Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring

Bluetooth is a global wireless standard that enables simple connectivity among mobile and medical devices. Version 4.0, with its low energy features for long battery life, is already transforming the healthcare industry, creating efficiencies, and promoting responsible personal health monitoring, as noted in my earlier article, Healthcare meets Bluetooth Low Energy. But the following press release highlights new market research that predicts a … Read More …

Medical students invent app that checks your symptoms

Craig Monsen and David Do show off Symcat

Craig Monsen and David Do show off their diagnostic tool for consumers.

Craig Monsen and David Do are fourth-year medical students at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine students. According to this article, they recently created a smartphone compatible website that uses big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to analyze your symptoms and help determine the cause.

Using Symcat (symptoms-based, computer-assisted triage), you enter various ailments (fever, rash, cough, swelling etc.) and receive a diagnosis, prioritizing potential causes by likelihood and color-coding them by urgency. As you’ll see in the video demo below, entering and refining the symptoms and medical history is an iterative process, and the results are quite impressive. At some point, if you decide to see a doctor, the system also recommends local practitioners based on their specific specialty and experience.

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How Tech Makes Life Better for Boomers, Seniors

Technology ‘Saved My Life’: Making Life Better for Boomers, Seniors

From improving fitness and aging in place to ending isolation and engaging
more easily with family and friends, technology solutions help baby boomers
and seniors successfully address many of the issues associated with aging.

Orlando Estrada

Orlando Estrada, 77, uses Microsoft HealthVault to manage his health information online at the St. Barnabas Senior Center in Los Angeles.

REDMOND, Wash. – July 9, 2012Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them.

“It saved my life,” says Greidinger, a former buyer for Korvette’s department store, in assessing the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”

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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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Home Monitoring of Seniors will drive Wearable Devices

Home Monitoring for Seniors Will Drive 36 Million Wearable Wireless Device Market

Some High Tech mHealth SolutionsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LONDON – July 13, 2012

​A combination of factors including the growing senior demographic combined with economic, social, and technological developments are driving investment and demand for home monitoring devices that can extend and improve in-home care.

As the market transitions from safety focused offerings toward health monitoring and extending and enhancing the comfort, safety, and well-being for seniors living in their own homes and care homes, monitoring devices will grow to more than 36 million units in 2017, up from under 3 million units in 2011, at a CAGR of 55.9%.

Over the same time, home monitoring will almost double its share of the wearable wireless device health market to 22% from 12%.

“Healthcare providers and caregivers alike are looking for devices to improve the monitoring of seniors in their own homes as economics and demographics increasingly drive that demand” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research and author of a new report examining the wearable wireless device healthcare market. Read More …

Emerging mHealth: Paths for Growth

Report cover: Emerging mHealth Paths for GrowthIn this 44-page market research report from PwC (formerly Pricewaterhouse Cooper), patients, doctors and payers share their sometimes-conflicting views on mHealth. We provide highlights below.

We live in a world that’s connected wirelessly with almost as many cellular phone subscriptions as there are people on the planet. According to the International Telecommunications Union, there were almost 6 billion mobile phones in use worldwide in late 2011. The ubiquity of mobile technology offers tremendous opportunities for the healthcare industry to address one of the most pressing global challenges: making healthcare more accessible, faster, better and cheaper.

Several factors effect how mHealth care will be provided, including:

  • The ubiquity and personal nature of mobile devices;
  • The very nature of always-in-touch mobility; and
  • Competition that will increase functionality and drive lower prices. Read More …

Medicine Unplugged: Your phone, DNA and data

Medicine Unplugged: Your phone, your DNA, your dataBy Eric J. Topol, M.D. (original article on Huffington Post)

Just as the little mobile wireless devices radically transformed our day-to-day lives, so will such devices have a seismic impact on the future of health care. It’s already taking off at a pace that parallels the explosion of another unanticipated digital force — social networks. Read More …

11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies

NEHI Identifies 11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies To Watch

Cites Potential to Improve Care, Lower Costs for At-Risk Populations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 13, 2012)NEHI, a national health policy institute dedicated to finding innovative solutions to health care problems, today identified eleven emerging technologies that have the potential to improve care and lower costs for chronic disease patients, especially those in at-risk populations.

The “technologies to watch” target a range of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, stroke and heart disease, and reflect the growing emphasis on empowering patients to monitor their own care through the use of mobile platforms, social networking and home-based telehealth technologies. The technologies include web-based platforms that enable patients to connect virtually to their physician through their smartphone or personal computer, cell phone apps for medication reminders and asthma control, and in-car wireless systems that monitor patients’ health while they are driving. According to NEHI’s selection criteria, the technologies are under-used but have high future potential and align to the safety net population with low cost and easy access. Read More …

What mobile phone and tablet do you use?

What platforms should healthcare app developers support?

iPhone4s showing Facetime with granddaughterWhile participating in the “What is Mobile Health?” Linkedin discussion that I mentioned a few days ago, an Australian app developer asked me the following question, sensing that I might have a helpful perspective. Because my response might also help Modern Health Talk readers, I’ll include both his question and my reply here.

Hi Wayne,
Can I ask what mobile phone you currently have and use? Do you have an iPad? The reason I ask is I find it interesting to appreciate the technology individuals use and the effects it has on the opportunities we see to advance healthcare.

@David, I have an Apple iPhone3, and both my wife and son (in Dallas) have an iPhone4s so they can use FaceTime video conferencing and we see our year-old granddaughter. On the tablet side, I have my wife’s old iPad after getting her an iPad2 to resolve conflicts over who gets to use it. BTW, she completely quit using her PC after getting the first iPad. Read More …

mHealth – Is it Mobile Health or Modern Health?

What is Mobile Health?  That’s the subject of a Linkedin discussion started by Wendy Thomas, founder of the Mobile Health Association in Austin, TX.

Her purpose was to clear up confusion between syllogisms, and the analogy she used was that Lions are all Animals, but not all Animals are Lions. The same goes with the health terms such as digital health, ehealth (electronic healthcare), mhealth (mobile healthcare), and telemedicine, so she argued that…

Mobile Health IS Wireless Health AND Mobile Health IS Telemedicine, but Wireless Health AND Telemedicine are not necessarily MOBILE HEALTH.

Syllogism examples in healthcare

While I agree with the premise of Wendy’s argument, people often associate Mobile Health with the ambulance that shows up to provide care and transportation, rather than the use of mobile devices and wireless networks. That’s why I drew the diagram with Mobile Health not entirely within Wireless Health or within Telemedicine. Confusion still persists, and I’m adding to it with yet another term – Modern Health. 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 Nurse in Your Pocket

Ginger.io monitors smartphone activity to give health insightsFrom The Nurse in Your Pocket:

In 2009, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave a dorm full of students smartphones and tracked where they went, who they called and texted, and at what times they communicated. The researchers found that the data pouring out of the phones could reliably tell when a student was ill: Those stricken with the flu moved around much less, and those who were depressed had fewer calls and interactions with others.

 

As a result of the study, some students who worked on it founded Ginger.io, a behavioral analytics firm that turns mobile data into health insights. Based on branches of computer science known as “machine learning” and “big data,” they sort through tens of thousands of data points coming out of a smartphone each month to identify a user’s typical pattern of behavior. And when someone deviates from that pattern, Ginger.io can alert friends or doctors that they may need to intervene.

It’s kind of like a “check engine light” for the body, and it extends the thinking of Intel’s Eric Dishman that’s described in the video below. Read More …

FDA to regulate Mobile Apps with Highest Risk

FDA LogoHealth care can be delivered with better quality and less cost through mobile technologies, but unfortunately, the scope and uncertainty of proposed FDA rules is impeding progress and adoption of these new technologies.

On 7/19/2011 the FDA announced that it is seeking public comment on proposed regulatory oversight of the mobile medical (mHealth) apps that pose the greatest risk to patients when they don’t work right. Its aim is to “strike a fine balance between promoting innovation and assuring safety and effectiveness.”

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Nearly 80 Million Wearable Wireless Devices by 2016

Fitness and Wellbeing Devices Will Lead Healthcare-Related
Wearable Wireless Uptake to Nearly 80 Million Devices in 2016

Texas Instruments eZ430-Chronos sports watch reference platform that can be paired wirelessly with heart rate monitors, pedometers or other devices.LONDON – June 13, 2011 – Much is made of the enormous potential for wearable wireless sensors to deliver remote healthcare, and for good reason. But over the next five years, adoption of wireless healthcare sensors will lag well behind uptake of consumer-driven sports, fitness and wellness devices.

A range of factors – from wireless protocol standardization and new device availability to changing social patterns related to participation in activities – will see consumers increasingly turn to wearable wireless sensors to monitor (and often share) their performance results. A combination of M2M [machine-to-machine] and short range wireless connectivity will be embedded in a range of consumer wellness and professional healthcare devices that will connect data collection to cloud applications.

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Post-op app helps patients monitor infections

RFID diagnostic skin patchPRESS RELEASE: WASHINGTON and PHOENIX, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — GENTAG, Inc., Third Technology Capital Investors, and The CORE Institute are pleased to announce the first fully integrated medical grade wireless monitoring kit for post-surgery applications compatible with the new generation of Near Field Communications (NFC) cell phones.  The kit allows patients to self-monitor for excessive swelling in the surgery area or inside casts with their cell phones after hospital discharge (compartment syndrome monitoring). Significant post-operative orthopedics costs savings and improved outcomes for patients are expected.

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Five Tips for Helping Parents with Technology

The New York Times published, Five Tips for Helping Parents with Technology, an article by Paul Boutin on 3/31/11. I tried adding reader comments with a sixth tip, but it wasn’t included because of a glitch in their software. So, I’m summarizing some content here and adding my comment, but I encourage you to read the full article here.

These five steps will make problem-solving much less frustrating:

  1. Switch your parents to the same phone you use.
  2. Switch your parents to whatever e-mail program you use.
  3. Give your folks a computer and printer just like yours.
  4. Set your parents up with remote computer screen viewing software.
  5. Get them on Facebook.
  6. ALSO: Get them on the same video conferencing system you use.

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Vision: A Guide for iPhone Users who are Blind

BrailleI’m a huge fan of smart phones and tablets as the ideal gateway for home healthcare apps, but I always wondered how a blind person could use an iPhone since there are no tactile buttons.

I was delighted to find the Assistive Technologies Blog, a publication of the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at VCU. It had a pointer to an interesting book, “Getting Started with the iPhone: An Introduction for Blind Users.” This book is available in paper, electronic Braille, text or DAISY for $18.00. Another Braille book of interest is “Social Networking and You: Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin for Blind Users.”