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 | Vol. 12 No. 24, December 2, 2015  |

National Survey of Americans' Health App Use Shows Technology's Promise and Weakness
Like the treadmills and stationary bikes that become rec room coatracks, fitness and other health-related smartphone apps are acquired in large numbers by Americans, but over time, many are left unused by those who download them. According to results of an online national survey analyzed by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center, 58% of 1,604 adult smartphone users had downloaded one of the estimated 40,000 available health-related mobile applications, and 42% had downloaded five or more. Most downloaded and used health apps are related to personal fitness and nutrition: to track physical activity (53%), food consumption (48%), weight loss (47%), and exercise instruction (34%). Some 65% of respondents, equally split among men and women, reported using their apps daily.
The average age of respondents was 40, and a majority had annual incomes of less than $50,000 (US).
Some 65% of those surveyed said the apps had improved their health, and a majority also had a strong degree of faith in health apps' accuracy and effectiveness. However, 46% reported having downloaded an app they no longer used. In addition, concerns about cost, disinterest over time, and privacy were apparent barriers to wider and more effective use of the apps.
The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth. Study lead investigator and clinical psychologist Paul Krebs, PhD, says that far more must also be done to test and validate the health benefits of apps and the app developers also need to address consumer concerns about privacy, keeping purchase costs low, and reducing the burden of data entry.


Microwave Excitation Generates Ultrasound to Detect Tumors Deep Inside Body
Stanford researchers working on technology for detection of buried plastic explosives may have come up with a way of spotting tumors deep within the human body. The technology works by delivering microwaves toward the area being analyzed, exciting the tissue so that it in turn emits ultrasound waves. An ultrasound transducer is then used to detect the signal and a computer processes the results to reconstruct the image.
The technology relies on capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers that are able to detect very weak signals that travel through varying media. The device doesn’t even have to make contact with the object that’s being scanned. The team performed experiments using objects stuck into a tissue-like material, which they were able to detect while keeping the device about a foot away from the target.
Eyes-On Wearable Ultrasound and IR Glasses for Easy Venipuncture, Maybe Much More
Evena Medical, a Roseville, CA firm, is releasing an ultrasound and near-infrared device for vein viewing that clinicians can simply wear like a pair of bulky glasses. The Eyes-On glasses apparently use Epson‘s Moverio technology that displays an image laid over the wearer’s field of view.
The glasses project both infrared light and ultrasound onto the skin, the first for viewing peripheral veins, while the latter for deeper targets such as the femoral vein and artery. The returning images are captured by their respective sensors and turned into an image that’s viewed right over the patient’s skin in real time. The nurse doesn’t require an extra hand to use the Eyes-On glasses and can quickly move between patients without pushing a cart around.

Canada: ImagineNation Challenge Announces Second Data Impact Challenge
Canada Health Infoway is kicking off the next Challenge: Data Impact Challenge II: Answering Healthcare Questions to Support Decision Making, and they want to hear from you!
Have a burning healthcare question you want to see answered in the Data Impact Challenge? Submit it, vote for it and it could be included in the Challenge, and you could receive $100. All Canadians are invited to submit healthcare questions that they would like to see in the Challenge. Each question submission will be posted and voted on by the Canadian public. The questions will be made available for authorized users of health data sets to answer for the potential to earn rewards.
CloudClinik aims to provide e-health facilities in Pakistan
CloudClinik, an online electronic medical record (EMR) software for doctors and patients, developed by software development company, INFOGISTIC, aims at transforming the healthcare sector of the country by providing e-health facilities. CloudClinik is a cloud-based EMR and practice management solution that takes care of entire clinical and non-clinical workflow of the clinic from walk-in or online patient registration, to appointment tracking, patient medical history and insurance claim generation besides ensuring iron-clad security of patient's data and privacy.
Small clinics in Pakistan are not using any sort of technology to maintain records at grassroots level. Installation of CloudClinik would not only keep the patients up-to-date regarding their treatments/surgeries, but would also help doctors analyse their practice and further use it for research purposes. The cost-effective software is designed for developing markets and the company aims to launch the service in other developing countries as well.
i~HD Inaugural Conference - March 10, 2016, Paris
The Inaugural Conference of the European Institute for Innovation through Health Data (i~HD) will be held on March 10, 2016 in Paris, France. ~HD is a not-for-profit European institute, with a mission to guide and catalyze the quality, interoperability and trustworthy uses of health data, for optimizing health and knowledge discovery.
This Inaugural Conference will mark the parallel launch of a novel European platform to support multi-centre clinical research. This operational platform, the result of the European project EHR4CR (Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research), can connect securely to the data within multiple hospital EHR systems and clinical data warehouses across Europe, to enable a trial sponsor to predict the number of eligible patients for a candidate clinical trial protocol, to assess its feasibility and to locate the most relevant hospital sites. The conference will also spotlight the challenges and state-of-the-art approaches to improving the quality and semantic interoperability of clinical data. i~HD will play an important future role in the development and quality labelling of semantic interoperability standards, bringing together clinical and research domain experts, with patients, to help ensure that future standards support patient care, learning health systems and clinical research.


The Patient is Key during eHealth Week 2016
The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the European Commission and HIMSS Europe officially announced the themes of eHealth Week 2016 in Amsterdam (8 - 10 June 2016). Empowering People, Trust & Standards and Social Innovation & Transition will be the three main topics which will be addressed during the three day conference in June. The patients will have a prominent role during the event, reflecting the focus which is being placed on people and citizens who are using eHealth in the Netherlands and across Europe.
 eHealth Week is an official part of the Presidency of the Netherlands in the Council of the European Union, which will take place from 1 January until 30 June 2016. During eHealth Week 2016, over 2,000 international experts in IT and healthcare, public institutions, professional and patient organizations are expected to attend.
Games for Health Finland wins a European Enterprise Promotion Award in Luxembourg
Games for Health Finland, which promotes innovative solutions in the health and wellness sector, was chosen as the national winner in the 9th European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The awards were presented at the SME Assembly held in Luxembourg from 18 to 20 November 2015.
Games for Health Finland was entered in the award category of "Improving the business environment", which recognizes innovative policies that promote enterprise start-up and growth, simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses and implement the "ink Small First" principle in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises. The Grand Jury Prize for the entrepreneurial initiative considered the most creative and inspiring in Europe was won by Creative Quarter from the United Kingdom *).


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