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mHealth Summit Next Week

We’re really excited to be participating in the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC next week. We attended the event last year and are excited to see the various technologies that will be there again this year.

I was told that they’re expecting about 4000 attendees at the conference and about 300 vendors. I’m excited to see how the conference goes post-HIMSS acquisition. So far I’ve seen nothing but good things come from the acquisition by HIMSS.

My schedule is chalk full of meetings with various mHealth companies. So, I’ll try to get as much information for you from the event as possible.

You can follow all of the happenings at the mHealth Summit on Twitter using the hashtag #mhs12. If you plan to be at the conference, I’d love to connect with you in person.

November 30, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Smart Phone Enabled Thermometer Approved By FDA

Well, this is pretty neat.

The FDA has recently approved a body thermometer that works with the iPhone. It is said to be suitable for people ages two and up, so along with the at-home remotoscope and the smart phone brain scanner, people can basically start having an at-home doctor’s office! Okay, not really, but it’s starting to seem this way.

The “Raiing” is a small device that is placed under the armpit. Not only does it give the temperature of an individual, but it has the ability to continually track for a period of time, all the while having the information sent via bluetooth to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. A “pre-set temperature” can be selected, and if it is reached or surpassed, an alert is sent to the mobile app. For anyone worried about their own temperature (or a child’s) throughout the night, this could really bring some piece of mind and perhaps a few less sleepless nights.

72 hours can be recorded before the information has to be synchronized with the mobile device, and a record can be kept as well — either on the phone, or on the cloud service provided by Raiing.

This image below is from the website, and shows a little bit how it works, and what the interface of the app looks like.


And here is an actual screenshot of the app:

 

This looks like it’s the first smart phone thermometer available, and it looks like it has been well-thought out. I didn’t see anything about pricing on the website, or the ability to purchase it, but the accompanying app can be downloaded here from iTunes (and is free).

I’d love to see this available for Android devices sometime in the future. Hopefully if it is successful on iOS devices, then it will be offered to Android as well. This is definitely something I would be willing to invest a little bit of money into getting.

November 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Five Helpful Mobile Apps for Radiologists

After seeing the popularity of my post about great mobile apps for medical students, I thought I would do a few more posts like that, focusing on different types of medical professions. Today, radiologists.

There are TONS of mobile resources for radiologists. Granted, the best ones are rather expensive, but from what I gather, well-worth the cost. However, there are also some pretty handy free (or really inexpensive) ones as well. After doing some research, here are a few of the apps I think could be helpful for those in radiology. Unfortunately, they are all for iOS devices, though some may be available for Android in the future.

1) Diagnostic Radiology App

iMedicalapps.com made the claim that this app is “possibly the best radiology app for iOS.” This is actually more like an interactive textbook. There is a very comprehensive, searchable database with over 30 different cases. The results from each case can be hidden in order to help the user think up their own solutions. There are excellent image sets included in each case as well. The app is meant for the iPad, but apparently, works rather smoothly on the smaller iPod and iPhone screens. This specific app is geared toward abdominal radiology, though other emphases are in the works. The app does cost quite a bit at $44.99, however, there is a free version which apparently is still very good. One reviewer claimed that “this app is amazing. I . . . expected a freebie with perhaps a bit of useful content. How wrong I was.”

This app is amazing. I downloaded it yesterday and expected a freebie with perhaps a bit of useful content. How wrong I was.

Download the full version here, and the free version here.

2) RSNA Radiology

This app is for Radiology, a top-rated, peer-reviewed journal. It contains tons of great articles that can be easily searched, as well as sent to colleagues. The font size is also adjustable, which accomodates the young and old radiologist. There are also included podcasts which can be listened to through the app. As I mentioned, the articles can be searched, which is definitely useful if someone is looking for a specific part of a certain article. New research with commentary and critiques from different experts in the radiology world is one of the highlights of RSNA Radiology. This app is totally free, which is awesome, considering all the great resources that it includes. It isn’t currently available for Android devices, though it can be accessed from Android phones and tablets at m.radiology.rsna.org.

Download for iOS devices here.

3) Radiology Toolbox

According to the description on iTunes, Radiology Toolbox is “the radiologist’s ectopic brain.” This app was created to anyone involved in radioloy, from the student just starting their studies, to the seasoned radiologist. There are two versions, the lite and the pro, and each include useful tools such as a GFR calculator, gastric emptying times, and a radiographic contrast premedication. The pro version has a lot more tools like a adrenal adenoma calculator and charts of AFI, pediatric spleen, and kidney size. The apps are still in their beginning stages, so expect updates to come regularly, but this is definitely an app that anyone in the radiology field should have.

Download the pro version for 4.99 here, and the free version here. This app is only available for iOS devices at this time.

4) SeeMyRadiology Mobile

This app allows users to view medical images and reports, right on their mobile device! Not only that, but photos can be taken directly with the mobile device and saved directly to the app or shared with others. It is HIPAA compliant, a secure cloud-computing platform, and approved by Accelarad for medical image review. Images can be searched for very easily, using either a patient’s name, time-frame, or medical record number. There’s a bunch of other neat features, and the app creators have gone to great lengths to ensure the security of the app (such as requiring a pin after a period of inactivity, and making sure no PHI is stored on the device upon closure of a case.) The app goes hand-in-hand with SeeMyRadiology.com. Best of all, it’s free.

Download for iOS here.

5) Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED

For those that can’t afford Diagnostic Radiology, or simply would like another reference guide, this is another great option with tons of features. It has different cases that can be viewed, and the user is able to act as if they are actually reading and interpreting the CT scan from a PACS workstation. There are over 7,000 images included in the app and hundreds of pages of information, all of which can be viewed offline. It’s an excellent way to improve one’s ability to interpret images. Important information is highlighted and explained, and images are shown in a very realistic way.

Download for iOS here (the complete version, for free!)

Although I only highlighted five apps here, there are many more worthy to be on this list. Feel free to let me know what your favorite radiology app is!

Is there a specific field of medicine you’d like me to find good apps for? Leave a comment, and I’ll put in on my list! 

November 27, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

New Withings Wireless Internet Scale Hits the Market

Scales sure have come a long way from the old spring-driven models that I grew up with.  I remember thinking how cool it was when I saw my first digital readout scale.  Compared to what is available now, those old digital scales are about as modern as a stone tablet.

The new Withings Wireless Internet scale offers a lot more than just a person’s weight.  It also instantaneously provides a person’s BMI and provides tracking capability with all kinds of different functions.

The scale can be synced to numerous existing mobile apps to accent fitness tracking, weight management, or even just to keep friends, family, or your doctor informed.  It also has its own app that allows the user to set goals, receive coaching, or generate historical reports.

While this is all very cool the price tag seems a little steep to me.  The Withings WS-30scale is available now from Amazonfor $129.95.  But, for someone who is serious about monitoring their weight, this could be a very useful tool.

November 26, 2012 I Written By

Get Peace of Mind and Avoid The ER With Snap.MD

As I was perusing HisTalkMobile.com today, the first article on the page caught my eye. A new start-up from LA aims to decrease ER visits from “worried” moms with telemedicine visits.

According to the article about Snap.md, on average, a new baby visits the doctor’s office about eight times in the first year, and when those visits are to the ER, they definitely could have been avoided. Snap.md plans to connect parents with someone in the Emergency Room for a consultation, within 10 minutes.

We’ve taken my son to the doctor many times in the past eight and half months. While many of those times were actually warranted (our son really is sick, all the time), I think this could be come in handy. Our average wait time at the doctor’s office is about 30-45 minutes, and the ER is even longer (we went a few months ago, and we were three for three hours…before we even saw someone.) This may not be the typical wait (or maybe it is!) but something like this really could cut down on the amount of time wasted going to the ER for things that may not be an emergency. Sometimes, just getting the reassurance from a health professional is all a new mother needs, and I think that is one of the goals behind this.

The article said the company is targeting three different “categories” of parents:

  1. Those without insurance
  2. Those with private insurance
  3. Medicaid families

So, it sounds like, just about anyone! The fee for those without any insurance will be around $60, which is a whole lot less than the going to the Emergency Room. From what I can tell, it looks like medicaid and private insurance companies may cover that cost, or at least, that is the hope I’m guessing. Dave Skibinski, the man behind the company, said the company isn’t trying to replace seeing a physician.

Our goal is not to direct the care. If the patient wants to see their own physician or go to a different ER, that’s fine. The point is to avoid an unnecessary visit to the ER.

In my opinion, that’s a great goal. Perhaps that would clear up the wait time at Emergency Rooms, so those that truly do have an emergency don’t have to wait quite as long.

I do think telemedicine is definitely going to play a prominent role in healthcare in the very near future, and be a significant part of mHealth. Snap.md doesn’t have a lot if information available yet, or even when it’s going to be released, but it looks like contracts have already been negotiated with a few different children’s hospitals in California, with plans to expand. I sure hope this comes to my town.

November 23, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Map of Most Popular mHealth Apps Worldwide

AppAppeal.com recently posted a map that shows popular health apps in an interesting and interactive way. In the picture below, there is a key to show what the different colors mean. The map displays health apps popularity by country, and I think it was pretty neat to see the trends.

I wasn’t too surprised to see that WebMD is most popular in the United States. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and I feel like I’m constantly getting emails or updates about the website and the mobile app. Most of the apps on this list I have used or at least heard of, so I’d be interested in hearing why certain apps are more popular in different parts of the world. Is WebMD more focused on ailments that affect Americans? Is Livestrong, which appears to be used in the most countries world-wide (according to this map), more dynamic and trusted?

One thing that caught my eye was the popularity of ZocDoc across Russia and in parts of South America. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of it. After seeing it on here, I figured I should look it up and see what it was all about. Basically, you select your insurance, where you live, and what type of doctor you are looking for, and if any doctors in your area is participating with ZocDoc, it will pull up open appointments for that doctor. There weren’t any doctors in my area that were participating, but I could definitely see how this would be awesome. Whenever I look at my healthcare provider’s website and search for physicians, I always wish there was a way to just set up an appointment right then and there, or to be able to compare qualifications. It looks like there is also additional information about the education, reviews, and experience about doctors. I’m a little confused as to why it’s so popular in Russia and South America, because as far as I could see, it is based on American doctors, but perhaps there is an international version available?

Anyways, I just thought this was a neat visual, and that it was a good introduction to seeing what mHealth is doing around the world.

To view the actual map, complete with more details, go here.

November 20, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Healthy Food Guide Uses MyPlate.Gov Standards to Track Calories

In case the other food diaries I’ve mentioned here on Smart Phone Healthcare haven’t been your style, be sure to check out Healthy Food Guide.

Healthy Food Guide is based on the dietary recommendations that can be found at MyPlate.gov. While the app doesn’t sync with an account on MyPlate.gov, if you try to go by those standards, it does implement those guidelines pretty well. Food can be added to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, which is pretty typical as far as food diaries go. However, unlike on other food diaries I’ve used (such as MyFitnessPal,) it doesn’t break things down according to fat, carbs, protein, and sodium. Whenever a food is added, a graph changes, letting the user know how much more than can eat in a certain category that day (there are five sections – grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, protien).

Below is a picture of the graph. It shows how many calories are left, as well as the percentages.

The app encourages users to try and eat “green” and “yellow” foods, and avoid the “red” foods, which is shown below for when the word “pizza” is searched. I think this is a good idea in essence, but I found that almost every food I added was “green.” Which would be fine, if everything I was searching was healthy, but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a “green” food. Even things that are obviously unhealthy, like ice cream and french fries. It might just be a glitch in the system, but hopefully that will be fixed. I think it would be interesting to see the “yellow” foods especially.

Overall, this is a very simple food diary. It doesn’t incorporate exercise, which may or may not be a plus for some people. For me, I like that. With food diaries I’ve used in the past, whenever I added exercise, it would give me additional calories. And I would end up thinking, “Oh, I have 300 extra calories. That means I can eat a big bowl of ice cream.” Not probably the best idea.

It’s very easy to set up an account, and I think the calorie goals are more accurate than other food diaries I have used. I have calculated my ideal caloric intake for weight loss using different calculations in the past, and this app has come the closest to matching that (unlike MyFitnessPal…which tried to convince me that 1200 calories was the way to go. No thank you.) The integration of the MyPlate standards are pretty interesting. It’s a nice change to see what types of nutrients the foods I’m eating have, and if I’m getting enough (or too much…darn those grains!) of a certain section.

There are a few things that should be improved. First and foremost, the database really doesn’t have the greatest selection. Something I love about MyFitnessPal is that it has seriously EVERYTHING. I mean, I typed in Costco samples before, and it had several entries for that. Quite often, I’ve found there to be foods from obscure restaurants I went to, which is cool. That isn’t the case with Healthy Food Guide. It has foods from a few restaurants, as well as most common foods, but it definitely has room for improvement.

Also, even though I don’t mind the absence of the exercise tracker, it may attract more users if that was implemented somehow. It might also be nice to have information regarding fat and sodium somewhere, just for those who do need to keep careful track of those factors. Incorporating social media might be nice as well, and the ability to add friends might be nice too, but obviously not a necessity for everyone.

All in all, it’s a nice little app for those who want something simple. I like the emphasis on selecting the right choices, and not just aiming to stay under a certain calorie goal. The description in the Google Play Store basically says, you can eat six chocolate candy bars all day and stay under your calorie goal, but that doesn’t mean it’s helping toward a healthier lifestyle. It moves beyond the basic idea of calorie counting, and places more of an emphasis on healthy eating. The app still in it’s early stages, so it cannot be expected to be perfect, but, it’s free, and I think that’s a cost anyone can afford just to try it out. It’s exclusively available for Android devices and can be downloaded here.

November 16, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Every Heart Beat Measured and Quantified

Today, we have thousands of health and fitness apps connecting us to digital “coaches” and helping us socialize with our friends, but we don’t have a medical platform. We don’t have a medical Google, or an Amazon, or a Facebook. We don’t even have an AOL of medicine. What we mostly have is a Wikipedia for medicine, which I and my fellow clinicians and colleagues quote daily. (That’s a good thing.)

We have had some big successes with digital medicine. In my field about six years ago, device companies started putting antennas into implanted devices. We now analyze data from those devices in more than 200,000 patients. We’ve collected information on 20 million device downloads, recorded 150,000 life-saving interventions, and collected millions of pieces of valuable additional data. The numbers were clear. Here is what we’ve learned:

If you open up this implanted device to the network, people live longer.

We live longer and healthier lives when our health is continuously monitored by a device and exceptions to normal health are reported by the device to our caregivers. The technology exists and is often very inexpensive. It keeps people out of hospitals; saving money and lives. We’ve proven that.
So why aren’t we doing more monitoring? It’s not a regulatory problem or a lack-of-vision problem in the medical and technology companies; it’s that there’s too much perceived risk in changing the medical structure.

What an amazing quote from an article in Venture Beat. Yes, the article was written in April, but it is just as applicable today. Go and read the whole thing since it’s well worth it.

For those who don’t read the whole thing, it’s written by a wonderful doctor named Leslie Saxon of the USC Center for Body Computing. At the end of the article she talks about their Every Heart Beat initiative and compares it to the Human Genome Project. I think the collection of health data and its use has as many potential benefits as the human genome.

I love Dr. Saxon’s call to open up the data from devices to the network. Doing so will make people live longer. What I don’t understand is why the medical world is so resistant to this idea. I love Dr. Saxon’s vision of, “Imagine your doctor calling you to schedule an appointment because she knows the condition of your body, rather than vice versa.”

What do we need to do to reach this vision?

November 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Chandler Regional Creates App For Premature Baby Parents

While my son fortunately didn’t have to spend anytime in the NICU when he was born, 10-15 percent of babies aren’t so lucky. Chandler Regional Hospital recently released an incredible app to help parents of pre-mature babies. Seriously, it’s pretty cool.  I started out including this in my recent post about apps for parents, but I felt like it needed a better review.

Guide for New Parents was developed mainly for NICU parents, but any parent can find use in it. Portions of it are aimed specifically at people who have children in the NICU at Chandler Regional Hospital. This portion has tours of the NICU and other educational videos.

There are five other main sections, which can be used by any new parent. Here’s a little bit of information on each of them.

Track My Baby

There are a lot of apps and websites out there to help track development, but this one is unique in the sense that you can follow development according to an infant’s gestational age. Premature infants reach milestones according to an adjusted age, not necessarily their actual age.  Weight, length, and head circumference can be tracked, and they are plotted on a graph next to percentiles. It also provides ideas for parents on a variety of topics, such as bonding.

I like that you can plot growth information and see it compared to percentiles. This could be really helpful in tracking an infant’s growth from home and identifying any abnormalities, because sometime a doctor may overlook something, or if another doctor needs to see information. My son had rapid head growth early in life, and recently we were referred to a pediatric neurologist. Because this doctor and my son’s pediatrician didn’t have the same system, he was unable to pull up any information, even though he said it would have been nice to be able to see the graphs. Having something like this would have been helpful at that time.

Feeding My Baby

One concern I hear over and over again from new parent is, is my baby eating enough? And honestly, it can be hard to know, if you don’t know what signs to look for. This section contains tons of information on feeding, focusing mostly on breastfeeding, and providing links to information about it. It talks about common challenges that arise, but also has information on formula feeding, for parents who choose that route.

There is a neat log to help track feedings. It includes a timer that a parent can start when a feeding begins, and end at the conclusion. The information automatically gets added in to the log. I remember at the first few doctor’s appointments of my son’s life, I was always being asked “how much has he eaten, how often, and for how long,” and in my sleep deprived state…I never could tell them. It also would have been helpful when I had to keep careful track of how long and often my son was eating when he was in the hospital. It would have been way easier than having to look at the clock and then write on a white board the numbers (which was so hard in the middle of the night!)

Spiritual Care

Now, I know not everyone is religious, so this may not be relevant for some. I’ve really never seen a feature like this before, and being a religious person myself, I appreciated it being included. However, as I’ve read reviews about it, it wasn’t the most helpful place. It mainly just included quotes and inspirational thoughts, that aren’t necessarily tailored toward a parent’s situation. I think this could be improved by having different sections of quotes, letting parents select what type of belief system they come from, and have thoughts tailored toward that, and even having the option for just uplifting, not necessarily religious messages.

Follow-up Care and Find my Hospital

These last two sections will really just be helpful for people being treated at Chandler Regional. The follow-up care lets parents search for doctors in the area who may be of use to them, and the find my hospital section just gives basic information about the hospital.

Overall, I think this is a really cool app, especially for those who had a premature infant. There are a lot of features that I really like, but also room for improvement. Some of the complaints I”ve seen is that there really aren’t a lot of videos, and it doesn’t have a section about problem that might arise with a child, and how to resolve them. I think that would be a particularly important thing, especially for parent’s of premature infants, where health problems are probably more likely to arise.

This app is free, and available for iOS devices.

November 8, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Choose Friends Wisely – Your Eating Habits May Change – Infographic

My family and I always joke that we all love sweets because it’s hereditary. Well, it might just be because one of us liked sweets a lot…and the rest of us picked up the habit. In this infographic, it shows that eating is contagious. It is so true. The first line in this says “Obesity and healthiness can be contagious!” And I truly believe it. My son has an intolerance to chocolate, and since I nurse him, I’ve had to cut it out of my diet. Over the summer, my sister saw me doing that and decided that she wanted to cut chocolate out…just for the sheer fact that I felt healthier, and she wanted to as well. I’ve found that when I’m with other people who are eating unhealthy, I don’t feel as bad “pigging out,” but when I’m with more health conscious friends, I am very cautious about what I eat. Maybe when we pick our friends or spouse, we should observe their eating habits first!

November 6, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.