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Aetna Shuts Down CarePass – What’s It Mean?

Looks like MobiHealthNews was the first to break the story that Aetna had chose to shutdown their CarePass product. This is big news since CarePass was Aetna’s baby and calling card in the mobile health world. They had a lot riding on it. Although, I think that iTriage, which Aetna acquired, was certainly the most used app under their umbrella.

If you’ve been on the mobile health/mHealth conference circuits you know that Aetna has been everywhere. Plus, the CEO of Aetna was even a keynote speaker at HIMSS (makes you wonder how much they paid for that spot). Without their CarePass product I’ll be interested to see what Aetna does in this space. Will they basically pull out almost completely?

Sure, Aetna will always take part in some way or another, but will they be pumping money into it like they’d been doing for a while now? I don’t think they will. I think we’ll see Aetna take a backseat approach to the IT part of the industry and just hop on board other people’s work like they did with iTriage.

Another piece of the MobiHealthNews article mentioned above that really intrigued me is this:

The company found no shortage of willing partners to feed data into the app. Over the two years of its existence, CarePass interfaced with MapMyFitness, LoseIt, RunKeeper, Fooducate, Jawbone, Fitbit, fatsecret, Withings, breathresearch (makers of MyBreath), Zipongo, BodyMedia, Active, Goodchime!, MoxieFit, Passage, FitSync, FitBug, BettrLife, Thryve, SparkPeople, HealthSpark, NetPulse, Earndit, FoodEssentials, Personal.com, Healthline, GoodRx, GymPact, Pilljogger, mHealthCoach, Care4Today, and meQuilibrium.

I think there’s a lesson here when it comes to API integrations. Who would have guessed that after making such a huge investment in CarePass, Aetna would just close up shop? I’m quite sure none of these companies that integrated with CarePass’ API thought CarePass would be gone. These types of integrations can be very time consuming and now all that effort is down the drain.

Although, the bigger lesson here is that just because you integrate a bunch of data from other applications doesn’t mean your app is going to be a success. It’s what you do with the data that’s integrated that matters. That’s why I’m really skeptical about Apple Health and HealthKit. Getting the data is one thing. Making that data useful is something very different.

August 27, 2014 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 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Five Essential Apps for Medical Emergencies

I’ve come to learn that you must always expect the unexpected. It’s easy to see natural disasters happen to people across the world, or hear about tragic accidents, and think, “Well, that would never happen to me!” Believe me, I think that all the time. Unfortunately, emergency situations inevitably happen to everyone. And when those situations come up, it’s better to be safe, than sorry. There’s a lot of apps out there that have been designed to make emergencies a little more bearable, and some are specifically for health-related emergencies. Here’s five apps I think everyone should have on their smart phone — just in case.

1) Alert.MDThis app was created to make sure medical professionals can access information quickly and efficiently during an emergency situation, and to ensure family members are notified as well. Basically, after you register for a free account, you are giving a ID number that you superimpose onto the screen saver or background of your mobile device (the function to do this is in the app.) In an emergency, a medical provider can search the number on Alert.MD and immediately have access to the individual’s emergency contact info, allergies, medications, and known medical conditions. One of the reviews I read said, “I don’t know if I would be here right now if I had not downloaded it!” And others expressed similar sentiments.

Available for free iOS devices; register account for free at Alert.MD

2) First Aid by American Red CrossIt’s not hard to find a first aid app — there’s tons of them. However, not all are created equally, and I think this one created by the American Red Cross is one of the best. It features step-by-step guides for a variety of different first aid scenarios and the ability to call 911 from the app. Not only does it provide information in emergency situations, but it has education for people wanting to learn first aid, in the form of quizzes and videos. The information can be accessed without a wireless internet connection. It is a very clean, user-friendly app, that I think just about anyone could benefit from having. Just as a side note, the American Red Cross also has recently released apps that deal with natural disasters that seem to be pretty handy, all of which can be accessed from the link above.

Available for free on both Android and iOS devices.

3) iTriage Health: The description for this app says it answers two questions — “what medical condition could I have,” and “where should I go for treatment.” It has a doctor search, to help you find a doctor or facility that can best treat your symptoms, as well as find hte nearest ER, urgent care, mental health clinic, and more. Average wait times for local emergency rooms are also available. The database helps users to determine whether or not they need to go to the ER, and what course of action they should take. There are a whole bunch of other features which make this kind of an all-in-one emergency app — I meant, it has almost 5 stars and over 50,000 reviews, it must be doing something right!

Available for free on both Android and iOS devices

4) smart-ICE4FamilyThis is an interesting twist on the typical emergency information card. The owner of the phone can pre-record a message that plays off information for anyone that presses it. It has places to enter medical information, difficulties, and even “expressed wishes.” There is room for up to 8 people in the app, so a parent (or caregiver) can have all the information they need concerning the health of those in their family or that they care for. One interesting feature is the alert function. When it is pressed, emergency services are called, and a siren goes off. This could be helpful if someone is home alone and has either fallen, had a heart attack, or feel they can’t get to a place that EMTs could find them easily. It also has a “my location” button, which makes it easy to give information to a dispatcher, which would be helpful if someone is an an unfamiliar place.

Available for iOS devices for 2.99.

5) !Emergency!: What happens if you are visiting another country, and an emergency happens? Not every country uses 911 like America, and this app helps solve that problem. It’s simple enough, but basically just provides the emergency contact numbers for countries around the world, as well as helps the user locate hospitals and emergency rooms. It automatically detects which country the user is in, and suggests the correct phone number to call. Obviously, not everyone is going to get a use out of this, but for those that travel, it’s almost a necessity.

Available for iOS devices for .99

December 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.

Presentations from the 3rd mHealth Networking Conference

The third mHealth Networking Conference was held on March 30-31 in Chicago, IL.  The presentations from the conference can be found here.  The full list of presentations can be found below.  It doesn’t take an in depth look to see that the scope of mHealth is broadening widely and rapidly.  The technology that exists in our world would be wasted if we did not take advantage of it to improve our health.

BANT: A Diabetes App for the Teen – Joseph A. Cafazzo. Lead, Center for Global Health Innovation, Toronto General Hospital

Cellular Telephones Measure Activity and Lifespace – Evan H. Goulding, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, Northwestern University

Data-driven Health Behavior Change and mHealth – M. Courtney Hughes PhD, Approach Health

Drug Adherence and Diet Selection through Cell PhonesParloop A. Bhatt, Professor, LM College of Pharmacy, Gujarat, India

Effects of Medication Telemonitoring on Compliance and Rates of Re-Hospitalization in CHF and Pneumonia Patients: Pilot Study – Barbara Rapchak, Leap of Faith Technologies

Engaging the Patient with Text, Email, and Social Media – Mike Unger, Managing Director, Mikko

Explosion of mHealth Services in Africa: Any Implications for the US? – Enoma Alade, Partner, Andach Group

Future of mHealth, The – Jay Srini, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Going Mobile in the Emergency Department: Early Experiences – Dennis Cochrane MD and Ed Kocher, Emergency Medical Associates

Healthcare Delivery and Remote Monitoring – David Kovach, Managing Member, Reflection Solutions

Helping Patients Make Health Decisions – Jonathan White, iTriage

Information Society and Healthcare, The– C. Peter Waegemann, Vice President, mHealth Initiative

Integrating System, An: Mobile Clinic Service and Prescription – Luis Tavares, Professor, OPET, Portugal

Managing Health Information on Mobile Devices – Claudia Tessier RHIA, mHealth Initiative

mHealth and the Wired Generation: Quitting Smoking with Text Messages – Catherine Lavoie-M., Project Manager, Canadian Cancer Society, and Rachel Fournier, Evolution Health

mHealth by and for Women – Patricia Mechael, Director of Strategic Application of Mobile Technology for Public Health and Development, Center for Global Health and Economic Development, Earth Institute at Columbia University

mHealth is the New Lifestyle Diet –Michel Nadeau, P.Eng., Tactio Software

mHealth Unleashes Pharmacy 2.0 – Michel Nadeau, P.Eng., Tactio Software

Mobile Device-enabled Remote Coding – Richard Vander Burg, DOMA Technologies

Mobile Medicine in Portugal – Tiago Tavares, Veterinary Master, OPET, Portugal

Next Step for mHealth, The: Medical  Device Connectivity – Phillip Olla, Founder and CEO, Mobile Diagnostic Services

New Partnerships for mHealth: Creating Collaboration Across Public, Private, and Research Institutions – Evan Russell, MD/PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Operation ASHA: Using Biometrics to Prevent MDR-TB – Sonali Batra, CTO, Operation ASHA

Role of Telecommunications Companies in mHealth, The: A Discussion: C. Peter Waegemann; David Shilharvey, Healthcare Accounts Manager, Sprint; David Kovach, Reflection Solutions

Text Messaging as a Tool to Reduce Health Disparities: A Pilot Study – Shantanu Nundy, Medical Resident, University of Chicago Hospitals

April 26, 2011 I Written By

Health Related Mobile Applications Expected to Triple by 2012; Mobile Health Market Worth $1.7 Billion by 2014

I am well aware of the popularity of any number of apps, and especially healthcare apps in all of their many forms.  However, even I underestimated how big this industry really is.

An article about WebMD really put it all in perspective for me.  You can read the entire article here, but here is the major stuff:

According to a report by Pyramid Research, more than 200 million health applications for mobile devices are being used by doctors and patients today. The number is expected to cross 600 million by the year 2012. Another report claims that the mobile health annual market will be worth $1.7 billion by 2014.There are already several apps available in the market, most of which focus on disseminating health-related information to users. Epocrates, the leading drug reference source, was identified as the most popular health app among providers by the Pyramid Research. The app is used by healthcare providers as their point of care drug reference site…

…It is not just health care providers, but their patients who are turning to the mobile apps. Healthagen’s iTriage has information on symptoms, diseases, and medical procedures. The app is also a directory of nationwide hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. It helps users search for and gives them turn-by-turn directions to the nearest choice among its database of over 750,000 physicians or 350 specialty clinics…

…The Medscape app was recently named the most downloaded free medical app of the year for iPhone by Apple on its iTunes Rewind 2010 featured list of Apps. The app provides a comprehensive reference on more than 6,000 drugs, 3,500 diseases, 600 procedures and 80 tables and protocols; gives daily medical news and alerts; and is part of WebMD’s Continuing Medical Education activities. The company recently expanded the reach of its popular MedScape app to both the iPad and Android devices. Since its release, earlier last year, for the iPhone and BlackBerry devices, the Medscape Mobile app has registered over 700,000 healthcare professionals.

Among other apps, iPharmacy was selected as the No. 1 medical app of 2010 of Apple App Store with its medication guide on 10,686 drugs. The Pocket Lab Values app was the highest rated iPhone lab value App for being a useful reference point for students, doctors, and nurses by providing access to lab values, clinical information, critical lab values, differential diagnoses, tube colors, and useful websites. Another app, iMeds – The Medication Reference claims to be the most complete medication app with over 7,300 FDA approved medications and to be the only app to provide full prescribing info.

The really crazy thing is that the development of apps is still essentially in its infancy so who knows what we may have in the future.

April 20, 2011 I Written By