Consumer Health Informatics News

Mobile Health Applications Help People Lose Weight

It’s not a surprise that the mobile apps industry is booming. There are lots of health-related apps out there, including fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, remote health monitoring systems, and so on.

A new set of apps has recently emerged; we are talking about applications that help motivate people lose weight. The weight tracking component is often times included in the application, of course.

In a recent study, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association analyzed the effectiveness of the mobile health apps, websites and printed journals. The study used close to 100 overweight people who were trying to lose weight, with the goal of determining if mobile health apps can have a significant impact or not.

The results were not surprising at all: people who were regularly monitoring their weight using various mobile apps were more likely to exercise on a regular basis, and thus achieve their weight loss goals faster.

According to the authors of the study, future generations of mobile health apps may allow real-time recording of food consumption. It looks like self-monitoring is here to stay and change the things for the better, at least when it comes to weight loss.


The Internet of Things: Hype or Reality?

The IoT acronym has become famous, but looking back, is there a real value behind it? According to the consultants at McKinsey, IoT are defined as being sensors and actuators that are connected to computing devices by making use of computer networks. The sensors can monitor people, animals or the natural world.

McKinsey has studied about 300 IoT devices, estimating their potential benefits. A useful device can save vehicle owners money by predicting when maintenance may be needed, for example.

The devices were categorized according to their “settings”:

  1. The “Human” setting includes medical devices that are either attached to or placed inside the human body.
  2. The “Home” setting includes devices that are placed inside building inhabited by humans. The Wi-Fi networks were using RP SMA adapters:
  3. The “Retail environments” setting includes spaces where people engage in commerce.
  4. The “Offices” setting includes spaces where people are working.
  5. The “Factories” setting includes standardized production environments.
  6. The “Worksites” setting includes custom production environments.
  7. The “Vehicles” setting includes systems that are placed inside moving vehicles.
  8. The “Cities” setting includes urban environments.
  9. The “Outside” setting includes spaces placed in-between urban environments.

The full report can be downloaded at this link.

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Bingham Memorial Hospital Uses Modern Technology for Bariatric Treatment

Bingham Memorial Hospital, a medium sized hospital located in Blackfoot, Idaho, is not your average rural hospital. The health care unit started its activity about 50 years ago, but it has constantly grown since then, becoming one of the top employers in the entire Idaho state.

This is the list with the Bariatric Surgery procedures that are performed at BMH:

– Laparoscopic Gastric Banding;
– Sleeve Gastrectomy;
– R & Y Gastric Bypass

According to a statement made by hospital CEO Louis Kraml, Bingham Memorial Hospital has become a state of the art community hospital.  Obesity is now considered to be a chronic disease, and one that is gaining more and more importance, as the number of people that are affected by it is constantly growing.

With morbid obesity, serious negative health consequences occur as a direct result of extra weight. People that have a weight that’s greater than 200% in comparison with their ideal weight are suffering from morbid obesity. The same term is used to describe people that have an excess of 100 pounds of more, or have a body mass index value of over 40.

It is important to understand that for people that have a healthy weight, the BMI values will range from 18 to 25, while obese people are divided into five classes, with BMI values ranging from 30 to over 60.

About two thirds of the adult population suffers from obesity in the USA; what’s even more worrying is that a third of our children are overweight, while a staggering number of 10 million Americans are morbidly obese, being in a situation where the excess weight puts their health, and even life, in danger.

Things aren’t looking that good, but hospital CEO Louis Kraml works on a vision of the future, and through bariatric treatment methods, his hospital is making the needed steps in the right direction. But with obesity leading to death for close to half a million US citizens per year, the entire population must be made aware of the risks.

Recent studies have demonstrated that life expectancy decreases dramatically for the persons that suffer from obesity. The average lifespan decrease is seven years, for both men and women. Sitting right next to smoking, obesity is the second cause that leads to death.

Obesity-related co-morbidities include diabetes, respiratory diseases, sleep apnea, depression, high blood pressure, asthma and pulmonary disorder, high cholesterol levels, congestive heart failure, strokes, osteoarthritis, and many more.

So how does the bariatric surgery candidate look like? To begin with, the BMI values must be over 40. As a general rule, the patient should have over 100 extra pounds in comparison with his or her ideal weight. People interested in using BMH’s services should be 18 to 60 years old; there are exceptions, of course, depending on how healthy a particular person is.

Most of all, it is important to be dedicated and prepared to change your lifestyle, as well as be prepared to follow up with your doctor.

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New Imaging Technique Developed to Speed Up Multiple Sclerosis Research

Researchers from The University of British Columbia are grateful for the development of an imaging technique that is meant to assist them with their study on Multiple Sclerosis. The new approach which is a different take on interpreting Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans was designed to recognize signs of the neurological illness with better accuracy. For more info, see

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

According to Louis Kraml, CEO at Bingham Memorial Hospital, Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable and rare demyelinating disease that affects mostly women who are at their mid-20s. It attacks portions of the nervous system which leads to impairment in abilities to communicate, move, and even think. Those suffering from it experience difficulty in getting almost anything done. Aside from dealing with constant headaches, inexplicable fatigue, nausea, numbness, vertigo, tremors, and irritability, they also fear eventual vision loss and paralysis.

The Latest MRI Method

mri scansWith the new MRI technique, electromagnetic waves’ frequency is analyzed. It is unlike conventional MRI means which focus on the size of such waves and is deemed the more sensitive approach of detecting alterations in tissue structures in the brain. As the results of the scans are found to be way more detailed, radiologists are able to analyze Multiple Sclerosis cases closely which can lead to promising discoveries.

Due to Multiple Sclerosis being a progressive neurological disease, the speeding up of researches that can lead to a cure or even just treatment will be greatly appreciated. Patients diagnosed with it remain optimistic that they’ll eventually see better days. Though they may have learned to cope with their situations, they won’t deny that they are still hoping to be completely rid of the illness.

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