The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations

#29 - In the Cloud

The Ins and Outs of Apps for Daily Practice

One of the highlights of conhIT is the AppCircus, a contest where various digital healthcare companies showcase mobile apps designed to make the lives of medical professionals a bit easier.  Contenders in the third edition of the contest included:

  • Teleclinic, a mobile app for telemedicine
  • D-EYE, an app for retinal scans
  • Moodpath, an interactive mental health screening tool
  • FibriCheck, an app that detects atrial fibrillation
  • Imito cam, which integrates mobile photography into clinical documentation
  • Anapphylaxis, a medical device that checks epinephrine levels

MedicalExpo e-Magazine caught up with a couple of contestants to learn more about their products and how medical professionals can benefit from using them in their daily practice.

Monitoring Atrial Fibrillation

The 2017 AppCircus winner was FibriCheck. CEO Lars Grieten described how medical professionals can monitor the status of atrial fibrillation outpatients with their clinically-validated smartphone application. “Even though the app is downloaded onto the patient’s smartphone, it’s the doctor’s decision to prescribe FibriCheck to monitor the patient’s arrhythmia.

It’s the doctor’s decision to prescribe FibriCheck

Then, all the patient has to do is download the app and place a finger on the camera of the smartphone. The app measures the heart rhythm and transmits the data to the cloud-based FibriCheck system. After processing by certified algorithms, the results are fed back to the doctor as PDF reports or a simple web interface. The doctor can then detect anomalies.”

FibriCheck can be bought only with a prescription, typically from a cardiologist or a neurologist. The doctor must be registered with FibriCheck in order to write such a prescription. “The great thing about our smartphone application is that the physician is in the driver’s seat. He can choose to monitor his patient’s data live or just receive PDF reports. Our cloud system is secure, and therefore patient information is safeguarded.”

There are many apps out there that don’t comply with medical standards

Grieten agrees that while one might come up with a great concept for a medical app, it is vital to see how it will fit into clinical practice, whether the physician can use it correctly and whether it will make the patient’s life easier. “There are many apps out there that don’t comply with medical standards and could potentially harm the credibility of certified medical apps. Unfortunately, it is usually these apps that patients find first when browsing the internet or Google Play.
The last thing a physician wants is patients in the waiting room downloading an unknown medical app which generates inaccurate data on their condition. The physicians who tend to opt for FibriCheck are early adopters, those who want to ensure that their patients use medically approved apps with all the certifications.”

Detecting Retinal Aberrations

D-Eye Retinal Screening

D-Eye Retinal Screening Courtesy of D-Eye

The D-Eye is a HIPAA-compliant portable imaging system comprising an app and an add-on lens for smartphones. It was developed to detect various retinal aberrations commonly accompanying the glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration that afflict millions. The brainchild of Dr. Andrea Russo, MD and company medical advisor, the app meets the need for a cost-effective retinal screening device which can be used in place of an ophthalmoscope.

Spencer P. Lee, vice president of global sales and marketing, explained the concept behind the app. “D-Eye is a smart phone application and a lens married to the smartphone camera, enabling the medical professional to record high-definition images or videos of the posterior of the eye for later clinical assessment. However, unlike the traditional ophthalmoscope, the design of the D-Eye lens is such that it eliminates the corneal glare and is patient friendly.
Moreover, while using an ophthalmoscope results in a subjective assessment of the condition of the eye, D-Eye takes accurate videos and images which can then be sent to specialists located in any part of the world for further diagnosis. Moreover, its ease of use means that it only takes the medical professional around 30 minutes to acclimatize to how to use D-Eye.”

After recording,  the medical professional can save images of choice as PDF or JPEG files and transfer them via a dropbox system.  Patient privacy is maintained, as the rest of the photos are deleted from the smartphone.  Currently, D-Eye is compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, 6 and 6S.

About the Author

Jan D'Sa is a Dubai-based reporter and technical writer.

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