Apple Health app in iOS 8

Friday, October 03, 2014

I've upgraded to iOS 8 on my iPhone and I'm now experiencing the new Apple Health app. I'm feeding it with health and fitness data from MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, and Jawbone UP. Someday, I wonder if the consumer side of health IT interoperability will allow Apple, Google Fit on Android, and Microsoft HealthVault to share data seamlessly. For now, I'll continue to have my health data stored in different silos that don't talk to each other.

Opioid REMS-compliant education on your mobile device

Friday, September 05, 2014

The FDA has required a REMS for extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics.

Misuse and abuse of opioids has grown to be a serious public health concern about addiction, overdose, and death. REMS-compliant training is a critical component of the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS program.

On July 9, 2012, the FDA approved a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) for extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid medications. The REMS introduces new safety measures to reduce risks and improve safe use of ER/LA opioids while continuing to provide access to these medications for patients in pain.

You can access free online REMS-compliant CME activities on ER and LA opioids CME activities by getting the QuantiaMD mobile app for your smartphone or mobile tablet.

The next iPhone will get announced on Sept 9

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Since the rumors are everywhere, I'm just going to add to it. Sounds like Apple is going to announce the iPhone 6 on Sept 9. The next iPhone may come with a larger screen to keep up with all the larger Android smartphones out there.

So what is the ideal screen size? I used to think that a larger size was better, but I'm always carrying my phone, even when I go for a run. So, the 4" screen of the iPhone 5 is actually an ideal size for me.

What innovations will we see in the new iPhone? I feel like the smartphone market has matured to the point that it's hard to get excited about a new smartphone. We can probably expect a better camera. Maybe the next iPhone will be water resistant like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Maybe the next iPhone will offer a battery-saving option (like what you find on the Galaxy S5). NFC? I doubt it. Built-in wireless charging? That would be nice.

Jawbone UP mobile app adding greater functionality as a health management tool

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Jawbone UP mobile app has been adding greater functionality as a health management tool. The UP isn't just there to track your physical activity and sleep. Now, it's easier to log your meals and snacks. Plus, UP integrates with the UP Coffee app by Jawbone to see if there may be any correlation between your coffee intake and your sleep duration/quality. The coffee/sleep link is an example of how big data analytics can be driven by consumers who want to know how their coffee consumption pattern impacts their sleep.

The medical community is becoming more aware of the impact of physical activity, sleep, and nutrition on our overall health, impact on disease management, and much more. Medical students don't get enough formal education on these topics when they're in medical school, but perhaps they'll learn naturally by observing and monitoring their own patterns of activity, sleep, and eating. Although I don't have any formal training as a nutritionist, I feel that I'm learning so much about food, nutrition, and eating behaviors by observing (and tracking/recording) my own food consumption.

Phone, Phablet, or Tablet? It's all about the pen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

These days, everyone seems to be replacing their smartphone every 2-3 yrs. As people consider upgrades, they're often wondering if they should get a phone or phablet. A mobile device that has a screen size between 5.1 and 6.9" is generally considered a phablet (although some may disagree). The iPhone 5 has a 4" screen and there are ongoing rumors about a larger iPhone 6 that will be coming out this fall. The entire Samsung Galaxy series feature larger smartphones and phablets that run Android. Some support an active digitizer pen that allows you to accurate write and scribble on the screen.

The Samsung S-Pen is truly a differentiator in my book, especially for medical students and medical professionals who need to jot things down quickly while standing by a patient's bedside. When you don't always have the luxury to sit down and "type" on your device, writing notes by hand works very effectively. Plus, writing isn't nearly as disruptive in your patient encounter compared to thumb-typing.

I'm a big proponent of the "active digitizer pen" concept and I hope we see more companies embrace the usefulness of a precise stylus pen on a digital mobile device. A smaller smartphone probably doesn't need one, but anything larger than 5" should support an active pen.

Samsung GALAXY S5

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Samsung GALAXY S5 is the latest flagship smartphone that Samsung has released into the market. I'm still an iPhone user, but if I had to purchase an Android smartphone today, I'd get the S5.

It features a unique battery-saving feature (the screen goes into grayscale mode and disables unnecessary functions) which sounds like it's something that every smartphone should have. How many times has your smartphone run out of power? Or, maybe you've been very close: 5% or 10%. Well, the Samsung "Ultra Power Saving Mode" could be something we see in other gadgets like tablets and laptops.

The S5 also includes a heart rate sensor, although I'm not entirely sure that you're going to get more accurate readings from the S5 compared to using a standard Heart Rate app on your iPhone (placing your finger over the camera and the LED flash lights your finger). Samsung is moving aggressively in the personal fitness and health market, so S Health may gain traction quickly since Samsung also has the Gear Fit - a wearable activity tracker / smartwatch that has a nice color display. I'd like to play around with the Gear Fit, but I don't have a compatible Samsung smartphone or tablet that will work with it. Samsung is building a closed ecosystem for their fitness gadgets.

For health care users, perhaps the most promising feature of the S5 is the fact that it is water resistant when you close the micro USB cover. I don't see other smartphone manufacturers trying to add water resistance to their feature list, so it's nice to see Samsung taking the lead on this one.

Qualcomm acquires PalmOS from HP

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Earlier this week, we heard that Qualcomm acquired PalmOS from HP. I had a Palm Pilot. I still have a few PDAs and smartphones in my personal museum that run various versions of PalmOS. Then, we had WebOS. LG now has WebOS running on some of their television sets.

What will Qualcomm do with all these patents? Perhaps we will see remnants of PalmOS in the next generation of smartwatches sold by Qualcomm. The current Qualcomm Toq smartwatch is a first-generation gadget, but I can see how these smartwatches will eventually incorporate more robust functionality and will need more functional operating systems.

Stay tuned as we learn more about what Qualcomm plans to do.
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