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Inaccurate EMR Data, Patient Engagement, and Studycure: Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on September 23, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.


Primary Docs See Hope For Stronger Financials With EMR

A recent study revealed that 51 percent of doctors felt the EMRs would help solve their problems. In fact, some believe that it will help them financially as well. Their theory? Better coding and documentation will lead to more efficiency and reduction of costs. Is this a worth-while belief, or are these doctors setting themselves up for disappointment?

EMR Data Often “Innaccurate” Or “Missing”, Study Says

EMR adoption is expected to reach nearly 80 percent of healthcare organizations by 2016. This may come as a relief to some who believe that EMRs eliminate data errors that come with paper-based systems. However, EMRs may not be as accurate and complete as everyone might hope. Symptoms on patients who die quickly may not be recorded, and accuracy can depend on if a patient was treated at night or during the day. Teamwork may be the solution to eliminating EMR-based errors.

Hospital EMR

Your Facebook-like Health and Status Feed

Should healthcare practices integrate a social media-like system, incorporating real health time and status feeds, into clinical workflow? In theory, it would be a great idea. However, as with Facebook and Twitter, not every status gets read. This may get information out quickly, but maybe not to who needs to see it.

Happy EMR Doctor

Patient Engagement in the Digital Era

Patient Engagement has gone from eye-to-eye contact to Googling health questions. While this may seem like patient engagement is becoming less personal, it can be positive. Patients can be more involved in their health care, and take control of it. Dr. Michael West discusses that and more in his article this week.

Smart Phone Health Care

Studycure: Experiment Your Way to Better Health

Need some extra motivation to meet goals? Studycure is part social experiment, part motivation, and aims to help people meet their health goals. By implementing a texting program that sends reminders throughout the day and questions concerning your goal, it analyzes after a certain period of time if the methods used to meet a goal are being met. Goals are customizable, can be shared with friends and family, and others goals can be tracked and used as inspiration.

App Developers Urged to Consider Older Generations

Posted on September 14, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Earlier today, I was involved in a discussion about technology, and how “older generations” have a harder time understanding, or even wanting to be involved, in the latest innovations. As I listened to others talk about this topic, I couldn’t help but think about how often I see articles in the health care IT world concerning this very idea. Older doctors are hesitant to embrace EMRs. Smart phone apps can be confusing for someone who grew up with a phone that you had to spin the dial to call anyone (and, well, they can be confusing for me too!). We came to the conclusion that most of us just don’t like change, and someday, when we’re being told we need to “get with the times,” we’ll be longing for the early days of smart phones and technology.

Anyways, after this discussion, I was reading the latest articles over at Fierce Mobile Health Care, and came across one that seemed pertinent to the topic. Apparently, quite a few of the diabetes apps have posed some problems for older users. The article cites a study that was done that analyzed three different diabetes tracking apps that had a 4 star rating or above. The researchers discovered that “for people with declines in cognition, vision, and motor skills, they can be difficult to use — which might lead to a stop in their use entirely.”

Because of this study, the researchers, North Carolina State University’s Laura Whitlock and Anne McLaughlin, are hoping to convince app designers to consider the needs of older users when developing apps. They found that many of the problems in the three apps analyzed were easily fixed, but if they weren’t fixed, many older users would have a hard time using them.

There has been a lot of success with diabetes tracking and adherence apps, especially with people ages 13 to 19. However, because diabetes is a disease that many older people have, it would be nice if these apps could be made more accessible to them. They need to be simple. The text needs to be bigger, and the colors must be easy to read. It may not seem like a big deal to a teenager, or young adults, but for someone who hasn’t been raised with this kind of technology — it makes a big difference.

I do hope that app developers will take the needs of this “older generation” in mind as they create apps. Maybe two different versions could be made — a more “advanced” version, and a simple one. I believe that many people could benefit from health apps, and they should be easily usable by everyone. Obviously, some apps can be designed towards people who are more tech savvy. But for apps that deal with diseases that may affect a large demographic of people, some of the suggestions made in this article should be taken into consideration.

The Immortal Life of Healthcare IT, Secure Texting Scam, and iPhone Heart Rate — Around Health Care Scene

Posted on September 9, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.


The Immortal Life of Healthcare IT

Patient engagement has evolved in many ways in the past century. While patients used to rely on doctors for any information regarding health care, it’s now common for patients to “diagnose” themselves, before even stepping foot into a doctor’s office. “The Immortal Life” by Henrietta Lacks, and the authors thoughts, are compared and contrasted to life nowadays.

Interview with Verizon Wireless’ Arthur Lane

A leader for mobile health solution development for Verizon’s Connected Health, Arthur Lane, was interviewed over at EMR and EHR this past week. He focuses his work on developing solutions that help with Verizon’s wireless, cloud, and security. The interview focuses on Health IT and mHealth, and what is in the works at Verizon. He discussed the benefits of mHealth, and what is to come in the future.

Hospital EMR and EHR
What Won’t Happen in #HIT By September 2013

There’s a lot going on with Health Care IT, and it seems as if we’re always hearing about the latest and greatest innovation. However, despite the leaps and bounds that are being made, we can’t expect everything in the EMR industry to be perfect by next year. Anne Zeigler talks about things that won’t be happening in #HIT over the next year, including lack of major growth in remote monitoring and no high penetration HIE.

Meaningful Healthcare It News With Neil Versel

Sampling of opinions on meaningful use Stage 2

The meaningful use Stage 2 final rules have caused quite a bit of discussion across the web since they were announced. Some good, some bad. Neil Versel compiled some of the opinions and thoughts he has discovered over the past few weeks, and created this post with some of them.

Wired EMR and EHR Doctor

The Secure Texting Scam

Medical practices may be getting offers from companies that offer “secure texting,” that won’t violated HIPAA standards. However, how secure can texting be? Dr. Michael Koriwchak talks about the “secure texting scam,” and talks about the reasons why secure texting can fail. Don’t get caught in this trap, and end up paying a large amount for a product that might not deliver what you think.

Smart Phone Health Care

Detect Heart Rate With iPhone Camera – #HITsm Chat Discovery

Finding out your heart rate is now easier than ever — simply by using the camera on your iPhone. This new way to detect heart rate requires no special equipment, beyond an iPhone 4. The app tracks the information and allows the user to view changes over time, among other features.

Five Health Communities Every Patient Should Use

Posted on August 22, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Here are Smart Phone Health Care, I’ve focused a lot on mobile health apps. However, there are also a lot of great websites out there that have been designed to help the average person take control of their health. Some of these websites have mobile apps that accompany the sites, but even those that don’t can be accessed from a mobile browser. Here are some of the best patient information/health communities out there, at least in my opinion:

1. WebMD: I think this is quite possibly the most well-known health website out there, but it definitely should be included in this list. I recently reviewed their smart phone app, but I absolutely love their website. It’s the one I turn to most with my medical questions. Sometimes, they might provide too much information (only because it’s fuel for my hypochondriac-ism). This is definitely a one-stop medical website, as it has everything from search tools for symptoms and doctors, to medical news, to different categories with plenty of information, including healthy living, drugs and supplements, and parenting and pregnancy. I like that registered users are able to store and access health records on the site, and that, if a user allows it, healthcare providers can access the information. It’s also an interactive community, with blogs and forums, as well as the “ask the experts” feature. The site is available free of charge.

2. Vitals: When I was looking for an OB/GYN, I frequented this website. It’s a database of just about every physician around the country, and even has many international doctors listed. You can search by the doctor’s name, location, specialty, or medical need, so even if you don’t have a specific doctor in mind, you can find one that fits your needs. Users are encouraged to rate doctors on several different categories, specifically on ease of appointment, promptness, courteous staff, accurate diagnosis, beside manner, amount of time spent with patient, and follow up. It also shows which hospitals a doctor is associated with, their location, education, and other languages spoken. There’s also a cool feature where you tell the website what symptoms you have, and based on that information, a doctor is recommended for you. You can even add in an insurance filter, so you don’t waste time calling someone who doesn’t take your insurance (believe me, I know how frustrating that can be!)

3. Livestrong: This website always is among the first two or three search results whenever I have been Googling anything health related. I’ve come to really like this site, and the detailed information it provides. It was founded by Lance Armstrong and Richard Rosenblatt since March of 2008, and has been going strong ever since. The site was created to help people make good and health decisions, give inspiration, and a provide an outlet of reliable information. From the moment you enter the website, it is a customized experience — you select your gender, and then you are brought to a page with gender-specific information. Livestrong has SO much information that is pertinent to just about anyone and any topic. I’ve found ideas for substitutes for different ingredients, calorie information, and general health news. also has a great mobile app where you can track your calories and exercise.

4. Healthline: I’ve never actually used this website, but from what I have read, it is highly recommended. It is supposed to be an alternate option for going to the doctor. You can type in your symptoms and suggested diagnoses appear, and you can search for medical advice. There is a lot of information on this page about different conditions, so if you have been diagnosed with something, this would be a good place to go to find out more information. Like all the other websites I have mentioned, advice is free of charge. There is an option to sign up for alerts when information on specific topics are added, and even when something by a specific doctor or writer is updated. It is similar to WebMD in its function, but definitely has a different feel to it in my opinion.

5. iMedix: This is a social media, health community where there are support group for different conditions, where people can ask questions of other users, as well as search the large database of information that is available. Users can create profiles and message other users, and there is a great list of question and answers. I am a member of a “birth club” for the month my son was born on, and it’s just kind of nice to have a support group of people going through similar situations. I could see similar comfort coming from the support groups available on this site, which range from fitness, to depression, to the swine flu. There are some great search features, and I think it seems like a very well-managed health community. I love how it incorporates social media, and allows users to really customize their experience.

5 Must Have Mobile Apps for Runners

Posted on July 30, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

There are a lot of apps out there for runners. The question is, which ones are worth downloading? I’ve gone through quite a few different map trackers and I think I have a pretty good idea of my favorite ones. However, there are also a lot of other great apps that extend beyond map trackers. So here is a round-up of apps every runner should download:

1. Instant Heart Rate: Keeping your heart rate within an appropriate range for your age, height, and weight is essential in obtaining an optimal workout. Heart rate monitors can be pricey, however, so not many people have one. Luckily, there is a heart rate monitor that is available for your phone! Instant Heart Rate, which has an almost 5-star rating from almost 81,000 reviews. The description in the Google Play Store says that its “accuracy is constantly tested by fitness coaches, nurses, doctors, EMTs, and 5 million users.” It’s very simple to use — the user just puts their finger onto their phone’s camera and the heart rate will display in a few seconds. It’s actually a pretty neat app, and I like using this a whole lot more than trying to find my own pulse. If you are looking to optimize your runs (or other workouts!), this is a great app to have on your phone.

Download for Android phones here for free

Download for the iPhone here for .99

2. MapMyRun: This app is one of my favorites, and is part of the MapMyFitness suite. It simply tracks where you run using real-time GPS. I’ve found it to be very accurate, and I love being able to see exactly where I ran and how far I ran for. It can be connected to your account, which is an awesome website in itself. I like being able to search other runners routes that are near you, because it helps me find some variety. If you like bragging about your workouts, you can post directly to Facebook how fast and how far you ran. However, if your MPH is rather embarrassing like mine, you can just leave that information out! There are a lot of GPS running trackers out there, but I’ve found this one to be the easiest to use, and the cleanest interface.  It also tracks calories burned, information on nutrition, and more. Another very popular one is RunKeeper, which boasts of having no advertising.

Download for Android phones here

Download for the iPhone here

3. Adidas miCoach: One of the hardest parts of running, at least in my opinion, is getting the motivation to do it. Quite often the thought goes through my head “Go outside in the hot, sweat a ton, and feel sore the rest of the day or stay home in my air conditioned house and catch up on my reality TV shows”, and I want to pick the latter. However, that’s not a good way to stay in shape. So, for anyone out there who needs an extra boost, the Adidas miCoach is a great app. It uses real-time voice coaching to encourage and educate you on parts of your workout, lets you select a workout plan that is ideal for your personal  goals and body type, and many other interesting features. It even has a “shoe usage” feature that sends you alerts on how worn out your shoes are getting. So if you want your own personal trainer talking you through your runs, this is a great app to have.

Download for Android here

Download for iPhone here

4. Daily Ab Workout: A person can’t be in truly great shape just by running. You have to eat right, get enough sleep, and incorporate other workouts as well. Having a strong core is essential for running, so the Daily Ab Workout app is great to use in accordance with any running regimen. It has three ab work outs that last between 5 and 10 minutes each, and the reviews rave about it. Unlike a lot of apps similar to this on smart phones, there are full-length videos included, not just pictures or written instructions. It’s add free and has different workout modes you can select from. I haven’t used this app extensively yet, but I plan to in the future. Either way, I think it’s another app anyone who is committed to getting in better shape and becoming a better runner should have.

Download for Android here for .99

Download for iPhone here for .99

5. Epic Runner: After all the training and hard work that comes with running, it’s nice to see those efforts pay off. What better way than running in a 5K, half-marathon, or even marathon. While finding a race can be done online, this app makes it easy to find races and get a running plan that is customized for that date. It shows you a map of the races you have found in your area, and also has a fitness couch incorporated. One of the neatest features, in my opinion, is Running Calculator. It basically takes your running stats from previous runs and predict race results according to that, even down to racing categories such as age and sex. This app does cost money, but seems pretty handy.

Download for Android here

Run Tracker:

Keep you well-rounded:

Mobile Health App Investments, Controlling Dreams With Remee: This Week in Healthcare Scene

Posted on June 24, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

While it was quiet around Healthcare Scene this week, there were still some great posts on a few of the websites. Be sure to check these articles out:


VC Firms Eyeing Mobile Health App Investments

It’s no secret that the Mobile Health App industry has taken off lately. Because of this, VC firms are more interested in investing in these companies. Anne Zeiger predicts there will be a handful of investments in the industry in the coming future. This post talks about different mobile health apps being created, and where the industry seems to be headed.

“Non Structured Data Is More Valuable to Practitioners Than Discrete Research Oriented Data” 

The title of this post was inspired by a comment on John’s recent post on the EHR Bubble. Here, John discusses the advantages of non-structured data for a physician. Does non-structured data help improve the quality of care? Join the debate over at EMR and EHR this week.

Smart Phone Health Care

Control Your Dreams With the Remee Sleep Mask

If you’re like me, I’ve always wished I could dictate what I was going to dream about. The latest product from Bitbanger Labs claims to do just that. The “Remee Lucid Dreaming Mask”, with practice, apparently gives the user the ability to control their dreams. The mask brings you into the “lucid dreaming” stage, which is a more aware state of dreaming. For only $95, this new product is available for pre-order here.

Go From Couch Potato to Runner with Couch-to-5K App

A program developed a few years ago has been the catalyst behind several mobile apps. The premise behind the program is to get couch potatoes (or just about anyone) running either a 5K or for 30 minutes straight in as little as 9 week. There are a variety of apps available to help wannabe-runners get started. This post gives a general overview of the official C25K app.

MyCrisisRecords EMS Webapp Demo Video

Posted on August 29, 2011 I Written By

I recently wrote about the MyCrisisRecords system for providing critical personal health information during an emergency on our other blog, Smart Phone Health Care.  The following video is a demonstration of their EMS Webapp.  EMS is one area of healthcare that seems to be getting somewhat overlooked, but that could benefit greatly from recent improvements in technology.

In an emergency situation seconds can mean the difference between life and death, and new technological advances could save critical seconds for people who need it.



Watch the video here.

Stanford Professor Discusses the Future of Technology in Healthcare at TEDxMaastricht

Posted on July 22, 2011 I Written By

Smart Phone Health Care is all about technology in healthcare.  The amazing things that we can do with our phones.  The cool apps we can download.  The amazing little gadgets that we can buy.  All of the little things that can make life more fun, more healthy, and hopefully longer.

While doing research for one of our other blogs, EHR and EMR Videos, I came across a great video from the TEDx series.  TED talks are something I was very familiar with, and utterly enjoy.  TEDx was new to me, but is essentially the same idea just available on a broader and more local scale.  The topics are equally important, and the speakers are equally entertaining.

The talk was given by Daniel Kraft who is a professor at Stanford during TEDxMaastricht.  He really does a fantastic job of hitting on a whole lot of areas of healthcare, and how technology is making so much more possible than we ever had before.

Rather than rehash everything I have already written I will simply direct you to my other post which can be found here. I highly encourage you to take a look at the video as it will completely blow your mind with the technology that already exists and how it is going to change the way that billions of people live their lives now and in the future.

The Many Ways That your Smartphone Could Save Your Life

Posted on May 16, 2011 I Written By

There was a really interesting article in The New York Times a couple weeks ago that does a really great job of describing the different categories of healthcare, and specifically how your smartphone can help improve your health in those areas.  The full article can be found here, but the main points can be found below.


The first wave of mHealth (mobile health) apps are in areas like fitness, nutrition and general wellbeing which fall under the umbrella of “wellness”. Since the majority of contributing factors to diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer are lifestyle-related and therefore modifiable, these apps can be important preventative tools.

Chronic diseases

75-85 percent of healthcare spend goes on chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The Continua health alliance reports that remote monitoring can reduce mortality by 35-56 percent and hospitalization by up to 47 percent.

The elderly

In our youth-obsessed world, nobody likes to think about getting old and frail. But it happens to us all (if we are lucky) and we would all like to stay active and independent for as long as possible. Independa combines sensors, tablets and mobile technology to allow family caregivers to monitor the well-being of their elderly relatives when they can’t be physically present and gives the elderly easy access to services they need.


The technology required for the Mhealth revolution are mostly in place but there are other obstacles. Awareness of Mhealth apps is low among patients and medical professionals. Research from Accenture showed that among members of Generation X who had a chronic condition, only 9 percent were aware of Mhealth applications and a mere 3 percent owned one.

Mhealth is also a business in search of a business model.

The article goes much more in depth with each section talking about specific apps that can be used to improve your health, but I found these points most interesting.  The last section is where I found the most insight.

It is crazy to me that so many people are not aware of these apps and what they can do.  Maybe that comes from a perception that apps are about games and niche markets, but I was truly surprised that the numbers they gave were so low.

I also think the business model point was extremely interesting.  mHealth is combining the health world with the technology world, but in a way that has never really been done before because it is being given directly to the masses.  These apps are not something that are being restricted by doctors or hospitals but at the same time there needs to be some oversight when you get into the ones dealing with major illnesses.

It will be extremely interesting to see how companies overcome these hurdles because I have no doubt someone will and then everyone else will follow suit to try and be equally successful.