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Posted on Sep 4, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Misfit Personal Activity Tracker

There are currently many personal activity trackers on the market, including the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and our recently covered, Withings Pulse. Another new entrant to this market is the Misfit Shine. Misfit Wearables is a new company, which unlike the other companies, has only one product available – the Shine.

There are also many differences with the Misfit Shine. It was funded on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in January, and it has an interesting mechanism of attaching on to clothing. One has to attach a band or clasp to the device in order to wear it, though it does come with a sport band and clasp. According to its website, each Shine consists of 1,560 laser drilled holes which help make it waterproof, yet visible. Currently, the Shine can record activities of walking, running, cycling and swimming, though more are expected in the future.

According to Matthew Diamond, the Medical Lead at Misfit Wearables, the Shine was designed to be extremely wearable and elegant”. Part of this included the design and attachments, making wearing the Shine suitable for all types of events, and also using a disposeable battery that one changes only 2-3 times a year rather than recharging every day.

Diamond also suggests that for patients, Shine serves as a reminder to be mindful about being active, and health professionals can utilise the data from Shine to see accurate, quantitative information about how active their patients are, rather than relying on patients’ own observations. However, like all other current personal activity trackers, there is no formal system presently available for health professionals to use.

The Misfit Shine is currently available to order online along with its various attachments, at a price of $119.95.

http://misfitwearables.com

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Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Augmented Reality Surgery using iPads

Tablet computers are being used more in clinical medicine, and surgery is no exception. A recent article by a Reuters journalist documents the experimental use of an iPad with augmented reality during a liver tumour resection surgery.

Augmented reality is the use of a device’s camera and other sensors to visualise supplemented information, in this case the blood supply of the liver. Augmented reality has already been widely used in other fields including interior design, navigation and tourism. In this surgery, information about the blood supply was first obtained using a CT scan, then using software developed by Fraunhofer MEVIS, the operator is able to determine the location of the tumour itself, along with the blood vessels surrounding it.

Similar systems are already utilised in surgery, such as neuronavigation in neurosurgery and knee joint replacements in orthopaedics, however this is the first time where an iPad is utilised instead of the navigation machines, which are often extremely large. This would potentially save much money and convenience for future surgeries.

http://www.journalmtm.com/2013/tablet-computers-in-surgery/

http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2013/08/20/inside-the-isurgery-operation/

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Posted on Aug 19, 2013 in News | 3 comments

PEEK Smartphone App for Portable Eye Exams

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One aspect of mobile health that cuts costs and also increases availability of medical tools is using smartphone apps. PEEK, or Portable Eye Examination Kit, is a smartphone app in development to try and make available high quality tools available conveniently in developing countries.

It consists of a smartphone app that utilises the camera, LED flash and display to test multiple aspects of the eye exam including visual acuity, visual field, colour vision and many others. While currently not available for download, there is currently a large cohort study in Kenya comparing the effectiveness of PEEK with conventional tools. During this time, the app is also updated constantly to improve on problems encountered in real world testing. Details of patients can also be recorded and tagged using GPS with the PEEK app.

While it may still be a while before this app is available for general use, it does show that dramatic improvements in healthcare can come from something as simple as a smartphone app.

http://www.peekvision.org

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Posted on Jul 27, 2013 in News | 0 comments

$36 Billion Dollars in Savings from Remote Patient Monitoring

Juniper Research has recently produced a report showing that remote patient monitoring will save up to 36 billion dollars (USD) globally by 2018. While this is a best case scenario, it is not an unrealistic one as devices, software and usage are just starting to be developed.

mHealth, a term that refers to the concept of using mobile devices and software to remotely practice medicine is seen as a new frontier in cutting healthcare costs around the world and to keep patients out of the hospital. This is particularly relevant for chronic diseases, such as for cardiac outpatient monitoring where blood pressure and other vitals can be monitored and medications adjusted remotely without the need for patients to physically visit their doctors. It also allows more accurate assessments and trends, given that information can be collected more frequently and accurately.

Juniper Research’s paper also document other findings, such as Western Europe being the most promising new market and also the emergence of new health models based on this novel idea. It also demonstrates current difficulties in advancing mHealth including the unclear methods in reimbursement for current businesses. Given the immense savings that can be achieved, this is one area of development worth keeping a close eye on.

http://www.juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=387

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Posted on Jul 17, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Withings Pulse activity tracker launched

Withings PulseWearable electronics have become very popular, and Withings new Pulse smart activity tracker hopes to capitalise on this trend.

The Withings Pulse is a very small instrument containing a heart rate monitor and pedometer to track the steps taken, distance covered, elevation, calories burned and quality of sleep of the user. It is also possible to connect to the free Withings Health Mate app via Bluetooth to display a trend and real time information of the user. The Withings Health Mate app is available on both iOS and Android.

The Withings Pulse is similar in function to the Nike+ Fuelband, available only in the US and UK, or the Jawbone UP wristband. However, it is designed to be attached to bags or clothing rather than as a wristband, and it also comes with the addition of a heart rate monitor.

Currently available for preorder in the United States, the Withings Pulse will sell at $99.95 USD.

http://www.withings.com/static/press/wam01/en/Withings_Pulse_PR-WWW-2013-06-27.pdf

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