Imagine if Google’s Project Glass was taken over by the team behind the Motion Savvy Indigogo Campaign

October 23, 2014

With 70 million citizens using sign language as their first language or mother tongue can you imagine how easy it would be for Google to add a second camera (to the other arm of the frame) to get the 3D ability that MotionSavvy are getting from the Leap Motion controller, tweak MotionSavvy’s app and link the Google Glass to the wearers Smartphone so sounds are played through the loudspeaker.

Motion Savvy Website. Support their fundraising campaign.

Related Posts:

With Google Glasses has Silicon Valley created something so useful and easy to use that it’s Primary market will be serving health needs?

mHealth applications transform public perception of wearable technology

National Institutes of Health launch video introducing mHealth: a new discipline in health research

October 22, 2014

In today’s society we are almost never without our mobile devices. We are constantly connected to one another through a vast global network of wireless signals. In the U.S. alone, there are over 285 million wireless subscribers. As technology advances, it has seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, and now, health researchers are beginning to leverage this technology to manage our health and behaviour. Wearable digital health sensors have been developed that can track everything from our heart rate and breathing pattern to our blood chemistry and hydration level and even our activity. The information collected from sensors and participant reports can be combined to infer health status, cognitions, attitudes, and mood. With help from our mobile devices, the data from these sensors can be analysed and transmitted directly to the person, family, or health professionals. And so, a new discipline in health research has been born. Mobile health, or mHealth for short. Our constant connection to mobile devices and wearable sensors presents an opportunity for real-time collection of biological, environmental, and behavioural data. The ability to track many different aspects of our thoughts, activities, and biological processes provides a phenomenal resource of integrated data. For example, integrating data collected about activity tracked via sensors with data from a heart rate monitor will provide better explanation of fluctuations in heart function than either sensor alone. The sensor data can distinguish whether a person is moving or being still. If a subject wearing a heart rate monitor is running, cycling, or speeding around a racetrack you would expect an elevated heart rate, but if they are sitting still, an elevated heart rate could be cause for alarm. So sensors can provide context for interpreting biological data. Behavior monitoring is only one advantage of mHealth. The opportunity for immediate, individualized intervention is unprecedented. Furthermore, mHealth has the potential to reduce disparities in access to health care. An estimated 98% of the adult population in the U.S. own cell phones. So, unlike initial efforts targeted towards computerised health, mHealth has the ability to reach across the socioeconomic divide. Areas of mHealth of particular interest involve self-management of chronic disorders. mHealth interventions have been created to help people manage diabetes, stop smoking, and cope with depression. However, as technology develops at lightning speed, research into the efficacy and effectiveness of these technologies lags behind. Using an evidence-based approach is the gold standard for evaluating new health interventions. Applying the same stringent criteria to mHealth will be essential for ensuring its success. mHealth has the potential to revolutionise health if we take the right approach

As part of the National Institutes of Health’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Seminar Series they’re hosting a mHealth Measurement workshop on Friday 29th October 2014 at the Natcher Conference Center, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Focused on the challenges facing mHealth Evidence the workshop will be led by Wendy Nilsen PhD, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the NiH featuring a panel including David Mohr PhD, Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University, Inbal Nahum-Shani PhD, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and Bethany Raiff PhD, Department of Psychology at the Rowan University.

Related: Check out a comprehensive calendar of mHealth events taking place in 2014.

Has your Hospital replaced error prone paper based Observation Systems with mHealth Apps?

October 20, 2014

we collected the records and started to look through them and to our absolute horror the whole twenty four hours of Joshua’s care, that period of time after his birth and before he collapsed, there were no records of his temperatures, his observations, of the concerns that my wife had raised, and we said look the records are missing we’re really anxious to know that the staff have reported the same events as my wife and I, we don’t want this to be covered up… …and I found it shocking. In my work in the Nuclear Industry I’m used to any example of what’s gone wrong incident being thoroughly investigated and I’ve seen more comprehensive reports about rusty material, rusty bolts, than the process I’d been through relating to the preventable death of a (my) child

Joshua’s Story shares the harm caused when we fail to document healthcare and don’t provide frontline healthcare workers with the modern decision support tools that they need to efficiently do their work, receive timely notification of the deteriorating health of Patients and ensure they are capable of learning from mistakes they make so that the reasons can be understood and they’re never repeated.

The Learning Clinic’s VitaPac is my favourite example of a mHealth company that is doing great things in this area (eg. their VitalPAC app is today helping more than 15,000 NHS nurses record more 10 million sets of Patient Observations per year) and it surprises me that Patient Care Quality Campaign and Pressure Groups aren’t doing more to champion the Hospitals that are adopting such modern systems:

How VitalPac Works

If you attend a Hospital that’s still not adequately supporting their staff to properly do the job and still relying on error prone paper charts please feel encouraged to share this URL with the CEO along with your thoughts about why it would improve your confidence in the quality of the care that they’re providing.

Note: I would’ve liked to have embedded the above video but for some reason the PatientStories website has T&C’s from the 1990’s regarding the use of their content eg. the videos can’t be played at full screen, embedded/shared and must not be used within formal education (whatever that means).

Update 21 October: Thanks to Murray Anderson-Wallace, Executive Producer, Patient Stories I’ve been able to replace the image above with an embed of the video (see comments).

It’s vital that Ebola point of care testing devices have embedded mobile connectivity

October 17, 2014

Ebola m2m Point of Care Device Design

As fear of the Ebola virus escalates, Eric Topol thinks that we’re missing an important weapon. And you just need to reach into your pocket to find it. “Most communicable diseases can be diagnosed with a smartphone,” he says. “Rather than putting people into quarantine for three weeks – how about seeing if they harbour it in their blood?” A quicker response could also help prevent mistakes, such as the patient in Dallas who was sent home from hospital with a high fever, only to later die from the infection

This interesting BBC Future article by David Robson asking if mobile ‘phones could help diagnose rare diseases like Ebola‘ got me thinking about some conversations I enjoyed at this weeks Wearable Wednesday and Google’s EMEA Performance Summit (an event for the biggest Google Ad account managers).

We live in a strange world where some of the smartest people are creatively using data to get citizens to click on things while the world of public health experts remain so far behind the curve that they’re still asking if the accurate collection of data in the first place is even a worthwhile activity.

It won’t be less than 6 months before there will be an effective Ebola point of care test available (access to testing facilities and blood samples is a massive problem that could delay this further) and I think we’ve got to realise it’s vital that we ensure these medical devices have their own embedded mobile connectivity (read more about how this has been achieved by reading this post on Telcare’s M2M Glucometer for Patients with Diabetes).

Here are a few reasons why I think a POC Ebola device should be styled on Telcare’s M2M Glucometer:

1) To contain the virus it’s critically important that we know precisely when and where Ebola is being tested for and are notified without delay when it is being found. These devices need to be used anytime anywhere and the operators shouldn’t even have to think about how the device is connecting. Timing is very important and data availability to management is key to coordination of efforts and the effective and timely application of resources.

2) The cost of adding M2M connectivity to devices is only incremental but it will ensure frontline staff are actually doing the testing, ensure they themselves can be identified/monitored if they are exposed, and that Patients with the virus who are being discovered are automatically counted and protocoled follow up can be properly resourced and tracked.

3) While it might seem to be favourable to have a touch screen interface (as you have with your smartphone or as featured on the Livongo Health m2m glucometer prototype) it would be much more desirable to be able to operate the device whilst wearing protective clothing (eg. the tactile buttons that the Telcare features – for use by Diabetics who are elderly, have peripheral neuropathy, etc – would also be easy to use by surveillance staff wearing protective gloves).

4) It’s key that the devices use dedicated professional hardware that is robust and capable of tolerating chemical reprocessing and ensuring test strips being used are not counterfeit. Trust in the device could be impacted if just appeared to be a conventional mobile phone (it would be easy to make a fake one for example) and there is always the possibility that after being contaminated with blood such a mobile phone based device could be sold on where it might infect buyers of used mobile phones.

5) With the virus developing so quickly and affected citizens being detected all over the world it’s key that the devices can be updated over the air (eg. to work with newer test strips that might check for other biomarkers, to add/modify device manual/languages, to enable sensitivity levels to be changed, etc) yet cannot be interfered/tampered with.

6) An always connected dedicated device can be a great bonus in defending citizens from the fake device/strip market that will inevitably take off very quickly when word gets out that there are genuine Ebola POC devices available.

Can you think of any other reasons why we should insist that certified Ebola Point of Care testing devices are M2M connected?

Google is now giving away free Video Chats with Doctors to citizens searching for health info

October 12, 2014

GOOGLE providing free Doctor Video Chats as part of Trial

Discovered by Jasonahoule and reported by Engadget it appears that Google has started a trial providing citizens who are Googling specific health terms on their Android Smartphones with the opportunity to click a link to join a completely free Video Hangout with a Doctor.

mHealth Insights


It’s surprising that details are limited because registered Doctors need very clear terms and conditions before they give medical advice (especially as they presumably have no previous medical history information on their Patient, limited capacity to provide follow up, etc).

Is this a Chat or a Consult?

I imagine Google are referring to the advice service quite informally as a ‘Video Chat’ with a Doctor rather than a ‘Video Consult’ (as you’d get with a service like we offer at 3G Doctor) because this will limit the T&C’s and responsibilities eg. Google could reason that a completely Free of Charge ‘Chat’ is to be perceived to be similar to meeting a Doctor within an impersonal, informal, non-committal occasion (which would fit well with an encyclopaedic type of general answer or a ‘yes you need to go and see your Doctor about this‘ conclusion).

Great news for Doctors who want to work with Patients beyond the office visit

I imagine the evidence from this trial (showing how safely you can improve access to Doctors) together with Google’s heavyweight lobbying resources will really help end the outdated legislation that prevents and discourages US Doctors from providing remote advice.

How long before this is gamed?

I wonder what Google will think up to stop a citizen from searching random health terms until they get offered a free Video Chat and then once live with a Doctor talking about whatever they really wanted to talk about?

Who are Google’s Doctors?

It’s probably safe to predict the consultations are being provided by
the Doctors on Demand service in a bid to ‘prime the pump’ and get Patients using their service (and presumably funding it with the millions of dollars they have landed in financing from Google Ventures and Sir Richard Branson) but I wonder if any mHealth Insight readers have anymore details on how or why Google are funding this trial?

Related Posts:

President Obama’s favourite Mobile Health use care (2011)

NHS Patients want to Video Call their Doctors

“My mother is 93 years old and has an iPad. She wants to know why she can’t FaceTime the practice nurse. So do I”

Smithsonian Magazine: Video Consults with Doctors are one of the hottest Healthcare trends

You can’t yet video call 911 but ambulances in the US will now drive to you with an iPad so you can video call a Doctor!

Google has always been several years ahead of the healthcare industry when it comes to advertising, but I wonder how keen Big Pharma will be on the direct to Patient advertising opportunities that these free Google Hangout Video Chats will offer? Why struggle to give away free branded pens & mugs to Doctors when you can invest in keywords so that you’re sponsoring only the Patients who want to have conversations with Doctors about your drugs?

Why mHealth? Because… [BLANK] that’s why.

October 10, 2014

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Tweet

Ahead of the world’s biggest mHealth industry gathering (we’re media partners) the organisers tweeted the above banner and it inspired me to think of contributing a few of my own:

mHealth Summit Why mHealth1

mHealth Summit Why mHealth2

mHealth Summit Why mHealth3

mHealth Summit Why mHealth4

mHealth Summit Why mHealth5

mHealth Summit Why mHealth6

mHealth Summit Why mHealth7

mHealth Summit Why mHealth continuos care

mHealth Summit Why mHealth eSMS

mHealth Summit Why mHealth forgot

mHealth Summit Why mHealth 2000 year old model

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Youtube

mHealth Summit Why mHealth office visits

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Glucometer

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Smoke Alarm

mHealth Summit Why mHealth health records

mHealth Summit Why mHealth SMS feedback

mHealth Summit Why mHealth data

mHealth Summit Why mHealth access

mHealth Summit Why mHealth SMS reminders

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Waiting Rooms and Ebola

mHealth Summit Why mHealth because empowered doesnt mean you are on your own

mHealth Summit Why mHealth with an Alivecor I can now record and share an ECG

mHealth Summit Why mHealth my M2M Glucometer lets mum know even when im at school

What do you think I could add (either make your own or let me have the text in a comment and I’ll make it up as an image for you)?

UPDATE: Dr Rafael Grossmann (see comments)

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Rafael Grossmann1

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Rafael Grossmann2

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Rafael Grossmann3

mHealth Summit Why mHealth Rafael Grossmann4

UPDATE 14 Oct 2014: Glen Griffiths, Independent Health Technology and Informatics Consultant (over on Twitter)

mHealth Summit Why mHealth more can be achieved between office surgery visits than just within them GriffGlen

Will remote consultations lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?

October 10, 2014

Medscape OneXOne Eric Topol and Abraham Verghese

[ET @16min] when you get to this Deloitte recent survey (‘eVisits the 21st century house call’) that says by the end of this year one in six office visits between Doctors and Patients will be virtual and that with all these tele medical entities the majority of visits will be virtual. Do you think that’s going to lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?

[AV] I’m not sure. I’d love to see what that ultimately looks like. I do think that there’s a lot of visits where we can spare the Patient the hassle of you know parking, climbing up to the clinic and certainly many many things can be transacted not just with us (Doctors) but on telemedicine with the wonderful teams that we have of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, I’m a big believer in that and often they do the very things that we don’t do which is listen and touch and spend time. But I do think for many Patients there will be a moment in the trajectory of their illness where a face to face visit will be performed and be of importance

Dr Eric Topol interrupts Dr Abraham Verghese from attending rounds for this unmissable Medscape interview in which he shares a few thoughts on the challenges we face as we move beyond the office visit with remote consultations.

​mHealth Insights

“Visits will be Virtual”

I think it’s important that we all accept that the idea of one person virtually caring for another individual is nonsensical. Much more useful if we talk about providing care remotely (eg. remote consulting) unless of course we are talking about computers reading scripts to humans via avatars to deceive Patients into the illusion of being cared for.

Many Patients have already moved beyond the visit

One of the reasons I am confident that mHealth models that successfully aid Diabetics will create the template for most other chronic diseases to follow is that diabetics have already gone beyond the office visit (eg. Diabetics are self managing their care and routinely doing things that only a few years ago would’ve only been possible with a visit to a Doctors office).

A quote from Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim

I think this Paracelsus quote shared by Dr Verghese makes a great screensaver:

Paracelsus Quote from Dr Abraham Verghese

​Related posts:

How to effectively consult with Patients online

Dr Abraham Verghese’s TedGlobal Talk calling for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam


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