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Most consumers believe that video games that force them to get up and move around can improve their health, a study from UnitedHealth Group suggests.
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Imagine taking a pill each day simply so you don’t have to enter passwords to unlock your phone and maybe your computer. You could settle for a Biostamp tattoo on your arm or other chosen body part to do the same thing. According to Motorola’s Chief Executive, Dennis Woodside that may someday be a reality.
The Telegraph reported earlier today that Woodside discussed at the D11 conference using such technology to replace having to enter passwords as long as the phone is close to the owners body. The Biostamp and electronic pill technologies already exist but linking them up to phones and computers is still in the future.
Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency displayed a Biostamp on her arm. The technology was developed by an engineering firm in Massachusetts, MC10. It is a silicon based “stamp” that uses bendable circuits and can stretch to twice its size. You put it on with a rubber stamp.
The other alternative that Motorola is researching is using the Proteus Digital Health pill to do the same thing as the tattoo. You would take the pill which gives off a “unique signal like an ECG trace.” Stomach acid powers the pills battery. You would also have to wear a patch that would transmit the pill’s signal to your BlueTooth enabled mobile device. It’s a two step process while the Biostamp requires only one step.
The interesting thing about both the Biostamp and the Proteus Digital Health Pill is that they were developed for medical monitoring. Motorola is looking into alternative uses for the new health care technology. Since most people don’t turn on their phone, tablet or laptop security software that requires authentication to access the device, something like a wearable tattoo could prevent identity theft. It takes approximately 2.3 seconds to enter a necessary password. That doesn’t seem like all that much time or effort except when you realize how often you would have to enter your password into your phone every day.
A contender to replace the TweetChat platform came to my attention today.
I'm kicking the tyres; let me know what you think.
Patients today aren’t truly engaged with health technology or even with their own health.
This is the crux of a problem that we need to address before we can begin to understand patient engagement, empowerment, and how to use these relationships to fix a broken system.
Can we create persuasive technology to encourage patient engagement with the mere concept of their own health?
For example, when people are sick, we have a tendency to exhibit avoidant behavior (like taking “medication holidays” from prescription drugs.)
On the other hand, when we are healthy we don’t want to think about health, and companies have found it challenging to channel consumer interest toward something as innocuous as their own biometric data.
So next time we talk about patient engagement, let’s also consider how users relate to the concept of their own health and whether technology can be used to not only engage, but also advance positive health outcomes.
Healthcare happens every day, no MDs required. What IS required is paying attention, and being intentional.
"Staying in the hospital" meant that Guevara had to spend upwards of three months at a time in a children's ward, an ordeal he endured thanks in part to constant care and support from both of his parents. But he was struck by the lack of emotional and psychological support for other young cancer patients — some as young as 10 years old. At one point, he estimated that for the roughly 130 children on his floor, there was just one therapist.
"I know there are a lot of improvements, new treatments, a lot of this, a lot of that. But we are neglecting the emotional part of the human being," Guevara said. "It's just: 'make the body better, make the body better.' But we forget about the mind!"
So when Guevara saw a poster in the waiting room roughly a year after his original diagnosis asking for consultants for a video game being developed for cancer patients, he jumped at the opportunity to give other children the kind of support he wanted to see.
Guevara was one of more than 120 young cancer patients who served as advisers for "Re-Mission 2," a bundle of browser-based games made by the non-profit health and technology company HopeLab and released for free online this week.
Tracking the HEALTH trackers.
Last week, the ongoing twitter conversation under the hashtag #BCSM officially expanded online in support of the global breast cancer community.
The new website is here: http://www.bcsmcommunity.org – and there’s a companion YouTube Channel here.
The hashtag itself stands for Breast Cancer Social Media – and the first online community “chat” using the #BCSM hashtag was on July 4th, 2011. Websites aren’t normally all that newsworthy anymore, but the evolution here most definitely is.
The more traditional trajectory, of course, is to start with a website and then add a “twitter handle” as a way to expand an audience or community reach. Among the many amazing powers of twitter, it seems, is the ability to reverse that model. At least that’s been the trajectory for #BCSM.
This is great :)
Your parents may have tried to kick you off your Super Nintendo just about every time you sat down in front of it because they were concerned about how it might affect your long-term health. Plenty of studies have shown that games that don't require a lot of physical movement can have an adverse effect on children as they grow older. But perhaps counter-intuitively, there have also been several studies touting the health benefits of gaming.
1. Video games are therapeutic for children with chronic illnessesThe University of Utah released a study last year that examined the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like autism, depression, and Parkinson's disease. Kids who played certain games, including one designed just for the study, showed signs of improvement in "resilience, empowerment, and a 'fighting spirit.'" Researchers believe the games' ability to act on "neuronal mechanisms that activate positive emotions and the reward system" helped improve kids' demeanors as they faced the daily challenges of their illnesses.
2. Video games improve preschoolers' motor skillsLetting a 4-year-old sit in front of a TV with a game controller might not seem like the most productive use of her time. But researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, would disagree. Their study examined the development of 53 preschool-aged children, and found that those who played "interactive games" had better "object control motor skills" than those who didn't. It's not clear, though, whether children with better-than-average motor skills tend to gravitate toward video games in the first place.
3. Video games reduce stress and depression2009's Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine included a study that found that gamers who suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games — and showed a noted improvement. The study hypothesized that games gave certain "Type A" personalities time to relax in "a state of relative mindlessness" that allowed them to avoid reaching "a certain level of stressful arousal" as they tried to relax.
4. Video games can provide pain reliefVideo games don't just provide relief from emotional pain. They can also help those who are suffering from physical pain. Psychologists at the University of Washington developed a gamethat helps hospital patients suffering from immense physical pain by using an age-old mental trick: distraction. The virtual reality game "Snow World" put patients in an arctic wonderland in which they throw an endless arsenal of snowballs at a series of targets, such as penguins and snowmen. Military hospitals found the experience helped soldiers recovering from their battlefield wounds. The soldiers who played "Snow World" required less pain medicine during their recuperation.
5. Video games can improve your visionMom may have warned you that sitting in front of the TV wasn't good for your eyes. But one developmental psychologist found it could actually be beneficial to your vision. Dr. Daphen Maurer of the Visual Development Lab of Ontario's McMaster University made a surprising discovery: People suffering from cataracts can improve their vision by playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. She believes these games are so fast-paced that they require an extreme amount of attention, training the visually impaired to view things more sharply. They can also produce higher levels of dopamine and adrenaline that "potentially may make the brain more plastic," she said.
6. Video games can improve your decision-making skillsMost video games require fast reactions and split-second decisions that can mean the difference between virtual life and virtual death. Cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York found these games give players' brains plenty of practice for making decisions in the real world. Researchers suggest that action-oriented games act as a simulator for the decision-making process by giving players several chances to infer information from their surroundings and forcing them to react accordingly.
7. Video games can keep you happy in old ageResearchers from North Carolina State University looked closely at our aging population to see if there was a link between playing video games and mental well-being — i.e. "happiness." They found that senior citizens who said they played video games — even occasionally — reported "higher levels of happiness, or well-being," says Rick Nauert at PsychCentral. "Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions" and were more likely to be depressed. It's unclear what exactly is behind this link — or if the relationship is even causal.
About eight in 10 psoriasis patients who use health care social networks say they do so primarily to learn how others manage their disease, and get practical tips and advice they couldn’t find elsewhere, according to a survey conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation, Manhattan Research and Inspire, a company that builds and manages online patient communities.
The millions of people with psoriasis, including the one million visitors toTalkPsoriasis in 2012, are not alone in their use of social media for health. A 2011 Pew Research Center study found that one in four Internet users living with a chronic ailment have gone online to find others with similar health concerns.
Psoriasis is a chronic, genetic disease of the immune system that causes the skin to crack, itch and bleed, affecting roughly 7.5 million Americans. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the country.
Siempre he dicho que en las comunidades de pacientes, el factor fundamental es el apoyo mutuo, así que dejemos de bombardearles con publicidad y consejos. Apoyemos!!
Patients challenged by psoriasis are helping each other online in growing numbers. Now that's progressive!
Observers of the digital health ecosystem seem addicted to the idea that it is accretive when in truth it is commutative.
News of the demise of sleep tracker Zeo, theclosure of Google Reader through which many of us have reviewed health news, and the imminent withdrawal of the best (IMO) version of the best Twitter client through which many health tweet chats have been conducted should hopefully serve to remind us of the transitory nature of digital environments.
Personal health data is certainly going to continue to be collected. It will be at the centre of our genome-informed, personalised medical future.
However, we aren’t going to be collecting it via a panoply of trackers, gadgets, wristbands and glasses.
We no more want external health peripherals than we do a keyboard for a tablet computer. They are extraneous, inconvenient, and will only be used by health hobbyists.
Nor are we ultimately going to want to see that data collected by a smartphone-like device. Mobile devices, whether carried, or viewed via a HUD contact lens, or placed on the back of our hand as a removable skin-like overlay, may be a great way of reviewing data, but in the last instance we don’t want integrated onboard sensors tracking our data for the sole reason that it requires us to remember or desire to continue to collect it, even if the process is passive.
This needn’t mean a Matrix-like plug of course, but rather a sensor of whatever sort that merely gathers data.
However, not everyone wants to be a cyborg, nor will it be necessary to be one in order to enjoy the long terms health benefits of fully quantifying (and adapting) our health behaviours.
Assuming that we don’t all succumb to the beguiling technological singularity, the paradigm will be inverted and the social face of health will be human rather than a mimetic poly-alloy.
The future of quantified health will reside in non-invasive sensors that will become as ubiquitous and cheap to use as the bar code, incorporated not only into public spaces but also into products and packaging. Aggregated personal data is Big Data by any other name, and will facilitate the study of health trends and behaviours at a population level.
This may sound like science fiction.
However, aspects of the transformation of digital health into a non-invasive sensor-facilitated model are just a few steps down its evolutionary pathway.
So let’s look beyond the device-driven quantified self.
We’re not still discussing what happened to our Walkman, pocket calculator PDA, diary, Filofax, digital camera, and so on, and nor do we need to talk about how everything that can be integrated into mobile devices will be, because we already know it’s going to happen.
There are more interesting questions to ask of the future of digital health, such as....
Click on the title link above to read five questions about the future of digital health beyond the device
Another mind-challenging post from Andrew. Worth the read.
Video games help reading in children with dyslexia," BBC News reports. The news is based on a study that found that video games could be used to treat dyslexia in children.
The results of this study warrant further investigation. However, as it included only 20 children, it is too small to draw reliable conclusions from, and many questions remain unanswered.
Previous studies have shown that action video games could improve visual attention. So this study investigated whether an improvement in visual attention led to improvements in reading.
Researchers from North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older if they play video games, and if they do, how often. Around 61 percent said they play games on occasion, while 35 percent said they play at least once a week.
Those who said they play video games demonstrated higher levels of well-being. And the non-gamers? They tended to have more negative emotions and higher levels of depression."The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. "We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults."
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today launched a funding initiative designed to grow a national community of patients, clinicians, researchers, and other healthcare stakeholders who will advance patient-centered outcomes research.
The new PCORI Engagement Awards program will offer targeted funding to dozens of groups of patients, clinicians and other front-line caregivers, and others across the healthcare community who are interested in supporting the expansion of patient- centered outcomes research (PCOR) and implementation of its results. It will do so by supporting projects to enhance knowledge of PCOR and its benefits; training to foster partnerships between patients, other healthcare stakeholders, and scientists that can lead to research projects; and efforts to implement results of the research in clinical practice.
As the first step in this initiative, PCORI will invest up to $1.2 million for a training program to build research capacity and fund a series of Pipeline to Proposal Awards. The initial Pipeline to Proposal Awards of up to $15,000 each will help patients and other non-researchers interested in PCOR begin to form groups capable of partnering with clinicians, researchers, and other healthcare stakeholders.
The new program fulfills a key aspect of PCORI's mission to facilitate active involvement of patients and other stakeholders in research efforts designed to answer unresolved medical and health questions faced by patients and those who care for them through studies comparing the effectiveness of different care options.
The Health Data Exploration project is exploring how to bring individuals and companies who collect this health data together with health researchers to uncover insights into personal and population health.
Danah Boyd writes:
As we look to the future, organizations that focus on the big issues need to think about what it means to create informed people in a digital era.
How do we spread accurate information through networks?
How do we get people to trust abstract entities that have no personal role in their lives?
Questions around internet and trust are important: What people know and believe will drive what they do and this will shape their health.
Putting a digital face to the abusive voices in their head could help people with schizophrenia.
Results of a preliminary trial, announced today at the Wellcome Trust in London, demonstrated how people with schizophrenia could overcome their auditory hallucinations by conversing with an avatar representation of the voice in their head.
At the start of the trial, 16 people with schizophrenia created an on-screen avatar that best matched what they imagined the voice in their head to look like – much like a police photo-fit. They then chose a male or female voice closely resembling the one they hear.
By conversing with a therapist via the avatar, the volunteers reported reduced levels of distress and higher self-esteem. Three people stopped hearing the hallucinatory voice altogether – including one who had lived with it for 16 years.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved 51 new awards, totaling $88.6 million over three years, to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) projects under the first four areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. This brings the total that PCORI has awarded for projects addressing these priorities to $129.3 million. PCORI also has committed another $30 million in funding for a series of pilot projects.
One of the biggest questions in biology is the nature versus nurture debate, the relative roles that genetic and environmental factors play in determining human traits.
In 2006, George Church at Harvard University and a few others started the Personal Genome Project (PGP) to help answer this question. The goal is to collect genomic information from 100,000 informed members of the public along with their health records and other relevant phenotypic data. The idea is to use this information to help tease apart the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors.
The project does not guarantee privacy for those who sign up. Indeed, the participants can reveal as much information as they like, including their ZIP code, birth date and sex.
However, the data is ‘de-identified’ in the sense that the owners names and addresses are not included in their profiles on the PGP website and this generates a veneer of privacy.
Today, Latanya Sweeney and colleagues at Harvard show that even this is practically useless in keeping owners identities private. They say a relatively simple comparison of the list of PGP participants with other databases such as voter lists reveals the identity of a significant number of them with remarkable accuracy.
Proteus Digital Health has developed a pill that can text an alert when it enters a patient’s stomach.
The technology, widely tested and already available for over-the-counter sale in a pilot program in the UK is just one of several new developments in caregiving technology designed to prevent hospital readmissions and relieve family caregivers of the persistent worry: “Is Dad taking his meds?”
Thanks to Andrew Spong for spotting this.
A health system in Pennsylvania has made a novel use of technology to remind men about their prostate health: urinal games. The healthier the prostate, the higher the score should be.
Reuters’s Joe McDonald reported late yesterday on installation of urinal-mounted games at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA., by sponsor Lehigh Valley Health Network. Players steer snowmobiles across a course (dodging penguins) via their “aim.” Coca-Cola Park is home to a minor league baseball team called the “IronPigs.”
“Baseball fans know all about RBI, ERA and OBP,” said Angelo Baccala, MD, of Lehigh Valley Urology Specialty Care and chief of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s division of urology. “But when it comes to their own PSA, many men don’t have a clue. We see this game as a fun and unique opportunity to remind men about the importance of prostate health.”
The gaming system was created and developed by United Kingdom-based Captive Media, and was first deployed publicly in the U.K. in 2012. The average game lasts 55 seconds, the company says. Score are streamed in real-time on videoboard displays within the stadium and can be followed on a Web site.
I'd like to offer a special salute to the current #6 on the high score table... Lisa!
A Virtual Rehabilitation System, presented by Meghan Huber, utilising Mathworks' MATLAB software and a Microsoft Kinect camera to capture real-time data for rehabilitation analysis. Unlike standard systems, this setup is affordable enough for home usage -- it also collects data on a wider range of motion, making it adaptable for different needs.
Reminds me of when I went to science camp and we had to build our own robots out of legos and machine parts. And they worked :).
Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone will support a number of health peripherals to interact with its S Health app.
The S Band is a wearable accelerometer that can hook up to your Galaxy S4 and provide further data on all the exercise you're doing. Inside the S Band is a pedometer, which feeds the updated S Health app information.
The S Band will send to your phone details of steps taken, calories burnt and even sleep patterns, to provide more data on your activity and help with your fitness training.
The SGS4 has a built-in pedometer and can also track data, so the S Band is more an extension device, or handy if you don't have your mobile phone with you.
Samsung's accessory line-up is starting to mirror that of Withings and Fitbit, both of which have their own wireless set of scales.
This device is designed to provide the S Health app with precise data on how much you weigh, as part of a diet or fitness regime.
I suspect that more people will write about these than use them for more than 6 months.
Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system.
Using automated software tools to examine queries by six million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an antidepressant, paroxetine, and a cholesterol lowering drug, pravastatin. They were able to find evidence that the combination of the two drugs caused high blood sugar.
The study, which was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association on Wednesday, is based on data-mining techniques similar to those employed by services like Google Flu Trends, which has been used to give early warning of the prevalence of the sickness to the public.
Los científicos están utilizando cada vez más la Red para sus investigaciones, ya que el cruce de cientos de miles de datos (el big data) permite conocer tendencias en salud de manera precisa y económica. La técnica utilizada en el estudio de JAMA es similar a la emplada en servicios como Google Flu Trends, para detectar la propagación de la gripe.
Computer games and home-based self-help should be considered as part of healthcare in Australia, according to those shaping its future.
Healthcare providers, technology suppliers and developers met last week in Melbourne to discuss the challenges and opportunities for patient treatment in the next decade.
They came up with more issues than answers, but all agreed on the need to connect remote patients with their care providers more efficiently, something proponents of e-health have been hoping the national broadband network will help solve.
A series of healthcare CIO solution roundtables, promoted by the Healthcare Solutions Foundry, sponsored by Cisco, will be held across Australia in the next six months.
At the first meeting, Dr Brendan Lovelock, leader of Cisco's healthcare practice and Foundry moderator, said home self-care would only work if patients were motivated to use technology. He said gaming and interactive media could be used to increase patient engagement.
“It's better to work with the ageing population to make them more self-sufficient, which places less demand on healthcare. How do we better connect to empower the patient to be more independent?” Dr Lovelock asked.
David Ryan, CIO of Grampians Rural Health Alliance, said healthcare was moving towards patient self-management on mobile devices.
“Can you use [mobile] devices to link in to manage health? Apps exist now to measure pulse and heart rates with a smartphone.”
According to a recent Gartner report, home healthcare, led by patient health monitoring, offers the maximum revenue potential for companies targeting the e-health sector in the next three to five years.
Widespread and easy access to mobile phones has resulted in them being the platform of choice to disseminate health information and collect health data.
The report said new ways to support people with chronic disease and frail elderly patients, and to prevent high-cost hospital stays, must be found, including remote patient monitoring and the integration of patient portals with interactive patient-care systems.
Lovelock said e-health needed to focus on improving connectivity between the patient, doctor, acute care and allied healthcare providers such as physiotherapists, dietitians, occupational therapists in rural Australia.
“The big focus is how people use and access information systems. Importantly, this focus should be around some of the key diseases that drive hospital emergency department overcrowding.”
Solving these problems would require a far more connected environment, where clinical data and skills can flow across the acute, primary, community and home environments, Ryan said.
“There is not likely to be one single solution to these problems.”
Ryan said the traditional tendering process for rural healthcare technology solutions should also be reviewed.
“The traditional tender approach that selects a large monolithic system doesn't work. We need to turn the current healthcare model on its head [as] we are moving to a home-based model.”
A broader group would meet again to discuss these problems further, including representatives from the games and interactive media industries, plus hardware manufacturers. They plan to nut out specific technology to address gaps in connectivity, as well as gaming technology innovations for healthcare applications.
Many lower-income patients say they would like to communicate electronically with their health care providers but are unable to do so because of insufficient technology at the clinics where they receive care, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Medical News Today reports.
For the study, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco surveyed 416 patients at six San Francisco Department of Public Health community clinics that primarily serve uninsured or publically insured individuals.
The study participants:
The study found that:
According to the researchers, many safety-net clinics do not offer the patient portals or secure messaging systems necessary to support electronic communication with doctors.
Read more: http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/2/27/lowincome-patients-interested-in-digital-health-communication.aspx#ixzz2MZg2DE1x