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How Google Glass Can Restore Eye Contact in the Exam Room

When patients invest so much time and money (even those who aren't paying directly) to see a doctor, they really deserve eye-contact. A recent study by eMarketershows that the average American spends more than five hours per day with their eyes glued to a computer or mobile screen. The growth of multi-tasking by way of technology has normalized the experience of conversing without eye contact - even in the exam room where life-and-death conversations are taking place! Image Credit Wikimedia Commons, Antonio Zugaldia It's Like Texting While Driving I don't know about you, but I only get about 7 minutes with my doctor, twice a year at the most. It really doesn't help if he's working on the computer for half that time. And the problem will likely be worse with the implementation of Meaningful Use 2, which requires physicians t … [Read more...]

4 Ways Google Helpouts Could Impact HealthCare

Google Helpouts is creating a lot of buzz online. It's a tool where people can connect with, and get help from experts anywhere in the world via real-time, one-on-one video chat. So for example if you're preparing to go out on a date and need help putting on makeup like a pro, you would simply browse the Helpouts section under 'Beauty and Fashion,' find out what time the next professional make-up artist is available, schedule an appointment, pay a fee via Google Wallet, show up at scheduled time, and get the help you need! Opportunities for Healthcare Google Helpouts looks like a compelling alternative to the more traditional 'in-person' method of providing medical care. Already there's a small number of physicians who are early adopters - many are charging a small fee to give advice on a wide range of health issues … [Read more...]

Health IT Must Disrupt the Current Path of Health Disparities

The issue of health disparities in the U.S. should be a growing concern for everyone. Despite the fact that we have the best doctors, nurses, hospitals and technology in the world, there are way too many Americans (mostly minorities) who suffer from preventable chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And yet, it is precisely these groups with the highest burden of illness that are expected to grow the most, as a proportion of total U.S. population. So to put it in context, the future health of America as a whole will be shaped substantially by improving the health of these racial and ethnic minorities. This is where technology comes in. Image Credit: Intel Free Press, Wikimedia Creative Commons   Research by Pew Internet Project shows that minorities are leading the way in the use of mobile … [Read more...]

3 Unintended Consequences of Digital Health

Digital has become the lens through which we see the world. Once, there was a separation between our ‘real-life’ activities i.e. what we did from 9-5, and our social activities i.e. what we did on evenings and weekends. The two rarely intersected. But that line of separation has become blurred. Today many of our in-person experiences (such as working, shopping, dining out, or watching TV) have leaked into the digital realm through sharing on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. For sure technology has changed the way we live. Even healthcare is going in the same direction. Perhaps this is best seen in people's online health activities. Studies show that 85% of U.S. adults use the Internet, while 72% of this demographic say they look for health information online, presumably before seeing a doctor. Mostly … [Read more...]