Fitness/wellness trackers have amazing potential–to annoy

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/keep_calm_and_smash_watch.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Your Editors have previously noted some interesting personal experiences with fitness bands/trackers. Editor Charles, at last report, was on his third Jawbone Up in a year; this Editor has remained immune to their mostly clonky charms (tempted by the classic Swiss watch looks of Withings Activité [TTA 26 June 14], put off by the $450 price, but now notes that the sporty, analog Activité Pop is available in the US at $150.) Even if not among the Quantified Self avant-garde, we who write about tech can deal with most of it without blinking too much. Over at FierceMobileHealthcare, Judy Mottl, a regular writer for their FierceHealthIT website, took “the plunge into the wearable device pool” and hit her head on the bottom. Her experience of mostly frustration with the app, bad data generation, inability to sync with the smartphone, saying you’re awake/sleeping when not and so on indicates that this is one wearable she should have returned to the store–or treated according to our picture. Is this one isolated example or a more common experience than the healtherati who adore wearables let on?

There’s some evidence that the leaders in fitness bands realize their shortcomings on the app side. Fitbit acquired fitness coaching app developer, FitStar, for at least $17.8 million. Mobihealthnews

Update 2 April: Editor Charles reports on his third Jawbone Up, and his daughters’ experience:

I took to wearing the third Jawbone UP the other way round – i.e. with the two ends in line with the back of my hand, and the thicker bit in line with the inside of my hand and that seems to have done the trick. However my older daughter (more…)

Can State medical boards legally prevent telehealth activity?

This is the question that arises out of a recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court, not on anything related to telehealth but on teeth whitening!

The case was between the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners and the Federal Trade Commission. The Board had requested non-dentist teeth whitening practitioners to desist from carrying out these activities and was challenged on the grounds that the Board did not have authority to do so and was acting in an anti-competitive way. The challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court which upheld the lower court decision on the grounds that even though the Board is, in fact, an agency of the State its action must still be supervised by the State in order to enjoy anti-trust immunity. This is analysed by Eric M Fraser in the SCOTUS blog.

It is thought that the State Medical Boards in the United States also have similar rules of governance and therefore do not qualify for immunity from anti-trust law that some State agencies have. This has led to speculation that any restrictions imposed by a State Medical Board on a licensed medical practitioner with regard to the use of telehealth could be considered an anti-competitive action. (more…)

EHRs: now safety, info exchange concerns (US, AU, CA)

What’s this? EHRs reducing, not increasing, safety? Reports from both the US and Australia seem to indicate another spanner (US: wrench) in the EHR works, aside from the laggardness in achieving the HITECH Act’s goals [TTA 27 Mar].

  • The Joint Commission, which is the chief US accreditation and certification body for healthcare organizations and programs, and thus to be taken very VERY seriously, released a Sentinel Event (Patient Safety Event) Alert yesterday. It warned of EHR-related adverse events affecting patient health, resulting from incorrect or miscommunicated information entered into EHRs. Interfaces built into the technology can contribute and studies have documented mixed results in the systems’ ability to detect and prevent errors. It identifies eight key factors,led by human-computer interface, workflow and communication and clinical content, that can lead to a sentinel event and three major remedy actions. While the JC does take pains to confirm the positive effects of well-designed and appropriately used EHRs, with strong clinical processes in place, it is the first ‘red flag’ this Editor can recall (more…)