A roundup of the most recent news stories from the health, technology and care sectors.
New evidence shows how technology is actively supporting patients in managing their own health
A new review of automated telephone systems for preventing and managing long-term health conditions concludes that they could play an important role in the delivery of health care. Further research is needed to understand more about their acceptability and costs, but it is clear they have the potential to play a big part in healthcare technology.
Automated telephone communication systems are being used to send voice messages to patients and collect health information from people using the telephone's keypad or voice-recognition software. This health technology also uses SMS and email messaging to allow patients to ask for advice or support in their treatment and support in actively managing their own health.
Google showcases upcoming standalone travel, fitness, & messaging apps for Wear 2.0
From more devices with built-in cellular connections to more powerful apps, Google is focussing on making smartwatches truly independent from the phone with Wear 2.0.
Wearable apps will take a bigger focus moving forward, with Google announcing the ability to make in-app purchases as part of a new way to monetize the platform. They are also focussing on delivering rich notifications and improving search performance and general responsiveness, as well as announcing that the ‘Wear’ app will have a simple method of tracking water intake and meals throughout the day.
Cybersecurity: What 2016 taught the healthcare industry
One of the biggest developments in electronic health records and health technology in 2016 was the rise of cyberattacks. ‘It's the unintended consequence of ditching paper records for electronic, on in-house systems or in the cloud. It’s easier to steal or compromise a greater number of records at one time when they're digital.’
There are several steps that can be taken from this year to reduce the chances of a cyber-attack, including reviewing the overall security of an EHR before using it, backing up data and using EHR records responsibly. For electronic health records to become less likely to be compromised in private healthcare, steps like these should be considered in the long term plan of the NHS.
We need to think digital if we want to properly tackle diabetes
Diabetes is the leading cause of heart attacks, stroke, blindness and amputation, so it is no surprise that the fight against the condition has got to improve if we are to find a way to beat it.
It’s been widely accepted for some time that a major component of the solution to the diabetes problem depends on improving self-management – that is developing the skills in patients to better manage their lifestyle and improve the outcomes of their illness. Clinical studies support the notion that better-informed, better-equipped patients tend to live longer, healthier lives and suffer from fewer complications that diabetes can cause.