Tag Archives: iPhone

New blood pressure app

September 7, 2018
Source: Michigan State University

Summary: Researchers have invented a proof-of-concept blood pressure app that can give accurate readings using an iPhone — with no special equipment.Michigan State University has invented a proof-of-concept blood pressure app that can give accurate readings using an iPhone — with no special equipment.

smartphone app screen for article, New blood pressure appThe discovery, featured in the current issue of Scientific Reports, was made by a team of scientists led by Ramakrishna Mukkamala, MSU electrical and computer engineering professor.

“By leveraging optical and force sensors already in smartphones for taking ‘selfies’ and employing ‘peek and pop,’ we’ve invented a practical tool to keep tabs on blood pressure,” he said. “Such ubiquitous blood pressure monitoring may improve hypertension awareness and control rates, and thereby help reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality.”

In a publication in Science Translational Medicine earlier this year, Mukkamala’s team had proposed the concept with the invention of a blood pressure app and hardware. With the combination of a smartphone and add-on optical and force sensors, the team produced a device that rivaled arm-cuff readings, the standard in most medical settings.

With advances in smartphones, the add-on optical and force sensors may no longer be needed. Peek and pop, available to users looking to open functions and apps with a simple push of their finger, is now standard on many iPhones and included in some Android models.

If things keep moving along at the current pace, an app could be available in late 2019, Mukkamala added.

“Like our original device, the application still needs to be validated in a standard regulatory test,” he said. “But because no additional hardware is needed, we believe that the app could reach society faster.”


Easy-to-Use App Eliminates the Scary Feeling of Looking Up Your Health Symptoms Online

photo of Avery Harmans Avery Hartmans   May 2, 2017

We’ve all had the horrifying moment of looking up a health symptom and receiving a horrifying — but probably fake — diagnosis in return.

That’s the scenario the Buoy app is trying to avoid.

Buoy app screenshotThe iPhone app was founded by a team of doctors from Harvard Medical School and uses artificial intelligence to simulate a conversation with a doctor. By asking a series of questions and ruling out possibilities as it goes, Buoy says it provides a more accurate diagnosis than just typing a series of symptoms into Google. Most importantly, Buoy will never tell you you have cancer.

CEO Andrew Le has been working on the app since 2014 and it launched in March. He told Boston Magazine that in a test of 500 patients in the waiting room of a hospital, the app provided the same diagnosis as a real doctor 90% of the time.

The app is free and works much like a text message chat between two people. Here’s how to use it.

iPrescribe Exercise – Free App Combats Sedentary Lifestyle

Douglas Maurer, DO/MPH/FAAFP | October 12, 2016

iPrescribe Exercise: Helping Your Patients Meet Recommended Fitness GoalsAs of 2014, there were over 165,000 health apps available for download in the iOS and Android app stores (duplicates excluded).

There are over 500 million people using them—1 in 3 patients seen in primary care. This explosion of health apps has created an entire cottage industry that is projected to pull in over $8 billion by 2018.

But few apps for health are evidence based and less than 1% are FDA regulated. A 2016 study by the Commonwealth Fund performed a systematic review of 946 iOS apps and 1,173 Android apps and evaluated them on their merits regarding patient engagement. Of the apps that met the reviewers inclusion criteria, only 161 (43%) of iOS apps and 152 (27%) of Android apps were assessed as “possibly useful”, of which 126 apps existed on both platforms. A 2015 systematic scoping review of 457 articles and 800 apps for weight loss found that only 28 met inclusion criteria for quality and behavior change principles. Continue reading iPrescribe Exercise – Free App Combats Sedentary Lifestyle

Antimicrobial Companion App: Promotes Antibiotic Stewardship

Douglas Maurer, DO/MPH/FAAFP | August 29, 2016

anti bacaterial helper app for prescribing physiciansAntibiotic resistance is a growing problem. According to the CDC, over 2 million each year becomes infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Over 23,000 of these people die of their infections due to the lack of an effective antimicrobial.

We have recently seen the discovery of so-called “superbugs” such as colistin-resistant E. coli in multiple facilities across the United States that makes methicillin-resistant Staph aureus look like a harmless fly. Multiple studies have shown that antibiotic

overprescribing is a common problem in primary care, where over 90% of antibiotics are prescribed. In the US, the CDC is leading the charge promoting antibiotic stewardship. The CDC has launched numerous online tools as part of a playbook of core elements to combat antimicrobial resistance. The Joint Commission is evaluating hospitals on their antibiotic stewardship programs as part of their accreditation processes. Continue reading Antimicrobial Companion App: Promotes Antibiotic Stewardship

App Uses iPhone’s Camera To Find Your Veins

Or…. “You’re so vein you probably think this app is about you.”

Iltifat Husain, MD | July 7, 2016

I came across a really interesting app that was recently released in the medical section of the Apple App Store — VeinSeek.  VeinSeek uses live video processing to “find your veins”. You can obviously infer how this would be helpful in the healthcare setting.

Devices that help find veins have been used for some time. Many of them use infrared light to show veins:
infared camera shot of veins in person's arm
The VeinSeek app is interesting in that it doesn’t need any attachments or special camera. It takes images from your iPhone camera’s red and green channels, converts them to black and white, and then removes brightness values of the green image from the brightness values of the red image.

The developers make it clear the app is not intended for use in the medical setting even though it’s in the medical section of the app store.
Photo showing pic from Vein Seek app on iPhone
I used the app on myself and with a few physician partners and we were surprised by how well it worked. Continue reading App Uses iPhone’s Camera To Find Your Veins

Do Team Based Health Apps Improve Compliance & Impact?

1. What was the motivation behind your study?
The motivation of our study was to explore and characterize the individuals’ engagement with and use of new team-based mHealth application to promote healthy eating and exercise behaviors in individuals.

team-based health apps
There’s no “I (phone)” in TEAM

2. Describe your study.
In this study, we specifically aimed to study the effect of team-based use of the app on adherence and completion of health goals compared to that of solo use of the app.

Grounded in social cognitive theory, we hypothesized that individuals receiving team-based intervention would show higher compliance with healthy behaviors promoted by the app. In addition, in order to control for the effect of the mode of delivery of the health behavioral intervention content, we studied participants who received the same intervention as the mobile app in the form of ePaper documents.

3. What were the results of the study?
Participants in the team-based mhealth intervention group showed greater engagement and compliance to the health behavior change goals for healthy eating and exercise. However, participants did not show any changes in behavioral outcomes such as eating behavioral patterns, and overall physical activity levels post-intervention as compared to pre-intervention. We believe this was due to the short 8-week duration of the health behavioral intervention that was studied in this initial feasibility study.

4. What is the main point that readers should take away from this study?
Participants in the team-based mhealth intervention group showed greater engagement and compliance to the health behavior change goals for healthy eating and exercise.

5. What was the most surprising finding from your study?
When we probed participants to compare the differences in compliance self-report between participants in the ePaper and mobile app conditions, we found that participants in the mobile app group indicated greater accuracy and confidence in self-reporting, along with self-reports in greater temporal proximity to actual health goal completion. It suggests that mobile diaries may prove to be a better tool for individuals to self-monitor and track their health behaviors more accurately over longer periods of time.


7 Best FDA Approved Health Apps

By Damian McNamara

Star Trek Tricorder vs. iPad QuantumAs the mobile health industry continues to rapidly expand with no signs of slowing down, FDA regulation of health apps has evolved too.

Today, there are more than 100,000 mobile health apps on the market for Apple and android devices, with mobile health revenues projected to jump to $26 billion by 2017, according to Mobile Health Economics.

In February 2015, the FDA announced plans to review mobile medical apps that interpret data and act like medical devices.
(We include examples of companies the FDA warned about this at the end of this post.)

The agency is basically making a call on the safety and effectiveness of certain apps. “Some mobile apps carry minimal risks to consumer or patients, but others can carry significant risks if they do not operate correctly. The FDA’s tailored policy protects patients while encouraging innovation,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement.

The agency does not intend to regulate apps that track a person’s daily steps, enable patients to refill prescriptions or search medical references. Nor will they oversee the mobile devices, such as iPhones and tablets, which can run medical apps.

It’s important to know which apps are worth your precious time and money. Therefore, PYP updated our popular 2013 list of the best FDA approved health apps and devices:

AirStrip ONE

AirStrip ONE evolved from a diagnostic aid that delivers patient data from medical devices, electronic medical records and patient monitors to clinicians – to a platform that enables mobile interoperability. AirStrip Technologies’ platform intends to connect clinicians with patient data and with other providers to share data and promote care collaboration.

Mobile ECG turns your smartphone into an electrocardiogram by snapping on the back of an iPhone. To take cardiac measurements, a person presses the device against the skin over the heart. A new feature allows people to keep a digital journal and track their symptoms, activity and diet.

Diabetes Manager

This device captures blood-glucose information and transmits it in real-time. WellDoc’s system offers a personalized coach to help patients manage their medication and treatment. WellDoc now calls its device BlueStar, and offers a commercial model that also engages a healthcare team in the management of type 2 diabetes.


Duke CPR App Essential For Everyone Without CPR Training

Duke CPR app screenWhen someone suffers a cardiac arrest, every minute counts – literally. By some estimates, every minute that passes without CPR reduces chances of survival by 5-10%.

We’ve seen some really interesting efforts that aim to get CPR to cardiac arrest victims faster using smartphones. To help improve rates of bystander CPR, the American Heart Association shifted to a compression only CPR strategy for bystander CPR.

The Duke CPR app is the product of a partnership between the Duke Heart Center and the Women’s Health Initiative to help educate people about compression-only CPR.

The app is appropriately basic in design. It opens with three options: Crisis Mode, CPR Training Mode, and Learn More.

Duke CPR app screenIn CPR Training Mode, users are walked through a series of videos that go over why CPR is important and step-by-step guidance on how to perform CPR. Despite the fact that the videos feature Duke athletes, they are well done and include a good combination of animations and live demonstrations. Videos go full screen when the phone is in landscape.

Continue reading Duke CPR App Essential For Everyone Without CPR Training

Top 10 Apps Physicians Recommend to Their Patients

From: Modern Medicine Network

screen shot of iTriage app1.  iTriage – Health, Doctor, Symptoms, and Healthcare Search: Patients now have access to an endless amount of health information right in their pockets. This app allows them to check their symptoms and easily locate a physician or hospital in the event of an emergency.

2.  Diabetes App – Blood Sugar Control, Glucose Tracker, and Carb Counter: Outside of the physician’s office, patients with diabetes often struggle to monitor their condition. This app provides a food database for patients to track their consumption. It also allows physicians to monitor any fluctuations. The price is $6.99, but a lite version is available for free.  

3.  iCookbook Diabetic – Recipes and nutritional information plus health articles for people with diabetes: When it comes to cooking healthy, patients may need some inspiration. Developed by dietitians, this app provides diabetic-friendly recipes, as well as tools for meal planning and grocery shopping.

4.  Diabetes in Check

5.  Glucose Companion

6.  Blood Pressure Monitor – Family Lite

7.  HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker

8.  Mayo Clinic Health Community

9.  Tummy Trends – Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tracker

10.  iCalcRisk


Mobile Apps Reduce Readmissions

July 15, 2015 | Sherree Geyer – Contributing writerRevolving door of hospital readmissions cartoon

POSTED IN: Mobile, Quality and Safety, Financial/Revenue Cycle Management, Patient Engagement, Population Health

Cynthia Deyling, MD, chief quality officer at Cleveland Clinic, sees burgeoning use of mobile technology at the health system.

While emphasizing that, of course, “some readmissions are clinically appropriate and necessary,” Deyling says Cleveland Clinic, like so many other hospitals and health systems these days, is putting a focus on “reducing preventable readmissions through improved patient education, follow up, communication and care coordination.”

Smartphones are playing a big part in helping them get there.

“We have apps in development that will support access by allowing patients to quickly identify local Cleveland Clinic resources, including on-demand scheduling,” she says. “Other tools, including apps that promote patient wellness and chronic disease management, are also in use.”

A 2014 study from the Mayo Clinic showed that patients who used smartphone apps to record weight and blood pressure – and participated in cardiac rehab – lowered cardiovascular risk factors and 90-day readmissions. According to the study, 20 percent of the app-user patients experienced readmission compared to 60 percent of patients who completed rehab only.

Another mobile technology survey from HIMSS this year suggests “healthcare organizations are widely beginning to deploy mobile technologies with the aim of engaging patients.” Use of mobile technology continues to interest providers as a way to meet requirements for meaningful use and Medicare reimbursement requirements, the study shows.

Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, CEO of Boston-based Care at Hand, developer of an app-based care coordination system, says the move toward value-based payments drives efficient use of affordable, accessible technologies, such as mobile apps.

“Our company wouldn’t exist if not for Affordable Care Act,” he says.

Indeed, the rise in mHealth technologies correlates with ACA’s plan to to reduce preventable, excessive readmissions with cuts to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System in 2012. Medicare spends more than $17 billion annually on avoidable readmissions with penalties that total up to 3 percent of inpatient claims for 30-day readmissions.