Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Let me down Easy is a must-watch performance

image from Let Me Down Easy on PBS.orgYvonne and I loved Anna Deavere Smith’s solo performance of Let Me Down Easy, which blends theatrics, journalism and social commentary about Healthcare, and I highly recommend watching it. PBS aired the program as part of its Great Performances series this week on Friday the 13th, how fitting with the state of our nation’s healthcare system. Here’s what they said about it.

She performs 19 characters in the course of an hour and thirty five minutes. Their stories are alternately humorous and heart-wrenching, and often a blend of both. Building upon each other with hypnotic force, her subjects recount personal encounters with the frailty of the human body, ranging from a mere brush with mortality, coping with an uncertain future in today’s medical establishment, to confronting an end of life transition. The testimony of health care professionals adds further texture to a vivid portrayal of the cultural and societal attitudes to matters of health.

Watch this 2:10 min video preview;

Read about what PBS had to say and what New York Times critics said; or

Watch the entire performance on PBS.org if you missed the live broadcast and didn’t record it. With an AppleTV or an Internet-connected TV you can probably stream the content to your big screen for  the entire family.

ZOMM’s Lifestyle Connect wins 3 CES Innovation Awards

ZOMM Lifestyle ConnectZOMM earned 3 CES 2012 Innovation Awards this week for Lifestyle Connect™, a credit card sized accessory for any Bluetooth®-enabled phone, including the one you have right now. With a touch of a button or an alert from wireless sensors, the device can summon assistance from a Personal Safety Concierge™ or your trusted network of friends, family and health professionals. If needed, the concierge will dispatch police, fire or medical rescue personnel to the user’s location.

Lifestyle Connect utilizes Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy wireless technology to connect with Bluetooth Smart devices such as health monitors, heart monitors, glucose monitors, fall detection sensors, and activity trackers.

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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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Jawbone UP wristband & iPhone app tracks your wellness

image of Jawbone UP, a motion sensing wristbandUP by Jawbone (http://www.jawbone.com/up) is a revolutionary system (wristband + iPhone app) that tracks your activity and sleep and inspires you to move more, sleep better and eat smarter. UP also integrates a social experience and open content platform to motivate you with personal and team challenges tailored to help you achieve your goals.

UP is Jawbone’s first step in giving people tools to become engaged as consumers of their own health. It integrates an accelerometer to sense motion and track how much you’re walking, exercising, or sleeping; and it then uploads that data to an app that shows progress charts and lets you photograph and log your meals, even sharing all this with friends for additional motivation if you wish.

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Accessible iPhone Apps

screen shot of VoiceOverThe following article is adapted from some iPhone training material that Pat Pound created for special education teachers in June 2011. It describes over 70 accessible iPhone apps, and I thank her for permission to publish it here.

Vision: A Guide for iPhone Users who are Blind was one of the first articles on this blog. It’s short but has several good links to more info, and this YouTube video demo shows how a blind person would use the VoiceOver feature.

And visit http://www.apple.com/accessibility to learn more about assistive features in iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV and to discover other 3rd party add-on products and apps for all sorts of needs, including visual, hearing, dexterity, and learning.

By Pat Pound

Apple’s iPhones (starting with the 3GS) are accessible to people who are blind as they come, complete with a screen reader, “VoiceOver”, and print enlarger “zoom”. As you know, the iPhone is famous for its touch screen so this is a very new experience for most blind users.  Apple reps are well prepared to sell these phones and to explain their accessibility features in their stores, although it’s a noisy environment so it can be somewhat challenging. Similar accessibility is experienced on iPod Touch and iPad devices.

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Smartphone does Vital Signs

Ki Chon, left, in his lab with PhD candidate Christopher Scully.

Ki Chon, left, in his lab with PhD candidate Christopher Scully.

Hold the Phone for Vital Signs

WPI researchers turn a smart phone into a medical monitor.

October 6, 2011 — An iPhone app that measures the user’s heart rate is not only a popular feature with consumers, but it sparked an idea for a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) researcher who is now turning smart phones, and eventually tablet devices, into sophisticated medical monitors able to capture and transmit vital physiological data.

A team led by Ki Chon, professor and head of biomedical engineering at WPI, has developed a smart phone application that can measure not only heart rate, but also heart rhythm, respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation using the phone’s Read the rest of this entry »

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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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 umpcportal.com, 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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