So many apps, so little time

Over the past few days there seems to have been a particularly rich set of alerts related to mHealth apps (there’s even been an update to the mHealth Grand Tour website with a nice video to promote the tour that starts on 5th September). Adding to them a couple that others have kindly alerted me to, here are a few that might interest:

Let’s begin with an infographic on the rising popularity of mHealth apps that puts it all into context. However, in some countries mHealth is being held back by outdated privacy laws, and in the US lack of final FDA guidance is considered a check on progress.  If you ever wondered how much data your DNA, or your most recent scan contained, well there’s another infographic on that too. If you’ve ever considered doing a little research on trends in this area but been worried that you cannot access the data, try using Google, as Dr Yates did in this fascinating iMedical Apps article showing among other things, the popularity of weight loss apps…

…talking of which the Wall Street Journal has announced that Samsung has released, only in S Korea so far, an app for the Galaxy S4 smartphone with an avatar that grows or shrinks depending on the user’s food intake and exercise level. (As an S4 owner, I hope that that doesn’t mean I have to carry it around when exercising as it’s a tad bulky – perhaps the Galaxy Gear will measure exercise intensity and relay it back to the S4?).

Moving swiftly on from what goes in, to what comes out, a possible contender for TTA’s What in the Blue Blazes award is the Heath Robinson contraption for converting an iPhone into a device to search poo for hookworms, which leaves one wondering whether an old-fashioned microscope might just be better…and avoid any unfortunate mishaps that could result in a smellyphone (Samsung’s got a patent on one of those, too; different smell though.)

So, on to what comes next: it seems that a whole new area for apps is fertility according to this Medcitynews item <link temporarily broken, it seems>.

It is encouraging to see that AstraZeneca, often seen as a drug pure play in the pharma world, is now showing an interest in apps for tackling COPD…and Mobihealthnews reports on another COPD app that could cut admissions by 40%.  Meanwhile, from the other end of the mHealth provision spectrum, Verizon continues to increase its mHealth engagement.

And finally to end on a future note, the EPSRC reports on three awards for developing devices that will speed up point-of-care-testing for HIV/AIDS dramatically, optical molecular sensing to detect lung conditions & continuously monitor blood without the need for sampling, and passive sensing of events such as strokes and TIAs as they happen.

Many thanks to Mike Short and Nicholas Robinson for pointers.

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