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Texting Increases CHD Patient Adherence

 Trending Now: Mobilization of healthcare continues momentum.

PV1115_CellPhoneRegular text message reminders can help people with coronary heart disease (CHD) adhere to a healthier lifestyle, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Clara Chow, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Sydney Medical School and acting director of the cardiovascular division at the George Institute for Global Health, and her colleagues assigned half of a group of 710 CHD patients to receive four text messages each week for six months.
Both groups started with similar cardiovascular risk factors, on average. The messages were selected from a bank of messages by an automated computer messaging system that took each patient’s individual health risks into account.

PV1115_MyTrackerMost participants found the text-message program to be useful (91%), easy to understand (97%), and appropriate in frequency (86%). After six months, levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were lower in participants who received text messages compared with those who didn’t, the researchers found. Those on the text message system also had lower blood pressure levels and lower body mass index. Smokers accounted for about 53% of both groups. By the end of the six months, smokers accounted for 26% in the text message group, compared with 43% in the control group.

People receiving text messages also were better able to achieve multiple lifestyle changes. The proportion of patients achieving three of five guideline target levels of risk factors was substantially higher in the text message group (63%) vs. the control group (34%), the investigators found.

Royal Philips Pilots Diabetes App and Online Community

Royal Philips, in collaboration with the Netherlands-based Radboud University Medical Center, is developing a connected digital health prototype that enables people living with diabetes and their healthcare providers to make more confident care decisions while managing the complexity of diabetes self care. In its first phase, the solution will focus on patients living with diabetes Type 1.

The system, consisting of a mobile patient app and online community, is the first to collect and connect data from electronic medical records, multiple personal health devices, including wireless glucose meters and activity monitors, and patient self-reported data. Via a smartphone or tablet, the app gives patients continuous access to important parameters such as blood glucose levels, insulin use, and nutrition and provides coaching guidance at home and on the go. The secure online community is where enrolled patients and healthcare professionals can interact via private messaging or shared posts within a healthcare organization’s clinical guidelines. In this way, patients can get feedback from their care team using the combined data and can easily share experiences with fellow patients, clinicians, and caregivers.

The collaborative prototype development among Philips, Radboud, and Salesforce will be available in pilot release by the end of the year, with plans to introduce similar connected care solutions addressing other chronic conditions.

Mobile Device Turns Smartphone Camera Into A Microscope

A team led by Ralph Weissleder, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Hakho Lee, Ph.D., also of the center, has created a device that can turn a smartphone camera into a microscope to diagnosis cancer. Someday soon, doctors will be able to test for cancer by taking a cell sample, sliding it into a compartment on a smartphone and getting the results back within an hour.

In a pilot study at Mass General, the D3 system reliably and promptly noted whether cervical biopsy samples were high-risk, low-risk, or benign. D3 performed as accurately as pathologists. D3 also fared well in a second pilot study, where it correctly recorded the difference between samples from four patients who had lymphoma and four who had benign tumors.

The device attaches to a smartphone, allowing the phone to take images of cells and samples. The same camera people use to snap photos of their children is now able to record data on more than 1 million cells from a blood or tissue sample — all in a single image.

The team is scheduled to receive funding soon from the National Institutes of Health for a large clinical trial in Africa. The technology could help track outbreaks of diseases such as malaria, TB, HIV and even avian flu.

Out of 165,000 Health Apps, Only 36 Make up Download Majority

There currently are 165,000 mobile health apps, compared with 43,000 in 2013, but nearly half of all downloads are generated by just 36 apps, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Its recent report says that 40% of all mHealth apps have seen fewer than 5,000 downloads.

The report states 26,864 apps are directly related to patient health and treatment, yet more than half boast single functionality and have limited value in enhancing healthcare outcomes. Nearly 25% of the 165,000 apps, which include both iOS and Android options, focus on disease treatment management; two thirds, meanwhile, focus on wellness and fitness. Developers also are creating innovative data features, with one in 10 apps boasting device and sensor integration.

Janssen Taps HIV Activists To Drive Patient-Story Contest

Janssen Therapeutics has launched Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom, to honor the experiences of people living with or affected by HIV. By sharing insights, perspectives, and encouragement at in the form of words, pictures, audio or video, participants have an opportunity to make a difference for others affected by HIV. With these wisdom submissions, Janssen will make a donation to one of two national advocacy organizations serving the HIV community — AIDS United or the Black AIDS Institute — for a total campaign donation of up to $10,000 per organization. To help with this mission, Janssen has enlisted three of the leading voices in the HIV community to serve as advisors to the project. Each month, Guy Anthony, Maria Mejia, and Josh Robbins will share inspiring submissions in the Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom “Wisdom Gallery.”

“Managing HIV requires more than medicine – it requires information and support, both from healthcare professionals and from others affected by the disease,” says Nefertiti Greene, president, Janssen Therapeutics.

Takeda Oncology uses Instagram and Twitter

Takeda Oncology is using Instagram to tie into its support for the cancer community.
While raising funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) to support vital blood cancer research, the drug company sponsored a music event called MixFest, and during the event, encouraged participants to take a selfie by the Takeda Wall, and post it on Instagram using the hashtag  #Music2FightMyeloma. Takeda made a $5 donation to the MMRF for every post, and $10 for every follow it gained on Instagram. Takeda tweeted about its new Instagram account and the MMRF fund-raising event.

BioClinica eHealth App xChange

BioClinica, a specialty clinical trials technology and services provider, has created eHealth App xChange, an alliance channel for disruptive technology innovation across life sciences and healthcare. BioClinica’s eHealth App xChange provides healthcare payers, providers, researchers, regulators, and patients with access to transformative applications integrated with and delivered through BioClinica’s eHealth Cloud.

“Healthcare research applications like these are a natural fit with our core products and extend the BioClinica platform with source data capture, point of care, electronic patient record, workflow and safety offerings,” says BioClinica Global Product Development Senior VP Andrew Masters. “Our App xChange is an incubator and growth engine for niche technology providers and individual app developers, and we welcome new partners as BioClinica continues to lead industry innovation within the regulated clinical trial space.”

Telemedicine Apps Lead Medical App Sales

Monitoring apps represent the largest category of medical app sales, according to Kalorama Information. The healthcare market research firm reports the medical apps market was worth $489 million in 2015. Apps that can monitor conditions for physicians or for patients themselves are nearly 40% of medical app sales.

According to Kalorama, the interest in telemedicine and telehealth has exploded over the past decade. Many of nearly 500 clinical trials listed by the National Institutes of Health for telemedicine trials are using mobile applications as one component of the system or can easily support a mobile system.
Research and application of telemedicine and telehealth have been useful in several areas of disease monitoring. Monitoring apps can either put patients in touch with a physician member of a network or connect a patient to their existing physician. At least one app creates a virtual physician.(PV)

The report, mHealth Markets Worldwide, can be found at

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