Category Archives: Technology

Medicine and Video Games: A New Approach to Engaging Diabetic Patients

Part one of a five part series on the 2014 AAMC Clinical Care Innovation Challenge Pilot Award Winners


Imagine this video game scenario:  a player explores a small town participating in everyday activities aimed to help them better understand and manage type 2 diabetes.  The player wanders into the local town café, and is asked to pick out a snack that is suitable to their dietary needs.

Dapper, the online video game that seeks to improve the health of type 2 diabetic patients

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Virtual Patients Deliver Real Learning

By Norm Berman, MD

Just as the US health care system is at a critical juncture, so is the system of medical education. Medical education needs to change, not only to keep pace with a rapidly changing health system, but to drive change by better educating the next generation of providers to create a transformed health care system. Virtual patients (VPs) can play an important role in the transformation of medical education, and can produce the real learning required to facilitate change.

What are virtual patients? Simply put, VPs are interactive clinical case scenarios delivered using computer technology, these days almost exclusively over the Internet. Continue reading Virtual Patients Deliver Real Learning

Using Apple Research Kit for Asthma Mobile Health Study

By Jennifer Salopek

Apple launched its Research Kit on March 9, “giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies,” according to a press release. The kit comprised five iPhone apps to gather data from participants with asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. The Asthma Health app was developed by a team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, led by Yvonne Chan, MD, PhD, FACEP. At a presentation at the AAMC Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems meeting in Austin last month, Chan detailed the preliminary results generated by the app.

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Health Wearables and the Yeshwant Table

By Benjamin Robbins

Hundreds of people gathered in an event space in Google’s Cambridge, MA, office last month to demo the latest in health wearables and watch the final round of a health tech competition co-sponsored by Google, Anthem, MedTech Boston, and The event suggests  that we may be seeing a striking evolution of fitness-oriented health wearables to devices with the potential to improve patient care.

I’ll admit that I had relatively low expectations – imagining walking into a room full of devices designed to keep already-healthy people marginally more healthy. However, when I arrived I was struck by the number of knowledgeable medical experts who had built devices that seemed like they could truly help alleviate or prevent suffering caused by disease.

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UF Radiology Residents Sharpen Skills in Simulator

By Alexander Bolt

The University of Florida College of Medicine is riding the trend of gamification in medical education, developing a new, real-time training simulation for radiology residents akin to a flight simulator. The program, “Simulation in Emergent and Critical Care Imaging,” simulates a typical call rotation in an emergency room.

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New Illinois #MedSchool Will Have Innovation in Its DNA

By Jennifer J. Salopek

On March 12, the board of trustees of the University of Illinois approved a new medical school for the Urbana-Champaign campus, a plan that has been under development for over a year. The proposed new school, to be known as Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, will feature unique partnerships with U of I’s College of Engineering and with Carle Health System to deliver a small niche program for physician–scientists and engineers. Students who complete the five-year curriculum will graduate with a master’s in engineering and an MD. In a series of interviews with Wing of Zock last summer, officials and experts explained their vision for the new medical school. Continue reading New Illinois #MedSchool Will Have Innovation in Its DNA

Wachter: AMCs Must Prepare “Digital Doctors”

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Wachter_3DIn his new book, due out on April 7, Bob Wachter, MD, tackles the “hope, hype, and harm” of the complicated relationship between health care and technology. In The Digital Doctor (McGraw-Hill), he offers an overview of the development of health care information technology over the past three decades, its successes, failures, and challenges, and concludes that “technology will upend the lives of doctors and patients.”

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Hacking Silos at Medstro

socialized_medicineBy Jennifer J. Salopek

New website Medstro is bringing a social sensibility to the triple mission of academic medicine. Combining the status update and news feed features of Facebook with the conversational capabilities of an old-school online message board, Medstro aims to improve medical education, research, and patient care by giving doctors and medical students a space to connect and learn from one another in real time.

Jennifer Joe, MD, a nephrologist, bootstrapped and launched the social network with two colleagues, Jim Ryan and John Bachir, about a year ago. Its genesis lay in the challenges she encountered as a newly minted practicing physician. Continue reading Hacking Silos at Medstro