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Mobile health round-up: July

Sunday, 14 July 2019  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


Zoom app monitors diabetes medication adherence


A new app is being trialled to help monitor the level of adherence to diabetes medicine among South Aucklanders.


Outpatients from Counties Manukau Health who have diabetes will have their prescriptions delivered to them by courier.


Reporting from the Zoom Pharmacy app will identify patients who are not keeping up with the level of medication prescribed by their doctor, allowing them to be followed up by a healthcare professional.


Zoom pharmacist Din Redzepagic says that “by delivering the medicine to their door, scheduling calls with a multilingual team of pharmacists and introducing an app in their healthcare routine that can monitor how frequently they are taking their medication, we hope to remove some of the key barriers which prevent them taking their medication as prescribed by their doctor.


“The new system also takes pressure off doctors as technology allows better monitoring and early intervention to keep patients on track in between visits to their GP,” he says.


Study data will be analysed later in the year by the DHB and has the potential to be expanded into other regions if successful.


Apps and websites could help those in chronic pain


Smartphone apps and pain management websites could fill a significant gap in helping to support the one in five New Zealanders living with chronic or persistent pain, an Otago University postdoctoral fellow says.


Hemakumar Devan analysed 27 websites that offered strategies to manage pain, including pain education, exercises, meditation/mindfulness and distraction techniques.


The three apps that met the most criteria for fostering self-management of pain were Curable, PainScale – Pain Diary and Coach, and SuperBetter.


Devan says the research opens up the possibility of clinicians referring patients to websites and apps to complement their face-to-face care.


“Clinicians must be aware of limitations, such as limited evidence for clinical efficacy of these online resources as a stand-alone treatment and a lack of cultural tailoring of information for those of different ethnicities, age groups and impairments,” he says.


Health app library update


Health Navigator NZ has added new categories to its health app library: kidney disease apps, Parkinson’s apps and physical activity apps.


A new app for anyone with Parkinson’s disease who has walking or gait problems is called Power of Rhythm. It is a tool for physiotherapists to use with their patients to help reduce freezing of gait (freezing during walking) by using a method called rhythmic auditory stimulation.


Another new New Zealand-based app is called Feedsafe and provides information about alcohol and breastfeeding.


A search function has also been added to the online library to allow users to search by category, use filters or sort for apps by things such as category and clinical score.


iMOKO to expand virtual health service


iMOKO has partnered with Intrahealth to provide a new patient management system for the virtual health service and expand to more communities across New Zealand.


Developed by clinician Lance O’Sullivan, iMOKO enables trained teachers at participating kōhanga reo, early childhood centres and schools to securely send health information about students with common conditions such as head lice and strep throat to a digital health team working in Auckland.


These digital health assessors respond with a diagnosis and treatment plan and prescriptions are sent to the parents of caregivers via an app.


iMOKO chief executive Evan Blackman says, “the partnership with Intrahealth enables iMOKO to increase the number of health conditions it can treat, and further integrate with health sector systems for more complete patient care”.


Former chief executive Jodi Mitchell told earlier this year that the service has rolled out clinical guidelines for both children and adults for another 20 conditions and the plan for 2019 was to roll virtual healthcare out for adults, starting with iwi groups.


Apple opens up mobile Health Records


Apple will allow any US healthcare provider with a compatible electronic health record to self-register with its mobile Health Records feature.


This will allow patients to search for their provider and securely download their EHR to a personal health record on their iPhone, after providing credentials to a practice’s or hospital’s patient portal.


Apple had previously rolled out Health Records only to partner healthcare providers and some organisations such as the Department of Veteran Affairs.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read more news:

Health and Disability System Review focusing on data and digital

Ministry to release Strategic Framework for Digital Health

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