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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Activating Patients to Achieve Better Health Outcomes: Spotlight on NYU School of Medicine | Wing of Zock

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Apple’s Medical ID dials emergency contacts

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Apple’s Medical ID dials emergency contacts

One of the best lesser-known features of Apple’s iOS 8 software could save lives. The Medical ID feature, which is like a digital ID bracelet, is part of the pre-installed Health App. It allows users to populate the phone with crucial information that would assist emergency personnel or anyone hoping to help them when in distress. All they have to do is tap the “emergency” button on the lock pad screen, which leads them to important information about the phone’s owner such as name, age, and emergency contact information.

Typically, cellphone users have been encouraged to save a contact under the term ICE (In Case of Emergency) on their phone. Password-protected devices, however, would inhibit paramedics and do-gooders from accessing such information. With the Medical ID, information is available through the lock screen, which could differentiate this feature from ICE.

If an iPhone doesn’t have a lock passcode (but this is not recommended), a first responder or good samaritan can access the Medical ID from the Health app. For those who use passcodes or Touch ID to secure their iPhones, the Medical ID can be accessed from the lock screen.

To access the information, a tap on Emergency on the bottom-left of the iPhone lock screen allows those without the passcode to make an emergency phone call. Then, a tap on Medical ID brings up a screen showing the medical information entered by the user. Another tap on emergency contacts dials their phone numbers directly. .

MedicAlert Canada, which carries its familiar ID emblem on its bracelets, is expert in finding ways to make crucial information accessible to emergency personnel. With the advent of Apple’s Medical ID, they have one caution for their clients who require emergency responders to access information quickly.

“It is important to remember the reason for wearing a medical ID: to quickly convey critical information when a person cannot communicate themselves,” says MedicAlert Foundation Canada CEO Robert Ridge. “To do this, the information must be robust and easy to access, and the first responders and healthcare professionals must know what to look for it and how to use it.”

To learn how to add Medical ID to your phone, visit

Source: CityNews

Posted October 15, 2015

App allows MDs to secure images stored on mobiles

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App allows MDs to secure images stored on mobiles

Ottawa-based Clearwater Clinical recently announced the formation of MODICA, its new mobile endoscopy and mobile medical photography division, and the launch of the MODICA mobile medical camera phone app. Most physicians use their mobiles to record photos and video of patients to create a visual medical record that makes collaboration with colleagues easier. However, most default camera and messaging apps offer no security protection. In fact most phones are designed to automatically move images to non-compliant storage services and have settings that could result in the inadvertent sharing of medical images on social media networks.

The MODICA medical camera app and cloud solution lets physicians leverage the convenience of using their smartphone for capturing images while remaining in compliance with privacy and regulatory requirements.

MODICA is used to record photos and video and secure them in a segregated, password-protected camera roll. All medical images are automatically moved off the device to a HIPAA-compliant, encrypted cloud storage service adding further protection in the event of a lost or stolen device. For regulatory control over how images can be used, MODICA enables physicians to capture and store patient consent directly within the app.

MODICA also helps physicians speed up patient care by facilitating secure in-app sharing of images with colleagues, consultants, and residents. Physicians can easily collaborate on patient cases with the benefit of a visual record to facilitate discussions.

MODICA is about more than just security. It was designed from the ground up with physician workflows in mind. Camera settings are optimized for medical grade photos that can be annotated with patient information and keyword data that also improves organization and record management.

“Every doctor I know uses their personal mobile phone to take medical pictures and videos. We do it because it is easy and convenient and we carry around these HD cameras in our pockets every day. We also like how simple it is to share the photos with colleagues and residents. It’s a tremendous productivity tool for collaborating with other doctors, teaching residents, and even sharing with patients. But before today, every one of us was doing it in an insecure, non-compliant way,”said Dr. Matthew Bromwich, ENT Surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and Co-founder of Clearwater Clinical. “Now with MODICA, I use my mobile phone to record, manage, and share images of my patient cases with complete confidence that medical data is kept private and secure.”

MODICA is a free iOS app available for download from the iTunes app store.

MODICA cloud is free up to 1GB of storage after which subscriptions start as low as $19 per month.

For more information, visit

Posted October 15, 2015

So much for all that calcium

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Well it looks like another standby recommendation in preventive health measures has bitten the dust… or maybe the chalk!

Two reviews from New Zealand haver cast serious doubt on the merits of calcium supplementation after age 50. Only a 2% increase in bone density and no difference in fractures, which is obviously the outcome that really matters.

More info available on the BMJ site but there is a nice wee summary here:

…for the TL;DR crowd. (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

I found it interesting that the Osteoporosis Society has immediately rejected the findings – not clear on what grounds. I only heard this on the radio so this may be a misrepresentation. But it does illustrate a fairly consistent attitude that we tend to have when presented with info that challenges our generally accepted practices.

The cardiologists additionally have concerns about what this extra calcium is doing to our heart muscle and our vasculature – hardening of the arteries and all that.