Exploring New Health Technologies

Monitoring Vital SignsBy Beth Kelly

There are more new health technologies on the market than ever before. Mobile phones and tablets provide health apps, many of which are capable of interacting with wearable fitness tracking devices. Trackers and their accompanying apps, which can be used to measure heart rate and steps per day, take medical awareness a step further than programs that simply focus on caloric intake.

EDITOR: While the accuracy of many of these wearable devices disappoint medical professionals, the simple ability to track progress, no matter how accurate, is a big step forward. And accuracy will improve over time with better sensor technology.

Managing diabetes and other medical illnesses, losing weight, and obtaining a higher level of health has never been easier as a result of the new technologies. Read More …

Four Health Monitoring Apps for Caretakers

Health Monitoring Apps

According to a survey by Manhattan Research, some 95 million Americans used their smartphones in 2013 to find health information or to use it as a healthcare tool. That’s an increase of 20 million from the previous year but just the tip of the iceberg. According to information published by the FDA, this market is exploding, and they expect to see 500 million users worldwide using health care apps by 2015, growing to 50% of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users by 2018.

The Manhattan research revealed that for 38% of mobile phone users, their device has already become essential for locating health and medical information. This is good news for caretakers who are charged with monitoring a senior’s health because of the many outstanding, cutting edge apps available.

With some 7,000 health & wellness apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad alone, deciding which to download may seem overwhelming, as we described two two years ago in How to Find Mobile Apps for Home Health Care. These four, however, can provide you with a good start. Read More …

Top Home Tech for Seniors [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Tech for Seniors and Caregivers infographic courtesy of Home Access Products.

With innovations in health care, medicine, and nutrition, it’s no surprise that Americans are getting older. By 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be over 65– and nearly 90% of them want to stay in their own homes as they age.

As aging in place continues to rise, seniors are increasingly looking towards technology to stay safe and connected. From personal alert systems to cell phones and tablets, seniors are embracing technology and all of its benefits. Whether aging seniors are tech-savvy, or prefer simple ways of communicating at home, these products and services can assist seniors with safety, entertainment, health/wellness, communication, and assistance. Read More …

Smart Car Features for Older Drivers

Nearly Nine in 10 Seniors Drive a Car that Doesn’t Fit their Aging Needs

AAA research helps “silver tsunami” match vehicle features to health concerns

Click to read about the future of driverless cars.

This photo by Henry Fountain pictures one of Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. The Lexus hybrid has a range-finder on top but otherwise looks reasonably conventional. We may eventually be able to buy cars that drive themselves (see comment below), and three states already license experimental models for operation on public roads, but until they’re commercially available, AAA offers advice on selecting car features for older drivers.

Washington, D.C., (Dec. 3, 2012) – With nearly 90 percent of motorists 65 and older suffering from health issues that affect driving safety, finding a car that not only adapts to conditions, such as lack of flexibility or muscle strength, while maintaining safety and comfort can be difficult. Data from a new AAA survey also reveals that only one in 10 senior drivers with aging health issues are driving a vehicle that has features like keyless entry and larger dashboard controls that can assist with such conditions.

To better equip the “silver tsunami” for driving safety and comfort, AAA has updated its Smart Features for Older Drivers resource to address a broader range of health conditions and include new data on 2012 vehicle features. As a leading advocate for senior driver safety, AAA launched Smart Features for Older Drivers in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation in 2008. In the update, Smart Features identifies vehicle features that optimize older driver safety and comfort, lists current vehicles with those features, and allows users to explore their individual needs through an interactive online tool.  Read More …

Scanadu’s smartphone-enabled home diagnostics

Scanadu Unveils Family of New Tools to Revolutionize Consumer Healthcare

Scanadu SCOUTNASA-Based Company Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA – November 29, 2012

Scanadu, a new personalized health electronics company, today unveiled the first three products in its family of consumer health tools: Scanadu SCOUT, Project ScanaFlu and Project ScanaFlo. Based at NASA-Ames Research Center, Scanadu is using mobile, sensor and social technology to ensure this is the last generation to know so little about our health. The newly introduced home diagnostic tools are set to be the biggest innovation in home medicine since the invention of the thermometer.

Founded in 2010 by Walter de Brouwer after a family medical emergency, Scanadu is using imaging and sound analysis, molecular diagnostics, data analytics and a suite of algorithms to create devices that offer a comprehensive, real-time picture of your health data. The company is also participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, which looks to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand, as well as the Nokia Sensing X Challenge, which seeks to revolutionize digital healthcare. Read More …

Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPABy Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

[Original post, “Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?” published on The Huffington Post on 7/23/12 in the Healthy Living/Health News Section.]

The Wild West of mobile health (mHealth) is taking the health care industry by storm, but “there are no rules to the game,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., founder and director at the Center for Connected Health in a recent interview. Mobile health is a “game changer,” he added, but there is a lot of hype because there are a lot of people developing health apps just to “get rich quick.”

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Five Reasons Why mHealth is Not Going Away

Click for larger image of Basic Telehealth System, connecting patients, sensor devices, caregivers, and healthcare services

Five Reasons Why mHealth is Not Going Away
(despite the Hype-haters)

By David Lee Scher, MD

One feels almost assaulted by financial projections of the mHealth market every day.  Extrapolations from the increasing use of smartphones, the use of iPads by physicians, the adoption of patient portals by insurers, and research of the Internet for medical purposes are commonplace.  Occasionally there will be a welcomed “Let’s bring it back to Earth” post, but  I can almost predict verbatim the final paragraphs of some of these predictions.

Mobile health is part of the overall movement of the digitization of healthcare.  While adoption of these technologies will take a while to occur for a variety of reasons, (many of which have been the subject of other posts by this author), it would not be fair to let the hype become the face of the industry and an easy target of critics.

These technologies WILL become a major part of healthcare for the following reasons: Read More …

Wireless Health as Cure for U.S. Healthcare Business

The Battle for Wireless Health May Help Cure an Ailing US Healthcare Business

U.S. Business School War Game Predicts Mergers and New Services to Gain Affluent Boomer Market ShareWar Games and the Battle for Wireless Healthcare

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Healthcare technology companies – ranging from large such as GE to startups like Independa – will need to find partners and cater to the affluent Baby Boomer generation and their caregivers if they are to take the lead in wireless health, an industry that promises to help reduce much of the estimated $2.5 trillion of wasted resources in the global healthcare system. This was among the predictions of a national war gaming contest held between four top business schools and run by Fuld & Company last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read More …

The Caregiver: Key to mHealth

By David Lee Scher, MD

The caregiver is an individual who attends to the needs of a child or dependent adult.

Parent as caregiver for her child

There is an estimated ten million caregivers over the age of 50 caring for their parents in the USA.  Caregivers attend to people who are predominantly relatives (86%), with 36% being parents and 14% being children.  One third of caregivers take care of two or more people.  Much has been said about the need for patient engagement and people taking more responsibility for their own care, however caregivers have the unique responsibilities of their own care as well as their charged.  That being said, they require mHealth tools that address both issues.  I will discuss the role of mHealth and the role of the caregiver.  This will not be an endorsement of any specific product.

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eCaring: a Home Care Management & Monitoring System

From Press Release…

eCaring™ Develops Breakthrough Home Health Care Management System

eCaring Creates Easy To Use Web-Based Home Care Management And Monitoring
Systems For Families, Home Health Care Workers, And Doctors

Contact: Robert Herzog, (917)-743-4347 or (347)-946-0080; info@ecaring.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 7th 2011 – eCaring™ LLC today announced the launch of its new home health care management and monitoring system that enables home care recipients to live at home longer, with better quality of care, at lower cost.  eCaring’s breakthrough web-based system enables everyone involved with home health care—from family members to home care providers to doctors—to receive up-to-date, useful information on the care, conditions, activities and status of home health care patients.  eCaring also announced today that it will offer a 75% discount for life to those families accepted into its beta test.

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Competition in the Telehealth Market Set to Intensify

pie chart showing the Relative Proportions of Telehealth Gateway Transmission in 2020

Relative Proportions of Telehealth Gateway Transmission – 2020. Source: InMedica

Competition in the Telehealth Market to Intensify

PRESS RELEASE: Date: 28 November 2011

With a global revenue forecast of $990 million by 2015 (InMedica) the Telehealth market is already attracting a host of suppliers and innovators at various points in the value chain. In a new whitepaper, “Competitive Dynamics in the World Telehealth Market – 2011 to 2020”, InMedica assesses the current telehealth ecosystem and forecasts how it will change over the next ten years.

The major parts of the ecosystem include peripheral device suppliers – blood pressure monitors, glucose meters etc; gateway suppliers – health hubs and mobile gateways; and data transmission service providers – POTS, cellular and broadband.

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Healthcare meets Bluetooth Low Energy technology

 

By Wayne Caswell

Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy is transforming the healthcare industry, creating efficiencies and promoting responsible personal health monitoring, as shown by the innovators in this category. The finalists include:

1. Pancreum LLC created the CoreMD, a wireless communication and power infrastructure for low-cost replaceable/disposable wearable medical devices for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases that can sense body conditions (temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, interstitial glucose, etc) and/or deliver subcutaneous drugs (insulin, glucagon, vasopressors, etc).

2. Dan Corkum smart medicine caps took advantage of the unique advantages of Bluetooth low energy technology to develop a connected medicine packaging and treatment adherence aid system that transmits data on whether the patient is taking his medicine correctly to physicians or support personnel.

3. Arturas Vaitaitis and Jung Bae Kim submitted a concept for an ID wristband and health monitor for newborn infants that includes a motion sensor, monitors the baby’s activity, and prevents sudden infant death syndrome by sending vital data via Bluetooth technology to a smartphone/computer.
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Wireless devices to change medicine

Wireless devices will dramatically change how medicine is practiced

Stephen C Schimpff, MDBy Stephen C. Schimpff, MD (originally published at KevinMD.com)

I interviewed about 150 medical leaders just a few years ago for my book The Future of Medicine – Megatrends in Healthcare. Not one mentioned wireless devices as a coming megatrend. How fast the world changes! Nowadays everyone has a cell phone and we rarely stop to think that just two decades ago almost no one had them. We have a laptop or tablet computer that can access information from the web at very high rates of speed; again it is hard to remember when this wasn’t so. And those with smart phones have numerous “apps” – to check traffic conditions, find the nearest Starbucks, or play games. But these and other devices that use wireless technology will lead to major changes in the delivery of health care in the coming years. This is another of those coming medical megatrends.

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FDA to regulate Mobile Medical Apps, seeks public input

Devices once used only by medical professionals in institutions are getting smaller and cheaper and finding their way into mobile devices. Some are also going into consumer households, so the U.S. Food & Drug Administration wants to regulate them to ensure the health, safety and welfare of citizens.

FDA regulated Mobile Medical Apps

On July 19, 2011 the FDA announced it is seeking input on its oversight approach for “mobile medical applications” (apps) that are designed for use on smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices. On September 12-13 the Agency held a workshop to clarify its intent and approach and to provide a forum for discussion. Visit this site for workshop details and how to submit comments by October 19.

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Are we Bringing Health Care Home or Sending it Overseas?

Doctors at We Care Health Services, IndiaGet ready for outsourced health care. Last week I wrote TeleHealth: The Doctor Will See You Now, Remotely, but what if Remotely means someplace in India or China?

As Dr. David Lee Scher notes, interest in mHealth is driven by several factors, including:

  1. The rising costs of health care;
  2. The worsening shortage of primary care physicians, and an even greater shortage of specialists;
  3. The shift away from diagnosis-related fee for service management of diseases to reimbursement based on wellness & measured outcomes; and
  4. The advent of more widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs).

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TeleHealth: The Doctor Will See You Now, Remotely

Basic Telehealth System, connecting patients, sensor devices, caregivers, and healthcare services

Derived from a paper by Iboun Taimiya Sylla, Texas Instruments

There’s a fairly new option for after-hours medical care that connects you with practitioners anytime, anywhere.  It’s called Telehealth or Telemedicine, and it’s offered by companies like American WellMyNowClinic, and OptumHealth.

Hospitals already use high-speed Internet connections to share medical information among specialists within the facility or in different locations. And they can even put a rural patient in front of a big city specialist miles away. But as Internet use permeates people’s everyday lives, health care professionals are able to connect with patients in real time over any distance without traveling or scheduling an office visit. Previously when you were sick, you had to go to the doctor. Now she can come to you, electronically 24/7. Some services also provide in-home visits by physician assistants to supplement telehealth.

“While having access to a doctor outside of normal office hours is a popular telehealth service, it isn’t the only one. Doctors can also Read More …

11 predictions for the Mobile Health market

wearable wireless sensorsOver the past 3 years, research firms including ABI, Chilmark, IDC, In-Stat, InMedica, Juniper, and Manhattan have prediced the future size of and eventual revenues generated by mobile health services.” In this article, MobiHealthNews gathers them into its own set of predictions for the next five years of mobile health.

  1. 14% of smartphone users to use Mobile Health Apps in 2011
  2. 81% of Physicians using Smart Phones by 2012
  3. Read More …