mobile devices

Guest-writing for iMedicalApps, a mobile technology blog, & covering Health 2.0's Health:Refactored conference

iMedicalApps website

iMedicalApps, a leading blog for mobile applications for physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers, has graciously taken me on as a guest writer for their site. I’m grateful to Satish Misra, a partner, editor, and an internal medicine resident doc at Johns Hopkins, for the opportunity!

You can read some of my articles already up on their site:

Health:Refactored stage

This week, I’m covering the Health 2.0 Health:Refactored developer conference, which focuses on the development and design of health applications, including medical records, mobile apps, and more. It’s a much smaller conference than Health 2.0, but so far the energy has been very high!

I’ll post the articles onto iMedicalApps with Satish’s help, and tweet from both my @StevenChanMD account and the @iMedicalApps Twitter account. See you there!

UC Davis: Future of telehealth (part 2)

Telehealth involves incorporating care beyond traditional clinics and hospitals, and into two more domains: (1) at home, (2) in the community. Thomas Nesbitt, MD MPH, at the University of California, Davis, spoke at UC Davis’s most recent monthly Health IT seminar covering the future of telehealth. I covered some of the questions concerning telehealth in my earlier post; here, I’ll cover some of the challenges he touched upon during his talk.

At home, telehealth can potentially manage chronic diseases better. We are used to seeing health professionals during sporadic one-time episodes. Care management models are migrating towards more frequent patient contact and regular physiologic management.

This can make things like managing hypertension more accurate. Some patients might forget to take their meds for awhile, so they “spiff themselves up” beforehand to make it appear as if they were more compliant before a doctor’s visit. Or perhaps they get “white coat hypertension,” becoming more nervous while in the doctor’s office.

Telehealth can instead monitor blood pressure on a more frequent basis to have a more accurate picture of a patient’s day-to-day blood pressure.

Sensors like this SecuraPatch Sensor can help track heart rate, respiration rate, falls, stress, skin temperature, activity, caloric burn, and even body posture. It’s nearly the size of a Band-Aid but does a whole lot more!


Projects from the VA in the mid-2000’s, dedicated medical devices and peripherals for iPhones (and, I hope, Android devices), and even pills with embedded chips (as previously covered by Stephen Colbert in Cheating Death) demonstrate how telehealth can work at home.

UC Davis: What is the future of telehealth? (part 1)

Numerous industry and economic changes are causing healthcare to incorporate telehealth and mobile health technologies. Thomas Nesbitt, MD MPH, at the University of California, Davis, spoke at our most recent monthly Health IT seminar covering the future of telehealth. He declared that the shortage of physicians, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act with its consequent increased demand for health services, and the Institute of Medicine’s focus on increasing healthcare quality.

We need more than just improvement...We need transformation.

As a result, there will be numerous transformations over the next few years: a focus on population health, treatment at home (versus institutions), integration of services, and increased usage of technology.

Putting together Health 2.0 Sacramento's inaugural kick-off

Last Wednesday, we hosted the Health 2.0 Sacramento’s inaugural kick-off to a crowd.

I couldn’t believe the energy in the room.

A few of my new friends in Sacramento and I put together a new group, Health 2.0 Sacramento, to bring together people interested in mobile devices, Internet technologies, and healthcare. With some generous financial support from Health 2.0’s Jennifer Lee, two amazingly talented speakers, one Costco run later with my sweetie, and the Hacker Lab co-working space, we put together the inaugural kick-off event in a few short weeks.

Keisuke Nakagawa talks about his non-profit, Global Health Bridge read more→

New meet-up group Health 2.0 Sacramento launches with end-of-March party

Hacker Lab I’m proud to announce that a group of talented inviduals — plus myself — have started a new volunteer-run group in Sacramento for people who are interested in the intersection of healthcare plus Internet and mobile technology. Keisuke Nakagawa (a UC Davis medical student who founded his own DC-based nonprofit that uses interactive voice tech to advance maternal-fetal health), Jay Sales (a leader at VSP Global’s innovation center), and Gabriela Lee (a leader at the NSF Center for Biophotonics) have banded with me to start this group. We thought that Sacramento needed a way to bring together all of these elements, especially since UC Davis is such a powerhouse in health informatics and is expanding into wireless devices for healthcare.

Eric Ullrich at the newly-founded Hacker Lab co-working space, plus support from Jennifer Lee at the larger Health 2.0 international group, and VSP Global, have helped get us off the ground. We’re indebted to them.

Why aren't medical systems more usable? Stanford medical informatics director on designing health IT systems

Ron Jiminez, MD speaks on health IT design

Ron Jimenez, MD, FAAP, one of Stanford Medicine’s medical informatics directors, brought together the concepts of usability, technology, and medicine at the monthly UC Davis Health Informatics Seminar. His goal: make Epic, one of the leading electronic medical record (EMR) system providers, usable for Stanford’s numerous clinics and hospitals.

Why is usability in medical records important?

A peek into Hacker Lab in Sacramento, plus the appeal of HTML5 as a mobile app platform

Sacramento isn’t well-known for its software development community. But ever since moving into the region, I’ve been surprised to know that there’s a scene with plenty of activity.

Hacker Lab's open lobby space

Take Hacker Lab, for instance. This co-working space and non-profit recently opened in the Midtown district — just 5 blocks from the Blue Line 12th & I Station — and is hosting all sorts of developer events. I attended its Mobile App Developer panel recently, featuring engineers and managers from all sorts of backgrounds. One panelist has even overseen development of Adobe Photoshop; and another recently dropped out of university to forge ahead in the startup world! I’ve included my tweets from the event below, which includes recommendations from the panelists on what to focus on.

Hacker Lab HTML5 mobile app dev panelists

How do you strike iPhone App Store gold? Appillionaires book dives into indie game developers' stories

Appillionaires book cover

Chris Stevens’s book Appillionaires chronicles the explosive growth of Apple’s App Store and dives into the background behind popular, successful apps like Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. The book doesn’t cover the Android app landscape at all, nor does it cover any of the other application stores (e.g. Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace or the Mac App Store). And since it focuses on popular apps, it only primarily covers indie game developers who have struck it rich, not on applications like productivity office suites or medical apps. However, it’s a great glimpse into this cutthroat industry.

Tablet devices for medical students and physicians: Android (Honeycomb) or iOS (iPad)?

I use an Android tablet while in the hospital, and no, UC Irvine doesn't give all medical students an iPad

I get a lot of questions from medical students and residents interested in purchasing a tablet. These tablet devices are essentially thin, large-screen computers that weigh about 1 pound with great Internet connectivity and batteries that last for more than 7 hours. These are amazingly useful for physicians for looking up medication dosages, showing patients illustrations of procedures, viewing anatomy while in the operating room, sorting through e-mail, and — best of all — reading and annotating PDF files of the latest medical journals without lugging around pounds and pounds of paper.

There are two operating system choices that you — as a physician or a medical student — can run on your next tablet:

  • an iOS device: the Apple iPad is the only tablet that runs iOS
  • an Android device: a large variety are available, manufactured by Asus, Acer, Motorola, Sony, and other computer and phone companies

There are two other tablet systems out there running Palm webOS and Blackberry OS, but there are hardly any medical software available for those two platforms. You shouldn’t bother considering these two operating systems. Windows 7 also runs on tablets as well, but while the system runs any Windows application you throw at it, the OS was not made strictly for mobile use and suffers from poor battery life and a cumbersome user interface.

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