Historically speaking, the phrase "phoning it in" has implied giving less than your best effort — but in an era of health reform, smart phones are among the devices with the greatest potential to fundamentally revolutionize care.
Next month in Dusseldorf, MEDICA, the largest health care trade show on the planet, will announce the winner of its fourth health app competition. It's an event that has developed a particularly fervent following among the 130,000 show attendees.
Specifically, the judges are looking for the best app for daily use by a doctor or hospital. Last year's winner was Medopad, an app that allows doctors to access the entirety of a patient's data through a mobile device. In 2013, the company launched the first wearable health record on Google Glass.
MEDICA has just unveiled the ten finalists for this year's competition. Here they are, with descriptions taken from the developers websites and other details from MEDICA
BrainControl, from Liquid Web
BrainControl is an Assistive Technology that utilizes a brain-computer interface (BCI) to interpret the electrical signals corresponding with certain brain activity. It enables computers or other external devices to be controlled with thoughts. The developers believe the app could be particularly useful for people suffering from pathologies like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, and traumatic or ischemic injury.
CardioSecur PRO, from CardioSecur
CardioSecur is a mobile ECG device of clinical-grade quality for smartphones and tablets. It is the only technology that has been developed to clarify heart symptoms where and when they occur, to make a cardiac diagnosis, and to prevent serious cardiac events. The clinical properties and ease of use of CardioSecur make it suitable for both patients and physicians, but the PRO edition will be the one competing at MEDICA.
The PRO app can be used with many patients and shows a 22-lead ECG, with the option of an automatic diagnosis. The ACTIVE version, (for patients) saves the ECG’s in a secure database, which can be seen by the physician at any time and place. The PRO app allows for 10,000 minutes of ECG recording per 1GB.
Doctome is a telemedicine service that allows people around the globe to consult a caregiver in their own language by video and chat, anytime, anywhere, 24/7, 365 days a year, at the moment of need. The platform combines a customer relationship management (CRM) with an integrated electronic health record (EHR) system that generates documents such as clinical summaries, referrals to the emergency room, digitally signed prescriptions, and illness approvals. Those are sent secured to the patient at the end of the consultation, and everything is recorded for quality assurance and medical evaluation.
Match3, from iFeel Labs
At a glance. iFeel Labs Match3 looks like a close relative to mind-numbing distraction app games like Candy Crush. Unlike those games however, it incorporates a biosensor to reward asthma and COPD patients learning how to breathe effectively and improve their pulmonary function, all in the context of a colorful game.
CervDx, from MobileODT
CervDx is a cervical cancer screening tool that can be used by trained health care professionals to conduct smarter visual cervical cancer screenings. It enables providers to manage patient information, consult with peers for second opinions, and refer patients for the proper care.
myHealthbox provides a platform to access official Patient Information Leaflets (PIL) and Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) documents on health care products including: human, animal, and plant medications; drugs; herbal, homoeopathic, and natural remedies; prescription and over-the-counter medicines; beauty products and cosmetics; supplements and medical devices.
The Oviva Coach app allows patients receiving nutritional counseling from therapists to interface with them remotely via text messages, surveys, and documents. The app collects data through wearable connectivity and photographs of meals, to provide continued individualized feedback to the patient.
Serenita, from Eco Fusion
Serenita is a stress and focus management app that uses a device's camera in order to asses the stress (and focus) levels of the user. It can also suggest a personalized breathing pattern in order to achieve a more relaxed and concentrated state of being in a time-efficient manner.
Using a personalized breathing exercise, the app engages the Rest & Digest Response, which shuts down the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream, and promotes the release of anti-stress hormones and enzymes such as acetylcholine, prolactin, vasopressin, and oxytocin.
SmokeWatchers is a tool to monitor smoking addiction and kick the habit through real-time support and connected devices. The developers said that SmokeWatchers is the first multi-platform social network designed to help users decrease and ultimately eliminate their dependence on nicotine.
Tinnitracks is a digital health solution and certified medical product for neuro-acoustic tinnitus treatment. The app allows users to listen to their music in order to use it for a new tinnitus therapy that is endorsed by the latest neuroscientific findings. Tinnitracks also highlights your music with a high therapeutic potential thanks to the individual analysis of every single file.
The apps will be judged based on a range of factors including: intuitive usability, level of innovation, degree of problem solving, scalability of business model, attractiveness of target market, and presentation skills.
At the show, representatives for each app will have three minutes to pitch the merits of their system. That will be followed by another two minutes during which a panel of judges will ask questions. Finally, the top three placements and the winner of the competition will be announced.
The event will take place at the CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM in Hall 15, Stand 15C24 on Tuesday, November 17 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm during MEDICA runtime.