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Difference Between Google Fit and Apple Healthkit

There’s an article on iMedicalApps which looks at both Google Fit and Apple Healthkit’s offerings. The cliff notes version is that they both store the information in a very similar way (standard format based on type of data). The big difference is that Apple Healthkit also has an Apple Health app that provides a user display of the health data that’s being stored. Google has opted not to provide such an app, but to allow the app ecosystem to take care of it instead.

This shouldn’t really be a surprise. Apple has always been about providing the fully integrated experience. Google has always been about opening up their data and empowering a community of developers to innovate on top of that ecosystem. Look at Android vs iPhones to see what I mean.

These differences aside, I was intrigued by the idea that Apple Healthkit and/or Google Fit would basically create a standard for health data. You can imagine they’re starting with simpler data elements like heart rate, blood pressure, and other fitness measures like steps. I haven’t seen a full list of the various health data they’re standardizing, but it would be interesting to see.

I’m particularly interested to see how they handle a standard for more complex health data. Even something that many might consider simple, like blood pressure, has its own complexities. It’s more than just two numbers. How was the blood pressure taken? Was it sitting, laying down, or standing? Was it the wrist, arm, etc? Depending on what you’re doing this might not matter, but in other cases it does. Does their standard take these things into account?

The challenge for Google, Apple, and any other company that’s working in this space is making sure that the data they collect and share can be trusted. If there’s no trust in the data, then it doesn’t matter how much or what data you collect. A half baked standard leads a lot of healthcare professionals to not trust the data.

I’m hopeful that Google and Apple have put some serious, thoughtful effort into their health data standards. If someone knows where I can find those standards, I’d love to see them.

September 25, 2014 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.

Google Glass Incubator for Healthcare – Glassomics

This week I spent a lot of time at the SXSW V2V conference in Las Vegas. While at the conference I had the chance to meet and talk with Kyle Samani, founder of Pristine, where we discussed Pristine’s work in bringing Google Glass to healthcare. He’s particularly focused on bringing Google Glass to healthcare, but I have little doubt that Google Glass will be valuable to many parts of healthcare (I’m sure Kyle would agree).

I recently read about a new Google Glass incubator on iMedicalApps. Here’s a short quote from the article:

“We are going to see a revolution going forward of wearable computational devices, with Google Glass being the first one out of the gate,” says Chief Innovation Officer of Palomar Health, Orlando Portale.

This prediction is the reason Palomar Health and Qualcomm Life have teamed up to build an incubator for developers called Glassomics.

The incubator aims to provide platforms and eventually, hospital venues to create medical apps for computer glasses, smart watches, and wearable devices for patients.

Qualcomm has been a big player in the mobile health space for a while, so it’s no surprise to see them following the mobile health trend into Google Glass. I think it’s interesting they are calling it Glassnomics when it seems the incubator has a much larger focus than glass into all wearable devices.

I’m still not completely sold on Google Glass in particular, but I have little doubt that it has made a whole new category of tech product main stream. We’ll see if Google Glass becomes the dominant platform or if a startup company comes along and makes a better version. Either way, I’m excited at the potential of Google Glass in healthcare.

August 16, 2013 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 Types of Medical Apps to Avoid

We’re obviously big proponents of the use of mobile apps in healthcare. For example, we recently listed the top medical apps, and we’ve even written about insurance companies reimbursing medical apps. These are all important trends in mobile health and we’re going to see more and more of it in the future.

The problem is that along with all of the good mobile health applications out there, there are also plenty of scammers making false claims about the medical value of their application. These should be avoided.

Mashable worked together with Joseph Kvedar from the Center of Connected Health to create a list of apps you should avoid:

1. Apps That Use Your Phone’s Light
2. Spot-Checkers
3. Cures From Sound
4. Insulin Dose Calculators
5. Treatment Testers

It’s sad for me to think that people somehow think the light on their phone or the sound on their phone has medical value. It’s amazing what will fool some people. Plus, I have little doubt that we’ll see even more pernicious and difficult to detect mobile health app scams.

A quote from Dr. Misra from iMedicalApps sums up the issue well, “Any app that claims to treat a disease of any kind should raise red flags upfront.” Consult your doctor if you’re not sure.

July 12, 2013 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.

Pajamas Created to Monitor an Infant’s Vital Stats, Sends Mobile Alerts

Every parent worries, at some point or another, about if their child is breathing, too hot, or too cold while they are sleeping, right? In 2010, Exmovere’s released “Exmobaby” pajamas that measured infants’ temperature and movements through sensors embedded in the pajamas. However, with the announcement that Rogers Communications has combined efforts with Exmovere’s, these “Exmobaby” pajamas are about to have a makeover.

A new feature will be added to the pajamas that transmits information to a parents smartphone, tablet, and a variety of other devices. This is the first “wearable” monitoring system for infants but is added to a growing line of other wearable systems that have been created for adults. Cory Shultz, a iMedicalApps blogger, said:

Rogers sees this as a necessary push in the already saturated mobile data market. By offering a service like this to its customers, it hopes to capture a new market segment that will be dependent on mobile data for continual use.

Since just about everything is going mobile (or so it seems), it makes sense that this Exmovere’s and Rogers Communications are trying to create something to satisfy customer’s needs. If these pajamas really work, it seems like a great product for children who may be ill or have other health problems. The feature that sends information to a mobile app will probably put some parent’s minds at ease when they leave their child with someone else, or when they are in an area of the house that isn’t near the child. I don’t think it is necessary for all parents to rush out and buy this product , but there could be a time and a place for it. Maybe these pajamas could be given to children that may need additional monitoring after leaving the hospital, and a doctor could receive alerts as well if their vital stats fall below satisfactory levels. It would seem that the possibilities are endless.

The wearable sensor market seems to be growing a lot lately, doesn’t it? Exmobaby pajamas appear to be one of the less-complicated ones. What do you think about the growing trend of wearable sensors?

“Rogers sees this as a necessary push in the already saturated mobile data market,” iMedicalApps blogger Cory Shultz says. “By offering a service like this to its customers, it hopes to capture a new market segment that will be dependent on mobile data for continual use.”

June 7, 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.

Google Glasses: Revolutionizing mHealth and Medicine

Smartphone’s are everywhere now, and hospitals are no different.  They are used for sending messages, for finding doctors and nurses, and even for updating and accessing patient medical records.  Google is looking to take the whole thing to the next level.

There are rumors circulating that Google is developing a set of glasses with an integrated computer and camera by the end of the year.  I remember thinking that the old Oakleys that had a mp3 player were pretty cool, but this idea is way beyond playing some music.

The above article from iMedicalApps mentions a couple of applications this could have in the medical field, but the possibilities are practically endless.  Surgical assist, and mentoring from afar are two of the applications they mention that seem to have the most promise.

There have already been great advancements in these areas with the improvement of cameras and viewing monitors in operating rooms.  Having a computer literally strapped to your eyes would be an incredible asset to any surgeon.  It would also do amazing things in learning environments.

Surgeons would have access to not only x-rays and other images, but they would have access to massive databases of information to perform a standard operation.  Maybe more importantly, they would have that access in those situations that were not expected.

Doctors are incredibly busy people even when they are already occupied with a surgery or other procedure.  Having a device like these glasses would allow doctors to pause and take care of other issues without having to stop the procedure completely.

iMedicalApps is also sponsoring a contest to see who can come up with the most creative use of these glasses.  Of course they are still in development, and mostly a rumor at this point, but it does provide some very interesting opportunities in any number of fields.

I would love to hear about any ideas you may have of how these glasses can be used in any number of industries.

March 1, 2012 I Written By

Blood Pressure Cuffs on iPad and iPhone iTunes Store

If you haven’t figured out, I’m becoming completely enamored by the possibilities of medical devices being available in the home. It just makes complete sense that we would have more and more medical devices in the home. We’ve had the thermometer at home for a long time. There’s little reason why we wouldn’t have more devices at home that would help us gather information which we can provide to the doctors.

Plus, the real key to this all is that these devices will make the e-Visit with doctors so much more reasonable since we can send the details of what these devices measure to the doctor in real time. Very cool stuff!

With this background, that’s why I find it so exciting that Apple featured a blood pressure cuff for iPhone (iHealth BPM – ANDON HEALTH Co., LTD) and iPad (iHealth BPM – ANDON HEALTH Co., LTD) on their online store.

iMedicalApps posted an interesting look at why these types of blood pressure cuffs aren’t a big game changer for mobile health. Essentially they describe that their cost means that compliant patients are the ones that will buy and use these devices. To that I simply respond: that’s just the start.

As more and more people start to use and benefit from this device, the price will drop and more and more people will want the same. Plus, I predict we’re going to see a change to healthy patients using this type of device. Instead of only getting your blood pressure when the doctor tells you to do it, there are going to be more and more active patients that just want to track things like blood pressure as they proactively monitor their health. This type of iPad and iPhone device opens the door for this type of mobile health.

March 16, 2011 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.

Blackberry Playbook for Hospitals and Mobile Medical Apps

iMedicalApps has an interesting article they posted recently talking about the possibility that the Blackberry Playbook could be the small form tablet of choice in hospitals and healthcare as opposed to the iPad.

Here’s their description of what one enterprise healthcare application company is doing with the Blackberry Playbook:

QNX, a large software company, recently showed off a medical reference design that allows the Blackberry Playbook to connect to medical peripheral devices via Bluetooth. The medical reference design is built on the QNX Neutrino RTOS, a platform that has a history of being FDA approved in regards to medical usage.

QNX states their software allows the Blackberry Playbook to connect to certain Continua Certified medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors, weight scales, and pulse ox devices.

It is very interesting that this company has chosen to go with the Blackberry Playbook and not the iPad. The blog mentions Apple’s approach to enterprise software being less than stellar, but I’ve also read that many think that the iPad might just break that mold. Plus, who’s to say that the Blackberry Playbook is going to be that much better. The market for the BB Playbook in enterprises is much smaller than say the Blackberry phone was in the enterprise. So, I’ll be surprised if Blackberry tries to make the Playbook any less consumer oriented than the iPad is today.

What is interesting is that I’ve heard very good things about the Blackberry Playbook and it being far better than all the Android tablets (although they suggested that will likely change over time because of Android’s openness) and even competes well with the iPad. I’ll be interested to try out a Blackberry Playbook myself.

If I can get my hands on one, I’ll provide a full review.

February 15, 2011 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.