Intel-GE Care Innovations, a critique

Care Innovations™ is a unique joint venture that brings together GE’s expertise in healthcare and Intel’s technology expertise 
— to help change the way health care is delivered.

I’ve worked with Intel before in the wireless standards area and have great respect for the company. And I also like their approach to market development, which often starts with ethnographic market research to understand the people who use technology products rather than starting with what’s technically possible. But in this case I question their design choices, because I think they ignored widely accepted standards and mainstream opportunities. Let me explain. Read More …

Telemedicine becoming the new house call


Travis Proctor logged onto his computer, turned on his new webcam and clicked his mouse. Within seconds, the 42-year-old father of three was face to face with Dr. Kelvin Burton, his primary care physician.

Just months ago, Proctor would have had to drive for nearly an hour round-trip from his home in Powder Springs to Burton’s Douglasville family care practice just for a checkup. Not anymore. (Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

The referenced article by Gracie Bonds Staples prompted a Linkedin discussion where I couldn’t help but respond. Here’s what I said:

Telemedicine includes video calls with patients, video consultations among specialists, remote monitoring of sensor devices, and more, all aimed at increasing service, improving outcomes, and lowering costs.

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How to Find Mobile Apps for Home Health Care

App overload on Smartphone: more or smarter?Try Appolicious and let us know what you think in the comments below.

This article was originally published in June 2011 but is republished due to high interest in finding apps. It’s based on The Best Tools to Help you Discover New Mobile Apps, by Hillel Fuld, but I removed CHOMP, since that search tool seems to have disappeared.

Back in June ’11, there were over 500,000 iOS apps (for iPhone, iPad and iPod) and 250,000 Android apps, as well as apps for BlackBerry, Nokia, WebOS, Windows Phone 7, and other platforms. They’re almost all quite affordable or free, and many are dedicated to health and fitness. But the number is still so overwhelming that finding what you need a challenge.

The tremendous variety is good news for consumers, but how do you find the best apps for your needs and filter out the junk? It’s so out of control that startups and established companies are responding with even more apps – to help you find apps.

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A Totally New Healthcare System

KingOfTheWorldFive months ago I posted a challenge on Linkedin titled, “Innovative Ideas for a Totally New Healthcare System?” and it generated a discussion that’s been active for 5 months now with over 900 responses from different perspectives worldwide.

As a fun exercise to stimulate creative, out-of-box thinking, pretend you have all been appointed to the new World Health Commission by the new King of the World (or whatever title you prefer). You have absolute power to determine health strategy, for the whole world. Think like a child, and forget the constraints you’re used to dealing with as adults. There are no financial hurdles, no political worries, no cultural barriers, no legacy to contend with, no managers looking over your shoulders, and no imposed time frames. What is it that patients, providers and society seek from healthcare? Why can’t they get that now? Starting with a completely blank canvas, what would be the objectives of the new System? Imagine potential roadblocks and how we might overcome them.

The discussion has evolved, and most participants have come in and out of it, but Clifford Thornton posted one of the longest and most thoughtful replies and gave me permission to reprint it here.

A Totally New Healthcare System

By Clifford Thornton

Wow sir, a blank sheet; this is a dynamic exercise.

I came into the healthcare field about 9 years ago from a marketing strategy business background in the cable/telecommunication industry. Let me say that I cannot think or even imagine a bigger contrast in terms of quality of service, efficiencies, level of customer satisfaction, duplication of service levels, delivery, and range/availability of services.

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CES 2012 … in Pajamas


Did you go to CES this year? What struck you as a highlight (comment below)?

If you didn’t get to go, CES 2012 in Pajamas gives you all of the insight with none of the hassle or expense. This 12-page virtual trip report combines a healthcare and consumer electronics perspective so you can:

  • Learn what the analysts and pundits said.
  • Know about key trends from different perspectives.
  • Discover cool products for digital health & wellness.
  • See the products in action with over 4.5 hours of video.
  • And discover who was missing and the significance.


  • About CES
  • Getting the Most from this Report
  • General Media Coverage of CES
  • Is CES becoming Irrelevant?
  • It’s All about the Platform & Ecosystem
  • Smarter, Thinner Televisions
  • Smarter, Thinner PC & Tablets
  • Smartphones & mHealth
  • Healthy Games
  • Home Networking & Energy Management
  • Robots

Be part of the Future of Healthcare. Our in-home evaluation is a fun and education survey that helps medical researchers collect autonomous health information so they can find unexpected correlations and find new treatments. It’s part of the Next Frontier for Big Data.

A Consumer Electronics Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year in 2012. As for me, I can hardly imagine a better one, filled with family… and electronics.

Our son visited for 3 days with his pretty wife and our 7 month old granddaughter. What a treat. It ended too soon, and Yvonne and I miss them already. That helps explain our Electronics Christmas.

We’re like baby boomers split between keeping up with their adult kids and grandkids while also caring for elderly parents, but since our parents are long gone our attention is laser focused on our only son and his family. That’s why I’ve long wanted a good video conference system – to lessen the need for 4-hour trips to Dallas to see them.

Apple FaceTime Read More …

Smartphones starting to bring Hospital Care Home

To see how far technology is taking medicine, contrast the AliveCor iPhone ECG (watch video) to traditional electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) machines that cost upwards of $10,000. They both record electrical activity of the heart for analysis, but the iPhone app is portable and cheap and no longer constrained to clinical settings.

Smartphones faster than mainframe computers

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Walt Mossberg blasts medical consumer products

In his TEDMED 2010 talk, Walt Mossberg, Technology Journalist for the Wall Street Journal, shares his thoughts about medical consumer products. He’s clearly a fan of Apple’s iPad and iPhone but laments the lack of really useful consumer medical products like good blood glucose monitors. Thankfully, we’ve seen lots of innovation in 2011, but I wonder if it’s enough to change Walt’s mind. Watch the video and let us know what YOU think with a Reply below.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet challenges Apple iPad

Amazon Kindle Fire

See comments for Cautions & Reviews

Amazon Kindle, including the high-end Kindle Fire, is quickly becoming the second-fastest selling tablet in the market. Sales are projected to reach 3.9 million units in 4Q’11, giving it a 13.8% global market share, which is second only to Apple’s 65.6% share, according to IHS Research. In total, 64.7 million tablets are expected to ship in 2011, up 273% from last year and on tract to reach 287.2 million units 2015.

The Kindle Fire is less than half the price of the iPad2, which starts at $499. It does less, but if all you want it for is entertainment (books, music & movies), shopping, and online web browsing, then the $199 price sounds pretty good. Kindle Fire is sold at a loss (less than the $201.70 manufacturing cost) in hopes of making profit from content and online shopping. The purchase price even includes a one year subscription to Amazon Prime, a $79/year service offering free 2-day shipping with any Amazon purchase.
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Apple iPad helps autistic people communicate

As a companion piece to a “60 Minutes” interview with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, CBS focused on how touch-screen tablet computers — like the Apple iPad — are helping non-verbal autistic children communicate with their parents. It’s one more example of iPad accessibility and why we think it’s the ideal computing device for seniors.

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 …

Telikin, a Boomer-optimized Touch Screen Computer

Links to cnet review of Telikin by Rich BrownTelikin is a new all-in-one, touch-screen computer optimized for seniors. It forgoes the Microsoft Windows operating system for a custom version of Linux and is billed as “quite possibly the world’s easiest computer.” Telikin comes with several useful software applications pre-installed, so you can just plug it in, connect to the Internet, and you’re ready to go, according to the website, but it still requires someone capable of doing that. It comes in two sizes with a 18.6-inch or 20-inch display and slightly .

After power-on, the system presents a home screen designed for accessibility. Use the mouse, or tap the always-visible sidebar menu with your finger, to access the applications, which include video chat, email, photos, calendar, address book, weather, news, web browsing, games, calculator, CD & DVD player,  file browser, word processor, and common utilities.

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Extending Telepresence & Telemedicine to Patients’ Homes

VIDYO conference between Doctor & Patient (on YouTube)

Jill bought a high-def webcam for her PC when it went on sale for $40 so she could make Skype video calls with Suzie, her daughter in Houston, and keep up with the two grandkids. Suzie has an Apple iPhone4, which came with FaceTime, but she had to install the free Skype app to talk with her mom. That’s because FaceTime and Skype don’t talk to each other.

Jill found video calls so engaging that she got her 85-year-old mom an iPad 2 so she could be included in the calls and see the great grandkids more often by video chat.

As I wrote in An iPad for All Ages, this is an ideal device for aging parents who have never used a computer. It’s also ideal for connecting with healthcare professionals, but not until different hardware platforms can be on the same call, including iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, television, and enterprise telepresence systems.

I wrote about Video Conferencing for Home Healthcare in March, described the various options, and complained of incompatibilities between systems. Now I’m happy to write this follow-up to say that solutions are on the way. Thanks to the readers who shared their personal experiences and inspired this article.

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Blood Pressure Monitor for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Connected Blood Pressure Monitor for iPad, iPhone and iPod touchWithings Announces US Availability of its
Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Withings combines sophisticated technology and design to transform an ordinary
blood pressure monitor into an accurate health self-monitoring device

Paris, France June 20, 2011 @ 9:00 AM EST– Today, French technology company Withings announced the US availability of its Blood Pressure Monitor (BPM) for iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®. This Withings BPM, including blood pressure cuff and companion Withings App, is a modern way to measure and record blood pressure readings in the personal and professional arenas.

With more than 25% of the world’s population* affected by hypertension, Withings has combined advanced technology and sophisticated design to create a medical device that is visually attractive, accurate and easy to use at home, in a professional setting or on the go.
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An iPad for All Ages

No computer skills required … and now no computer either


iPad for the Ages - from Toddlers to Seniors

Flickr photo credits: Toddler by, Senior by Courosa, licensed under Creative Commons


Everyone says the Apple iPad is intuitive, easy to learn, and easy to use. It almost seems tailored to toddlers and seductive to seniors. Grandparents and great grandparents with no prior computer experience can reconnect with family and make new friends online with email, social media, and video conferencing. But as easy and seductive as  iPad is, it still required a PC or Mac in order to download or upgrade its software. Not any more. Apple changed that last week with its iCloud announcement and its latest iOS 5 operating system.

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Apple iCloud has implications for home health care

I amended this post with new information shown in red.

On June 6, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs introduced iCloud, a new service that addresses a growing problem of keeping our devices in sync, especially since they now each have the ability to create and store data, images, music, and video.

iCloud stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices. The service automatically uploads the content, stores it, and pushes it to your other devices, and it’s completely integrated with your apps. That way everything happens automatically, and there’s nothing new to buy or learn. As Jobs put it, “It just all works.”

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Seniors Learn to Use & Appreciate iPad

The iPad may be the Ultimate in universal design. If cats can play games especially designed for them, and infants use iPads for play and as a learning tools, then surely seniors at any age can use this cool device for everything from emailing their children and grandchildren, downloading books and music and recipes, researching old haunts and finding out what they look like today, playing games, and even playing piano music on the touch screen. This article includes three embedded videos (below). One is about cats (it got 2,500 hits on YouTube), one about infants (from my local TV station), and one about seniors (from Colorado 9 News).

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Tablets Open the Digital World to Older Adults

by Angel Carl, Right at Home, May 17, 2011

With more than 75 computer tablets showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, one industry analyst has christened 2011 as the “Year of the Tablet.” Accompanying all the buzz over this new technology is the promise it holds for connecting the disconnected, including older adults who have struggled with setting up a personal computer, installing software and dealing with annoying error notifications.

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Old cats don’t understand technology. Is that so?

Old cats and technology

grampa kitteh… duz not undrstd techanology

If you think you or your loved one is too old for technology, check out Jane Reuter’s article, Seniors Embracing Tech Boom. She says, “Seniors represent the fastest-growing segment of Web users” and writes an interesting story featuring 83-year-old Tim Maloney.

Maloney uses an eReader, smart phone and laptop computer daily to check his bank balance and investments. He uses Facebook to keep up with friends and family. And he reads news from around the world. And even though his lung capacity is limited due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Maloney regularly walks the track at the Castle Rock Recreation Center with an oxygen tank and a handheld device to check his pulse oxygen saturation while listening to audio books on his MP3 player.

Admittedly, Maloney always had an affinity for technology, but high-tech has become super-simple. At least that’s what he found out when he bought an Apple iPad. “Initially, it was curiosity,” he said. “And then I found out it’s a rather handy device. It takes the place of 90 percent of what I’d use a laptop for.”

It’s our goal at Modern Health Talk to find and promote simple and useful technologies for home healthcare and aging-in-place. Let us know if you find something cool that you’d like to share.

Video Conferencing for Home Healthcare

iPad2 FaceTime Test

Review by Justine Ezarik (

Here’s a way to keep in touch with grandchildren on one hand and elderly parents on the other, while improving care and reducing travel. Use the network and video capabilities of a TV, tablet, phone or computer to connect caretakers and caregivers. The technology is available today and improving rapidly, but the choices are confusing due to the lack of standards and interoperability among systems.

In a Boston Globe article, Hiawatha Bray reviews various video conferencing options that can support home healthcare. I summarize it here and provide links to video demos of each of the apps she mentioned, as well as apps I added.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an open standard that was made popular by PC-based video products like Skype, Google Chat, and iChat. (Here’s a review of all three.) Most VoIP products rely on broadband-connected PCs with speakers and a webcam. the once challenging setup is improving, and image and sound are now approaching HD quality. VuRoom even extends Skype capabilities to multi-user conferencing, which can be used to connect the patient to their family, professional caregiver, and physician all at once.
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