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Beware: These 5 mHealth Innovations Will Blow Your Mind


An app that lets your doctor prescribe you a health care app (just like a medicine), a gadget that runs $5 dollars dengue tests in rural India, a mattress that “measures” your sleep, and Google Glass with “no Twitter attached.” Are you one of those thinking they have seen everything when it comes to mHealth? Well maybe you may have to leave just a little bit more space for surprise because the mHealth innovations below will blow your mind. Keep reading..

The Swasthya slate

In mid-2012, biomedical engineer Kanav Kahol and his team headed to Muktsar, a district in southwest Punjab, some 400 kms north of Delhi where the previous year, 8 women have died of exclampsia (accounting for 15% of maternal deaths in the country). They carried backpacks containing a telemedicine device, which Kahol had created six months earlier. It constituted a medical diagnostic machine, an android tablet that could be connected to it and a solar panel that powered the entire setup.

Kahol’s device, called Swasthya Slate (Swasthya is Hindi for health) could do nine diagnostic tests at the time. Now, thanks to his team’s work at the Public Health Foundation of India(PHFI), the device can conduct 33 different medical tests. These tests are cheap and come with more than 95% accuracy. On widespread adoption, SS can save lives that would otherwise be lost due to late diagnosis or lack of access to healthcare.

Swasthiya Slate can perform tests such as blood pressure, ECG, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, malaria, dengue, urine protein, and pregnancy. The kit can assess samples of blood and urine using disposable strips much like the ones used in popular devices to test blood sugar levels.

The tests can be conducted anywhere using the diagnostic box and the results are transmitted to the attached Android tablet via Bluetooth. They are later uploaded to a central database via 3G. Since it is equipped with a solar panel, the device can be used even in remote areas where there is no electricity. Physicians can download the results at any location, as long as they have an Internet connection.

Doctor Mattress

Stanley Healthcare unveiled the Patient Safety Monitoring Solution, a mattress pad fitted with sensors and tied into a remote monitoring platform that enables caregivers to monitor a patient’s movements in bed, sleep patterns and some vital signs. The pad, designed by Silicon Valley-based BAM Labs, fits underneath the mattress and sends information wirelessly to a caregiver’s PC or mobile device.

This solution addresses such issues as pressure ulcers, which develop when an immobile patient isn’t moved on a regular basis, occur in 16.7 percent of patients in skilled nursing facilities and can cost between $7,000 and $50,000 to treat.

The sensor pad, which detects movement, respiration and heart rate, “can detect a dime being dropped on the bed,” but fits so discreetly under the mattress that the patient doesn’t know it’s there.

App App of the store, who is the fairest of them all?

AppScript is a health app prescribing solution developed by IMS Health which paddles into the “jungle” of healthcare-related apps and gives providers and health plans a tool to determine which apps would be best for their patients or members.

app script

As per the words of Andrew Kress, senior vice president of IMS Health’s Healthcare “You find that there are many apps out there that really don’t do that much.  AppScript is designed to “share information about what apps work and what apps don’t.”

Kress said IMS has built a platform to analyze about more than 40,000 apps now on the market for providers and health plans, assessing them on such attributes as functionality, peer and patient reviews, certifications and their potential to improve outcomes or lower cost of care. Through AppScript, a doctor or health plan can then prescribe an app, much like one would prescribe medication.

Google Glass with no Twitter attached

Nashville-based startup Octovis, Inc. is working with doctors to bring Google Glass technology – into examining rooms and operating rooms to make it easier for doctors to take notes and access patient information, like MRIs or other images during surgery.

Here is a common scenario –  A doctor walks into the room wearing Glass, which is set to record audio. The Octovis software grabs the natural language – tech speak for conversation – from the room and automatically enters the relevant information into the patient’s electronic health record. Octovis doesn’t store the information, but acts more like a middleman between the Google Glass technology and the doctor’s record keeping technology.

Like any new technology, some are skeptical about Glass in doctors’ offices. The big worry seems to be that it could actually provide more distractions rather than streamline care. Octovis seem to be well aware of this contradiction – it blocks other uses of Glass, like texting or Twitter.

An Uber like doctor

Would you pay $99 a month for the ability to text or video conference with a doctor any time you wanted? HealthTap is betting that American consumers will with its new service, Prime, being rolled out today.


Telehealth might seem bloated but health insurers are increasingly interested in the business model because of the potential to cut costs. Market research firm IHS predicts the telemedecine industry will grow to $1.9 billion in 2018 from $240 million last year.

HealthTap is best known for its question and answer website, where consumers can submit questions limited to 150 characters, answered by a pool of 60,000 doctors from across the U.S. That service has 10 million active users and is free with no ads.

The main value proposition here is that HealthTap’s service saves you making an appointment with a real-life doctor and traveling to their office for a meeting which could take upwards of an hour. With Prime you can ask to speak to a doctor and usually get one within a few minutes.

HealthTap’s doctors themselves get paid, as an Uber driver might, according to how many patients they’ve seen and the quality of their ratings.

Have we missed something? Do you know of mHealth innovation or mHealth app that changes and brings positive change in people’s health and live no matter how big or small it is? We would appreciate if you mention it in comments below.