Sponsored Post: Emotionally Engaging Patients with Customized Mobile Apps


http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-elderly-hugging-caregiver-image28926236Sponsored post by MobileSmith

Growing evidence shows that emotionally connected patients create more valuable customers.  Hospital mobile apps can help improve patient experience and build emotional connections between your patients and your healthcare brand.

Faced with stressful health circumstances, patients find themselves in a whirlwind of emotions: fear, confusion, loneliness, isolation, disruption of normal life.  Emotions impact how patients rate their experience with your hospital.

Customized patient-facing mobile apps can help alleviate your patients’ fears and boost their trust in your organization.  Happier patients make more valuable customers!

With MobileSmith, you can quickly launch an entire portfolio of customized native apps quickly – without the help of developers or your IT.

Provide a sense of compassionate care

Help allay your patients’ fears and offer quick access to outpatient care instructions, ‘red flags’, and medical staff.  An interactive How do I feel today? tracker can give your patients a sense of being cared for – without using costly resources.

Place vital information at your patients’ fingertips

All of the key phone numbers and directions, insurance information, ER wait times, and interactive maps should be available via your hospital’s app.  Your patients will appreciate a user-friendly service!

Mobile community is a source of moral support

When in stress, people value an opportunity to connect with other patients.  Your app can allow them to network and offer support via social channels, as well as share their progress in interactive galleries.

Encourage responsible approach to wellness

Motivate your patients to lead a healthy lifestyle with an easy-to-use Health Tracker; stream helpful tips and educate them about diet and exercise.  Build a wellness-minded community around your brand!

At MobileSmith, we offer an integrated portfolio of ready-to-go hospital apps, fully customizable to your hospital’s needs and branding.  Launch your first app in days!


PwC: Formularies for health apps needed

By: Neil Versel | Sep 12, 2013        

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will falk

Will Falk of PricewaterhouseCoopers

Mobile health, digital health, wireless health and telehealth, meet virtual health. That’s the umbrella term preferred by Will Falk, managing partner for healthcare at PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada and executive fellow at the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation in Toronto, who believes that virtual care is slowly taking over medicine.

“The virtualization of the healthcare system is moving quickly,” Falk said Tuesday at the American Telemedicine Association’s Fall Forum in Toronto.

A group with “American” in its name held a meeting in Canada’s largest city because it’s the home base of current ATA President Dr. Ed Brown. Brown, CEO of the Ontario Telemedicine Network, predicted that 25 percent of care will be delivered virtually, with provider and patient in different locations, by 2020, and Falk endorsed that forecast.

Falk said the shift to virtual care now underway is the “same order of magnitude” as the movement from inpatient to ambulatory care in the 1990s. “You know that the virtualization of care is a disruptive innovation in a Christensen sense,” according to Falk. (Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen defined disruptive innovation as a new product or service that take hold at the bottom of a market before rapidly growing and displacing established players.)

Falk discussed a PwC Canada study he oversaw, in which 77 percent of Canadian consumers expressed willingness to willing to get a diagnosis through a virtual assessment of a skin mole as a way of ruling out cancer. “Canadians are comfortable being monitored at home,” he said.

Virtualization improves access to care for people in remote areas as well as those who would prefer not to take time off of work for a short doctor appointment. “You have better waiting rooms, too,” Falk quipped.

It also has a positive effect on the quality of care, staff productivity and sustainability in the sense that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions when people don’t have to travel for care, potentially introduces auction-like pricing mechanisms and allows payers to substitute physicians for lower-cost providers, according to Falk. In terms of quality, virtual care help lower hospital-acquired infection rates and improve infection control, a major consideration in a place like Toronto, which Falk called the “home of SARS in North America.”

However, Falk said some apps on the market amount to “virtual quackery, of, if you prefer, digital snake oil,” which is why he believes the healthcare industry needs processes and standards for selecting the proper apps as well as taxonomy for “regulation” of apps, whether by health systems or government agencies. In other words, apps need organization, much like pharmaceuticals have been organized into formularies.

“We can look for hints from how the drug system does this,” Falk said. “Apps and devices are in the same place drugs were two, three hundred years ago,” Falk said.

Falk broke health apps into four categories in the way a drug store would: front-of-store mobile health “vitamins” with little oversight necessary; over-the-counter apps where patients get “the same level of advice as you might get for using children’s aspirin”; general prescriptions from a physician; and controlled substances.

Falk likened the AliveCor Heart Monitor smartphone ECG accessory to a narcotic, in that it should be reserved for special cases and its usage closely watched by a doctor. “These are things where the physician is making a commitment to use [the technology] as an intervention,” Falk said.

Falk surmised that academic medical centers might be in the best position to assess apps. Even so, it will be a daunting task, since the modern pharmaceutical system has evolved over at least two centuries. “This needs to be put together in a few years,” Falk said.

Virgin HealthMiles adds Fitbit integration to employee wellness platform

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 11, 2013        

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Fitbit Zip Fitbit OneVirgin HealthMiles has added Fitbit integration to its online employee health offering. The Framingham-based Richard Branson company recently announced that it would offer its program to family members of subscribed employees for free. Now those employees and family members who use Fitbit activity trackers and weight scales will be able to connect those devices to their Virgin HealthMiles dashboard with one click, and automatically upload step data once the connection is set up.

Virgin HealthMiles has existing integrations with a number of apps, but only one device, the Polar heart rate tracker. The platform integrates with Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal, and, through Runkeeper, members can use devices like Withings weight scales and Wahoo heart monitors, Product Manager Gregg LaRoche told MobiHealthNews in an email. The company also has its own pedometer, the GoZone, and is planning to introduce a new device soon.

“We want to make it easy for members to choose the device that fits their lifestyle best, whether it’s our own device or another device of their choice,” LaRoche wrote. “The Fitbit partnership is a great example of this.”

Fitbit, meanwhile, has been increasingly interested in the corporate wellness space. It integrated with social corporate wellness platform Keas earlier this summer and is also a possible early partner for Jiff’s upcoming employee wellness offering. Fitbit offers a platform directly to employers called Fitbit @ Work which currently works with Asurion, Autodesk, Cerner, Pega, Practice Fusion, and Tel, according to its website. Fitbit raised $43 million from three new investors last month.

The integration will allow HealthMiles users to incorporate Fitbit data across the company’s engagement platform, which includes social and gamified contests and tracking programs, as well as rewards. It supports the Fitbit Flex wristband, the Fitbit Aria weight scale, and the Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip clip-on activity trackers.

MobiHealthNews’ latest report is now available. Take a look at “Kinect the Docs: How Microsoft’s video game technology is changing healthcare.”

Samsung deal brings AirStrip One to Android tablets

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 11, 2013        

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Airstrip ONE SamsungMobile patient monitoring company AirStrip has partnered with Samsung to make its AirStrip One mobility software available on Samsung tablets, which run Android and Windows 8.1 operating systems. Adding a native Android tablet completes the operating system trifecta for the company, which has long worked with Apple and announced a partnership with Microsoft in July.

“We’re seeing more and more mobile devices are becoming a commodity, but now it’s all about user experience and workflow,” AirStrip CEO Alan Portela told MobiHealthNews. “Everybody has an EMR product out there, but when you ask physicians how much they use the product, they always complain about user experience, which leads to poor adoption.”

Portela said building to as many specific devices as possible, rather than trying to build a one-size-fits-all app on HTML 5, for instance, emphasizes the company’s commitment to user experience.

“It’s all about running those applications natively,” he said. “Why? Because natively is where you can start addressing that quality. It’s crucial to be able to partner with those vendors, to be able to run your application on everything they have. This is something that HTML5 is not going to offer.”

Specifically, AirStrip is looking to leverage particular selling points of Samsung tablets like the light pen, which allows providers to draw on medical images, giving them another communication tool for care coordination, Portela said. He also toted Samsung’s device security and said the tablet is ideal for telemedicine and videoconferencing. Portela said that many doctors are turning to Android tablets simply because of the lower cost.

“You see more and more Android,” he said. “We have to look at the price and now, because BYOD is the trend and I do see that physicians more and more are exercising their options.”

Non-iPad tablets had a large presence at HIMSS this past March, suggesting that Apple has the space far from locked down.

You can read more in MobiHealthNews’ latest tablet report, available in our research store.

6 baby activity trackers announced this summer

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 11, 2013        

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Mimo onesie with device

Mimo onesie and “turtle” device

Last week, Boston-based Rest Devices, maker of a smart baby monitor attached to a onesie called Mimo launched a campaign on crowdfunding site Dragon Innovation. The baby monitor connects to a smartphone and tracks the baby’s respiration, skin temperature, body position and activity level and offers an audio feed in real-time.

But this isn’t even the first baby tracking device that has come out in the span of two weeks, let alone over the summer. Since June, various baby monitoring devices have entered the market. These products, while all smartphone connected, range from diapers to even a teddy bear.

Here’s a roundup of this summer’s baby tracking products that MobiHealthNews has found.



Launched last week, Mimo has thus far raised $29,000 of its $200,000 goal and has 25 days left in the campaign. The early bird price for the wearable is $100.

Mimo is a system that starts with a tracking monitor in the shape of a turtle, which attaches to a white cotton onesie equipped with machine washable sensors. The team advertises the safety of the attachable turtle, which is too big to swallow, yet safe to chew. To upload information, the turtle can attach to its ‘lilypad,’ which has Bluetooth Smart connectivity.

With the data collected, the connected app can process and run long-term analytics about the baby’s sleep trends and development over time. The app also provides alerts to let the user know if there are changes in breathing patterns, body position, temperature levels, or whether the baby wakes up.

The Mimo app will be available for both iPhone and Android.

Keep reading>>

ZeOmega nets $21.5M to bring population health management to providers

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 10, 2013        

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Nandini_500x575Frisco, Texas-based population health management company ZeOmega has raised $21.5 million in its second of funding, a raise that comes on the heels of a partnership announcement to develop the company’s first mobile apps.

The round was led by private fund Bregal Sagemount. The fund’s founding partner, Phil Yates, will join the company’s board of directors. Others who contributed to the raise include past investors Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners and Sandbox Industries. The company says the funding will go to infrastructure improvements and hiring to prepare for growth. The company has been around for 12 years, but has only had one other funding round — an undisclosed raise in 2011.

Nandini Rangaswamy, CFO and cofounder of ZeOmega, told MobiHealthNews that the need for growth partly stems out of the company’s plan to offer the platform to more providers, whereas it has mostly been working with payors prior to now. She said the shift is due to the growing interest in accountable care on the part of providers.

“Providers have traditionally been fee-for-service. They haven’t been engaged outside of the office visit, as it were,” she said. “Now, as providers are being held to account, they’re realizing they need more technology. They’re being asked to take on that risk, and that’s where we see opportunities.”

ZeOmega makes Jiva, a web-based care management software platform for payors and healthcare providers. But the company announced in June it was partnering with health consultant company emids to develop mobile apps. Rangaswamy said that the platform is already accessible on laptops and mobile devices via a web browser, but the apps will allow users to download information and work offline, then re-sync when they have Internet access again.

Rangaswamy said that mobile will be one more optional “module” for the system, which can be customized for different needs.

“We like to think of our solution as one that helps you address any need in the care continuum,” she said. For instance, it can go broad, identifying the most at-risk patients so providers and payers can reach out to them, or go deep, helping coordinate care for one single chronic patient with a complicated set of co-morbidities.