Braille for a New Digital Age

When she was a graduate student in her native Bulgaria about five years ago, Kristina Tsvetanova was once asked to help a blind friend sign up online for a class. Understanding why he could not do so opened her eyes to the lag in technological innovation to benefit blind and visually impaired people.

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How to Find Google's New Built-In Breathing Exercise

The TechWatch editors have selected this news item because it is analogous to our LiveWell development project BreatheWell Wear.   We hope you can try out both BreatheWell Wear and Google's web-based breathing exercise.

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Heat Mapping Used to Study People’s Gaze Patterns when Using Eye Gaze Technology

Heat mapping, a technology that has been incorporated into some eye gaze devices, is a tool that allows researchers to study and better understand how people view images and videos. When using eye gaze systems, it is possible to set up and utilize these heat maps that collect data on people’s gaze patterns. Understanding the gaze patterns of people not only benefits those interested in advertising but allows researches who work with people that are immobilized to better understand how their clients are using eye gaze. Being able to understand the habits and patterns that are common amongst users would enable researchers and engineers to improve the technology.   

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NIH takes steps to safeguard participant data for PMI national cohort

As the National Institutes of Health looks to build one of the world’s largest biomedical datasets under the Precision Medicine Initiative’s All of Us research program, NIH is grappling with how to keep the data of a million or more Americans private and secure.

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital leverages digital pills to track opioid use

Tracking the use of opioids has never been more important than during the ongoing drug epidemic. That’s why Brigham and Women’s Hospital has turned to digital pills—gelatin capsules containing ingestible sensors and medication—to help track patterns of opioid usage among patients.

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How does an Amazon Echo vulnerability enable attackers to eavesdrop?

Research from MWR InfoSecurity Ltd. shows that threat actors can install malware on an Amazon Echo and turn it into a listening device. How effective is this attack, and is there any way to determine if an Amazon Echo has been compromised?

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mHealth Data Adds Detail, Meaning to Population Health Programs

Smartphones have long been considered an ideal mHealth tool for personalized medicine, capable of collecting individual data and pushing out targeted reminders and information. Now that data is being used to power population health programs, with strong success.

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Alibaba challenges Google, Amazon with new Echo-like device

The competition in digital speaker-assistants is getting more intense, as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. unfurled an Amazon Echo-like device and fellow Chinese internet giants Tencent and Baidu prepare to develop their own.

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App economy to grow to $6.3 trillion in 2021, user base to nearly double to 6.3 billion

The global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion last year, according to a new report this morning from app analytics firm App Annie. During that same time frame, the user base will almost double from 3.4 billion people using apps to 6.3 billion, while the time spent in apps will grow to 3.5 trillion hours in 2021, up from 1.6 trillion in 2016.

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Is Apple iMessage HIPAA Compliant?

Think twice before texting your patients and staff.

iMessage is a go-to technology for Apple users in the medical field because it so easily integrates into pre-existing office infrastructure. Using iMessage for office communication can facilitate quick conversations among office staff -- but when it comes to sending and receiving patient data, the question of whether or not iMessage is HIPAA compliant needs to be taken into account.

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Google I/O 2017 Updates on Disability, Accessibility, Assistive Technology (AT), and Emerging Technologies

An experience to be remembered and referred to throughout the year, Google I/O 2017 lived up to its hype. Sessions, sandbox demonstrations, Code Labs, and Google expert office hours boasted topics on Android, machine learning, Internet of Things, the Google Assistant, Accessibility, and others. By giving accessibility the center stage for a variety of sessions, sandbox demonstrations, and expert office hours, Google has again shown the AT community its dedication to closing the gap in accessibility and usefulness of technology for people with disabilities. Google’s many technologies and products also show big implications for the disabled community to leverage throughout life.

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21st Century Medicine: Where Big Tech Is Placing Bets In Healthcare

Tech has already had a major impact on the healthcare industry in areas such as medical record systems, connected medical devices, telemedicine software, and a growing number of digital therapeutics startups that help patients manage chronic conditions at home. And over the last few years, the largest tech companies in the world have begun to bolster both internal development of healthcare products as well as their private market activity in the health sector.

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Room for Improvement in Compliance Apps — Likely need more than just a reminder feature

Doctors have been trying to get their patients to consistently take medications since the advent of medicine. Even Hippocrates described how some of his patients would feign compliance to his treatment plans. It may seem like a simple concept, yet achieving compliance has been elusive in modern medicine despite iterations of potential solutions. Complex factors make up the barriers for medical compliance, and it is unlikely that there is one catch-all solution. Using advancements in mobile health to address these issues could potentially decrease the morbidity and mortality of noncompliance.

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Smartphone Apps Meet Evidence Based Medicine

“The future of medicine is in your smartphone,” proclaimed an eminent medical researcher in a 2015 Wall Street Journal essay. In a sense, the future is already here, judging from the proliferation of apps and medical devices that are connected to smartphones. One industry study in 2015 identified more than 165,000 health­related “apps” for smartphones on Google Play and the Apple iTunes store. But how much does this technology lead to improved patient outcomes? That question is one of evidence based medicine, to be answered by clinical trials and systemic reviews by medical experts.

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Mobile technology trends to watch out for in 2017

Like it or hate it, 2016 was a turbulent year that provided a clear message: Our phones enable fantastic and fast communication. Here are 10 predictions about mobile technology trends in 2017, counting down to the most significant change to look out for.

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