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: http://www.data-alliance.net/rp-sma/
  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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