The Symple app for iPhone allows patients to track their daily symptoms and the factors that influence those symptoms–like a new medication, yoga, or going gluten-free–between doctor visits. They can also create a visual diary of their condition and build a list of questions to ask their doctors. We think it seems like a great tool to help patients take control of their health. A similar app could be handy for researchers in collecting data and reports from clinical trial participants, and could make participation easier and more convenient for volunteers.
HopeLab is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the development of fun and interactive technologies that drive positive health behavior. Their cancer-fighting video game, “Re-mission,” for example, shows how game play can impact brain function in a way that motivates healthy behavior. The game was developed with the help of developers, cancer experts, psychologists and young people with cancer. It’s truly a great example of how open innovation and collaboration can lead to better tools and resources for patients.
Researchers at MIT have developed an algorithm that can accurately gauge heart rate by measuring tiny head movements in video data. In tests, the algorithm gave pulse measurements that were consistently within a few beats per minute of those produced by electrocardiograms (EKGs). It was also able to provide useful estimates of the time intervals between beats, a measurement that can be used to identify patients at risk for cardiac events. A video-based pulse-measurement system could be useful for monitoring newborns or the elderly, whose sensitive skin could be damaged by frequent attachment and removal of EKG leads.