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Consumer ultrasounds: looking inside yourself from the comfort of home

Brian Dolan at MobiHealthNews has an interesting post on the future of "consumerization of medical devices." GE Healthcare recently released Vscan, an $8000 ultra-mobile ultrasound device; in a few years, it is possible that patients will have similar hand-held devices in their homes.

Accepting Virtual House Calls

I usually try to avoid blogging about stories from the mainstream press, but this headline—"The Virtual Visit May Expand Access to Doctors"—in the New York Times confirmed a trend we have been following for the last few years.  It is a perfect example of how health care is moving out of clinical settings to new points of care, or "anytime, anyplace health." 

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.

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:

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.

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.)

Big wigs playing in personal health information arena

Next up this morning, representatives from WebMD, Microsoft HealthVault, Aetna, Google Health, and Yahoo! Health are giving presentations and demonstrations of consumer-targetted health information aggregator platforms. Most of these are variations on personal health records (PHR) that can send out health-related alerts to their users; offer online coaches and medication management applications; and generally provide a (hopefully) convenient and secure place for consumers to store and access their personal health information.

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.

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