This week in digital health, 34 teams were announced for the Tricorder X Prize, the Center for Connected Health was awarded a grant from McKesson to develop a chemotherapy self management app, and Farzard Mostashari gave his perspective on a number of issues in healthcare and healthcare technology. A lot of stories hit the web this week, but there are still more stories. Here are some other pieces we read this week.
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have developed a system, which will eventually be developed into an app, that could potentially lower the number of unnecessary doctor's visits for strep infections. The risk assessment tool will analyze the patient's symptoms next to data for incidences of strep infections in the local area. Another filter for the app will come from a study the researchers did that studied medical records from over 70,000 patients over age 15 who visited outpatient MinuteClinics for strep tests. The researchers found that having a sore throat along with a fever, but no cough, put a person at higher risk of having strep. The app the researchers create will be similar to an already developed app that tracks flu in the same kind of manner.
Eric Taub works his way through fitness apps and connected devices all the while discussing different ways to organize and manage all the data users get from these tools. The first step, he suggests, is to collect all the data in one place, which isn't hard because these devices generally integrate with many apps. He then suggests it's important to build relationships between the data sets so that the user can understand how, for example, sleep will affect weight or fitness. Finally, when users set goals for self-improvement, they can use the collected data to improve their overall health.
At an event at the University of Chicago, a group of doctors that work at the university discussed the role apps are taking in healthcare. A surgeon, Dr. Steven Gould said, "everybody is trying to get in on the game" and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine David Beiser said that while making these apps is a good opportunity to help patients, a lot of apps today aren't working through the big issues such as how well they work and what need they are addressing.
Kansas City is home to a number of big companies including Garmin, Cerner and Sprint. Recently, Kansas City has started gaining some momentum in mobile health with the Sprint mobile health accelerator. The author, Jason Grill, thinks the momentum for the accelerator comes off Kansas City being one of the first to get Google Fiber, Google's high-speed alternative to broadband, and that this is just the beginning for the growth of startups in Kansas City.