Many pharma companies remain concerned about running afoul of the regulators with their online activities and therefore have not yet fully embraced new channels. However, increasingly patients want and expect them to engage, and those that have are...
That's the finding of a new report on mobile health apps by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics (free PDF here). In true mobile fashion, it's also available in the iTunes store (here). Some of the other results of the recent study included these: 1. Every app categorized as "health and wellness" or "medical" [...]
SOURCE December 17, 2014 Organizations often look to their benefits for innovative ways to differentiate themselves from others as they compete for talent. A look to recent developments in the very competitive U.S. technology sector had Apple and Facebook covering the cost of the elective cryogenic freezing and storage of eggs for female employees. In response (or retaliation), Google announced that its plan would also include a new benefit for all employees: genetic testing. Beginning in January, Google’s benefits plan will include coverage for two DNA tests from Foundation Medicine that look specifically for solid tumours, pediatric cancers and blood malignancies, and help oncologists make decisions on chemotherapy regimens based on a patient’s genetic profile. While this addition is specifically focused on cancer and cancer markers, there are certainly murmurings of interest in providing broader spectrum genetic testing as part of a benefits plan. One of the questions in this year’s
While on the one hand, many are proclaiming 2015 to be the year that mHealth finally becomes mainstream, the opening day keynote at the mHealth Summit last week at the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center seemed to suggest we are in the trough of disillusionment.
Makers and boosters of wearable technology have had a few reality checks lately.
Late last month, while we Americans were enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend and/or indulging in the Black Friday retail frenzy, Juniper Research over in the UK was putting out a report forecasting that fitness devices, not true health monitors would “dominate the wearables market” worldwide until at least 2018. Those likely will be of limited use in the wider picture beyond fitness.
“The key is making the devices provide meaning as well as data—counting steps is all very well, but will not keep consumers interested unless that information can be contextualized and made useful for them,” Juniper Research Analyst James Moar said in an interview with FierceMobileHealthcare.
On Tuesday, Dr. Joseph Kvedar, director of the Center for Connected Health at Boston-based Partners HealthCare, opened the annual mHealth Summit in Oxon Hill, Md., with a caution about “irrational exuberance,” according to several published reports.
As mHealth news reported, Kvedar said that nobody has figured out how to make consumers — patients — care about mobile health technologies. “And if we don’t [figure that out], m-health will be another tech bubble,” Kvedar was quoted as saying.
That is not far off from what Dr. Matt Patterson, president of AirStrip Technologies, a San Antonio-based maker of mobile patient monitoring software, said last Thursday at the 11th annual (and likely final, due to declining interest) Healthcare Unbound conference in San Diego. ”I can tell you right now doctors do not care about your Fitbit data,” Patterson said.
Consumers eventually stop caring, too. ”Surveys have found that half who use mobile fitness trackers to keep tabs on their workouts or diets stop using the programs within six months,” said a recent Los Angeles Times story on smartphones in healthcare. (It would have been nice for the Times to cite its sources, but the point is taken.)
Patterson suggested that consumers and providers alike still do not see much value in such technologies, a common reason for apathy toward some technologies in healthcare. ”I think innovation in healthcare results from clinical transformation where the economics of value and incentives are aligned,” he said.
Data has to “take a lot of work out of the situation” and be actionable for physicians to care about it, and it has to be aligned with the incentives, Patterson said. At the moment, Fitbit data does not do that, he suggested.
All these wearable and mobile products, touted as “disruptive,” “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking” by so many vendors and Silicon Valley cheerleaders still haven’t proved value to healthcare providers or large number of consumers. Eventually, they will have to, or Kvedar will be right about a bubble.
Despite what seems to be some sustainable momentum beyond the initial rush of excitement, worries remain about Apple's HealthKit platform -- with security concerns and its potential to flood doctors with unnecessary data topping the list. Could the latest big thing eventually go the way of Google Health?
Today's mobile apps are helping diabetics aggregate blood sugar and nutritional data from multiple platforms and devices and logging data into central portals accessible anywhere, according to Steve Robinson, general manager of the Cloud Platform Services Division for IBM.
While wearables primarily are buckled to consumers' wrists at this point, they'll soon find a new home: the ear, says Craig Stires, associate vice president for big data, software and analytics at IDC Asia Pacific. And they might even get a new moniker: hearables.
In other words, the accuracy really makes little difference; the point is to keep us aware, to gamify our efforts. In that way, these bands really work. You wind up parking farther away, getting off the bus a stop earlier, going for a walk down the block to bring your 9,374 daily step count up to your 10,000-step goal.
This month, Daniel Ghinn reviews some of the key online happenings that have had an impact on healthcare over the year. The year 2014 has been incredible for social media in healthcare. Consumers and patients have taken on industry and regulators...
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