10 Wearables You Haven’t Heard Of…Yet

Smart socks

smart socks

The key to better health might be found in your feet. Sensoria’s Fitness Socks are infused with textile sensors and come with a detachable Bluetooth anklet to create a next generation health tracker designed specifically for runners. Like other fitness wearables, Fitness Socks track step, speed, calories, altitude and distance but also monitor cadence and foot landing technique as you run. Not only does this feature help identify injury-prone running styles (heel striking, ball striking, etc.), it uses a mobile app to coach the runner via real-time audio cues.

Mood boosting bracelet

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Need an energy boost? Want to relax? There’s an app for that, connected to a new wristband called doppel. The device, which debuted at CES 2017, claims to work with your body’s natural response to rhythm to change how you feel on demand. doppel creates a rhythmic pulse that is felt on the inside of the wrist as a heartbeat-like vibration. A faster rhythm makes us feel more alert, while a slower one calms us down. There’s a mobile app to track and store your personal rhythms, which are linked to your resting heart rate.

Personal protection

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If you carry your phone on your belt or in your pants pocket beware. You could be exposing your most personal parts to the electromagnetic radiation they admit. While there is little compelling evidence definitively linking this type of radiation to disease, a Toronto company has a novel solution for those not willing to take a risk. Billed as the “ultimate underwear,” Riparo’s EMF blocking boxer briefs blend silver with the standard cotton and polyester to block low level cellphone radiation. No word if a women’s product is on the horizon.

A watch that watches out for you

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Is it a watch? A fitness tracker? It’s the CarePredict Tempo, a wearable sensor that helps senior living staff and home care providers identify small changes in their patients’ daily activities that could be precursors to serious health concerns. The device learns each individual’s normal daily activity patterns and wirelessly alerts caregivers about significant variations like not waking at the typical time, eating less than usual, abnormal repetition of activities, or restless sleep.

A better bra

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Can a bra lead to better breast health? Cyrcadia Health thinks so. Its iTBra consists of two wearable, comfortable intelligent breast patches which detect abnormal circadian temperature changes within breast tissue. Data collected by the iTBra can then be sent directly to Cyrcadia Health’s lab for analysis via a PC or smart phone app. The company believes that better monitoring can lead to earlier detection of breast health issues, providing women with more treatment options.

Diagnostic Dentures

Twenty-five percent of adults age 60 and older in the U.S. have lost all their natural teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and approximately 20 million Americans wear full or partial dentures. Unfortunately, at least half of denture wearers experience problems with fit. Researchers at the University of Florida have patented the Multifunctional Smart Denture, which features micro-sensors to detect problems which lead to poor fit: gaps between the denture and oral tissue; stress, strain; pressure; movement; and temperature.  But that’s not all. The sensors have the potential to be used for more advanced applications, such as monitoring pH levels, glucose and other chemicals in the saliva to detect health issues, and to deliver medication.

Bluetooth baby booties

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New parents have long relied on baby monitors for peace of mind but today’s monitors go far beyond seeing and hearing baby’s movements in the middle of the night. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is a hypoallergenic cotton booty which allows parents to track their infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. If the results fall outside a predetermined range, parents get a notification on their smartphones.

Fitness tracker for your furry friend

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If you’re a FitBit fan who worries about your pet’s health, the PetPace may be for you. This state-of-the-art smart collar continuously collects a pet’s vital signs to warn owners about potential signs of illness, stress or other health-related problems. The PetPace uses non-invasive sensors to track temperature, activity, pulse, respiration, positions, calories consumed and burned, and heart-rate variations. It is lightweight, waterproof and comes in three sizes.

Breathalyser on board

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Ready for another round or time to call it a night? BACtrack Skyn, billed as the world’s first wearable alcohol monitor, may help you make up your mind. The device works as a standalone wearable or with the Apple Watch to continuously track alcohol levels in real time. Users get a notification when their alcohol level is increasing to remind them to slow down or stop drinking. More importantly, it provides users with clear, objective data to determine if their alcohol levels are above the legal limit for driving.

Connected clothing

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Now this is a wearable you can really wear! The Hexoskin Smart Shirt was designed to give the wearer insight about their physical training, sleep, and personal daily activities. Sensors woven into the fabric measure biometric data including heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, breathing volume, steps, pace, activity intensity level, and sleep. It can be paired with Hexoskin’s smartphone app and works via Bluetooth to provide analytics in real time.

3 Digital Health Trends Coming Soon To A Doctor’s Office Near You

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Digital healthcare is revolutionizing how we seek and receive medical treatment in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a generation ago. From new diagnostic and surgical techniques to the way patient information is stored and shared, digital health technologies are transforming every aspect of the healthcare field.

While some of the most cutting-edge technologies currently being explored may not reach patients for many years, a number of digital health advances are being implemented by hospitals and medical practices right now. We look at three trends coming soon to a doctor’s office near you.

Health tracker data

We love our FitBits, Garmins, other wearables and health tracker apps on our phones. They help us keep track of physical activity, report on the quality of our sleep, can analyze our diets and some programs even claim to monitor baseline health indicators such as resting heart rate, body fat percentage, and oxygen saturation.

The data captured by these gadgets and apps can be very valuable to healthcare professionals who traditionally rely on patients to self-report on issues such as activity and diet. Unfortunately, self-reporting is seldom accurate.

Having access to accurate, real-time data can help medical professionals offer better, more personalized care, and monitor long-term results to identify significant changes of areas of concern. In the not-too-distant future, except these apps to automatically send data straight to your personal digital health file at your doctor’s office.

Electronic Health Records & Digital Patient Registration

All that data we gather from our trackers needs somewhere to go. Increasingly hospitals, medical practices and provincial health authorities are implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs). In an ideal system, your complete medical records, test results, diagnostic images, prescription history and more would be accessible to any doctor and hospital in the province (or even the country), helping reduce errors and allowing for more efficient and effective provision of service and treatment.

Many medical practices are taking electronic records keeping a step further by eliminating paperwork and digitizing forms. Any paper form can be handled electronically using a simple all-in-one system such as Ambir Technology’s nForm.

From patient registration information to test requisitions, the forms can be completed on the tablet device which also doubles as an e-signature pad, and delivered or stored electronically. No more lost paperwork, no need for patients to manually fill in the same information on multiple forms.

Virtual appointments

Imagine waiting for your appointment in the comfort and privacy of your own home instead of in an office surrounded by sick people, or being able to consult with a specialist hundreds of miles away, without any travel required.

With medical records, test results and diagnostic images now accessible remotely from anywhere, the need to meet with a doctor face to face is diminishing too.

Virtual appointments via live video chat can provide those in remote locations access to much needed medical services and can reduce the backlog and wait times for care, particularly in areas with doctor shortages.

 

 

 

10 Can’t-Miss Digital Health Conferences in 2017

2017 healthcare conferences to attend

With digital health innovations and advances in healthcare IT growing daily by leaps and bounds, you can’t afford to get left behind. Get a jump on tomorrow’s technologies today and learn from some of the brightest minds in the business from Canada and around the globe. Check out our list of 9 can’t-miss digital health conferences to watch for in 2017 – plus one this month to get you started.

Infoway Partnership Conference

November 16-17, 2017, Toronto, ON

The 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference: A Conversation About Digital Health, is an annual event designed to create a forum for knowledge exchange, debate and discussion. This year’s conference takes place during Canada’s Digital Health Week and will focus on three areas: medication management, interoperability and consumer health solutions.

Digital Health Summit at CES 2017

January 5-8, Las Vegas, NV

CES has long been a Mecca for avid technology fans but did you know it’s also host to one of the world’s premier digital health events? Key topic for 2017 include personalized medicine, the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality to diagnose and treat illness, and how technology is transforming the study of sleep.

IoT Big Data Healthcare Summit

January 31 – February 1, Vancouver, BC

The objective of the IoT Big Data Healthcare Summit is to bring the whole healthcare industry under one roof and understand opportunities and challenges Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and tools present. Needs and challenges faced by each of these are unique and so are opportunities to improve service, reduce costs, and improve healthcare systems.

HiMSS Conference & Exhibition

February 19-23, 2017, Orlando, FL

The 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition brings together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world. It is THE place to experience exceptional education, world-class speakers, cutting-edge health IT products and powerful networking with other professionals and thought leaders in the healthcare IT industry.

Mobile Healthcare Summit

March 8-9, 2017, Toronto, ON

The 13th annual Summit on Mobile Healthcare comes to Toronto in March, bringing with it the opportunity to learn how to advance patient-centred care, improve your connected systems, protect patient information, ensure medication and treatment compliance, and reduce operating costs.

MedX │Ed 2017

April 22-23, 2017, Stanford, CA

Stanford University will host its popular Medicine X │Ed Conference again in 2017. The event was conceived as a catalyst for new ideas about the future of medicine and health care. The initiative explores how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health, and empower patients to be active participants in their own care. The “X” is meant to encourage thinking beyond numbers and trends—it represents the infinite possibilities for current and future information technologies to improve health.

Medical Informatics World Conference

May 22-23, 2017, Boston, MA

The 5th annual Medical Informatics World Conference has a mission: challenging leaders from across healthcare to deliver patient-centred solutions with IT innovations. Five focused conference tracks allow the community to delve into the most pressing topics of cross-industry data sharing, population health management, patient engagement, clinical decision support, predictive analytics, telehealth, sensors for healthcare applications, implantables and wearables, and interoperability. 

E-Health 2017

June 4-7, Toronto, ON

Billed as Canada’s only national e-health conference and tradeshow, E-Health 2017 will showcase the many successful products, success stories and leaders in Canada’s digital health journey to more than 1,500 delegates.

Digital Health

July 2-5, London, UK

Global public health, personalised medicine, and emergency medicine in the age of Big Data are the themes for the 2017 Digital Health gathering in London. DH 2017 will cover a wide spectrum of subjects including communities of practice and social networks, analytics and engagement with tracking and monitoring wearable devices, big data, public health surveillance, persuasive technologies, epidemic intelligence, participatory surveillance, disaster and emergency medicine, serious games for public health interventions and automated early identification of health threats and response.

Rock Health Summit

Fall 2017, San Francisco, CA

The Rock Health Summit is specially designed to bring together diverse minds from healthcare, technology, venture, policy, research and beyond to explore the future of digital health. The San Francisco-based event brings together over 600 diverse minds from technology, medicine, policy, and beyond to tackle healthcare’s most challenging problems through interactive programming.

Use of EHRs in Healthcare Still Small, but Benefits are Big

Despite the benefits of electronic healthcare records (EHRs), many facilities aren’t incorporating them into their establishment’s procedures. This is leading to medical facilities being much less efficient than they could be. The popularity of electronic healthcare records isn’t as popular as one may expect. Less than one-quarter of medical establishments utilize this technology. It assumed that the cost of converting records to electronic deters, and sometimes prevents, facilities from converting. However, once switched to electronic record keeping, it saves facilities money and has numerous other benefits.

1. Reduced Amount of Medical Errors 

EHRs reduce the number of medical errors. They have the ability to store a high quantity of information and are easy to read. They force the person to switch to the another page of information with each patient, which prevents some errors. The overabundance of writing with traditional records leads to people getting sloppy with their handwriting. People end up just getting guessing what orders say, which leads to medical errors. Sometimes, people just don’t write neatly, and the same problem occurs. Spelling errors, abbreviations and difficult-to-read writing be confusing and cause errors with medications and dosages. This leads to medical errors. Having to call the doctor or track down another staff member is time-consuming. All of these scenarios are prevented with electronic record keeping.

2. Saves Money  

The paper and several other aspects of the administrative duties cost a significant amount of money for people to sign documents in a traditional manner. And it’s forever costing the facility since supplies must be reordered on a regular basis, usually monthly for many facilities and products. It’s much cheaper to use EHRs regularly.

3. Less Time Consuming  

It’s much less time consuming to type and scan, then it is to write. Plus, not having to track down people to figure out information saves time, so employees have more time with patients and other responsibilities. Employees have the ability to be much more efficient.

4. Less Storage Issues  

All the paper files start to accumulate. Because issues may occur far in the future, facilities must keep records for many, many years. All of the files and documents take up space. The facility might not have the space to store it all and, therefore, requires a storage facility or an entirely separate building. This leads to a person needing to travel to the storage area to get the necessary files. Oftentimes, they hire a company to retrieve the files. This is an extra expense that’s costly, especially if the records need to be retrieved on a rush delivery. If the records remain on-site, it takes away space that can be used for a different purpose.

EHRs store a large quantity of information about the patient for diagnosing and providing treatment. It makes it easy to access and input information, even during admissions and discharges. The process saves money and prevents medical errors. They can be accessed from various locations, even at the same time. Turning to EHRs has many perks for a facility and not just for having less of an environmental impact.

5. Integrate with nForm and Go Paperless

Simply put, Ambir’s nForm converts any paper form into an electronic form.

It uses forms or documents generated by your application, or existing forms in PDF, Microsoft Word, JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG formats. There is no need to convert, modify or redesign these forms. Forms are sent to nForm 410x, Android or iOS tablets using a virtual print driver. Any application that can print a form or document, can easily send the form or document to nForm. Forms can also be sent to tablets directly from the 410x user interface.

Completed forms are input to the patient registration system, EHR or document management system using a TWAIN interface just like a document scanner, eliminating the need for complicated integrations. Completed forms can also be automatically saved as: PDF, JPG, TIF or BMP by nForm. If the document management or EHR system supports printing and TWAIN scanners or automatic import from a watched folder, it supports nForm.

Check out Ambir nForm here

How to Make Patient Registration Paperless with Electronic Forms

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An average patient visit will generate 13 pieces of paper (source: Institute of Medicine).

As well, of the organizations that have Electronic Health Records or are implementing them, nearly 80% still use paper records in their processing workflows (Source: InformationWeek).

In other words, there’s still a lot of paper waste in the healthcare industry.

And not only paper waste, but time spent filing, scanning, entering data into a computer, shredding – not to mention the security and privacy risks of misplaced paper forms.

But electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are changing the way healthcare providers collect and store patient information.

Today, paperless systems are in place with the large hospital groups, medical clinics and lifestyle centers, each acknowledging the benefits expediting documented information in several health care aspects related to the patients’ quality of care and physician’s satisfaction with going paperless.

As health information technology becomes a central part of health care management and its policy’s, electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are serving hospitals, physician groups and care giving organizations.

The purpose of the paperless system is to manage patient records, maintain demographic data and laboratory test information, prescriptions details on warnings, and interactions within a shared document management system.

The biggest concern has been the retention of privacy, especially with multiple levels of security when using tablets and mobile devices. As these devices become more common with the use of technology advancements, patients have adapted to a paperless world.

Technology has also developed the ability to integrate systems, converting any type of healthcare form capable of being sent to a printer to a paperless configuration without loss of data or information contained on the form.

Our nForm solution is designed specifically for this function eliminating hard paper filing, editing and the loss of information or documents as a result of human intervention.

With nForm, the electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are completed by the patients using a tablet and electronic pen rather than the physical document form.

The electronic form is uploaded directly into the electronic medical record (EMR) or customer relationship management system (CRM). Once the uploading is complete the system automatically secures the information with the signature and clears all data from the device for a seamless integration.

As the patient updates the records on each visit the electronic forms are uploaded for review of previous and current information, request prescription, scheduled appointments, and referrals. Physicians and staff can share information within minutes, streamlining the office processes so workers can concentrate on patient and physician’s necessities.

As well, nForm ensures the accurate data transfer to existing medical and patient records which improves communication between multiple providers. Paperless features reduce errors for medical orders delivered directly from the system, enhancing aspects of long term and preventive care, especially for patient records noting allergic reactions or drug interactions.

The physician’s office forms are uploaded by using either the scanning application or a PDF format for entry. The physician’s and office forms become available immediately, ensuring updates, revisions or additional electronic forms are captured and filed for use as needed.

Electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms help streamline workflows and reduce paper waste for healthcare providers, while also enabling a more private and secure patient experience.

To request more information about nForm click here

Top Tweets & Stats from #HIMSS16

HIMSS is the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and they put on one of the largest conferences in the healthcare industry every year.

Last week HIMSS 2016 too place, where 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world came together in Las Vegas – including the Ambir team:

Ambir Team at HIMSS

With social media and information sharing becoming a bigger part of the event every year, we thought we’d curate some of the most Tweeted stats and info from HIMSS16:

10 Digital Health Innovators & Technologies

Given that diseases are constantly evolving, innovation is crucial to success in the healthcare industry. Each year, hundreds of companies develop new devices to improve human health. The most promising recent innovations include:

1. Edible Sensors from Proteus Digital Health

The human body is coursing with energy, so why not use that energy to power a medical device? Proteus‘s new sensor is made of edible materials that the patient consumes in pill form. The sensor uses bodily energy to measure heart activity, heart rate, and other important health metrics. It then sends real-time health updates to the patient’s phone.

2. Ginger.io Apps

This new line of apps measures patients’ activities on their smartphones. If the patient does something irrational, unusual, or otherwise indicating that he or she is unwell, it contacts the patient’s caregivers and requests swift medical attention.

3. Zest Health Apps

Administrative costs account for a huge portion of modern healthcare spending, so Zest Health seeks to simplify hospital administration. It offers Registered Nurse concierge support, health benefit updates, quick communication with employers and caregivers, and other services to quickly resolve medical and insurance issues.

4. Sproxil’s Drug Codes

Thousands of patients receive the wrong drugs each year, and many die as a result. Sproxil, however, has developed a system of codes to authenticate medications. Patients need only scratch off the label, read the code underneath, and text it to Sproxil. The company will then let them know if it’s the right product.

5. IBM’s Watson Computer

Modern cancer treatment is largely a matter of timing. The sooner the doctor catches it and finds the right treatment, the more likely the patient is to recover. The Watson computer has access to oncology data and experts throughout the world, and quickly giving physicians the information they need to diagnose and treat cancer.

6. Nanobiosym’s Diagnostic Machines

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Treatments for HIV/AIDS are more effective than ever, but many patients don’t learn they have the disease until it’s too late. With Nonobiosym‘s handheld diagnostic machines, patients can perform their own HIV tests in a matter of hours.

7. AdhereTech Pill Bottles

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AdhereTech has developed new pill bottles that measure how often patients take their medications. If a patient misses a dose, it promptly reminds them.

8. The LiftLabs Spoon

Those with neurodegenerative diseases often struggle to feed themselves, so LiftLabs has developed a spoon that counters that mitigates the disease’s tremors.

9. Doximity

Modeled off business networking sites like LinkedIn and Monster,  Doximity helps doctors to collaborate with each other. Over 400,000 doctors have already joined, and use the site regularly to share information and obtain second opinions. Each doctor is thus less likely to make a mistake.

10. The Ambir nForm

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To ensure prompt, paperless, and effective data collection, the Ambir nForm contains a wide range of digitized documents. Patients and caregivers can sign the forms electronically, ensuring that all necessary paperwork will be filled out. All documents are then stored in an easily recoverable format.