Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 16, 2012

HealthTechZone Week in Review

Plenty of news came in this week around the healthcare segment, which is typical for a hot-button issue like healthcare. As such, it's always worth taking a look back and seeing what was big in the week. So settle in and let's run down all the major events with our Week in Review coverage.

First, we took a look at the idea of weight loss apps, and just how well they actually work. The answer to that question, however, is much more complex. Some weight loss apps work better than others, according to a report from Cochrane Collaboration, which said, "computer-based interventions have a positive effect on short-term weight loss and short-term weight loss maintenance." A separate study examined the effect of weight loss apps that use reward structures, and saw further improvements from there, showing that the value of an app was mostly in how much it was used.

Next, we looked at a new breed of cochlear implants, designed by a group of electrical engineers, surgeons and neuroscientists at MIT, to be even more effective than those of previous generations. While cochlear implants would normally be powered by external batteries, making their overall effectiveness somewhat limited, the new versions are powered by the ear itself. The cochlear implant in question draws power from the inner ear's natural electrical signals to run its standard set of functions. This makes the implants easier for users to work with and more mobile overall, without the sudden worry that the implant may run out of power mid-conversation or away from replacement batteries.

Then came reports of a new Lyme disease test launched recently in Europe. Boulder Diagnostics developed the SpiroFind Lyme disease test, which tests the patient's immune system for a reaction to the Borrelia infection, a sign that the disease is present and active. The difficulty that can be found in testing for Lyme disease made developing a new kind of test for the disease worthwhile, according to reports, and more accurate testing will likely lead to better treatments.

Next was e-Cycle. Widely known for its mobile product buyback plans, the company has branched out somewhat, looking to raise funds to support the National Diabetes Month observances. To that end, it’s not only making further donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – JDRF – but it is also asking those who sell their devices to e-Cycle to donate a portion of what they get to the Foundation.

Finally, we looked at the MediSafe app, a medication compliance monitoring app that uses big data principles to produce an app that helps prevent medical emergencies related to the misapplication of prescription drugs. MediSafe is a cloud-synced mobile app that allows users to tell at a glance what they should be taking and when, but it can also automatically send text messages to predefined contacts when a medication dose is missed. Thanks to continued development, the app works with a variety of different drug stores and doctors to ensure the best possible results.

It was, much as it ever was, a big week in news on the healthcare front, as new advancements in healthcare technology look to improve our way of life. Our global online community is constantly on the lookout for fresh news to bring into play, so be sure to join us back here next week for more big news in healthcare, and of course, every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!

Edited by Braden Becker

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