IT Update - March 2018

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» Thermometers connected to a mobile phone app can lead to significant improvements in flu forecasting — good news to providers in a bad season, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. University of Iowa researchers compared influenza data gathered by the CDC from healthcare providers across the country with two years of de-identified temperature data from Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometers. They found that adding smart thermometer data to simple forecasting models accurately predicted flu activity three weeks earlier than CDC data alone.

» In an effort to bridge multi-generational communication barriers and foster greater understanding about dementia and memory loss, Ann Arbor, MI-based EHM Senior Solutions recently brought together local high school students and senior residents living with memory loss. The students used tablet technology from It's Never 2 Late to create videos based on the seniors' personal recollections gained through student interviews.

» Sleep app users are mostly healthy and affluent, according to data from an online survey conducted by NYU School of Medicine. Published in Health Communication, the survey polled nearly 1,000 ethnically diverse mobile phone users about their app use. Findings suggest the need for a sleep app aimed at lower- income or less healthy individuals.

» Apple has partnered with Stan- ford Medicine to launch the Apple Heart Study to find out how well data collected by the Apple Watch can identify irregular heart rhythms. Paired with the Apple Watch, the Heart Study app collects data on a person's heart rhythms and notifies them if they might be experiencing atrial fibrillation – a leading cause of stroke. The company said it plans to use the study data and seek FDA approval of the app as a “new investigational device.”

» Searching for a power outlet to charge your cell phone may one day be obsolete, according to a study in the journal Nano Energy. Instead, devices will receive electricity from a small metallic tab that, when attached to the body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger and other simple movements.