Before the Federal Trade Commission or Food and Drug Administration tackle another mobile health technology investigation, the two federal agencies--both of which are charged with protecting consumers--need to huddle up in a conference room, lock the door and not come out until they produce a clear map of what they're responsible for when it comes to oversight and regulating such tools. Why? Because right now it's getting quite difficult to figure out who's keeping on eye on the shallow end of the mobile health technology pool and who's watching the deep end.
Sometimes when it comes to technology and all that's happening with mobile tech and mHealth tools, one can get mired down in the muck of hype, hyperbole, snazzy phrases and clichés (don't get me started on my pet peeve with 'at the end of the day' still pitched out by vendors and 'visionaries'). But every now and then, someone--typically in the frenzy of actually advancing mHealth--says exactly the perfect phrase to define a mobile health strategy in the most concise and clear way.
While wearables primarily are buckled to consumers' wrists at this point, they'll soon find a new home: the ear, says Craig Stires, associate vice president for big data, software and analytics at IDC Asia Pacific. And they might even get a new moniker: hearables.
A vast number of mobile applications promising blood pressure and hypertension management capabilities lack validation and require greater oversight, claims a study published this month in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.
Fitness and activity trackers are the largest product category within wearable tech, a market segment enjoying robust growth with 19 million wearables sold this year and boasting a 54.7 annual growth rate that will propel wearable shipments to 168.2 million by 2019, according to a new Berg Insight report.
More than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals are using smartphones and or tablets and 69 percent of clinicians are using both a desktop/laptop and a smartphone/tablet to access data, according to the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Mobile Devices Study.
A New Jersey medical center now boasts its own mHealth app bar, a la Apple's retail store, to provide patients, staff and visitors tech support and training on mobile software and devices.
Smartphones and other devices pose tremendous promise for healthcare, but getting data to prove that assertion, specifically among niche patient populations, isn't easy. One example is a research effort by UCLA grad students on how mobile apps could help boost young gay black men's health and help prevent potential diseases, such as AIDS and diabetes, according to a LA Times report.
Smartphone apps that monitor human behavior, speech and voice levels, moods and social interaction are being researched as potential tools for helping those suffering from mental illness, include bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Researchers hope someday soon that such tools will also be able to predict and serve as a proactive mechanism for alerting patients and doctors on impending mental illness episodes.
Nearly half of American adults, 48 percent, are extremely interested in using smartphone and tablets for checking blood pressure, 47 percent are interested in tools that monitor their heartbeats and 23 percent are somewhat interested in using mHealth apps and devices, according to a new Harris Poll.