Both World War II and the race to the moon were events which pushed commercial development of technologies.  I would submit that the ACA and HITECH have had the same effect on the development of many sectors of the digital health technology industry. I will cite five such areas. Government mandates usually have unintended consequences and they certainly exist in healthcare. The rapid proliferation of some of these technologies has itself ...

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The digital health and wellness space is growing a mile a minute, with thousands of new sensors, apps, trackers, and websites promising ultimate health and fitness born every day. Data requests to MyFitnessPal’s API alone – from wearable sensors like Jawbone’s UP and Nike’s Fuelband to GPS-enabled tracking apps like Runtastic – roughly doubled from 28 million to almost 55 million in one month, between March and April of 2013. We have entered a new era when it ...

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New York Times op-ed entitled "In Cancer Care, Cost Matters,"  described what may be one of the earliest accounts where doctors at Sloan-Kettering decided not to use a new cancer drug because of its extra cost when they were already using equally-effective drugs for their cancer treatments.  The article piqued my interest.  These days for any doctor who uses expensive technologies, it is easy to see where this evaluation ...

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Music as a healing mechanism has been accepted for over 50 years. Music is a source of primal memory similar to that of smell. It has been used in brain injury patient management, as well as to promote wellness, manage stress alleviate pain, promote physical rehabilitation, and enhance memory in Alzheimer’s Disease patients. I have appreciated the power of music my whole life and as a ...

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I overheard nurses praising the pilot of a new technology with the promise of improving communication, safety, and saving on healthcare spending. The innovation: two-way texting. That’s one of the many indicators that hospitals are stuck the technological stone age. Imagine how many eyes light up when you offer providers fewer logins, autopopulating forms, and uncluttered menus. There’s an assumption that technology, in the context of healthcare, has to be bad ...

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What user personas do healthcare technology designers and entrepreneurs have in mind as they create their products? And how often is it the family caregiver of an elderly person? This is the question I found myself mulling over as I wandered around the Health Refactored conference recently, surrounded by developers, designers, and entrepreneurs. The issue particularly popped into my head when I decided to try Microsoft HealthVault after listening to ...

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I’ve written several times before about my love/hate status with my EMR. While I enjoy using mine, I long for it’s usefulness to get to the next level. While the EMR is useful at tracking data, it’s greatest handicap right now, is that it can’t talk to other systems. Data is still locked in individual systems and can’t be shared across platforms. This lack of interoperability has thus far been ...

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I've been interested in apps for the caregivers of elders, but like many physicians, I've been too busy to seriously research them or try them out. Time to change that. No, I'm not going to exhaustively research and review all caregiver apps on the market. But, as I've been invited to give a technology talk to a local group of family caregivers later this summer, I would like to see if I ...

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There was a hole in the wall of our bathroom that was a painful reminder of a bad encounter with a plumber.  Yes, that hole has been there about a year, and it has been on my to d0 list for the duration, daring me to show if I inherited any of the fix it genes I got from my father.  Why not hire someone to come fix it?  I ...

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User friendly recording of data often seems like an EHR afterthought As I began logging on to my third different hospital EHR (electronic health record) recently, I contemplated how much more of this I could take. Being less than a year from planned retirement, the nuances of learning a new EHR and CPOE (computerized physician order entry) system is not fun. Furthermore, every hour I spend learning a new and unique system is ...

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