Google testing telemedicine program via Helpouts

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/google-doctor-video-chat1.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]If Sergey and Larry don’t get your data one way…they will another. Google has quietly devised another use for Helpouts, its languishing live video help service. In given (but not disclosed) markets, you may be searching for information on a medical condition, and get the option to connect to a live doctor for a virtual visit. It was enough under the radar that it was stumbled upon; a developer searched via Google for ‘knee pain’ and found this (left), posted it to Reddit and it was later confirmed by Engadget. The cost is free (for now). According to iHealthBeat, via Modern Healthcare (subscription required), Scripps Health and One Medical Group are the reported participants. The Washington Post adds that not every medical-related query (more…)

The smartphone as great healthcare leveler: Eric Topol

Eric Topol MD, cardiologist, Chief Medical Advisor for the rebooted (but so far quiet) AT&T ForHealth and Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health, is no stranger to the ‘big statement’ and is well known as an advocate for all things mHealthy. For at least two years, he has been promoting the smartphone’s ‘equalizer’ capabilities in health not only via apps and ‘add ons’ but also as a storehouse or central repository for individual health information, including genetic screening, which can be transmitted onward to a practitioner, lab or PHR. Dr Topol’s ‘big statements’ were fully on display in his keynote at HealthLeaders’ CFO Exchange conference. A promoter of the ‘creative destruction of medicine’ (the title of his most recent book, WSJ article), he believes that everything from the office visit (virtualized) (more…)

Dr. Topol in the AT&T house: a reboot of ForHealth?

HIMSS14 will tell. The big news that kicked off this snow-bound week in large parts of the US was Dr. Eric Topol joining Dallas, Texas-based AT&T ForHealth as Chief Medical Advisor. Well-known for his personality and evangelism of all things mHealthy, certainly Dr. Topol lends a certain star power to Big Blue’s efforts in this area–a shine that went completely dark in 2013 after a promising start in 2011 and strong partnering moves in 2012 (Alere and WellDoc diabetes management TTA 10 Aug 12VRI monitoring in May). The quietude of 2013 deserves a closer look. Dr. Geeta Nayyar joined with fanfare in September 2011 as Chief Medical Information Officer and departed exactly two years later to join engagement company PatientPoint with the same title. ForHealth made no waves at International CES save for being an example in the controversial ‘sponsored data’ plan announcement (GeekWire). Even finding ForHealth on the AT&T website is not easy. It is buried under ‘Business>>Enterprise Business‘ and then in a dogpile of footer links as ‘Healthcare Solutions‘–not ForHealth. In marketing, this is a state usually termed ‘dead in the water.’ The fact that Dr. Topol is remaining as Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health also indicates that he is no direct replacement for Dr. Nayyar, despite being cited by AT&T SVP Chris Hill as a “change agent” who will help “drive our competitive strategy”. We’ll see if HIMSS14 on 23-27 February where AT&T will be exhibiting and their subsequent activity marks a genuine reboot for ForHealth, putting Dr. Topol’s impressive abilities to work beyond a twinkle. AT&T press release, MedCityNews article

‘Wired for health’, making case for mHealth

STSI (Scripps Translational Science Institute), directed by the famous Eric Topol, MD,  is undertaking a 200-person six-month research study to determine the results of telehealth monitoring for three conditions (diabetes, heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure) coupled with an active disease management program. Half of the survey group will receive a Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, an AliveCor Heart Monitor and an iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter delivered via Qualcomm Life’s 2net Hub and Platform to a web portal or mobile device; the remainder will not but will be part of the disease management program. Subjects will be drawn from Scripps Health employees and family, which to this Editor may be stacking the deck–most employees of a health system presumably are health-conscious.  Participants also include Scripps Health, HealthComp (third-party healthcare administrator which will monitor health status), Accenture and Sanofi Diabetes. Though the release promises ‘social networks’, the only reference this Editor could find is interactivity between the person and the health care team.  Scripps press release. MedCityNews  Hat tip to former QuietCare colleague José Molina (via LinkedIn)