Mayo Clinic using iPads(0)
iPads and patients…an idea beginning to percolate…though we have been first!
TED the website of great talks (18 minutes or less) has now moved to the classroom and launched:
This has to be an amazing new feature for those children who miss a lot of school.
I only wish all our CF Kids had iPads!
This is my personal favorite app! I use it whenever I listen to a speaker, go to the doctors, or just know someone is going to say something I need to remember!
I know there are different laws in different states, whether you have to tell someone they are being recorded.
I think this would be a great app for a long CF visit, when you hear from many different specialists and need to review and remember all the directions!
It has good reviews and for 4.99…I think it is a bargain~
I don’t know about your house, but in ours- especially when Emily has been frequently ill- keeping up on all the treatments and other CF-related care can become quite overwhelming. There is a lot for a kid with CF to do day in and day out- taking all those pills, all those inhaled medications, daily airway clearance, sometimes IV’s or tube feeds. Endless appointments and tests and procedures. And then of course, expectations at home and school as we would have for any of our children.
As is normal for any child, we run into glitches (or stone walls) on occasion. We try various motivating factors, reward systems, charts and the like. If the typical charts have lost some of their charm but a reward system still holds appeal, this app is a great little tool. It’s convenient- you can program in all your children, and the electronic format is appealing to children as well.
Instead of ‘star chart’ format, you name the goal as well as the reward, and insert any photo you choose to represent the reward. It is transformed into a jigsaw puzzle of 6-60 pieces and each time your child accomplishes said task, a puzzle piece is added with a bit of sparkly fanfare. (They can also be removed.) You can program multiple rewards and it keeps track of how many your child has achieved.
We are constantly having to switch things up in our home to keep things moving along and I know it’s the same for all of you. I can see this tool being helpful.
Having one child with cystic fibrosis and another with severe asthma, I have been looking for a good app to track respiratory symptoms and after trying out several, finally found one I really liked.
Asthma Tracker is an app that allows you to create a log of you/your child’s respiratory health. You can keep track of multiple items in an extremely user-friendly manner- peak flow, zone (red, yellow, green), fev1, number of times rescue medication is used, as well as insert a note or tag with each set of data if you would like. You input only whatever info is useful for you. Data is displayed as either a graph or a chart, and the format can be emailed to yourself (or anyone else), which I find to be very convenient.
Many apps allow you to track this information, but one feature made this one stand out for me- you can input data as many times per day as is useful for you. When my child with asthma is ill, he needs to repeat peak flows before and after nebs several times per day, and I could not find any other apps that allow for more than 1-2 entries per day.
iPad2s to CF Centers(0)
Last week we mailed two iPad2s
We look forward to hearing how they are used in the Centers.
Be sure and read my blog about Securing the iPads.
Simply Being Guided Meditation(0)
Okay, let’s face it, living with Cystic Fibrosis (in your body or in your household) can make for some very stressful days. And who couldn’t use 5 or 10 minutes of guided meditation helping to let go of the stress. “Simply Being” is one of several meditation apps that run around .99 cents in the app store. These apps were designed by Meditation Oasis and have been featured in Shape magazine and The New York Times.
The guided meditation lets you pick music or nature sounds to overlay with the soothing meditation guide. This simple applicaiton is good for beginners or experienced meditators. And its seems to me this is a must-have for the next time my daughter is hospitalized. Hopefully a few minutes spent in guided meditation will keep me from throttling an unsuspecting doctor or nurse when the stress gets too high and the sleep deprivation too great.
New ways to look at creativity for education(0)
Peter and I are getting tickets for Blue Man’s Group playing off Broadway..This video gives some highlights and seems great for thinking differently about education. Many of our CF kids are missing lots of school and we have to keep our minds and hearts open to design the best ways to help them!
Diabetic Tester That Talks to iPhones and Doctors(3)
While consumer technology advances by leaps and bounds, the devices patients use to manage diseases often seem stuck in the past. A glaring example is the glucometer, the instrument diabetics use to measure the sugar in their blood—information they use to adjust their diet, exercise and medication.
These meters, which analyze drops of blood drawn from fingertips, typically resemble crude PDAs from 10 or 15 years ago. They offer little feedback and can’t connect to the Internet to show results to caregivers. Most diabetics who use them log their readings on paper, which they hand doctors weeks or months later.
But that is beginning to change. Next week, a small start-up will introduce a new diabetes meter it says is the first with wireless technology that instantly transmits a patient’s readings to a private online database, which can be accessed by the patient or—with permission—by a doctor, caregiver or family member. This system charts the results to highlight trends and spot problems, and can be accessed via a Web browser or an iPhone app. It automatically transmits relevant feedback—such as whether your readings seem high or low—and allows doctors to respond.
I’ve been testing this new meter and service, which is called Telcare and comes from a Bethesda, Md., company of the same name. As a Type 2 diabetic myself, I found the Telcare meter a refreshing change, and a significant step toward bringing consumer medical devices closer to the world of modern technology.
Despite some drawbacks, including a high price, I recommend the Telcare be considered by diabetics who want a better substitute for paper logs, or would benefit from real-time sharing of their readings.
However, as with any medical decision, I urge people to consult their doctors before switching meters. Also, I evaluated this product as a consumer technology. I am not a physician or diabetes expert. While I found the Telcare meter convenient and accurate for me, your situation might differ.
The Telcare device works much like a traditional meter. You insert a test strip into a slot on the meter, then prick your finger with a lancing device to get a drop of blood, touch the strip to the drop, and wait for the reading to appear.
The difference is the meter immediately sends results to its online database, where you or your doctor can find it via the password-protected Web site or iPhone app. This transmission is achieved via a built-in cellular modem, which doesn’t involve any cellphone, carrier contract or fee.
That cellular connection is used to send you messages about your readings, if necessary. In this first version, the patient can’t reply to doctors’ messages from the meter, but that’s planned for the future.
Telcare typically uses T-Mobile’s network, but, if that’s not available, the meter will automatically shift to whatever compatible connection it finds. If no connection is available, it will save the results and you can transmit them manually when you’re back in range.
Because it automatically logs results and allows real-time sharing, I believe diabetics who use this new system will be less likely to skip readings, or to fudge the numbers, especially if they allow doctors and other caregivers to see the results instantly. And that could mean an improvement in their health.
While it’s a leap ahead of typical diabetes meters, the Telcare meter isn’t exactly cutting edge. It looks like a thick, old cellphone, though it’s light. Unlike most other glucose meters, it has a large color screen that allows it to display informative graphics and messages.
One drawback is the price. While many diabetes meters cost well under $50, or are free (the money is in the test strips), the Telcare meter costs $150 for a starter kit that includes the meter, a wall charger, a case and accessories. The cost drops to $100 if you subscribe to a one-year supply of test strips. The strips cost $56 for a container of 50, or $36 with the subscription. Insurance may reduce these costs.
Another drawback is battery life. Traditional meters use removable batteries that can last months. The Telcare has a sealed battery and must be recharged frequently, like a cellphone. The company says if you turn it off between readings, a battery charge should last for 200 to 300 tests. If you leave it on, it will go to sleep between tests and need to be recharged every two or three days. In my tests, doing three readings a day for four days, I didn’t need to recharge it, but I turned it off when not in use.
Also, many diabetics carry around their meters, and the Telcare is larger than any traditional meter I’ve seen, though it fits in a pocket or small purse.
Finally, the meter and strips will, at first, be available only from the company, though it’s hoping to sell them in drugstores soon.
In my tests, the meter was easy to use and gave me helpful messages, such as whether I was in my prescribed range, or what my daily averages were. A Telcare official posing as my doctor sent me test messages reacting to my readings.
I can’t judge the accuracy of the Telcare, but it has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, and the company says it meets or exceeds FDA standards for accuracy. Its readings seemed right to me.
I found the Web site and iPhone app worked well, giving me constantly updated and detailed lists, graphs and pie charts that showed me where I stood over short and long periods. These can be printed out or turned into documents for email. You can also enter notes for any reading and the meter asks you to indicate whether a reading was, say, after or before a meal or physical activity. Using the Web site, you can adjust your preferred range of glucose readings to fit your doctor’s advice. And the iPhone app allows manual entries, if you use another meter.
I did find some bugs, all of which the company pledges will be fixed before next week’s launch. In one case, when a reading produced a clearly erroneous number (something that can happen with every meter I’ve used) the Telcare failed to offer advice on what to do. Two subsequent readings were correct, however, and the company says such errors are rare.
In another case, I found I could alter a reading on the iPhone after transmission.
Telcare isn’t the only company trying to drag the glucose meter into the modern era. Entra Health Systems has a meter called MyGlucoHealth that transmits readings via Bluetooth to a cellphone for transmission to an online portal. And Sanofi and AgaMatrix offer a diabetic-testing attachment for the iPhone called the iBGStar, which isn’t yet available in the U.S., but is sold in some other countries. It can email results.
But the Telcare device is a leap ahead of nearly all glucose meters. If you’re a diabetic, or care for one, it’s worth a look.
Email Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Epic Systems App for iPhone, iPad and Android Devices(2)
Epic Systems has develop an App for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that allows you to view your medical charts, medication, test results, upcoming appointments, and more. Here is a link where you can learn more about it. http://forums.cysticfibrosis.com/messageview.cfm?catid=5&threadid=614008
Here is a list of the hospitals that current support this app.