shutterstock_161227907 Many people used to believe that Facebook was an extremely defensible business and that it would be almost impossible for another social network to compete. It has grown to an enormous scale with massive troves of data and more than 1.5 billion monthly users. The thinking around their defensibility was that because all of your friends and photos and updates are already stored on Facebook, it ...

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shutterstock_246706588 The annual American Telemedicine Association just wrapped up their national conference in Los Angeles recently. Physician-dignitaries such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong gave keynote addresses, the exhibit hall was laden with telemedicine industry advocates, and the Twitter hashtag #ATA2015 was trending with great vigor. The four-day event was well-attended and comfortably demonstrated telemedicine’s emerging popularity. Telemedicine is not new. ...

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shutterstock_246706588 Imagine a surgeon removing a gallbladder miles away from where he or she actually is. Imagine when you are ill, a physician has the ability to diagnose you from your living room. Telemedicine. Telemedicine itself is not a concept that is all that new. In the 1930’s, Italy used telemedicine to communicate with ships at sea, while in the United States, NASA ...

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shutterstock_277822496 There he stood at our beach party, the family doctor I grew up admiring. I timidly approached his circle of friends to announce I had gotten into medical school and would start in the fall. He stopped to attention. His friends stood watching. I couldn’t conceal my smile. I thought, “He is going to be so excited for me!” “Get out now.” ...

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Two modest kiosks far in the back of a cavernous HIMSS 2015 exhibit hall symbolized two separate streams of the patient engagement effort as filtered through health information technology (IT). One featured a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush paired with a personalized video game to teach kids to properly care for their teeth. Call that approach, “enabling compliance.” Nearby, another kiosk showcased a computerized questionnaire to help patients understand their treatment goals and true ...

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I recently discussed both the merits and needs for the use of mobile technologies in clinical trials. Recruiting patients via social media is now a reality and has been a topic of discussion in many forums, including mainstream medical journals.  There is no question that online patient support groups serve unique purposes. There are regulatory issues involved in this arena. However, new regulatory frameworks need to be developed in the age ...

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As the rugged beauty of the Pacific Coast unfolded in all of its splendor, I was in awe of the entirely different experience: the one created by our Uber driver, Calvin (name changed to protect anonymity). My friend and I, attending our annual cardiology meeting in sunny San Diego, carved out a few hours of rest and relaxation. We were heading to La Jolla, a scenic seaside community about 20 minutes ...

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The growing wearable sensor market is yielding ever-increasing amounts of consumer-derived digital data. These data can consistent of many different physiologic measures such as heart rate and rhythm, sleep quality, brain activity, and physical activity levels. As many consumers and commercial organizations look toward using wearables to monitor medical conditions, clinicians may begin to find themselves in the role of a digital data decoder. This will be no easy task, as ...

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3-D printing has been documented as an innovation that’s being rapidly deployed in the medical field.  Doctors and researchers have been creating intrinsically realistic models of organs, bones, appendages and sometimes, implanting them into patients.  In 2012, University of Michigan doctors implanted a splint to hold open a 3-month-old child’s airway tube.  They published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine and opened the gates for others to ...

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I am a clinician and a clinical trialist. Medical research in some form or another (performing it, consuming it, reviewing it, editing it, etc.) occupies much of my time. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement while watching Apple’s product announcement when they introduced a new open source software platform called ResearchKit. Apple states ResearchKit could “revolutionize medical studies, potentially transforming medicine forever.” ResearchKit allows clinical researchers to have data about various diseases ...

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