Tag Archives: apps

Phone Apps Planned for Stroke Patients, Caregivers

SUNY Downstate Medical Center has received an award to develop mobile phone apps to help enhance stroke patient care.

The federally funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has awarded $500,000 to SUNY Downstate Medical Center to develop applications for mobile phones designed to help stroke patients and their caregivers.

…progress has been limited in providing successful mobile technology to help patients manage cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and other illnesses. Nevertheless, there is enormous potential for patients and their caregivers to improve health outcomes through this technology, including among the elderly, minorities, and those of limited financial means, who are often most in need of better care. We are looking to develop a model program that will address stroke risk and disease management that will be applicable to other conditions as well.”

— Steven R. Levine, MD, professor of neurology and emergency medicine, SUNY Downstate

The planned smartphone apps will make possible better identification and make it easier to manage healthcare needs and risk factors. The award is part of PCORI’s Pilot Projects Program, whose mission is to support research designed to offer patients, caregivers, and clinicians information to make better healthcare decisions.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/sdmc-sdr070912.php

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


Unique Apnea Monitor Prompts Infants to Resume Breathing

The Babalung monitor prompts premature infants with apnea to start breathing again and gives a visual alarm if they don’t. Click image for video.

Five senior bioengineering students at Rice University have created a sensor they hope will help save premature infants in developing countries.

The students created the Babalung Apnea Monitor, a low-cost, battery-operated neonatal monitor for infants, as part of a yearlong project.

Another student team is now developing a smartphone app that will be able to receive the device data.

This team has worked tirelessly to design a useful technology for very-low-resource settings. They sought feedback from physicians who work in those settings and incorporated this advice into their prototype. The unique feature of the device is the system that alerts a baby as an intervention to apnea—all without requiring a nurse to intervene.”

— Maria Oden, director, Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, Rice University

When a sensor connected to the bay’s chest determines the child has stopped breathing for 20 seconds, a vibrating motor attempts to restart the baby’s breathing. Five seconds later, if the baby has not resumed breathing, a visual alarm (a bicycle light hung above the baby’s crib) begins to flash.

Learn more at http://news.rice.edu/2012/04/12/babalung-gets-babies-breathing-again/

Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3xBaa3VN9c

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

Smartphone Research Highlights for February 2012

BrailleTouch, which is available for free to smartphone users, lets people text without the need to look at their mobile device.

Scientists worldwide continue to create new applications for smartphone technology. The following summaries highlight research announcements made in the past month related to smartphones.

Future smart phones may project images on the wall. — An improved laser light source for projectors is being developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland together with EpiCrystals Oy and the Aalto University.  The developers plan to integrate the technology into smartphones to “enable accurate and efficient projection of, for example, photographs and movies on any surface.”

Researchers combine mobile phone technology and microscopy. — A microscope accessory that will fit into users’ pockets is also being developed by scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The optical accessory makes it possible for an ordinary camera phone to function as a high-resolution microscope and will be accurate to one hundredth of a millimeter.

Georgia Tech develops Braille-like texting app. — A prototype touch-screen app built by Georgia Tech researchers lets people text without the need to look at their mobile device. The open-source app, called BrailleTouch, is available for free to smartphone users.

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

Rx. for Memory Loss – Smartphones?

Soon, people with moderate-to-severe memory impairment may be able to regain some of their independence using smartphones or other mobile devices. Researchers from Baycrest, a developer of aging and brain health innovations that is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, explain how this week in an online release ahead of print publication in the international journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to harness powerful emerging technologies with brain science in an innovative way to give people with a range of memory deficits some of their independence back.”

— Eva Svoboda, a clinical neuropsychologist in the Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health Program, Baycrest

The study’s authors believe that commercial technologies such as mobile electronic devices and smartphones hold enormous possibilities for people with memory impairment because of their inherent storage capacity, their potential for auditory and vibration alerts, the rich effects available through their multimedia capabilities, and the high appeal of consumer devices for end-users.

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/bcfg-sth020812.php

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

Disaster Tech: Smartphone Apps Provide Assistance for Aid Workers and Victims

Software with the potential to help aid workers quickly and accurately locate missing people has been developed by Dr Gavin Brown and his team of computer scientists in the Machine Learning and Optimisation group at The University of Manchester.

In addition, the team’s REUNITE mobile and web platform supports developments that can help aid workers use a smartphone to quickly recognize individuals affected by malnutrition and that can help people use their smartphones to locate “safe zones” during a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Our results have demonstrated that mobile intelligent systems can be deployed in low-power, high-risk environments, to the benefit of all involved. We believe the refugee aid community will be a strong beneficiary of such technology over the next few years.”

— Dr Gavin Brown, University of Manchester

The researchers hope that the smartphone technology they are developing will not only help to save lives but perhaps also help to relieve the burdens – both financial and emotional – that aid organizations and workers experience.

Learn more at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104111910.htm

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

The Role of Technology in Ensuring Equal Opportunities for Quality Education

Making Education a “Transformational Power for Human Dignity”

On Wednesday, Irina Bokova, the head of UNESCO (the United Nations agency tasked with promoting education) noted the role that information and communications technologies can play in “ensuring quality education and equal opportunities to learning even in countries that lag behind because of limited resources.” [Source: UN News]

Progress is more than a question of money. It is all about matching. Matching capacity with needs. This means making the most of innovation, notably in technology. It means building innovative partnerships…such as through the Global Alliance of Corporate Partners for Education that we are aiming to establish this year.”

— Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)

Noting the potential for technology to enhance education, Ms. Bokova praised the power of public-private partnership, which she sees as “a new form of ‘civilian power’ that will help shape the 21st century,” and added that technology “must be integrated into learning and accompanied by new teaching styles.”

To that end, UNESCO’s “Information and Communication Technology Competency Framework for Teachers” project is creating guidelines which the organization hopes will help educators build the skills needed to take advantage of new technologies and thereby advance education. The framework is a joint effort comprising Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, the International Society for Technology in Education, experts from the Commonwealth of Learning, and other private sector partners.

BTW: The UN Foundation Mobile App

Wondering how you can get involved? You guessed it — there’s an app for that! Get the UN Foundation mobile app and learn more: http://www.unfoundation.org/mobile/mobileapp.html

© 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.