By: Ankur Gupta, MS 1
The UK Department of Health is conducting a trial at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London of a system that tracks patients’ progress after spine surgery.
HealthUnlocked Tracker allows patients to record their progress on an iPad while in the clinic. After the patient is discharged, he or she can continue to update their information through an online system.
While monitoring patient progress is nothing new, this system gives medical staff live access to information on how patients are faring after different procedures. Dr. Matthew Shaw, the lead surgeon in the trial, states: (read more)
By: Rajat Kumar, MS3
HIV is a disease that presents many challenges to physicians. The spectrum of new complications and novel therapies that are related to HIV can be difficult to tackle, even for the expert clinician well versed in managing HIV patients.
The Johns Hopkins HIV Guide from Unbound Medicine presents an all-inclusive application that attempts to serve as a one-stop resource for everything related to HIV.
Available for many platforms (including Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows), the application presents the user with up-to-date information regarding diseases and complications related to HIV and also provides evidence-based treatment strategies for management. However, it may not be for everyone.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM) research group in collaboration with the Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team (PART) at the University of British Columbia have developed a mobile solution to measuring key vital signs — called the “Phone Oximeter”.
The Phone Oximeter uses a traditional FDA approved pulse oximetry sensor, but researchers have modified it to interface with a phone, in this case, your iPhone. Currently the setup is being interfaced with an iPhone for trial studies, but is compatible with Android, and other mobile operating systems.
What makes the Phone Oximeter special is its ability to capture SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation), heart rate, and respiratory rate — then dynamically comprehend the variables using the decision support software, giving medical staff or even laymen individuals key help in making decisions on medical care.
So how would a device like this be useful in the medical setting? (read more)
By: Brian Wells, MSM, MPH
“Differential Diagnosis i-Pocket” is another variant on the differential diagnosis theme for apps. This application contains a list of hundreds of symptoms, diseases, and findings that help formulate a differential diagnosis.
On the surface, such an application would be a virtual treasure trove of information for a clinician, especially when packed into an easy-to-use mobile application. Of course, the real key is in the implementation.
The X-Prize Foundation designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind.
The non-profit organization is most notable for the Ansari X PRIZE, encouraging private building of spacecrafts. The award was given to SpaceShipOne in 2004, financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and it ushered in a new era of private spacecrafts.
The Foundation is hoping the same transformative change will happen with mobile medical technology. They are partnering with Qualcomm and announced the Tricorder X-Prize, a $10 million dollar prize to develop a mobile solution that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board certified physicians.
We’re huge fans of Medgadget, a medical technology blog. Our friends have completely revamped their website, and we encourage our readers to check it out.
The website adds great new functionality, allowing users to navigate the site easier, and with more user interactive features.
By: Ankur Gupta, MS1
According to a study presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s annual meeting, the iScrub app for iPhone and iPod Touch is effective in increasing hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers. The iScrub app improves over conventional systems to monitor hand hygiene by eliminating the need for extra staffing and transcription of observation data.
More importantly it provides instant feedback to users, as opposed to to older systems that had lag times of a couple weeks, or even a full month. When implemented at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics over 34 weeks, the iScrub app was shown to statistically increase compliance.
Hand hygiene is a topic at the forefront of patient safety – iPhone apps such as iScrub, if implemented effectively, have the potential to improve patient outcomes in a simple yet elegant manner.
Hospital acquired infection is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in our health system. The CDC estimates that there are approximately 1.7 million hospital associated infections that cause up to 99,00 deaths per year. These infections not only cause a significant amount of morbidity and mortality, but they also greatly increase health care costs.
As hand hygiene compliance is one of the most effective ways to combat the spread of infection within a hospital, an app such as iScrub could provide an efficient way to effectively “crowdsource” compliance measures to all health workers. The results of the study conducted at the University of Iowa show its potential, and we would love to see further studies on similar programs.
Check out the full article here.
Abstract of the actual iScrub study
iTunes link to iScrub
“A baby crying is the best birth control.” – Anonymous
Despite a world full of crying babies, access to effective and timely contraception remains a pressing women’s health issue.
All students in the health professions learn the basics of contraception. Most health care professionals will prescribe contraception at some point in their training or clinical practice. Some clinicians make contraception and family planning the primary focus of their practice.
Contraception i-pocketcards is a resource for each of these health care providers – from the medical student working his first gynecologic clinic to the experienced ED doctor wondering which emergency contraceptive method to use in her patient with a history of DVT.
For anyone interested in mobile health, the pace of new developments, partnerships, and innovations is dizzying. In this series, we pore through the latest in the mobile health world and pick a few articles that we think are interesting and convey important developments. Be sure to let us know what you think by adding your comments to this post !
GenerationOne Selected by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for Mobile Health Pilot with Teen Asthmatics
From PR Newswire
GenerationOne and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have conducted a pilot study testing the efficacy of using mobile phones to improve the treatment of teenagers with asthma.
In recent weeks, Android-using medical professionals have had good reason for concern. A study released in April showed that approximately 90% of the traffic through a medical news service was accessed on Apple’s iOS devices, and only 6% on Android devices.
For the time being, it appears that medical professionals – at least those who use their device for medical news – favor the iPhone and iPad. Furthermore, the senior writers at iMedicalApps concluded in a recent editorial that the iPhone is clearly the best smartphone choice for physicians and other health care providers… for now.
Any good news for Android recently? Actually, yes.
In just the last month, several high quality medical apps from the iOS platform quietly became available in the Android Market. Among them are WebMD and iTriage, two physician-designed consumer decision support apps, and VisualDx, a highly-rated mobile encyclopedia of dermatology images and information.
Will more big name releases follow?
Last year, we reported how the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine were doing a stroke trial comparing the performance of diagnostic radiology on a mobile device using the ResolutionMD app verse a standard clinical reading work station.
Our article last year focused on how Health Canada, analogous to our FDA, had approved the device for medical diagnostic use.
At that time, faculty were reporting the performance on both types of devices (mobile versus desktop) was the same. The Calgary researchers have since published the details of the study. Although we’ve known the results for over a year, their study produced interesting data from a mobile bandwidth perspective that could shed light on key limiting factors for mobile diagnostic radiology. (read more)
At the National Prevention Summit in 2006, the US Department of Health & Human Services’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) unveiled the electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) tool for healthcare professionals.
AHRQ ePSS was designed to help primary care clinicians choose the appropriate preventive services for their patients, to help “create a culture of wellness; a society that thinks of staying healthy rather than simply being treated once we’re sick,” in the words of then-HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt.
Since 2006, this emphasis on preventive care services has surged among healthcare professionals, the lay public, and the federal government under the leadership of President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Read below the jump to learn how the AHRQ ePSS App, which appeared on our Top 20 Free iPhone Apps for Healthcare Professionals List, is helping emphasize preventive care services.