This year, a German businesswoman arrived in Washington DC and promptly developed a painful sinus infection. She searched online and found a local doctor, Suzanne Doud Galli. But instead of ordering a taxi to visit Dr Galli’s office, the patient arranged a virtual consultation via her smartphone from the comfort of her hotel room, with the help of an app called HealthTap.The app’s algorithm matched the patient’s symptoms with Dr Galli’s expertise. Dr Galli prescribed medicine and sent the prescription electronically to a pharmacy near the patient’s hotel — all in about 10 minutes.
Via Alex Butler
Carolinas HealthCare is meeting the wearables craze head-on with an app platform designed to bring health and wellness data into the care team conversation.The Charlotte, N.C.-based health system has launched two apps that enable consumers to download data from more than 70 mobile devices, including fitness trackers, blood pressure cuffs, scales, heart rate monitors and blood glucose meters. While the first app was aimed at the consumer market, the latest version – MyCarolinas Tracker – targets patients, and allows them to bring that data into their conversations with the health system.Craig Richardville, the health system’s chief information officer, says the app platform “represents a strong desire to enhance patient engagement (as well as) create some accountability for the patient” in care management plans.“Our app is basically just an aggregator of all the information you’ve already entered,” he added. “What this does is give it context and make it more meaningful.”And that came with the second iteration. While the first app, available on the App Store and Google Play, garnered interest from as far away as Seattle and the Virgin Islands, it offered little benefit to the health system. With MyCarolinas Tracker, that information is not only collected, but stored in the patient’s portal and organized so that the patient can share it with family members, caregivers and other members of the care team.
For years, people have been using the Internet as a tool to learn more about their personal health. Whether it is a local blog or the all-knowing WebMD, we have all been guilty of taking the health information available online and using it to self-diagnose our aches, pains, symptoms, and ailments. By researching our symptoms, we are categorizing ourselves and our health.Your health and symptoms should be personalized to you. To fully diagnose your symptoms, we should be looking at our overall health. Not just at the symptom by itself.Your chemical makeup is not the same as your neighbour's, friend, or spouse. Your health and its needs should be determined based on your habits. What you eat, how much you sleep, if you get stressed out, and how often you exercise all reflect on your health. Habits can contribute to symptoms, and they could be used to help find the best and fastest way for your body to heal.What if the Internet and our mobile devices could become a reliable tool for your health? Would your phone then know more about your health than your doctor?
A nonprofit institute, spun off from the healthcare entrepreneurship program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will soon start producing consumer reviews of mobile apps and other digital health tools that have been vetted by Harvard University clinicians, the nonprofit's co-founder said.Set to launch in early December, these will consist of a consumer-focused list of the best apps, connected medical devices and technology-enabled services that are reviewed by Harvard physicians as well as by technical experts from MIT's Hacking Medicine Institute.
If you’re tired of wearable fitness trackers fighting for space on your wrist, it might not be a problem in the near future: researchers say they can reliably measure your heart and breathing rates just by looking at data from a smartphone sitting in your pocket or bag.
Researchers at MIT are working on a project called BioPhone that derives these biological signals from your smartphone’s accelerometer, which they say can capture the small movements of your body that result from the beating of your heart and rising and falling of your chest. A paper on the work was presented at a conference in August.
A new survey of 1,500 consumers from Apple Watch research service Wristly has found that 83 percent of the Apple Watch owners surveyed said the device at least somewhat contributes to their overall health and fitness.Just under 60 percent of respondents said the watch contributes to some change in their health and fitness and 24 percent said the device contributed to a lot of change.The survey also found that 12 percent of respondents said the Apple Watch’s fitness capabilities were the primary reason they bought it, while 48 percent said these capabilities were at least one of the main reasons, 30 percent said they were somewhat important, and 10 percent they were not important.
There are now more than 165,000 mobile health apps available in the U.S., yet most continue to have limited functionality and barriers remain for connecting mHealth app data to providers’ clinical data, which hinders full adoption of mHealth into healthcare management, according to the findings of an IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics study.
According to the IMS Institute’s recently released report about consumer-focused mHealth apps, the number of mHealth apps has nearly doubled in the past two years and almost a quarter of consumer apps are now focused on disease and treatment management, while two-thirds target fitness and wellness. Mental health apps led among disease specific apps, followed by diabetes.
For the study, researchers drew on IMS Health’s AppScript Score database and analysis of 26,864 apps available in the U.S. The study found that app connectivity has become a major focus for app developers, with one in ten apps now having some capability to connect to a device or sensor. This connectivity provides biofeedback and physiological function data from the patient and greatly extends the accuracy and convenience of data collection, according to the IMS Institute study.
As part of the study, the IMS Institute also interviewed healthcare provider executives on the role and status of healthcare apps.
Clinical depression is the kind of ailment that can sneak up on you, ruin your attitude, destroy motivation and lead to a multitude of other mental health issues. It can be managed if you're aware of it, but a lot of depression goes undiagnosed. It doesn't have to be that way--researchers think that smartphones could one day serve as an early-warning system by passively monitoring your behavior.
So far, only one study has explored the idea, but its results show enormous potential. Researchers recruited 40 volunteers from Cragistlist, tested them for depression using a standard demographics questionnaire and installed a test app on their phone that tracked their GPS location and phone usage data. Two weeks later, that data was compared to models to try and determine if there was a correlation user behavior and depression scores--and there were. Patients at risk for depression were not only more likely to spend time at home, but they used their phone more frequently, too. After adjusting for variables, the team figured it was able to detect depression with 87% accuracy. Not bad.
Steven Keating, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and a brain cancer survivor, was the subject of an article this week, presented as a super data cruncher of his own patient information.
The young scientist’s collection and analysis of his own data makes him an extraordinary exception today, but physicians and health care experts say he is a sprinter along a path others are walking — toward consumers taking a more active interest in gathering, studying and sharing their medical data. Better-informed patients, they say, are more likely to take better care of themselves, comply with prescription drug regimens and even detect early-warning signals of illness, as Mr. Keating did.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) remains the largest company by market cap. Its shares have ceased the endless gains and now the investing community has an issue with how to evaluate and to value Apple. Is it fair to ask if health care technology and services could become Apple’s next major growth frontier?Merrill Lynch’s Wamsi Mohan reiterated his Buy rating and $130 price objective for Apple on Friday. The call and price’s upside is one issue, but the reason for the call is something entirely different. Mohan sees Apple positioning itself to have a large impact on health care ahead
Via Alex Butler
When I think of wearables and cars I picture this scenario: a man in a suit rushing out of the house in the morning gets to his car and starts frantically patting down his suit jacket and trouser pockets looking for his keys. Then he looks down at his wrist and remembers he's got his Apple Watch on. A single tap on the screen and the car door clicks open.That functionality goes from the smartphone through to the companion app on the smartwatch. This is Ford's Sync platform in action, letting you open doors and even rating your driving. It's a simple application of wearable tech, it's probably what you associate with wearables and cars too, but Ford has much bigger ambitions.
Imagine: You’ve been trying to keep your cholesterol low, but constant business travel means too many fast food meals and not enough exercise. What if you received recommendations on healthier restaurants nearby—from your watch? And, what if that watch also encouraged you to take a 20-minute walk? Or what if it realized that you actually hate walks and would rather take a yoga class around the block that starts at 7 p.m.?This may be the future of better health, at least if IBM’s Watson has its way. The cognitive computing wunderkind, known for its winning turn on Jeopardy!, is pairing its artificial intelligence with the mobile sensing power of Apple’s smartwatch AAPL -1.10% to create a health platform that can interact and adapt to each individual user. It’s the first time Watson’s super computing power will be used with the Apple Watch to transform how people manage their wellbeing. It all happens within an app called CaféWell Concierge, Powered by Watson.The app, developed by Welltok of Denver, takes advantage of Watson’s natural language capabilities to allow CaféWell Concierge to become more personalized over time as the cognitive computer reasons and learns. Users can talk directly to the app to ask questions about health, nutrition, exercise or even IBM’s health benefit details and get quick answers.
With the ongoing reforms in the healthcare industry, the high amount of technology implementations taking place, and the rising number of patients in need of services due to the burgeoning baby boomer generation, a large number of doctors claim to be experiencing burnout. Could mobile health tools help solve the problems associated with physician burnout?
A report from QuantiaMD, a subsidiary of Physicians Interactive, explains that many doctors today would not recommend going into the medical field to generations of the future. EHR systems and other medical technologies that take up time and money are the main reasons behind this trend of burnout. However, mobile health tools and telemedicine could potentially change this effect.
Today, doctors looking to incorporate telehealth technology and mobile health tools are looking to early adopters for advice on how to effectively transition to this new mode of healthcare delivery. Hospital systems are looking to implement telemedicine to increase referrals toward their organization.
The survey results show that 62 percent of doctors aren’t currently offering virtual visits to their patient population but would like to learn more about this practice. More than half – 57 percent – are interested in conducting video-based visits with patients. Additionally, 60 percent of respondents stated that if a nearby hospital offered video consultations with specialists, they would be more likely to refer their patient to that healthcare system.
Windows/OS X/iOS/Web: Your emotional state can vary throughout the day, and there are certain things that you may not even realize affect your mentality. Optimism keeps track of your mental health and helps you find those emotional triggers.The app is free, and it’s relatively simple to use. It includes four main tabs where you enter daily data:Core Data: Basic info about your mood and habitsStay Well Strategies: You record data about potential methods for staying healthy. Exercise, spending time outside, professional support, and so on.Triggers: You’ll enter potential emotional triggers or stressors: a lack of sleep, relationship problems, social events, etc.Symptoms: In this tab, you add a little more detail on how you feel: your level of irritability, sadness, guilt, poor concentration, etc.
Microsoft’s ambitious HoloLens project has generated a huge amount of interest of late, and for good reason. Who doesn’t love the idea of viewing and interacting with 3D holograms brought to life right in front of your eyes? The applications for...
Few health care providers are discussing wearable devices or mobile health applications with their patients, even though they believe the technology could be beneficial, according a MedPanel market survey of 415 providers, Health IT Analytics reports (Bresnick, Health IT Analytics, 6/22).
Researchers found that just 15% of providers report discussing wearable devices and mobile health apps with patients. However, providers participating in accountable care organizations were more than twice as likely to discuss such technology with their patients. In addition, the survey found that providers believe some patients who are not using wearable devices or mobile health apps could benefit from the technology, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 6/22). Specifically, provider respondents said:
38% of patients who are not using a wearable device could benefit from such technology; and
42% of patients who are not using a mobile health app could benefit from such technology (Health IT Analytics, 6/22).
Further, the factors that providers listed as most important to mobile health were:Clinical utility of the data the devices produce; and Ease of use.
IN RWANDA, PEOPLE have to deal with all kinds of threats to their health: malaria, HIV/AIDS, severe diarrhea. But in late 2012, Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, realized her country’s key health enemy was something far more innocuous.
The thing causing the most harm to her people, the leading risk factor for premature death and disability, was inside their own homes: Dirty indoor air, from cooking food over burning dung and vegetation in poorly ventilated huts. Within weeks, Binagwaho announced a program to distribute one million clean cookstoves to the poorest households in the young, mostly rural country.
More than half of today's smartphone users, 62 percent, are using their devices to get health information, according to Pew Research Center's new report, "U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015." The report is based on surveys conducted by the center in conjunction with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
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