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A collection of latest innovations in healthcare, in the space of mobile health, telemedicine and remote patient monitoring
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E-Health Tracking Increasingly Common; 21% of people who track their health use some form of technology

E-Health Tracking Increasingly Common;  21% of people who track their health use some form of technology | Mobile Healthcare |

Whether they have chronic ailments like diabetes or just want to watch their weight, Americans are increasingly tracking their health using smartphone applications and other devices that collect personal data automatically, according to health industry researchers.

“The explosion of mobile devices means that more Americans have an opportunity to start tracking health data in an organized way,” said Susannah Fox, an associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, which was to release the national study on Monday. Many of the people surveyed said the experience had changed their overall approach to health.

More than 500 companies were making or developing self-management tools by last fall, up 35 percent from January 2012, said Matthew Holt, co-chairman of Health 2.0, a market intelligence project that keeps a database of health technology companies. Nearly 13,000 health and fitness apps are now available, he said.

The Pew study said 21 percent of people who track their health use some form of technology.

They are people like Steven Jonas of Portland, Ore., who uses an electronic monitor to check his heart rate when he feels stressed. Then he breathes deeply for a few minutes and watches the monitor on his laptop as his heart slows down.

“It’s incredibly effective in a weird way,” he said.

Mr. Jonas said he also used electronic means to track his mood, weight, mental sharpness, sleep and memory.

Dr. Peter A. Margolis is a principal investigator at the Collaborative Chronic Care Network Project, which tests new ways to diagnose and treat diseases. He has connected 20 young patients who have Crohn’s disease with tracking software developed by a team led by Ian Eslick, a doctoral candidate at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Data from their phones is reported to a Web site that charts the patients’ behavior patterns, said Dr. Margolis, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Some phones have software that automatically reports the data.

Patients and their parents and doctors watch the charts for early warning signs of flare-up symptoms, like abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, before the flare-ups occur. The physicians then adjust the children’s treatment to minimize the symptoms.

“One of the main findings was that many patients were unaware of the amount of variation in their symptoms that they were having every day,” Dr. Margolis said.

The Pew survey found most people with several chronic conditions said that tracking had led them to ask a doctor new questions, led them to seek a second opinion or influenced their treatment decisions.

Mr. Holt said self-tracking products and services companies formed the fastest growing category among the 2,100 health technology companies in his database. He said venture capital financing in the sector rose 20 percent from January through September 2012, with $539 million allotted to new products and services for consumers by Sept. 30.

He attributed the rise to a “perceived increase in consumer interest in wellness and tracking in general, and the expectation that at-home monitoring of all types of patients will be a bigger deal under the new accountable care organizations,” as President Obama’s health care law takes effect.

But even an enthusiast like Mr. Jonas said he saw “a dark side to tracking.”

“People who are feeling down may not want a tracking device to keep reminding them of their mood,” he said.

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6 Steps For A Sustainable Approach To R&D Through Big Data

6 Steps For A Sustainable Approach To R&D Through Big Data | Mobile Healthcare |

By Todd Skrinar, principal in the Advisory Life Sciences practice and Thaddeus Wolfram, manager in the Advisory Life Sciences practice, Ernst & Young LLP

Near the end of 2013, many in the life sciences industry were looking for clear evidence that the FDA was willing to work with industry to get more needed drugs to patients. Eyes were focused on the “scorecard” of new drugs approved, which for the first eight months of 2013 reached 18."




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A smart shirt that tracks your health and will recharge during washing

A smart shirt that tracks your health and will recharge during washing | Mobile Healthcare |

French company Cityzen Sciences won the CES 2014 Inclusive Innovation in Everyday Health award for the development of a smart-sensing fabric woven with integral micro-sensors that read body heat, respiration rate, heart rate, and motion through location via GPS.


The fabric combines sensors, fabric, distributed computation, and small battery-powered transmitter into a unit that links in real time to a smartphone.


Apparently, they're also working on a recharging system for the fabric that will receive most of its energy when the clothing is washed. Until it's implemented, you'll have to set the spin cycle to 24 hours*

Via Andrew Spong
Art Jones's curator insight, February 6, 10:59 AM


DigitalMumsHQ's curator insight, February 7, 4:08 AM

A  tee-shirt that tracks your health! Now thats clever

Sandy Williams Spencer's curator insight, February 7, 8:12 AM

Now this is interesting...not that I'd wear one. But very interesting! Would you wear a shirt that was wired for your health?

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Root cause: Mitigating the gap in healthcare analytics

Gaps in analytics capability and utilization exist within every organization. As mentioned in part one, there are many signs within an organization that indicate healthcare analytics


are not being leveraged to the maximum extent. Several of these indicators are the lack of a data-centered culture, poor decision-making tools, and spotty use of analytics throughout the organization.


Although many healthcare managers and executives have a basic understanding of data analysis and can build simple reports, their analytical skills may not extend much beyond building spreadsheets and basic graphs. And despite the availability of big data and the tools to analyze it, no analysis is possible without the right people, skills and tools to link healthcare data to the context of business and clinical processes and generate the insight most needed by decision makers.

Potential root causes

Once an organization realizes that it is possible to gain more value from analytics and recognizes the path to achieving even greater healthcare analytics capabilities, it is important to start addressing the root causes of these gaps in analytics capability and decision making. Although there may be many reasons that healthcare organizations are not gaining full benefits from analytics, here are several of the key ones:

Data from source systems is not accessible. Accurate, timely and readily available data from source systems is the raw material of analytics and the backbone of successful quality improvement initiatives. Without access to data, deep insight into clinical and business operations is nearly impossible. Data from source systems, such as electronic medical records, may not be available for many reasons, however; those reasons range from vendors' use of locked, proprietary databases to an organization's lack of data integration tools and/or an appropriate data store, such as an enterprise data warehouse.

To be useful, data from source systems must be identified, documented, processed and made available to appropriate analytics applications. Although the analysis of a single data source or small data mart is an important first step in increasing analytics capability and maturity, the true value of data becomes evident when it is linked across traditional boundaries to provide patient-centric, longitudinal views of an individual's health status and healthcare journey.

Available data is not high quality. Data that is used for healthcare quality and performance improvement needs to be of high quality, to ensure that the information is valid and useful; well documented, so that analysts and developers are aware of its context and meaning; and easily accessible in a data warehouse or similar data store, to ensure that it is available for analysis when required.

Data governance helps healthcare organizations better manage and realize value from data; improve risk management; and ensure compliance with regulatory, legal and other requirements.

Analytics needs are not well understood. Data analytics must be applied to business and quality issues that are important to the organization; strong quality and performance goals are an integral part of achieving transformation and improvement goals. Analytics should focus on the specific improvement areas and targets set out by the healthcare organization and should enable professionals to monitor progress and evaluate outcomes. This requires a strong understanding of the information and insight required by decision makers, clinicians and quality improvement teams, as well as the development of the indicators and monitoring systems necessary to track progress.

Analytics tools, techniques or technology are not sufficient. The availability of healthcare data in a data mart, data warehouse or other data store is an excellent starting point. But that data must be analyzed and the results communicated in order to be useful. There are manybasic reporting tools that can perform retrospective analysis, build reports and generate dashboards based on past or current performance. Beyond its basic capabilities, however, is the exciting potential of analytics to peer into the future and generate insight into what might happen or what possible outcomes might occur, given potential changes to a process or clinical procedure.

In order to make critical decisions at the speed necessary in the modern healthcare environment, organizations need to look closely at how to provide the best information available in the time frame necessary. Professionals must ensure that tools to address the information needs of decision makers and other stakeholders are in place. There may not be one single solution; many organizations use multiple tool sets, including core business intelligence platforms, such as Cognos and MicroStrategy, supplemented when necessary by special-purpose analytics tools including SAS, Matlab and the R programming language.

Analytics talent is in short supply. People by far are the most important consideration when an analytics infrastructure is being developed. Although having the best tools is necessary,having the best people is critical to achieving the goals and objectives of the healthcare organization. It is the role of these talented individuals to utilize the appropriate tools to provide relevant and current information in ways that are useful and helpful to information users and decision makers at all levels in the organization

Analytics teams are not appropriately focused. A pressing problem for many healthcare analytics teams is that they can become inundated by information requests for data, reports, dashboards and other analytics applications. The teams become too busy revolving -- that is, dealing with an ever-growing number of information and development requests -- to beevolving -- that is, enhancing and organizing the existing analytic infrastructure and developing new tools of tactical and strategic significance.

Analytics teams need to balance the time spent on these requests with the time spent on more strategic types of development. For example, time spent on enabling and enhancing self-serve business intelligence and analytics will, in the long term, reduce the amount of time spent dealing with ad hoc requests, as information users become better able to access required information themselves, or as more performance data is communicated via dashboards and other dissemination methods.

Reducing the analytics gap

Health IT has the potential to help revolutionize healthcare. Yet, without an effective analytics infrastructure including people, data, tools and systems to make the connections among data, goals of the healthcare organization and the needs of the patient, success will be limited at best. Healthcare transformation requires professionals to take bold steps in creativity and innovation. Removing analytics gaps within an organization can help reduce the risk associated with taking those bold steps and increase the likelihood of achieving quality and performance goals.

Part one of this article explains ways to identify the analytics gap in healthcare and why the gap is widening.

About the author: Trevor Strome, M.S., PMP, leads the development of informatics and analytics tools that enable evidence-informed decision making by clinicians and healthcare leaders, and his experience spans public, private and startup-phase organizations. A popular speaker, author and blogger, Strome is the founder of, and his book, Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement, was recently published by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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Converting Big Data And Analytics Insights Into Results

Converting Big Data And Analytics Insights Into Results | Mobile Healthcare |
Chaturika Jayadewa's insight:

In today’s competitive marketplace, executive leaders are racing to convert enterprise insights into meaningful results. Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their enterprises to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes.

In this exciting new piece of research, the IBM Institute of Business Value surveyed 900 business and IT executives from 70 countries. Through our research, we identified nine levers that together enable organizations to create value from an ever-growing volume of data from a variety of sources – value that results from insights derived and actions taken at every level of the organization.

By examining the leaders, the top 19 percent who identified as substantially outperforming their industry and market, the study offers insight into how these nine levers are crucial in gaining optimal value from analytics. Three key insights emerged:


Analytic implementation strategies need to support business objectivesThe technology in place needs to support the analytics strategyThe organization’s culture needs to evolve so people take action on the strategy and technology.
Paulo Machado's curator insight, January 9, 10:50 AM

The capture & conversion of health data into actionable insight will drive the transformation of healthcare delivery & our culture of Health & Wellness.

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13M wearables to be used in corporate wellness plans by 2018

13M wearables to be used in corporate wellness plans by 2018 | Mobile Healthcare |

Over the next five years, 13 million wearable devices embedded with wireless connectivity will be integrated into wellness plans offered by businesses, according to ABI research’s new report.


In 2013, principal analyst Jonathan Collins said less than 200,000 wearable devices have been integrated into wellness plans.


The report factors in the social and economic drivers supporting the integration of wearable wireless device adoption, such as the point at which people start taking more responsibility in healthcare, Collins told MobiHealthNews.


“While some device vendors are hoping that strong consumer awareness will drive corporate wellness adoption for their products, they also need to understand and focus on the most influential parts of the healthcare value chain,” Collins said.



Via nrip, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Sunghyouk Bae's curator insight, September 27, 2013 11:12 PM


Rowan Norrie's comment, September 28, 2013 5:59 AM
I agree regarding culture, but the main barrier is motivation, and as a recent convert to Fitbit, I think wearables are a big step forward.
Connected Digital Health & Life's curator insight, September 28, 2013 1:56 PM

I am wearing mine, are you?

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FDA Sets Rules for Smartphone Medical Apps

FDA Sets Rules for Smartphone Medical Apps | Mobile Healthcare |

Agency will only regulate those that turn phones into medical devices:


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday drew a line between which smartphone medical apps it will regulate and which ones it will not, saying it will focus only on those that turn the phone into an actual diagnostic tool.


"Today, mobile apps are fast becoming a staple of everyday life," Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said during a news conference. "Although many mobile apps pertain to health, we are only continuing our oversight for a very small subset of those mobile apps."


In essence, those applications include software that enables the phone to read a patient's heart rhythm, take a blood pressure reading or measure a person's health in some other way.


Via Andrew Spong
Andrew Spong's curator insight, September 24, 2013 4:40 AM

How many loopholes can you see in this ruling?

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Setting a New Trend in Rare Disease R&D: Turning Small Data into Long Data

Setting a New Trend in Rare Disease R&D: Turning Small Data into Long Data | Mobile Healthcare |

The Vitiligo Research Foundation (VRF) is seeing the massive opportunity in collecting cheap Longitudinal Data as opposed to costly Big Data in order to expedite R&D in rare diseases, using standard healthcare and bioinformatics tools.

Conventional wisdom dictates that data analytics can make typically $1.4 billion drug development faster and cheaper. Big Data deploys sophisticated analytics to parse huge quatities of data from many disparate sources across the healthcare ecosystem to discover patterns that could be useful in problem solving.

The major problem with the current Big Data mega-trend, one that is dominating media casts and conferences nowadays, is that there is not enough data to crunch in a field of more than 7,000 rare diseases. An only slightly lesser problem is that, even if there was enough Big Data on rare diseases, it would be made up of millions of loosely related disease data snapshots, like a movie reel where each frame is technically correct but has no real relation to the surrounding frames.

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Healthcare analytics reduces hypertension for KPNC patients

Healthcare analytics reduces hypertension for KPNC patients | Mobile Healthcare |
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so why not leverage health information technology in the form of healthcare analytics to intervene more effectively in the treatment of patients with this condition? That’s exactly what a Kaiser Permanente North California (KPNC) program determined to figure out and has now shared in research published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).


In the study, “Improved blood pressure control associated with a large-scale hypertension program,” Jaffe et al. highlight the benefits of combining a “comprehensive hypertension registry, development and sharing of performance metrics, evidence-based guidelines, medical assistant visits for blood pressure measurement, and single-pill combination pharmacotherapy” in the treatment of adults diagnosed with hypertension.“Although feedback at the individual clinician level has long been used to promote change, we focused on clinic-level feedback to facilitate operational and system-level change,” the authors write. “Health system–wide adoption, evaluation, and distribution of an evidence-based practice guideline that had timely incorporation of new evidence facilitated the ability to introduce new treatment options and to re-emphasize existing evidence-based recommendations.”The results for the program spanning from 2001 to 2009 and including as many as 652,763 patients provide strong support for positively impacting population health through health data aggregation and the sharing of best practices among providers and across clinical settings.Over that period of time, the integrated healthcare delivery system in Northern California increased its National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measurement for hypertension control from 43.6 percent to 80.4 percent. The NCQA HEDIS national average paled in comparison, increasing from 55.4 percent to 64.1 percent, during the same timeframe.According to Jaffe et al., the program’s success hinged on clinicians providers making use of a 4-step hypertension control algorithm made available to them through a variety of sources:
The guideline was updated every 2 years based on emerging randomized trial evidence and national guidelines. Clinicians were encouraged to follow the algorithm unless clinical discretion required otherwise. Dissemination of guidelines occurred through distribution of printed documents, e-mail, clinical tools (e.g., pocket cards), videoconferences, lectures, partnering with pharmacy managers, and use of the electronic medical record to optimize selection of medication.
With the healthcare industry shifting from a pay-for-service to a pay-for-performance model of reimbursement, this transformation places a significant emphasis on proactive rather than reactive care. As has become clear in innovative healthcare organizations, rising to this new challenge requires a new approach to care delivery and the health IT systems (e.g., healthcare analytics) to predict outcomes and intervene in the form most appropriate to the needs of individual patients.If organizations such as KPNC were capable of achieving such positive results prior to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and meaningful use, today and tomorrow’s hospitals and practices should have tools available to them to make this sharing of evidence-based practices meaningfully useful to themselves and their patients.
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PEEK App Uses Smartphone Technology to Bring Eye Exams to Developing Countries

PEEK App Uses Smartphone Technology to Bring Eye Exams to Developing Countries | Mobile Healthcare |
Smartphone camera quality may sound like a first world issue, but camera-equipped cell phones may be the key to treating the eyes of over 250 million people with visual impairments who live in third world countries. A new application called PEEK (Portable Eye Examination Kit) puts a number of standard tests on a standard smartphone. The phone’s camera can be used to scan the lens of the eye, while the LED flash is bright enough to illuminate the retina. The phone’s screen can be used to conduct various vision tests, and all the data can be geotagged using the phone’s built-in GPS, compiled into a patient record, and sent wirelessly to a doctor.

PEEK is currently undergoing trials on 5,000 patients in Kenya, but the early results are promising and have so far allowed doctors to provide further treatment to over 1,000 patients.

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m-health revenues to hit $138 billion by 2020

m-health revenues to hit $138 billion by 2020 | Mobile Healthcare |

Verizon’s partner program shows that mobile operators are increasingly focused on developing m-health solutions as part of their M2M offerings, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

Predicting that revenues from the global m-health market will reach $138 billion by 2020, the market-research company says Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) has recently taken steps to consolidate and redesign its partner program to produce a more streamlined organization.

Specifically, the US operator is partnering with two telehealth solutions providers – Carematix (Chicago, IL, USA) and Sonicu (New Palestine, IN, USA) – and offering its partner program initiative as a catalyst for the adoption of M2M wireless healthcare services.

As the industry continues to evolve, notes Strategy Analytics, a growing number of medical device manufacturers are introducing M2M services to improve patient care.

“m-health is a key driver in the world’s developed and developing regions, through growth in both dedicated devices and mobile handsets,” said Gina Luk, a senior analyst of mobile workforce strategies at Strategy Analytics.

“Strategy Analytics is pleased to see Verizon expanding its partnership and offering a portfolio of managed, IT and consulting services for the healthcare industry to help transform patient care delivery, enhance access to care and better manage costs,” she said.

According to Andrew Brown, the director of M2M research at Strategy Analytics, Verizon has plenty to gain from its investments and activities in this area.

Brown says that Verizon will have opportunities to offer value-added services to the healthcare industry that take advantage of its network and technology capabilities.

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10 sensor innovations driving the digital health revolution

10 sensor innovations driving the digital health revolution | Mobile Healthcare |

This year IBM dedicated its Five in Five series (an annual list of five technologies that are likely to advance dramatically) solely to sensors.


Digital sensors of the touch, sight,hearing, taste and smell kind along with their potential are all profiled by IBM Sensor technology is going through a renaissance as companies develop smart and innovative new ways to track data using them.


Sensor innovation is in-part driving the Digital Health Revolution as digital health companies find ingenius ways to integrate them in to apps, devices and other peripherals. The smartphone will play an increasing important role in all of this as they go from having six built-in sensors currently to having sixteen in the next five years.


If these predictions are correct then the next five years will be half-a-decade of sensor proliferation meaning the Digital Health Ecosystem will grow exponentially. In the meantime though there are already a plethora of digital health sensors in use or in the pipeline that are helping people improve and, in some instances, save lives.

Via Andrew Spong
Kristina Curtis's curator insight, April 18, 2013 1:34 PM

This will take the QS movement to another level...

Mitchell Planning's curator insight, June 28, 2013 5:21 PM

Peel and stick tatoo's taken to the next level.

David Vinson's curator insight, August 8, 2013 9:10 PM

You can't control it if you can't measure it!

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From 3D graphics to biometric scans: How your smartphone will get smarter

From 3D graphics to biometric scans: How your smartphone will get smarter | Mobile Healthcare |
Today's smartphones are much more than phones -- they are powerful, networked multimedia computers, and over the next 10 years they'll get far more advanced.
Giovanni Benavides's curator insight, March 25, 2013 2:41 AM

Bio feedback app an stress readings.

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mHealth is hitting its growth phase at the same time the healthcare industry is grappling with how to move from volume-based to value-based care funding models

mHealth is hitting its growth phase at the same time the healthcare industry is grappling with how to move from volume-based to value-based care funding models | Mobile Healthcare |

We are reaching a unique and crucial point of convergence in this country and the opportunities and timing are ripe for mobile health.

For example, at one end we have over half of the U.S. population now carrying a smartphone of one flavor or another. At the other we have growing population health issues – consider this, by the year 2025 it is predicted that half of those age 65 or older will have at least 2 chronic diseases they will need to manage.

Where these two points meet could be critical to how we will deliver healthcare in the near future.

Today’s methods for monitoring and treating multiple chronic diseases and health in general will have to change. There is clearly a need for a more innovative approach to dealing with these challenges and mobile health (or mHealth) technology is positioning itself to be that innovative approach.

Mobile health (or more specifically mobile applications known as ‘apps’) hopes to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be. Dr. Eric Topol (a high profile effective evangelist in this mHealth field) has said, “these days I am prescribing as many apps as I am medications.” The future is clearly here.

As a result, mHealth is hitting its growth phase at the same time the healthcare industry is grappling with how to move from volume-based to value-based care funding models. mHealth offers not only the ability to make physicians more scalable across a broader number of patients but mHealth can clearly help influence how healthcare may be delivered.

The mobile health application space is literally evolving and taking shape before our eyes and with that much change occurring that quickly it can be difficult to get your bearings and know where to start.

A Structured Approach is Needed

What is needed now is the right strategy, the right framework. That’s what makes the mHIMSS Roadmap model so interesting.

We as a healthcare industry need to ensure that we are approaching mobile health not only with eyes wide open but to make sure that we are adopting processes that will last and are not just the glittery tech jewels of the moment. There are practices that can be leveraged from existing concepts like how pharmaceuticals are prescribed and how biomedical devices are integrated. mHealth allows providers to completely adapt to a new care setting – the home, the office, or wherever.

That drives a number of questions that we can easily think of and many that we might not consider. By using the mHIMSS Roadmap framework we can discover a number of other questions I hadn’t thought about yet.

At its core a good mobile health strategy will consider:

Device integrationData standardsData integration back into the EMRPhysician workflow and usefulnessApp usability by the patient

In short, there needs to be a practical use case with which to start and it always starts with either the patient or the physician.

That leaves us with some interesting decision points. Do you create a flexible strategy and then implement pilot projects within the framework? Or do you make one ‘digital pathway’ work from patient back to the EMR as a proof of concept?

We all have a lot of work ahead of us. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get down to it.

Denise Silber's curator insight, April 12, 6:25 PM

Author says "opportunities and timing are ripe for mobile health". They've been ripe for eHealth previously. It's not just the "practical use case" unfortunately - it's the provider's business model that we must consider if mhealth or even "xHealth" will be widely adopted in practice.

Bettina Gifford's curator insight, April 14, 5:55 PM

The time to re-evaluate how the health industry can maximise helpful communication with HCPs and patients is now...

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"I want to build a healthcare community..."

"I want to build a healthcare community..." | Mobile Healthcare |
The immortal phrase that should bring everyone out in a sweat; whether client side or agency side. Building an online community is one of the hardest things to do, not simply in healthcare. It needs considerable investment, time, research, and also a little bit of luck. 

Via Alex Butler
Mira Alison's curator insight, March 11, 3:40 AM

Of course you have a website now. Make sure that your web pages are loaded with your main keywords, so that they have a natural flow of content . Also make sure that the word can be found somewhere in the titles ( at least your top three )Once you have that all set up , make sure that you have set up the links to those pages through the site pages on the Internet.Read for more information:
Dr Martin Wale's curator insight, March 14, 4:53 AM

So much to do...

Vigisys's curator insight, March 15, 6:58 AM

Une communauté c'est bien, un réseau de soins numérique c'est mieux, mais le challenge est encore plus grand ! C'est ce à quoi nous nous adressons avec nos projets et 

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Google embarks on smart contact lenses for diabetics

Google embarks on smart contact lenses for diabetics | Mobile Healthcare |

Google has been working on smart contact lenses embedded with sensors "so small they look like bits of glitter" and an antenna "thinner than a human hair."

But these lenses aren't being developed to give people super-human sight or cast the Internet over their field of view -- rather, they could potentially help diabetics monitor their glucose levels.

Google announced Thursday that its been working on this secret project at its Google[x] research lab. Not only has it developed prototypes of these smart contact lenses, but it's also done multiple clinical research studies, met with the US Food and Drug Administration, and is looking for potential partners to bring the product to market.

"We're now testing a smart contact lens that's built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material," the project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz wrote in ablog post. "We're testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second."

Diabetes is said to be one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. According to Google, it affects one in 19 people around the globe. In order to keep blood sugar levels in check, diabetics must give themselves finger prick blood tests throughout the day.

These tests can be time consuming and painful. But they're crucial -- if glucose levels get out of control, diabetics risk damage to their eyes, kidneys, and heart.

For years scientists have been investigating other ways to test blood sugar levels. One branch of research has been exploring breathalyzers as a way to detect heightened glucose levels. Researchers have also looked into using tears for glucose tracking, which is where the idea of a contact lens came along.


Using tears is complicated, however, because it's been hard for scientists to collect tears for testing. So, it's still unclear how effective this body fluid works in measuring glucose levels. Additionally, this product is far off from any sort of mainstream use. Not only does Google need to find partners to get the contact lenses to market, but it also needs to go through the arduous FDA clearance process.


Besides blood sugar testing, Google also hopes that the smart contact lenses can warn users if their glucose levels are high or low.

"We're exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds," Otis and Parviz wrote. "We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease."

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I’ve Seen The Future Of Health Tech And It’s Going To Improve Your Life In 2014

I’ve Seen The Future Of Health Tech And It’s Going To Improve Your Life In 2014 | Mobile Healthcare |

by Gregory Ferenstein

I just returned from the most exciting Consumer Electronics Show I've ever covered. Thanks to extraordinary demand for gadgets that make us healthier,..

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What’s stopping mobile health interventions from scaling? | mobihealthnews

What’s stopping mobile health interventions from scaling? | mobihealthnews | Mobile Healthcare |

Most people agree that doing robust studies and pilots is important to the development of mobile and digital health, and to reaching the cost savings these technologies offer. But what kind of evidence is important? When is it time to stop running pilots and go to scale, and what challenges does that process offer? And furthermore, does every provider organization have to reinvent the wheel, or can they learn from each others’ pilots?

Those were a few of the questions addressed at the Partners Connected Health Symposium in Boston by speakers from Partners, Humana, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), and the Center for Technology and Aging.

Margaret Laws, the Director of Innovations for the Underserved at CHCF, said that pilots in clinical settings often failed to track return on investment.

“We think, if we have a really successful program in one community health system, all the others will just start doing it,” she said. “Well it doesn’t happen, and one reason is because there is no analysis of the work and time and resources that go in and what comes out.”

David Lindeman, director of the Center for Technology and Aging, pointed out that the problem with using return on investment to evaluate pilots is that many of the newest endeavors in medicine are preventative and/or have expensive startup costs. So short term ROI can look deceptively bad. He described a calculator his team uses to evaluate longer-term return on investment. He said that using that tool, one intervention done by Centura moved “from a very modest first-year ROI, over several years to 3-to-1 and then 4-to-1, which allowed their organization to say ‘We’re going to take this statewide’.”

Sree Chaguturu, the medical director of population health management at Partners, said return on investment is table stakes at this point, that is, the minimum evidence that a pilot has to show. But in his role as a decision-maker at an employee health plan at Partners, he also looks to see whether technologies — particularly monitoring or sensor technologies — address specific pain points.

“The challenge as an employer is the ‘Big Brother’ problem,” he said. “If you’re providing these sensors, how do you make sure that’s done in a sensitive way? Then there is the question of what do you do with that data. What are your intervention arms? Employers might have their own providers, but if they don’t how do they get that information to the people who can intervene? So the challenges are trust and intervention.”

He also mentioned that providers don’t always think about the need for technical support, and don’t have the human infrastructure in place to help users manage and understand new technology.

Both Laws and Rajni Aneja, a strategic executive at Humana, talked about the need to specifically consider the population the intervention is targeting. Is the user interface one older people will be able to use? Is it available in the right languages? That sort of population targeting can affect the success of an intervention, but it also makes it harder to use the same strategies at different sites without doing somewhat repetitive efficacy studies. Still, Aneja thinks as the data builds it will become more apparent what is and isn’t generalizable.

“When we think about providing services to our members it’s for better monitoring of their care,” she said. “And when we do these sorts of pilots they … build an ecosystem that in the longterm will help us with better results and better quality care. You do the learning and you have a plan to scale from it. We always start small where we think is the actual need. And once the adoptions and the results and the outcome are measured, then we can scale it into different markets within the US.”

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Rock Health startups Spire and Augmedix show wearable tech's applications beyond fitness

Rock Health startups Spire and Augmedix show wearable tech's applications beyond fitness | Mobile Healthcare |

Wearable gadgets are popping up on store shelves and crowdfunding sites tend to focus on physical activity. But two startups presenting this week at digital health accelerator Rock Health’s fifth demo day gave a little window into how wearable devices could make a difference in a broader range of day-to-day activities.

“The average American spends 16 percent of his day moving around. And we’ve gotten good at measuring, gamifying and using technology to help [that],” said Jonathan Palley, co-founder of Spire. “But what about the other 84 percent of the day?”

Spire, a Fitbit-sized (see disclosure) clip-on device, aims to help people relieve stress and improve productivity by monitoring their breathing. It gives people a record of their respiratory patterns, as well as alerts and real-time guidance on how to control their emotions and stress through breathing exercises.

Palley said they’ve been testing the device’s potential in the workplace with LinkedIn and, in one of the pilots, 75 percent of Spire-wearing employees said it improved their productivity.

As we reported last week, another startup BreathResearch is also planning to bring a breath-monitoring device to market, But that company is emphasizing the fitness- and health-related benefits with a sensor-equipped headset (that you wouldn’t wear all day), while Spire’s less obtrusive device wants to provide more ongoing support and stress feedback.

Already, the company said that it has raised $1 million and was trending on AngelList last week. It plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the next few months and then bring the product to market next year.

Augmedix, another Rock Health company, is also pushing into the wearables market with health-centric applications for Google Glass. Their focus? The physician.

Co-founder Ian Shakil said doctors spend more than a quarter of their day on the computer, “feeding the beast” of administrative work and documentation. He didn’t give too many details about their services, but said the overall goal is to “re-humanize the doctor-patient relationship” by using Google Glass to cut down on the amount of time doctors must spend at their computers and boost their time spent with patients.

As we’ve covered before, one could imagine that Google Glass apps that leverage the device’s audio and video capabilities could allow doctors to digitize and recall patient information as they conduct exams. Startups like Augmedix will have to overcome privacy and security hurdles, but Shakil said patients are already indicating acceptance of the new technology. In tests including 300 patients, he said, patients were “perfectly okay” with Google Glass-wearing doctors 99 percent of the time.

Several other startups presenting at Rock Health’s fifth demo day also shared some big milestones and impressive products. Lift Labs, a company that makes “smart” spoons that enable people with Parkinson’s disease or other tremor-causing conditions to eat more easily, said it had raised $1 million. And ThriveOn, a mobile mental health app that provides remote coaching and algorithmically-created custom programs, said its services would be used by 40 universities, including Harvard and the University of Michigan. (You can see a full list of the companies in Rock Health’s fifth class here.)

For its part, Rock Health said it had created a partnership with AngelList to create a special fund, which will enable accredited investors to fund each of the companies in their latest class of startups online. Over the past three years, the accelerator said its companies have raised more than $60 million from investors including Khosla Ventures, Founder Collective and First Round Capital.

Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

Via Alex Butler
Steve Kingsley's curator insight, September 26, 2013 8:30 PM

My money is on the Augmedix app for Google Glass, because it could be very useful for doctors.

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Five Things Samsung's Smartwatch Tells Us About the Future of Wearables

Five Things Samsung's Smartwatch Tells Us About the Future of Wearables | Mobile Healthcare |

VentureBeat got an exclusive early look at Samsung's upcoming smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, over the weekend.

It's a chunky, ugly block of a thing, even accounting for the fact that the model we saw (and got photos of) is just a prototype, as VentureBeat reporter Christina Farr reported.

But even in its unfinished state, Samsung's Galaxy Gear tells us a lot about where the emerging smartwatch industry is going.


Click the title to read the complete story

Andy Tarczon's curator insight, September 4, 2013 12:22 PM

It is frustrating when tech journals try to predict the collision of technology and fashion. Worse, when they ignore well-established behaviors in how people use technology.  I disagree with three out of the five assertions made in this piece.    


Smartwatches are going to be personal fashion devices that leverage a connection to the larger phone.  These devices, as most early wearables, will sit on the wrist, so BIG is not the correct assertion.  Indeed, large screens would completely rule out the mainstream user and especially the female markets.  


The role of the smartwatch is an intelligent curator of time - keep us on task via a delicate balance between helpful notification and cumbersome distraction.  For the short-to-mid-term, this is not an engagement platform.  The role of the smartwatch is alleviate us from having to constantly open (and get lost) in our phones.   And by keeping distraction to a minimum, we get more things done.  Yes, a well-designed smartwatch actually creates time.  


My strongest disagreement, though, is the belief that these devices will revolutionize healthcare.  Yes, there may be some monitoring functions, but the mass market will not buy these to gamify their health.  As a society, we love vice - smoke, drink, fast food.  A watch that tells us to run more might be cool for the length of a crash diet, but the vast majority of users will put back on the weight while shedding the few ounces such placed on our wrists.  


Where the article is correct, we do need standards. iOS7 promises to alleviate the problems of communicating from the notification center to the wrist, but that is just the beginning.... And it is not the main reason.  Let's go back to watches as fashion pieces.  Don't apply the economics of technology to fashion.    In technology, we own one phone, one tablet, one laptop.  But in fashion, we own many.  How many watches do you own? How many purses?  How many pairs of shoes?  Do we think that in connected watches, people just going to own just one?  

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Can popular mobile health tool help post-surgical cardiac patients?

Can popular mobile health tool help post-surgical cardiac patients? | Mobile Healthcare |

You’re probably used to seeing FitBit wristbands around the arms of joggers and cyclists, but you might start seeing them in the recovery wards of hospitals, too.  A new study by the Mayo Clinic, published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, shows that the $99 mHealth tracker could be a cost-effective and useful tool to report the post-surgical physical activities of elderly cardiac patients.  The study shows that the more active patients are after their surgery, the more likely they will be discharged home instead of to an expensive rehabilitation facility or nursing home.

To track their progress, researchers used the off-the-shelf product connected to a provider-viewable dashboard.  Hospitalization and surgery in older patients often leads to a loss of strength, mobility, and functional capacity. We tested the hypothesis that wireless accelerometry could be used to measure mobility during hospital recovery after cardiac surgery,” the study explains.  “Wireless monitoring of mobility after major surgery was easy and practical. There was a significant relationship between the number of steps taken in the early recovery period, length of stay, and dismissal disposition.”Of the 149 patients involved in the study, there was a clear correlation between the level of mobility after surgery and their post-discharge health.  Patients who went directly home after their recovery period took an average of 675 steps, as counted by the FitBit, while those who required more long-term follow-up care only took around 100 steps.“Although it is obvious that patients who recover mobility sooner are likely to have better outcomes, it is critical in the face of changing demographics and financial rules that we measure functional measures of recovery for individuals and populations,” the researcher said. “Functional status and variables such as mobility will impact discharge disposition, patient satisfaction, social support required, falls, hospital readmission, and ultimately health care costs.”Simple tracking tools that remotely monitor patients also may have a positive impact on the growing focus of clinical analytics, the study predicts.  “This type of technology and the data it makes available have tremendous potential. The ability to describe population norms for mobility recovery has implications for individual patients and care process improvement. Once we know the expected mobility, we can early identify pending recovery failure and triggers for interventions. Similarly, the care of populations can be impacted. If we change a plan of care, acquiring mobility data for populations of patients allows us to determine whether the population norms for recovery are altered. Such technology also increases the ease with which data are acquired.”
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Hospital says COPD app could cut readmissions by 40 percent

Hospital says COPD app could cut readmissions by 40 percent | Mobile Healthcare |

"Futura mHealth, a Philadelphia-based joint venture from Futura Mobility and Temple University Hospital, has developed an app the company says can reduce hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 38 to 40 percent.


A chronic lung condition, COPD manifests itself as occasional attacks of extreme shortness of breath, called exacerbations, which usually lead to a patient being hospitalized, as well as losing an average of three years of life expectancy per attack, according to Futura mHealth CEO David Gulian. But those attacks can be detected up to seven days beforehand and prevented with early treatment.


SmartScope is an HTML5 app that has COPD patients fill out an eight-question survey once a day and sends that information back to their provider, who then assesses their likelihood of an attack based on their answers. Certain questions require the patient to use devices like a peak-flow meter or a thermometer. Gulian said Bluetooth-enabled devices can take the measurements and put them in the app, but the devices are too expensive for most patients, so most use non-connected devices instead and enter data manually."

Via Andrew Spong
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A Comprehensive Overview of How Games Help Healthcare in 2013

A Comprehensive Overview of How Games Help Healthcare in 2013 | Mobile Healthcare |
6 ways games can help healthcare

Gamification and healthcare may be the next best thing since the invention of bread and butter. I recently read an article on 3 different ways that video games can improve health and immediately became curious as to other research going on in this area. Since GSummit 2013 is fast approaching, I would like to take the time to provide a brief comprehensive overview of how games and healthcare are converging in harmony in 2013.

Topic: Dyslexia || Video Game: Action Games

Youth with dyslexia, especially within the pre/early teen demographic, have a tough time with reading comprehension skills. A recently published study from the University of Padua in Italy has discovered that action games significantly improve a child’s ability to read effectively and quickly.

Children playing 12 hours of Rayman Raving Rabbids reported increases in reading speed without a decrease in accuracy. There was also an increase in attention speed, and researchers hypothesis that awareness and attention are two skills gained from playing games. Fast-paced action games have tons going on all at once, forcing the player to learn how to extract useful information from the game environment.

Topic: Severe Burns || Video Game: SnowWorld

Patients with severe burns often express pain that doesn’t just seem to go away at all. To alleviate the pain in a non-pharmacological way, the University of Washington developed the game called SnowWorld. It is a virtual reality game that works under the premise of information overload. Patients playing the game move around an arctic-like environment and shoot snowballs at penguins and mammoths. All the while they are listening to Paul Simon songs in the background.

The idea is that if there isn’t anything to focus on, the brain will use mental resources to focus on the pain. By adding a multitude of stimuli, patients receive so much information at a short amount of time that it shuts down the mental resources dedicated to pain.

Topic: Autism || Video Game: Detective Games

Autistic people have a tough time indentifying emotions and therefore lead difficult social lives. Elisabeth Whyte, a researcher in Developmental Neuroscience at Penn State, believes that games can be used to teach autistic people how to improve their interpersonal skills.

An avid gamer herself and the creator of one of the most successful World of Warcraft blogs, Elisabeth says that providing a storyline as the foundation upon which reward mechanisms like points and badges are used  is the most important rule of effective game design.Without a storyline, the game consists only of tasks and rewards. This leads to a loss of interest and a lack of motivation to play the game. This prompted her to create a game where autistic patients are detectives for a bank robbery case, and they have to correctly identify the facial expression of potential suspects. After 10 accurate identifications, the detective is able to arrest the perpetrator.

Topic: Physical Ed/Therapy || Video Game: Wii Sports/Re:Mission

Many school districts around the nation are worried about the obesity rates of youth. To battle that, they are using Wii Sports to “exergame”. Exergaming provides a fun way to clock in time spent on physical activity and has lead to numerous studies and articles boasting the benefits of Wii Sports for exercise.

Games also assist with physical therapy sessions by instilling a fighting spirit into the patient. A popular success story of gamification and healthcare is Re:Mission, a game to help teens with cancer. Through a third-person shooter, the game explains cancer in great detail as well as various techniques like chemotherapy and antibiotic treatment. A study shows that people who played Re:Mission understood their cancer better and was more likely to keep up with treatments such as chemo.

Topic: Doctor’s Skill-set || Video Game: Wii Sports

Yes. You do want your doctor to be really good at games, especially Wii Sports. Sapienza University in Italy has made a claim that the skills required to play Wii Sports directly helps the same skills needed to perform laparoscopic surgery.

Playing Wii improves your motor skills and coordination. It also allows you to play a 2-D game while controlling the wii-mote in a 3-D environment. Since laparoscopic surgery involves using a small camera (2-D screen) that allows doctors to see what they are doing (3-D environment), it is analogous to Wii Sports. If you are thinking about becoming a doctor, start playing Wii Sports today!

Topic: Big Pharma || Video Game: Syrum

Pharmaceutical companies are usually quite dry in their communications with consumers. The lack of personality is Pharma’s personality, but company Boehringer is creating a Facebook game to teach people about this industry.

The game is called Syrum, and it is a spin-off of Farmville. The goal of the game is to research compounds in a lab, create working formulas, and go through the process of getting a working drug into the market. The main goal of Boehringer is to promote R&D and scientific innovation to the digital community. The game is currently in beta.

 via Discover Magazine | Other research into games and healthcare | Image by .SilentMode

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Mayo clinics approach to telehealth and the wealth of insight from the monitored patient data

Mayo clinics approach to telehealth and the wealth of insight from the monitored patient data | Mobile Healthcare |

Inside the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation in Rochester, a new initiative is taking shape: the development of Mayo’s Center for Connected Care.

“This is a major initiative of the Mayo Clinic across all of its campuses,” says Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, director of the Mayo Clinic’s telestroke and teleneurology program and a vascular neurologist with the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. The vision is to “provide virtual care to patients regionally, within states that are historically Mayo Clinic territories, but also nationally and globally.” And not just in Demaerschalk’s specialty of stroke diagnosis and treatment.

“We imagine that Mayo Clinic can provide telemedicine across every medical and surgical discipline that our institution provides service for,” he says.

Mayo, like many other health care systems, is already engaged in virtual care on a number of fronts: in radiology, dermatology, infectious diseases, and other fields. Demaerschalk’s work in Arizona six years ago helped pave the way.

He and colleagues used technology to improve the speed and effectiveness of communication between Mayo’s stroke neurologists in Scottsdale and the emergency room teams at Arizona’s small regional hospitals. The telestroke platform’s audio, video, and digital connections put a Mayo specialist in the ER virtually, able to talk with patients, see and be seen by them, monitor vital signs, and use diagnostic tools. It was a big improvement over the norm of simply doing consults with emergency physicians on the phone, or transferring the patient to a stroke center. The result, in a clinical study, was a 14 percentage point increase in the accuracy of diagnosis and emergency treatment for stroke.


Click title to read the full article

eMedToday's curator insight, June 17, 2013 8:49 PM

The Mayo Clinic want to provide global mhealth care. Brilliant

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UK to encourage doctors to prescribe health apps | mobihealthnews

UK to encourage doctors to prescribe health apps | mobihealthnews | Mobile Healthcare |

In an effort to cut down on unnecessary doctor office visits, the UK’s Department of Health plans to ask general practitioners and physicians working at hospitals across the country to encourage their patients to use mobile health apps to track biometrics and symptoms. According to various reports in local newspapers, the Department of Health claims that some 15,000 NHS patients are already using mobile health apps that transmit such information to their physicians. The apps are used by pregnant women, and people with cancer, diabetes, heart problems, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The information transmitted from patients using the apps will be monitored by healthcare providers who will urge patients to visit their doctor or nurses immediately if an abnormal reading comes in, according to a report in the DailyMail. The Department of Health hopes to save the NHS “millions of pounds” assuming the apps help cut down on unnecessary visits. Health ministers also contend that more frequent monitoring will help providers keep tabs on patients so that their condition, which will make it less likely that their condition’s will suddenly deteriorate and require a trip to the emergency room.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the health minister claim that about 25 percent of the people who use the NHS Choices website and app visit their physicians less frequently as a result. In November the NHS Direct app announced more than 1 million downloads.

“So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch,” the UK Department of Health’s Secretary Andrew Lansley said in a statement. “I want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm. With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat.”

Lansley assembled a list of 500 apps and tools that the NHS plans to recommend physicians prescribe to patients, but the NHS is looking to hear feedback from the UK public on which apps they think should be included. The government said the apps should be free or cheap to use, according to the Telegraph report.

One of the apps helps people with food allergies avoid reactions by using their smartphone camera to scan food barcodes and receive alerts and warnings when an allergen is an ingredient. Another app on the list is from Diabetes UK and it provides people with reminders about checking blood glucose levels and taking their diabetes medications. The list includes apps for post-traumatic stress, breast cancer screenings, blood pressure trackers, and more.

The Telegraph asked Phil O’Connell, an IT specialist at the Department of Health who developed some of the apps for the list. O’Connell told the publication these apps did not intend to “replace clinical judgment.” He also said the apps actually reduce anxiety among healthcare providers since they can better detect when a patient’s condition begins to worsen.

Big (and obvious) questions remain: How will physicians and nurses sift through the information streaming in from all these mobile health apps? How accessible will these apps be for the elderly? Will the encouragement of physicians to use these apps be enough to change the health habits of patients in the UK?


- See more at:

Art Jones's curator insight, March 1, 2013 5:03 PM

Is the UK more forward thinking regarding Healthcare and the use of SOCIAL + TECHNOLOGY?


test457's curator insight, March 10, 2013 1:34 PM

that's interetsing !! 

what do you think of it ? 

  1. ef
  2. df
  3. fds

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Scaling Up mHealth: Where Is the Evidence?

Scaling Up mHealth: Where Is the Evidence? | Mobile Healthcare |
Summary Points

Despite hundreds of mHealth pilot studies, there has been insufficient programmatic evidence to inform implementation and scale-up of mHealth.We discuss what constitutes appropriate research evidence to inform scale up.Potential innovative research designs such as multi-factorial strategies, randomized controlled trials, and data farming may provide this evidence base.We make a number of recommendations about evidence, interoperability, and the role of governments, private enterprise, and researchers in relation to the scale up of mHealth.



Citation: Tomlinson M, Rotheram-Borus MJ, Swartz L, Tsai AC (2013) Scaling Up mHealth: Where Is the Evidence? PLoS Med 10(2): e1001382. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001382

Published: February 12, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Tomlinson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: No specific funding was received for writing this article. MT acknowledges the support of the National Research Foundation (South Africa) and the Department for International Development (DfID-UK). ACT acknowledges salary support from U.S. National Institutes of Health K23 MH-096620.

Competing interests: MT is a member of the PLOS Medicine Editorial Board. AT receives salary support from NIH K23 MH-096620.

Abbreviations: EBI, evidence-based intervention; LAMIC, low- and middle-income country; mHealth, mobile health; MOST, Multiphase Optimization Strategy

Provenance: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Denise Silber's curator insight, February 26, 2013 6:30 PM

Don't forget that it's almost impossible to scale up sufficiently for research purposes..