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An Example of Future Implantables to Monitor Your Health

It’s only a centimetre long, it’s placed under your skin, it’s powered by a patch on the surface of your skin and it communicates with your mobile phone. The new biosensor chip developed at EPFL is capable of simultaneously monitoring the concentration of a number of molecules, such as glucose and cholesterol, and certain drugs.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s been happening with implantables, the chip described above is a good example. You can learn more about it here.

I find it pretty genius that they’ve put the battery on a patch that’s on the surface of your skin. The battery is the biggest problem with leaving implantables in very long. I’m also interested in how much impact having a foreign object under your skin will have on your body, but I think we basically know about those challenges thanks to pacemakers and other devices that we’ve been putting in bodies for years.

I also love that this implantable can monitor pH, temperature, lactate, cholesterol, and drugs. The last one is extremely interesting for me since it opens up all sorts of new research opportunities along with monitoring opportunities. You could use the drug monitoring to improve how much drug is needed, but you could also identify when there’s been an error in the dosing for some reason.

No doubt I’m a novice in this area, but I find these trends fascinating. The clinical trials on this device are going to take 3-5 years, but I’m glad we’re getting started.

July 1, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Tracking Health Goals Video

Today I came across this really great video of Dr. Molly Maloof talking about her experience tracking her health. It’s interesting to have a doctor tracking herself. She takes a different approach than the general self tracking user might do. It also gives some insights into some of the challenges associated with the quality of health sensors. Check out the video to learn more:

June 25, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

iPhone as Primary Care Doctor and The Chief Mobile Healthcare Officer

This is too good not to share on this site even though I wrote a post about it on EMR and EHR:

Also, I was intrigued by Anne Zieger’s post on the Arrival of the Chief Mobile Healthcare Officer. I don’t agree with her completely that we’ll have a chief mobile healthcare officer. We have enough chiefs in healthcare as it is. I don’t think we need another chief. I do think that every hospital is going to have to have a serious mobile health strategy. However, I think that the CIO and CMO should be capable of addressing mobile. Thoughts?

June 10, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Drones in Healthcare

I think the world has become fascinated by drones. I know I have. I got one for Christmas and it’s really fun to play with. The one I got is really hard to fly, but in many ways that makes it more fun.

What a lot of people don’t realize is how many ways drones are going to be part of our future life. No, I’m not talking about the military drones. In fact, using the term drones is so tied to the military that it’s almost not right to use the term. However, many people have become more familiar with drones thanks to Go pro cameras that are attached and bring us some really amazing footage even from amateurs.

Another thing that has helped people to understand the impact of drones is when Amazon talked about using drones to deliver products. That’s a powerful idea. It’s still a few years away at least, but it’s exciting that some of the smartest people in the world are working on it.

What I love about the Amazon example is that there are many things in life where you need to get a physical object somewhere quickly. As good as UPS and FedEx have become, drones could take this to the next level of speed and efficiency.

In healthcare, I think about emergency incidents. Could drones play a role in getting healthcare supplies to a disaster area that is inaccessible for ambulances and other emergency personnel? If you’ve ever seen the ambulances in Italy trying to navigate traffic, you can see how a drone would be much more effective. If it had a mounted camera with video streaming, those in the hospital could literally see what’s happening and provide remote support to the bystanders at the scene. Is that a new form of 911 experience?

We already know that drones are being used in third world countries to distribute medical supplies as well. It’s a powerful thing. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I once saw a map that mapped out how many drones it would take to cover an entire country. It was amazing to see this map of overlapping circles. Plus, the drone technology is going to get better and better.

There are certainly a lot of challenges and questions about pricing and privacy when it comes to drones and healthcare, but I’m excited about the possibilities. I’m sure there are plenty of more opportunities as well that we just haven’t had time to think of yet.

June 3, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

EHR Apple Watch Integration

We’ve been writing about the coming of the Apple Watch for a long time here at Smart Phone healthcare. Remember when we use to call it the iWatch? I must admit that I hadn’t seen many really interesting healthcare applications on the iWatch. They all felt like retreads of things that were basically accomplished on people’s smart phone and weren’t that much better on the watch.

Today, I might have read about the first healthcare IT application on the Apple Watch that could provide value to healthcare. The announcement came from Kareo and here’s a list of key functionality that they’ve included in the Apple Watch from the Kareo EHR:

  • Secure messaging that allows the user to send, reply, and read messages via dictation. Messages can be sent to staff or patients using Kareo’s secure messaging system, improving overall patient engagement and practice communication.
  • An agenda that allows the provider to quickly reference their schedule and see the status of appointments checked-in, no show, late, checked out, etc., helping reduce wait times and improve practice efficiency.
  • Appointment reminders that can be sent five minutes before the next scheduled appointment. The notification subtly vibrates the watch, indicating that the doctor has an impending appointment.
  • Appointment information that is accessible within a notification or through the agenda, allowing the provider to review details such as the patient’s name, time of appointment, visit type, and reason for the visit.
  • “I’m Running Late” pre-set messages that allow the doctor inform other staff members when they are running behind and how much longer they expect to be. This improves practice communication and enables the front desk to give patients a more accurate wait time estimate.
  • Apple “Glances” that provide a quick overview of key practice metrics, including how many patients are scheduled throughout the day, how many patients are waiting to be seen, and which patients are currently waiting in an exam room.

EHR Apple Watch - Kareo

I’d like to see this in action and look forward to doing so the next time I see Kareo (possibly not until MGMA), but the features have some promise. I could see them being used pretty regularly. Especially the status updates on how many patients are checked in and how many are waiting. That’s really great information that is changing constantly throughout the day. The schedule for the day is great as well.

Kareo had previously announced some features for Google Glass. I liked that they were pushing the envelope, but it didn’t feel like something that doctors would grab onto. I think this Apple Watch implementation has a lot more legs to it. I’ll be interested to hear from Kareo doctors how it works in actual practice.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is a sponsor of one of the Healthcare Scene blogs.

May 20, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Other mHealth Apps for the Apple Watch

I’m already on the recorder that I don’t think that the Apple Watch is going to be a game changer for healthcare. After it’s launch I still believe that to be the case. In fact, I’m not sure if it will be a game changer for anything (not just healthcare). It’s an interesting novelty item and some elements of the interface are cute. The marketing is great as would be imagined from Apple, but they’re selling the sizzle and not the steak.

With that perspective out of the way, I was intrigued by this MacWorld article that lists 5 outside the box health apps for the Apple Watch. They basically said outside the box was something beyond heart rate (not a very high bar). Here’s what they listed:

WebMD – This is not their database of education. It’s a medication reminder, tracking and medication schedule app.

Skin – This app lets you scan your skin for areas of concern and then you can preview the scan on your watch. The app also evaluates the skin. I guess that’s one way to track changes in your skin over time.

ReSound Smart – This app controls your smart hearing adds and adjusts the volume, noise filters, etc. It also uses geotagged locations to adjust the settings automatically (something that likely works with your phone too).

Clue – This app helps women track their periods and get a full overview of their cycles. The watch app is mostly for accessing the data as opposed to entering the data.

BACtrack – Connects to a smart beathalyzer to give you an idea of your blood-alochol level. Also, reminds you after 15 minutes to do another test to get a more accurate result.

The ReSound Smart app is the most interesting one to me on this list. Although, my biggest problem with it is that it has a limited use case. You have to have hearing aids and you have to have smart hearing aids. I’m sure it’s a great product for people with hearing aids and no doubt I’d love something like it if I was in that situation but I’m not so it’s hard for me to really measure its value.

The rest of them didn’t seem all that interesting. Medication reminders is going to work well on the watch, so it’s good that WebMD is doing it, but we’re going to see that from 100 providers. Plus, is it that much better on the watch than to the smartphone itself?

I love interesting apps like this list provides, but I’m not seeing any game changers on this list of Apple Watch health apps.

April 29, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Growth of mHealth – Where’s the Money?


We all know that the potential for mHealth is massive. Everyone is getting a mobile phone and there is a mobile health app for anything and everything. Although, I’ve often asked myself, where’s the money in all the mobile health adoption?

The above tweet and image creates a pretty compelling image of where you can find the money in mobile health: Services and Device Sales.

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. It illustrates how it’s likely going to be hard to be a mobile health app that’s just an app. Instead, you have to build some people skills (ie. services) or hardware skills (ie. devices). Many people who just want to roll out an app, might want to consider this finding.

What still bothers me is that we have yet to really have a breakout app. I think it’s coming, but I’m surprised it’s not already here. What do you think will be the breakout app?

April 1, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Will Apple’s iWatch Be A Game Changer for Healthcare?

In case you’re living in a hole, or at least have too busy to check it out, here’s the Apple iWatch trailer which outlines the soon to be released Apple smartwatch.

I haven’t worn a watch in years, so it’s hard for me to imagine me wearing one of these. Although, I’ve worn watches in the past and so I’d like to try it. The commercials I’ve seen for the iWatch are pretty compelling, but what I can’t tell is how much of that is “great advertising” and how much of that is “I really need this product.”

Now to the title of this article. Will the iWatch change the game in healthcare? My answer is no. Besides the fact that Apple has sucked out a lot of the mHealth related functionality, I just don’t think that enough people are going to buy and wear them for it to really change healthcare. Plus, I don’t think the fact that it’s a watch on your wrist as opposed to a phone in your pocket is going to be able to provide that much added functionality.

What I do think the Apple iWatch will do is help to push forward how we look at how we interface with our phone and the data that’s available to us. I think that’s a great thing and something we’ll all benefit from across a wide variety of devices and interfaces which are to come.

So, I don’t think that the Apple iWatch is going to revolutionize healthcare, but it is a nice step forward in new interfaces that will be one of many interfaces we use to access our health data and communicate with our various care providers.

What do you think? Will the Apple iWatch have more or less impact on healthcare than what I describe?

March 25, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Brain Computer Interfaces In Your Ear

We like to talk about wearables and their ability to track our health and inform us of important health messages. However, today’s wearables are likely just the very start of what will be possible in the future. Don’t believe me? Try this story from Nautilus:

A brain computer interface made of gold electrodes mounted on a plastic film that is flexible enough to be molded on to the inner ear and behind the ear could herald the next big thing in wearable tech. The interface works like a conventional EEG cap, reading the wearer’s brain signals, and stays on for up to two weeks—even in the shower. The interface was powerful enough to allow wearers to operate a text speller through thought, but at only five words every two minutes it isn’t as efficient as texting—yet.

This amounts to basically a small bandaid on your ear. That’s some powerful technology. If you’re getting lost in the five words every two minutes, don’t. This is just the foundational learning that’s required for us to make advancements in this process.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished for the ability to think a blog post. Yes, I’ve typed over 4000 healthcare IT blog posts over the years. That number would probably be 8000 if it counted the number of times I’ve thought through a blog post. It would be perfect in a car when you’re mindlessly driving a route that you drive regularly.

If this doesn’t get you excited, you might want one of these to see if your brain is still working. This is cool stuff. Sure, there could be some unforeseen ramifications as well, but that’s true with any technology. I can’t wait to see what smart people come up with next.

March 18, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Smartphones: A Clinical Trial Platform

In my daily browsing of interesting content, I came across this SlideShare presentation talking about mobile health and the use of smartphones in healthcare. The presentation coverss a lot of ground including the smartphone as a clinical trial platform. Check it out below:

Some of the quotes in the second half of the presentation are really insightful and thought provoking. Plus, who doesn’t like a great Dilbert cartoon? I’m still chewing on this quote: “The word LISTEN has the same letters as the word SILENT.”

I was also hit by the quote from Om Malik, “I live with a disease and my phone is as much a part of it as my meds.” Although, maybe I was a bit more struck by it since Om’s blog, GigaOm, got shut down this week after it ran out of money. Om’s doing fine since he’d left the company a while back and is a VC now. Either way, his quote gives an insight into what a powerful smartphone could do for health. This is why we started this blog.

March 11, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.