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Stay Hydrated With The Jomi Band

Drinking water can be the solution to a lot of health problems — it aids in weight loss, it helps the major organs of the body function better, and well, it’s just not good to be dehydrated! But many people, myself included, don’t drink enough water on a regular basis! I know for me personally, I just get so distracted throughout the day, it doesn’t even dawn on me that I didn’t drink water until 6 PM hits, and I’m totally out of it. At that point, my husband asks if I drank anything, and as I think about it…I realize I didn’t! Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a reminder.

If you follow CNN on Facebook, you may have recently read this article. It talks about an Estonian start-up called Jomi Interactive. Several of their prototypes were released last week, and one of the most interesting is the Jomi Band and Sleeve. It’s basically a device that you can attach to your water bottle, and it tracks how much you drink. If it feels that you haven’t had enough fluids, it will let you know with flashing LED lights. The device will be created to link up to a mobile device, if that’s appealing to you for some reason. 

There’s another product already on the market called Hydracoach. It’s a water bottle that has the tracking device built in. So the only main difference I can find is that the Jomi Band can be used on multiple water bottles.

It seems like an interesting idea, especially for anyone who isn’t particularly good at keeping track of how much (or little) they drink. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but when sometimes…life gets busy. This could be very helpful for anyone that needs, or even just wants, to make sure they are drinking enough water. Granted, if the bottle is filled with something other than water, it may not be as helpful.

The Jomi Band is only in the developmental stages, but if you want to be informed of it making it’s big debut, go sign up over here. If it’s not too expensive, I might just get one myself.

May 8, 2013 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.

What Consumer Medical Device is The Best Form Factor?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the various form factors that are being used by consumer medical device companies lately. I think this interest was sparked when I heard a couple of the following statements:

“We’re about to enter a real battle for the wrist.”

“One of the keys to broad adoption is to build a product on top of an existing habit.”

The first statement really highlights the number of wrist based monitoring devices that are on the market. I agree that there’s going to be a real battle for the wrist. Interestingly enough, the second statement highlights why there’s going to be a real battle for the wrist. Many people are use to having a watch on their wrist. So, a product that is on the wrist is building on people’s habit of wearing a wrist watch.

What are your thoughts on the various form factors that are being used for medical devices:
-Wrist Bands
-Chest Straps
-Pant Clips
-Shoe Clips
-Arm Straps
-Head Straps
-Hand Held
-Pocket Stored
-Full Shirt
-Full Shorts

Are there any other form factors I’m missing? I’d love to start a real deep discussion on the various form factors and the pros and cons of each.

March 27, 2013 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.

FilmArray Delivers Test Results in An Hour

Maybe it’s because I live in Utah, so it’s easier for me to recognize the technology being created here, but it seems as if lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of medical devices created here. Last night I was reading KSL.com about a device that was recently designed that can apparently detect certain diseases — and, most impressively, in under an hour.

Waiting for lab results can be excruciating. Although I have access to the patient portal for Intermountain Healthcare, and can see results as soon as they are done (which is, most of the time, much faster than waiting for the doctor to call), it still takes longer than I would like. FilmArray is a test that can detect around 20 diseases in less than an hour.

The diseases that can be detected can be viral or bacterial, and are related to upper respiratory infections. This could be pretty helpful, especially when you or your child goes to the doctor, and they can’t really tell what’s wrong just by looking at them or listening to their lungs. It can help to get treatment started quicker, and hopefully shorten the length of the symptoms.

FilmArray also eliminates the need for someone to spend a ton of time in the lab working the results, as it takes less than about five minutes of a tech’s time. It’s a machine that is easy to learn how to use, so staff can be trained fairly easily, without much disruption in the regular schedule.

This graphic from the FilmArray website shows how easily it works, from start to finish:

filmarray_setup

The device has been available since 2011, though I don’t get the impression that it’s very mainstream yet. I think this could be a great thing for doctor’s offices and hospitals to invest it, because of it’s quickly produced results, and the ease of use involved. Even with an initial investment, it seems as if the time saved will pay it off in the end.

February 18, 2013 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.

25 Percent of Americans Trust Apps as Much as Doctors

A survey done by Royal Philips Electronics revealed that about one-quarter of Americans trust mHealth apps as much as they would trust their doctor. 

This survey also showed that about 27 percent of those surveyed use mobile apps instead of going to the doctor. Even more interesting, is that 1 in 10 of those surveyed felt that “if it were not for web-based health information, ‘they might already be dead or severely incapacitated.”

I thought this was a very interesting study. The sample size was 1,003 people, with 503 men and 500 men over the age of 18, so I feel like it’s pretty legitimate. At first, I thought it was kind of strange that people trust mHealth apps as much as their doctors, but then I realized…I’m probably in that 25 percent as well. To be honest, I think I sometimes trust the Internet and mHealth apps more than our doctors.

Concerning the study, Dr. Eric Silfen, the Chief Medical Officers of Philips Healthcare, had some interesting thoughts:

We are in the early stages of the web-enabled, mHealth, mobile app world of healthcare delivery. Near-future apps will focus on tying together health information technologies, connecting with doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and patients, all within a social context that facilitates shared medical decision-making. This evolution will harken the new vital signs of the clinical times with technologies that help prevent medical errors, lower the financial and social cost of care, sustain a higher quality of medical practice and support an evidence-based standard for medicine in general. Ultimately, the technological undercurrents of the post-PC world – the power of many, designer gadgets, cloud ecosystems, and mobile app computing -will hasten the personalization and partnerships that will transform sustainable medical care to the highest quality.

I think in the future, even more people will be trusting their mHealth apps just as much (or even more!) than their doctors. There are so many apps and technologies that are coming out, on what seems like a daily basis, and they are only going to get better. Sometimes, a doctor appointment can be rushed and a patient can leave feeling discouraged about the information they got — having access to so much health information, as well as gadgets that can diagnose illness, might become more popular. Definitely an interesting study though, and encouraging for mHealth app creators.

January 4, 2013 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.

UK Company Developing a Biosensor Device to Detect Flu and RSV

‘Tis the season for the flu, colds, and other respiratory diseases. Not exactly something to put a person in the holiday spirit, right? Well, a company in the United Kingdom is currently working on some pretty cool technology, that supposedly will help detect these illnesses in their early stages — during the time when treatments are most affective.

OJ-Bio, the company that has been developing the new biosensor device, recently received government backing for the device. According to OJ-Bio, the device “is intended to provide rapid, simple and low-cost diagnoses of flu and respiratory conditions.”  Below is a picture of the device, hooked up to a smart phone:

Point of care diagnosis[2]

The device can be used just about anywhere — at home, work, school. The results are available almost immediately — which is much better than having to wait for lab results, which can sometimes take hours or even days. According to the article, OJ Bio has been working with the U.K.’s Health Protection Agency for the past few years on this project, and the device accurately detected respiratory illnesses even quicker than other methods.  Some of the viruses that were in the test protocol included Influenza A and B as well as Respiratory Synctvial Virus.

In the press release, chief executive of OJ-Bio said:

Flu viruses cause misery for millions of people each year and early diagnosis is vital. Drugs are only effective in the first few days after symptoms appear and current tests, which involve laboratory analysis of samples, simply aren’t fast enough.

I’ve mentioned before that my son had RSV when he was just two weeks old. During the experience, I came to appreciate the importance of diagnosing illnesses like that very quickly and early on. We were very lucky and caught it just when he started to get it, so he was able to receive treatment and it didn’t get as bad as it could have. However, not everyone is so lucky, and aren’t diagnosed with the flu or other respiratory illnesses until they get to the point where treatments aren’t super effective. In the winter, it is sometimes hard to go to the doctor, especially since there’s the risk of picking up other illnesses while there. Having a device like this could be so helpful in helping people know if their cold or stomachache is more than just something passing by. I’ve read a lot lately about people who have been hospitalized by the flu, and I wonder how many of those could have avoid hospitalization if something like this had been available.

I’m not sure if this will be available in the United States as well, but I sure hope it will be. Definitely another item I’d want to add to my home-health kit!

December 26, 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.

Phreesia Makes Going to the Doctor Easier

The other day, we had to visit the doctor after hours. Because of this, we went to the local “instacare.” However, as soon as we realized it wasn’t going to be so “insta,” with an hour and a half wait, my husband and I decided to drive about 10 minutes to another after-hours facility. We ended up at the wrong one, but decided to stay as soon as we discovered they took our insurance.

First off, I was immediately impressed with the office. The staff was extremely friendly and professional. Especially because at the first place we went, the receptionist was eating an egg roll as she tried to get our information. Secondly, I noticed right away that they had some sort of tablets sitting at the front desk, and I was really hoping I would get a chance to use one and check it out. None of the doctor’s my family usually go to have any type of technology like that (I think I’ve mentioned how my OB/GYN is about as ancient as they come,) so I was excited to see this here. As soon as the receptionist scanned my insurance card, she handed me one of the tablets and asked me to fill out the information on the tablet. I readily agreed and went back to my seat.

When I say down, my husband saw what I was holding and said, “I bet you love this. You can totally write a post about it,” so, I thought I would.

The tablets that the office used are called Phreesia, the patient check-in company. They are bright orange, and a series of questions are asked. The questions ranged everywhere from insurance ID numbers, symptoms, past medical history, and allergies. It includes automatic insurance verification, to reduce the instance of denied claims, and the patient can swipe their debit card on the machine and pay their deductible. Here are a few of there other features listed on the site:

  • Simplify your check-in with a selection of expertly-designed specialty-specific interviews
  • Automate the administration, scoring, and reporting of clinical scales before patients enter the exam room
  • Collect sensitive healthy information with proven technology
  • Obtain a legible list of medications and drug allergies
  • Obtain patient consent for managed care initiatives

Phreesia offers different varieties of the product for all kinds of specialties  so any practice could probably find use for it. It’s also secure, so patients and providers alike can be confident about inputting information.

After using the tablet, I was definitely converted. So much, that I was very tempted to switch my family over to this practice. One thing that I always hate doing is having to tell a receptionist all of my personal information, and sometimes the details of why I’m there. I would much rather have my privacy, and be able to provide as much or as little details as I wanted. I felt like I was able to be more thorough in the descriptions of past medical history, as well as about why I was coming in. Overall, I love that some practices are implementing this kind of system, and I hope to see it more often. When I worked at a therapy clinic, I always loved the little PDA’s that we handed out for patients to answer questions — something like Phreesia.

December 17, 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.

Korean Researchers Literally Put a Doctor in Your Pocket

When I hear people saying that a smart phone is like having a doctor in your pocket…I assume they are talking about apps like WebMD that help diagnose illness and disease by listing symptoms. However, researchers in Korea are developing something that will literally be like a doctor. Check out this video:

I think it’s crazy that cancer, diabetes, and other diseases may be diagnosed through a smart phone. A hypochondriac’s dream, right? As I watched this video, I thought about various positives and negatives. Perhaps someone that doesn’t have access to health care for whatever reason, and can’t afford diagnostic tests, can try and see if they need to visit the doctor and pay those fees. Or if someone believes their doctor didn’t listen to their concerns, yet their inner conscience indicates otherwise, maybe this can help convince their doctor to look into further testing.

However, I could also see some potential issues. First off — how accurate is it? I would absolutely hate for someone to believe they were free of any disease just because of this smart phone “doctor.” How horrible would it be if someone got a false negative, but indeed did have cancer? Next, is a smart phone really a place where a blood sample should be taken? The video kind of addresses this, and mentions that some people might not like the idea of this for their smart phone, and I think that is a legitimate concern. I mean, a smart phone can do a lot, but should it really do everything? Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s one thing to have an app that lets you know what your symptoms may be for, but it’s another to try and literally become a handheld doctor.

Regardless, it’s a pretty awesome creation, and I’ll be interested to see how it all pans out.

November 5, 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.

Traqs: One Tool to Rule Them All

Next on the agenda on our journey through a list of five personal data innovations to watch is Traqs.

There are SO many different gadgets out there to help enhance workouts and overall health. However, it can be hard to keep track of them. I have all sorts of apps downloaded on my phone, but it becomes kind of a tedious task to go through and individually check up on each one. That’s where Traqs comes in.

It has a dashboard that collects all the data from various gadgets and apps into one place. So instead of checking every single app for updates, only one is now needed. Unfortunately, for the time being, there are only a few gadgets that are currently compatible with the system — Fitbit, Withings, Zeo, Garmin, and other GPS devices. However, the company promises for more integration soon.

It is currently in beta-testing, and one must request an invite in order to possibly get in on this before it’s available to the public. As such, the website doesn’t provide a lot of information, but it does boast of the following features:

  • Track your life —  users can track just anything from fitness and sleep to their current location.
  • Plug n’ Play — it’s compatible with quite a few devices and more apps/devices will be integrated soon
  • Access your data — store, sync, or download anything needed from devices
  • Visual dashboard — a personalized hub to help monitor progress and see results
  • Reports — data taken from devices can be generated into a report
  • Location Aware — This creates your “top places” and creates maps according to GPS data that can be imported.
It’s a pretty cool idea, and I think a lot of people will be attracted to the efficiency this innovation brings. If this turns out to be as good as it sounds, taking control of health will be even easier.
This tool has a lot of features I think anyone can enjoy. Data junkies will enjoy the graphs, charts, and information all neatly compiled together. Anyone who loves social media, especially things like FourSquare, won’t be able to resist the “Location Aware” feature. And anyone looking to simplify their lives, but still use all their favorite gadgets will probably find this useful.
Isn’t it incredible all of the new ideas that are coming forth? I was just thinking the other day — is there going to be anything better invented? It seems like just about everything I can think of has been! However, this is probably just the beginning. While I don’t have Fitbit, or any of the other currently-compatible devices, I’m definitely signing up for an invitation. Hopefully some of the apps I use will be compatible soon too .
September 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.

First Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Monitor Announced by Dayton Industrial

Bluetooth 4.0 is only a few days old but there is already a healthcare device using it.  One of the most popular articles on this site has been concerning a mobile heart rate monitor and this should only make it easier for people to track their health.

A very interesting writeup with an image can be found here.

The full press release from Dayton industrial can be found here.

June 14, 2011 I Written By

New Bipartisan Medical Technology Caucus in Senate

Support for the medical device industry appears to be growing on Capitol Hill after the relaunch of a Senate medical technology caucus by Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Amy Kloubchar (D-Minn.).

Brown, one the GOP’s brightest stars, and the liberal Klobuchar may seem like strange bedfellows. But both represent communities where the medical device business has sunk deep roots. Minnesota and Massachusetts combined are home to the U.S. headquarters of most of the top 10 medical device companies in the world, accounting for more than 100,000 jobs.

The caucus will focus legislative attention on the medical technology sector, according to the senators. A few of their pet issues are likely to be the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax contained in the national healthcare reform law and changes to the 510(k) program afoot at the FDA. – Source: MEDcity

I’m not sure about the inner workings of Washington and Senate Caucus’, but I like the idea that Brown and Kloubchar are likely to encourage legislation that will get the government out of the way. Yes, I’m definitely a less government kind of guy. We’ll see how it plays out with these 2 who come from very different sides of the aisle.

April 6, 2011 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.