Can mHeath apps do for medication adherence what Map apps do for getting about?

Walgreens Apple Watch Reminder App

“If you think about the brain as a muscle, then certain activities, like learning maps of London’s streets, are like bodybuilding,” he (Hugo Spiers) says, “and all we can really say from our new findings is that you’re not working out these particular bits of the brain when you’re relying on SatNav.”

Research published Tuesday in Nature Communications reveals two distinct brain regions become inactive when people follow SatNav instructions instead of using their spatial memories.

mHealth Insights

I’ve been using and researching the use of mHealth medication reminder apps for over a decade (long before the Apple AppStore was launched when most Patients/Carers just used the native calendar/alarm apps and Nokia execs were surprised to find that their obscure Wellness App was proving a hit with Patients and getting >100,000 downloads/month) and think we’ll probably find something similar (but more desirable) is happening.

I see no reason to wait for any more evidence to be published before we make it a compulsory  requirement for medications to be complemented by mHealth apps but perhaps the reason we are seeing benefits is because it’s simply less taxing on your brain when our mobiles provide discrete reminders/nudges and this makes it less stressful for us to follow medication regimes?

Related Posts:

Irish Health Service Executive hits Lloyds Pharmacy with allegations of fraud & breach of contract for success of their mHealth service (Aug 2015)

Walgreens CMO shares insights on what it took to create the USA’s most popular mHealth app & mHealth revenues of $375M per month (April 2014)

How long before Mobiles make Med Reminders smart? (April 2013)

‘most women have already figured how to set reminders with the calendar/alarm functionality on even basic mobiles’ (May 2011)

Why aren’t all Healthcare providers using SMS appointment reminders? (Feb 2011)

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Mobile is cannibalising the world eating up everything

“Its now twenty years from the first fixed-mobile service bundle which launched the whole revolution of digital convergence centered around mobile. There had been digital convergence prior to mobile already on the fixed-landline-internet side but digital convergence without mobile would be… pretty pointless by now. Anything we now look at, from Big Data to IoT to Augmented Reality to Cloud Computing etc is dependent on a mobile convergence element. So lets take a stroll back through recent mobile tech history and see how we got here and where we are now going…
…It does not mean ‘only mobile’ but it means always including mobile. Then we hear from WPP (world’s largest advertising group) and their China head who say in China all advertising is mobile-first but if you don’t have a big budget, you go mobile-only. (Wow?).
…mobile took a company that didn’t know HOW it might make money, an obscure search-engine internet company, and powered it to become the second most valuable company on the planet in barely more than 10 years since they uttered the words ‘the internet will go mobile’….   
…This is how I see the future unfold as well. Mobile is cannibalizing the world eating up everything. But doing things better, easier, faster. Doing things previously not possible. And then we get a new opportunity that comes up for mobile, what happens? Mobile. Always. Wins”

Twenty Years of Digital Convergence Around Mobile: What can we learn from the Cannibal of Cannibals?

In this great post the world’s #1 Mobile Industry guru Tomi Ahonen nails the reasons why the big opportunities for healthcare are and will be in Mobile (and the convergence of technologies to Mobile).

Related Posts:

It’s no longer sales as usual for medical device firms when Patients shop in the Apple Store for devices that are better & less expensive than what Hospitals are prescribing… (March 2017)

Will established medical device manufacturers become more than iPhone accessory brands before the mHealth decade is out? (Jan 2017)

Here’s why ‘Mobile’ should be your NY2016 resolution (Jan 2016)

Digital Health: “that must cost a bomb” (Nov 2016)

2000-2009 the “Nokia Decade” …but why should it stop there? (Jan 2010)

How will IoT impact healthcare? An interview with David Doherty (April 2016)

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Google apologises for paying ad revenue to rape apologists & racists but says nothing to the 1.6 Million NHS Patients who didn’t consent to sharing their Hospital records

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Google has apologised to advertisers for paying ad revenue to rape apologists & racists but has said nothing to the 1.6 Million Patients who had their NHS Health Records copied by the American Technology company without consent:

“In July 2015, clinicians from British public hospitals within the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust approached Google DeepMind Technologies Limited, an artificial intelligence company with no experience in providing healthcare services, about developing soft- ware using patient data from the Trust. Four months later, on 18 November 2015, sensitive medical data on millions of Royal Free’s patients started flowing into third-party servers contracted by Google to process data on behalf of DeepMind”

Note: The vast majority of these 1.6 million Patients will have never had access to these NHS records.

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Join us at the 5G World Futurist Summit, 13-15 June at ExCel London

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The Futurist Summit at this years 5G World meeting in London is focused on ‘Evolution and disruption: Anticipating the impacts of 5G networks’ and is held on the 15th June 2017 at Excel London (part of 5G World which is the major event of London Tech Week).

“The faster, more responsive, more pervasive wireless coverage of 5G networks will provide the backdrop for breakthrough changes in numerous industries. In this summit, futurists will help audience members to anticipate scenarios for the convergence of evolutionary (incremental) and revolutionary (disruptive) trends over the next 5-8 years. Which areas of pent-up demand will be better served by 5G networks? Which new working methods will become practical? And what risks should be borne in mind? You’ll hear about transformation opportunities that deserve greater attention in the industries of healthcare, education, construction, agriculture, and finance”


David Wood, London Futurists (Chair of the Futurist Summit): Anticipating the elephants on the 5G roadmap

David Doherty, 3G Doctor: Better networks for better healthcare from 3G to 5G Doctor?

Kirill Makharinsky, CEO, Enki: Better networks for better education,a  revolution in mobile learning

Tony Shooter, Chair for Technology, COMiT: Better networks for better construction,

Steve Slater, IS Operations, Wates Group: Improving collaboration in construction

Will Wells, CEO, Hummingbird Technologies: Better networks for better agriculture. The future of precision farming

Anish Mohammed, Lead Security Architect, HSBC: Better networks for better financial services:  Blockchain and 5G for Finance: hype vs reality

Click here to register for your FREE exhibition floor pass or to reserve your ticket for the Futurist Summit (get in touch via the comments if you’d like me to try and get you a discount code) as the event will likely sell out soon (there are already 15,000 visitors from 8000 companies registered!).

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The NHS doesn’t trust Patients with access to their own Medical Records but has provided strangers with access to the records of 26 Million Patients…

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I think the nature of this latest enormous Patient Data privacy breach highlights how ridiculous it is for the NHS to not be automatically providing Patients with access to their own records.

Yes it’s terrible that the NHS has spent more than £12 Billion on it’s National Program for IT and there are such basic incompetencies amongst the staff about how to purchase and use technology.

Yes it’s terrible that the NHS with it’s huge IT budgets isn’t doing more to reward hacking experts who can inform them about insecurities and patching needs in the databases that it uses to hold Patient data.

Yes it’s terrible that the NHS has Hospital Trusts ordering £400 Million EHR systems that don’t even know how to deploy and support iPads that they’ve already bought.

Yes it’s terrible that the NHS is freely giving away enormous data sets of private personal Patient health information to foreign tech companies without informing Patients or getting their consent.

But it’s unforgivable in 2017 that the NHS is prioritising things like WiFi in GP waiting rooms while it doesn’t trust Patients to access the electronic healthcare record relating to their care and doesn’t send a SMS notification to Patients (detailing the who/where/why) when this Record is accessed.

I think this is another one of the things we’ll look back on amazed that were so out of touch with the opportunity to help Patients but can you imagine what would happen if the NHS put Oldham GP Dr Amir Hannan (check out the Guardian article he authored in 2011 titled “Patients need access and understanding of their electronic health records”) or Prof Sam Lingam (a Consultant Paediatrician who has been sharing his notes with Parents for 30 years and published the “It’s Your Life” the Pregnancy and Child Health Record publication in 1987 to help Patients take control of their own health information) in charge of it’s IT strategy?

Related Posts:

What unthinkable things will mHealth make possible?

What’s The Future (WTF?) & how is your imagination failing you?

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Investors still keen on the opportunity for mobile embedded glucometers

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Despite the struggles to get a return for investors at Telcare it seems investors are still keen to support the transformational opportunities there are when we embed mobile connectivity into the medical devices that are key to the management of chronic conditions.

I hope Livongo Health will get the support of Healthcare Professionals, Carers and Healthcare Organisations across the world as they have an important role to play if we are going to do more than just pay lip service to the International Diabetes Federation’s call (made 3 years ago) to embed mHealth and make it a compulsory part of how we provide quality Diabetes care.

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The question should not be what are Mobiles doing to our Mental Health but what they could be doing for it

Lot’s of scepticism and misdirected concerns about privacy kicked off last nights Digital Mental Health Question Time at UCL #MHQT but I think Mark Brown, Development Director, Social Spider made some great points:

“we’re in the age of ubiquitous computing. People carry with them the most amazingly powerful tiny computers called Smartphones. We tend if we’re not careful to see these little tiny computers as just vehicles for apps but they’re much more than that. They can process information, they can collect data, they can receive and broadcast, they can augment one reality on another, and they can even make phonecalls sometimes. People choose to carry these amazing devices because they love them and because these devices make sense in their world and of their world…   …we keep asking the arse about face question what is digital technology doing to our health when we could be asking what can digital technology be doing for our health…”

I find it’s useful to put this in context by reminding people that the iPhone in their pocket has a faster computer processor that the one in the cart on the Surgical Robot that cost £10Million and you’ll find if you wander over to UCL’s Surgical Robot Vision Research Group, and sharing with them the 8 identified unique attributes of Mobile (the newest mass media).

Puffin O’Hanlon, Researcher, UCL shared some fascinating experiences that explained some of the inability the NHS has to innovate with mHealth (UCL mental Health professionals urgently need to take the mHealth course I developed before they waste any more money stocking cupboards with technology they don’t understand – and to think they’ve just placed an order for a £400Million EHR from EPIC!!!!!) and the need for support as they they try to move Clinicans beyond the office visit only model:

“39min …in one NHS service that we were working in all staff were given iPads and they’ve had them for a couple of years now, it was assumed that they would take them up and use them to engage with clients through the new React website. The iPads were provided for staff to use a new app for out of office access to trust IT systems. A minority of staff now use the iPads enthusiastically in their work with clients making activity diaries, watching YouTube videos, using Google Maps or doing Mindfulness exercises. But the majority of those iPads remain in the cupboards where they were tidied to over a year ago. They became Digital Misfits. The iPads didn’t fit with the staff’s skill sets. Having been trained in the app and not the iPad many staff lacked the skills and the confidence to use it…

…there are pockets of digital enthusiasm and there seems to be a general recognition of the benefits of digital interventions but again and again I’ve heard variants of ‘it’s better than nothing’ or ‘it can’t beat sitting down with a real person’, or ‘is it going to take my job?’. This narrative isn’t universal but it does seem to be pervasive, it’s something like this: ‘while digital interventions may have their uses they are essentially second rate, low cost, externally imposed substitutes for face-to-face support and it’s really truly difficult to get enthusiastic about second best as it feels too much like we’re giving up on providing high quality care”

Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Lead, Mental Health Intelligence Network makes a great call for the NHS to make record sharing a priority (I think the reason we don’t is a combination of the fact that Medics haven’t been trained to encourage Patients to use the internet and they all know that access to records encourages Patients to conduct research together with the countless other good intentioned ‘digital innovations’ that are distracting people from the basics eg. nonsense like WiFi in GP waiting rooms):

“44Min How can we get the basics right for people with mental health problems?   …In 1982 when I was a SHO I did a study on a medium secure mental health unit where we shared records, paper based records, with the Patients and everyday co produced the care plan and there was shock – I remember people in Guy’s saying ‘oh my God there will be absolute violence and notes will get ripped off and people will be kind of running around and actually it was one of the safest medium secure units with people feeling much more able to get on with the plan, much more owning it and they could go on with the record. What are we today? 2017? Where in the country are people able to look at their records and do something with them? The person who inspires me the most is Dr Amir Hannan up in Oldham of all places. Highly deprived Oldham with 40 languages spoken in his Practice and 70% of the people from that highly deprived area including particularly people with mental health problems and obstetric things have access to their records in his practice. Why don’t we make that basic  human right to feel empowered, to understand and see your own information. Why don’t we make that a big priority?”

Related mHealth Insight blog posts: 

Digital Health: that must cost a bomb.

“Here’s my mobile phone number” is now one of the most caring things a Healthcare Professional can say.

Perhaps it’s time we stopped saying “Go and Get Help”?

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