This week Apple announced their acquisition of Gliimpse™, a personal health startup. In their LinkedIn profile Gliimpse™ notes that they began with a simple idea – everyone should be able to manage their health records, and share them securely with those they trust. Another technologic opportunity to improve patient engagement.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the services of Gliimpse™ are free to consumers, with healthcare providers and developers paying for its data-sharing software and services. The Journal opines that this acquisition provides the opportunity for Apple to build a platform for electronic medical records.
Although it is presently unclear what Apple has planned for this acquisition, it joins Apple’s other healthcare related apps HealthKit and ResearchKit.
TempTraq is an intelligent thermometer that continuously senses, records, and sends alerts of a child’s temperature to a iOS or Android mobile device. Once activated, the TempTraq wearable patch is active for a continuous 24-hour period of time allowing for one full day of temperature monitoring. The associated app displays both real time and historical temperature data transmitted from the patch in graphical and data table views. The wearable patch transmits data via Bluetooth to the app via Bluetooth. One significant negative about this device is it’s cost of $24.99 for a single 24 hour use device.
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The D-EYE Portable Eye and Retinal Imaging System attaches to an iOS or Android smartphone, creating a fundus camera for health screening and evaluation. This portable ophthalmoscope is capable of recording and transmitting high-definition images and video of the eye. The D-EYE describes the simple process to use the digital ophthalmoscope: just download the smartphone app, affix the mounting bumper and D-EYE lens, set up patient exam file, focus the phone’s camera and begin recording.
Medgadget has a great interview with Dr. Andrea Russo, the inventor of the D-EYE at http://www.medgadget.com/2015/05/d-eye-low-cost-digital-ophthalmoscope-smartphone-interview.html
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Today we have another example of iOS devices being used in medicine. St. Jude Medical has announced the Invisible Trial System External Pulse Generator (EPG), an external device that provides spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as an aid in the management of chronic, intractable pain of the trunk and limbs. This SCS on-body trial system is designed to mimic the experience of a permanent implant, eliminating the necessity for a trial cable.
The Clinician Programmer App enables the clinician to program the EPG and the Patient Controller App utilizes an iPod touch to control the device. Both apps and devices communicate with the EPG via Bluetooth.
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Apple fan blogger sites and the Apple Discussion site have reported a decreased frequency in the Apple Watch capturing the user’s heart rate after the update of the Watch OS to version 1.01. Under Watch OS 1.0 the user’s heart rate was recorded approximately every ten minutes. In addition, some users are reporting that they see no heart rate reading unless they trigger it manually by opening the Glance.
See: http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/22/apple-watch-heart-rate-bug/ and https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7050353?start=0&tstart=0. The Apple Support website was updated to clarify this change. Apple Support notes that you can check your heart rate any time using the Heart Rate Glance. Apple Watch also measures your heart rate continuously during a workout when the Workout app has been activated. The website further indicates that the Apple Watch attempts to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won’t record it when you’re in motion or your arm is moving. Apple Watch stores all your heart rate measurements in the Health app. The Apple Support website also has a detailed explanation of how the heart rate sensor works as well as specific recommendations to keep readings as accurate as possible.
See: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666 and http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/30/apple-says-watch-os-1-0-1-attempts-to-record-heart-rate-every-ten-minutes-but-wont-if-arm-is-moving/#more-382236.
Polaris Health Directions has partnered with the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper to conduct an integrated medical-behavioral health pilot project, using the Apple Watch to capture behavioral data that could affect the courses and outcomes of treatment for breast cancer patients.
Polaris provides the following overview of the pilot project:
- Polaris will underwrite the devices (Apple Watch™ Sport 38mm models with pink straps) and development of the app, being responsible for configuration, scientific content design, deployment, monitoring, and support for the wearables platform.
- MD Anderson Cooper will select a group of breast cancer patients in active treatment, provide personnel and support, and will consult on product design and usability within the health network, as well as within patients’ non-institutional settings. Their health professionals will review the data captured and provide patient support based on the analysis of the data.
- The project will undergo review and is subject to approval by the Cooper Institutional Review Board. With the support of the IRB, MD Anderson Cooper and Polaris could then jointly publish project findings, at intervals to be determined.
The project will focus on how patients cope with anxiety and depression during two stages of cancer: immediately after they’ve been diagnosed, and after treatment is completed. Researchers at MD Anderson Cooper expect that using the Apple Watch will help increase engagement and collect data that enables them to refine patient treatment plans.
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Apple’s website has been updated to reflect Apple Watch support has been added to Hospital RN where it states “It uses iBeacon technology to accurately identify patients by location so nurses can easily find their records and provide appropriate care. Push notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch alert nurses to review new patient requests, changes in lab status, safety alerts, and prioritized task lists for immediate action. And Apple Watch lets nurses quickly view notifications so they can stay more focused on patient care.”
The IBM website notes “Facilitate the circle of care – Push notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch alert nurses to review new patient requests, changes in lab status, safety alerts, and prioritized task lists for immediate action.”
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