Tag Archives: Apple

An Apple a day…


…will keep the doctors informed.

So maybe you haven’t been in the hospital ever or in years or even this year (we’re only a quarter-ish into the new year)… but now you just might see how an Apple might be just what the doctor ordered.

If you are already wearing that Apple Watch and happen to make it into the patient bed at Cedars-Sinai then you can synch all your info with the hospital issued iPad and your Apple Watch. That makes for a more complete record of your health and keeps the info where it can be accessed for other care providers or, in the worst of situations, where emergency responders can see it.

Back in early 2015, we heard of the hospitals piloting Apple’s HealthKit – and the big name electronic health record providers jumped in with them. John Hopkins (specifically for epilepsy)  and Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans have worked with Epic, an electronic health record company, to integrate with the Apple Watch. Ochsner is making the use of the Apple product line to make their innovationOschner (iO) program a stellar role model for the rest of the electronic world of healthcare. I’m, personally, impressed with their program and how they seem to be making it a part of their strategic vision not just for the company but for their patients. Check out this post from last year on Oschner’s program

Yet, in the field we are all aware of the regulations around electronic health records and those devices that work with them are one of the grey areas – one that we, in the healthcare technology field hopes will stay grey!

What have your experiences been with your Apple products and your healthcare providers?

Here is a great interview article with a patient at Cedars Sinai –  and it speaks to the market that Apple is now wading into…

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What’s in store for mHealth?


From the 2014 mHealth Summit they had 4 “take-aways” – all four were ones that we have heard before and ones that we should be listening to.

I’ll start with the easy one, in my opinion – (and their #1 on the list) – Consumer Engagement is the buzzword. I’ve been talking about this one off and on for a while. We are a culture that is becoming more informed. We have access to health information much more easily than those who have come before us. Google, WebMD, and just about any health related organization, such as providers and support sites. For me, personally, I am paying attention to more on the Breast Cancer site than before because my mom is fighting breast cancer. And we’ve talked before about access to your own health information and how we all want to see what our health record looks like and find out what did the doctor realllly say in my last visit with him/her?

The next one, in my numbering system, is that Apple’s HealthKit could be a game changer. I’m still waiting on this one. It could be the game changer – I hope it is the game changer. Basically, it could connect all those wonderful health apps to the Apple Health and keep all the nifty data there for us.

Well, that brings me to my favorite of the 4 – data analysis! Now, I hope I don’t lose my non-nerd friends on this one (as my kiddos would say). I am blessed to have just started a job with a company that provides data analytics to health providers. And, let me say, WOW, I am excited! This is the meat of it all! We have sooooooooo much information on our health, health standards, metrics for health measurement and just oodles and bunches of good stuff that can help us monitor our health as individuals and as communities! We are capturing data in mobile devices, devices worn on the body, devices used in the practice of health care, electronic health records and even in the data that our insurance company holds on us – well, except Anthem – they can’t seem to hold onto our information…. (sarcasm). This is great stuff. It is time we put it to good use!

And that leads to the last of the 4 – Care Coordination works! – Why, yes, Sherlock, it does. If my care providers know what is going on with me, my labs, my meds and my tests then I get better care – or I should expect better care. More effective care. If I make sure that my nutritionist knows that my iron levels came in low on my last blood tests that my general practitioner ordered then I get better guidance on my diet. You can see where I am going here…

So – what do you see in store for mHealth in 2015?


Apple’s health app


The FDA has been adding some statements about mobile apps since the release of its report back in late March. Specifically, on 6/11/14 it released more clarification on what would fall under enforcement discretion – or those that it will leave up to other entities to enforce. According to mHealth they pretty much described Apple’s health app:

“Mobile apps that allows a user to collect, log, track and trend data such as blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, weight or other data from a device to eventually share with a health care provider, or upload it to an online (cloud) database, personal or electronic health record.”

So what does the Apple health app have included? Well, again according to mHealth, they have several diagnostic functions, including number of times fallen, galvanic skin response, and body heat flux. They have weight and activity related metrics – the ability to track body fat percentage, steps taken, calories burned. Then the nifty basal calories burned – those pesky calories burned while you sit and do nothing. And just in case you need it – the blood alcohol content results. Along with the expected medications functions – reminders, alerts to interactions, etc. Nutrition, sleep, and vital signs seem to be included.

What really interests me about the app is that is appears to be designed to work with other products more than as a stand-alone. That makes sense as it really isn’t a medical device and where else could it get most of the medical data if it did not interact? So in my mind this puts the app out there as more of a medical record for me. Then I circle back around to where does the data go?

If you are just waiting on this fall for the release of the app you might want to do some research beforehand and order your extra device for that blood alcohol content monitor, Breathometer (as seen on Shark Tank), or your Nike+ fuel monitors.

 

 


Wearables & Healthcare Technology


Have you tried the Google Glass yet? Wear a Fitbit? In a recent post for the Pivot Point Consulting blog, I talk about wearables, those devices that you wear which capture data as you wear them about your or your health, and how they fit into healthcare technology today. I also talk about what the future might look like with the upcoming Apple & Google innovations. What will the market look like to the consumer? What does the market and the financial feasibility look like for the companies developing the wearables? And most importantly, what do we do with all that data that is or will be collected?

Take a peek and let me know how wearables can or will affect your world!


Is there an app for that?


My guess is that if you were to ask this question of your peers – which I kinda have over on my Facebook page of the same name – that the answer would be yes. There are apps out there that I never dreamed about. And there are a LOT that are targeted to health – your health, your clinician getting information for your health, your exercise, your disease monitoring…. I could go on.

Recently, I broke the mold of myself and got an Apple laptop product. I was excited to get the iPad back in March and loved it for my trips – music, movies, games – then found out all the other significant stuff it could do. So I decided to give Apple a try against my trusty monster – my Dell. So now I have access to an even greater and different set of apps than I do with my Android based smart phone, my iPad, my Apple laptop and my Dell laptop. A gal could get confused here…

Alas, to my point -when I put mhealth into the PlayStore on my Android phone I got apps that I would never have expected. One that really took me by surprise was EPI mHealth Lite – an application used with EPI Mini to connect the smartphone to the device to read the ECG. WOW!

My Mobile Med Box came up for a fee in which it describes itself as “your secure personal health record”. Hmmm, wonder how that works. One of the comments on the reviews stated that the fire department recommended it to the person for people who call them a lot because it can give them info when you can’t. Again, hmmmm…I have a lot of questions on that security setup….

AT&T mHealth is on my list of interest. When you go to the play store on the Android it has the “warning” that “you must have an invitation to participate from your employer or health management company.” Well, that counts me out. I don’t have health insurance. Ping! That is a consideration with all these apps – what are the prerequisites?

I was excited to get WebMD on my iPad so that I could figure out what was wrong with me. Or my neighbors and friends. Seriously – how many times have you had a person tell you that this was aching, they had a rash somewhere, their chest pains were low in their ribs, or that the doctor gave them a medicine for that newly diagnosed condition but they forgot what else they were supposed to do other than take the medicine? Now, I’m likin’ some WebMD on my iPad!

For those clinicians out there listening in you can get Epocrates on your Android or Apple products, too. I kinda like that. Except for the part where I have to pay the pricing ($$) you need to pay for more than just RX (prescription) information.

A pretty neat one that I would never have thought of is Recalls.gov. It is available on Android and other versions are on the Apple products.

And what about those fitness and exercise apps? I found My Fitness Pal – really a lot like Weight Watchers that I did online about a year and a half ago but I thought it was less user-friendly. I had to guess at my calories and I’m always going to go for the help myself think that I’m losing weight side of things.

 

So what apps on your smartphones, tablets, or laptops do you use that relate to health/wellness?? I’m truly curious! I know there are a lot out there and one or two might just be of interest to me, also. Come on! Share!


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