What happens when a university lecturer published a mobile application with questions-answers about different medical specialties and decides to include some of those public questions in the test of a university examination? Well, trouble.
Students from Kings College London who recently sat through an Obstetrics & Gynaecology exam were surprised to note that a large proportion of the questions were identical to those found in an OB/GYN medical question app.
The author of the £1.49 app is a lecturer at the University who wrote some of the questions on the exam paper using information from the medical app that had been published.
This is why I don’t think it’s enough to teach medical students about the meaningful use of social media and digital technologies, but medical professionals and lecturers as well.
I recently blogged about pApp that lets doctors create mobile apps for their patients without knowing anything about mobile app development. They just choose the functions (bundles) the app should have such as logging blood pressure or medications and the patient can download the app right away. I received a significant amount of questions and requests about that on Twitter and other channels so I thought I would ask for a bit more pieces of details from the developers.
pApp consists of:
- a web platform to create your own medical apps, even share them with the community.
- a mobile phone app to use the app and gather data.
- a profound back-end solution called ‘The Cortex’, on par with the latest standards and protocols used in healthcare (HL7, DICOM) to store, show and share data.
- a complete set of APIs to connect to external platforms, wearables and sensors.
- a portal for patients and HCPs to view results in an understandable way.
- a scientifically backed-up validation process for the content of the apps.
- a quality mark and/or CE-certification where appropriate.
- an Implementation Team to make it actually work in a hospital.
It could serve e-patients, medical professionals, pharma companies, insurance companies and hospitals as well. Let me know if you would like to get connected to the developers.
It’s not the first time I say Google Glass can be the biggest hit in medical technology this yeas, and now as the number of good examples is still rising, it’s becoming more and more evident. Here are a few cases and experiments.
Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS had a pilot project with this team about the use of Google Glass in medical education. Here is his summary:
We worked in three basic forms; first, a critical care LoM RN, emergently treating a patient and requesting advice from a remote GoogleGlass Surgeon. The second scenario involved the G-Glass Surgeon, remotely teaching a procedure to a group of students (PA’s, medical students and EMS students); here, the instructor is hands-free, concentrating on the actual procedure and the different steps to make it easy for the students to learn. The third one was a clinical situation where a request for advice was placed to a remote GoogleGlass cardiologist, my good friend and colleague, glass Explorer pioneer Dr. Christian Assad (@Christianassad), whom was able to give his expertise to the provider in need, from a remote location, wearing GoogleGlass in a Hang-out. Unfortunately, When Dr. Assad gives his advice to the me through GoogleGlass, you are not able to appreciate that on the video, since the audio comes to the GoogleGlass user by the way of bone conductivity.
And the videos:
It seems there are serious technical issues, but that’s always the case with disruptive technologies.
Lucien Engelen and his team at REshape created a video that shows what a regular patient-doctor interaction would look like with the Google Glass and what additional features it could add to the process:
Just one more thing. Get prepared for more and more applications/services based on Google Glass. I recently came across GlassFit that guides you safely through a circuit of workouts while helping you keep track of your full set of workouts. We can also expect to see more and more examples when patients use it in their health management.
If the majority of the technical issues related to the use of Google Glass can be worked out, it’s going to be a real hit in medical technology. I cannot wait to get mine and test it in medical education.
I’ve been in contact with Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS for years on Twitter and Google+ and we first met at Futuremed where we discussed the potential opportunities of using Google Glass in the OR, then he let me try his Glass at the recent Doctors 2.0 and You in Paris. And now the great news, he had a chance to do an operation while wearing his Google Glass.
By performing and documenting this event, I wanted to show that this device and its platform, are certainly intuitive tools that have a great potential in Healthcare, and specifically for surgery, could allow better intra-operative consultations, surgical mentoring and potentiate remote medical education, in a very simple way.
The patient involved needed a feeding tube (Gastrostomy) and we chose to placed it endoscopically, with a procedure called PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy. You can Google that to learn more…). Being the first time, I wanted to do this during a simple and commonly performed procedure, to make sure that my full attention was not diverted from taking excellent care of the patient.
Just imagine the future of operations being recorded with Google Glass and the videos will be checked for potential mistakes not by people but by IBM Watson supercomputer.
At the recent Doctors 2.0 and You conference in Paris, I came across an amazing idea. The so-called pApp lets doctors create mobile apps for their patients without knowing anything about mobile app development. They just choose the functions (bundles) the app should have such as logging blood pressure or medications and the patient can download the app right away.
I’ve come across a great presentation:
I was asked by Homero Rivas, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Director of Innovative Surgery, School of Medicine, Stanford University to shoot a short film for their online course entitled “Mobile Health Without Borders“. The course was described as:
The course will function like a conference, but it takes place over three months rather than two days, and encourages the transformation from passive audience observer to active participant and thought leader. The themes to be addressed are: 1) Global Health Challenges. 2) Mobile Health Opportunities. 3) Entrepreneurship in Health Care.
The shoot was fun and we all enjoyed it. The video should be submitted in a few days’ time. I will, of course, publish it here. Until then, a few photos:
I’ve been a huge fan of the Quantified Self movement for many years, I’ve been logging my sleep, my activities, scores of physical and mental well-being for 15 years every single day. When I recently saw an article about a neuroscientist who is getting a brain scan twice every week for a year to see how neural networks behave over time, I knew we are getting into a new phase in this area.
Every day, he tracks his mood and mental state, what he ate, and how much time he spent outdoors. Twice a week, he gets his brain scanned in an MRI machine. And once a week, he has his blood drawn so that it can be analyzed for hormones and gene activity levels. Poldrack plans to gather a year’s worth of brain and body data to answer an unexplored question in the neuroscience community: how do brain networks behave and change over a year?
Moreover, according to mobile health and wellness sensor reports, in 2017, 515 million sensors for wearable, implantable or mobile health and fitness devices will be shipped globally, up from 107 million in 2012!
We can expect that in a few years’ time, patients will be able to measure everything about themselves from blood count and blood glucose content to ECG and even genomics data. Are medical professionals, payers and pharmaceutical companies ready for such a world?
Of course, not, but I’m trying to prepare them offline and online.
Prognosis, which I covered before, just came up with a new application that aims at assisting medical professionals in crowdsourcing clinical problems. It differs pretty much from HealthTap as patients are not involved with this and the community is international.
The app links you to a community of medical professionals who help out each other by answering questions and clarifying doubts via their hard earned experience and academic excellence.
In order to provide a conducive, respectful platform to share questions and clarify doubts, all users are obliged to adhere to a code of conduct and thus be courteous.
People have been thinking about the potential ways Google Glass could be used in medicine and healthcare. Even though it will probably be bad for your eyes, early testers seemed to love using it and didn’t feel it would distract them from anything. A few examples how it could be used in the future:
- Displaying the patient’s electronic medical records real-time.
- Assisting the doctor in making the diagnosis with evidence-based and relevant information from the medical literature.
- Recording every operation and procedure from the doctors perspective. Every movement of doctors will be archived and screened for potential mistakes. (I know it’s harsh.)
- Based on the lab tests of the patient, it will give an estimated prognosis and suggest next steps in the treatment.
- Live consultations with colleagues as they will be able to see what I see live.
- It will guide users through all the steps during an emergency situation. It could save lives if used by laypeople.
- It will suggest treatment plans based on the patient’s genomic data.
Hopefully, Google Glass will not be only a smartphone attached to our glasses:
Such mobile technologies will make a much more significant impact on the practice of medicine than any smartphone applications so far. Fujitsu’s Generation walking stick that features GPS technology to track and monitor users was a big hit at the recent Mobile World Congress, just to come up with one example.
But what about the company that could revolutionize the use of mobile phones in healthcare? Apple is working on iWatch, a smart watch that could be used for consultations, as a pager or even for displaying fresh lab test results from the patients. While it can be a hit as well, I’m pretty sure Google Glass will rule this market for some time.
Moreover, imagine all these technologies with IBM Watson being the brain behind them. It seems Watson will eventually fit on a smartphone and diagnose illness. If Watson could be used by Google Glass, iWatch or any other disruptive mobile technologies, even though medical professionals will have to go through the traditional educational systems, the revolution of the practice of medicine will be imminent.