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KNOWME Networks Sends Smart Texts for Health

A group of USC researchers have developed a wearable body area network that can communicate seamlessly with cell phones, with the hope that this sort of sensor network will one day be used to help fight childhood obesity. According to the Los Angeles Times, the system is designed to track what sorts of activities a person has engaged in and if they have been inactive for extended periods of time.

 For example, one person working on the project said she'd hope that:

Hope Phones—A signal of mobile health experimentation to come

In the recently released IFTF report entitled, Booting Up Mobile Health: From Medical Mainframe to Distributed Intelligence, we forecast that there will be high levels of experimentation and innovation in mobile health devices and services emerging from the Global South.  We expect poorer nations, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, to develop into the main proving ground for decentralized, mobile models of health care delivery.  This is not only due to the rapid diffusion of mobile technology, but also because 20th-century models of centralized, institutionally managed health care

Take your (dental) health on the road

Regular readers will know how much I like a small, random story that illustrates some of the principles we talk about at IFTF: for example, anytime, anyplace health; new business models; the power of "people like me" in health care decisions. I haven't seen one in awhile, so I was tickled by this blog post: "Bringing your healthcare practice to the people." It highlights Dr. Roemer, who opened a dental practice inside the Iowa 80 Truckstop, at Exit 284 of Interstate 80.

Teach me how to take better care of myself while I am on the go

For our conference last fall on Mobile Health, I was tasked with finding an employer that was providing to its employees some form of mobile health.  We ended up bringing in an HR person from Humana, one of the largest health plans in the country, because it offered its associates an innovative weight loss program—Sensei for Weight Loss(TM)—from Sensei, a technology company owned by Humana.

GPS-Enabled Asthma Inhaler Aimed at Uncovering Environmental Asthma Triggers

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have developed a GPS-enabled asthma inhaler that they hope will enable researchers to uncover new environmental triggers for asthma attacks. The pilot study in Madison will equip 50 asthma patients with the inhalers and is aimed at helping public health officials understand general air triggers as well as helping individuals understand personal asthma attack triggers.

Healthcare continues to go mobile

My dinner companion last night was telling me about someone he knows who wears some kind of heart monitor that uploaded his information in real-time, and that if there was a problem, he would get a call from his doctor.  "That sounds like CardioNet to me," I exclaimed.  He looked at me oddly, wondering why I would know such a random thing. Meanwhile, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I am only two degrees separated from someone who is actually using this cool piece of mobile health technology."

Congratulations to Zume Life on going live!

A company we have been following for a while, Zume Life, officially launches today.  Zume Life offers a personal health management system enables people who have ongoing health issues (e.g., chronic disease, weight loss, treatment recovery) to better track and adhere to their programs and regimens, and to draw on their personal support network.  Its mobile application, Zuri, and its web portal, are intended to facilitate the ongoing "4 R's" of ongoing self-care, which are:

Finally! A non-medical health-related iPhone app has struck my fancy!

Lately, it seems like I have been blogging a lot about iPhone or smartphone applications in the medical space (see here and here, for example).  Today, however, I came across an app that evokes memories of our work on Foodscapes.**  It's called Locavore, and it is targeted at people who try to purchase and consume only locally grown foods.  

Lifescan Integrate Glucose Monitor with I-Phone

While most of the attention of Apple's new operating system for the I-Phone has focused on its cut and paste feature, mobile health enthusiasts should be focusing on the phone's blue tooth features. Via Diabetes Mine comes word of a new glucose monitor and phone application that can be synced through bluetooth or USB to let diabetes patients track their glucose readings.

iPhone med apps continue to flourish--and with fun names, too!

Though it might be hard to take seriously a medical application named "Diagnosaurus," especially with its cute logo— —this one seems to be worthy of consideration. 

From Unbound Medicine,

Diagnosaurus is a valuable quick reference tool that contains over 1,000 differential diagnoses. . . .  [T]his application helps health care professionals reach accurate diagnoses with speed and confidence where it is needed most, at the point of care.

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