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Turn Any Stethoscope Into a mHealth Device

I was intrigued by a mHealth startup company called InstaMD that’s Launching at TiECon today. Here’s a short description and video of the product.

The InstaMD Multi-Use Headset is easily attachable to any stethoscope and provides users with the ability to record heart, lung or GI sounds, which can then be uploaded directly to the InstaMD provided web and mobile app. Users with access to the InstaMD web and mobile app can record and archive their audio files and, if desired, share their information with their medical provider in real-time. For the first time, convenient audio and video health monitoring is available to consumers through any computer or smart mobile device. In essence, InstaMD’s Multi-Use Headset is making advanced health monitoring more convenient and cost-
effective than ever before.

I think it’s a pretty interesting use of the traditional stethoscope. I’d be interested to see it in action. What isn’t clear to me is whether InstaMD wants to be in the device space or whether they want to be in the Telemedicine space. It would be interesting to learn what their long term goal is for the company.

Ont thing that is an issue for this product is that I don’t know many patients who just have a stethoscope laying around at home. Usually the doctor is the one with the stethoscope and not the patient. It’s not like the thermometer where everyone has one already. That’s a barrier to adoption that I think will be an issue. I think they’ll have to sell the stethoscope with the headset.

If this interest you, check out their Indiegogo campaign.

May 15, 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 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.

Everyone’s a Paramedic with Google Glass

As you know, we’ve been pretty high on Google Glasses on this blog. Katie’s written a few articles about it including: “Google Glasses: The Future of Healthcare?” and “Goggles Suggested for Stroke Monitoring“. I’ve said before that whether Google Glass is the product that will win this category, the idea of always on computing that is available to you in real time with little to no interaction is indeed a game changing technology. Google or someone is going to get this right and it’s going to change so many things for the good.

I heard a really simple example that illustrates this idea. Imagine a Google Glass 911 service. The first thing they teach you in First Aid and CPR is to ask someone near by to call 911. Think about how that simple task changes with Google Glass. Hands free, the person could approach the injured victim and with their voice say, “Ok Glass. Dial 911.” Instant connection to a 911 operator who will have a voice and video connection to you along with the GPS coordinates of your location.

This takes being a 911 operator to a whole new level. Now they can see the victim and can give much better instructions. Plus, the person helping the victim can administer care while talking with the 911 operator hands free. What a compelling use case!

Turns out this could benefit the paramedics as well who could have their Google Glass video feed connected to the ER doctor who can see and instruct them where appropriate. The ER doctor could give instructions to the paramedic while the paramedic works hands free. The ER doctor could even send the paramedic images or video of what the paramedic should be doing.

I’m sure we could extrapolate this more into many other areas of healthcare, but you get the idea. It’s amazing to think what the mature technology could do in this regard.

Before you get too excited about the technology, Charles Webster, MD (who I hear has a device #glassenvy) posted a great link to the most comprehensive Google Glass article I’ve found. For those not interested in reading the lengthy article, the summary is that Google Glass still has a long ways to go to become a mature technology and achieve what I described above. However, I agree with the writer that this is a device of historical significance. It’s a category defining product.

No doubt Google Glass is an alpha release of a device. So, we should all be aware of that and treat it as such. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten my hands on a Google Glass device yet, but no doubt will spring at the chance to try it. While glass is full of limitations today, as the hardware and software mature, I can see some really valuable ways I could use something like this in healthcare and my life.

June 21, 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.

Get Peace of Mind and Avoid The ER With Snap.MD

As I was perusing HisTalkMobile.com today, the first article on the page caught my eye. A new start-up from LA aims to decrease ER visits from “worried” moms with telemedicine visits.

According to the article about Snap.md, on average, a new baby visits the doctor’s office about eight times in the first year, and when those visits are to the ER, they definitely could have been avoided. Snap.md plans to connect parents with someone in the Emergency Room for a consultation, within 10 minutes.

We’ve taken my son to the doctor many times in the past eight and half months. While many of those times were actually warranted (our son really is sick, all the time), I think this could be come in handy. Our average wait time at the doctor’s office is about 30-45 minutes, and the ER is even longer (we went a few months ago, and we were three for three hours…before we even saw someone.) This may not be the typical wait (or maybe it is!) but something like this really could cut down on the amount of time wasted going to the ER for things that may not be an emergency. Sometimes, just getting the reassurance from a health professional is all a new mother needs, and I think that is one of the goals behind this.

The article said the company is targeting three different “categories” of parents:

  1. Those without insurance
  2. Those with private insurance
  3. Medicaid families

So, it sounds like, just about anyone! The fee for those without any insurance will be around $60, which is a whole lot less than the going to the Emergency Room. From what I can tell, it looks like medicaid and private insurance companies may cover that cost, or at least, that is the hope I’m guessing. Dave Skibinski, the man behind the company, said the company isn’t trying to replace seeing a physician.

Our goal is not to direct the care. If the patient wants to see their own physician or go to a different ER, that’s fine. The point is to avoid an unnecessary visit to the ER.

In my opinion, that’s a great goal. Perhaps that would clear up the wait time at Emergency Rooms, so those that truly do have an emergency don’t have to wait quite as long.

I do think telemedicine is definitely going to play a prominent role in healthcare in the very near future, and be a significant part of mHealth. Snap.md doesn’t have a lot if information available yet, or even when it’s going to be released, but it looks like contracts have already been negotiated with a few different children’s hospitals in California, with plans to expand. I sure hope this comes to my town.

November 23, 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.

App Created to Connect Patients With Doctors Immediately

Have you heard of Consult a Doctor? Well, if you haven’t, here’s a little bit of an overview:

MYHEALTHPLAN24/7 is Consult A Doctor’s revolutionary cloud-based telemedicine platform that offers health plans the freedom to dramatically improve access for their members, and offer a significant convenience and revenue benefit to their provider network, all while reducing cost of care by ensuring that members stay healthier with the right care, in the right setting as soon as possible.

Consult a Doctor offers cloud-based telemedicine services to its users. It teams up with hospitals, providers, employers, and consumers to provide affordable health care and advice to everyone. Patients connect with their doctors via the Internet and are able to get care faster, easier, and less expensive over all. On June 6th, Consult a Doctor announced their new app, iDr 24/7. Anyone who is currently subscribed to Consult a Doctor, either through their employer or health plan. iDr 24/7 is the first of its kind is available for the iPhone. Users will have the opportunity to be instantly connected with a doctor, no matter where they are. The press release from Consult a Doctor described the app:

The mobile app will enable members to connect with network physicians via phone and secure messaging for live, on-demand medical consultations, including medical diagnosis, treatment, and if appropriate, prescriptions to certain medications to treat non-emergent conditions.

Sometime this year, the app will be available to other groups as well, including providers and patients.

It’s pretty incredible how far seeking medical attention has come. I mean, someone used to have to ride horseback miles and miles just to find a doctor, and now a doctor can be reached almost instantaneously. While yes, in a true emergency, you should go to the emergency room, I think this is a great option for those just needing to talk to a doctor about some basic concerns, or who needs to get a prescription filled. Last week, David talked about a tricorder being developed called Scanadu, which also would give medical advice instantly. I wonder what type of technology will be developed next to make reaching a doctor even easier.

Consult a Doctor offers both individual and group plans. Pricing for the plans can be found here. Beyond access to iDr 24/7, membership benefits are:

  • Licensed physicians available 24/7/365.
  • 100% Approval — No one is ever turned down!
  • No Limitations on Usage
  • Great alternative for the uninsured or underinsured
  • Store and share your EMRs (Electronic Medical Records)
  • Immediate access to Consult a Doctor’s health related interactive tools/service
  • HIPAA-compliant

A free trial is available, and enrollment can be done here or by calling 1-800-362-2667.

June 25, 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.

Moving Holograms – Star Wars Technology in Health Care

That’s right, the 3D hologram image that was made popular on Star Wars is now closer to becoming a reality. Plus, it doesn’t even require 3D glasses to see it. Here’s a quote from the story:

Remember the Star Wars scene in which R2D2 projects a three-dimensional image of a troubled Princess Leia delivering a call for help to Luke Skywalker and his allies? What used to be science fiction is now close to becoming reality thanks to a breakthrough in 3D holographic imaging technology developed at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.

A team led by optical sciences professor Nasser Peyghambarian developed a new type of holographic telepresence that allows the projection of a three-dimensional, moving image without the need for special eyewear such as 3D glasses or other auxiliary devices. The technology is likely to take applications ranging from telemedicine, advertising, updatable 3D maps and entertainment to a new level.

“Holographic telepresence means we can record a three-dimensional image in one location and show it in another location, in real-time, anywhere in the world,” said Peyghambarian, who led the research effort.

The obvious connection to healthcare is in Telemedicine. You could have a 3D doctor in your house or they could see a 3D patient. That’s pretty cool to consider. I can’t wait for this type of technology to be widespread.

It’s amazing how many scientific discoveries have already been emulated in movies and TV shows like Star Wars and Star Trek.

March 10, 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.