Tablets | Smartphones | iPad | Android
Based almost entirely on an article by Stacy Lu,
Freelance Writer and TEDMED.com Blog Editor
Imagine a comprehensive, clinically relevant well-patient checkup using only smartphone-based devices. The data is immediately readable and fully uploadable to an electronic health record. The patient understands — and even participates — in the interaction far beyond faking a cough and gulping a deep breath. For real?
Johns Hopkins medical student and Medgadgeteditor Shiv Gaglani says it is not only possible, but may in fact be the checkup of the future. Gaglani and a team of current and future physicians will do a first-of-its kind demo of a “smartphone physical” for hundreds of attendees at TEDMED 2013 on April 16 to 19 in Washington, D.C.
The checkup will capture quantitative and qualitative data, ranging from simple readings of weight and blood pressure to more complex readings such as heart rhythm strips and optic discs. Measurements and instruments will include: Read the rest of this entry »
Swiss researchers have unveiled a prototype “lab on a chip” that is surgically implanted in the interstitial tissue just beneath the skin, where it analyzes compounds in the blood, and sends results to a phone or tablet through wireless radio connections.
How does it work? The microchip has seven chemical & molecular sensors and gets inductive power from a patch worn on top of the skin. Every 10 minutes the collected data is sent through the patch and a Bluetooth connection to a patient or doctor via smartphone or tablet.
Although the device will not be widely available for at least a few years, its potential practical applications are widespread and include:
- Glucose monitoring in diabetics, more frequently and without a finger prick.
- Post surgery patient monitoring
- Facilitate predictive medicine, including a pending heart attack
- Measure metabolism and drug absorption
- Athletes monitoring fluids & nutrition
In Will Mobile ‘Virtual Assistants’ Propel the Future of Medicine?, the author portrays mHealth and virtual assistants as time savers for practitioners, but I take a different view and commented on his article, mentioning an important new documentary (see below).
He said …
With this evolution of mobility in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about what a mobile “virtual assistant” could mean for clinicians. In today’s health care setting, far too much clinician time is spent on administrative tasks that, while important, pales in comparison to the significance of their main job duty — ensuring the health and well-being of actual people. But what if we could help clinicians tackle administrative and other day-to-day duties by enlisting the power of a fleet of mobile virtual assistants that: help clinicians simplify interactions and address data-entry headaches with electronic health records (EHRs); provide real-time insight on the next patient, including vital signs and medications; or even prompt them for more information when the record does not contain the level of detail needed to ensure first-rate care?
(Jonathon Dryer is Director of Mobile Marketing for Nuance Communications).
I do love smartphones and tablets (especially the Apple iPhone & iPad). They’re like having a powerful computer in your pocket and support all sorts of mHealth (mobile health) apps, but I have to admit they aren’t for everyone.
As I read through the 13 articles about “Advancing the mHealth Ecosystem,” I remembered today’s conversation with a dear friend that expanded my perspective. She’s about to give up her iPhone 4 and go back to using a flip-phone. Since I often promote Apple smartphones and tablets for seniors (she’s not yet 60), and my wife talked her into the iPhone a year ago, this was a bit of a shock, so I had her explain. Read the rest of this entry »
What is mHealth, and does the term stand for Mobile Health or Modern Health?
That’s the subject of a an online discussion started by David Doherty, moderator of a LinkedIn group interested in using mobile technologies to improve health. He started the discussion to support my view that any definition of mHealth that only includes smartphones is both limiting and arrogant. This article supports that discussion by expanding the definition of mHealth and what’s included.
Much of this article builds on an earlier article that I wrote in May 2012, where I addressed confusion among syllogisms, using the analogy that Lions & Tigers are both Animals, but not all Animals are Lions or Tigers. Likewise, there are some confusing overlaps among the terms mHealth, eHealth, Wireless Health, Telehealth, and Modern Health. And the devices that serve these market segments overlap too, so I must discuss them collectively.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be your electronics.
As I wrote in How Light effects Melatonin and Sleep, the hormone melatonin helps regulate our sleep & wake cycles (the circadian clock). Production of this hormone is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light, and that helps explain why we have trouble with jet lag, shift work, and winter months with fewer daylight hours. But it’s not just the availability or intensity of light; it’s also the color temperature, and it’s been that way for thousands of years.
We’re genetically programmed to get sleepy at dark and wake in the light of day, but man’s DNA has not evolved as fast as electricity or electronics. The flickering flame of a campfire, with its warm orange glow, plays a role in getting our bodies ready for sleep, as does the bright morning sunlight that helps us wake up. So it’s not surprising that the cool blue light of a television, PC, or tablet does the same thing.
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
As smartphones get smarter and speech recognition apps like SIRI and Google Now learn more about you personally and start acting on your behalf, offering information or suggestions before you even think to ask, what will that learned knowledge be worth? What if the knowledge is about you personally — your health needs and medications, your personal traits and preferences and habits, what makes you happy and makes you feel good, or what makes you money? Will AI developers be able to build new barriers-to-entry and gain a significant competitive advantage by treating collected knowledge as proprietary, making it hard to justify a shift to competing products?
photo by: S. Patel, Univ. of Washington
SpiroSmart is a research app to let people test their lung function using only a smartphone.
App lets you monitor lung health using only a smartphone
By Hannah Hickey, University of Washington
9/12/2012 | People suffering from asthma or other chronic lung problems are typically only able to get a measure of their lung function at the doctor’s office a few times a year by blowing into a specialized piece of equipment. More frequent testing at home could detect problems earlier, potentially avoiding emergency room visits and hospitalization.
A new tool from researchers at the University of Washington, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s hospital lets people monitor their lung function at home or on the go simply by blowing into their smartphones. A paper presented this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing showed results that came within 5 percent of commercial devices, meaning it already meets the medical community’s standards for accuracy.
“There’s a big need in the pulmonary community to make testing cheaper and more convenient,” said lead researcher Shwetak Patel, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering. “Other people have been working on attachments for the mobile phone that you can blow into. We said, ‘Let’s just try to figure out how to do it with the microphone that’s already there.’”
That was the sentiment of Get old, tune out: Is technology leaving the elderly in the dust? I stumbled upon this article and had to comment, because I thought it missed an important point. The article was written from the perspective of a 30-year-old after assisting his 60-some-year-old father-in-law and gives you insight into how younger people view seniors.
“These older folks lack the base-line understanding that people of my age (early 30s) received,” he said, and he was right. But it has less to do with basic understanding and more to do with how older people learn and adopt technology. Product designers, especially young ones, need to understand this lesson.
All product designers should see www.mhealthtalk.com/2011/09/webcam-101/. It’s a short video of a cute elderly couple trying to use their new PC and includes a link to a related article presenting the Apple iPad as a much simpler solution. Using any new technology can be daunting because of how seniors learn, and that contrasts with how young kids, or adults who grew up with tech, learn. Read the rest of this entry »