WEDNESDAY BLOTTER: It’s simply amazing that Apple iPhones and iPads continue to dominate technology conversations, despite the impressive advances of competing Android smart phones and tablets. Further illustrated in the wake of Steve Jobs’s unfortunate death last week, Apple has done a masterful job of producing products that have become part of our lives that even pull the heartstrings of many of its dedicated users.
While having a legion of followers for a product is downright creepy to many, no one can argue with the innovation Apple has produced in the mobile device market since the introduction of the iPod so many years ago. When Apple last week announced the details of their new iPhone 4s, many in the press and among the horde of Apple followers considered the new 4s release a letdown from the rumored iPhone 5 … such are the burdens of long-term, groundbreaking success, I suppose. (Full disclosure: I own an iPhone, an iPad and several generations of iPods, but I have never purposely placed an Apple logo sticker on anything I own.)
While we appear to have been spared the customary tent city of Apple fanatics camped outside your neighborhood Best Buy waiting for the chance to drop hundreds on the iPhone 5, the new iPhone 4s appears to have powerful new features useful to medical professionals, such as an improved camera and a voice recognition feature.
In an article published last week, MobiHealth News said the new 8mp camera, in combination with the new dual-core processor and increased 1GB of RAM, will allow medical providers to more easily record the physical symptoms of patients via the HD camera and HD video.
The article discusses interesting uses of the new technology to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to make a diagnosis via an app called Sermo Mobile that features iConsult, where physicians can add a photograph, x-ray or laboratory result, choose a suitable question from the list available and then immediately send it to relevant specialists in the Sermo network for feedback. If it catches on, this seems like a very intriguing intersection of social media and mHealth.
The article also discusses the potential for patients to submit photos of their ailments via MMS and receive diagnosis without having to visit a physician. Not sure how this offers much more than a simple Google search, but it will be interesting to keep on the radar.
Healthcare IT News published a recap Monday of the new iPhone features in which a mobile expert lauded the device’s optics, saying it has the potential to be used as a diagnostic tool because medical imaging will be possible once new apps become available that utilize the upgraded technology. The article also briefly addresses Siri, the iPhone’s new build-in voice assistant, which could be used by healthcare professionals as a dictation device.
Social Media in Healthcare
We’re excited to offer our new comprehensive eBook “Health IT Social Media Primer” to subscribers to the HL7 Standards newsletter. The eBook is a great way you can encourage your Health IT colleagues to get involved in social media discussions. The eBook offers step-by-step instructions to help your colleagues get engaged on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and more. If you are a newsletter subscriber and would like access to the eBook, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, complete with your name and email address.
With the final ACO rules set to be released any day, Kaiser Health News offered a good recap of what leading publications are saying we should look for in the final ruling.
How do you get patients to eConsent to share their health data? That’s the topic addressed by InformationWeek and that’s what the ONC apparently hopes to encourage by awarding $1.2 million to APP Design to spearhead a new patient education initiative.
HL7 Standards blogger Rob Brull was recently featured in “6 Tips For HIE Sustainabilty” in Healthcare IT News. If you would like to ask Rob a question about HIEs, feel free to post it in the comments section, or perhaps we can schedule it as a future #HITsm chat topic.
Speaking of Friday’s #HITsm chat topics, I’ll publish those tomorrow in a separate, easily sharable post. “See” you all on Friday!