Social Buzz

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Taren Grom, Editor

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Engagement Solutions Allow for Better Interactions

Trending now: Mobile apps drive interaction across all stakeholder groups

Sanofi Adds Texting to BGStar Device

Sanofi recently added an automatic texting component to its diabetes management products BGStar and iBGStar that automatically sends a text to up to three predefined contacts whenever a new blood glucose reading is taken. In 2012, iBGStar became the first blood glucose meter that can be used on its own or connect directly to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to manage and communicate one’s diabetes information.

The accompanying diabetes management app enables patients to synch data across devices and will send reminders to share the glucose values.

For more information, visit


MS Online Health Site Sponsored by MS Ireland and Teva

A new website recently launched for Ireland MS patients provides users with an online platform for monitoring their condition, symptoms, and progress; manage health records; track medications; set personal goals; or monitor emotional and physical well-being.

According to MS Ireland, a recent survey done in conjunction with Teva, found that almost one-third of Irish people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) currently engage with others with the disease on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Additionally, the survey found an overwhelming desire among people with MS, at 86%, for increased online services to help them better manage their condition and provide greater opportunities to engage with other patients also impacted by MS.

To address this, a social outlet has been incorporated into the website where those with MS, their caregivers, and family members can engage online.

Tools include trackers for treatments, symptoms, laboratory test results, blood pressure, and weight. The results and outputs from these trackers can be shared, reviewed and discussed with healthcare professionals.

In addition to its focus on MS, the website could be used by patients with one of 11,000 other conditions to monitor health records, track medications, set personal goals, and monitor overall well-being.

For more information, visit or


Veterans Can Access Health Records on Mobile Apps

According to Veteran Affairs News, veterans soon will be able to pull up their medical records on their smartphones or tablet computers. The Veterans Affairs Department plans to launch several mobile applications in the coming months to further the use of telehealth at its facilities across the country.

Additional information from MobiHealthNews reports that the apps the VA plans to launch were part of the organization’s Family Caregiver Pilot, which began in June 2013 and lasted a year. In addition to those apps, the VA has also converted desktop applications from its health portal into mobile apps.

As part of the year-long pilot, VA recruited 1,000 seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their caregivers to participate in the pilot. Each caregiver was given an iPad for the length of the pilot. All the new apps will be available in an app store that the VA plans to launch this fall.

For more information, visit or


Happtique Software Helps Physicians Share Rx Apps

Staying connected with patients means physicians can better help improve their health. To help the physician do that, Happtique has launched free software for healthcare providers that enables them to share apps with their patients. In just a few clicks, a physician can send patients to apps that will aid them in managing their health through mobile devices. According to the Happtique website:

  • One out of three doctors are already recommending apps.
  • 73% of patients report that they are healthier because of health apps.
  • 90% of chronic patients would accept a prescription for a mobile app

For more information, visit


App Allows Women to Share Health Advice

HerStory, a new smartphone app that enables women to share health advice and stories with each other, was recently launched by 22otters, a Khosla Ventures-funded digital health start up. The HerStory app serves as a mobile support group focused on women’s health issues. Beginning with breast cancer and mastectomy, HerStory creates a community that offers ready advice, reassurance, and support anywhere and anytime.

The app is currently available for iPhone and Android phones. Research shows that listening to and speaking personal stories is therapeutic; audio is found to be more compelling and intimate than text, and more private than video.

The HerStory app is a safe place for women to share their experiences with others by using their voices to record supportive personal stories and practical tips.

The HerStory app is at the sweet spot in a crowded health app marketplace that often focuses on diet and exercise in the healthy patient but does not offer much for the chronically or acutely ill.

For more information, visit

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