New Developments in Patient-Centered Technology

The most widely used example of patient-centered technology presently in use is helping researchers gain insight into adoption facilitators and barriers that could supply guidance for the next-generation of personal health records systems.

Understanding how first-time users interact with their personal health records will enable us to design and implement future-generation systems that will serve the needs of patients and those with whom they wish to share health information, including doctors and other trusted parties. Ultimately it will help us, as physicians, provide better care for our patients.”

— David A. Haggstrom, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

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© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


Noteworthy Health-Related Apps of 2011

From an iPhone app that can assist with psychological and social research to the ability to use a smart phone as a medical monitor, the year 2011 saw a number of remarkable uses for apps in the world of healthcare.

Below, collected from the pages of Science Daily, are highlights of some of the year’s most intriguing experiments captured in the words of those involved:

We were pleasantly surprised at our ability to detect subtle findings on the CT scan, which are often very critical in patient management, using this software.”

— Dr. Mayank Goyal, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. [Goyal is director of research in the department of radiology and one of the neuro-radiologists who analyzed the data in a study that shows that doctors can make a stroke diagnosis using an iPhone application with the same accuracy as a diagnosis at a medical computer workstation.]


Brain Jog is unique among similar apps in that it has come to fruition after extensive research and collaboration with the target audience to find out exactly what appeals to them.”

— Donal O’Brien, a PhD student at Queen’s University, Belfast. [O’Brien is leading research into discovering the true effectiveness of brain training exercises with the release of an app aimed at those over 50.]


Using the iPhone or iPad to conduct scientific research is a revolutionary new concept. It could change the way that human social and psychological research is conducted because it allows us to access vast numbers of individuals from a range of demographics relatively inexpensively.”

— Professor Kathy Rastle, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London. [Rastle is the UK member of the international team of researchers that is working on conducting psychological and social research using smart phone technologies.]


Currently, doctors observe tremor during office visits and rate it on a subjective scale of zero to four. That approach seemed outdated to me, considering all the technology now available. My wife Heather, who’s an engineer, remarked that maybe that we could try putting some accelerometers on my arm. That made me think of the accelerometer in the iPhone — and here we are.”

— Robert Delano, Georgia Tech Research Institute research scientist. [Delano is a member of the team that has developed a novel iPhone application that may enable persons with certain neurological conditions to use smart phones to collect data on hand and arm tremors and relay the results to medical personnel.]

What other research into healthcare-related apps or innovative uses of smart phone technology are you aware of?

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

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