Healthy People 2020, a continuation of Healthy People 2010, was started by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It’s a nationwide health promotion and disease prevention plan that sets public health goals — with the deadline being 2020 in the latest iteration of the program.
The US Department of Health and Human Services is now launching a challenge for developers and researchers to make wellness applications for the Healthy People 2020 campaign — they are providing rich research data sets for free, some that can be found here, giving developers and researchers ample data to write applications with.
They are also providing a list of topics for potential apps from a variety of categories, ranging from apps related to cancer to substance abuse.
The following are the app requirements, deadlines, and the amount of prize money being handed out:
When we covered the HIMSS conference earlier this year, we had the good fortune to get a product demo from AirStrip VP of Client Services Donna Morrow. For those that need a refresher, the AirStrip app allows for physicians to view real-time patient data on their iPhone and iPad. For example, AirStrip Cardiology allows physicians to view cardiac rhythm strips, ventilator pressure settings, pulse oximetry data, and more. Similar products exist for lab data, imaging, and so on.
What has generally been highlighted about the company are its applications for use within the hospital, e.g. a physician in one part of the hospital being able to check in on the cardiac rhythm of a patient in another. A partnership with Medtronic subsidiary Physio-Control, a defibrillator manufacturer, seeks to extend that reach well beyond the walls of the hospital and allow physicians to start delivering care sooner, even allowing hospital-based physicians to start their evaluation of patients as soon as the EMS crew reaches them in the field.
In an era of proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery, headlines in medical technology are generally made by the biggest, most cutting-edge, and thereby generally the most expensive advances. The funny thing is that these top-dollar advances generally have the least impact on the health of the American population. Often, the millions of dollars spent buying and maintaining one of these machines would be better spent buying people gym memberships.
That’s why the work being done by Aydogan Ozcan is that much more important and exciting. An electrical engineer with a unique combination of interests in “nano-photonics” and global health, his work focuses on tackling diseases like HIV, malaria, giardia, and other global scourges in cost-effective yet high-tech ways. Perhaps the National Geographic profile puts it best
Aydogan Ozcan has the Ph.D., the expertise, and the engineering acumen to perfect the world’s most complex medical diagnostic technology. Instead, he’s solving global health issues–with a cell phone.
By: Jason Paluzzi, MS3
Some people pride themselves on the ability to remember names; others are simply terrible at it. But if there’s one type of name that everyone has trouble with, it’s eponyms. These are the people who discovered a disease, pioneered a treatment, or invented a test, and later had their work named after them.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them, and it’s near impossible to keep them all straight.
That’s where the new android application Eponyms tries to step in. It’s an application that is in our top 10 list for iPhone Medical apps, and just recently made a splash in the Android Marketplace.
Opening the app, it’s quickly apparent that this is a no-frills affair. There is no splash screen, no advertisements, just a big database of eponyms. This makes the app easy to open and navigate, letting you get to your eponym as fast as possible. (read more)
By: Darwin Wan, MS2
Given the current cardiovascular disease epidemic, the heart is often at the centre of attention for many patients. With first year heart anatomy being a distant memory for many health professionals and difficult to explain to patients, there is benefit to having a quick reference app. Heart Illustrated aims to do just that–provide an overview of basic heart anatomy in an accessible and easy-to-use format, with helpful illustrations.
The creators of the app certainly let their passion shine through in this app. Heart anatomy is covered quite decently, including circulation, chambers, valves and the conduction system. Every illustration is meticulously drawn from scratch rather than ripped from other texts.
The drawings are all nicely labelled with accompanying explanations of structures. Having learned heart anatomy in my medical curriculum, I was able to easily refresh my knowledge by looking at the illustrations and quickly skimming the text to glean key concepts.
More importantly, the application is a solid tool to use with patients when showing them various cardiac pathologies, and it’s easy for patients with iOS4 devices to download — it’s free. The “free” part is key — and helps make up for some of the user interface issues with the application. (read more)
Yesterday, the folks at Practice Fusion announced they had passed an impressive milestone. There are now 5 million patients, or 2% of the US population, that are being served by physicians using this rapidly expanding EHR.
Just three years after our free, web-based EMR’s official launch, we now serve 50,000 medical professionals and 5 million patients. Practice Fusion’s growth has accelerated so that we add more than half a million patients to the system each month. We now serve almost 2 percent of the US population, making us the third largest EHR community behind the VA and Kaiser.
We had previously reported on an alliance between Dell and Practice Fusion to offer hardware bundles to physicians adopting Practice Fusion. While this milestone does not immediately impact mobile medical apps, the growing Practice Fusion community will surely be looking for ways to access their patients’ records on the go. In October, Practice Fusion launched their “API Challenge”, to open up the data in Practice Fusion to other devices and software applications. The publishing of this API will launch a new phase in the company’s explosive growth and undoubtedly mobile solutions will be among the first crop to be launched. We are excited to see what comes next.
So says a recently published report by Research2Guidance, a mobile technology research company based in Germany. In their report, titled “Health Market Report 2010-2015″, the market researchers came to the conclusion that the dominant mode of application distribution in the future will be from doctors, hospitals and other care providers.
The report also painted a bullish picture of health care app adoption, estimating that the number of users of mHealth apps on smartphone phones will reach 500m by 2015. However, the revenue from this sector will still be driven mostly by device sales and through provision of services, rather than by paid downloads.
The report preview shows it to be organized into three “dimensions”: a) The smartphone market, b) The current state of the mHealth market & c) mHealth outlook to 2015. One would imagine that the last portion will be the most avidly read read as the numerous stockholders in mHealth – telecoms, device makers, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and entrepreneurs jockey to position themselves in this rapidly evolving land grab.
Two psychiatrists in Taiwan have diagnosed a new mental disorder they call IAD – iPhone Addiction Disorder – giving two case examples of extreme iPhone overuse by individuals.
In one case, a high school adolescent male patient was diagnosed with the condition because he was staring at his iPhone screen 24 hours a day, staying up at night surfing the internet, even causing him to miss school frequently. The adolescent required hospitalization on a psychiatric ward due to the inability to part with his iPhone.
In the other case, a 31 year old female saleswomen was diagnosed after she was unable to focus while driving due to constantly using her iPhone while at stoplights – impairing her ability to drive properly. If this is the type of activity it takes to be diagnosed with “iPhone Addiction Disorder” then a majority of smartphone users might fall under the category. (read more)
Here we review the Prognosis: Your Diagnosis app from Medical Joyworks, available for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and marketed as a clinical case simulation game for physicians, medical students, nurses, and paramedics. Within 10 days of its release on November 15, Prognosis rocketed onto the Top 10 most-downloaded list of free medical apps in the app store.
Founded in 2010, Medical Joyworks is run out of Sri Lanka and strives to “make medicine fun.” Prognosis represents Medical Joyworks’ first and, thus far, only foray into the app world.
The app opens with a Main Menu from which cases can be accessed. Of note, individual cases (those with the arrow icon) need to be downloaded separately in order to be accessed. (read more)
When Republicans were swept back in to power earlier this month, one of their first vows was to either repeal the whole healthcare reform bill or dismantle it piece by piece. It’s starting to look like they will accomplish their goal without ever having to say the word “healthcare” on the Congressional floor. In Virginia, a lawsuit brought by the Republican state Attorney General challenging the insurance mandate portion of the law is awaiting a decision Federal district court. And as described in the New York Times,
Virginia’s attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a Republican who filed the Richmond lawsuit, argues that if Judge Hudson rejects the insurance requirement he should instantly invalidate the entire act on a nationwide basis.
Such a ruling could be a disastrous setback for the transformational movement currently underway in healthcare IT. While much of these efforts are funded by the stimulus act rather than the reform act, there is a fair amount of interplay between the two. For example, the latter authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to establish many of the interoperability standards that will be critical in the information exchanges and electronic health records funded by the former. And it seems like this setback could occur because of a simple “oversight.”
One of the most fundamental, and perhaps most difficult, skills to learn as a physician is how to tell when a patient is sick. That sounded absolutely ridiculous to me the first time I heard it, some time around the start of medical school.
But as I’ve progressed through my training, I’ve finally come to understand what that means – being able to triage patients quickly and safely. While much of that is grounded in thought on a purely intellectual level, a lot of it is an instinct based on seeing and talking to the patient.
So any technology that lets me do that sooner and more efficiently seems like it would be a valuable asset, which is why I was very interested when I came across the Transport AV platform from GlobalMedia, being used by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. As described by GlobalMedia,
The GlobalMedia Transport AV telemedicine system combines the TotalExam examination camera, a handheld high-resolution video camera about the size of a dry-erase marker, and a digital stethoscope, microphone and headset all connected via the internet from the ambulance to CCHMC. Transport teams use the TotalExam examination camera to send real time live video and freeze-frame images of the patient to the doctors back at CCHMC.
Completely integrated into the gurney used by the ambulance, it is an innovative, not to mention pretty cool, way of extending medical care from the hospital to the field.
Here we review Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED, designed by Dr. Daniel Cornfeld. Dr. Cornfeld, an Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine who specializes in Body and Emergency Medicine Imaging, and Mohammed Kaleel, a medical student at Saba University, teamed up to create this app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. [Editor's Note: The iPad version of this apps review is at the end of this post]
In 2005, Dr. Cornfeld started a website, titled “One Night in the ED,” dedicated to teaching common Emergency Medicine imaging pathology.
This website – particularly the case to imaging to discussion format provides the inspiration for the Radiology 2.0 app we are reviewing here. Of note, Dr. Cornfeld has not created any other apps in addition to this one. (read more)