Rumor: Samsung S6 will connect to phone case with glucose meter

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 28, 2015        

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S-Health-3.0-Basic-UIRumors have surfaced that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 will feature a number of interchangeable phone covers that will provide different functionality to users, including a case with built-in health sensors, PhoneArena reports.

The original report comes from Polish blog Android.com.pl, which writes that the S6 will come with various phone covers or cases that will connect to the phone and offer different enhancements. One would improve the phone’s camera, one would add an e-ink screen, and one, apparently, would add some kind of glucose meter that would upload data directly into Samsung’s S Health app.

An additional case would be fitness-oriented and would connect the phone to various stationary fitness equipment like exercise bikes and steppers. Keep reading>>

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Google, Biogen will use wearable sensors to study multiple sclerosis

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 28, 2015        

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Biogen Idec used Fitbit bands in a previous study

Biogen Idec used Fitbit bands in a previous study

Biogen Idec has partnered with Google X, Google’s business unit for long-term “moonshot” projects, to study outside factors that might contribute to the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a report from Bloomberg.

Google and Biogen will use sensors, software, and data analysis tools to collect and analyze data from people who have MS. The companies aim to explore why MS progresses differently in each patient.

Bloomberg pointed out that Biogen has used digital tools for its disease research in the past. Last month, Biogen announced that it was using Fitbit activity trackers to gather data from people who have MS. It gave 250 Fitbit bands to participants to track their level of activity and sleep patterns. Last summer, the pharma company worked with Cleveland Clinic to develop an iPad app to assess MS progression.  Keep reading>>

Miami Children’s Hospital CIO talks mobile apps for clinicians, patients

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 27, 2015        

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Fit4CareKids Miami Children's HospitalMiami Children’s Hospital CIO Edward Martinez talked about two of the hospital’s new mobile offerings for patients and clinicians in an interview with HealthcareIT News this week.

The hospital has developed a care coordination app that helps clinicians hand off patients between shifts in addition to a patient-facing version of the app that helps parents keep tabs on those transitions. The facility has also added a video discharge feature to its parent-facing app.

Martinez explained the generation of parents that are bringing their children to the hospital now are more mobile-savvy than before.

“They want to have their information, and they want to have it now,” Martinez said. “So we feel that the engagement from that perspective — getting them engaged that early on — will get us a much better outcome earlier because they like the idea of being engaged on mobile and not face-to-face. They don’t like the face-to-face. They like texting, and they like to look it up on a handheld.”  Keep reading>>

Beth Israel pilot to let patients add notes to medical records

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 27, 2015        

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Female Doctor with TabletBoston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center received a $450,000 grant from The Commonwealth Fund this week to develop a program called OurNotes that allows patients to contribute to their medical records. The program is an extension of the well-known OpenNotes initiative and will include collaboration with a handful of other providers across the country.

“This is really building for the future,” BIDMC Principal Investigator Jan Walker said in a statement. “We envision the potential capability of OurNotes to range from allowing patients to, for example, add a list of topics or questions they’d like to cover during an upcoming visit, creating efficiency in that visit, to inviting patient to review and sign off on notes after a visit as way to ensure that patients and clinicians are on the same page.”

The original OpenNotes is an initiative that aims to provide patients with access to their clinician’s notes. The movement to make clinicians’ notes available to patients began to generate headlines in 2012 when researchers at BIDMC found that patients with access to clinician notes were more engaged and saw better outcomes. The results from the year-long study of more than 13,500 primary care patients and 100 physicians were published in Annals of Internal MedicineKeep reading>>

Philly hospital rolling out video visits, eyes virtual emergency department

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 27, 2015        

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Verizon Wireless Virtual VisitsA significant percentage of Medicare dollars will move to value-based care models and away from fee-for-service, if HHS meets its just announced three-year plan.

Yesterday HHS set a goal to tie “30 percent of traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or bundled payment arrangements by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018.”

The general shift away from fee-for-service toward accountable care has providers across the country working to roll out the necessary digital health programs to support new care delivery models.

Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, a 1,000 bed facility with $2.1 billion in operating revenue, is investing $20 million to build two new urgent care centers and to create a video visits program that would enable the hospital to help patients while keeping them out of their physical facility, according to a report from Bloomberg.

“The best way to save the system lots of money is to keep them out of the hospital,” Jefferson CEO Steve Klasko told Bloomberg.  Keep reading>>

Medication adherence app reminds pharmacy’s HIV patients to take meds

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 27, 2015        

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Avella mscripts appA recent study from San Francisco-based mscripts and retail pharmacy Avella Specialty Pharmacy found that mscripts mobile pharmacy app helped Avella’s HIV patients to become more adherent to their medication. The Avella-branded app, created by mscripts, includes refill reminders, dosage reminders, and other medication management features.

Some 224 HIV patients used mscripts’ app in the study, while 1,896 did not. The companies report that 79 percent of those using the app achieved at least 90 percent adherence, while 65 percent of the patients not using the app posted a 90 percent adherence rate or higher. HIV treatment generally requires patients to be at least 90 percent adherent to achieve viral suppression. Mscripts notes that the CDC reported that only 30 percent of HIV-positive Americans have achieved viral suppression.  Keep reading>>