A pivotal moment in the U.S. health care system is taking shape. Physicians across the U.S. are wondering what their role will be in this new health care landscape that is being shaped by legislation (from the Affordable Care Act and from meaningful use), by social media, and by technology advancements. It’s an existential moment. Physicians are wondering if we are knaves, pawns, or knights in this chess game called the ...

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HealthKit and the Health app: A game changer for doctors? Several months ago I wrote about how Apple’s upcoming health app had the potential to change public health and could force physicians to adopt mobile. Recently at WWDC Apple affirmed the rumors when announcing iOS 8, stating the new operating system would have a Health app, and a cloud platform HealthKit. HealthKit is the developer platform and will be able to collect/aggregate  information ...

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The nation’s ongoing battle to strike a delicate balance between increasing access to quality health care for all Americans and reducing overall health care spending just scored one of its most substantial victories.  In late April, after several months of thoughtful and robust collaboration, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) ratified a new model national policy: the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine in the Practice of Medicine.  This marks the first ...

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Apple recently previewed a new framework called HealthKit that will be included in their next mobile operating system called iOS 8. Features mentioned in the video above: One central app to integrate data from wearable technology like NikeFuel, the Withings blood pressure monitor, and Fitbit. Working with the Mayo Clinic (for an app to launch in September) to integrate incoming and outgoing health information into HealthKit so that if there is a really high blood pressure, ...

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My 87-year-old father broke his hip this past weekend.  He was in Michigan for a party for his 101-year-old sister, and fell as he tried to put away her wheelchair.  The good news is that he’s otherwise pretty healthy, so he should do fine. Still, getting old sucks. During the whole situation around his injury, surgery, and upcoming recovery, one thing became very clear: Technology can really make things much easier:

While there are many creative people who go into medicine, the challenge of turning experience into innovation can be stifling. My classmates at Johns Hopkins, fellow residents at Harvard, and peers came from a wide variety of backgrounds. But medical school, internship, and residency don’t afford students much time to tinker around. “Free time” in academic medicine means working in a lab with the “publish or perish” dictum hanging over one’s ...

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There is a recent and interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal by an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Craviotto, about the maddening aspect of forced mandates and bureaucratic requirements in medicine that seem to have very little to do with actual medical care and more about hoops through which we must jump that seemingly lead to nowhere. While I do find the bureaucracy of medicine in the United States insane versus the Canadian ...

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The technology industry has been buzzing of late because of the big players entering the wearable sensor market. We are very familiar with Misfit and Nike’s Fitbit for some time. Others investing into the sector include Intel, Microsoft,  Apple and Samsung. There is no doubt that the inertia for fitness trackers is undergoing modulation. This is a result of both a dampening of the initial "wow" factor by consumers and a maturation of the market. Recalls of Nike Fitbits ...

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As a child, I often watched science fiction movies and television shows wondering how much would become reality in my lifetime.  From space travel in Buck Rogers and Star Trek to time travel in Back to the Future, I often imagined growing up in a world where the impossible became probable.  Bionics and the repair of human tissues was captivating and the Six Million Dollar Man became a hit series. Now, much of what was thought to be ...

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The practice of medicine is an art based on science. – Sir William Osler This was famously stated over 100 years ago by Dr. Osler, the father of modern medicine and the physician who laid the foundation for professionalism in health care.  In this vein, a panel of experts from Boston-area hospitals and elsewhere recently convened to attack the question, “What needs to change to get doctors back to the patients?”  While the ...

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