At the Royal Society of Medicine we’ve just announced our next medical apps event on 7th April next year, Medical apps; mainstreaming innovation in which we feature for the first time a presentation by Pam Kato, a Professor of Serious Games, so it’s intriguing to see the iMedicalApps review of a clinician-facing serious game, iConcur, for anaesthetists.
We also have a powerful presentation on mental health apps from Ieso Digital Health which doubtless will make the same point as has been made in previous events that online mental health services typically are more effective than face:face. The abstract to the recent Lancet paper by Dr Lisa Marzano et al, examining this topic in great detail, suggests that the academics are now a long way to working out why this is the case and offers further potential improvements; aspiring mental health app developers unable to access the full paper may consider it worth paying $31.50 (or join the RSM to access it for free).
A regular at the RSM’s Appday is Dr Richard Brady’s presentation on Bad Apps, which next year will now doubtless include mention of the FTC’s recent fifth action against an app provider, UltimEyes, with deceptively claiming they their program was scientifically proven to improve the user’s eye sight.
Moving to good apps (more…)
Trying at least temporarily to distract this editor’s attention from his recent unfortunate experience with Jawbone technology, here are some interesting app and wearables snippets received over the summer.
We begin with news of the first CE certified mole checking app, SkinVision which rates moles using a simple traffic light system (using a red, orange or green risk rating). The app lets users store photos in multiple folders so they can track different moles over time. It aims to detect changing moles (color, size, symmetry etc.) that are a clear sign that something is wrong and that the person should visit a doctor immediately.
This contrasts with the findings of a paper published in June examining 46 insulin calculator apps, 45 of which were found to contain material problems, resulting in the conclusion that :”The majority of insulin dose calculator apps provide no protection against, and may actively contribute to, incorrect or inappropriate dose recommendations that put current users at risk of both catastrophic overdose and more subtle harms resulting from suboptimal glucose control.”, which to say the least of matters is worrying. (more…)
UK-based PatientView, and its sister organisation, myhealthapps.net, in conjunction with Germany-based Research2Guidance, and the App Quality Alliance, need your answers to a survey to help inform the creation of guidelines designed to improve the quality and focus of health, wellness, and disability apps. This will be be launched at the European Health Forum Gastein in October 2015, which is attended by hundreds of health policymakers as well healthcare industry representatives.
The survey opens with a handful of short, anonymous, profiling questions. It then moves quickly on to 14 questions about issues that are absolutely key to the developers of health, wellness, and disability apps.
The survey will probably take a maximum of 20 minutes to complete. The results will be anonymised. If you would like a copy of the collated survey results (which will include the views of respondents who are other healthcare stakeholders), please indicate your interest at the end of the survey.
To enter the survey, please do click on Guidance and Advice Most Needed by App Developers.
Many thanks, in anticipation.
What follows is a brief summary of the presentations given at the Royal Society of Medicine’s third “Appday”, held on 9th April 2015. All three events have been sell-outs.
Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development at BSI, opened the event with an excellent presentation on the then shortly-to-be-finalised PAS 277 on mHealth apps (now available, free, here). She particularly welcomed the opportunity to present to clinicians, as too often her audience was primarily technologists. The presentation was especially impressive because Anne had only agreed to do the presentation the previous Friday, following realisation by both MHRA & NICE that proximity to the election meant neither could present. Anne explained that PAS 277, as a Publicly Available Specification, is not mandatory – it is essentially a checklist for developers and purchasers of medical apps to consider.
Julie Bretland, CEO of OurMobileHealth, then presented on the preliminary conclusions of the NIB Workstream 1.2 on how best to approve medical apps. (more…)
This reviewer participated as a judge in the first round of this competition, sponsored by Patient-View, myhealthapps, techUK and the Department of Trade & Investment. From this, four finalists were chosen who will go forward to the second part of the competition at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (“MWC 2015”) in the first week in March.
The twelve competitors were:
11health – an app and device for determining when an “’ostomy” bag is full and needs emptying. Blue-toothed to a mobile or nurse station. It has transformed the lives of patients that have to use these and continues to save nursing time too.
23 Ltd – a website builder that has diversified into behaviour change to stop smoking. Ingenious business model though as yet (more…)
The shortlist judging for the above, entries for which we sought in December, will take place on the afternoon of Monday 2nd February from 2pm to 7pm in St Bride, St London. Attendance is free, and offers an unparalleled opportunity to listen to the pitches of what are considered the twelve best SME mobile health apps in the UK. Details are here – do be sure to scroll down to click the ‘book now’ button as places are limited.
The judges (disclosure: of whom this editor is one) will select those SMEs to go forward to the finals at the MWC in Barcelona in the first week in March.
The event is sponsored by UK Trade & Investment, techUK, and PatientView/myhealthapps
Overloaded with Horizon2020 proposal adjudication and conference management (including the first DHACA members’ day on 11th July), this editor has been unable to do much Telehealth & Telecare Aware blogging. However the interesting items have continued to attract my attention and Prof Mike short (especially), Alex Wyke and Nicholas Robinson have continued to add further to the pile (huge thanks to all). So much seems worth highlighting: where to start? Perhaps with the 18 factors to make telemedicine a success, enumerated by the EU-funded Momentum project. Telecare Aware readers will be unsurprised by all 18, which look pretty basic. However many will notice obvious absences, such as the need to adduce evidence of the success of the intervention. Gluttons for punishment will find much more (more…)
This is a brief summary of the main points made at an event on medical apps held at the Royal Society of Medicine on 10th April 2014.
First up was Prof Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre of Public Health at NICE who spoke about how apps could change behaviour. He described what he called “system 1”, the rational reflective system that he associated with Apollo, and “system” 2 the impulsive automatic system that he associated with Dionysus. System 1 is most often targeted by behaviour change, however most people find thinking hard so spend most of their time in system 2 mode, so it is much more effective to “nudge” the automatic system 2, if you can.
Humans are relational creatures, not billiard balls, so (more…)
This conference was held in a very salubrious conference facility at the LSE on March 24th & 25th. The organiser – Maggie Ellis – delivered her customary eclectic selection of contributors: there was a very broad range, from telecare and telehealth stalwarts through to insurers specialising in the financial issues of older people, management gurus and broadcasters advising on how best to get a story on radio or TV. In short it is like no other, and so has a faithful following among a certain group of assistive technology professionals, many of whom travel from continental Europe and beyond to be there.
Almost no-one talked about proving benefits of assistive technology; the focus was on how best to deliver those benefits that no one doubted were achievable. The highlight for me was (more…)
MyHealthApps launches; Sun Network launches Crisis Card app for Cambridgeshire residents
Last year at this time, the PatientView patient research firm published The European Directory of Health Apps 2012-2013 with about 200 entries. Alex Wyke from PatientView has been kind enough to follow up and let us know as a comment on the original article [TTA 15 Nov 2012] that it has been expanded and relaunched as MyHealthApps. The site has grown to 307 apps selected by over 450 patient groups and with ‘heart’ ratings on a five-point system. While not comprehensive yet, notably it is now a truly international website with mirror sites in 48 languages from Albanian to Welsh, including four varieties of English (!) There are also submission links for patient groups and developers. PatientView developed this with support from: GSK, Janssen, Novo Nordisk, O2/Telefonica Europe, Vodafone Foundation, NHS England’s Library of Health Apps, UK government body KTN CONNECT and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). The patient group review and backing (more…)
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