Epocrates’ fourth annual Future Physicians of America survey polled more than 1,000 medical students about their technology preferences and habits. Epocrates found that nearly 90 percent of medical students view information available through mobile or online drug and disease references, like Epocrates’ own offerings, as “highly credible.” Epocrates found that students are four times more likely to consult a mobile reference for a clinical question than ask their own attending physician. One of the more interesting charts from Epocrates survey breaks down the type of smartphones these medical students use: Keep reading>>
Tags: BlackBerry | Epocrates | iPhone | iPod Touch | Palm PDA | Windows Mobile |
Tags: CIMIT | Diabetes | iPhone | Islet | Princeton University |
Matthew Connor, a rising junior at Princeton University received a $100,000 grant from Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) to build a more in-depth online portal for his diabetes management iPhone app, Islet, which Connor and his brother launched last September. Islet enables diabetics to record what and how much they eat, their insulin injections, blood sugar readings and activity level. Islet also graphs these data to help the users make more informed health decisions. Connor estimates that the app has “several thousand regular users worldwide.”
“For instance, maybe you notice that your blood glucose tends to spike in the morning,” Connor said. “If you keep good records, you might realize that this happens only after you drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast. Without good records, you may never know what’s causing your problem. But if you collect and organize the data correctly, it becomes much easier to analyze what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right.”
With the new funding from CIMIT, Islet will expand to feed the data from the phones to a remote online database so the users, caregivers or their doctors can access the records for analysis. Connor also hopes the data can be used by medical researchers: The iAbetics system will include tools to allow access to researchers while protecting the patients’ privacy.
“There have been lots of attempts to use technology for diabetes monitoring, such as using PDAs and other devices,” said Ronald Newbower, the chief technology officer for CIMIT. “But none of our reviewers for the prize had seen anything that addressed the problem with such a thorough and elegant solution.”
Read the full article over at Princeton University’s website here.
Tags: Android | Augmented Reality | Google | GPS | iPhone | iPhone 3GS | wireless healthcare |
If your smartphone has a compass built-in, a camera and GPS, then it may soon offer “augmented reality” applications, which overlay information onto the phone’s screen while the camera is being pointed at a particular object or location. A Wikipedia article may pop up if the phone is pointed at the Washington Monument. A link to a person’s Facebook page may appear when the phone’s camera is pointed at a friend. These are the more talked about applications coming out of this mobile-powered, emerging industry known as “AR”.
Augmented Reality was recently pegged as the next big trend to hype in the tech industry. The publication that made the claim, ReadWriteWeb, is likely right, but their article closed with a sobering quote from the chairman of the AR Consortium, Robert Rice, which helps to put the emerging industry in perspective:
“Don’t be misguided by the gimmicky marketing applications now. Look ahead, and pay attention to what the visionaries are talking about right now,” Rice said. “AR has long-term implications for smart cities, green tech, education, entertainment, and global industry. This is serious business, but it has to be done right.”
We wondered if healthcare should be added to that list, so Mobihealthnews recently caught up with one start-up, called Layar, which has led the pack of AR developers with its platform for Google’s Android-powered mobile phones. Layar’s co-founder and director of distribution and marketing, Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, sees a lot of opportunity for healthcare service providers to leverage his company’s platform beyond the applications that exist today.
Mobihealthnews: Could you describe what Layar is and what the platform enables?
Lens-Fitzgerald: The unique thing about Layar is that it combines digital information with the real world around you. As you look through your phone’s camera, wherever the phone is pointed at, Layar overlays information on the screen that shows information about that location. Layar is a worldwide open platform that allows anyone who wants to make a “Layar” to do that. For example, if McDonald’s wants to create a Layar and display all of its restaurants’ locations, it can do that and include what menus they have at each or what opening times they have. This Layar can then be viewed in our Layar Browser, which is just like a Web browser on a mobile. It does not show Web pages, however, but specific Layars. It’s a tool that lets you discover your surroundings. Keep reading>>
Tags: 501(k) | FDA | mobile phones | regulation | wireless health | wireless medical devices |
Last month I outlined the triggers that could cause an ordinary mobile phone to become an FDA-regulated medical mobile phone. This month, in the second of six planned articles, I will outline the FDA requirements that would apply to a mobile phone that crosses that line.
To summarize the July 13 article on “FDA may regulate certain mobile phones, accessories”, a mobile phone could become a regulated medical device if the manufacturer, through its words and deeds, conveys an intention that the phone be used in medical applications. I also pointed out that medical devices come in at least three different flavors: (1) standalone medical devices, (2) accessories and (3) components to such devices.
Premarket clearance or approval
In contrast to components that are simply sold to another manufacturer, standalone medical devices and accessories sold to end users may require some form of premarket clearance or approval. Once you know you have an FDA-regulated device or accessory, here’s how you figure that out, following a five-step process.
Step one. Figure out the most appropriate classification for your product.
There is a bit of both art and science to this. FDA has published about 1700 classification regulations. Each of those regulations has a description or “identification” of the types of devices covered by that regulation. FDA has a searchable database of these regulations accessible through their website.
Some articles of hardware and software are so important that FDA has separately classified them, and you can find them directly through searching. The regulations are organized by clinical application so all of the orthopedic devices, for example, are in one part of the regulations. So you might get lucky and find one that directly describes your product. A quick search of the regulations revealed that the word “computer” appears in 225 regulations, “software” in 431 and “network” in 43. There is, for example, a classification for remote medication management systems in 21 CFR 880.6315.
But if you can’t find one that directly describes your product, perhaps it’s because FDA considers your product to be merely an accessory to a “parent” device. I’ll give you an example. Last month FDA cleared an updated version of the Polytel glucose meter accessory, which is a small module that plugs into the port of a glucose meter, receives data from the meter and transfers it wirelessly to an Internet capable communication device like a cell phone or an APT. In clearing the device, FDA agreed with its classification in 21 CFR 862.1345, which covers all glucose test systems, including the “parent” glucose meters. Keep reading>>
Tags: BabyCenter | diabetes management | Glucose Buddy | iPhone app | Johnson & Johnson | Text4Baby | Twitter |
Diabetes app usage metrics: MYLEstone Health, developer of the Glucose Buddy iPhone app, has added a real-time tracking feature to its application for diabetes management. The service has clocked almost 400,000 user logs in the past 100 days. MYLEstone announced earlier this year that it had inked a deal with Roche Diagnostics’ Accu-Chek to add its educational program to the Glucose Buddy diabetes management app. More
Telemedicine and e-Health tackles Twitter in healthcare trend: “One way to look at Twitter is as a method of mass communication,” Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, Director of the Center for Connected Health (Partners Healthcare System, Boston, MA), told the publication. Twitter is real-time and was designed for mobility, Kvedar explained. It allows people to “text 30 people or 50 or 100 people, whatever the number is who are following you.” More (.pdf)
J&J’s SMS-enhanced BabyCenter: This Mobile Marketer case study from June examined Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter service, which seems to offer some of the same information as the White House/Voxiva/CDC’s upcoming Text4Baby campaign. ”Subscribers receive weekly texts chock full of pregnancy advice. Once the baby arrives, the Parenting Tips service sends new parents helpful parenting tips twice a week till three months.” More
Tags: Band-Aid | blindness | broadband adoption | FCC | macular degeneration | microneedles | The Artificial Retina | The Universal Phone |
Band-Aid-like painless patch with “microneedles”: Researchers have designed Band-Aid-like “painless” patches that they hope will one day replace the procedure for getting a shot. The patches are lined with tiny “microneedles” that the researchers believe could change how we manage diabetes as well as a number of other diseases. The patches are supposedly “safer, more effective and less painful,” according to the developers. More
Health care and wireless can drive broadband adoption: During an FCC hearing on broadband adoption, Susannah Fox, associate director for digital strategy at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said 63 percent of Americans have home broadband service, which is a significant increase over 2008. Pew’s data shows that one key point broadband users value most is the ability to share information with health care providers. About 80 percent of users have used broadband to find health care information online, Fox said. Making it “the de facto second opinion,” she explained. More Keep reading>>