[Reblog from Taubman Health Science Center Newsblog]
Cancer Tracking Goes Mobile
July 12, 2012 by irinazey
The sun is definitely shining brightly outside – do you know how your skin is affected?
University of Michigan Medical School and University of Michigan Health System have developed a free app to photograph your skin and monitor any suspicious moles or lesions in an effort to make skin cancer screening cheaper, faster, and more convenient for the average person.
Screenshots from UMSkinCheck
Under the supervision of lead developer Dr. Michael Sabel, UMSkinCheck walks you through a full-body skin self-exam, lets you track moles/lesions for change over time, and set up notification reminders for recurring self-exams. It also comes loaded with information on sun safety and a risk calculator to help determine individual risk based on personalized data.
On a related note, from A blog I follow ,As Our Parent Age- Timely Topics for Adult Children
“Yet another friend has skin cancer. She always used sun blocking lotions, but also enjoyed staying out in the sun for long periods. (I have her permission to write this much.)
My friend tells me that she now understands that sun blocks, no matter how effective or powerful, are only one piece of a skin protection puzzle. Staying out of direct sunlight during the the most intense times of the day is another large puzzle piece.”
This is a good blog to follow, I can’t express it any better than what the author states on the about page
”As Our Parents Age is my effort to record the experiences of loving and living with aging parents, but it is also a vehicle to help my husband and me understand and learn more about aging parent caregiving. I am highlighting interesting issues, identifying high quality web resources, and sharing memories. Other posts are on topics that my husband and I would have liked to know more about at the beginning of our foray into the aging child – aging parent phase of life.”
by ROB LAMBERTS, MD(KevinMD.com)
“…Now add to this a technology which gives us the ability to see all of those undiagnosed ear infections, and we have to muster even more willpower to resist the urge to treat them all. This is the same problem as we have encountered with PSA testing: be careful gathering data you don’t know how to handle.
But even without considering this important objection to improved data-gathering, there is another problem which stands in the way of this type of technology: reimbursement. It sounds great to enable people to avoid visits to the doctor’s office by having tools that previously were only accessible at an office visit. It sounds like a very good way to save money and wasted time spent in waiting rooms with outdated magazines. But this technology presumes that doctors will be willing to act on this information without seeing the patient in the office. It presumes we will be willing to offer free care. If the time I spend sifting through patient-collected data rises exponentially, the payment I get for that time cannot remain at the present level: zero.
If our goal (as it should be) is to spend less money on unnecessary care, we will get to it much faster if we somehow give proper incentive. Our encounter-based payment system stands in the way of any progress in this area. The only way most of us get paid is to see people and deal with problems. This makes doctors reluctant to offer any care outside of this setting, and puts undue pressure on intervention (to justify the encounter to the payors). Until our system puts more value on avoiding unnecessary treatment and keeping people well we will be stuck in this struggle between patients who want to avoid seeing the doctor and doctors who can’t afford to let patients do that…..”
- Skin cancer app tracks changes head to toe (futurity.org)
- Checking For Skin Cancer? There’s An App For That (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Skin Cancer Self Exam By Use Of Mobile App (medicalnewstoday.com)
- UMSkinCheck – Encouraging you to Take Naked Pictures of Yourself! (coolest-gadgets.com)
- Screen yourself for skin cancer with this free iOS app (news.cnet.com)
- UM Offers New Skin Cancer Mobile App (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Screen yourself for skin cancer with this free iOS app (news.cnet.com)
- Illness Detection Add-Ons – The ‘UMSkinCheck’ App Can be a Lifesaver (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Skin Cancer Symptoms (cancercenter.com)
- Skin Cancer Risk Factors (cancercenter.com)
From the 25 January posting at Eye on FDA
Patients are changing. They are accessing medical information differently, they are storing it differently and they are consuming it more voraciously. This access to medical information and tools means that many patients are more medically conversant and knowledgeable than the patient of just five years ago. Medical literacy is likely on the rise.
It also changes the way physician and patient communicate. Five years ago, I never would have considered the need for email between my physician and myself, thinking it impractical. Today, I think a physician needs to have some portal of access for the exchange of data and information. Here are my readings – blood pressure, blood sugar, whatever… – for the week. The medical record will reflect information not just gathered at an exam in the office, but that gathered by my apps when I am not in the office. And when I’m diagnosed with a new condition, I fully expect either the physician or someone in his or her office to not only prescribe some medication, but to pull out an i-Pad to steer me to some good resources, including apps. If the condition is one where there are few treatment options and I’m expected to consider a clinical trial, the i-Pad should have a clinical trials app that lets us look at what’s available together….
- eHealth: patients are changing, but not (yet) the Physicians (scienceintelligence.wordpress.com)
- From Pinterest and Septris to the Patient of the Future (Science Blog)
“Are ePatients self diagnosing too much ? Too many people are not going to see their doctors on a regular basis and they need to be educated on why that is a bad idea. No printed or interactive forum can replace a trained medical professional. The Patient of the Future Like many “self-quanters,” Smarr wears a Fitbit to count his every step, a Zeo to track his sleep patterns, and a Polar WearLink that lets him regulate his maximum heart rate during exercise. Stanford University’s Septris app …”
Want to know how a medication might affect your breast milk? Got a question about a disability, aging, mental health?
There’s an app for all that—and a whole lot more.
The variety and availability of smartphone applications—or apps—have exploded in recent years as multi-tasking consumers increasingly use their phones to keep up with the latest on news, finance, and health. Apple says its iPhone App Store has more than 350,000 apps, and Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and other smartphones account for tens of thousands more. With so many apps on the market, it’s no wonder the number of health care related apps has also spiraled.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now proposing guidelines that outline the small number of mobile apps the agency plans to oversee—medical apps that could present a risk to patients if the apps don’t work as intended. The proposed guidelines were posted on the Federal Register website Thursday.
Consumers may weigh-in on the guidelines during a public comment period that ends Oct. 19
For more information, visit FDA’s Mobile Medical Apps page.
FDA policy advisor Bakul Patel says some of the new mobile apps are designed to help consumers manage their own health and wellness—like the National Institutes of Health’s LactMed app, which gives nursing mothers information about the effects of medicines on breast milk and nursing infants.
Other apps are aimed at helping health care providers improve and facilitate patient care—like the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) app, which gives health care providers guidance on diagnosing and treating radiation injuries. There are even apps to aid diagnosis of rashes and heart irregularities.
FDA has already cleared a handful of mobile medical apps used by health care professionals, such as a smartphone-based ultrasound and an application for iPhones and iPads that allows doctors to view medical images and X-rays.
There’s an app for that!
“There are advantages to using medical apps, but consumers and health care professionals should have a balanced awareness of the benefits and risks,” Patel says.
Apps can give consumers valuable health information in seconds and are opening innovative ways for technology to improve health care, Patel says. However, the small group of mobile medical apps FDA proposes to oversee present a potential risk—these apps may impact how a currently regulated medical device (such as an ultrasound) performs, he adds.
FDA is proposing to oversee mobile medical apps that:
- Are used as an accessory to an FDA-regulated medical device. For example, an app could enable a health care professional to view medical images on an iPad and make a diagnosis;
- Transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device. For example, an app that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography, or ECG, machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack.
If you want to provide input on FDA’s proposal, you can submit your comment online athttp://www.regulations.gov/ or in writing to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
“We want to hear from as many consumers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, and software creators and distributors as possible to help us finalize the proposed guidelines,” Patel says.
This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.
Posted July 19, 2011
Please Note Well!—At this time it seems that consumer health apps (as Mobile MedlinePlus) will not be covered in the regulations.
Stanford, California – November 29, 2010 HighWire Press is pleased to announce the launch of the HighWire Mobile Web Interface for six American Heart Association journals. The Mobile Web Interface is a publication website optimized for the small screen of smartphone devices. This is the first of a suite of mobile products from HighWire, which includes an iPhone and iPad full text app as well as a RSS- driven iPhone app and full text Amazon Kindle support. Users accessing sites through an iPhone or Droid smartphone will be detected and automatically sent the HighWire Mobile Web interface…