The medical and health app market is growing rapidly, there’s no question about it. One as yet unanswered question though is how to regulate this emerging industry. This is something we’ve talked about before in a viewpoint published in JAMA Dermatology as well as on iMedicalApps. While it is still early on and we will in many ways have to see which approach is most suitable, its clear that some way ...

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Patient portals are very much the future of health care. Having easy access to ones’ medical history, diagnoses, and test results, seems like such a natural thing that it’s hard to imagine that only a couple of decades ago medical information was regarded as private for the physician’s eyes only. Of course, the Internet and technology revolution has taken this concept to a whole new level. Health care organizations across the ...

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The governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, devoted all of his annual speech to the problem of drug addiction. On the national news, Shumlin points out the link between prescription painkillers and death, and he calls for treating opiate addiction as a medical problem no different than cancer. The White House praised the governor’s position. Meanwhile in another part of Washington, I’m involved in the federal effort to link the law ...

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When it comes to the health care of a frail older person, families really need a good personal health record (PHR) system. So I am once again preparing to take a look at what’s available, in hopes of finding something that I can more confidently recommend to the families I work with. (To see what medical info I urge families to track, see this Geriatrics for Caregivers post.) I have -- ...

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One of the spinoffs of being an oncologist is that you do not to take the world for granted.  Each morning, I walk around the yard and smell the morning breeze. I am thankful for my children, my wife and my own health.  I am thrilled, if occasionally skeptical, to have the opportunity to pay taxes in a country that I love.  So, who would believe I would take our ...

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Besides the importance of physician happiness when using an EHR, using design principles that maximize user intuition and presentation of relevant information, there is one aspect of health care information systems that should never be overlooked: patient safety. Scot Silverstein, MD, blogging at Health Care Renewal as InformaticsMD, frequently brings to light issues surrounding health care IT implementations that compromise patient safety.  Reading his posts should be sobering and concerning to ...

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I was talking to a colleague recently about his practice, and remarked that he was still keeping a paper medical record. Without hesitation, he made it clear that he not only liked the paper record, but he positively dreaded switching to an electronic record. He said sadly that he thought it was inevitable that he would be forced to switch, but hoped that the day would be far into the ...

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Video games evoke several connotations. They are regarded as childish, escapist, and time wasters that prompt isolation and bad habits. Video games are even blamed for violence and other ills of society. In actuality, many serious scientists have convincingly argued that video games not only have acquired an undeserved reputation, but they are actually potent and effective tools for science education. Features of video games inherently support scientific learning While it may ...

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Let me concede from the outset that I lean toward the negative -- dire predictions, worst-case scenarios, a bit of doom and gloom, etc. But I ask you, oh gentle, patient reader, how could I not? Let’s go to the satellite. You can see warm air from a low-pressure system (meaningful use stage 2, not changed dramatically by the one-year extension) collide with cool, dry air from a high-pressure area (the turmoil ...

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On November 22, the FDA sent Silicon Valley’s leading personalized genetics company 23andMe a warning letter after six months of radio silence and recent increased efforts in marketing. Excerpts from the chastising letter read: "As part of our interactions with you, including more than 14 face-to-face and teleconference meetings, hundreds of email exchanges, and dozens of written communications, we provided you with specific feedback on study protocols and clinical and analytical ...

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