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Posts tagged ‘Health’

Giving a Keynote at HIC2014 in Melbourne

I’m flying to Melbourne to give a keynote at Australia’s premier digital health, e-health & health informatics conference called HIC 2014. My keynote, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, will feature directions medicine is heading at the moment accompanied by a guide to help everyone prepare for this future world. I’ll live tweet during the event through #hic2014.

See you there!

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Smart Socks, Necklace, Tattoo And Even Water Bottle: When Does It Stop?

Many times I wrote about the wearable gadgets that help me live a healthy life. I know there is a wearable revolution going on but some of the recent announcements make me think whether the list and range of such gadgets ever get rationale. A few examples from the past days:

  • Smart socks as fitness activity trackers
  • Smart water bottle to alert you to keep yourself hydrated: “The Hug solution includes a sensor band that wraps around just about any water bottle to track your H2O consumption, and an accompanying mobile app that reminds you to drink when your hydration levels are low.”
  • Smart ring controlling devices
  • Smart golf gloves and many more.

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The next ones would be smart ear rings and smart nail clippers? Hopefully not.

I cannot wait to reach the point when we get over this phase of hype and start focusing on meaningful developments.

Why Predicting The Future Is Not Possible Without Knowing Today’s Trends

Minsuk Cho, South Korean architect, curates an “epic-scale show about both Koreas” at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. One of the most exciting projects they present there is the result of how architects of North Korea designed the future of houses and cities without actually ever leaving the country or studying about other city design in details.

Look what kind of futuristic concepts they came up with while, for instance, keeping the old types of phones alive, not really moving forward with the advances of technology.

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It clearly shows how important it is to stay up-to-date about how technology is advancing today in order to be able to make informed decisions and assumptions about the future.

This is why I launched a Facebook page under the name The Medical Futurist to curate and publish news, reports and analyses about the most important trends and technologies that will shape the future of medicine. Feel free to join the discussion there!

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Would You Volunteer for Google’s Moonshot Medical Study?

The new moonshot project from Google is to create a Google Maps of the human body including molecular and genomic information as well. The Personal Genome Project (PGP) had a similar mission years ago, but this one seems to be even bigger.

The 175 healthy people will go through an exam that includes the collection of body fluids like blood and saliva, after which Google X researchers will review what they have learnt and engage researchers at Duke University and Stanford University for a much larger study.

The eventual aim is for Baseline to act as a reference for the chemistry of a well-run, healthy body, and in turn, identify anomalies far earlier. The hope is that the medicine industry moves more towards prevention rather than treatment in response to illnesses.

A major difference is the institution or company standing behind both projects. The PGP was initiated by Harvard University’s Professor George M. Church, while this new project is launched by Google. I have to note though that Google plans to make the results available for “qualified researchers in health”; data collected will be anonymous and not be shared with insurance companies.

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But Dan Munro at Re/code immediately shared his concerns about participating in such a study due to legal risks and the level of trust related to Google.

I’m sure Google wants my genetic data — preferably for free of, course — and will say anything in order to get it. Does that mean that it has earned my trust to use that data as part of an ambiguous, long-term experiment? Not with my genetic data. At least not yet. Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.

A Fully Digital Hospital Opens in 2015

I just heard the news that the first fully digital (entirely paperless) hospital will open in Abu Dhabi in 2015. The clinic worked with experts from the famous Cleveland Clinic, the No. 4 ranked best hospital in the United States. This might be a good step towards changing the hospital experience not only for professionals working there but more importantly for patients to make it a place where they go to re-energize themselves.

“The fact that a unified medical record is going to exist will provide seamless communication, which means there is an opportunity for us to communicate back and forth with the main campus and elsewhere in the healthcare system, without having the patient have the responsibility of carrying paper,” Harrison was quoted in the article as saying.

The 13-storey LEED Gold-Certified facility in Al Maryah Island will have five Centers of Excellence: Heart & Vascular Institute, Digestive Disease Institute, Eye Institute, Neurological Institute, and Respiratory & Critical Care Institute, according to anEmirates 24/7 article. It will have 364 beds, five clinical floors, three treatment and diagnostic levels, 26 operating rooms, and 13 floors of acute and critical care units.

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1 Out Of 5 Americans Don’t Track Any Vital Signs

Without managing our health while being healthy it is impossible to significantly improve healthcare. I’ve already introduced the health trackers I have been using to stay healthy as an attempt of persuading people to do so.

Now Withings has come up with the report of a recent survey that had some worrying results.

  • Although 82% of Americans think tracking vital signs at home is important, one fifth of Americans do not track any vitals outside of the doctor’s office.
  • 75% of people would be open to checking their vitals at home if they were a part of a program that would save them money on health insurance premiums
  • Oddly enough, although 59% of respondents monitor their temperature with a thermometer, only 12% could recall it as a vital sign, unprompted.
  • Over 80% of patients recall their doctors taking body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.  Only 29% remember blood oxygen level being measured at their last check-up.

Obviously, better wearable gadgets are needed which make the whole process comfortable, simple and smooth.

Do you track any health parameters? If so, which ones? If not, why not?

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Update: Also, here is the infographic Withings has released (click on the image for the original one):

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A Wearable Health Tracker That Shocks You!

Have you found it hard to change lifestyle? Do you struggle going to the gym or waking up early? This wearable health tracker wristband called Pavlok will literally electrocute you into action. Would you use it? The founder explained how it works:

Sethi explains how Pavlok works with a simple example — the habit of waking earlier. “It sits on my wrist and at 6am it’ll vibrate. I can snooze it, but if I snooze it twice, it shocks me.”

Well, I’m ready to take actions in my life without such hardcore motivation tools. But there are certainly people who need some push to make the next step. This is sort of a push.

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The Long-Tail of Wearable Health Trackers

I’ve been featuring the wearable health trackers I use on a daily basis and I was glad to see and amazingly detailed analysis of all these biosensing wearables on the website of Rock Health. The number of trackers has been rising for the past months faster than ever before, therefore the real challenge is to choose which one to use for what purpose. The ultimate goal is to track meaningful health parameters constanly without feeling the disadvantages of wearing a device no matter how small or smart it is.

It’s a crowded market, but there’s a growing tail of opportunity for biosensing wearables. We’re also pretty confident this space will continue to develop as tech giants like AppleSamsung, and Googlestart playing in the sandbox.

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By the way, you can browse among these trackers in the database of Amazon.com.

Social Media in Clinical Practice: The Handbook

Springer published my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, almost a year ago and since then, I have received an amazing number of photos about people holding the book, social media posts and e-mails from readers who found my handbook to be very helpful in their professional lives. While the content is fortunately still up-to-date, it seems the turn-around time for a new book is about one year as lately, the number of messages has dramatically increased.

Medical professionals worldwide shared their insights, experience and suggestions about using social media resources in medicine using my book’s examples. Therefore, I’d like to ask anyone who likes to discuss such topics to use the #hcsm hashtag on Twitter or contact me directly, I’m always happy to initiate new discussions.

Here you can check out the detailed descriptions of all the chapters.

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Apple or Google? Maybe WebMD?

It has been rumored that Apple would come up with something truly innovative related to the wearable health trackers. Then what they actually came up with was less then people expected. Days later, Google announced its Google Fit project. But maybe a third applicant could be the winner as WebMD just released its application and the mission statement behind the smartphone app is that we can measure more and more health parameters about ourselves, but what matters is how we interpret the data.

On Monday, WebMD launched a new program in its iOS app called Healthy Target that works with activity trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone, as well as glucometers and wireless scales, to aggregate and pull in health data.

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