Searching for health and fitness apps on the iTunes app store turns up approximately 2,200 results. There are calorie counters, activity trackers, heart rate monitors, virtual fitness coaches and every other conceivable permutation. The quantity should grow even larger thanks to Apple’s latest product release, the Apple Watch, a wrist wearable computer that tracks health and fitness information. One question, though: Are the users of these apps any healthier as a ...

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5 things EMRs should learn from social media As a physician who openly despises many aspects of current EMRs (see “How An EMR Gave My Patient Syphilis” or “The Medical Chart: Ground Zero For The Deterioration Of Patient Care” ) I recognize that they are here to stay. And so, since we’re all stuck with these digital middlemen, I have some suggestions (based on popular ...

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Are you still wearing your wearable? We must confess that, by and large, we aren’t. This, despite the fact that between the two of us, we own countless such devices. Each was bought with the best of intentions: Walk more, run more, sit up straighter, quit slouching, eat less, lose weight. You know the list, right? You might even have one yourself. Don’t get us wrong. We love digital health and we love ...

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Even if you don’t live in a city yet that offers Uber’s rideshare app, you probably have heard about it, because the media has widely reported on job actions by taxi cab drivers -- and the gridlocked traffic that resulted -- that has taken place in Washington, DC and in other major cities across the world including London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid. Uber is an “on demand” smart phone app that allows users ...

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The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 committed to the expanded adoption of health information technology, expecting electronic health records (EHRs) to transform medical care while promising dramatic improvements in quality, efficiency and safety.  Five years and $25 billion later, the results have fallen short of expectations, and there are multiple reasons for our disappointment. First, EHRs were designed to document the provision of health care ...

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A few days ago a colleague of mine was inching south through the mother of all traffic jams: 60 straight miles of construction work on I-95 just south Washington, DC. The three-lane highway was jammed. Route 1, which runs parallel to I-95 was also jammed. Cars were stalled in the middle of the highway having run out of gas from waiting so long. He looked at the map on his phone ...

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The Business Insider article, "Senator Warns Fitbit is a Privacy Nightmare and Could be Tracking Your Movements,reports that Senator Chuck Schumer called for federal protections to prevent companies like Fitbit from collecting, sharing and selling consumer data to health insurers, employers and others. Fitbit, like Nike+FuelBand and Jawbone, sells wearable trackers that monitor sleep, health functions and physical activity. Senator Schumer accused FitBit and Smartphone apps of sharing users’ ...

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It’s been a while since my last rant about electronic health records (EHRs), so let’s remedy that right now. EHRs in their current iteration are -- how to put this delicately? -- an unmitigated disaster. Nevertheless, much of the criticism of EHRs, including mine, has been in the destructive category. What about some constructive criticism? How could EHR software be made better? I am not ...

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Vaginal video games: What to make of mobile Kegel apps There are two new high-tech ways that aim to help you with Kegel exercises, both with Kickstarter campaigns. There is the Skea (Smart Kegel Exercise Aid), basically a video game that proposes controlling the avatar with a vaginal probe that uses the pelvic floor muscles and kGoal, a vaginal insert that is meant to connect wirelessly with your smart phone and measures your squeeze ...

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There is growing healthy skepticism about the past promises of mobile technologies.  Issues concerning safety after the release of the FDA guidance of mobile medical appsprivacy and security, and efficacy. Followers of the sector are poised for the rubber finally meeting the road in health care. While most mobile health tools used today are reference apps for health care providers and patients, there  are ways in which ...

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