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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Andy McAfee is the associate director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is also coauthor (with his MIT colleague Erik Brynjolfsson) of the 2014 book, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, one of my favorite books on technology. While he sits squarely in the camp of “technology optimists,” he is thoughtful, appreciates the downsides of IT, and ...

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I just deposited a check into my bank account by photographing the check with my iPhone and zapping it through cyberspace.  I realize this is ho hum to the under 35 crowd.  Soon, there won’t be any paper checks as the entire transaction will occur electronically.  As a member of the over 35 crowd (plus 20 years), I am wowed by this process.  I remember being astonished when my kids ...

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Of the nearly 100 people I interviewed for my upcoming book, John Halmaka was one of the most fascinating. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a national leader in health IT policy. He also runs a family farm, on which he raises ducks, alpacas and llamas. His penchant for black mock turtlenecks, along with his brilliance and quirkiness, raise inevitable comparisons to Steve Jobs. I interviewed him ...

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Health care in the United States is often compromised by fragmentation in its delivery, limited patient access due to a shortage of primary care doctors, long wait times (even for patients who have appointments), and spiraling costs. As a result, innovative approaches to delivering health care are becoming increasingly important in America’s continued pursuit of improved outcomes and reduced cost of care. Health care delivery models such as telemedicine aim to ...

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It was 11:47 p.m. That meant that I had 13 minutes to reach my pre-set goal of  “activity” that the fitness tracker on my wrist had been registering throughout the day. If I met the goal, I would get a “trophy” on the accompanying app. I probably looked pretty funny bouncing around my living room doing a squat here and a sit-up there, punching a pretend opponent, and running in ...

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I think it’s fair to say that digital health is warming up. And not just in one area. The sheer number and variety of trends are almost as impressive as the heat trajectory itself. The scientist in me can’t help but make the connection to water molecules in a glass -- there may be many of them, but not all have enough kinetic energy to ascend beyond their liquid state. ...

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