Healthcare and Technology news
45.4K views | +6 today
Follow
Healthcare and Technology news
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scoop.it!

10 Great Gadgets for Tech-Savvy Doctors

10 Great Gadgets for Tech-Savvy Doctors | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

As technology continuously innovates how we deal with healthcare everyday, it’s vital that doctors stay up to date on new trends. Many of the latest gadgets not only provide great value but are also fun. Here’s our list of 10 tech gadgets for doctors to use at their practice:

1. Digital Stethoscope

The cold, hard stethoscopes that doctors use have now been greatly upgraded. Now, the digital stethoscope is one of the smallest, yet powerful stethoscopes in the world. It’s so small that it fits right in the palm of your hands but can amplify over 100 times. It’s plug and play compatible making it easy for doctors to hear via their headphones or earplugs. It also connects via smartphone, tablet, or computer to record info right into the patient’s EMR!

2. Google Glass

Google seems to have their hands in just about every new piece of technology. Google Glass is a wearable spectacle that’s perfect for many industries. Doctors can enjoy the ease of accessing their patients’ records, collaborating what they are viewing with other doctors via surgery, and checking patients’ vitals. Though Google halted sales of Glass on 15 Jan 2015, many vendors have created specialized software applications & continue to supply the device, and Google itself is reportedly working on a successor.

3. AV300 Vein Viewing System

Doctors can easily examine their patients closely with the AccuVein AV300 Vein Viewing System. This handy gadget makes viewing clumps and other issues with veins simple. It’s lightweight and small, so doctors can carry it around room to room. Since it doesn’t come in contact with the patient, it does not need a protective covering or to be sterilized.

4. EarlySense System 

The EarlySense Proactive enables doctors and their medical staff to capture all a patients vitals in the exam room. Everything from their heart rate to their respiratory rate can be quickly captured and transferred to the EMR system. This not only reduces the time of transferring patient’s room to room, but also reduces mistakes of recording incorrect readings.

5. VScan by GE

Another helpful examination gadget is the GE VScan. The VScan is a pocket-sized ultrasound, allowing doctors to access many systems of the body including the abdominal, cardiac, urology, fetal, thoracic and others. This device helps speed decisions doctors normally would need to make after receiving x-rays. Unnecessary testing is also reduced.

6. Infrared Thermometer

Gone are the days of ten second readouts and probe-covers. Infrared thermometers now give accurate temperatures in one second, with no contact required. They are small and require just AAA batteries. These are perfect to use for fussy children. The Rediscan thermometer (pictured) can also measure the temperature of objects such as milk bottles or bath water.

7. Wacom Intuos

The Wacom Intuos system instantly converts what you write into a digitally readable format. It consists of a tablet which is basically a touch-sensitive pad (without a screen) and a stylus. Doctors can write clinical notes, prescriptions and draw directly on x-rays and charts. The information is digital, and can plug in directly into an EMR system. This method enables doctors to keep all data private as well, without paperwork lying around for others to see.

8. AliveCor ECG monitor

The AliveCor ECG system consists of a heart monitor device that connects to a smartphone app. Patients use it to record their ECG reading, which can be shared with their doctor and integrated into the PHR (patient health record). Doctors use the physician app to monitor patients’ ECGs remotely.  The physician app can also analyse readings and detect aberrations like AF (atrial fibrillation) automatically. Doctors can view trends, act promptly in case of an emergency, and integrate the readings into the patient’s EMR from their end as well.

9. Fitbit

The famous Fitbit is an activity tracker and monitoring device that doctors can suggest to patients to stay fit. It provides motivational tips and helps patients lead a healthy lifestyle. Not only patients, but doctors can also use a Fitbit themselves and practice what they preach! There are many activity trackers on the market, and doctors must try out devices themselves to evaluate their efficacy.

10. Adheretech’s Smart Pill Container

Smart pill containers are not used directly by doctors, but they are an excellent way for doctors to monitor their patient’s prescriptions taken. These containers emit light and sound alerting patients when it’s time to take their medication. If the dosage is skipped, an alert is sent to the caregiver or patient.

A lot of these gadgets are not easily available in India, but you can definitely pick them up in your next visit abroad. Do share this post with your colleagues (and patients) if you found it useful!

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

Contact Details :
inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

5 Ways Technology Is Transforming Health Care

5 Ways Technology Is Transforming Health Care | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

 

How are tech nerds getting involved in health care? Here are five ways:

 

 

1. Crunching data to offer a better diagnosis and treatment:

         

             Just call the computer “Dr. Watson.” Researchers at IBM have been developing the supercomputer known as Watson (which, in February 2011, beat out "Jeopardy" champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter to win $1 million, which was donated to charity) to help physicians make better diagnoses and recommend treatments. Doctors could potentially rely on Watson to keep track of patient history, stay up-to-date on medical research and analyse treatment options. Doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York are expected to begin testing Dr. Watson later this year.

Recommended by BMO Harris Bank
 
 
 

2. Helping doctors communicate with patients:

 

                    Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has developed Omnifluent Health, a translation program for doctors and others in the medical field. The suite of products includes a mobile app that lets doctors speak into the app — asking, for example, if a patient is allergic to penicillin — and translate the message instantly into another language. Given that there are 47 million U.S. residents who don't speak English fluently, the program could be a boon for doctors who would otherwise need to rely on translators and medical assistants to communicate with their patients.

 

3. Linking doctors with other doctors:

 

                  Could social networking help doctors work better together to take care of their patients? That’s the premise behind Doximity, a social network exclusive to physicians. Through Doximity, doctors throughout the United States can collaborate online on difficult cases. It’s received $27 million in funding and counts among its board members Konstantin Guericke, a co-founder of LinkedIn.

 

4. Connecting doctors and patients:

         

                 New York City startup Sherpa offers patients medical consultations online and over the phone, potentially saving a trip to the ER. The medical advice doesn’t come from just anyone, but from some of the city’s top medical specialists. Employers such as Tumbler have signed onto the service.

 

 

5. Helping patients stay healthy:

 

           A growing number of mobile apps and gadgets aim to help people stay active, sleep well and eat healthy. Among them are Fit-bit, a pedometer that tracks daily sleep and activity and uses social networking and gaming to motivate its users. Lark is a silent alarm clock and sleep monitor that tracks and analyses a person’s quality of sleep over time, offering suggestions to help the person get better rest (it has since expanded to track daily activity, too). And there are dozens upon dozens of calorie-counting, food-monitoring and menu-tracking apps to aid the diet-conscious.

It's clear that technology is giving the health care industry a much-needed upgrade, from medical translation tools to mobile apps that help patients live healthier lives. Though much is still in the early and experimental stages, the advances in technology could help save money in health care costs and improve patient treatment.

Patients who can connect with their doctors more easily, for instance, won't need to make expensive and perhaps unnecessary trips to the ER or specialists. Doctors will be able to collaborate with other physicians and experts in new ways and use computers to analyse patient and medical data, allowing them to provide better and more efficient treatment for their patients. As technology continues to expand the horizons of medicine and medical interaction, it's becoming clear that we're entering a new era of health care — or as some people are beginning to call it, Health 2.0.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com/tdr

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Four new health features Apple is adding to Healthkit

Four new health features Apple is adding to Healthkit | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

At the 70 minute mark in their WWDC 2015 keynote Apple mentioned four new health metrics they will be adding to their Healthkit platform: Water, UV exposure, sedentary state, and menstruation.


Apple didn’t go into detail for these metrics, but the screenshot from their Keynote shows basic graphical representations of how each will work.


Water: Your Health app will be able to display how much water you are drinking. This is a metric that will most likely link data from a third party app. For example, when you track your water consumption with a fitness app, that information will automatically link to your native Health app on your iPhone (if you decide to enable that link).


UV exposure: Not sure right now if this will pull data from your location (location based UV information is publicly available), or data from a device that is actually measuring UV index. As I wrote prior, devices that measure UV index are not useful.


Sedentary State: The Apple Watch tracks this feature meticulously, but your iPhone can as well, and I suspect this information will be populated using the Apple M7 and M8 motion processors that started with the iPhone 5S.

Menstruation: Finally Apple adds a feature focused on women. Women will now be able to track their menstrual cycles.

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Cedars-Sinai goes all-in on Apple HealthKit

Cedars-Sinai goes all-in on Apple HealthKit | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has become the latest provider organization to link its electronic medical records system to Apple's HealthKit software.


CIO Darren Dworkin, speaking to Bloomberg Business, said that information from HealthKit now will appear in health records for more than 80,000 patients. Several other hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System, as well as Stanford University Hospital and Duke University, also integrate with HealthKit.


"This is just another set of data that we're confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments," Dworkin said, who added that use of HealthKit will be a learning experience.


"We don't really, fully know and understand how patients will want to use this," he said.


Dworkin added that HealthKit will be available for all patients throughout the system to use as they choose. 


"The opt-out is just don't use it," he said.


At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's mHealth Summit in the District of Columbia last December, Ochsner Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Richard Milani and Duke Medicine Director of Mobile Technology Ricky Bloomfield shared insight into their respective organizations' HealthKit integrations. Both facilities use Epic's patient portal, MyChart.


Milani said the amount of data patients could generate that could then go into their records was pretty small; he said about 50 to 60 discreet elements such as weight, sodium intake and blood pressure could be entered. Bloomfield, however, said that based on conversations with Apple healthcare executives, he expects that number to grow.

Bloomfield added that HealthKit integration will help to transform the use of EHRs for providers.


"This was finally something we could give them that would live up to the promise of what EHRs can provide, and what having access to this kind of data can provide," Bloomfield said at the Summit.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

The 22 Best Apple Watch Health And Fitness Apps

The 22 Best Apple Watch Health And Fitness Apps | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The Apple Watch, Apple’s first step into the world of wearables, starts shipping to consumers today.


The Watch marks an interesting time in the wearable fitness space, in particular. Health and fitness trackers like Jawbone Up and Fitbit have dominated much of that space in the last few years. According to NDP, these wearable fitness devices sold close to 3.3 million units last year.

The Apple Watch is more of a comprehensive platform, but it has definitely taken the popularity of these fitness trackers into account, equipping the Watch with a built-in heart rate monitor, GPS tracker to measure distance and speed during workouts, an accelerometer to track body movement, and proprietary apps that show calories burned and overall fitness levels.


Not wanting to be left out of the action on this new platform, many health technology companies have started to repurpose their smartphone apps for the Apple Watch as well. While not all apps add much more to the Watch experience than they do to your phone, there are a few that make that subtle leap. Here are the 22 top health and fitness apps we’re looking forward to on the Watch:

Featured Apple Watch Health and Fitness Apps:


First, let’s go through the apps that Apple has chosen to feature on the Apple Watch section on its site.


Nike+ Running – Apple kicked both Jawbone Up and Nike+ Fuel Band out of the Apple store in anticipation of the Watch. But it looks like Apple through Nike some love by adding the Nike+ Watch app into the featured set of fitness apps on Apple’s website. The Nike+ Running app will allow owners of the Watch to connect with its global running community as well as log distance and run duration right on their wrist.

Green Kitchen – This app adds dozens of healthy recipes and the step-by-step instructions to make them with a tap on the screen. The app includes a timer within the Watch to notify you when to take certain items out of the oven.


Strava – Know how high you climbed, your average speed, distance and heart rate in real-time as well as segment by segment updates to keep you pushing forward in your workout.

Mayo Clinic Synthesis – This app is a bit more for the medical doctor side of management. It helps physicians manage their daily schedule and alerts them when a patient is waiting for them in the lobby or the exam room. It also provides basic patient information such as age, sex and weight.


LifeSum – Think of this one as a food journal on your wrist. This app provides a way to track what you are eating and drinking throughout the day and then look it up later to figure out how many calories you’ve consumed. It also provides the right portion size and which foods to avoid.


Runtastic – The Apple Watch will have three apps from the popular run tracking platform: The original Runtastic to track runs using GPS, Runtastic Six Pack and Runtastic Butt Trainer. The apps include a Glances feature to display an avatar that will demonstrate the right way to do each exercise. This helps the person working out follow along instead of having to look up or hold a phone while going through the movements.


The Health and Fitness Apps We Like:

There are many, many health and fitness apps that are either already on the Watch or will be on the Watch in the near future. The following is a collection of the top apps we believe have the best use case on your wrist.


Hello Heart – This is a blood pressure monitor and heart health companion app. This is a good one for the Watch as it can record and upload vital signs right from your wrist. More than 100 million Americans have some type of a heart condition. This app could make it easy for them to monitor those conditions in real-time, rather than having to go into a doctor’s office or pharmacy to get that information.

Fitstar Yoga – Instead of having to look up at the screen or instructor to make sure you have the pose right, this app helps the user see what the proper pose looks like right on their wrist. It also allows them to check on the time remaining for the chosen yoga session or manage the session by using the play, pause or use the back and forth controls.


WaterMinder – This is a pretty straightforward app that helps folks stay hydrated by reminding them to drink up. You can also visualize your daily water levels to figure out if you are drinking enough.

Map My Run – At this point you may be wondering why another running app, besides the native app in the Apple Watch and the Nike+ Running app are worth a try. Map My Run not only has a significant and dedicated community to encourage that running life. The new Watch app will also let enthusiasts log more than 600 different types of workouts, record GPS activities, sync and share activity on Apple Health and MyFitnessPal and socially share workouts with friends.


HealthTap – Tap on the app to ask questions and get answers to medical questions from 68,000 U.S. doctors while on the go. The app will also provide reminders for virtual sessions with your doctor, personal notifications and reminders to take your prescribed medications.


Medication Alarm – Reminds you to take any type of medication throughout the day, using an infinite amount of reminders, medication and times to take. Also lets you track how many pills you have left to give you a heads up on when you need to order more.


Human – This one tracks your activities throughout the day and pushes you to get up and move for 30 minutes every day. That’s important because while you may not be physically close to your phone all the time, you will be able to see that reminder on the watch to get up and move at least 30 minutes a day. The app automatically picks up your walks, bike rides, runs and other activities that go for a minute or more and then logs them on the app.

Misfit Minute – Misfit already has a popular wearable product worn on the wrist, but started venturing into other platforms with a fitness app on the Pebble watch last July. Continuing on the trend of being hardware agnostic, Misfit has created an app for the Watch that will give consumers a total body workout, using body weight training and circuit intervals.


Carrot Fit – Carrot, the zany artificial intelligence family of apps, will all be on the Apple Watch, including an app that shames you into working out. Carrot Fit both terrifies and inspires with seven minute workouts that will have you escaping from a squad of mean ostriches and punching Justin Bieber. This way you can receive judgement and pop references on your wrist instead of your phone.


Clue – This is a period tracking app that lets women figure out where they are in their cycle. Apple was criticized for not including a period tracker in HealthKit, but that’s a pretty important part of women’s health. This app prognosticates when a woman will next start her period, PMS and when she is most likely to get pregnant.


WebMD – The WebMD app will remind patients to take their meds as well as provide instructions on how to take certain medications and a daily schedule of when to take them.


BACtrack – There are a couple of smartphone breathalyzer test apps on the market, but this one lets you check your blood alcohol levels without fumbling around in a drunken state while looking for your phone. Of course, you’ll have to also have the BACtrack’s smart breathalyzer tool on you to start a BAC test, but it frees up one of your hands to hold the tool while taking the test.


drchrono – Physicians who use the iOS app can already pull up a patient’s medical information and use an iPad to send the bill. The Apple Watch app helps medical professionals see chat messages from their clinic colleagues reminding them to wrap up their visit and see their schedule without it looking like they are ignoring the patient and playing with their phone. They can also use the app to respond privately to patient text messages and view patient information on their wrist.


Doximity – The largest medical professional network in the U.S. comes to the wrist. According to company estimates, about half of all of America’s doctors are Doximity members. Physicians with an Apple Watch will be able to access Doximity’s free tools such as HIPPA-compliant messaging, electronic fax capabilities and reading up on curated medical news.
 
Skin – The skin is the body’s largest organ and can tell you a lot about your health. The Skin app requires the use of your phone’s camera to take pictures of your skin. The Watch app then helps you pull up those images quickly and monitor changes in your skin over time. It won’t diagnose you, but it does alert you if something has changed or should get checked out by a medical professional.


Spring – The music streaming service made specifically for exercise could be useful on those runs. This app allows you to leave your phone behind and still access high-energy tunes. While the Watch doesn’t have a way to plug in and listen to music while you run, you can still use this app with a wireless headset to bounce to the kind of music that gets your heart pumping and your body moving.


more...
Punch Digital 's curator insight, May 4, 2015 2:03 AM

From instructive Yoga to interactive run tracking apps, the apple watch and it's ability to be compatible with your fitness goals, is revolutionary.


if you have a few spare moments then this article will definitely have you marching down to the shops. the ability it has for not only fitness professionals but for the weekend warrior is mind blowing.


See for yourself what the new Apple watch has to offer, maybe it's time you took your fitness goals to the next level?

Lyfe Media's curator insight, June 17, 2015 4:19 PM

The Apple Watch may be the best thing that's happened to fitness lovers since the treadmill. With a wide variety of applications to monitor fitness levels, nutrition, and various other health concerns, an Apple Watch may quickly become a recommended gadget by health professionals everywhere. HealthyFitGuide

Scoop.it!

Qardio blood pressure monitor will support Apple Watch

Qardio blood pressure monitor will support Apple Watch | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Qardio announced Apple Watch support for their Bluetooh blood pressure monitor for the iPhone and Android devices.

We reviewed the QardioArm blood pressure monitor a few months ago. We were impressed by the elegant design of both the app and the device. The sharing functionality was also the best we found among any of the connected blood pressure monitors that we’ve reviewed. However, the lack of independent validation of the device and single cuff size kept the device from being our pick for the best connected (Bluetooth or WiFi) blood pressure monitor.


According to Qardio, the Apple Watch will let users both control the blood pressure monitor and also review data for themselves and their family,

QardioArm blood pressure monitors work seamlessly together with the Apple Watch, allowing users to take blood pressure measurements and monitor loved ones with the touch of a single button right off their wrist. Your blood pressure and heart rate data history are viewable at a glance, making heart monitoring even more effortless.

Qardio includes a really nice Family and Friends section in their app that lets you keep an eye on the blood pressure measurements of a loved one. The Apple Watch app will let users quickly check in on those loved ones. Hopefully, they’ll also include the ability to set notifications as well so that I could be alerted if, say, a parent checked their blood pressure and it fell outside of a certain range. For that to really work though, Apple will need to do a better job with letting users control notifications on the Apple Watch.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Apple Watch will launch with a free medication reminder app from

Apple Watch will launch with a free medication reminder app from | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

When Apple Watch launches April 24th, users will be able to track their medication dosing. WebMD is updating their flagship app in the App Store to become a medical reminder companion app for the Apple Watch.


I talked to Benjamin Greenberg, who is the Vice President of Product Management & User Experience at WebMD about some of the key functionality the WebMD Apple Watch integration will have and they are the following:

  • Ability to take pictures of your medications and then have them show up on your Apple Watch when it’s time to take your next dose
  • When prompted to take your medication, you are given four actions on your Apple Watch: Take the medication, skip the medication, snooze, or dismiss the reminder.
  • You can learn more about your medication by utilizing a “Handoff Link” and read the full drug monograph on your iPhone.


Greenberg told me WebMD wanted to keep the Apple Watch medication integration clean, simple, and easy to use. They don’t want a medication reminder feature on the Apple Watch that is constantly bugging people trying to use it.


One of the features I’d love to see in the future is a location based reminder — the ability of your Apple Watch to know when you’re at home and have the ability to take your medication.


Useful for patients and digital health?


Obviously, a medication reminder feature for the Apple Watch isn’t going to solve the huge issue of medication compliance. It’s a multi-factorial problem that has been hard to tackle by the digital health community and one we’ve frequently written in depth about.


But — WebMD’s medication reminder on the Apple Watch is definitely another tool that could help the right type of patient. For example, it’s hard to imagine the elderly using Apple Watch to remind them to take their armament of drugs. But it isn’t hard to imagine a mother of two with febrile children utilizing WebMD’s Apple Watch tool to help her with Tylenol dosing and timing.


Often times when developers create medication reminder tools, they completely forget about over the counter medications. For WebMD’s reminder app to catch on, they need to focus more on over the counter medications, and having presets where users don’t have to manually insert the dosing — the barrier to set up needs to be ridiculously low.

Overall, I can’t wait to actually test out the app on launch date, and WebMD’s ability to have this launch in conjunction with the Apple Watch is a huge advantage over their competitors.


WebMD’s medication reminder app will be available as a free download in the Apple Watch App Store beginning April 24.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Vermont Gets More Robust With Data Exchange

Vermont Gets More Robust With Data Exchange | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) and Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) have just completed a project that developed five connections to transmit health data from the hospital to the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE).

According to officials of the organizations, the five interfaces were built to:

  • Send immunization data from SVMC to the VHIE. The immunization data is then forwarded on to the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Registry.
  • Modernize the existing laboratory results interface from SVMC to the VHIE.
  • Send patient demographics, radiology reports, expanded laboratory results (pathology, microbiology and blood bank), and transcribed reports (information about procedures, admissions, discharges and consults) from SVMC to the VHIE.

The SVMC interfaces complete VITL's goal of connecting all 14 Vermont hospitals to the VHIE, the statewide health data network operated by VITL. Although SVMC has been contributing laboratory results to the VHIE for over eight years, the four new connections will increase the amount of clinical and demographic data available to providers involved in a patient’s care, better informing health care decisions, its officials say.

The final phases of the SVMC interface project included the addition of a move-in process, where engineers, analysts and project managers met face-to-face at the VITL office in Burlington. The interface teams met for two in-person sessions that lasted two weeks at a time, and allowed them to completely focus on integration and quality assurance testing of health data flowing from SVMC into the health information exchange, according to officials.

The new clinical interfaces allow SVMC data to be shared with any provider in Vermont. “Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has been a part of the VHIE for over eight years, and we have actively used the data network to distribute electronic lab results to primary care practices in the southwestern Vermont health care service area,” Rich Ogilvie, chief information officer at SVMC, said in a statement. “The additional connections deliver data and reporting abilities that will enhance the provider-patient care relationship in the Bennington service area and across the state.”


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

A new wearable device could let you know you're stressed before you even realize it

A new wearable device could let you know you're stressed before you even realize it | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Ever arrived to work so flustered by your perilous commute that you just want to scream at someone?

What if you could go back in time to that stressful part of your morning, play it in slow motion, and press "pause" right at the beginning — when you first feel the blood rush to your cheeks and the thoughts in your brain start to blur? What if you could stop, take a deep breath, and ride it out — instead of letting your emotions get the best of you?

Tech startup Neumitra, one of billionaire Peter Thiel's newest Breakout Labs grantees, wants to give you that option. (The exact amount of funding Neumitra received from Thiel is undisclosed, but Breakout Labs typically invests between $100,000 and $350,000 on each of its selected companies.)

The new company, headed by former MIT neuroscientist Robert Goldberg, is designing a wearable device to measure our stress levels in real time — whether we're paying attention or not — and alert us to the first signs of stress via a gentle vibration.

The idea behind the technology is simple: Since stress triggers a physiological response in the body (quicker heart rate, faster breathing, sweating), measuring it could give us an opportunity to nip it in the bud.

Goldberg's device is a smartwatch with sensors embedded inside that use skin conductance, a century-old technique (still widely used for things like biofeedback therapy, in which patients learn to control body functions with specific thoughts) that measures the electrical conductivity of the fingers, palms, and feet. The more we sweat, the more electricity we conduct in these areas.

Since sweat is controlled by the same part of the nervous system that handles our stress response, our skin conductivity can serve as a potential indicator of whether or not we're stressed — though of course it's not quite that simple.

NeumitraScreenshot of the Neumitra app, which pairs with a smartphone. The color-coded squares are designed to show your stress levels during each activity: The darker orange a square is, the more stressful that activity; the darker blue a square is, the less stressful.

How it works

Users wear a smartwatch with the Neumitra hardware embedded inside. After a few days of wearing the device, it "learns" the user's typical levels and picks up on when those levels dramatically rise or fall — such as when someone is exercising or sleeping. If the device starts to vibrate and you're at the gym, for example, you could simply press a button to turn it off.

Which brings us to the purpose of the device: To alert people to places, situations, or events that they may never have identified as "stressful," but may nonetheless be triggering a physical stress response in their bodies.

Say you're in the middle of a meeting or driving on the freeway when suddenly your wrist starts to buzz.

This is your opportunity to change how you respond to the stressful incident. Rather than carrying on, business as usual, as your stress levels mount, you could ideally stop, take a breath, and calm yourself down.

"We often don't recognize a stressful situation until far after it's happened," Goldberg told Business Insider. "This allows you to know in the moment what's happening to you mentally and physically."

NeumitraScreenshot of the Neumitra app showing stressful periods of a user's commute. Blue-highlighted areas show places where stress levels were low; red areas show places where stress levels were high.

This could be especially useful at work, where stress can snowball throughout a long

day at the office until suddenly you feel emotionally overwhelmed or burned out. 

Even if we're completely unaware of it initially, stress over the long term can mess with our memory, make us more emotionally reactive, and decrease our ability to focus. When we're constantly under stress, we also become more prone to illness.

Neumitra could help show people what parts of their day might stress them out without their knowledge, so they can come up with solutions to avoid added anxiety. "If you find out the most stressful part of your day is your commute," Goldberg suggests as an example, "and you're coming to work already stressed out, you're not going to do your best work. Maybe it would be better for you to work from home."


more...
Cheryl Palmer's curator insight, February 19, 2015 6:53 PM

WEARABLES - Interesting Business Insider article detailing a new wearable in development in Australia to monitor stress by startup Neumitra.  Describes how the wearable will work and what research is still needed before it can be successful.  I was pleased to come across this article as so much tech development happens overseas,  yet Australia has such a great a history of innovation and I know many great things will be created here by startups like this one. 

Scoop.it!

Google, Biogen will use wearable sensors to study multiple sclerosis

Google, Biogen will use wearable sensors to study multiple sclerosis | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Biogen Idec has partnered with Google X, Google’s business unit for long-term “moonshot” projects, to study outside factors that might contribute to the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a report from Bloomberg.

Google and Biogen will use sensors, software, and data analysis tools to collect and analyze data from people who have MS. The companies aim to explore why MS progresses differently in each patient.

Bloomberg pointed out that Biogen has used digital tools for its disease research in the past. Last month, Biogen announced that it was using Fitbit activity trackers to gather data from people who have MS. It gave 250 Fitbit bands to participants to track their level of activity and sleep patterns. Last summer, the pharma company worked with Cleveland Clinic to develop an iPad app to assess MS progression. 


Via nrip, pcorral3432
more...
Farid Mheir's curator insight, January 29, 2015 7:43 AM

Companies should do this more often: experiment with new technologies - cloud, analytics, wearables, etc. - to explore new business opportunities with minimal investments. All technology companies do it yet few in the traditional environments seam to grab the opportunity. Why?

ChemaCepeda's curator insight, February 2, 2015 1:08 PM

Cuantificación personal, wearables y big data al servicio de la captura y análisis de información para el estudio de la progresión de enfermedades como la esclerosis múltiple.

Nadine Quinn's curator insight, February 18, 2015 10:38 AM

ajouter votre aperçu ...

Scoop.it!

Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Happy New Year to my HealthBlog readers around the world. I’m back in the saddle after a 3 week hiatus for the holidays. I must say I’m feeling fully rested and looking forward to all that 2015 will deliver.

Like you, I’m getting tired of reading prognostications about what’s hot and not for tech in the year ahead. However, I did enjoy a piece I came across today by my blogosphere colleague and Forbes contributor, Dr. John Nosta. Actually, I believe Dr. Nosta published the post not this week, but rather a full year ago. The post, Digital Heath In 2014: The Imperative of Connectivity, might as well have been written this week as it is just as true today as it was in January of 2014. In it, tech pundits from John Sculley to Steve Wozniak are quoted in musings about the tech revolution in health and healthcare and how everything you know is about to change. As has been true for the past several years, people are predicting massive disruption and transformation of health and healthcare delivery fueled by technology. And, as has been the case during the vast majority of my 14-year career at Microsoft and many years before that as a physician, tech and healthcare industry executive, I feel like I’m still waiting for the big bang.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have certainly seen transformation (albeit slow) of healthcare, and technology is definitely driving a lot of that change. Policy is also driving change, perhaps more so than technology. And, at least in America, no policy is causing more disruption right now than that of the Affordable Care Act. However, all of this begs the question--are things getting better or worse? People are paying more than ever before for the services they receive. Many of us are seeing our health insurance premiums rise while being asked to fork over more and more of our money toward copays and high deductibles (often $5000 to $12,000 per year per family). And even though I love technology, thus far I think it is failing to deliver on its promises or potential. Let me ask you, is it getting easier or harder to pay for and manage healthcare for your family? And if you are a healthcare provider, is it getting easier or harder to take care of your patients the way you’d like to care for them?

Technology should be making all of his easier and less expensive, but is it? Healthcare policy should be doing the same. Instead, we seem to be getting ever more complicated rules, regulations and business practices that confound both consumers and providers alike. Health insurance is more complicated than ever before, and don’t even get me started on Medicare.

If there is a theme I’d like policy makers, tech industry leaders, insurance chiefs, healthcare executives, and clinicians to focus on more on in 2015 it would quite simply be……. simplicity. We are making everything way too complicated. Without greater focus on technology that actually makes things more simple through seamless integration of services and information exchange, improved modalities for synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration in clinical workflow, and business models that truly support innovation and lower costs in healthcare, all the fancy new wearable smart devices, labs on a chip and augmented reality headsets won’t do much to save us from our misery.

I believe there are but a few global companies with the breadth, depth, and scale to really deliver on the kinds of information technology advances our health industry needs. Even then, it will take a carefully choreographed dance of enlightened public policy and innovation to deliver the goods. Otherwise, a year from now, and for many years yet to come, we’ll simply be singing more of Auld Lang Syne.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Healthcare taps cloud in record numbers | Healthcare IT News

Healthcare taps cloud in record numbers | Healthcare IT News | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it
Don't dismiss the healthcare industry as one of the last to innovate quite yet. When it comes to adopting cloud technology, it is actually ahead of the game, according to a new report. 
 
In fact, according to the Dell-conducted survey, which took the pulse of technology adoption levels across multiple industries, the lion's share of mid-sized healthcare organizations – some 96 percent of them – are using or seriously considering using the cloud. 


 
What's more, despite many industries citing serious security concerns over how data is held in the cloud, the majority of healthcare leaders – some 64 percent to be exact – utilizing private cloud technology say they are "very confident" the data is adequately protected. This compared to 52 percent of survey respondents across all industries who point to security as the biggest barrier to moving forward with cloud computing
 
 
In terms of priorities for the healthcare industry, there are three top of mind, Dell officials outlined. The first pertained to making information technology more cost efficient. Upgrading outdated infrastructure and further optimizing data centers were also cited as serious priorities.
 
In terms of where healthcare organizations find the real value in the cloud, the answers prove diverse. Nearly 50 percent of respondents in a HIMSS Analytics report earlier this year said their organization gets their value from "augmentation of technology capabilities or capacity." Also top of the list were financial metrics – at 46 percent – and the time to deploy the solution, at 45 percent. A significant portion of industry professionals also pointed to greater workforce productivity after cloud technology was implemented.  
 
For David Tomlinson, chief information officer and CFO at the Illinois-based Centegra Health System, it just made sense to make the move from an in-house storage solution to an outsourced cloud platform. 
 
"We gain control over storage costs and avoid future data migrations by centralizing our data in the cloud with the Dell Unified Clinical Archive," he said in a Dec. 16 statement. "Our first concern with using the cloud was security, and our second was about backups. How would we access information if our connections went down?" But once he and his team worked through the security piece of this, that's when they made the switch. 
 
Despite the overwhelming majority of healthcare organizations using or expressing interest in using cloud technology, the security concerns are very real, many officials point out. There are many industry professionals who don't yet sing the praises of the technology.
 
"Most cloud vendors have huge servers and are carving pieces up to give to customers," said Chris Logan, chief information security officer of Care New England. "The thing that scares me about that is, what if the controls aren’t in place and my data slips into somebody else's environment, or their data slips into my environment? What's the downstream issue there? What's the effect? It’s significant."
 
On top of the security issues, the cloud can also cost providers a pretty penny. In the HIMSS Analytics cloud report, nearly 20 percent of healthcare organizations cited costs and fees associated with the cloud as one of the biggest challenges with their cloud providers. 



more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Mobile patient engagement startup Gamgee raises $4M

Mobile patient engagement startup Gamgee raises $4M | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley startup Gamgee, a mobile health developer that seeks to improve patient engagement with voice-enabled technology, raised $4 million, according to a filing with the SEC.

The San Mateo-based company, founded in 2013 by CEO Robert Quinn, is betting it can provide more instruction for patients with the voice technology versus just an application. It’s 22otters app is delivered by way of text and voice calls, which deliver content from a cloud-based platform that is customizable for specific providers,

“Our platform and process suck in patient handouts and convert them into effective, spoken dialogues on mobile devices,” the company says on a description on AngelList. “We’re focused initially on procedure prep rather than the crowded down-stream use cases, and we are heavily invested in voice interaction.”

The startup is also backed by Khosla Ventures, and Vinod Khosla is listed on the From D filing as director for Gamgee.

Gamgee does not have a website and Khosla Ventures, which backs a number of well-known Silicon Valley startups, does not list Gamgee in its portfolio. That likely means the line of equity and debt offering were personal investments.
more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

The future of medicine and the incredible innovations we can expect by 2064

The future of medicine and the incredible innovations we can expect by 2064 | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

he Fred Alger Management team reached out to me recently asking what innovative changes I thought the medical and healthcare industry will be going through over the next 50 years. It was for their innovative “Think Further” series:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOgt85cPU8Q&list=UUcpr1hudOhiPOsj-7rwe8Ew&w=520]

As Yogi Berra famously quipped “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” but Alger’s “Future of Medicine” question is an interesting approach to generating ideas so I thought I’d give it a shot.

For the first 50 years in computing we’ve been busy digitizing the areas of human activity such as:

  • Administration (letters and memos are rarely done by hand)
  • Engineering (computations and drawings have been done on machines for a while)
  • Finance & accounting (spreadsheets and software drive most financial tasks)
  • News & press (social media, online news)
  • Literature (e-books, publications)
  • Retail (online stores)

There are many more examples of digitization plus even more examples of how mobile, social, and Internet have changed the world for the better. While the innovations I’ve cited above have brought enormous benefits to humanity, the next 50 years when we digitize biology through genomics, digitize chemistry through early detection systems, and digitize physics through better simulations we’re going to live in a world that might soon look even more like science fiction than it does today. Here’s how:

  • We already have “Dr. Google” through search engines but the coming decades will make medical knowledge, especially differential diagnoses, even better and more accessible to the average patient.
  • In the next decade we’re going to have the first versions of Star Trek’s “Medical Tricorder” and “Biobeds” which will focus on improved digital diagnostics by using digital medical education and improved mobile sensors to teach our devices how to read biomarkers in blood or other human biological specimen and identify disease or other ailments.
  • Over the following decades we’ll use those better diagnostics to create significantly better therapeutics such as personalized drugs. The better our diagnostics get on a personal (patient-specific) basis, the better our personalized therapies will get.
  • Within next couple of decades we’ll be able to use the advanced diagnostics capabilities of genetics and proteomics to create personal simulators of our body so that drugs and their side effects can be tested on a digital version of ourselves instead of running clinical trials in live settings.
  • As computing power increases and digital biological specimens become easier to obtain, we can imagine a world in which computers can run biological research that only humans can do today. And do it more safely and quickly than is possible this decade.
  • We can even imagine a world in which we can detect and correct diseases by touching our smartphones or smartwatches.

Just as we couldn’t imagine 20 years ago that a device we hold in our hands could guide us using GPS systems, there are things we’ll get through digital biology, digital chemistry, and digital physics that would be unimaginable today.

Our biggest struggles with future innovations won’t be around technology – that part will be solved quickly because of a huge pool of talented entrepreneurs and engineers. The biggest risk to our next generation technologies will really be around regulatory, privacy, and security. We already don’t know how to handle mobile medical devices from a regulatory perspective. We barely know how to manage privacy and security with the small amounts of personalized health records and diagnostic data we have now.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

Contact Details :
inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset Used to Fight Phobias

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset Used to Fight Phobias | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it
While the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality immersion device, is slated for release only early next year, researchers are already trying to implement practical uses for it. At Santa Clara University a couple engineering and computer science students are working on using the Rift to fight phobias, initially focusing on a fear of heights and flying. With a background in video games, the pair teamed up with the chair of the university’s psychology department to study how phobias are treated and how to create a virtual reality experience that will progressively address patient fears.

The investigators came up with a system that pairs a Rift headset with a touchscreen tablet. The patient wears the Rift, while a therapist uses the tablet to guide the experience and tailor it to the patient’s unique needs. In their heights simulation, for example, the treatment starts with the patient virtually standing on top of a building. Initially it is not very tall, but the therapist can slowly increase the building’s height while watching the emotional response of the patient. By increasing the height without terrifying the patient, the therapy can gently nudge acrophobics to get used to being on tall objects and hopefully eventually lose their fear.

While the heights in the virtual world may frighten patients, the team noted that because wearers of the device know they can take it off at any time, they seem to more accepting of trying out the system. Of course an important step will be to actually test the system with real patients to see whether it is truly effective at allaying fears once and for all.
more...
Lyfe Media's curator insight, June 17, 2015 10:01 AM

The Oculus Rift virtual headset is going to create a world of opportunity for doctors, therapists, and counselors alike. Dealing with patients and their fears can be one of the most difficult topics to approach, especially since a lot of our fears are irrational or impossible. It's exciting to see the world of technology colliding with modern medicine in such an innovative, helpful way.

Scoop.it!

Research surgical robot hacked by computer science experts

Research surgical robot hacked by computer science experts | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have demonstrated the ability to remotely hack a research surgical robot, the RAVEN II platform.


Before continuing, I’ll stop to clarify one thing. The RAVEN II is not a clinically used surgical robot like, say, the Da Vinci surgical robot. It’s an “open-source” surgical robot developed at the University of Washington to test and demonstrate advanced concepts in robotic surgery. We contacted Applied Dexterity which is now in charge of the RAVEN platform and according to co-founder David Drajeske,

The RAVEN II platform is not approved for use on humans. The system has been placed at 18 robotics research labs worldwide…that are using it to make advances in surgical robotics technologies…The low level software is open-source and it is designed to be “hackable” or readily reprogrammed.

Clinically used surgical robots, like the Da Vinci platform, operate on secure local networks using proprietary (i.e. not publicly available) communications protocols between the console and the robot. By contrast, RAVEN II can work on unsecured public networks and uses a publicly available communications protocol (see below). So while some have proclaimed an imminent threat to robotic surgery, that’s simply not the case.


That said, the work does have interesting implications; as pointed out by Mr. Drajeske and co-founder Blake Hannaford, RAVEN II is a great platform for testing these type of security issues. Tamara Bonaci, a graduate student at the University of Washigton, led this study to test the security vulnerabilities that could threaten surgeons using these tools and their patients. In this simulation, they aimed to recreate an environment that would be more akin to using these robots in remote areas.


They tested a series of attacks on the RAVEN II system while an operator used it to complete a simulated task – moving rubber blocks around.


They found that not only were they able to disrupt the “surgeon” by causing erratic movements of the robot, they were able to hijack the robot entirely. They also discovered they were able to easily access the video feed from the robot.


One of the main use cases highlighted for surgical robots, or any number of medical robots for that matter, is that they can function in remote, difficult to reach, and underserved areas. In those areas, some of the conditions of this study are likely to be present – like having to use a relatively unsecured data network. And for cost reasons, using a more open-source platform may be important. So this study does however raise interesting questions about the use of medical robots – it just doesn’t mean that clinically used surgical robots are under some imminent threat.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

A Hospital Is Already Giving Apple Watch To Its Patients

A Hospital Is Already Giving Apple Watch To Its Patients | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The Apple Watch began arriving in homes and businesses across America on Friday.


And in New Orleans, one doctor immediately strapped it to his patient’s wrist.


“We need to fundamentally change behavior,” says that doctor — Richard Milani. “And the Apple Watch has the potential to [do] it.”

Milani is the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Ochsner Health System, and overseeing what the hospital calls a first-of-its-kind trial: Giving Apple Watch to patients who struggle with high blood pressure, and seeing if it prompts them to take their medication, to make positive changes in lifestyle, and simply, to just get up and move around.


And Milani believes that the potential opportunity is huge: More than 80% of U.S. health care spending goes toward chronic disease. And many of those diseases are exceedingly preventable.


Apple Watch part of Ochsner’s broader strategy

While it doesn’t have the national profile of some health systems, Ochsner has been working hard to be a leader in digital medicine.


  • More than a year ago, the hospital launched an “O Bar” — deliberately modeled on Apple’s Genius Bar — to help patients pick through the thousands of health and wellness apps available to them.
  • Six months ago, Ochsner became the first hospital to integrate its Epic electronic health record system with Apple’s HealthKit software.
  • And in February, Ochsner launched its “Hypertension Digital Medicine Program,” a pilot program where several hundred patients regularly measure their own blood pressure and heart rate ratings using wireless cuffs, which then send that data through Apple’s HealthKit (and collects it in their medical records). Based on the results, Ochsner staff then make real-time adjustments to the patients’ medication and lifestyle.


The new Apple Watch trial builds off the hospital’s existing digital medicine program, Milani says. And he began Friday’s pilot with his longtime patient Andres Rubiano, a 54-year-old who’s spent the past twenty years trying to manage his chronic hypertension.

Rubiano says that his two months participating in Ochsner’s digital medicine program have been “comforting” — he enjoys the constant monitoring — and have already led him to make changes in diet and exercise.

“It’s been a life-changer for me,” he says.

But the Apple Watch has the potential to go further. Its customized alerts and prompts encourage immediate interventions. When we spoke on Friday afternoon, just six hours or so after he began wearing the Apple Watch, Rubiano raved about the subtle taps on his wrist.

“It’s like I have Milani as my buddy right next to me,” Rubiano said, “just nudging me to get up off your [behind] and walk around, or saying, hey, take your meds.”

Milani acknowledges there’s limited evidence that wearable technologies can directly lead to the health improvements he’s hoping to see.


But he plans to quickly enroll about two dozen patients in his Apple Watch trial, in order to begin collecting data on whether the Watch is actually making a difference. (Other patients in the hypertension program will act as the control group.) And he’s optimistic that wearable technology will pay dividends in health.

“For whatever reason, health care doesn’t do a very good job of creating [the necessary] behavior change,” Milani says. “But many of these new technologies have that ability.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Why Wearable Technology is Good for your Health

Why Wearable Technology is Good for your Health | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The Apple Watch and Adidas’s plans for including wearable technology in its shoe and clothing lines have been drawing attention recently, as the age of always-accessible information is upon us. In the era of the Internet of Things — when our homes are linked to our smartphones and everything else is linked to a network — it’s still somewhat surprising to realize that entire industries have yet to be transformed by increased connectivity. Until recently, one of those areas was arguably the health field. Yes, files have been switched to online servers for some time now. But it’s only been in the past year or so that the health industry has begun to be revolutionized by the possibilities technology offers.

With an increase in the number of apps and medical devices that patients can use on their own, the challenge becomes providing a way for that information to be shared seamlessly, said Liat Ben-Zur, senior vice president and digital technology leader at Philips. Ben-Zur spoke with The Next Web at SXSW about how the company is attempting to create a platform that could share numerous data points about a person’s health with their doctors.
 
 
Health solutions at your fingertips

“Right now, what we’re seeing is there’s a general health care problem on the horizon that we want to be focusing on,” she said in the interview. The aging population in America is seeing an uptick in chronic diseases, Ben-Zur said, and almost 70% of the health care costs in the industry right now are going toward managing those diseases. As patients seek to monitor those, they’re using more apps and devices that monitor diet, blood pressure, weight, and all sorts of data that can help doctors to determine the best course of treatment. And while that allows consumers to take their health into their own hands, much of that data is still scattered and fragmented, because of the framework of how the data is collected.

“All of these different wearables … they’re all sending their information to their own databases, and nothing’s being shared,” Ben-Zur said. Patients might track their biological data over time, but it’s not easily combined with x-rays taken by a specialist, a list of medications they’re currently taking, and the environmental factors like air quality that could also affect their prognosis.

The benefit of all sorts of “smart” technology is that doctors could start to get a better picture of what is actually affecting a patient’s health by looking at a myriad of factors. Some health devices are already HIPAA-compliant for medical use and regulated by the government, Ben-Zur said. Not only is there a potential to collect traditional health data, she added, but there’s a possibility that non-regulated home devices like HVAC systems, refrigerators, and coffee makers could be connected to an open-cloud platform that could provide a wealth of contextual information. If all the devices are truly “smart” and are able to connect to the Internet but also share information, “we can start to actually leverage the benefits of wearables devices, of home monitoring devices.”

So the company, in a partnership with salesforce.com, created HealthSuite, a secure cloud-based platform that aggregates all sorts of health data that is accessible for patients and health care providers. If a patient is wearing a device that transmits their vital sign information to the cloud, a doctor can view that data on an app and monitor the person’s health even when they’re not in the same room. The video above gives an overview of how HealthSuite works.

Philips isn’t the only brand to offer real-time medical collaboration, though the idea is still rather novel. Though perhaps not as comprehensive as Ben-Zur describes as the potential for Philips, drchrono.com offers one-stop health care services with its Electronic Health Record, or EHR, platform. Patients can upload health information, make appointments with their doctors, and receive electronic prescriptions through one website and app. Apple also began offering a Health app with its iOS8 launch in September 2014, which can track all sorts of data such as calories consumed, sleep data, vital signs, and more. Along with that launch, Apple also created HealthKit for app developers, which enables independent fitness apps to share their data with the Health app dashboard. All of that information can be shared with medical professionals, directly through the app.


Security’s role in connected health care

So what’s the catch with all of this seemingly great cooperation? According to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, it’s security. In her statements at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015, Ramirez said that addressing security issues is paramount to ensure that consumers truly benefit from the Internet of Things. “That data trove will contain a wealth of revealing information that, when patched together, will present a deeply personal and startlingly complete picture of each of us – one that includes details about our financial circumstances, our health, our religious preferences, and our family and friends,” she said. Later in the speech, she elaborated on the specific threat that data breaches have, the probability of which increases with the more connected devices people use. “Moreover, the risks that unauthorized access create intensify as we adopt more and more devices linked to our physical safety, such as our cars, medical care, and homes,” Ramirez said.

The health care industry is particularly at risk in the current digital environment. The Global State of Information Security Survey for 2015, administered by PricewaterhouseCooper, shows that “information security incidents” (read: breaches) jumped 60% in 2014 compared to 2013, and the costs attributed to those incidents increased by 282%. A growing number of health providers are reporting that they are investing more in security, especially at an executive level, according to the study. However, there’s a disconnect in bringing those discussions to a board of directors level.

The potential for adding health care initiatives to the Internet of Things is a huge benefit, because it can allow consumers and doctors to become more proactive, instead of reactive to a current health need. Ben-Zur praised this, as did the Atlantic Council and Intel Security in a report titled, “The Healthcare Internet of Things: Rewards and Risks.” According to a separate Intel Security survey of more than 12,000 adults in 2013, a large majority of people are receptive to using this form of sharing information to improve their health. Of the respondents, 70% of adults said they would be willing to use swallowed monitors, prescription bottle sensors, and even toilet sensors to improve personal care.


How does the field move forward?

With that in mind, it’s likely that the biggest obstacle for widespread use is the potential for data theft. While that might always be a concern with online files, several of the companies are already addressing the issue. Apple’s information is encrypted and drchrono’s data is under HIPAA protections. Philips doesn’t discuss the security details of its HealthSuite, but in every announcement about it, including a press release to publicize the launch, the company emphasizes the platform has built-in security to create a secure cloud environment.

The risks are still present. “Since the IoT is still in its infancy, no one yet knows all the ways this information can be used for malicious purposes,” the Atlantic Council and Intel Security wrote. However, with companies continuing to try to improve their security measures, while also providing new tools to monitor health, it’s likely that the health field will become the next industry reshaped by the Internet of Things.

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

How Technology is Driving the Next Wave of Telemedicine

How Technology is Driving the Next Wave of Telemedicine | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The growth in business cases for new models of healthcare delivery and integration of digital health technology is reaching the point of convergence — creating powerful synergies where there was once only data silos and skepticism.


We have not quite achieved this synergy yet, but opportunities emerging in 2015 will move the industry much closer to the long-awaited initiatives in connected, value-based care.

Individuals are constantly hyper-connected to a variety of technology networks and devices. Wearables will continue to enter the market, but their features and focus will go well beyond fitness. Even the devices entering the market now are more sophisticated than ever before. Some are now equipped with tools like muscle activity tracking, EEG, breath monitoring, and UV light measurement.

It will be fascinating to watch how consumer electronics, wearables, and clinical devices continue to merge and take new forms. Some particularly interesting examples will be in the categories of digital tattoos, implantable devices, and smart lenses.

As the adoption of wearables continues to grow, we will continue to see more value placed on accessing digital health data by healthcare and wellness organizations. This will be especially important as healthcare shifts towards value-based models of care. The need to gain access to the actionable data on connected devices will only grow as innovation creates more complex technologies in the market.

This is the year the promise of telehealth will be realized. It is projected that by 2018, 65 percent of interactions with health organizations will take place via mobile devices. Those statistics speak to the need of satisfying the growing demands being placed on providers, along with the growing discernment among patients when it comes to selecting affordable and convenient medical services. The continued adoption of telehealth will extend the point of care for providers and provide ubiquitous access to medical professionals for patients.

A number of entities are already putting this into practice: Walgreens, in partnership with MDLIVE, recently expanded their mobile platform to offer virtual doctors visits for acutely-ill patients; Google is testing a HIPAA-compliant medicine platform for video chats with doctors; and, digital urgent care solutions, like Doctor on Demand, are growing in popularity due to their convenience and low cost.

Telemedicine will not only extend the point of care, but will also be critical in better combatting chronic disease. Managing chronic health conditions will become the focus of many healthcare providers, as models of reimbursement and population health management (PHM) continue to replace fee-for-service models. One issue with chronic disease management is that it is difficult to monitor at-risk patients outside of the hospital. This is where telemedicine comes in.

Prescribed devices and applications to better handle chronic conditions will increase in pervasiveness. This idea of prescribing mobile health to better manage disease states translates to a host of chronic conditions – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer.

For example, our client UCSF uses devices like step trackers, sleep trackers, scales and blood pressure monitors to track patients at-risk for heart disease or cardiac readmissions. Another client, UNC is creating a Gastro-Intestinal tracking application (GI Buddy) that leverages fitness devices and scales to monitor Chron’s disease. There are thousands of studies pioneering innovations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. And, they are making serious strides.

The automatic transmission of pertinent patient data from these mobile health technologies is propelling forward capabilities for cost-effective, efficient and successful remote patient monitoring, population management and patient engagement programs.

However, as telehealth and telemedicine capabilities continue to develop, the major hurdle for most providers is integrating and the mobile health data collected outside of the hospital back into the clinical story for use in the provision of care. In a value-based healthcare system, the key to better outcomes lies in data, and specifically, obtaining access to data generated outside of the provider setting.

Platform services will continue to be vital partnerships as healthcare systems are expected to quickly execute on all these initiatives simultaneously and successfully. Bottom line:  The industry is transforming, and if you have not started talking about how to connect to those external data sources, then you need to start.

These emerging trends will continue to bind the landscapes of technology, healthcare, and business. The road set upon long ago by medical professionals and legislators is finally coming to fruition. The walls of interoperability are beginning to come down, investments are growing, partnerships are forming, and consumers are starting to take notice. We are moving towards a digital health revolution. We have the opportunity, the responsibility, and the honor, to align healthcare and technology innovation to exponentially improve our care system. It is a tall task, but we are off to a promising start.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

What’s the Best Foundation for a Health Information Exchange? How About a Practical One?

What’s the Best Foundation for a Health Information Exchange? How About a Practical One? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

It was both informative and enlightening to speak with David Watson on March 23 in Washington, D.C., just after he had participated in a panel on interoperability at the World Health Care Congress (held March 22-25 at the Marriott Wardman Park. As the CEO of the California Integrated Data Exchange, or Cal INDEX, Dave Watson has a very strong sense of both vision and mission, as he leads his health information exchange (HIE) forward.


As I wrote in my interview-report on March 27, “The development of statewide health information exchange (HIE) has proven to be a very long, twisty journey in California. The nation’s most populous state has seen both HIE expansion and HIE collapse, including not only a very early HIE in Santa Barbara, but also the first two statewide HIEs in the Golden State—CalRHIO and Cal eConnect (which merged and later collapsed)—even as a dozen and a half regional HIEs have been created and survived so far.”


I further wrote, “But perhaps the third time really will be the charm, when it comes to statewide HIE efforts in California: the Walnut Creek-based California Integrated Data Exchange, or Cal INDEX, was formally incorporated on July 31, 2014, and was publicly announced several days later on August 5. Initially created by the two biggest Blues plans operating in the state—Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross (formerly Blue Cross of California), which pledged $80 million in funding for the next five years.”


Importantly, as Watson noted in my interview with him, Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross (formerly Blue Cross of California) had already each been “building their own private exchanges to share clinical data with their ACO providers. So they agreed not to compete on a utility function,” he noted. And right now, he said, “We’re doing outreach to the providers, and are in negotiations with 10 providers in both Northern and Southern California.”


Meanwhile, Watson told me, “The biggest challenge is getting to critical mass. So having two payers contribute roughly 10 million records is a start; but we need to sign up the other big payers in the state, as well as providers.”


Here’s what was particularly heartening to me in all this, with regard to the winding journey that health information exchange has taken so far in California: Watson understands where things need to go, and is helping to lead the movement in the right direction. As he told me, “The challenge is not only getting to critical mass, but also making sure we have very high accuracy of patient matching. And then the quality of the data that comes in requires a lot of scrubbing, so you have to scrub the data, and do semantic mapping. And so whether the data came from a health system, primary care doctor, or payer, it’s mapped to a payer model so that when you consume it, you always see it the same way in the longitudinal patient record.” And so, he said, “Our value is that we acquire, curate and manage the data. And our goal is not just to create interoperable points; the question is, how do you join systems of care to appropriately share information? So our goal is to complete the system of care; and we’ll get at that in stages, and it will define itself as we do the work.”


And so what is great here is how practical the vision is that Watson and his colleagues at Cal INDEX have. After two failed experiments with statewide health information exchange in California, a third statewide HIE has been created, one that has been founded with strong seed funding from two of the state’s biggest health insurers; and the Cal INDEX folks are focusing on building practical HIE bridges, not trying to build castles in the sky or boil the ocean.


That strategic vision jibes very well with the strategies of several major statewide HIEs—in Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado—that have achieved sustainability in the past few years. As I noted in one of our Top Ten Tech Trends in the January/February issue of the magazine, the statewide HIEs that are surviving, and even thriving, long-term, have senior leaders who recognize that sustainability will require the ability to meet some kind of set of market needs, whether it be providing ED visit or hospitalization alerts, enable the participation in outcomes measurement, help support clinician-to-clinician messaging, facilitate the sharing of continuity of care documents (CCDs), or provide some other type of service that individuals or organizations are willing to pay for.


Of course, there are terrific justifications in principle for establishing statewide HIEs. But the reality of the history of health information exchange in California, a huge, complex state, is that abstract principles and broad ideals around data exchange have in the past not been able to sustain actual HIEs.


So the fact is, the reality of health information exchange at this point in the history of HIE, is that statewide HIEs will be sustained based on their practical usefulness to actual people and organizations, not on their fulfilling abstract ideals.


So when it comes to achieving true statewide health information exchange, it appears that Dave Watson and his colleagues at Cal INDEX have a very good chance of making things work out this time around. Only time will tell, of course. But they understand something their predecessors in that state, in this space, found too difficult to solve—how to make the economics and ideals of health information exchange align and work together. Godspeed to all HIE leaders, as they endeavor to make a concept critical to the future of U.S. healthcare, really work. Meanwhile, stay tuned, because the forward march of Cal INDEX is a phenomenon we should all keep our eyes on in the next few years. It certainly will say a great deal about the broader advance of healthcare nationwide.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Accenture report highlights digital health priorities for tech-savvy seniors

Accenture report highlights digital health priorities for tech-savvy seniors | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Nearly 70 percent of seniors said technology is important to managing their health, according to a new report by Accenture. The survey of more than 10,00 people in 10 countries included 350 American seniors aged 65 and older.

The majority of people interested in these devices are already actively managing their health, which rings true with the quantified self movement. Of those who said they considered technology “very important” in health management, 75 percent monitored their weight, 50 percent monitored their cholesterol and 41 percent tracked their physical activity last year. Those rates are much higher than seniors who say they see no value in using technology to manage their health, according to the report.

Here were the five biggest priorities identified in the survey:

  • Self-care technology to independently manage health. (67 percent)
  • Wearables to track vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure. (62 percent)
  • Online communities to gauge reactions to a doctor’s recommendation (60 percent)
  • Patient navigators (33 percent)
  • Electronic health record management  (25 percent)

About 57 percent of seniors aged 65 and older used their electronic health record to access outcome-related health
data such as lab work and blood test results compared to just 46 percent of younger peers, the report said. Although a little more than one in four said they relied on EHRs for this information, about 42 percent said they expected to rely on EHRs to access health data in the next five years.

Despite the report’s outlook that seniors will embrace digital health in wider numbers, it emphasizes that its power to amplify in-person appointments with doctors, not replace them.

“Ehealth is poised to help increase engagement opportunities and support complex care coordination of the Medicare population. It is a complement, not a substitute, for the human touch in healthcare—at a time in people’s lives when they often need it the most.”

Seniors are a particularly interesting demographic to consider for digital health for a few reasons. They account for a significant portion of the population (40.3 million, according to 2010 U.S. Census data) and a hefty portion of medical expenses as their health declines. But the report’s focus on tech-savvy seniors also reveals its bias towards seniors that enjoy higher incomes. It cites the Pew Internet and American Life Project that of the seniors 65 and older with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90 percent go online and 82 percent have broadband at home, both of which are much higher rates compared to this age group overall.

Accenture’s report underscores the need for digital health tools that not only respond to seniors interest in aging in place, but also respond to the broad variety of technology skill levels in such a large, aging population.


more...
Edward Wisniowski's curator insight, March 10, 2015 5:47 PM

Seniors are getting more tech savy

Scoop.it!

4 Ways Technology Will Dominate Healthcare in 2015

4 Ways Technology Will Dominate Healthcare in 2015 | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Technology plays a major role in healthcare development around the world and we saw more proof of that in the past year. This year, we can expect to see technology dramatically change people’s entire healthcare experience. Here are 4 ways technology will dominate healthcare in 2015.

1. Investments in Technology

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is changing the healthcare industry by putting the focus on consumers. This will force health insurers to shift strategies from old business models using employer-sponsored products and services to more consumer-focused offerings.

In an article on TechCrunch.com, Joe Riley, a managing member of the healthcare investment firm Psilos, stated that he predicts a “surge in acquisitions in 2015 as the insurers add technologies, products and services that deliver a differentiated consumer experience on price, quality and service.  Significant investment will be required throughout the health insurers’ value chains, from research to product development, to operations and to marketing and sales”.

Among the technological solutions that Riley predicts companies will focus on this year include automated claims adjudication and payment software, population health management tools, mobile and telecommunication strategies such as online appointment scheduling, prescription ordering and direct payments, and a 24/7 customer service software.

2. Healthcare Data and the Cloud

In order for healthcare providers to improve the quality of their services and at the same time manage costs, they will have to create more comprehensive patient profiles. Cynthia Burghard, Research Director from the research firm IDC, in an article on EnterpriseInnovation.net, predicts that “15 percent of hospitals will create a comprehensive patient profile by 2016 that will allow them to deliver personalized treatment plans”. This calls for improvements in data collection and management, which will encourage more healthcare providers to make use of the cloud.

In the same article, Judy Hanover, Research Director at IDC, also stated that “by 2018, 80 percent of healthcare data will pass through the cloud at some point in its lifetime, as providers seek to leverage cloud based ecologies and infrastructure for data collection, aggregation and analytics and decision-making”.

3. Wearable Devices for Fitness and Healthcare

There has been huge growth in the wearable devices market in recent years. According to an article on the IBTimes.com, Juniper Research estimates 19 million devices in the market last year, and this number is expected to reach 70 million by 2018.

Wearables are not only able to help users track their heart rates but also monitor other facets of their health. This year, though, we can expect to see wearable devices to expand from wrist devices to other products such as biometric shirts and headphones that track heart rate.

What is more interesting though is the movement to transition from just fitness to healthcare. One of the major goals now is for physicians to be able to monitor data coming from these wearable devices in order to make healthcare decisions.

4. Healthcare Apps

As more and more data are collected from wearable devices, there is also a corresponding increase in the development of healthcare apps that provide storage for and management of this data. Some of the apps available in the market now are the Apple Heath and Google Fit platforms. Since patients nowadays are also more empowered to take charge of their health, more healthcare apps are predicted to come out in the market soon.


more...
Bob Lawson's curator insight, February 5, 2015 5:49 AM

Seeing some really clever stuff around clinical trial adherence where Mobile Apps are being used to keep participants in the medical trials on track and build a very short feedback loop 

Scoop.it!

Strategic Technology Trends 2015 | NEdocs

Strategic Technology Trends 2015 | NEdocs | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

What technology trends will 2015 hold? As we enter the New Year, businesses and consumers alike are looking to the future and anticipating how new technology trends will improve the way we live, work, and play. From 3D printing to self-aware machines, the technology trends for 2015 will bring us even closer to an automated future, continuing to improve business processes and change how we interact with our surroundings.

In preparation for 2015, we have compiled 8 strategic technology trends to watch out for over the coming months.

8 Strategic Technology Trends in 2015The Expansion of Computing:

As portable device technology continues to improve, you will continue to see its adoption in enhancing daily routines. Tablets, smart-phones, and even wearables are transforming how you work, exercise, learn, and so much more. You should expect to see an increasing presence of portable devices in the workplace as they help to transform office environments while improving costly and tedious processes.

3D Printing:

3D printing is taking the manufacturing world by storm. Not only is 3D printing compressing design cycles and improving innovation – it’s also reducing costs. As we see 3D printing capabilities continue to advance, you should also look to how it will be used in biomedical, industrial, and consumer applications to further reduce operational costs.

Big Data & the Internet of Things:

The world is becoming increasingly more connected. With increased connection there will be even more data and the need to analyze it properly. The larger our collective data becomes, the more advanced and incorporated our analytics will need be. The concept of big data goes hand in hand with the evolution of the Internet of things. The Internet of things is considered the future of the Internet in which everyday objects are able to connect to a network and send/receive data.

“Self” Aware Systems:

Embedded intelligence and advanced analytics have paved the way for alert and responsive systems. These systems are able to interact with their surroundings, revolutionizing how our technology interacts with its environment through the Internet of things..

Smart Machines:

With advances in analytics and context-awareness, machines will soon be able to learn without assistance, and act accordingly. Household appliances and business processes alike will be utterly disrupted by this type of capability as more activities and processes become truly automated.

Cloud & Device Connectivity:

As mobile computing continues to advance and diversify, the need to deliver applications to any device will continue to rise. There will be an increasing pressure for developers to enable cross platform functionality through cloud software.

Enhanced Information Security:

If there is anything we learned in 2014, it is that our information is not as secure as we thought. From the infamous Heart Bleed Bug to the recent attacks on Sony, we can clearly see the need for a security overhaul. Over the next year we should expect to see significant advances in risk assessment and mitigation.

Death of the Service Desk:

Real-time service and crowd-sourced support are becoming more and more common in the world of technical support. The effectiveness of these new support tools/methods will eventually replace the need for a traditional help desk.


more...
Halina Ostańkowicz-Bazan's curator insight, February 11, 2015 9:41 AM

Teaching with technology is the MUST in The 21st Century.

Scoop.it!

Experts: Tech is changing health care, but with caveats - Nashville Business Journal

Experts: Tech is changing health care, but with caveats - Nashville Business Journal | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Everyone has examples of the way technology could transform health care (and in many cases, how it already has).

A Nashville Business Journal panel Tuesday morning focused on digitally connecting with health care consumers, and a handful of local experts shared some of their favorites.

Through use of a bedside tablet, patients and their families could have more control over non-clinical aspects of a hospital stay, like food service or room temperature, said Julie Groos Van Tassel of Microsoft. Or, others suggested, physicians can use advanced communication tools to share information with their patients after they leave the office, or quickly access information they need to answer a patient query in the middle of the night.

But all these transformations come with some caveats, the panelists said. Many technological transformations in the industry, like the switch to electronic health records, are being driven by government mandates. But those mandates haven't always taken into account the need for functional workflow and interoperability, said Keri Cullity, managing director of health care advisory for KPMG.

Plus, patient portals, one of the primary patient-facing aspects of EHRs, don't cultivate the engagement the panelists want to see from patients.

"From my perspective a portal is not engagement," said Robert Taylor, chief medical officer of RoundingWell and a practicing partner at Nephrology Associates in Nashville, because patients simply access information, they aren't "activated" to make changes in their health.

Overall though, providers and health care observers are optimistic about the potential of technology to change patient and physicians lives. But when moderator Michael Beaty of KPMG asked what the return on investment is for digital connection tools, the answer was not a whole lot — for now.

"The big barrier … is the fact that we haven't pulled the band-aid off of fee-for-service," said Groos Van Tassel.

Jeff Patton, CEO of Nashville-based Tennessee Oncology, agreed. A great patient experience is a plus for patients visiting his practice group, but that's not the marketing edge that's going to increase volume. And in a fee-for-service world, there aren't many financial rewards for using those tools to improve the outcomes of a patient's visit.

"Once we're value-based you'll see these tools take off. … But for now it's not in the black, it's in the red," Patton said.



more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Health Care: A Modern Day Blade Runner?

Health Care: A Modern Day Blade Runner? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Throughout the health ecosystem new technologies and medical advancements enter the market every day. Yet, as Jonathan Bush, President and CEO of athenahealth commented during the 2014 Forbes Healthcare Summit, “Only in health care can you increase the staff needed and slow productivity, costing more, by adding new technologies.”

His point is well taken. Negative labor productivity is ultimately the underlying complaint of hospital leadership, providers and patients surrounding technology such as electronic health records (EHRs). Although more EHRs enter the market and mergers continue between health systems everyday, the need to actually connect care has sadly been lost in the debate about what software to use and how to use it.

As the President and CEO of Texas Medical Center Robert Robbins pointed out, “Just like we are not going back to using pay phones and rotary phones over smart phones, the EHR will never be overtaken by file folders of the past.” He contends that there are plenty of opportunities for improvement, but the progress of technology will not be undone because people do not like them, as they exist.

Jonathan Bush used that transition to equate the state of health care technology to the movie Blade Runner, in which a dystopian future involves hover cars and artificial intelligence, but the characters still use pay phones.

While no one can predict with certainty what the future of health analytics and scientific advancement look like, it’s clear that regression in one area as others surge forward is not an option. Just as we cannot go back to health care in the US before the ACA, the future of health will certainly not look like it does under the ACA.



more...
No comment yet.