Band offers tracking, emergency health information with app, but limited functionality
Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features for specific needs. Once such band is the ActvContent Sync Smartband, a wrist-worn device that allows tracking through a smartphone or quick access to medical information in the case of an emergency. But does the ActvContent Sync offer enough to warrant a purchase, or would users be better off spending their money on something with more features? Find out in our review.
Traditionally quick to upgrade, new health features may increase adoption further
Although it is not surprising to learn that Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad have an above-average adoption rate among medical professionals, new information from a networking site devoted to doctors has shed new insight on the relationship between Apple and the medical field. Doximity, described by Forbes as a "LinkedIn for doctors," reports that of its 300,000 member database, some 85 percent of doctors carry iPhones -- and they tend to upgrade to new models very quickly.
Heart rate, blood pressure, glucose sensors and thermometers among list
As developers have gotten their hands on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, a number of smaller, unannounced discoveries have been made about the two forthcoming OS updates. The HealthKit platform and Health app, coming with iOS 8, have been revealed to support some Bluetooth medical accessories natively, meaning no third-party app is required to make the equipment work directly with the HealthKit API, connecting to and controlling the device as needed. Heart rate, blood pressure and glucose sensors, as well as thermometers and other devices that leverage Bluetooth LE should be able to connect natively and share data to HealthKit-based apps.
Family cheering on baseball team brings Samsung Lee out of coma
Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee has regained consciousness after entering a coma two weeks ago. The 72-year-old chairman, hospitalized after a heart attack following a 60-hour cardiac procedure related to acute myocardial infarction, is said by the medical team of the Samsung Medical Center to be recovering smoothly, and his body temperature is back to normal levels.
Kun-hee listed in stable condition after undergoing procedure for myocardial infraction
Chairman Lee Kun-hee of Samsung was admitted to a hospital Saturday night, suffering from breathing difficulties which required resuscitation at Soonchunhyang University Hospital. Lee was transferred to Samsung Medical Center for a cardiac procedure related to acute myocardial infraction.
Comes on heels of Apple hiring spree for medical, wearable experts
Following the news that Apple had hired Michael O'Reilly, a former chief medical officer at a pulse oximeter company to an undisclosed job position last summer -- and has been steadily poaching or hiring other medical and wearable device experts -- federal meeting logs show that an FDA commissioner met with Apple executives and others in December to discuss mobile medical apps. The meeting's contents were not divulged.
Majority also choose the iPhone over Android for healthcare practices
A new survey of physicians shows that as medical records, doctor's offices and hospitals go increasingly digital, Apple's iPad and iPhone are the top choices for interacting with health records and staff. Demand for more medically-centric apps is increasing, with 83 percent of the physicians surveyed saying they plan to take more advantage of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) on mobile devices to update information, order medication and analyze lab results as more apps come to market that can handle those functions.
Crackdown begins with diabetic urine analysis app
The US Food and Drug administration has begun investigating an iOS medical app available on the App Store to find out why it wasn't pre-approved by the agency and has begun the process of setting up guidelines for apps that make health- and medical-related claims. Currently, the agency only closely regulates some specific apps tied to medical hardware that would have dire consequences if they didn't work as advertised.
Knowledge system to be used to diagnose patients
Cleveland Clinic and IBM are to work together to implement Watson's Deep Question Answering technology in a medical capacity. Researchers will work with Watson and medical students to improve the system's knowledge, as well as to find any challenges that could appear when putting such a technology to real-world use.
Insulin pumps, defibrillators capable of killing patients
According to a Government Accountability Office report, wireless medical devices vulnerable to remote control by hackers are proliferating, and should come under greater government oversight. Devices with wireless connections potentially vulnerable to attack include insulin pumps, pacemakers, defibrillators, and neurosurgical implants.
App takes readings from medical equipment, monitors fitness
Samsung has rolled out its S Health personal wellness application for the Galaxy S III. Mentioned in passing at the Samsung Unpacked launch event in May, S Health collects data from various healthcare sensors and meters, monitoring your health over time, and aims to help regulate exercise and personal nutrition, while aiding those with specialized medical needs.
Camera touted as world's smallest
Israeli medical device company Medigus has created what it claims to be the world's smallest video camera, with a diameter of just 0.99mm. The technology is geared for medical applications that require a small-diameter endoscopic device, potentially enabling new procedures that prove impossible with the larger cameras currently in use.
Allows doctors to view CT, MRI, PET scans
The continuing evolution of iOS devices, particularly the iPad, as medical tools took a historic step forward as the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Mobile MIM from MIM Software as the first mobile radiology app for viewing images and making medical diagnoses. While not intended to replace institutional workstations, it allows doctors to view CT, MRI and PET (et al) scans when there is no access to a workstation and without waiting for film. With the FDA's 510(k) clearance, the app should be available in the US App Store within a week.
Hospital-quality gadget now awaits FDA approval
Seattle-based AliveCor is unveiling a wireless casing for the iPhone 4 called the iPhone ECG that, combined with an accompanying app, turns the device into a hospital-quality electro-cardiogram measuring instrument (ECG) at the Consumer Electronics Show later this week. The unit, which is expected to sell for around $100, can be used to monitor heart conditions and pacemakers, alert users of atrial fibrillation and print or email the results as a PDF file.
Standalone, or with iPhone to track blood glucose
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis today launched its iBGStar hybrid medical device to monitor blood glucose levels that can also be plugged into an iPhone or an iPod touch. The iBGStar is USB-sized blood glucose monitor that works as a standalone monitor, or it can be used with the new iBGStar Diabetes Manager app. Users can download the app for free from the iTunes store early 2011, although the device itself still requires FDA 510(k) clearance.
Survey indicates strong demand for tablets
The healthcare industry has shown strong interest in tablet computers, however the iPad may be missing several important features requested by physicians, according to a Software Advice survey. Over half of respondents claimed they were very likely or somewhat likely to purchase a tablet sometime in the coming year.
Visage 7 to be displayed at RSNA in December
Visage Imaging has announced Visage 7, its first diagnostic imaging software based on thin client streaming technology. Designed for the medical industry, the software allows users to read, process and review every form of exam, ranging from plain film to cardiac, with specialized tools for radiologists, clinicians and referrers. The app includes a list of built-in tools for advanced programs such as CT/MR angiography, or Cardiac CT, and supports remote access to all functionality via a network connection.
MacPractice, CS Odessa add Snow Leopard support
In brief: Cortado has announced an update to its Hosted Exchange service for the iPhone, adding Mailbox creation support. CS Odessa delivers Snow Leopard support to its line of ConceptDraw applications featuring tools for project management and graphics creation. MacPractice, a developer of practice management and clinical applications, has added support for Apple’s latest Mac OS X 10.6 operating system to its MacPractice version 3.6.8 software.
MacPractice app upgraded
MacPractice has added a number of new features in its MacPractice iPhone Interface 2.0 update. It now provides tools for remote charge and planned treatment posting, staff and doctor reminders, practice management reports and doctor referral data. The interface has been cleaned up, bringing a similar look to MacPractice's MD, DDS, DC and 20/20 desktop software. Doctors can connect to the office database for schedule info or patient records, along with detailed information such as photos, prescription histories, alerts and appointment histories.
New dictation app ships
MacSpeech has launched MacSpeech Dictate Medical, providing speech recognition and dictation software for medical professionals on the Mac platform. The software is designed specifically for medical and dental professionals and support staff, allowing dictation of text directly into applications and practice management systems. The software can issue numerous commands by voice, on the Macintosh, using an included, digitally enhanced USB headset/microphone. MacSpeech Dictate understands and supports vocabularies for more than 54 medical and dental disciplines and specialties, including general medicine, cardiology, dentistry, OB/GYN, pediatrics and others.
OsiriX 3.5 update ships
Medical image processing software OsiriX has been updated to OsiriX 3.5, with better rendering quality, a 3D-MPR viewer, support for 16-bit MIP images, multi-threading capabilities and more. The software is dedicated to viewing DICOM (.dcm) images, commonly used in the medical field for MRIs, CT, PET, Ultrasounds and other visual output devices. OsiriX can view other visual formats like Tiff, JPG, PDF, AVI, MPEG and QuickTime files. It supports multidimensional views, including standard 2D and 3D views and medical dimensions like 4D (3D plus temporal views) and 5D (3D plus temporal and functional views).
Quark Publishing System
In brief: A new file transfer service has been launched that allows clients to transfer large files at speeds greater than standard FTP transfers. Alternativly, a new partnership has been announced between National Electronic Attachment and MacPractice. This partnership will bring new functions to MacPractice's software that will allow clients to submit documents such as x-rays electronically. On another note, a presentation earlier this month demonstrated the functionality of the new Cumulus/Quark Publishing System integration.
Edge, Allscripts partner
Edge Health Solutions will use Allscripts' enterprise version of ePrescribe in its future Mac-based medical software. Allscripts ePrescribe software provides prescription-ordering support for Mac users. The move comes as a 2009 electronic prescription initiative is about to begin, where physicians who prescribe medications electronically will be paid up to 2 percent of their annual Medicare billings, while physicians who fail to use the technology may be penalized an equal amount after 2012.
MacPractice Kiosk shipping
MacPractice has launched its MacPractice Kiosk Interface with signature pad (link is temporarily inactive) for the company's MacPractice MD, MacPractice DDS, MacPracticeDC and MacPractice 20/20 medical software. The kiosk is a customizable paperless solution for medical personnel to take registrations, health histories, consent forms and other medical records electronically with electronic signature support. The interface synchronizes with other MacPractice software, sending signed and filled forms from the kiosk Mac to the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Dental Record (EDR) in MacPractice MD or DDS.
Med records app updated
MacPractice, which supplies Mac-based software for doctors, chiropractors and dentists, has updated its medical records software. MacPractice EMR now allows doctors to record patient visits with procedure codes and diagnoses, simplifying the billing process. The company says it has also improved the process of creating and sharing narrative medical reports.
Medical atlas goes mobile
McGraw-Hill Professional and Modality have joined forces to bring Zollinger's Atlas of Surgical Operations to the iPhone and iPod touch. The surgical reference applications are designed to provide medical students, residents, and surgeons with instant mobile access to step-by-step surgical procedures. Many of the included procedures provide narrated animations adapted from McGraw-Hill's AccessSurgery, an online surgical education resource that outlines each step from Indications and Preoperative Preparation to Closure and Postoperative Care.
ComChart Medical Software is attempting to promote the use of Apple computers within the medical community by offering a free license to use ComChart EMR for the remainder of 2008. ComChart EMR was designed in the office of a practicing physician and has been designed to be intuitive for other physicians. It allows the user to preform various tasks such as schedule appointments and keep medical records. It has been made in a way that allows users to customize almost every feature meaning a user can adapt the program to help with their specific needs. The application has most recently been updated to work with the iPhone, adding specific support for iPhone users accessing EMR's web interface.
Sandisk no-erase SD cards
Sandisk on Tuesday introduced the "WORM," or "Write Once Read Many" SD card for professional uses such as storing evidence in police investigations, court testimony, medical records and electronic voting. Sandisk claims original data written to WORM cards are "effectively locked" and there is "no physical way to alter or delete the files." If stored properly, the company claims, WORM SD cards have an archive live of up to 100 years.
OsiriX 3.2 image viewer
OsiriX has released version 3.2 of its open-source medical and scientific imaging software, boasting improved performance and a host of new features. Based on the VTK, ITK and decmtk software development kits, OsiriX is fully natively compliant with the DICOM standard for medical images, as well as JPEG, TIFF PDF and AVI. In addition to an already extensive feature set, most notable developments in version 3.2 of the software include 80 percent faster rendering speed than previous versions and the return of 64-bit support on PowerPC G5-based systems. The full list of new features as documented in the release notes, is as follows:
USB dental camera for Mac
MacPractice Inc this week announced the fruit of a recent collaboration with National Dental Inc, manufacturers of specialist cameras to the dental sector, introducing the first USB 'intraoral' camera for Apple-based dental practitioners. The DocPort Macro Intraoral camera comes complete with Mac OS X specific Macpractice DR photo software, and the option for a 'foot pedal' for ease of use.
MacPractice users to get S
Developer of MacPractice DDS, and Suni Medical, Imaging, Inc. announced a collaboration to develop a MacSensor solution, comprised of the newly introduced SuniRay sensor and MacPractice DR (Digital Radiography/Photo) software. The new SuniRay dental sensor uses the latest CMOS technology, and delivers high image quality with maximum diagnostic capabilities for dentists. SuniRay’s ergonomic design and rounded corners ensure easy positioning and optimal patient comfort.
OsiriX 3.0 for Leopard
OsiriX Medical Imaging Software today was updated to version 3.0, adding, among other things, Leopard compatibility and exclusivity. The new version has been revamped to include both a new, intuitive user interface, and vastly enhanced application performance. The radiologist-designed software has several new third-, fourth-, and fifth-dimension navigation features that have been added. OsiriX is a completely open source project, distributed under the Open Source General Public License.