Post image for Toumaz has BIG day, announcing FDA approval & joint venture with physician billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

Toumaz Limited, developer of a new ultra-low power radio technology that competes with Bluetooth and Zigbee, announced this week that they have received FDA approval for its Sensium Digital Plaster technology.

Toumaz has also announced it will be entering into a new joint venture with California Capital Equity (CCE), the holding company of pharmaceutical billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, for the purpose of commercializing and distributing Sensium Digital Plaster. The new entity will be called Toumaz US and based in San Diego, CA.

This is a very big deal for the advancement of Body Area Network (BAN) technology, defined as a system of devices in close proximity to a person’s body that cooperate for the benefit of the user.  Read after the break to find out why.

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Post image for Easy way for hospitals to administer medical apps to physicians? Apple introduces new feature

Apple has allowed educational institutions to have volume purchases of medical apps for some time, but is now extending this to businesses and offering new types of functionality — such as an easier method to distribute apps within an organization and also allowing companies to sell and distribute custom B2B apps for business customers.

In the past when medical schools have implemented iPad’s to students it’s been difficult to distribute apps across a large segment of individuals — this is no longer the case. With more hospital systems starting to create custom medical apps, they could use these enterprise features to easily distribute their apps across their employees.

Source: Apple via Macrumors

Post image for UptoDate finally comes to the iPhone, but with a few catches

Looking back on my medical internship, there are a few things I can point to as critical to my survival – a limitless supply of coffee, 24-hour availability of cheese fries, chewable antacids, and UpToDate. Whether I needed to know how to manage a patient with a pulmonary embolism or was trying to figure out what Takotsubo cardiomyopathy was, UptoDate was a go-to resource for practically any clinical situation. In fact, it became a verb among interns, as in “I have no idea, let me go UpToDate it.”

The one downside was that it required a desktop or laptop, unlike other important resources like Medscape and Epocrates.  And although technically there is a mobile version — in webapp form — it’s not ideal by any means.  As announced on their website though, that is no longer the case as UpToDate is finally available via a native iOS app. However, before folks rush to download it, the release comes with several important caveats which are quite informative in understanding some of the hurdles mobile health faces.

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Post image for Easy ECG is an unique take on ECG interpretation for iPhone

The cardiac tracing is perhaps one of the most recognizable images in medicine, having been developed over 100 years ago. When a patient hits the door of a clinic or emergency rooms, it remains essentially the only tool to assess the heart at that moment (aside, of course, from a good history and physical exam). As such, interpretation of the ECG is a skill taught to all medical students, for whom this is much easier said than done.

Over the next few weeks, iMedicalApps  will review a number of ECG applications available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. They take many different approaches to the teaching of ECG interpretation, some with more success than others. But given the importance of this skill and the ubiquitous nature of the test, we’ll take a look at what’s available and crown the best one. We’ll start this series by taking a look at Easy ECG.

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Post image for Current Essentials of Medicine offers essential disease information, but at a non-essential price

With the large amount of material physicians are expected to know better than the back of their hands, medical students frantically thumbing through reference books are not an uncommon sight on the wards.  Though there are copious amounts of information to learn, a clerk’s white coat pockets have only a finite space.  Thus, past generations of clerks have equipped themselves with the most compact but high yield medical handbooks available.

The digital age and rise of the electronic comprehensive mobile medical reference have initiated a huge shift in this paradigm.  With relatively comprehensive references such as Epocrates and Medscape available on the ubiquitous smartphone, more and more clerks prefer the weight of a few extra electrons (medical apps) to the weight of bulky texts.  This of course, leaves current vendors of paper texts with a dilemma: should they continue as per norm and risk watching their consumer base atrophy under the weight of the digital trend?

Lange’s Current Essentials of Medicine straddles this line between handbook and electronic reference: it is an electronic handbook reference.  Now in its fourth edition, it is available both in traditional handbook form and as a universal app for iPhone and iPad.

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Post image for How to implement an iPad in the hospital, U of Chicago medicine program gives the blueprint

How do you implement the iPad in the hospital setting for patient care and properly distribute it to a large group of physicians — all at once?

The University of Chicago’s Internal Medicine residency program tried this last year, and came up with a great blueprint for others to see.

Chicago’s Medicine residency garnered national headlines this past year with their use of the iPad for patient care. They have some great resources on their website that are public, showing how they have tackled many of the concerns of implementing a tablet based tool in the clinical setting.

The topics range from using the electronic health record Epic on the iPad — to Security, infection control, iPad accessories, purchasing apps, and more.  The various manuals are focused on the internal medicine residency program’s implementation of the iPad, and while some aspects are focused on the medical education use, the manuals can be extrapolated by hospitals or other medical educators trying to implement an iPad based curriculum or iPad based patient care scenario.

Topics featured in the manual: (Links to manuals are at end of the summary)

Using an EMR with the iPad:

  • The manual shows how to use Citrix, a virtual desktop app, for using an electronic health record. In the University of Chicago’s case, their house EMR is Epic.
  • For those wondering how Epic works and functions using Citrix, the manual does a great job of breaking this relationship down, even showing you how you can find local printers.
  • Some of the advantages they have found using the iPad and Epic: Can address patient issues while in conference, ability to discharge patient’s on rounds, patient education.
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Post image for Security risks in today’s mobile medical devices may threaten more than work productivity

Large hospital systems and small medical offices alike are shifting over to electronic records en masse, with increasing adoption of portable platforms to use these systems. Many residency programs are now beginning to give tablets (such as the iPad) to their residents to encourage the use of electronic charting and prescribing during their training. As the use of tablets, laptops, and other portable devices grows, there is an increasing concern of unauthorized access into the devices.

At the recent Mobile Health Expo, this topic was the focus of Earl Reber, representing a company that specializes in security for networked medical devices. According to him, the average number of connected clinical devices per patient has tripled in the last 2 years alone. And, he says, the fact that healthcare has fallen behind in this area could pose dangers to patients as well as their confidential information.

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Post image for Can this iPhone app really diagnose skin cancer?

As mobile devices become increasingly powerful, their applications in healthcare can be expected to grow. Recently, an app called MelApp was launched by the Health Discovery Corportation, a “molecular diagnostics company that uses patent protected advanced mathematical techniques for personalized medicine.” The app claims to apply these techniques to skin lesions by analyzing photographs, taken by the iPhone, to assess risk for melanoma.

On the surface, the functionality, while advanced, sounds reasonable. The classic teaching for assessing malignancy risk for a lesion that looks like melanoma is ABCD – asymmetry, borders, color, diameter. Those are all features that are analyzed by looking at the lesion and all seem like parameters that could be assessed by a computer using a high-resolution image with a large reference database.

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Post image for MIT developed smart phone cataract detecting device shows the true potential of mobile health

Using a relatively cheap smart phone, the Samsung Behold II, and an add on peripheral, researchers at MIT have created a device that can detect cataracts. Why is this a big deal? Because cataracts is often detected during a slit lamp examination — and those of us who have used a slit lamp are painfully aware of how large and cumbersome they are — and definitely not mobile.

This peripheral add on device costs a mere $2.00, whereas a slit lamp device costs as much as $5,000. Moreover, where a slit lamp device needs a skilled operator, this device does not. It utilizes a prompt on the phone to actually tell the operator their diagnosis (refer to video).

Cataracts is one of the leading causes of treatable blindness. Devices such as this one truly show the potential of mobile health, and how mobile technology can be utilized in broad prevention efforts across the globe. (read more)

Post image for New iPad rumored to have key physician feature

The editors of thisismynext, formerly at the respected Engadget, have sources on record saying a new iteration of the iPad will be released with a 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution display, almost double the current pixel display — and will be dubbed the “iPad HD”.

They adamantly state this will not be the new iPad 3, rather, a premium version of the iPad aimed at professionals who could utilize a higher pixel density display — something physicians like myself would welcome, mainly for viewing radiology images on the iPad.

There is currently one medical radiology app that is FDA approved for the iPad — Mobile MIM. We reviewed Mobile MIM extensively earlier this year. But there are other medical image viewers for the iPad that are currently awaiting FDA approval, such as OsiriX and ResolutionMD.

Post image for USMLE Step 2 CK DejaReview presents easy to use flashcard-style review app, but with limitations

Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is the second board exam in the USMLE series testing clinical knowledge, and one that many medical students have to pass before graduating and obtaining their medical degrees.  While generally not considered to be quite as high-stakes as USMLE Step 1, it can nonetheless be a pretty daunting hurdle.

McGraw-Hill – a company well known to most medical students as publishers of the First Aid series – presents this review app for the iPhone.  They created USMLE Step 2 CK DejaReview (and a similar app for Step 1 for students preparing for their board exams.  But could the app compete in a market with so many study aids already out there?

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Post image for ACLS Review App can help you master algorithms, prepare for ACLS Certification  [App Review]

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a critical aspect of medical care, yet can intimidate many physicians-in-training. Whether in code situations for surgical inpatients, new arrivals to the emergency department, or even fellow passengers at an airport, mastery of ACLS algorithms is vital for all healthcare professionals, and can mean the difference between life and death.

In the past, we have explored how the use of mobile medical technology by healthcare professionals may improve outcomes in these situations. Specifically, we have discussed how a randomized control trial suggested that the iResus app, developed by the European Resuscitation Council, enhanced the performance of ACLS-certified physicians in simulated cardiac arrests.

Of course, the first half of the equation—obtaining ACLS certification—is a prerequisite for actually carrying out ACLS algorithms. Most physicians & paramedics and many nurses are required to obtain ACLS certification, the guidelines of which are set by the American Heart Association or the European Resuscitation Council. The ACLS Review app from Limmer Creative seeks to “help students pass the test.” Limmer Creative, founded by paramedic and EMS veteran Dan Limmer, has developed review products that include several other mobile apps, including Paramedic Review and EMT Review.

Read below the jump to learn how ACLS Review can help you master ACLS algorithms.

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