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Smartphones for digital mental health 

Smartphones for digital mental health  | healthcare technology |

Emerging technologies can offer real benefits to people with mental health difficulties 


Current smartphones are several times more powerful than the Cray-2 supercomputer, the 1980s fastest computer. Smartphones, have changed the game for digital interventions. These beloved tiny supercomputers present an opportunity for mental health to deliver ‘ecological; momentary’ interactions (EMIs) in harmony with the fabric of people’s lives.


Ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) are treatments that are provided to people during their everyday lives (i.e. in real time) and in natural settings (i.e. real world) (Heron & Smyth, 2010).


Often in mental health when thinking about the development of health apps we find ourselves struggling to fully conceptualise what it is we are attempting to do and why.


Ecological momentary interventions for depression and anxiety” by Schueller et al (2017) brings together some useful ways of thinking about apps for mental health and how we might understand them.


The authors are keen that we review where we have been with digital mental health apps so that we might begin to develop a far more exciting digital mental health future. The paper includes a number of ideas useful to those of us looking to understand and develop ways of making people’s lives better using digital technologies. The paper also makes a number of useful distinctions between different types of interactions between patients and technology and explores how we might better understand them.  


Smartphones make new kinds of health intervention possible. Rather than sitting down to do a health related task, interventions can be quick and take place in the context of other everyday activities.


We make momentary ecological interventions with our smartphones hundreds of times a day; from firing off a quick email to checking our bank balance. Once the threshold for digital health was Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs).


Such assessments might encourage people to answer a question about their current feelings or asking people to measure something such as heart rate or blood sugar, extending the ‘window of observation’ into people’s lives and allowing the collection of data by asking people to feedback via an app.


In the paper, Schueller et al discuss methods of understanding what digital interventions for depression and anxiety actually are, ways of evaluating these interventions and report recent evidence for the efficacy of such interventions. Their paper also suggests a future path for digital mental health application development.
A brave new world?

Schueller et al make it clear that smartphone technology has extended the horizon of possibility for treatment and also for the monitoring or tailoring of treatment because modern apps can both measure our responses to interventions and also modify those interventions in light of direct feedback. 

The authors set out a compelling vision of the future of digital mental health interventions where “advances in EMIs are likely to take us one step closer to personal digital mental health assistants.


These assistants will listen to people through sensed data, learn from people in the context of their daily lives, and guide people in directions that will support their mental health.


Such personal digital mental health assistants will still be made up of combinations of interventions, decision points, tailoring rules, and decision rules but powered by advances in technologies and analytics that make each of these more personalized and more data-driven.”


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Geoffrey Cooling's curator insight, August 5, 2017 11:12 AM
Interesting article on the use of smartphones for mental health
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Mobile Technology Increases Patient Engagement

Mobile Technology Increases Patient Engagement | healthcare technology |

More than 60% of smartphone users used their mobile device to search for information about a health condition, according to Pew Research Center. The analysts at eMarketer have forecast that pharma digital ad spending will rise to $2.55 billion by 2019.

This growing evolution in digital applications to monitor and improve health sets the foundation for new strategies in pharma marketing. Both physicians and patients are heavy users of mobile, and a new challenge arises when the industry shifts its focus to messaging targeting patients. Marketers now need to learn how to create a meaningful digital experience for patient-consumers.


The growth in mobile investment within the industry is real. For example, half of Takeda’s Web traffic last year came from smartphones and tablets, which is why the drug maker is optimizing mobile for both patients and physicians in its marketing campaigns.


The real opportunities don’t lie in simply providing informational material — the app version of brochureware — but in finding simple ways to improve adherence and outcomes, When mHealth apps are paired with traditional treatments, this becomes possible.


The industry needs to act on the opportunity to be in the pockets of its consumers




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96% of Consumers Say Mobile Health Industry Improves Life

96% of Consumers Say Mobile Health Industry Improves Life | healthcare technology |
The mobile health industry has been revolutionizing the way both doctors and patients approach medicine today. When it comes to addressing health issues, mobile health consumers are moving toward preventing disease and increasing fitness and wellness. Through fitness trackers and wearable devices, more patients are now focused on exercise and diet.

The company Research Now conducted a survey that looked at how mobile health applications and the mobile health industry is affecting patient care and physician workflow. Research Now polled a total of 1,000 mHealth app users and 500 medical professionals. The results show that 86 percent of healthcare professionals believe mobile health apps increase their knowledge on a patient’s medical condition.

Additionally, nearly half of surveyed providers – 46 percent – felt that mHealth apps actually strengthen their relationship with their patients. Three out of four polled medical care professionals – 76 percent – have suggested that mobile health tools assist patients with managing chronic medical conditions.

Additionally, three out of five surveyed physicians and medical staff help patients who are at high risk of developing serious health problems. As previously stated, fitness trackers can help patients exercise more regularly and lose weight, which would reduce their risk of heart disease.

Additionally, more than half of those surveyed believe that mHealth applications can help consumers who are healthy remain at an optimal level of health. Also, nearly half – 48 percent – of survey takers think that the technologies within the mobile health industry may be able to help patients who were recently discharged from a hospital make a better transition to home-based care.

Most importantly, nearly all survey takers – 96 percent – believe that mobile health apps “improve their quality of life.” In addition, the survey illustrates that users of mHealth tools already improve their wellness and lifestyle through these technologies. For example, 60 percent use the tools to monitor their workouts while nearly half – 49 percent – use apps to record their calorie intake.

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Evaluation of the accuracy of smartphone medical calculation apps

Evaluation of the accuracy of smartphone medical calculation apps | healthcare technology |

Mobile phones with operating systems and capable of running applications (smartphones) are increasingly being used in clinical settings. Medical calculating applications are popular mhealth apps for smartphones. These include, for example, apps that calculate the severity or likelihood of disease-based clinical scoring systems, such as determining the severity of liver disease, the likelihood of having a pulmonary embolism, and risk stratification in acute coronary syndrome. However, the accuracy of these apps has not been assessed.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of smartphone-based medical calculation apps.


The results suggest that most medical calculating apps provide accurate and reliable results. The free apps that were 100% accurate and contained the most functions desired by internists were CliniCalc, Calculate by QxMD, and Medscape. When using medical calculating apps, the answers will likely be accurate; however, it is important to be careful when calculating MELD scores or Child-Pugh scores on some apps. Despite the few errors found, greater scrutiny is warranted to ensure full accuracy of smartphone medical calculator apps.

Read the entire publication abstract  at :
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Top mHealth apps as rated by doctors

Top mHealth apps as rated by doctors | healthcare technology |
HealthTap published a survey of the top physician-rated apps for both iOS and Android, and breaks it down into 30 separate categories.

HealthTap founder and CEO Ron Gutman said the company's goal is to give clinicians and consumers a guide to choosing apps that have been approved by doctors, rather than resorting to the user ratings found in app stores (HealthTap's AppRx app, by the way, has a healthy 4.72 star rating in the Apple App Store, he said). The apps are judged on three standards – ease of use, effectiveness and medical accuracy, validity and soundness. They're not given a number rating, but are ranked solely based on how many doctors would recommend them.

Top 10 Health and Medical Apps for Android

1. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)

2. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)

3. Lose It! (FitNow)

4. First Aid (American Red Cross)

5. RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk (FitnessKeeper)

6. Emergency First Aid/Treatment (Phoneflips)

7. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)

8. Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet (Fooducate)

9. Glucose Buddy – Diabetes Log (Azumio)

10. Pocket First Aid & CPR (Jive Media)

Top Health and Medical Apps for iOS

1. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker (

2. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)

3. Lose It! (FitNow)

4. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)

5. First Aid (American Red Cross)

6. Runkeeper (FitnessKeeper)

7. Stroke Riskometer (Autel)

8. Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide (Phoneflips)

9. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)

10. Fooducate (Foducate)

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Should we diagnose rare diseases with smartphones?

Should we diagnose rare diseases with smartphones? | healthcare technology |

An object in your pocket could help diagnose rare diseases like Ebola, finds David Robson – and one day it might even replace the doctor’s surgery too.

As fear of the Ebola virus escalates, Eric Topol thinks that we’re missing an important weapon. And you just need to reach into your pocket to find it. “Most communicable diseases can be diagnosed with a smartphone,” he says. “Rather than putting people into quarantine for three weeks – how about seeing if they harbour it in their blood?” A quicker response could also help prevent mistakes, such as the patient in Dallas who was sent home from hospital with a high fever, only to later die from the infection.

It’s a provocative claim, but Topol is not shy about calling for a revolution in the way we deal with Ebola – or any other health issue for that matter. A professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute in California, his last book heralded “the creative destruction of medicine” through new technology. Smartphones are already helping to do away with many of the least pleasant aspects of sickness – including the long hospital visits and agonising wait for treatment. An easier way to diagnose Ebola is just one example of these sweeping changes.

So far, however, few doctors have embraced these possibilities.  “The medical cocoon has not allowed a digital invasion,” says Topol, “while the rest of the world has already assimilated the digital revolution into its day-to-day life.” That’s not due to lack of demand: many patients are already monitoring their health through their phone, with apps that check your skin for cancer from a selfie, for example. These programs are not alwaysdesigned with the accuracy most doctors would require, however – and some fear that by missing a diagnosis and offering a false sense of security, they could cost lives. “The slower the healthcare system is in exploring these things, the more people are at risk by doing the exploration on their own,” says Estrin.

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nrip's insight:

My associates and I have built a mobile Ebola diagnosis and data collection prototype. If interested in exploring possible uses of the same for your organization, please drop me a message.

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Key iPhone apps for when your patient goes pulseless

Key iPhone apps for when your patient goes pulseless | healthcare technology |

First, check your pulse, then, open this app.

If it were that easy, we could all be stars of the Japanese TV drama as referenced in the Code Blue series. However, real life codes are usually all too hectic and stress inducing especially for the new graduating medical class that just started their intern year. Here, is reviewing the top iPhone “code” apps available on the market.

We should mention the obvious caveat — you should know how to handle code blue / ACLS scenarios without having to use an app or even without having to use the commonly used pamphlets people carry with them.  

That said — these apps can often times help you control the adrenaline that is flooding your veins in these high acuity settings.

Conclusion: Simple, effective
Price: Free on iPhone app store
Rating: 4 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 4, Price: 5, Real World Applicability: 4)
Rescue Code
Conclusion: Do not download
Price: $7.99
Rating: 0.5 Stars ( User Interface: 1, Multimedia: 1, Price: 0, Real World Applicability: 0)

Code Tracker

Conclusion: A great app in the making but it has not been updated since 2011. As an “orphaned” app it is useless. While I was excited about the previous medical app, it is now dead and unless we find a functional option, so will our patient!

The Code Runner Lite

Conclusion: Great app with two main features: 1) Protocol is that helps with prompts but does not allow editing and 2) thorough differential section for PEA protocol. This app is another orphaned app, so I recommend only the lite version and limit use to the differentials section for early learning (as those have not changed much with time).

Price: Free

Rating: 4 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 3, Price: 4, Real World Applicability: 4) The ability to work through a differential of Pulseless Electrical Activity makes The Code Runner Lite a good backup option for new interns, but with the timer for epinephrine at every four minutes and the app orphaned since 2010, users are still limited in their ability to run a full code without running into limitations of the medical apps. Unless we find a workable app soon, we are going to have to call an end to it.

CPR Pacer

Conclusion: Sometimes you need to keep to the basics.
Price: $0.99
Rating: 4 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 2, Price: 5, Real World Applicability: 4) At least we now have good CPR going, we now have the luxury of time to keep searching.


Conclusion: Still PDF format for code protocols, but it has a nice quizzes for learning.
Price: $2.99
Rating: 3 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 2, Price: 5, Real World Applicability: 2) Although still limited to PDF style format for the code protocols, this application does have the added features of including a timer, code quiz, and rhythm quiz. It still suffers from lack of medical input in its creation.

Code CPR

Conclusion: The style is great for editing but it does not offer the user much information, only a template that can be edited. This, however, is actually a plus in my mind.
Recommendations: Add easily accessible resources like The Code Runner Lite has offered
Price: $ 2.99
Rating: 4.5 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 5, Price: 4, Real World Applicability: 4)

Full Code Pro

Conclusion: Simple and effective
Recommendations: Add either audible or vibrating reminders as it is easy to miss the timers if you are not actively looking at the screen.
Price: $ 2.99
Rating: 4 Stars ( User Interface: 4, Multimedia: 3, Price: 4, Real World Applicability: 5)

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Can Mobile Technologies and Big Data Improve Health?

Can Mobile Technologies and Big Data Improve Health? | healthcare technology |

After decades as a technological laggard, medicine has entered its data age. Mobile technologies, sensors, genome sequencing, and advances in analytic software now make it possible to capture vast amounts of information about our individual makeup and the environment around us. The sum of this information could transform medicine, turning a field aimed at treating the average patient into one that’s customized to each person while shifting more control and responsibility from doctors to patients.

The question is: can big data make health care better?

“There is a lot of data being gathered. That’s not enough,” says Ed Martin, interim director of the Information Services Unit at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. “It’s really about coming up with applications that make data actionable.”

The business opportunity in making sense of that data—potentially $300 billion to $450 billion a year, according to consultants McKinsey & Company—is driving well-established companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and IBM to invest in technologies from data-capturing smartphone apps to billion-dollar analytical systems. It’s feeding the rising enthusiasm for startups as well.

Venture capital firms like Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as the corporate venture funds of Google, Samsung, Merck, and others, have invested more than $3 billion in health-care information technology since the beginning of 2013—a rapid acceleration from previous years, according to data from Mercom Capital Group. 

Paul's curator insight, July 24, 2014 12:06 PM

Yes - but bad data/analysis can harm it

Pedro Yiakoumi's curator insight, July 24, 2014 1:48 PM

Vigisys's curator insight, July 27, 2014 4:34 AM

La collecte de données de santé tout azimut, même à l'échelle de big data, et l'analyse de grands sets de données est certainement utile pour formuler des hypothèses de départ qui guideront la recherche. Ou permettront d'optimiser certains processus pour une meilleure efficacité. Mais entre deux, une recherche raisonnée et humaine reste indispensable pour réaliser les "vraies" découvertes. De nombreuses études du passé (bien avant le big data) l'ont démontré...

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Apple, IBM team to work on mHealth apps

Apple, IBM team to work on mHealth apps | healthcare technology |

It’s one of those thoughts many mHealth insiders and observers have at some point had: What if one could put the power of Watson analytics into a smartphone and interact with it like Apple’s Siri at the point of care?

Well, that specific dream moved closer to reality on Tuesday when Apple and IBM joined forces to create a mobile platform christened IBM Mobile First for iOS.

“For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a prepared statement. “This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty added that the intention is to bring the same “innovations [that] have transformed our lives,” into the ways that people work, thereby “allowing people to re-imagine work, industries, and professions.”

To that end, the companies hope that IBM Mobile First for iOS will “transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps,” they explained.

It’s not all that often technology giants align and rattle off healthcare as one of their target verticals, much less that Apple joins forces with any of the IT old guard — which gives the partnership a booster shot of luster. And in an mHealth industry currently going like gangbusters with too many startups to count, the sheer scale that Apple and IBM bring at the very least has the potential for significant market-shaping.

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Experiential Virtual Scenarios With Real-Time Monitoring for the Management of Psychological Stress

Experiential Virtual Scenarios With Real-Time Monitoring for the Management of Psychological Stress | healthcare technology |

Background: The recent convergence between technology and medicine is offering innovative methods and tools for behavioral health care. Among these, an emerging approach is the use of virtual reality (VR) within exposure-based protocols for anxiety disorders, and in particular posttraumatic stress disorder. However, no systematically tested VR protocols are available for the management of psychological stress.

Objective: Our goal was to evaluate the efficacy of a new technological paradigm, Interreality, for the management and prevention of psychological stress. The main feature of Interreality is a twofold link between the virtual and the real world achieved through experiential virtual scenarios (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and improve self-efficacy) with real-time monitoring and support (identifying critical situations and assessing clinical change) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, wearable biosensors, and smartphones).

Results: Although both treatments were able to significantly reduce perceived stress better than WL, only EG participants reported a significant reduction (EG=12% vs CG=0.5%) in chronic “trait” anxiety. A similar pattern was found for coping skills: both treatments were able to significantly increase most coping skills, but only EG participants reported a significant increase (EG=14% vs CG=0.3%) in the Emotional Support skill.

Conclusions: Our findings provide initial evidence that the Interreality protocol yields better outcomes than the traditionally accepted gold standard for psychological stress treatment: CBT. Consequently, these findings constitute a sound foundation and rationale for the importance of continuing future research in technology-enhanced protocols for psychological stress management.

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Intermountain researchers develop smartphone-based lab test for stress

Intermountain researchers develop smartphone-based lab test for stress | healthcare technology |

Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare have developed a smartphone-based test for measuring salivary cortisol, which can help care providers understand the patient’s stress levels. The test can be performed at the point of care in just five minutes.

When someone feels stress, their body’s natural response is to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, to help them deal with the “threat”. When cortisol is released, it increases glucose in the system, but also curbs nonessential functions including the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes.

When people feel stress throughout the day, thus releasing too much cortisol, it can lead to anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.

To perform the test, care providers use a smartphone’s camera to take a picture using the flash. From there, the image analysis app can identify the user’s cortisol levels. 

“When cortisol levels are overlooked too many people suffer and die because of excess or insufficient cortisol,” lead researcher and Intermountain Medical Center Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz said in a statement.

Ehrenkranz also believes this test will be especially helpful for people with diabetes.

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Why medical expertise is a must-have for mHealth tech development

Why medical expertise is a must-have for mHealth tech development | healthcare technology |
When it comes to designing, developing and building new mobile healthcare tools, many of the most successful ventures typically have one factor in common: accredited healthcare expertise.

Proof is evident in the foray the Mayo Clinic has made with mHealth technology, as well as other pilots and deployments led by the healthcare institution and providers.

"Our culture of learning, innovation, and the desire to find answers has allowed Mayo to remain at the forefront of health and wellness, and we want to extend this expertise to people anywhere," Paul Limburg, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, said in an announcement. "We collaborated with and invested in Better to create a powerful way for people to connect with Mayo Clinic in their homes and communities, wherever they are."

Other top medical institutions are also finding success with mHealth initiatives. For instance, Steven J. Hardy, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at Children's National Health System in the District of Columbia, wants to engage families and patients in conversations about how they're managing illness and use mobile gaming as the tool to do so.

Speaking with FierceMobileHealthcare in an exclusive interview, Hardy discussed a pilot the hospital is conducting for children with sickle cell disease. The kids play a game on a mobile platform (in this case, an iPad) that helps them with an often-overlooked symptom of sickle cell disease--memory loss.

And a Harvard Innovation Lab startup aims to bolster patient treatment by enhancing coordination and communication among caregivers with an mHealth app that lets healthcare teams text, share images and videos and always have a patient list within reach.

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Vigisys's curator insight, June 15, 2014 4:25 AM

De la nécessité d'impliquer les médecins, et notamment ceux qui ont une double compétence médecine - technologies de l'information, dans le design de la santé mobile, applications pour smartphones et tablettes, objets connectés etc. Beaucoup de médecins sont prêts à jouer le jeu, je crois, mais il faut d'abord définir le marché et les filières d'usage.

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The three critical factors wearable devices need to succeed

The three critical factors wearable devices need to succeed | healthcare technology |

Wearables may be the tech du jour, but the next generation of devices and services needs to focus more on keeping users engaged in the long-term. These three factors, based on behavioral science, can help them do just that.

1. Habit formation. Sustained engagement depends on a device or service’s ability to help the user form and stick with new habits. Wearable devices have the potential, all too often unrealized, to make the process of habit formation more effective and efficient than ever before. The best engagement strategies for wearables move beyond just presenting data (steps, calories, stairs) and directly address the elements of the habit loop (cue, routine, reward), triggering the deep-seated psychological sequences that lead to the establishment of new habits.

2. Social motivation. To sustain engagement beyond the initial habit formation, a device or service must be able to motivate users effectively. Social connections are a particularly powerful source of motivation that can be leveraged in many creative ways. In addition to using social connections to influence behavior, social media and networking sites can be exploited to alter habits for positive outcomes.

3. Goal reinforcement. To achieve sustained engagement, a user also needs to experience a feeling of progress toward defined goals. Research shows that achieving several smaller goals provides the positive momentum necessary for achieving bigger goals. Wearable products and services that help people experience continuous progress can do so, for example, through real-time updates that are powered by big data and insights. Facilitating personal progress in this way leads to improved health, user satisfaction and long-term sustained engagement.

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Do Doctors, Patients Take mHealth Seriously?

Do Doctors, Patients Take mHealth Seriously? | healthcare technology |

A survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) finds that, at most, 52 percent of primary care physicians have recommended that their patients use an mHealth app or device to track their health. Yet only 4 percent to 5 percent of consumers surveyed say their PCP has made such a recommendation


This means that either physicians are making the effort but their patients are ignoring the advice, or patients are looking for that guidance but it isn’t coming from their doctors.



the survey reached a familiar conclusion in how each generation perceives mHealth and telehealth.


It found that consumers rarely use video visits (only 5 percent total), but those age 34 and younger are twice as likely to use and want them than those age 65 and older.


The same discrepancy was seen in the use of text reminders for medication and health measurements and online scheduling tools.


more at :


Pharma Guy's curator insight, November 3, 2016 10:21 AM

Someone's not being truthful :)


Related articles: “AMA Survey Finds That Many Physicians Are Enthusiastic About Digital Health Tools, But Few Currently Use Them”; and “Do Patients Rely on Mobile Healthcare Apps More Than Their Doctors?”;

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Most mHealth App Users, Providers Say Apps Improve Quality of Life - iHealthBeat

Most mHealth App Users, Providers Say Apps Improve Quality of Life - iHealthBeat | healthcare technology |
A new survey shows 96% of mobile health application users and medical professionals believe mobile health apps "improve their quality of life."

Meanwhile, 86% of providers surveyed said mobile health apps will improve their knowledge of patients' medical conditions. 

For the survey, researchers polled 1,000 mobile health app users and 500 medical professionals.

Overall, the survey found that 96% of surveyed mobile health users and medical professionals said that mobile health apps "improve their quality of life."

Among mobile health app users, the survey found:

  • 60% use apps to monitor activity/workouts (Gruessner, mHealth Intelligence, 6/12);
  • 53% use apps as motivation to exercise;
  • 49% use apps to record calorie intake; and
  • 42% use apps to monitor weight loss (Research Now survey, June 2015). 

Among surveyed health care professionals, the survey showed:

  • 86% knowledge believe mobile health apps will increase their of their patients' medical conditions;
  • 76% believe the apps will help patients with chronic disease management (mHealth Intelligence, 6/12);
  • 61% believe the apps will help those who are at a high risk of developing health issues;
  • 55% believe the apps could help healthy individuals stay healthy;
  • 48% believe the apps could help patients recently discharged from a hospital; and
  • 46% believe the apps will improve their relationship with their patients.

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mHealthApps: A Repository and Database of Mobile Health Apps

mHealthApps: A Repository and Database of Mobile Health Apps | healthcare technology |

The market of mobile health (mHealth) apps has rapidly evolved in the past decade. With more than 100,000 mHealth apps currently available, there is no centralized resource that collects information on these health-related apps for researchers in this field to effectively evaluate the strength and weakness of these apps.


The objective of this study was to create a centralized mHealth app repository. We expect the analysis of information in this repository to provide insights for future mHealth research developments.


We focused on apps from the two most established app stores, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. We extracted detailed information of each health-related app from these two app stores via our python crawling program, and then stored the information in both a user-friendly array format and a standard JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format.


We have developed a centralized resource that provides detailed information of more than 60,000 health-related apps from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Using this information resource, we analyzed thousands of apps systematically and provide an overview of the trends for mHealth apps.


This unique database allows the meta-analysis of health-related apps and provides guidance for research designs of future apps in the mHealth field.

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Diabetes patients who use digital tools self-report better health - Survey

Diabetes patients who use digital tools self-report better health - Survey | healthcare technology |

New survey data from digital health agency Klick Health shows that diabetes patients who use digital tools to manage their health also feel healthier.

Klick Health employed Survey Sampling International (SSI) to poll 2,000 American adults with diabetes either online or via the telephone.

Based on responses about how they use technology to manage their health, they segmented the group into three categories: those who manage their health daily or weekly with integrated digital technologies (integrators), those who go online to seek health information on a monthly basis (seekers), and those who don’t use the internet to manage their health at all (traditionalists).

The integrators group, the true digital health users, made up just 18 percent of the sample, but 13 percent of integrators reported being in excellent health. Seekers made up 47 percent of the sample and 4 percent of seekers said they were in excellent health. Finally, the remaining 35 percent were traditionalists, and only 2 percent of that group reported being in excellent health. 

Because it’s a survey based on self-reported health status, the data doesn’t prove that connected patients are actually healthier than non-connected patients. But it does provide evidence that either they’re healthier or they believe they’re healthier, which is significant in and of itself.

Nineteen percent of patients reported using mobile technology for a health-related activity. Of these, most wanted more data-driven interactions with their doctors. Two-thirds said they would like an app to remind them to take their medication, 75 percent wanted apps to connect them with their doctors, and 78 percent were open to sharing personally-collected health data with their doctors.

Overall, 80 percent of the mobile connected group were interested in having an app recommended to them by their doctor.

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Diabète Côté Femme's curator insight, February 17, 2015 9:59 AM

le rôle des médecins dans la recommandation des applications clairement mis en lumière ...un article relevé par Rémy Teston 

Daerden Elena's curator insight, March 10, 2015 10:19 AM


Ralf's curator insight, August 22, 2016 8:45 PM
Great tool
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Few Doctors Use Personal Smartphones for EHR Access

Few Doctors Use Personal Smartphones for EHR Access | healthcare technology |

A new report finds that while nearly all physicians have a smartphone, few said they would use their personal phone to access electronic health records. Meanwhile, 70% of physicians said hospital IT organizations are not making adequate investments in physician mobile computing and communication.

The report found that doctors prefer to use consumer text messaging for clinical communication over secure messaging applications because it is simpler to do so.

Eighty-three percent of respondents expressed frustration over using an EHR system for clinical communication due to:

  • Inadequate messaging capabilities;
  • Limited usability; and
  • Poor interoperability

However, while 96% of physicians said they use smartphones, only 10% of those who do so said they would use them to access EHRs.

Meanwhile, 70% of respondents said they "believe that hospital IT organizations ... are making inadequate investments to address physician mobile computing and communication requirements at point of care."

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nrip's insight:

It would have been surprising if the report found it otherwise. The majority of todays EHR's are still clunky and have unfriendly workflows. Mobile users (including doctors obviously) will require interfaces which are clean and easy to navigate, and the mobile usage workflow must be extremely simple.

With a number of firms promoting their newer shiny EHRs with separate Mobile Specific versions , it will be interesting to see the results of such a study 24 -36 months down the line.

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6 Ways Technology is Helping to Fight Ebola

6 Ways Technology is Helping to Fight Ebola | healthcare technology |
As Ebola continues to ravish Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, people from all around the world are working together to stop the disease. In addition to the life saving work of medical staff, logisticians and community organizers, information and communication technology (ICT) is also playing a vital part in supporting their work. Below are six examples showing how ICT is already making a difference in the current Ebola crisis.

1. Tracing outbreaks with mapping and geolocation

2. Gathering Ebola information with digital data collection forms

3. Connecting the sick with their relatives using local Wi-Fi networks

4. Sharing and receiving Ebola information via SMS text messages

5. Mythbusting for diaspora communities via social media

6. Supporting translations of Ebola information remotely online


nrip's insight:

Adding to this list, my associates and I have built a mobile Ebola diagnosis and data collection prototype. If interested in exploring possible uses of the same for your organization, please drop me a message.

Lauren Silva's curator insight, October 8, 2014 8:06 PM

In an age where social media and technology affects the everyday human often, it is beneficial to view an article that details the benefits of technology in the world. This article doesn't specify how technology may stop ebola, it focuses more on how it can spread awareness, hope and understanding. The article doesn't pretend like the epidemic isn't happening, but instead focuses on the ups of what is. Family members can still communicate, awareness is spread, and information is reached all through technology.

nrip's comment, October 9, 2014 3:36 AM
@Lauren Silva Thanks for your comments
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:31 AM

The spread of Ebola is a worrying trend

which has gotten the attention of President Obama


WHO statements about the transmission of Ebola and the current status of the outbreak is scooped here:


Innovative means of using technology to curb the spread is welcome indeed.

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Mobile tech reshaping the health sector

Mobile tech reshaping the health sector | healthcare technology |

Your smartphone is not only your best friend, it's also become your personal trainer, coach, medical lab and maybe even your doctor.

"Digital health" has become a key focus for the technology industry, from modest startups' focus on apps to the biggest companies in the sector seeking to find ways to address key issues of health and wellness.

Apps that measure heart rate, blood pressure, glucose and other bodily functions are multiplying, while Google, Apple and Samsung have launched platforms that make it easier to integrate medical and health services.

"We've gotten to a point where with sensors either in the phone or wearables gather information that we couldn't do in the past without going to a medical center," says Gerry Purdy, analyst at Compass Intelligence.

"You can do the heart rate, mobile EKGs (electrocardiograms). Costs are coming down, and these sensors are becoming more socially acceptable."

The consultancy Rock Health estimates 143 digital health companies raised $2.3 billion in the first six months of 2014, already topping last year's amount.

Recent studies suggest that people who use connected devices to monitor health and fitness often do a better job of managing and preventing health problems.

A study led by the Center for Connected Health found that people who use mobile devices did a better job of lowering dangerous blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

A separate study published in the July 2014 issue of Health Affairs found that data collected by devices is not only useful for patients but can help doctors find better treatments.

"When linked to the rest of the available electronic data, patient-generated health data completes the big data picture of real people's needs, life beyond the health care system," said Amy Abernethy, a Duke University professor of medicine lead author of the study.

Some firms have even more ambitious plans for health technology.

Google, for example, is developing a connecting contract lens which can help monitor diabetics and has set up a new company called Calico to focus on health and well-being, hinting at cooperation with rivals such as Apple. And IBM is using its Watson supercomputer for medical purposes including finding the right cancer treatment.

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Could health apps save your life? That depends on the FDA

Could health apps save your life? That depends on the FDA | healthcare technology |

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates everything from heart monitors to horse vaccines, will soon have its hands full with consumer health apps and devices.

The vast majority of the health apps you’ll find in Apple’s or Google’s app stores are harmless, like step counters and heart beat monitors. They’re non-clinical, non-actionable, and informational or motivational in nature.

But the next wave of biometric devices and apps might go further, measuring things like real-time blood pressure, blood glucose, and oxygen levels.

More clinical apps

The FDA is charged with keeping watch on the safety and efficacy of consumer health products. Lately, that includes more clinical apps as well as devices you might buy at the drugstore, like a home glucose testing kit.

“It’s these apps that the FDA says it will regulate,” David Bates of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Physicians Organization told VentureBeat in June. These apps will have to go through the full 510(k) process,” he said.

Dr. Bates chaired a group to advise the FDA on how to review health apps for approval, and on how the FDA should advise developers.

“It was intended to help them think through the risk factors involved with these products and then give guidance on how to stay within the guidelines,” he said.

“The device makers were asking from some guidance from The FDA on what types of things would be accepted and what wouldn’t,” Bates said.

Bates believes the FDA wants to use a light regulatory touch when looking at new medical devices. “The FDA definitely wants innovation to continue in clinical devices,” he said. “In general the FDA knows that the vast majority of apps are just informational.”

The FDA’s final guidance focuses on a small subset of mobile apps that present a greater risk to patients if they do not work as intended.

Health apps go mainstream

The big software companies (Apple, Google, and Samsung) have brought attention to, and lent credibility to, apps and devices that do more than count steps. These companies are building large cloud platforms designed to collect health data from all sorts of health apps and devices.

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BlackBerry boosts mHealth interoperability with new OS

BlackBerry boosts mHealth interoperability with new OS | healthcare technology |

With the unveiling of a new clinical operating system for medical devices, BlackBerry is once again making a play for mHealth.

QNX Software Systems, which was acquired by BlackBerry in 2010, has released a new operating system that's billed as being IEC 62304-compliant. With its sights set on alleviating the regulatory and financial burden for device manufacturers, the operating system supports both single- and multicore devices based on ARMv7 and Intel x86 processors. The OS also features an application programming interface to make it compatible with other QNX operating systems, officials said.

"When it comes to medical device software, the OS sets the tone: Unless it provides the architecture to enable reliable operation and a clear audit trail to substantiate claims about its dependability, the entire process of device approval can be put in jeopardy," said Grant Courville, QNX's director of product management, in a July 15 press statement. "By providing an OS that has been independently verified to comply with the IEC 62304 standard, we are helping manufacturers reduce the cost and effort of developing devices that require regulatory approval from agencies such as the FDA, MDD and MHRA."

This is far from BlackBerry's first big move into the healthcare space. In April, the telecommunications behemoth lent financial support to cloud-based health IT company NantHealth, a startup spearheaded by billionaire healthcare mogul Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD.

"We've built supercomputers that can do the genomic analysis in real-time; we've built super computers that can actually take feeds of CT scans from EMRs and feed it directly to mobile devices. All of that, regardless of where it comes from, regardless of the EMR, regardless of the device, whether it be via ventilator, or IV tube, we're agnostic to, and it speaks to this operating system," said Soon-Shiong.

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5 Myths About Consumer Use of Digital Healthcare Services

5 Myths About Consumer Use of Digital Healthcare Services | healthcare technology |

A recent international survey by the McKinsey & Company consulting firm addresses some myths about consumer use of digital healthcare services.

Many healthcare executives believe that, due to the sensitive nature of medical care, patients don’t want to use digital services except in a few specific situations. Decision makers often cite relatively low usage of digital healthcare services. Results of this survey however reveal something quite different. 

The 5 myths debunked by this survey are as follows

Myth 1: People don’t want to use digital services for healthcareMyth 2: Only young people want to use digital services

Myth 3: Mobile health is the game changer
Myth 4: Patients want innovative features and apps
Myth 5: A comprehensive platform of service offerings is a prerequisite for creating value

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Apple adds a step-counter, caffeine tracking to iPhones with iOS 8

Apple adds a step-counter, caffeine tracking to iPhones with iOS 8 | healthcare technology |

The latest beta version of iOS 8 adds a pair of new health-tracking data points to the Health app and one of them won’t even need manual data entry or a wearable device if you have a newer iPhone.

Apple’s iOS 8 Health app can track dozens of health stats through other apps and devices, providing a full picture of your well-being. Now, it can track two more things and one of them can be measured by the iPhone itself.

AppleInsider installed the latest beta version of iOS 8, which was made available on Monday, and found two new functions for Health. First is a step counter card that works directly with the M7 co-processor inside the iPhone 5s — and presumably the next iPhones as well. Second is a new caffeine intake card. Since the M7 chip can’t track that, you’ll likely have to manually enter your caffeine data or use a third-party app such as Jawbone’s UP Coffee.

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Mobile Apps for Cancer Patients

Mobile Apps for Cancer Patients | healthcare technology |

Which apps can be used by chronic cancer patients to help them with their illness and overall health?

There are literally thousands of medical apps in the marketplace and it is very difficult to sift through them and find out which ones are easy to use, practical and helpful.

Joan Justice  did some research, asked some patients, and read a lot of reviews to try and get an idea of which ones were helpful for chronic cancer patients and published this...

It includes some of my recommendations: ClinicalTrialsSeek and Pillboxie along with many others...

read the article here :

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