Number of smartphone health apps up 78 percent

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 4, 2010        

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Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsAdoption of smartphones in the US only hovers around 20 percent. Most people today do not have smartphones. In turn, most people do not have access to health related apps created for smartphones.

Few, however, would disagree that smartphones will likely prove to be a key platform for mobile health innovation. We are tracking these platforms closely.

MobiHealthNews has written extensively about Pew’s recent survey on the adoption rate of mobile health apps. A full 9 percent of American mobile phone users said they have a mobile health app on their phone that enables them to “track” or “manage” their health.

As our new research report – “The Fastest Growing and Most Successful Health & Medical Apps” – explains, most mobile health apps available today do not help you track or manage your health. Most only provide reference information about health issues.

Smartphone Health AppsOur report examines the current state of health and medical related apps available through Apple’s AppStore and BlackBerry’s App World plus the apps available for Google’s Android platform. This report builds on our inaugural health apps study: “The World of Health and Medical Apps”, which we published in February 2010. Since then, how has the world of health and medical apps changed? Which types of apps have seen the most growth between February and September of 2010? According to Apple’s ranking system of Top 1000 apps – which apps in particular have proven to be most successful to date? Which types of apps dominate the Top 1000?

This MobiHealthNews report, “Fastest Growing and Most Successful Health and Medical Apps” will answer these questions and more.

As the table above shows, between February and September the fastest growing platform for health related apps was Google’s Android. While the number of Android health related apps more than doubled, the total number of health related apps for the platform still pales in comparison to Apple’s AppStore. The AppStore now boasts more than 7,000 health related apps. These figures do not include apps that were miscategorized and placed into the health categories — just the relevant health-related ones.

So how have health related apps grown in number overall? Since February health apps available for devices using the three major platforms of Apple iOS, BlackBerry, and Android, grew in number by 78 percent.

Head over to MobiHealthNews research page for more on our new report, its table of contents and selected titles from the more than 100 charts and graphs.


Where to find us at mHealth Summit next week

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 4, 2010        

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mHealth Alliance

Image via UN Foundation/

Next week at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C., MobiHealthNews is producing one of the event’s concurrent afternoon sessions: mHealth Innovations. Today, we’re excited to announce our lineup of speakers and session topics. Be sure to join us in Room 101 of the convention center next week! Here’s the agenda:

mHealth’s Move to End-to-End Solutions (Monday 2:15PM-3:45PM): While deployments and pilots of mHealth point-solutions are on the rise, the need for end-to-end solutions is now. Are mobile-enabled systems that bridge handsets, electronic health records, decision support, supply chain management, administrative tasks and remote diagnostics, mHealth’s next step? This session will include thought leaders working in each of these areas to further the discussion of end-to-end mobile-enabled healthcare system deployments. Where are the challenges? Who is working to make best-in-class mobile health applications interoperable and integrated? Speakers from Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Orange, Sana Mobile, Continua Health Alliance, CTIS and the Regenstrief Institute. (More)

mHealth Devices Extend the HCP’s Reach (Tuesday 11:30AM-1:00PM): For the forthcoming chronic disease management epidemic, remote monitoring of patients will extend and enhance the reach of care providers, whose numbers are decreasing at the same time. Other point-of-care medical peripheral devices that attach to smartphones are creating what amounts to “handheld hospitals” to enable remote diagnostics in the field. This panel will examine the key devices that can help patients and healthcare workers better manage chronic diseases as well as the devices that enable remote diagnostics in the field. Wireless peel-and-stick sensors, Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes, connected glucose meters and more. What are these handheld hospital devices capable of today? What does a deployment of them entail in resource-constrained markets? To what extent do these devices require a health provider to operate them? Speakers from National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering, Microskia, Biorasis, Vitality, and Philometron. (More)

mHealth Apps Enhance Quality of Care (Tuesday 3:00PM-4:30PM): While the overwhelming majority of mobile health-related apps are medical reference offerings, more helpful and disruptive mobile applications that enable public health research, patient information data entry, remote diagnosis and medical education, are beginning to swell into a new class of mHealth apps that help patients self-manage and healthcare workers provide more efficient care. Speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Speech Technology and Applied Research, Verizon Wireless, mDhil, Healthagen, and Remedy Systems. (More)

I will also be covering the event in full so be sure to drop me a line if you have any scoops.

AT&T launches new health practice: AT&T ForHealth

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 4, 2010        

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AT&T's Smart SlippersAT&T launched a new practice area called AT&T ForHealth which aims to accelerate the delivery of innovative wireless, networked, and cloud-based solutions for the healthcare industry. This practice area is made up of many of the mHealth partnerships AT&T has inked over the years with various companies, including WellDoc’s DiabetesManager, Vitality’s GlowCaps, eCardio’s remote patient monitoring and the Wound Technology Network’s video-enabled wound treatment services.

Last year AT&T generated about $4 billion in revenue from the healthcare industry including hospital, insurer, pharmaceutical, supplier, and physician customers.

“Today’s announcements signal an exciting new era where our technology and smart networks can help improve the quality of care, reduce costs, and contribute to a healthier world,” Dan Walsh, who was appointed to lead AT&T’s ForHealth practice area, stated in a company press release. Walsh is a senior vice president at AT&T.

Walsh states that the two key groups of services and solutions are currently under development at AT&T ForHealth: mHealth Services, which “combine mobility technologies, devices, connectivity, and applications to help drive down medical costs and deliver improved patient outcomes.” These services aim to help healthcare providers and patients manage disease, stay adherence, age in place, manage weight loss, and monitor wellness.

The other key group: Cloud-based Services, which include new medical image archive applications and security services that permit healthcare providers to share data including live video, images and EMRs in a secure way.

AT&T ForHealth is also piloting various technologies and services including smart slippers, employee diabetes management, healthcare community online cloud-based service, automated pill bottle caps, wireless pager applications, and real-time remote monitoring of cardiac patients.

More from the AT&T ForHealth release here

Text4Baby San Diego splits $1.2 million grant

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 3, 2010        

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text4babyThe San Diego-based Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced late last month that the winners of its 2010 Innovation Initiative grant competition of more than $1.2 million were Social Interest Solutions (SIS) and the San Diego Text4Baby Coalition. Both groups worked to improve access to health and social services for San Diego’s medically underserved population.

AHF granted SIS $800,000 to expand its service, One-e-App, which searches a database of all available social services to help low income clients figure out which programs are available to them. Text4Baby’s San Diego group received nearly $242,000 from the grant. Text4Baby is a nationwide SMS powered health tips service for new or expectant mothers and fathers. The program is free and includes the White House, Johnson & Johnson, Voxiva, all of the major US mobile operators and many others as its partners. In San Diego Text4Baby is administered by the San Diego Medical Society Foundation.

With the AHF’s Innovation Initiative (i2) grant, the San Diego Text4baby Coalition will create a San Diego version of the national text4baby service offering customized prenatal and maternal text messages to 18,000 pregnant women and new moms per year for two years, with the aim of decreasing San Diego’s infant mortality rate, according to the AHF’s press release.

“AHF is proud to support SIS and Text4baby in our joint fight to dissolve silos in the health care sector,” said Robert B. McCray, chairman of the AHF board of directors.

McCray is also the CEO and President of the Wireless Life-Sciences Alliance in San Diego. Qualcomm’s VP of business development for health and life sciences Don Jones is also on the AHF board. Since 1989, AHF has awarded more than $45 million in grants in the San Diego area.

For more on the grant, read the release here (PDF)

Video: Mexico’s Dulce Wireless pilot for diabetes care

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 3, 2010        

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A recently launched mobile phone-enabled diabetes management and prevention pilot in Tijuana, Mexico has brought together a number of companies and organizations from both sides of the border.

The program, called Dulce Wireless, is a collaborative effort between Qualcomm, the International Community Foundation (ICF), the Fundación Internacional de la Comunidad, Iusacell, the Social Security Institute of Mexico (IMSS), the Medical School at the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), the Scripps Whittier Institute (SWDI), and Fronteras Unidas PRO SALUD.

Dulce provides promotores (health care workers) with real-time access to locate or receive alerts about patient information, manage their patient appointments and review training materials. Patients using Dulce can review their diabetes educational material including instructional videos, receive alerts about their self-management, and participate in surveys that help them and their caregivers better understand how well they are managing their condition.

The service operates our of IMSS Clinic 27, the largest clinic in Mexico.

More on Dulce in the video below: Keep reading>>

FDA clears GE’s new mobile patient monitor

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 3, 2010        

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GE Healthcare Carescape B650GE Healthcare announced that its Carescape B650 monitor secured FDA clearance this week. The monitor offers data integration and connectivity, consistency between care areas and — mobility.

“The monitor can run via a wireless local area network and can be battery operated, reducing the need for wall cables. The CARESCAPE Monitor B650 continuously transmits data to the central station, even when the monitor is moved while connected to a patient,” according to GE Healthcare’s press release.

“Many hospitals are demanding facility-wide, patient monitoring implementations that enable data continuity, without compromising individual care area demands,” said David Ataide, vice president and general manager of Patient Care Solutions, GE Healthcare. “The CARESCAPE Monitor B650 supports our commitment to standardizing patient monitoring on a single, integrated platform and improving clinician access to patient information at the point of care. GE Healthcare recognizes that efficient access to quality patient information supports fast clinical decision-making, which may lead to improved patient outcomes.”

The market for wireless in-hospital patient monitors is growing: According to a new report from Greystone Research Associates, wirelessly enabled in-hospital patient monitors will grow at a modest but steady annual growth rate of 13 percent between now and 2014. Hospitals that currently own wireless monitors will be the ones spending the most on them during the period.

More from GE Healthcare’s FDA announcement here