennic suggests five things that need to happen for telehealth initiatives to be successful.

1. Establishing an incentive-based program. According to Pennic, sustainable funding is vital to the successful, widespread adoption of telehealth. “Creating more incentive-based programs or grants will provide agencies and other organizations with the funding necessary to overcome the start-up costs associated with implementing such initiatives,” he said.

2. Infrastructure. “Having adequate infrastructures [in place] to support these initiatives are imperative,” said Pennic. Infrastructure is the “heart of telehealth,” he said, and includes equipment such as fiber optics, broadband/wireless coverage, video, computer, voice and imaging.

[See also: Telehealth helps cardiac patients improve conditions, study reveals.]

3. Improved telehealth reimbursements. As it stands legislatively, said Pennic, there’s no universal reimbursement policy among public and private sectors governing the reimbursement of telehealth services – something he believes is imperative to its widespread adoption and success. “Current payment for telemedicine services, such as offsite reading of medical images, includes Medicaid, Medicare, employers and private insurers,” he said. “However, payment is limited for interactive consultations and chronic-care patients.” According to him, CMS and AMA are working together to formalize a payment model for telehealth services, while studies have shown telehealth can not only significantly improve care, but also reduce costs.

4. Fostering user acceptance and confidence in telehealth. “Perhaps the greatest challenge in telehealth is increasing the user acceptance of technology, for both clinicians and patients who aren’t tech savvy,” said Pennic. Ideally, he said, successful telehealth programs must be able to easily integrate the telehealth process into healthcare and patient environments seamlessly.

[See also: Telehealth grant opportunities now available.]

5. Resources and time. In addition to meeting technology requirements, said Pennic, successful telehealth programs must have the proper allocated resources and time necessary to ensure its widespread adoption. “People and processes are the key components to effective telehealth utilization,” he said.

Follow Michelle McNickle on Twitter, @Michelle_writes

 

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Vox Spanish English Medical Dictionary iOS app seeks to improve care by reducing language barrier

Vox Spanish English Medical Dictionary iOS app seeks to improve care by reducing language barrier | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
This is an app review for the Vox Spanish-English Medical Dictionary and Verbs App, which provides English to Spanish and Spanish to English translations of medical terms.
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By the Numbers: Flu Season, Visualized

By the Numbers: Flu Season, Visualized | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Strains of seasonal influenza behave slightly differently season to season and strain to strain. The differences are revealing. The rate of transmission of the 1918 pandemic, which killed 40 million people, closely mirrors the data from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. The two strains are, in fact, closely related. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epidemiologists study the patterns of flu data from the current season against historic data. The comparison helps them make informed decisions about how to respond to the virus: what kind of vaccine to make, how to make it, and how and where to distribute it. As data sets improve, scientists will be able to better predict how future strains of seasonal influenza will spread.


Via Thibaud Guymard
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Body versus mind: Gaming and your health

Body versus mind: Gaming and your health | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Read 'Body versus mind: Gaming and your health' on Digital Trends. A plethora of recent studies examine the benefits of games on users minds and bodies.

Via Alex Butler
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Randomized control trial shows increased hand washing compliance with web based interventions

Randomized control trial shows increased hand washing compliance with web based interventions | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Hand washing can help prevent the spread of respiratory infections such as influenza, but successfully encouraging individuals to wash their hands more frequently remains challenging. Web based interventions are one potential method of increasing frequency of this healthy habit. Recently, a group of psychologists from Germany and the United Kingdom evaluated whether a web-based intervention could affect the frequency of hand-washing in the home. Potential mediators and moderators of outcome were also examined as a first step before testing effects of the intervention on infection rates in a controlled clinical trial for influenza-like illnesses and respiratory infection.

A total of 517 adults were recruited for the study, of which 324 were randomly assigned to a fully automated intervention comprising of 4 sessions of customized motivational messages and self-regulated support, while 179 were assigned to a no-intervention control group. The participants were assessed by online questionnaires at the beginning of the study, at 4 weeks, and again at 12 weeks.

The study results indicated that “hand-washing rates in the intervention group were higher at 4 weeks than in the control group…and remained higher at 12 weeks. Hand-washing intentions and positive attitudes toward hand-washing increased more from baseline to 4 weeks in the intervention group than in the control group,” the researchers reported. It was revealed through mediation analyses that the intervention had “positive indirect effects on change in hand-washing via intentions” and was “similarly effective for men and women, those of higher and lower socioeconomic status, and those with higher and lower levels of perceived risk,” as noted by the research team.

The team of psychologists concluded strong evidence now exists that web-based interventions could be an effective way to promote hand hygiene in the home. It’s noteworthy to mention that at the time of this study the 2010 influenza pandemic was occurring, so participants had already been exposed to significant publicity about the importance of hand hygiene. However, further research is needed to determine how actual infection rates would be affected by the intervention.

Authors: Lucy Yardley, PhD; Sascha Miller, MSc; Wolff Schlotz, PhD; Paul Little, MD, PhD, FRCGP

Institutions: University of Southampton, United Kingdom; University of Regensburg, Germany

Original Abstract: Journal of Medical Internet

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Development of Web-Based Computer-Tailored Advice to Promote Physical Activity Among People Older Than 50 years

Development of Web-Based Computer-Tailored Advice to Promote Physical Activity Among People Older Than 50 years | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Development of Web-Based Computer-Tailored Advice to Promote Physical Activity Among People Older Than 50 years...
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New study: The world is ready for mobile healthcare

New study: The world is ready for mobile healthcare | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
(Barcelona / Oslo - February 28, 2012) Based on the explosive growth in global mobile phone penetration, a technology revolution is quickly gaining pace in healthcare.
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Stanford University’s Septris app combines gamification of healthcare with CME

Stanford University’s Septris app combines gamification of healthcare with CME | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Stanford University School of Medicine have designed an interactive game to promote understanding of Sepsis using a game - Septris. AMA CME points awarded.
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