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Company Introduces Platform For Wirelessly Connecting Medical Devices

Post image for Qualcomm announces major breakthrough for connected medical devices #mHS11

One of the major announcements at last week’s mHealth Summit was made by Qualcomm who introduced a new platform for wirelessly connecting medical devices. The 2net platform abstracts away the details of connecting a sensor to a cloud-based server.

Right now, if a company develops a great  lightweight sensor to measure, say, walking speed, it will also have to engineer a way for that information to be transferred wirelessly, sometimes across a couple of stops, to its eventual destination somewhere on a server. Although these same challenges repeat for every device, each company has to “reinvent the wheel”.

Additionally, once it arrives at the company’s servers that rich collection of data would still be isolated – in a “data silo”. If another company comes along with a terrific heart rate sensor and suggests, “why don’t we combine the two data streams and make a useful new app”, not only would they have to recreate the entire chain of communication for themselves, the two companies would have to agree to methods for their two servers to talk and share information.

2Net makes almost all of the above problems Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Cardiologist Discusses Upcoming mHealth Summit

Post image for Dr. Eric Topol discusses this “extraordinary time” in medicine #mHS11

Dr. Eric Topol

It is hard to easily comprehend the depth and breadth of Dr. Topol’s career. He has been a major figure in cardiology, genomics and wireless health while also assuming leadership positions in landmark institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Scripps Institute in La Jolla.

As chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, he led the program to become number one for heart care. He was lead investigator on numerous national & worldwide cardiovascular clinical trials and started a medical school at the Clinic. He was also among the first physicians nationwide to call attention to the potential cardiac dangers of Vioxx. His very public criticism of Merck and the FDA brought to light the intimate but not always visible connections between the pharmaceutical industry and academic medicine.

Later he moved to San Diego, where he currently serves as director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health and Professor of Translational Genomics. He has been a leading proponent of wireless medicine for more than a decade. He co-founded the West Wireless Health Institute with Gary and Mary West who contributed the initial $45m gift to start the Institute and have since committed an additional $100m to found a not-for-profit venture fund for wireless health companies. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Institute which is dedicated to “innovating, validating, and advocating for the use of technologies including wireless medical devices to transform medicine.” Be sure to check out our recent interview of WWHI chief executive Don Casey.

Dr. Topol is delivering the opening keynote for the mHealth Summit on December 5. His new book “The Creative Destruction of Medicine” is also making its debut at the Summit as an e-book, available to meeting attendees. Read below to hear his thoughts on the mHealth Summit and wireless platforms’ potential to improve health & transform the practice of medicine.

Why are you participating in the mHealth Summit? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Medbloggers As Press: Second Class Citizens Or New Media Elite?

dr_val_jones_163I’ve been covering a lot of health and medical conferences lately, and experiencing a wide range of reactions to my work. For those in the media who “get” blogging – I’m treated with honor and respect. One conference organizer kindly lined up the key note speakers for me to interview, not allowing them to leave until I’d asked them all the questions I desired.

A different conference PR team forbade me to Twitter during the conference believing that “Twittering” was code for recording the conference and selling it to those who didn’t want to pay the high attendance fees. One CEO enthusiastically beckoned me over to speak with him (seeing my bright green press ribbon) and then looked at my title “blogger” and said in an irritated voice, “oh, you’re not real press.” At yet another conference I was invited as press and then asked to pay $30/day for Internet access. When I asked if I could interview the keynotes I was told, “I’m sure they won’t want to talk to you.”

As you can see, my experience has varied from being treated like a second class citizen, to being critical to the PR strategy. As a physician and a member of the National Press Club, I find it amusing to be “shattering the categories” in all kinds of ways. Most people find it hard to reconcile that I’m a “real doctor” who is also a full time blogger. I see patients once a week, and I cover conferences/conduct interviews/evaluate news on my blog the rest of the time. “But you can’t be a real doctor,” they say, peering at my press badge, “you don’t look like one.”

For PR and communications strategist in the know, medical bloggers are powerful way to reach their target audience. Better Health, with its partner sites and blogger network, reaches over 11 million unique viewers per month. As the CEO, I have been invited to speak at AMA sponsored conferences, on CBS and ABC news, at the National Library of Medicine, and have been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, and LA Times. A PR executive told me recently, “forget the Today Show, Better Health reaches a larger and more targeted health demographic.”

And yet, blogging and new media are ahead of industry, traditional PR, and communications efforts in healthcare in terms of reach and influence. Very few have figured out how to work with medical bloggers in any consistent way, even though there’s a great new channel to do so: the Better Health network.

As I have often said, blogging is upstream of mainstream media. It’s a great place to be, though misunderstood by some. I’ve grown a thick skin and expect confused looks – because I know that in a year or so, medical bloggers will be an integral part of health conference coverage, probably upstaging their current mainstream counterparts. One day soon blog networks like Better Health will be in a position to hire journalists as part of a new hybrid team of reporters and scientists, better able than ever to communicate the significance of health news.

Imagine getting immediate commentary from a researcher who understands the complex science behind a medical breakthrough? Even the best health writers are often ill-equipped to know how to interpret author spin or biostatistics. But by combining those trained in journalism with those trained in medicine – and producing content that is conversational and accurate – readers gain access to a deeper understanding of health information. The old journalism mantra “we report, you decide” becomes “we interpret, you decide.” And for those without a medical background, the interpretation can add tremendous value.

As the world adapts to the Internet age, watch for a fundamental shift in the way health information is reported. Adding physician, nurse, and scientist writers into the mix will only enhance the quality of what we read. In a world grieving the loss of newspapers and health beats, I remain optimistic – because I believe we’re on the verge of a rebirth in health communications, and we’ll all be better for it.

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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