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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apple-iphone-siri-ibm-watson-illo In every strength lies a weakness and in every weakness a strength. This maxim has held true throughout history -- from biblical days to the battles of modern times. And it holds just as true in the information technology (IT) “arms race” that’s playing out in American health care today. In Malcolm Gladwell’s newest work David and Goliath, he suggests that when we fail to ...

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I was invited to attend a private breakfast with book author, surgeon, and New Yorker contributor Dr. Atul Gawande shortly before Dr. Gawande’s talk at The New Yorker Festival. Over breakfast, Dr. Gawande spoke with IBM executive Dr. Paul Grundy on the future of health care. The event was sponsored by IBM so there was plenty of talk about how technology can and will influence the practice of medicine -- ...

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I have been following  the news about the National Security Agency (NSA) access to our phone records with great interest.  If we as a society don’t sort some of this out, we’ll see a repeat in the health sector a few years from now. These discussions seem to pivot on issues of population-level safety vs. personal liberty, and on trust vs. suspicion re: how much of the process is driven by ...

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Recently, both my husband and I came away from a conversation with my doctor positive that we understood my new weight gain plan. Funny thing: Each of us recalled a different plan. I am always struck by how our memories of the words spoken by my doctor can be so dissimilar. No, not all of them, but enough of them to be wary of going to any appointment without a ...

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I gave  a patient my cell phone number today.  I have been toying with the idea for a while and talking to various other physicians about how they handle it.  We have a 24/7 chain of coverage so that a patient can call at any time of the day or night and reach a pulmonary/critical care physician.  But not necessarily their physician, because, like everyone else, even doctors get days ...

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The hype over mobile health is deafening on most days and downright annoying on some.  So it is with some reluctance that I admit that mobile has the potential to be a gamechanger in health.  I’ve professed enthusiasm before, but that was largely around the use of wireless sensors to measure physiologic signals and SMS text as a way to deliver messages to patients and consumers.  For several years, the ...

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google glass The buzz is that Google Glass will transform medicine.  But unless it’s carefully vetted it could be a disaster for patients, clinicians and hospitals.  Until the FDA or research confirms its safety, Google Glass is banned from my clinic as a privacy and medical practice hazard. Here are four reasons why: 1.  Privacy violations. Google Glass make it extremely easy to take pictures or ...

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We generate it every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year. Data, in countless forms. Of recent and growing interest to a great many people is how this data can be use to improve health (not just sell people more stuff). Wear a FitBit or Jawbone? Amazing source of activity information. Check in on Foursquare? Insight into dietary habits. Post on Twitter? Sentiment analysis around ...

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If you want to see the future of health care, the can’t miss conference of the year is the Health Innovation Summit hosted by Rock Health in San Francisco. As a practicing primary care doctor, I had the opportunity to view health care through the lenses of technology entrepreneurs. I thought the conference was even better than the one I attended last year. Absent was the provocative rhetoric by 2012 ...

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Mobile-Health-Monitoring Technology in medicine advances at a rapid pace.  In the US today most patients have access to mobile phones, smartphones and tablets.  Medical device makers continue to innovate and create ways in which these technologies can be used by patients and physicians to monitor complex biologic machinery such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers at home -- without the need for ...

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At iMedicalApps we have traditionally expounded on how smart phones can help us with patient care in regards to providing Physician centric tools at bedside.  These range from drug reference tools to various clinical algorithm medical apps. But there are also non-traditional methods where smartphones enable us to improve patient care at the bedside.  These are subtle, but can be equally or more powerful. When I was working in the ICU recently, there were ...

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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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Recently I came across yet another media article with suggestions as to how digital health products can gain more widespread adoption. The writer notes that “we can learn a lot from the pharma and healthcare industries,” and goes on to discuss the importance of engaging the doctor. This article, like many I read, doesn’t acknowledge the downsides of using pharma’s tactics. I have to assume that this is because from a business ...

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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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As a physician, I experience first-hand the impact that internal communication at a hospital—both good and bad—has on patient care. If I am able to quickly access clinical systems, analyze patient information and collaborate with colleagues, I can diagnose and interact with the patient much more efficiently and effectively. Conversely, breakdowns and inefficiencies in the communications process can inhibit the delivery of quality patient care by bogging down workflows, creating delays ...

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One of my students told me about his experience at TEDMED, the future-oriented medical conference that bills itself as "a celebration of human achievement and the power of connecting the unconnected in creative ways to change our world in health and medicine." He recounted how one speaker showed off the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, which news outlets quickly dubbed the "Robo-Doc." This high-priced gadget is designed ...

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If I were asked “Why should a clinician prescribe an app?” I would answer as follows: Because it’s likely to help the patient reach his or her most important health goals, and is a good fit within an over-arching medical management plan. In other words, if the goal is to provide sensible medical assistance to patients and families, the use of an app should be likely to:

As defined in Wikipedia, remote patient monitoring (RPM) is: “a technology to enable monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings (e.g. in the home), which may increase access to care and decrease healthcare delivery costs.” I was a pioneer adopter of RPM as a beta site for Medtronic’s Carelink wireless system which monitors implantable cardiac rhythm devices (defibrillators and pacemakers). RPM has gained significant attention because of recently mandated penalties ...

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Forget Angry Birds and other mobile apps that do a great job of helping you waste time. And set aside for now the apps that help you find information and practice clinical medicine more efficiently. It was only a matter of time before mobile apps would be developed that can actually help you prevent physician burnout. Here are my two favorite free mobile apps to help you lower stress and create ...

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