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Fitbit for the Brain

Fitbit for Your Brain
The above wearable currently is pretty awkward. It reminds me of a wrestler or possibly one of those old swim caps. However, it’s a really interesting part of the evolution in wearables. The Barcelona based Neuroelectrics has put out this wearable to monitor your brain. Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian article on the product:

Dubbed a “Fitbit for the brain”, in a nod to the fitness monitoring device, the cap can diagnose medical conditions by examining brainwaves – small electronic pulses fired between the human brain’s nerve cells. It then treats the conditions by stimulating the brain with a low electrical current conveyed via a series of electrodes placed around the cap.

When in development, the devices initially monitored the small electrical impulses on the scalp emanating from neurons – the nerve cells – and recorded them using electroencephalography (EEG). Later advances allowed the cap to stimulate the brain as well in order to help with recovery.

“Our whole motivation is to understand better the brain and, to be honest, I think there is still a lot of work to do. Nobody really knows in depth how the brain works. We are looking at a very specific function of the brain which is the electric fields generated,” says Ana Maiques, co-founder and chief executive of Neuroelectrics.

“So in a way we are decoding the brain from an electrical perspective and also trying to influence the brain. It is still our motivation to understand, to see if processing data coming from an electroencephalogram we can understand what is going on inside the brain. And then in the last few years, we have been interested in trying to influence the dynamics of the brain.”

When you start digging into the science of the brain, you realize that we know a lot less about the brain than we know. It’s extremely complex and in many cases we really don’t know how it works. That’s why I think wearables like this one are so important. It’s trying to push forward some ideas so we can discover more about how the brain works. That’s a worthwhile goal even if it feels as daunting as Columbus trying to sail off the edge of the world. Hopefully what we discover in this search is just as dramatic as what Columbus found as well.

August 26, 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.

Is Lack of Mobile Health Interoperability Holding Us Back?

Today during the #HITChicks chat, there was a great discussion with two really amazing healthcare IT professionals, Patty Sheridan and Tamara StClaire, about the need for interoperability between mobile health apps. Here’s where it started:

Then, I pushed Tamara a bit to talk more about the subject:

What a strong and important statement from Tamara. I agree completely that we’ll miss out on so much of the value that mobile health apps can provide if we don’t find out a way for apps to share data. Interoperability of health data has been an extremely important topic. In fact, ONC has put out a 10 year plan on how to have interoperability in healthcare. However, in all of the things I’ve read about interoperability of healthcare data, they’re always talking about sharing healthcare data between healthcare providers and provider data with patients. I don’t remember anyone ever talking about sharing health data between mobile health apps. The closest I’ve seen is making the patient the HIE of one that gathers and shares data between apps.

If no ones talking about mobile health data sharing, will it ever happen? Since Tamara tweeted her comment. I’ve been trying to think of the pathway to achieve her vision of shared mobile health data between disparate applications. Will it happen? Who will make it a reality? What are your thoughts?

August 19, 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.

5 Elements of A Successful Patient Engagement Strategy

Today I discovered this whitepaper called 5 Elements of a Successful Patient Engagement Strategy. My interest was really piqued since patient engagement has become such an important topic in healthcare. In fact, much of the future healthcare reimbursement will be tied to how well a healthcare organization engages the patient. I’m not just talking about fake meaningful use required engagement, but really caring and engaging deeply with your patients.

For those who don’t care to download the free whitepaper, here’s the high level list of 5 elements for successful patient engagement:

  1. Establish Vision
  2. Create Culture of Engagement
  3. Employ the Right Technology
  4. Empower Patients
  5. Be Ready to Evolve

Not a bad list at all. In fact, I think it’s a good guide on how to think through creating a patient engagement strategy.

In case you’re still not convinced that patient engagement is important, this graphic from the whitepaper should help you consider otherwise:
Online and Mobile Healthcare Use
The whitepaper also included 4 myths of patient engagement. I’m pretty sure they’re cook have been 20 myths. A lot of people have made up a lot of things because they don’t want to be involved in patient engagement. I think that’s going to have to change as healthcare continues to evolve.

August 12, 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.

9 Sectors of Healthcare IT Investment

Much of what we talk about here is new investments and new companies in healthcare IT. Much of the future of healthcare is built around these investments. SoCal HIMSS recently shared a great image that broke out the healthcare IT investment environment into 9 sectors:

Here are the 9 healthcare IT investment sectors mentioned:

  • ACO Tools
  • ACO-Oriented RCM
  • Employer Wellness
  • Benefits Management
  • Health Consumers
  • Patient Engagement
  • Big Data
  • PM & EMR
  • Remote Care

I always love seeing healthcare IT opportunities broken down into sectors like this. No doubt, we could all think of a company we could start in pretty much every sector. Although, certainly some are more saturated than others (see PM & EMR for example).

Are there any other sectors of healthcare IT investment that you don’t think are included in the sectors listed above?

July 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.

Twitter Has A Community for Every Chronic Disease

I know that sites like PatientsLikeMe have been a huge success and really brought together similar patients to share in their healthcare journey. It’s an incredibly powerful thing to have a supportive community there to help you. It’s even more powerful if it’s someone who understands specifically what you’re going through.

This was the thought I had today when I tried to show some sympathy to Tiffany (better known as @TiffanyAndLupus):

I don’t really know Tiffany. I’ve just seen her tweets occasionally since I follow her. When I saw the above tweet, I had to respond with my own experience. Hopefully the interaction will help distract her from the pain and trouble. She favorited it, so I’m going to assume it helped…even if just for a second.

While my tweet might not mean much to her, Tiffany is the founder of the #LupusChat and so she’s well connected to a community of people who understand Lupus much better than I do. It’s hard to underestimate the power of community in our lives. We all long for it. We want to belong. Belonging and being loved is a great thing no matter your state, but especially if you have a health problem.

The beauty of Twitter is that you can find just about anyone on there. There may be some edge cases that are hard to find, but even then you can find supportive people who are in similar positions and can’t find anyone with their unique disease. I think that’s powerful. It’s one reason I love Twitter.

While many topics on Twitter get heated and brutal, I haven’t seen the trolls come out nearly as bad in the chronic care communities. Most of them are very supportive of each other and the health challenges people face. For the most part you see compassion in action. It’s beautiful to watch.

As I was writing this post, Tiffany replied to my tweet and I replied back:

I’m not sure the impact of my tweets on Tiffany. She might not notice a difference either. However, she’s brightened my day and made me smile. As is usually the case, those who extend the hand of kindness often receive the most in return. How could you not appreciate health a little bit more when you read tweets like this:

July 22, 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.

Microsoft HoloLens Used for Medical Education

Microsoft HoloLens together with Case Western Reserve University has put together a video which shows how HoloLens could be used to create 3D visualizations of the human anatomy. Check out the video below:

This is pretty cool stuff and you can see how this type of 3D visualization of the human anatomy will change how you educate doctors. There’s nothing quite like seeing the actual organ. That’s why doctors do so much work on cadavers. However, this HoloLens visualization gets pretty close with far fewer regulations.

I think this is just the start though. Why couldn’t this be used to educate patients as well? No doubt there will be some direct to consumer apps. However, it would be pretty neat for a doctor to have you put one of these on and then they walk you through what’s going to happen in the operation. I imagine in some operations this could be really helpful for a patient. In some cases it might scare the patient. That will take some learning.

July 15, 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.

Future Google Medical Tracking Watch

I don’t know how I missed the news that Google is making a medical watch focused on tracking your health. Here’s an excerpt from The Verge article:

The wristband is being developed by Google X, the secretive lab behind projects like Glass, Loon, and the company’s self-driving cars. It won’t be available to general consumers. Instead, Google intends for the device to be used in clinical trials and prescribed to medical patients.

Talk about a fundamentally different way to approach a smart watch. The last line begs the question of whether the Google Watch is going to be FDA cleared. It seems like it would need to be if it’s being “prescribed” to patients.

I find this approach absolutely intriguing and a welcome site in healthcare. I’ve often said that a company whose built in the capability of getting a device or app FDA cleared is going to have a big advantage over the thousands of mHealth companies which are just skirting by without an FDA clearance. It seems that Google is building this capability which will put it in a prime place to really disrupt healthcare.

Obviously, it’s very early in the process of them creating an FDA cleared (assuming they go that direction) Google smart watch, but the idea is intriguing. I think it’s going to take an FDA cleared smart watch to really get the attention of doctors.

July 8, 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.

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.

How Can Wearable Gadgets Like the Smartwatch Help Heart Patients?

The following is a guest blog post by Kelly Everson.
Kelly Everson
Wearable tech and its purpose

Wearable tech is no more a thing of future times; it’s here, and it can help many people regarding health issues. Go to any store or just go online, and you will realize that fitness bands and smartwatches are all around you. But you are no expert; how will you decide what to buy? How will you know the choice you made will help you with the issue you are confronted?

Well, that all depends on what you need and at what price. Not every single device is the same, even though they look very similar. Wearable technology can be fun in some cases and useful in others. The wearable category is still being developed and each day we can witness a new band or something of the sort.

Up till now, smartwatches have had quite a good impact on personal safety and in the wellness area. The impact related to health has not been very big, but a lot is happening and will continue to happen.

Various giant companies such as Google, Apple, Baidu, and Samsung are working on health platforms. They can aggregate info from different sources and wearables, and promise to gather highly valuable insights based on sets of data.

How to choose a smart band or a smartwatch?

Think about the design, and does it appeal to you. You will also have to find out does the device support a Bluetooth, and what operating system it supports. If you plan to swim while wearing it, it should be waterproof, or at least swim-friendly. It is also very important that the device has a solid battery life and. Search and discover what apps does it run, and are those apps the ones you need. Some devices have screens that are always on, while other don’t. That feature consumes a lot of power and drains the battery, so keep that in mind. You should check if the device supports heart rate monitor and at what level.

Smartwatches and patients with heart problems

Smartwatches are supposed to play a very important role in medicine, especially for patients with heart problems, here is why:

  • Continuous monitoring of heart rate and other bodily functions

That will help patients in many ways. Monitoring of heart rate and movement has become state of the art in some of the latest releases of smartwatches, but some other parameters have improved as well. Now people can monitor their blood sugar, blood pressure, nutrition, temperature and more.  In the upcoming releases of smartwatches, some other parameters will be introduced. Patients with heart problems will benefit the most, as they are the most endangered group.

  • Therapy

Heart patients as said before are the most endangered group and need the most care. Based on diagnostics and monitoring we can conclude that certain wearables will be used solely for therapy. Some smartwatches will have a function of delivering drugs at the right context and time. There are many such programs under way and have received a few million dollars of funding to make it a reality.

  • Specific group of patients and corresponding tools

Just think about a specific smartwatch apps for patients with heart problems, or those who suffer from diabetes, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, lung issues and so on and so on. Hundreds of applications are in development as we speak around the world, and have a great potential for the mentioned group of patients.

  • Patient records in an electronic form

Smartwatches seem to be a fantastic key for electronic patient records. They are great for recording health data and are on you all the time, even in a case of an emergency. Users will have total control over who gets access to what information and in which particular situation.

What’s next?

Even though the benefits are obvious and splendid, years will pass until smartwatches can reveal their full potential within the medical area. A lot of scientific data will be needed to conquer regulatory hurdles and to get compensated by the systems of health care. Also, people will have to be confident that their details are secure.

Even though, it will take time, by 2020 smartwatches are going to be indispensable and extremely valuable tool throughout a vast number of health care settings.

About Kelly Everson
Kelly Everson is MA in English Literature and an American Author. Her work comprises of articles appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen health care websites and global internet magazine covering technology, future gadgets, beauty skin care and overall men’s & women’s health. When she’s not educating strangers with her writing, she’s most likely researching about new discoveries in technology, health, fitness and beauty industry. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

June 17, 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.