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A trail of breadcrumbs leads to food facts

IBM recently previewed a yet-to-be released iPhone app—Breadcrumbs—that will give consumers immediate access to information about food products while they shop.  By scanning an item's barcode with your iPhone camera, you will be able to receive a summary of a product's ingredients and learn when it was manufactured (oh, at long last, to know how old that package of Ho-Hos really is!)  Granted, ingredients are already listed on food labels, but recall information isn't, and according to this ReadWriteWeb post, Breadcrumbs will be able to put this kind of product history in the palm of your hand. 

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."

The future of medicine is wireless

A couple of weeks ago, the (then interim, now full-fledged) president and CEO of CardioNet, Randy Thurman, declared that the company is

leading what we believe is a revolution in healthcare - wireless medicine. . . . In summary, the convergence of healthcare and information technology is resulting in one of the most important trends for the next twenty years - wireless medicine - and CardioNet is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity over the long term.

(These statements were made in the context of fourth quarter and year-end results--the company reported 65% revenue growth in 2008.)

Is your iPhone a Medical Device? Who knew?!

I came across an interesting item about a recent presentation given by Don Witters from the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), but before I could write about it, I had to answer several questions for myself.  First, I had to figure out what TEPR+ (the name of the event Witters was attending) stood for.  Turns out that TEPR is the acronym for "Toward an Electronic Patient Record" Conference, sponsored by the Medical Records Institute (MRI) (though I learned that here, not from the MRI website). 

More on the smartphone as a mobile health tool

A special report recently released by iHealthBeat states that physicians are adopting smart phone technology faster than other U.S. consumers. "According to Manhattan Research, 54% of U.S.

Medical data on the go

In an immediate effort to follow up on my recent pledge and to share new developments in mobile health, here's a quick item about an interesting smartphone app. mVisum's tag line is "Medical data delivered to the palm of your hand . . . Anytime -- Anywhere." (For those of you familiar with our Global Health Economy map, you'll remember that "anytime, anyplace health" was a key driver we identified on the map; it is a theme that we returned to at our conference on Mobile Health.)

Yet more on mobile health

Okay, okay.  I confess that I have mobile health on my brain.  But I swear I didn't seek out this item.  I was simply visiting one of my regular blog sources--"Technology, Health & Development: Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology"--and came across this entry about new mobile phone medical apps.  One is a low-cost (less than $100) electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that would use cell phones to transmit data to a computer where it can be analyzed and reviewed by a doctor.  Another is a tumor-imaging application.

Mobile Health is a hot topic in the press (and at IFTF!)

Last month, IFTF Research Affiliate Richard Adler blogged here about a Wall Street Journal article that discussed tools that help patients interact with doctors.  Richard specifically mentioned a mobile device called Zuri; the article also discussed an in-home device from Intel called Health Guide.  According to Intel, Health Guide, which has received FDA market clearance,

can connect to specific models of wired and wireless medical devices, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales. [It] stores and
displays the collected information on a touch screen and sends to a secure host server, where health care professionals can review the information. Patients using the Health Guide can monitor their health status, communicate with care teams and learn about their medical conditions.

The article also mentions that Microsoft's HealthVault can also integrate data from about 50 devices, such as heart rate monitors and blood pressure machines.

Wall St Journal: Tools Help Patients Interface With Doctors

[Richard Adler, who posted the following, is an IFTF Research Affiliate. 
His relationship with Zume is completely independent of his work for
IFTF, and this post in no way reflects an endorsement on IFTF's part of
Zume.  We do, however, think that the Zuri is a great example of a new
breed of mobile health products, which we will be discussing at our conference on "Reinventing Health Care in a Mobile World."]

An article in the August 19th Wall Street Journal discusses new devices that remind patients to take their medications and track compliance.

On-the-go heart monitoring

Researchers affiliated with Northern Ireland's University of Ulster have developed a disposable adhesive electrode patch that uses wireless technology to transmit information about a patient's heart and other vital data (like respiratory rate, temperature, and blood oxygenation levels). According to the university's press release,

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