#HCSM Review: The Mobile Edition

June 27, 2012
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Welcome to this edition, the 7th Edition, and the Mobile Edition of the HCSM Review.  Thank you all for your submissions!

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Welcome to this edition, the 7th Edition, and the Mobile Edition of the HCSM Review.  Thank you all for your submissions!

Mobile Health (mHealth, eHealth) is exploding and social media is an integral part of this explosion.  Interactive mobile apps for healthcare abound.  HealthCare websites are going mobile, giving patients a chance to discover information and connect with others via phone wherever they are in the world.

I got a LOT of submissions for this edition; mobile health is truly in the news!  Excuse me for going a bit over the limit with posts but these were all worth including.

Advice and Info on Using Mobile in HealthCare

Dr Neelesh Bandhari on his website, Digital Medicine, writes about How Doctors Use SmartPhone Apps.  A survey by the popular medical app, Epocrates, showed that over 75% of doctors downloaded over 26 apps, but really only used about 7.  The main reason for downloading was advice/recommendations from friends or colleagues.  Included in this post is a very cool infographic by the popular medical app, Epocrates, on Mobile App Overload for Doctors.

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Matt Grzeskiewicz in Health With a Capital H gives us advice in his post,  Seven Guidelines to Great Public Health Mobile Messaging and discusses insights found in a recently published research study on how to design effective mobile health messages. Seven guidelines are given for health professionals to use when strategizing mobile health messaging campaigns.  Good information indeed!

Smart Medicine Smart Phones by Gary Levin shows us numerous ways the iPhone can be turned into a healthcare tool, including an image-viewer, a diagnostic tool, a remote monitor, a microscope or an EKG.  Gary explains that now patients have access to their own data and therefore are as up to date on their lab reports as their doctor.

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Alexandra Bornkessel submitted a great post on her blog, Social ButterflyOnline and Mobile: The Potential of Personalized Health Information tells us how to unlock the potential prowess of personalized health in online and mobile health strategies.  Alexandra notes, “We don’t have to look too far to see personalized health at work, especially given the ongoing evolution in mobile technologies”  Read Alexandra’s post to learn about her “4Ps of Personalized Health”

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Francis Collins in Scientific American claims the The Real Promise of Mobile Health Apps is in research.  Mobile devices can bring the research laboratory to the patient.  Clinical trial participants can avoid the inconvenience of visiting research facilities and writing down every detail of their daily activities.  And combining mHealth data and GPS could alert key personel in case of illness outbreaks related to the environment or infectious agents.

The AMA in their newsletter promotes Lifestyle Action Plans Plus Mobile Monitoring to help patients change Imageunhealthy lifestyles.  Dr William Riley, PhD, program director in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is quoted as saying, “If further research supports the study’s findings, using mobile technology to help monitor and change patients’ lifestyle behaviors could potentially revolutionize what can be accomplished in medicine and public health”.

And I don’t think this post would be truly “mobile” without something from Eric Topol!  Following is a quote from The HealthCare Blog‘s Medicine Unplugged, by Eric Topol:

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Dr. Eric Topol

“But clearly the reach and impact extends far beyond accessing the individual’s metrics. Being able to diagnose a child’s ear infection remotely will pre-empt the need in many cases to see the pediatrician or go to an emergency room. Having one’s eyes refracted by a smartphone add-on leaves the need for an optometrist wanting. The benign skin lesions that so many people are living with but concerned about could get accurately diagnosed without a dermatologist. Phoning in the electrocardiogram data for someone with palpitations and lightheadedness obviates the need for a cardiology consultation or another emergency room visit. Capturing brain wave data along with oxygen level in the blood, heart and breathing rate with a home sensor would largely eradicate the need for expensive hospital-based sleep studies. If this doesn’t represent the beginnings of the greatest shakeup in medicine, then what does”?

Cool Mobile Apps for HealthCare

The Technology Review has a great post on an app that can be a real help for any parent.  Cellscope is a Imagesmartphone add-on that enables at-home diagnosis of ear infections, one of the top reasons for pediatric visits.  Users can capture and upload images to CellScope’s Web platform.  After adding notes about other symptoms, parents could ask their own doctor to conduct a remote exam.

Pat Salber from The Doctor Weighs In sent a great post about a new personal protection app designed for women by women called Watch Me 911.  This app has a number of modes, the “Call 911” only mode, the “Panic” mode, the “Monitor Me” mode and the “I’ve Arrived” mode, with different features and numbers to call for each mode.  Each of the personal safety modes can be customized by setting up “Watches.” You type out a message and select the contacts you want notified for each personal safety situation.  So Ladies, go on down to the app store and get armed…..with an app!

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 Rock Health’s demo day made the news in Gigaom.com where Eliza Kern writes on some very cool problem-solving apps for doctors.  Docphin, Cardiio and Agile Diagnosis are mentioned here with info and advice about each.  Read the post and put these apps on your radar!

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And did you know there apps for Tracking Your Moods?  Go to Candida Abrahamson’s website to read all about 4 Imagegreat mood tracking apps with tips and advice on how to use each one.  Mood tracking is recommended for those with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder but can also be extremely useful for those with chronic disease.  “Not only do the mobile apps make access to the mood chart much simpler [even the most dutiful of patients in the ‘old day’s didn’t carry their mood chart in their back pockets on dates, or along with their sunscreen and a novel to the beach]–they’re more sophisticated and hold more data as well”.

The Future?

Marie Ennis-O’Conner cautions us about the many Barriers to Global Implementation of mHealth on our HealthWorks Collective website.  A quote from the article:

“This article will present an overview of the barriers that countries face in implementing mHealth and highlight some solutions, based on the findings of the two most recent global surveys –  Emerging mHealth:paths for growth, and mHealth:New horizons for health through mobile technologies. Understanding and finding solutions for these barriers is vital so that resources can be allocated to optimally put public health initiatives into practice.”

Marie gives a great analysis and commentary on the multiple barriers to mHealth acceptance with advice on how to overcome them.  A worthwhile read for all!

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And finally, here is a futuristic concept of using mobile devices to track and monitor people for health insurance purposes, much like auto insurance companies use onboard telematics to gather data about drivers.  Is this ethical?, legal? or even possible?  See David Williams’s post, When Onboard Monitoring Comes to Health Insurance in the Health Business Blog to read more about this.

 




Thank you all again for contributing to this edition.  On July 11, Mark Scrimshire will host the next edition of the HCSM Review on his website.

For details on the HCSM Review, please see our Main Page.

 

 

cellphone & stethoscope photo: Christos Georghiou/shutterstock

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