Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Press release] Smartphone apps just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity

English: Image of an HTC Touch2 smartphone, al...

English: Image of an HTC Touch2 smartphone, also known as the HTC MEGA or HTC T3333. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Smartphone apps just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity 

From the 11 February 2015 Penn State press release

JAMA Paper Among the First to Compare Smartphone App vs. Wearable Device Accuracy

PHILADELPHIA — Although wearable devices have received significant attention for their ability to track an individual’s physical activity, most smartphone applications are just as accurate, according to a new research letter in JAMA. The study tested 10 of the top-selling smartphone apps and devices in the United States by having 14 participants walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, each twice (for a total of 56 trials), and then recording their step counts. Led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, this study is a follow-up to a recent JAMA viewpoint suggesting that there’s little evidence that wearable devices alone can change behavior and improve health for those that need it mos

“Since step counts are such an important part of how these devices and apps measure physical activity, including calculating distance or calories burned, their accuracy is key,” said senior author Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS, assistant professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at Penn and an attending physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. “Compared to the one to two percent of adults in the U.S. that own a wearable device, more than 65 percent of adults carry a smartphone. Our findings suggest that smartphone apps could prove to be a more widely accessible and affordable way of tracking health behaviors.”

 

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] My Health Data Is Killing Me | The Health Care Blog

My Health Data Is Killing Me | The Health Care Blog.

Excerpt from the 20 January post

AppleHealth

We are still in the dark ages when it comes to health and fitness data. It reminds me of the early 1990s when I had a paper day planner for a calendar, a business card holder for contacts, and a map.

Then along came the Microsoft Outlook and LotusNotes platform. These two platforms slugged it out like Uber verses Lyft. Then Microsoft integrated MS Office with MS Outlook and it was “game over.” I finally had one place to find everything I needed to do 90% of my job.

I’m waiting for that moment to come to the realm of my fitness data. It’s extremely difficult for me to access my medical and fitness data as it is, and yet the recent CES conference presented hundreds of new ways to collect more of my data. There will be wearables, scales, patches, contact lenses, smartphones, watches, etc. Maybe even a drone to fly overhead and watch what I eat for lunch. It is overwhelming. How overwhelming, you ask?

Read the rest of the article here

January 21, 2015 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] WEARABLE HEALTH TECH ALONE NOT ENOUGH TO GET TANGIBLE RESULTS

From the 12 January 2015 item at Public Health View

Wearable devices targeted at healthy living are alone not enough to drive tangible changes in an individual’s health, experts say, although sales of these devices are expected to soar in the coming years.

Courtesy: Garmin

Companies like Apple and Google sell watches and cellphones that can track health-related statistics, and others like Fitbit and Garmin make wristbands and even necklaces geared towards recording health-related statistics. This, in turn, is expected to translate into improved health behavior and hence better health outcomes.

But it is not that simple, say experts.

“The gap between recording information and changing behavior is substantial, and while these devices are increasing in popularity, little evidence suggests that they are bridging the gap,” experts wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
….

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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