Tech Trends: Mobile Apps & Devices

Mobile Apps and Devices is a comprehensive listing of innovations within the field of mobile hardware or software technologies dedicated to the purpose of aiding healthcare professionals and students in their mission of providing better healthcare through study and interactivity.

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Insight Notes for iOS to Simplify Digital Notes for Doctors

The new Insight Notes app for iOS aims to be a simple, secure way for doctors to keep track of their patients’ medical records on their devices while still remaining HIPAA compliant. The app costs $9.99 in the App Store, but without the use of the $14.99 monthly fee which includes the ability to print or transmit notes and records, as well as keep an off-site secure back-up of all information the app is greatly limited. Insight Notes works as a simple EMR, allowing doctors to organize all of their information on each patient, as well as make scans and add notes. The target group for the Insight Notes app are doctors who do most if not all note-taking on their iPads, but want a more secure way to keep track of their notes. The video above gives a tutorial of the app.

(Source: medGadget)

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Withings Updated Blood Pressure Monitor Receives FDA Clearance

Withing’s updated blood pressure monitor has just received FDA clearance. The device is wrapped around the arm like a traditional blood pressure monitor. However, it uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to sync with any iOS or Android-based device. The monitor connects to the smartphone when it is turned on and a remote command from the smartphone controls when the monitor begins taking its measurements. The accompanying app allows for progress to be tracked, stored and sent to your doctor. The device, which debuted at CES and received its FDA approval, retails for $129.95.

(Source: medGadget)

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Prep Pad Allows for More Accurate Nutrition Measurements

Countertop-and-Prep-Pad-Pre-Release-2As the health movement continues to grow, the practice of weighing food and keeping track of calories and nutrients has moved beyond the realm of body builders and physical trainers and into the average person’s home. However, traditional calorie tracking can be difficult because of differences in exact portion sizes, and scales don’t give exact nutrient information, though they do give an accurate measure of portion size. The Prep Pad, a food scale with an accompanying app, helps to limit both of these pitfalls. Food is placed on the scale to get the exact measurement, in addition, users type which food it is into the app, and nutrition information is given for the particularly food and its portion.

The Prep Pad is available for retail at Williams-Sonoma and costs $149.95

(Source: The New York Times)

Garmin’s Vivofit Fitness Tracker

connectuivivoreviewGarmin, the company which specializes in GPS devices is now trying its hand at the very popular fitness tracker market. The result is the Vivofit, a wristband which is comparable with Nike’s FuelBand. The Vivofit has the look and feel of a 1980′s digital watch, and while reviewers found it a bit unattractive and itchy if moisture gets trapped underneath, overall the readings the device provided were very thorough.

The Vivofit accurately measures steps, heart rate, calories burned and overall activity levels. The device can be programmed with fitness goals and adjusts your daily fitness goals in relation to how well you did the previous day. In addition, the Vivofit monitors your sleep patterns and knows when to go into sleep mode regardless of if you forget to set them. Overall, reviewers at Engadget found that it was one of the most comprehensive fitness trackers currently available.

(Source: Engadget)

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The Experior Medical App


Created for the iPad, the Experior Medical apps is designed to test the skills and knowledge of medical students and health professionals.  The app contains an intelligent learning system that adapts to a user’s responses allowing the program to test and identify weaknesses. The practice tests are created to replicate real examinations as closely as possible and can provide individual feedback instantaneously.  The app, which can be downloaded from the App Store, additionally allows students to compare their performance with others.  With a large high quality image library, Experior Medical app creators, hope the app will improve radiology diagnostic skills.

(Source: Experior Medical)

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Appcessory Helps Expectant Mothers Keep Track of Their Babies

For women who are considering the home-birth route, or for those who simply want to track their baby’s in0vitro progress a little more closely, there is now the Bellabeat. Bellabeat is a fetal heart monitor which is plugged into a smart phone’s headphone jack, allowing mothers to hear their child’s heartbeat outside of the doctor’s office. The Bellabeat, which retails for $129 and comes with an accompanying app for iOS and Android, allows mothers to keep track of their baby’s progress, keep track of doctor’s appointments and milestones, and share their readings with other expectant mothers, as well as friends and family.

While the app offers women greater autonomy over their pregnancy, doctors caution that the Bellabeat should not be a replacement for doctor’s visits. With a tool such as this, it may at times be difficult to distinguish the sounds of the mother’s own heartbeat and blood flow from that of the baby’s. However, the Bellabeat in conjunction with regular doctor’s visits could be useful in helping women have healthier pregnancies.

(Source: YahooNews)

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Samsung’s Power Sleep App Lets You Contribute to Research in your Sleep

Samsung has developed an app which will allow users to make vital contributions to cancer and Alzheimer’s research in  your sleep. The app, known as Power Sleep, was developed alongside the University of Vienna and works like an alarm clock. You plug in your smartphone and activate the app before you go to sleep. The app then makes use of only your phone’s CPU capabilities while not accessing any personal information. Your phone, along with the phones of other participants are turned into a network that functions as an open-sourced protein calculation base. The data collected will aid in finding cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The app is free to download and free of charge to use so long as your smartphone is connected to wifi.

(Source: Samsung Mobile)


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New App Promises to Improve Vision

Iris_-_left_eye_of_a_girlA new app, Ultimeyes, promises that 30 minutes of use every day will improve the user’s ability to see objects at a distance. While the average person might want this technology for day to day life, the target group for testing the app has been in athletes. In studies, members of the University of California Riverside team achieved a 31% improvement in their distance vision, and seven members of the team reached 20/7.5 vision: the equivalent of seeing a chart 20 feet away with the same clarity as someone standing 7.5 feet away.

(Source: IFLScience)

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Figure1 App Allows for Clinical Image Sharing Across iOS, Web and Android

Consider it a sort of Instagram for the medical community. Figure1 is an app (originally developed for iOS, but now expanding to include and Android and the web) which allows health professionals to share clinical images for comparison and advice. The app allows users to keep a private bank of their own images, as well as their favorite images. In addition, users can share their images with colleagues as well as with the medical community. The app has safeguards for patient confidentiality, including detecting faces and blurring them out, so as to protect privacy.

(Source: MedGadget)

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TrueVault Develops HIPAA-Compliant Application Programming Interface

truevaultWhile there are an exhaustive amount of health apps available, very few of them offer much beyond the most basic data on patients, and most are just copies of one another. There are many start-ups that want to develop more comprehensive healthcare apps, however HIPAA compliance is often an issue with developing healthcare apps.  Now TrueVault is helping start-ups and healthcare app developers achieve HIPAA compliance with greater simplicity than ever before with a new application programming interface (API). TrueVault has already signed on nearly 200 companies, including image32, LifeVest Health, Weave and Rocky Mountain Health Plans and is growing fast.

(Source: TechCrunch)

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Hexoskin: Washable, Durable, Wearable Fitness Tech

Following the rising trend of wearable fitness technology, Canada-based Hexoskin has developed what they promise to be a high performance smart fitness garment. The garments are washable and made of sturdy material, they are comfortable and can be worn under protective gear such as those used by fighters, hockey players and skiers. The garments also keep track of vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels, as well as calories burnt. The garments can also be worn during sleep to monitor sleep levels. The data collected by the Hexoskin can be fed into a computer using a USB port, or synced to a smart phone or tablet using an app.

Hexoskin is currently being used primarily with high-performance athletes, but developers are hoping to make the product available to the general public.

(Source: Hexoskin)

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Eye Exams with Peek App

peekappThe PEEK (Portable Eye Examination Kit) app is a smartphone app developed by experts in the fields of eye care, research and technology that can conduct eye exams. By using the camera on a smartphone, Peek has the ability to check for visual acuity, test color vision and contrast sensitivity, among other tests. The app also features retinal imaging and image grading and patient records are kept with Geo-tagged information.

The app is now being tested in Kenya with a cohort of over 5,000 young students. With the app, health professionals can diagnose eye diseases easily from anywhere in the world.

(Source: Peek)

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Google Glass to be Covered by Health Insurance


In an attempt to expand consumer availability and reach a previously restricted market, Google has teamed up with health insurance company, VSP to develop a Google Glass attachment which can be used with prescription glasses. The new form of Google Glass will retail for cheaper than the current version, and offers a small attachment which can be fitted to prescription glasses, making the device more discreet. The updated Google Glass will be available later this year and those with a VSP insurance policy will receive a voucher if purchasing the Google Glass with prescription glasses.

(Source: New York Times )

The Bakbone

As mobile devices are becoming a staple of medical programs and hospitals, new technologies have been created to maximize their potentials. One of those devices has been the Bakbone, which allows users to firmly steady the tablet in one hand. The Bakbone works with all iPads, Android tablets, Windows tablets, Kindles and virtually any other tablet. The unique design allows the user to rotate the device 360 degrees, and is completely removable– without damaging the device at all.

(Source: Bakbone)

TellSpec: Analyzing Food in Under 20 Seconds


For people with food allergies or diet-related diseases such as diabetes, eating foods with unknown ingredients can be very risky. A Toronto-based company, TellSpec, has created a device to help identify the ingredients in food in under 20 seconds! Using laser spectroscopy and a unique mathematical algorithm in a revolutionary system, the handheld device beams a low-powered laser at the item and is then able to send data to a smart phone, computer, or tablet. TellSpec tells the user about any allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients before the item is even bought and digested!

(Source: TellSpec)

Withings Aura Smart Sleep System


In addition to the Withings Smart Baby Scale and Smart Blood Pressure, Withings, the France-based company, now introduces the Aura Smart Sleep System, which aims to improve the user’s quality of sleep. This system monitors noise, room temperature, and ambient light during sleep, creating a program of alternating lights and sounds that are meant to aid the user’s sleep experience. The system includes a sensor that tracks movement, heart rate and breathing patterns, and is placed under the mattress. The Aura Sleep system connects to the HealthMate app, which allow users to view sleep behavior, heart rate, and breathing patterns, as well as manage created personalized sleep programs. Ultimately, the app can serve to determine what factor is disturbing a person’s sleep at night.

(Source: Withings Aura Product Page)

Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project

Google Smart Lens

Google has recently announced a diabetes management project: Smart Contact Lenses. The lenses are able to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. The data is then sent to a corresponding app, making it available to both the user and their doctor. The lenses are the latest in noninvasive continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) that are changing the way in which health professionals are addressing diabetes. At the moment, Google is testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second, with less hassle and pain than current CGMs which are bulky and require needle sticks about once a week.  Google scientists are also examining the potential for tiny LED lights that would serve as early warning systems for the user if the glucose level is out of range.  Still in its clinical phase, Google Smart Contact Lenses can provide diabetes with a simpler management alternative.

(Source: Google Official Blog)

The Gema Kit


Gema Touch, a North Carolinian company is seeking to transform the manner in which we conduct day-to-day activities by integrating cloud-based tracking and engagement software. Their end result is the “Gema Kit”, which includes bar code/quick response coded “patches” of various sizes that the patient adheres to the outside of their pill bottles and packs. These paper-thin patches transmit data to health providers. The information also is secured in a  cloud-based back-end software system. Daily actvitities–such as taking medication–can then be visualized in near real-time in an ordinary web browser.

(Source: Gema Touch)

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SensiCardiac: Heart Murmur Detection App

SensiCardiac, the leading heart murmur diagnostic device, is a new iPhone app that assists medical practitioners in the diagnosis of Heart Murmurs. The software works in conjunction with an electronic stethoscope and allows easy differentiation from Class I and Class III heart murmurs according to Stellenbosch, SensiCardiac’s producers . The app allows the health professional to listen, record and store those recordings for further review. Additionally, as the clinical is listening to the patient’s heart beat, he can make annotations on a model heart within the app to note location and possible conditions. For more in depth examination, the review can even be slowed down to half speed with a press of a button. The app requires iOS 6.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

(Source: SensiCardiac)

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