Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EndoGoddess App Is Android Ready!

The EndoGoddess App Android version is in the store NOW!! We translated the code from iOS to the Android platform over the past several weeks. When we make updates to the EndoGoddessApp, we will update the app on the iOS platform first then update Android. Changes in code are quicker on the iOS platform. However, please let us know how you like the Android version. We look forward to your feedback and comments!

Monday, January 30, 2012

CMS Care Innovations Summit Summary

He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.  -Abraham Lincoln

I just returned from our nation's beautiful capitol city where I had the honor of attending The Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) first ever Care Innovations Summit. The event, in collaboration with The West Wireless Health Institute and Health Affairs, was designed to facilitate dialogue and drive action towards better care and better health at lower cost through continuous improvement. In otherwords, bringing people together to move beyond complaining about the broken healthcare system to fixing it, and fixing it with compassion and the innovative American spirit.

Top CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner started the day by sharing a little bit of her first hand experience with our broken healthcare system as a mother to her daughter with type 1 diabetes. Talented endocrine surgeon, writer, public health researcher, and health policy rockstar Atul Gawande MD, MPH then took the stage and discussed how 'high healthcare costs are destroying American prosperity and the American dream'. He then discussed how upon facing similar large national challenges in the past, our nation solved problems with uniquely American solutions and innovations. Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, used his inspiring 'mojo' to underscore this point by concluding: “There is no problem that Americans can’t invent themselves out of…transformation driven by a tide of grassroots innovation mojo has already begun.”

The remainder of the event showcased mainly health IT technology and program-based innovations on the ''frontlines of healthcare' (primary care payment reform models, health IT care coordination innovations, public-private weight loss programs, and patient-centered cancer care innovations). Although very few mobile innovations were discussed, the lessons learned were still applicable. Additionally, several public-private funding mechanisms (or challenges) were announced so as to be the way that new ideas are made into reality. I am personally excited about the Sanofi Data Design Diabetes Challenge Innovation Challenge and plan on entering the contest. By clicking on the link, all patients, caregivers, and diabetes healthcare professionals (ie anyone affected by diabetes), can submit their opinions on what they would most like to see in diabetes-related care innovations. After this 'crowdsourcing', the innovations that win the challenge will be those that address these democratic concerns...completely American, and in the best way possible if you ask me!

While riding home on the DC Metro (which I love), I pondered all of the inspiration I heard and felt that day. As a mobile health entrepreneur, a physician, a patient, and an American, I am very proud of the leadership and enthusiasm that our federal govenrment is providing to facilitate changes that will make healthcare better. This leadership is crucial to the funding, implementation, and adoption success for all mobile health efforts and requires our public support. So, I say, way to go CMS!!! :) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paula Deen and MTV's True Life: I Have Diabetes

Diabetes has been in the news quite a bit this week with Paula Deen's recent type 2 diabetes declaration and last night's MTV True Life: I Have Diabetes.

I have been tracking and participating in the discussions with the diabetes online community (DOC) via social media on my mobile phone. The primary message that the diabetes online community has been one of noting that the suffering that goes with a chronic disease like diabetes is inevitable but 'You are not alone'. They have also noted that helping each other helps themselves as mentioned here on twitter upon noting the daily struggles of having diabetes in the MTV True Life piece:

When the conversation is healing, as the diabetes online community clearly shouts that it is, mobile health platforms that allow continuation of the conversation become medicine. I am hopeful that by increased recognition, mobile health and 'social medicine' for chronic diseases, like diabetes, will be as common as cough drops and Vicks vapor rub for the common cold...but MUCH more healing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pinterest and Health?

If you don't know what Pinterest is? You are in for a very special treat. Think of Pinterest as a beautiful digital corkboard that lets you "pin" your favorites online, whether it's a website, picture, video, or link. It's a great way to collect design inspiration for healthy meals or to gather recipes in one place with a lot of visual cues. And because it's a social site, you also see what other people are pinning and share your own. Here is a screen shot of one of the boards on my profile:

All you do is download the PinIt icon to your favorites toolbar and whenever you come across anything you especially like, you PinIt and it gets logged into your account. No copying links and emailing them, no saving JPEGS. Sooo easy. With the app you're able to access your's and everyone else's pins from your iOS device. If you're out on the town and want a recommendation for a great steak, check out a friend's pins labeled "eating."

I think the pinterest platform provides a great opportunity for mobile health entrepreneurs, particularly in engaging healthy eating behaviors. I personally have found myself EXCITED to try cooking new healthy pinterest recipes in a way that I have not experienced before. What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sugar and Mobile Health!

I am currently working on a carbohydrate counting app specifically for people with diabetes so 'sugar' has been on my mind a lot lately. The app is under development so I can't tell you details yet except to say that I am excited about it!

Carbohydates and sugar play a huge role in diabetes (type 1 or type 2). The role is different, however, when it comes to prevention as type 1 diabetes is not caused by 'too much sugar'. However, the role of carbohydrates and sugar in the treatment of all types of diabetes is equally important. Within the medical community, there are those professionals that believe more in the evidence for a low fat diet for wellness versus the low carbohydrate diet for wellness. It is my professional and personal opinion that lower carbohydrate diets are actually the healthiest for anyone who is prone to develop diabetes or who already has diabetes. An excellent summary of the low carbohydrate evidence is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

Like a lot of Americans, I eat too many carbohydrates when I am eating without mindfulness. Today, I have started a 21 day sugar and carbohydrate detox (supervised by my doctors) so that I can see if this reduces my carbohydrate cravings (made worse by working on my carbohydrate counting app lately). When I am done, I will return to eating carbohydrates but in a lower quantity.

I am using Calorie Tracker by Livestrong.com iPhone app to journal my food entries and my Fitbit pedometer device to keep track of my daily exercise and sleep. And, just so you know, I do not have any disclaimers or financial relationships with any of these companies...I am a health and wellness consumer in this case just like you.