Pain Management Mobile App From Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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pain management appThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I look at a novel mobile app that could help chronic pain patients manage their suffering. Developers and health care professionals at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston are in the process of testing a new smartphone app that they hope will help manage chronic pain in patients and help their healthcare providers help them.

Millions of Americans deal with chronic pain from a variety of causes each day. The costs to the patients and the healthcare system tops six hundred billion dollars a year. The app hopes to help patients communicate with their doctors throughout the day between appointments creating a record of their pain level that can then be discussed on the next meeting.

pain management mobile appPatients can document interventions and treatments that are working or not. With the help of their doctors or nurse practitioners, they can then work to figuring out an effective treatment plan that is customized for them. The app works by periodically prompting the patient to input their pain levels now and throughout the day. They also enter info about their mood and basic activities like exercise or walking.

Doctors hope that this customized treatment modality will better manage the pain for patients, save time and money for the healthcare system and improve communication between patients and their healthcare team. I’ll keep reporting on this and other health management apps as they come along so you know what new health tech is available for you and your own health management.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

Pulse Oximetry Tech Innovation for Critical Care Nurses

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xhale-pulse-oximetryA new oxygen sensor for use in healthcare settings is the feature this week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast. This is a special segment on a new technology that could be coming to a hospital near you to monitor the oxygen levels in your blood. I was attending a critical care nurses conference recently in San Diego, California. While I was there doing interviews, I found the Xhale booth and did an interview there on the the new device.

John Moscarillo from Xhale was showing off his new pulse oximetry reading technology that provides much more reliable readings from the side of the nose. Nursing Show host Jamie Davis wore one of the small, unobtrusive sensors on his nose during the actual interview and found it to be comfortable and non-bothersome.

Traditional digit-based pulse oximetry presents several challenges to effectively and efficiently monitoring a patient’s parameters. Because of the distance from a patient’s heart to the fingertip or toes, a digit-based pulse oximetry sensor can result in a delay to the detection of the start of desaturation and the nadir in patients and an even longer delay in the detection of the lowest oxygen saturation point.

Here it is!

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

New Clotting Gel Stops Bleeding Fast

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bleeding-gel-4This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast we look at another development to help stop severe bleeding in major traumatic injuries like those seen on the battlefield or in a serious motor vehicle accident. Researchers at Texas A&M University, Harvard University and MIT all collaborated to create a new biodegradable clotting gel that has nano-disks of specialized silicate material.

These silicate disks aid the body’s natural coagulation factors to help quickly form blood clots when a person is bleeding out. Their research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Office. While it’s still being tested, early studies of the effectiveness of the gel is very promising.

It’s especially important for those wounds where it is not easy to apply direct pressure to the wound to suppress the flow of blood like internal wounds and penetrating torso injuries. The gel can increase the body’s clotting response by up to 77%! When injected into a wound, the gel starts working instantly at the site of the bleeding without migrating to other parts of the body or having to apply pressure sealants. Since it’s difficult to see inside the wound and stop internal bleeding outside of the surgical operating room, this injectable smart substance is a potentially essential tool in treating battlefield injuries in the future.

I’ll stay on top of this and get back to you with more information and updates as they become available.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

New Coach By Cigna 2.0 App Motivates Patients to Wellness

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Coach by Cigna 1Insurance giant takes on personal wellness challenge with unique fitness and wellness mobile app. Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic interviewed Joe Mondy from Cigna about the Coach by Cigna wellness app. Through the app, users have access to instructional videos and support from health coaches to help focus on improving in five integrated areas: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and weight management.  

The new app program on Google Play, uses a lateral psychology profiling tool which identifies your personality type, individual needs, preferences, and overall understanding of health issues to maximize success.  Coach by Cigna then provides daily challenges and encouragement from experts, in addition to integrated trackers to monitor progress.

The new and improved app builds on Cigna’s commitment to finding effective ways to make people achieve healthier lives through simple, intuitive technology. Coach by Cigna 2.0 is now available at no cost in the Google Play store for both Samsung Galaxy S6 and S5 devices in 15 countries in nine languages.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

Electronic Sensing Stocking for Diabetics’ Feet

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sock-for-diabeticsThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast we look at a technology that might help a family member of yours soon who suffers from diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly 350 million people live with diabetes worldwide and it is considered a worldwide epidemic.

One of the side effects of the disease is that the nerves in the extremities like the feet become desensitized and many diabetics lose feeling in their feet entirely. This is a big problem because they no longer receive those pain, temperature or pressure signals that tell us when something is wrong with their feet. When they get injured their injuries quickly become infected without them noticing and often this can lead to having their feet or toes amputated.

But what if we could put something on their feet that would sense the same things that they can no longer feel on their own. Enter the spectacular German researchers at Fraunhofer who have developed a new electronic sensor stocking that monitors pressure on the foot and transmits that data to software. The software can alert the patient or caregiver to visually check and assess the foot allowing pressure sores and ulcers to be stopped before they form.

The special stocking uses a stretchy elastomer silicone film that can be easily added to any textile fabric. When pressure is sensed for an extended period that might result in injury, the film’s electronics alerts a smartphone app and the patient can move to relieve the pressure or inspect the area if there might have been an injury.

The stockings could be on the market soon and would cost around $250 a pair. This is much cheaper than the extensive wound care needed by most diabetics with pressure sores on their feet. It’s a few years away but this technology is likely to create a huge benefit to healthcare systems dealing with millions of aging diabetic patients with foot problems.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

Robot Brain Surgery Innovates Health Technology

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robot-brain-surgery-deviceRobot Surgery is the topic for this week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast. Now before you start going down the path of thinking Terminator movie-style robots, I’m talking about robotics overseen and controlled by skilled surgeons.

The advantages of robots for surgery is that robot hands don’t tremble and are mechanically stabilized. This means that these robot surgeons can accomplish much more complex and minuscule surgical procedures than a human robot can manage alone.

One such robot is the one created by students at Vanderbilt University in their Laboratory for Design and Control of Energetic Systems. This robot is created to specifically treat epileptics whose brain surgeries typically require removal of a section of skull and digging through upper layers of the brain to reach the areas affected by epilepsy deep in the brain.

Using a robot, though, you could enter through a much smaller hole, drilled, say, through the cheek bone and only a half inch wide. By entering the brain from the bottom up, there is much less damage to upper, cognitive layers of the brain and the robot can reach the hippocampus part of the brain with relative ease.

The robot surgeon can twist and “snake” it’s way around other brain structures identified in 3-D MRI images and cause nearly flawless entry to reach just the target zone. The segments of the invasive robot probe advance a millimeter at a time and is steered in real time while watching the MRI screen. While it’s still a few years away from being used in live humans, it shows great promise and could also be adapted for previously inoperable tumors as well. Stay tuned here on the Health Tech Weekly show for more on this and other amazing health technologies that will change our lives!

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

DANA Brain Vital Signs App Helps With Concussion Treatment

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DANABrainApp-screenshotThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I take a look at a new app that may help health care professionals like nurses, doctors, or sports trainers assess patients with concussions after an injury to the brain. What if it were as easy to check the brain’s vital signs as it is to take a temperature or measure blood pressure? While we know that 98.6 is a normal body temperature and 120/80 is a healthy blood pressure, until now, we’ve ignored our most important vital sign – brain function.

The new DANA brain health screening app helps create a standardized tool to assess normal brain and cognitive function following an injury or stroke. It can also be used to track degenerative changes in patients with diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. The tool is fast and easy to use with basic testing completed by the patient in just 5 minutes. There are also full spectrum tests lasting up to an hour.

The FDA has cleared the app for basic testing of traumatic brain injury or concussion and the U.S. military is using this tool to research effectiveness for assessing soldiers with blast injuries to their brain from combat operations. This is a great use of mobile app technology and I can see it being used to assess everything from sideline sports injury to the head to motor vehicle accident patients. You can find out more information about the DANA tool at DANABrainVital.com.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

iHealth Offer Cloud Health Tracking Solutions

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iHealth-Product-ShotHealth Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic visits the iHealth booth at CES Digital Experience event in Las Vegas to find out about their new system for helping seniors without smartphones or similar mobile devices. iHealth is known for their connected health assessment tools for the home user like blood pressure machines, blood sugar monitors, and other health devices.

The challenge for many people has been that all those devices have required someone to use a smartphone or tablet to make the most of the connected features and apps. That has all changed now that iHealth is offering their new connected hub for the home that collects data from all their connected devices and transmits that data securely to their web application for the home user to access on their computer using a normal web browser.

The data can also be shared with family members or even the user’s health care professional like a doctor or nurse monitoring them remotely. The iHealth Discover will be available by the end of 2015. You can find more information from iHealth about their products and services at iHealthLabs.com.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

LifeTrak Offers Health Tracking and Extended Battery Life

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LifeTrak_C210_blk-titanThe CES Digital Experience event is one of the most anticipated opportunities to see what is new and notable in consumer electronics. This is true for digital health products as well. Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic stopped by the LifeTrak booth to chat with Leon Wong about what they’re up to in creating innovative digital health tools.

We all might be familiar with LifeTrak as the device that reads heart rate for us in many of our high end gym equipment at a fitness center near you. Now they are producing amazing wearable tools that monitor activity, heart rate, sleep quality and more using a low profile wrist watch-like device with an astounding 1 year battery life.

I talked with Leon about their latest offerings ranging in price from $60 up to $120. They are tools meant to be worn and used everyday with features like being waterproof to up to 30 meters deep. The best part is that they are available now from major retailers and online stores. Find more information at LifeTrakUSA.com and check out these health and fitness tools from LifeTrak.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

iSwimBand Keeps Children Under Pool Parent’s Watchful Eye

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iSwimband-BOY_w_BRACELETWater safety is a big issue for prevention and awareness here in the United States. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young children and sadly is almost always preventable. Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic got the chance to chat with iSwimband COO Paul Newcomb about the iSwimband device and the additions to the product line and app since their interview last year.

The iSwimband is a small digital device that attaches to your child’s swimsuit or goggles with a clip to allow them to swim safely because you are instantly alerted when they are in danger. The alerts to the app can be adjusted to warn you the instant the iSwimband contacts water for younger children or allow alerts when submerged for up to 60 seconds for older children and accomplished swimmers. Find out more information about this important innovative safety tool at iSwimband.com.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.