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5 Health-Related Snapshots To Keep In Your Phone

Yesterday, I came across an interesting article on Pinterest about different snapshots you should keep in your phone’s photo album. While it mentioned quite a few random things, like reminders of where you parked, measurements for an air filter, or recipes from a book or a magazine, there was one related to health care that made me start thinking.

The article suggested taking photos of prescription bottles, so you don’t forgot the name of your prescription, or the prescription number. When I saw this, I started thinking about what other health-related things you could take pictures of. This, in fact, could be the simplest way to create a portable PHR.

So what are some things you could take photos of to store on your phone in case of an emergency? Here are a few ideas I came up with:

  • Picture of insurance card. Awhile back when we went to an Urgent Care clinic, we were asked to check-in using Phreesia. Instead of giving our insurance card, we just had to type in our insurance id number. I’m notorious for misplacing insurance cards, so if I ran into a situation like this, all would not be lost, if I had a copy of the insurance card on my phone!
  • Photos of medicine: As was suggested in the article that prompted this post, taking a photo of any bottles of medicine you have to take would be helpful as well. There have been several times that I’ve called a pharmacy while I’ve been out and about, and they’ve asked for my prescription number. Of course, I never know it. But having a photo with that information would be helpful. It might also be helpful to take picture of medicine you need to buy at the store.
  • Along the same lines, having an updated photo with any medications you or your child is currently taking. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been at a doctor and they ask what medication my son or I had been on recently, and I totally forget.
  • Emergency contacts. Obviously, you can store emergency contacts in your address book, but this would be a good way to make it so you don’t have to go scrolling through your contacts…especially when there actually is an emergency, where things can be hectic. This would also be an easy way to send numbers and names to someone else, in case that was necessary. It would be a lot easier to send one photo, rather than trying to copy and paste different phone numbers.
  • If you can have different folders of albums on your phone, you could store all these in one labeled “health” or “emergency.

There are a lot of apps that could probably do these same things, but for those that want to make things as simple as possible — I think this is a good route. There are obviously some downsides — mainly, it isn’t a secure way to store information. But it’s an interesting way to store information that you need to get to quickly. Can you think of any other snapshots that might be helpful to have?

June 5, 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.

Jubilee Health Community and NoMoreClipboard Combine Forces To Help Diabetes Patients

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20.8 million people in the United States are affected by diabetes. This amounts to around seven percent of the population, which is a fairly large percentage. Many of those with diabetes likely have no health insurance

Jubilee  Health Community and NoMoreClipboard PHR are working together to help uninsured manage diabetes, according to a recent press release. The objectives of this include:

  • Explore the use of a PHR by rural, uninsured patients with diabetes
  • Improve patient health outcomes by providing patients with a PHR to share and track daily glucose readings
  • Improve diabetes care management by sharing health information between a clinician and patients using a PHR.

28 diabetes patients of Jubilee Health Community were given a smartphone-enabled version of the NoMoreClipboard PHR about a year ago to assist them in managing their diabetes. Immediate feedback was given when glucose values were entered, and lab results were input within about 72 hours.

These patients and their use of the PHR were monitored over the course of a year, and that findings were interesting. Here are some of the stats that were listed in the press release:

  • 37.5 percent of the patients remained actively engaged and regularly entered blood glucose readings via NoMoreClipboard
  • Of those 37.5 percent of patients, 28.6 had improved A1C levels and reported feeling better
  • Those that did not actively use the PHR, 21.4 percent had no improvement or increased A1C levels
  • Of those that did not stay engaged, one of the patients whose A1C level increased suffered an MI.

Diabetes is linked to a host of other health problems, which include adult blindness, kidney failure, non-traumatic amputations, and heart disease and strokes. Obviously, there is a great need for some additional help for these patients, and this PHR seems like it could really do a lot of good. The sample size might not be the greatest to glean the most accurate results on the effectiveness of the PHR, but it does give some insight to indicate it would be worth trying. I think it’s great that some of those who used the PHR regularly did see improvement.

Jeff Donnell, president of NoMoreClipboard, offered some commentary concerning the value of electronic patient engagement:

This project reinforces the value of electronic patient engagement in helping underserved patients manage chronic conditions. Providers are often skeptical that populations including seniors and safety net patients will be able to cross the digital divide and use a PHR. Our experience with rural and urban underinsured patients make it clear that these individuals are looking for tools to help them take a more active role, and they will use those tools when they provide benefit.

In general, I feel like when people are accountable and regularly track information concerning their health (whether it be for diabetes, trying to lose weight, etc.) there will be an increase in their health and well-being. The problem is, it can be very hard to stay on track with systems like this –which is evidenced by the fact that over 60 percent of the people didn’t remain active at the end of the trial period. It raises the question, what can be done to convince people to keep track of their health on things like the NoMoreClipboard PHR?

December 20, 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.

PocketHealth Raises the Bar for mPHRs

On May 1st, Cognovant, a Missouri-based startup, announced in a press release that the initial funding for their smart phone app, PocketHealth, was complete. With this announcement, Cognovant also revealed that the app would be released for both Android and Apple operating systems this month.

PocketHealth is the latest mobile personal health record (mPHR) available for smart phones. This isn’t the first mPHR; other popular ones are mPHR 2 and My Medical. However, PocketHealth appears to be one of the first of its kind. It is untethered, which essentially means it isn’t tied to just one insurance company or healthcare provider. While untethered mPHR’s often make the user key in their own data manually, this isn’t necessarily the case with PocketHealth. What also sets this mPHR apart from others is that it was built following CCD standards. Dr. Joseph Ketcherside, the President and CEO of Cognovant, said in an interview with Mobi Health News:

 From the user interface standpoint, it might look like every other PHR. But the guts of our PHR are comparable to what you would find in the parts of an electronic medical record.

This is essential, because in the future, if medical providers have to be able to give copies of patient medical information in CCD format. PocketHealth is designed to be able to import that format. This also gives PocketHealth an advantage over other untethered mPHRs because doctors and hospitals that have EMRs integrated into their systems can simply upload the CCD, rather than having to take time to log in to a website or deal with a USB drive to read the patient’s mPHR.

One of the issues with some mPHR is whether or not the information is secure. PocketHealth tries to overcome that problem by having PocketHealth encrypt the data and be password protected.

PocketHealth is a free app, though there will be a 3.99 version that a user can upgrade to if they monitor the health of more than one person or have a complicated medical history. The free version seems good enough, however, and tracks information like immunizations, medical conditions, family and social history, information on providers, and more. In addition, the information can be exported as a report or a CCD.

Because PocketHealth has been released for the Android OS, I decided to download it. This was my first experience with mPHR. I was impressed with all the information that could be recorded, and I can definitely see the benefits of it (well, just the idea of an mPHR to begin with). Because I have no idea where my family will be in a year from now, it would be helpful to have this information available at the tip of my fingers when we visit with a new doctor wherever we move. I also see it being handy if someone is admitted to the hospital in an emergency situation and information needs to be quickly accessed.

However, I see some potential problems, such as if the information wasn’t totally correct. What if someone thought they were O negative blood type, so that was entered into the “vital stats” section, but they were actually A negative? Granted, I’m sure a medical professional would test a blood type, and not just trust the PHR, before doing something like a blood transfusion, but there is always the chance for incorrect information. I do like that PocketHealth is created on the same foundation as an EMR, so information can be directly exported from a doctor’s office. I also was a bit concerned about privacy, but the fact that PocketHealth is password protected and encrypts the data made me feel better.

One thing I didn’t like about the app was that it seemed a bit sluggish. I had to press my selections a few times before it would work, which was kind of annoying. Overall, I think I will probably upgrade to the 3.99 version, so I can track the health of my family and me and have a lot of information readily available.

The Android version can be downloaded here. The version for the iPhone is still in the works but the release is expected to occur in the next few weeks.

May 29, 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.

Under Armour Biometric Health Data Collection Shirt

Leave it to sports to come out with some really creative and innovative technology. I know I’ve spend far too much money to go to sporting events and so it makes sense that they’d have money to pay for some really cool healthcare devices.

Medgadget recently posted about an Under Armour Biometric shirt that the NFL was using to measure athletic performance.

The shirt has electronic sensors that measure heart and breathing rates and skin-surface temperature, and a triaxial accelerometer to measure force and direction. All the data that it collects is sent out via Bluetooth. The amazing thing is that this shirt and it’s “bug” has 2 gigabytes of storage along with its processor and accelerometer. That’s more than most devices like this. Although, you do have the cost of the “bug” which comes in a removable sensor pack.

While this is really cool for the NFL who wants to test the athletic capability of an athlete, I think there could be some really interesting uses of this technology in the home. What if we wore this shirt when we are working out at home on the treadmill or when we go for a run. All of that data could be uploaded to a PHR or other website where all the data could be graphed and be used to monitor the health of an individual. Although, I bet the cost of the device will need to come down to make a consumer version of this product.

Here’s a video which shows more about the Under Armour E39:

March 31, 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.