Post image for Rite Aid to install 4,100 higi health stations nationwide

Higi has announced that they will become the sole provider of health stations in Rite Aid’s nationwide.

Deployment of about 4100 higi stations will begin in the second quarter in of 2014.

Rite Aid customers and associates will be able to measure their weight, BMI, pulse and blood pressure using the higi stations. They will also be able to securely upload and save this information to private higi online accounts.

Users will be provided with higi scores – a  higi measurement that aims to positively recognize a user’s increased engagement with their health.

(read more)

Post image for Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch will check your pulse, wearable heart rate sensor goes mainstream

Samsung will probably be making the most mass produced wearable heart rate sensor of our time. At World Congress today, Samsung announced they will be adding a heart rate sensor in their new Gear 2 smartwatch.

The original Galaxy Gear was launched just 6 months ago to mostly negative reviews due to poor battery life, a slow user interface, and overall poor functionality. While the new Gear 2 addresses many of these features, the big change with the Gear 2 that is getting a lot of press is the lack of an Android operating system.

The new Gear 2 will be using Tizen instead. Tizen is a Linux based OS that Samsung has poured a tremendous amount of resources into.

I think the bigger story for mobile health is the heart rate sensor that will now be in Gear 2 smartwatches. Even the most popular activity trackers — Fitbit and Jawbone, don’t have heart rate sensors. (read more)

At iMedicalApps we’ve been covering the issues related to the Fitbit Force causing a rash for a few weeks now. When we published a review comparing the Jawbone UP24 to the Fitbit Force, it was met with several comments from readers stating how they were starting to develop a rash from the Force. We followed it up with an article focusing on the rash, and we wrote how we felt the Fitbit Force’s rash problem was more widespread than people believed. We even presented data that was being collected in Google Docs from Fitbit users.

So it’s not news to iMedicalApps that Fitbit has now stopped selling the Force, and are doing a voluntary recall.  We applaud them on this action.  Below is the press release from their CEO, apparently 1.7% of users were affected.  (read more)

Post image for Apps released after publication of 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines offer insights into future opportunities

Just a few months ago, the ACC & AHA released a set of four clinical guidelines focused on cardiovascular risk assessment, cholesterol, lifestyle modification, and obesity.

Whatever your opinion of this current set of guidelines, they do represent at least a well-intentioned effort to help promote evidence based medicine.

Writing the guideline is only the beginning.

The next, and perhaps more important stage, is driving adoption and implementation. With these guidelines, an important change was the creation of a new 10-year ASCVD risk estimator.

We perused the iOS App Store and Google Play store for apps that incorporated this risk calculator, searching for insights that could help us understand better the role that apps are playing in the implementation of clinical guidelines.

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Post image for Use of Google Glass in forensic medicine, suggests other applications

A recent publication has come out highlighting a new use for Google Glass.

The article, titled “Google Glass for Documentation of Medical Findings: Evaluation in Forensic Medicine,” was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).

While some publications have been released highlighting the use of Glass in clinical practice, this study is one of the first to actually test it as a substitute to standard practice.

The investigators tested Glass as a means of conducting post-mortem examinations and autopsies.

While the normal course of such investigations typically utilize photography to capture images from the investigations, this can often be a hindrance in terms of productivity. The investigators realized that Glass may pose a possible hands-free method of collecting similar data.

(read more)

Post image for Community pharmacies should be used as centers for mobile health technologies

Whenever I head to the mall, I like to stop by the Apple and Windows Store to see to their newly stocked items. Often, its not so much the hardware itself, but rather the inventory hanging off the walls and shelves. What always catches my attention is the steady growth of health oriented devices that have found a niche in these stores.

The number of personal fitness trackers has exploded recently as have connected health devices. It makes sense that the places where people go to get their smartphones and tablets would also stock these peripherals.

When it comes to getting appropriate devices in the hands of patients who could benefit from them, there is another potentially bigger opportunity though – community pharmacies. Patients already go to get their prescribed medications at these locales and most sell a plethora of stand-alone medical devices like blood pressure cuffs and glucometers.

Given the patients that we want to target – folks picking up their metformin or statin or HCTZ – are (hopefully) going to their local pharmacy, it seems natural that they too could be a nexus for implementing mobile health technology.

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Post image for Fitbit app update turns iPhone 5S into a fitness tracker

The latest update for the fitbit app turns the iPhone 5S into a fitness tracker without the need for any extra hardware. Fitbit utilizes the iPhone 5s’ M7 co-processor in order to allow the user to track basic activity. This activity includes miles traveled, calories burned and active minutes.

Though useful, the new features added to the Fitbit app do not make up for the features included in the impressive Fitbit wristband.

Using the wristband allows for more tailored activity tracking and also lets users monitor and manage their sleep. (read more)

Post image for Eye Emergency Manual is a free medical app to diagnose ophthalmology emergencies

Eye Emergency Manual is reference tool for emergency department physicians when facing ophthalmic emergencies.

Although its purpose is specifically to help those in New South Wales, the state’s department of health has created a medical app that is useful worldwide.

The app itself states the information provided is not strictly evidence based.

Instead, it has come from the consensus opinion of an expert working group.

Therefore, it is especially important for those outside of New South Wales to use the app only as a general guide. (read more)

Post image for The Incidental Finding Guidelines app helps radiologists with incidentalomas

The Abdominal CT Incidental Finding Guidelines app was created by RadiologiQ, and it brings the guidelines described by the paper titled Managing Incidental Findings on Abdominal CT: White Paper of the ACR Incidental Findings Committee to the user’s fingertips.

The app was developed to create an interactive algorithm version of the guidelines that can be accessed on the go.
(read more)

Post image for NBA is putting wearable health sensors on players

Iltifat Husain MD contributed to this piece

Players in the NBA D-League are going to be testing out wearable sensors during games.

The sensors will actively monitor the physical movements and cardiovascular activity of players.

Most NBA teams use wearable sensors during practice, but are not allowed to do so during official NBA games. (read more)

Post image for The unknown consequences of extended tablet use by children is a concern to many experts

Iltifat Husain MD contributed to this piece 

Since the release of the iPad, tablet use has proliferated among the general population including children that can barely walk.

Children easily scroll through apps, stream videos and play games, yet there is some concern among pediatricians and other health experts that too much time spent on tablets can hinder their education and social development.

Many experts say there’s no evidence that screen time on tablets and televisions provides babies and toddlers with any educational or development benefits. What is clear, though, is that tablet time does take away from other non-electronic toy activities that do promote brain development as well as interaction with adults. (read more)

Post image for Can ERres app replace current medical reference tools used by Emergency Medicine Providers

Iltifat Husain MD contributed to this piece

The ERres app is a resource that contains many of the most used calculators, decision rules, and medications that are used in the emergency care setting.

On their website, the app claims to contain evidence-based information that is constantly being updated. With continuous updates, the app was created to replace paperback versions of the same information so that healthcare workers do not have to keep purchasing new versions.

Previously, 10 Second EM used to be an app that every emergency medicine provider would have as a tool to reference.

However, the app and the information it contains has not been updated since October 2011.

There also does not seem to be any active development or plan for any updates in the near future. The ERres app may act as the best alternative to replace the current go-to app in the emergency medicine field.

(read more)