This week’s innovations include a virtual service that provides on-demand doctors appointments and a weight loss app that provides personalized coaching
Each week PSFK.com with its partner Boehringer Ingelheim brings you a snapshot of five innovative ideas that are reshaping the health care industry. This week’s innovations include a virtual service that provides on-demand doctors appointments and a weight loss app that provides personalized coaching. Be sure to check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages to stay on top of all things health. Virtual Service Provides On-Demand Doctors Appointments HealthTap is an online service that makes it easy for people to get answers to their health questions from a real, trusted doctor. The company started as a simple question-and-answer site, where users could get free responses to their medical queries from thousands of peer-reviewed doctors, and it grew exponentially, serving over 100 million people with some 1.9 billion doctor answers after just a few years. A new additional service called HealthTap Prime gives subscribers unlimited access to live video conferences with actual doctors for $99 a month, plus $10 for every additional family member. The service is feeding the rapidly growing demand for telemedicine services, and giving users quick and easy access to accurate medical advice. Platform Delivers Personalized Healthcare Videos To Customers In Pharmacies SmartStory Technologies is a health startup that recently designed and deployed a new kiosk in select pharmacies that automates the delivery of short, sequenced and personalized videos. The service was launched last month with Monrovia, California-based health-solutions company Stayhealthy Inc., which operates thousands of HealthCENTER kiosks in pharmacies, grocery stores and employer locations across the country. The kiosks measure customers' health indicators, such as body composition, body mass index, hydration, weight, heart rate and blood pressure. SmartStory is now using the data from an initial group of pharmacies to deliver personalized short-form videos to a customer’s smartphone via email that explain their specific health readings. The short videos are designed to anticipate customers' health needs and proactively deliver curated videos from the company's library of relevant videos. Wireless Eye Implant Continually Measures Intraocular Pressure To Monitor Glaucoma A new eye implant from Germany’s Implandata Ophthalmic Products is making it possible to measure a person’s intraocular pressure (IOP), which can help diagnose and monitor glaucoma. Continuous monitoring of IOP to detect spikes is practically impossible when using a traditional tonometer, but the new implant is making the process relatively seamless. The trial of the Pro-IOP implant involves open angle glaucoma patients who are getting cataracts removed. As part of the typical procedure of exchanging a diseased intraocular lens for an artificial one, the wireless device is placed in front of the lens. It can then monitor the IOP continuously, or whenever requested via a control unit, transmitting the data via the cellular network to a physician for review. Smart Tags For Bras And Shirts Can Detect Heart Attacks LifeTip is a tag that is designed to be attached to a shirt or bra in order to detect heart attacks and immediately alert emergency services. Currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, the device is a small triangular ECG sensor that comes with a clip for attaching to clothing, resting on top of the heart. LifeTip is capable of monitoring wearers’ heart rate and detecting irregular rhythms. It also senses a range of other metrics, such as body temperature, posture, exercise and even emotional state. Using the LifeTip app, users can keep on top of their general health. If a heart attack occurs, the device uses the owners’ smartphone to instantly contact emergency services with a request for help. Most cardiac deaths happen due to a lack of adequate response time, and LifeTip hopes to save more lives by alerting paramedics almost as soon as an attack occurs. App Connects Dieters With Coaches For Personalized Feedback And Advice Most diet plans are strict and difficult to maintain, and hiring a personal nutritionist can be expensive. Rise is a new app that aims to fix this by connecting users with their own personalized diet plans and feedback from nutrition coaches at a minimal cost. When users initially sign up for the diet app they are asked what their target weight is so their coach can help them achieve that goal. Users have objectives, and a unique diet plan is created to work with their lifestyle. The coaching style ranges anywhere from “tough love” to “super encouraging”, and regular updates from coaches provide helpful suggestions on how to optimally tweak diet or exercise. Ultimately progress is up to the individual user, however Rise makes it much easier for people to reach their weight loss or fitness goals.