Health Stories June 18, 2018

World Health Organization to announce ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition

At a time when there’s increasing focus on ‘digital health’ – ensuring that usage of devices like smartphones doesn’t take over our lives – gaming addiction is to be officially classified as a disease …

Health Stories January 16, 2018

Hospital reports Natural Cycles ‘contraceptive app’ to regulator after 37 unwanted pregnancies

A Swedish hospital has filed a formal complaint about the ‘contraceptive app’ Natural Cycles after it was blamed for 37 unwanted pregnancies …

Health Stories November 6, 2017

Britain’s National Health Service lets you see a doctor by videocall within two hours

It’s not unusual for private medical services to offer the option of a video consultation with a doctor – for a fee. But Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is piloting a scheme which lets 3.5 million patients get access to video consultations at no cost …

Health Stories August 15, 2017

Today smartphones are packed with various sensors that can perform a number of various tasks. One Seattle startup called Senosis Health is leveraging that technology to turn phones into devices that can track various health vitals that would otherwise require specialized equipment. Google has reportedly acquired that firm to create a new digital health effort.

expand full story

Health Stories May 9, 2017

Having instant access to the sum total of human knowledge is a wonderful thing most of the time, but there are times when it can be counterproductive. A new study suggests that Googling your child’s symptoms when they are ill can be one of those times.

Arriving at an appointment thinking you know more than a trained medical professional isn’t likely to endear you to your child’s doctor, but a study carried out by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that it can actually be dangerous …

expand full story

Health Stories October 3, 2016

App aims to conduct the world’s largest mental health study, reduce suicides

A project called How is the world feeling? is aiming to use an Android and iOS app to conduct the world’s largest study of mental health over a one-week period starting on October 10. The aim is to gather data from ordinary people to identify patterns in emotions, then to open-source anonymized data to mental health professionals in a bid to devise approaches to reducing suicide rates …

Health Stories April 26, 2016

Nokia is buying popular healthcare accessory/app maker Withings

Nokia announced today plans to purchase Withings, maker of many popular healthcare related accessories and companion apps for Android smartphones and other mobile devices.

The company said the 170 million Euro purchase would see Withings become part of its Nokia Technologies business and help jump-start its new efforts at Digital Health products.

Health Stories February 12, 2016

ASICS will acquire Runkeeper, following Adidas and Under Armor’s example

Following in the footsteps of competitors, Adidas and Under Armor, ASICS will buy fitness app-maker, Runkeeper. The move was announced on Medium by Runkeeper’s founder, Jason Jacobs, and indicates that all fitness apparel companies clearly see the need to embed tracking technology, and/or tie-in apps with their brands.

Health Stories January 5, 2016

htc-urban-armor-healthbox

In an effort to get customers entirely absorbed into their ecoystem in one fell swoop, HTC and Under Armor have today announced HealthBox. Although it may sound like the brand-name for some kind of nutritious lunch, it is in fact a system which ties together a smart scale, fitness band and heart-rate monitor with a smartphone app…

expand full story

Health Stories October 19, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.26.56 PM

Google, as we’ve reported several times, has been redirecting its Glass efforts to have more of a focus on the enterprise market and a large part of that comes in the health field. TechCrunch today reports that researchers at Stanford University are using Google Glass to aid children with autism. Specifically, they are using the platform to help them recognize and classify the emotions they feel and see around them.

expand full story

Health Stories August 26, 2015

Sorry, Android users: Popular online food ordering service Eat24 has determined that you are less healthy on a nutritional basis than owners of Apple’s iPhone. That’s based on data it collected from its mobile app over a three month period, tracking information regarding how ordering habits differed across the rival platforms.

expand full story

Health Stories August 5, 2015

Adidas buys popular fitness app maker Runtastic for € 220 million

Runtastic, developers of several popular fitness apps, today announced it has been acquired by Adidas for € 220 million. The move, according to a press release from both companies, will help Adidas bolster its efforts in offering connected products and its vision of “the convergence of sport, digital and data in an always connected and always on-demand world.” Or in other words, Adidas now has a strong software component with a large user base to integrate with its digitally enabled sports products including balls, wrist devices, apparel, and shoes.

Adidas already offers several of its own mobile apps that cross over into Runtastic’s territory, such as the miCoach train & run app and the Adidas Go app that integrates with Spotify to offer music matched to a user’s running pace. Runtastic, however, has around 20 mobile apps related to fitness and health and claims around 140 million downloads and 70 million registered users. The company also offers a few hardware products, including a scale and fitness tracking devices, that compliment its fitness apps that integrate with other third-party hardware including Android Wear devices and other wearables. 

It’s unclear what Adidas has planned for the company and its apps, but Runtastic will be joining the Adidas teams and building new experiences as part of the brand going forward. What exactly that means for the Runtastic brand and integration with Adidas products remains to be seen.

Health Stories August 3, 2015

samsung_semiconductor_foundry_chip_production_1

Samsung says that it is setting aside 100B won ($85.8M) for compensation and prevention measures after some 200 of its employees contracted cancer through contact with dangerous substances. Samsung last year issued a “deep apology” for what was then believed to be 56 cases.

Reuters reports that illnesses such as lymphoma and leukemia resulted from prolonged exposure to either radiation or dangerous chemicals at Samsung’s chip and display factories …  expand full story

Health Stories June 16, 2015

You can now search for chain restaurant nutritional information in the Google app

Regulations in the United States enacted by the USDA require chain restaurants to include the caloric content of menu items right on the menus themselves. Restaurants do their best to get around this requirement, however, by oftentimes printing the calorie information in small, faint type that’s hard to see or even notice. Fortunately, Google is here to help, putting caloric and other nutritional information only as far away as an “OK Google” command.

Health Stories June 2, 2015

Android lawn statues

How many calories does all that Android have?

Google showed off its new photo storage service at I/O last week with features including unlimited backup and searching for images by keywords, but the company has another image-related technology in development. Google can already recognize images of food when you search your photo library, but its currently developing technology that goes a step further by actually counting the calories in your meal based on your food shots. This could make dieting and calorie counting much more convenient in the future if it works well enough… expand full story

Health Stories March 27, 2015

A surgeon uses Google Glass during an operation

Google has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson-owned Ethicon to help create more advanced robotics technology for surgical use, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Mountain View tech giant hopes to tackle the software side of the issue by creating machine vision technology to help doctors more easily guide and control surgical equipment.

Google has been pushing further into the areas of medicine, health, and fitness in recent years, with entire divisions in its Google X lab focused on creating technology like nanobots that can detect cancer. The Glass project has also been integrated into some surgical procedures and other medical applications.

expand full story

Health Stories February 24, 2015

FTC fines apps that falsely claimed to detect melanoma using smartphone camera

The FTC is fining the creators of two different smartphone apps, both of which were previously available as paid apps on Google Play and the App Store, for falsely claiming to detect symptoms of melanoma. Most versions of the apps, MelApp and Mole Detective, have long been removed from sale, although a version of Mole Detective remains on Google Play for $4.99. Apple appears to have cracked down on similar apps somewhat that were available on its store as recently as early 2014, while some apps with similar claims continue to be available on Google Play. 

The Federal Trade Commission has challenged marketers for deceptively claiming their mobile apps could detect symptoms of melanoma, even in its early stages. In two separate cases, marketers of MelApp and Mole Detective have agreed to settlements that bar them from continuing to make such unsupported claims. The agency is pursuing charges against two additional marketers of Mole Detective who did not agree to settle.

It’s not the first and it likely won’t be the last time app makers face scrutiny from government officials over health care claims as fitness becomes more of a focus on mobile devices and companion wearables. As recently as November, the FTC was said to be pressing Apple on how it plans to use sensitive health related data collected from its upcoming Apple Watch launching in April.

Health Stories February 11, 2015

Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5s more reliable than current wearable fitness devices at measuring activity, finds study

If you were thinking about buying a fitness band, a university study suggests you probably shouldn’t bother: it found that the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5s measure activity more reliably than most current fitness bands.

The study by the University of Pennsylvania (via EurekAlert!) tested the ability of the phones to measure steps on a treadmill and compared the results to six dedicated fitness bands. The two smartphones had a margin of error of 12.9%, while the error rates of the fitness bands ranged up to 22.7%.

The study tested the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5s against the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP24, Digi-Walker SW-200, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip. Only the FitBit One and Zip performed significantly better than the two smartphones.

Health Stories February 10, 2015

health-info-animated

Google’s Knowledge Graph–which highlights fact-checked info at the top of certain types of search results–is being expanded to include health-related searches. So next time you want to check whether you have the common cold or a rare strain of Ebola, Google should provide the necessary reassurance.

Starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators.

Google says that the information is pulled from “high-quality medical sources across the web” and then checked by both its own doctors and others from the Mayo Clinic …  expand full story

Health Stories January 15, 2015

PwC | Google for Work 2015-01-15 09-00-35

PwC—short for PricewaterhouseCoopers—is a large multinational professional services network, and the company announced in October of last year that it would begin working with Google to bring “a variety of new and innovative technologies to companies around the world.” Reading that sounds unspecific and, frankly, because Google is always working on new technology, these kinds of announcements don’t really catch the eye of the public.

Today, though, PwC has announced a specific venture that Google is joining, and this one intends to reimagine the military health system in the United States…

expand full story

Health Stories October 29, 2014

screen800x500

Microsoft hasn’t officially announced its wearable device, but it seems the company has accidentally published its desktop syncing client to the Mac App Store early. Whoops. The device is called the Microsoft Band (possibly Lumia Band, according to some currently non-functional support URLs).

The Microsoft privacy policy for the app lists some of the Band’s features: “Microsoft Band sensors help you keep track of things like your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and sleep.” Links in the document claiming to lead to a page with additional data, such as a list of sensors, currently lead to a 404 page.

Other key feature include the ability to get phone notifications on the Band, create reminders using Cortana, and more:

expand full story

Health Stories October 13, 2014

doctor

Google has confirmed to Engadget that it is trialling a feature which detects when someone is searching for symptoms of an illness, and proactively offers a video chat with a doctor.

The message states that “all costs are covered by Google during this limited trial,” suggesting that the service will be a paid one if and when it launches …  expand full story

Health Stories July 24, 2014

logo6w

Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

expand full story

Health Stories January 21, 2014

If ever there were a rock-solid case for needing hands-free information fast, firefighting would be it. Full-time firefighter and spare-time Glass developer Patrick Jackson has already developed two of the apps shown in this video, and is working on two others, reports The Verge …  expand full story

Health Stories January 6, 2014

Gamification could be the (expensive) way to get your kids to brush their teeth properly

If you’ve ever despaired of getting your kids to brush their teeth properly without close parental supervision, Kolibree may have the solution: a smartphone-linked toothbrush that reports back to an Android or iPhone app how well they did, and creates family league tables to turn tooth-brushing into a competitive sport.

Engadget reports that the Bluetooth-connected toothbrush is equipped with an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope. You calibrate it to the shape of your mouth first, and it uses this model – together with data supplied by dentists – to get a percentage score of how well each Kolibree user in the family cleaned their teeth.

It won’t, however, be cheap: each toothbrush will cost between $100 and $200, though family packs may make it a little cheaper. It’s expected to be launched in the summer.

Health Stories August 2, 2013

There are some projects that are so cool they send a little shiver down your spine, and for me this is one of those. It shows OpenGlass testing two Glass projects aimed at visually-impaired users.

Question-Answer allows someone to ask what an object is, receive an answer from Twitter users and then hear that answer spoken. Memento allows a sighted user to teach Glass to recognise objects, and will then tell a visually-impaired user what they are looking at …  expand full story

Health Stories February 20, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss Let’s Move! initiative in live Google+ Hangout March 4

As President Obama and many others have done in the past, Google announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama would host a live “Fireside Hangout” on Google+ to answer questions submitted by users. The Hangout will take place March 4, and Michelle Obama will be joined by Kelly Ripa to discuss the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.

Three years ago, the First Lady launched the Let’s Move! initiative to unite the country around our kids’ health and create real support for families to live healthier lives. Since then communities across the United States have worked together to share, collaborate on and create ways to improve the health of our nation’s children. This year, the First Lady is using Google+ to celebrate the anniversary of Let’s Move!and to connect with communities on Google+ who are passionate about healthy eating, fitness and parenting.

Powered by WordPress VIP