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he Scoop – Data Manipulation | Telemedicine | FDA Approved Apps July 31, 2014

Filed under: Corporate — CMI/Compas @ 4:11 pm

Dating site OkCupid changed results to see how it would affect users actions, similarly to the Facebook manipulation research that made people so upset they thought for a minute about maybe quitting Facebook but then went back to taking quizzes like “who is your 80s movie boyfriend” and “what kind of sandwich are you.” This news has led the news media to completely misunderstand the difference between psychological manipulation and marketer’s use of big data, resulting in news stories like this one that show how online and retail stores use data to better understand the needs of consumers.

Telemedicine company HealthTap, which is known for offering quick answers to health questions, has begun offering telemedicine – video visits with a real doctor, who can access medical records, with a $99 monthly subscription. HealthTap tells Wired they seem themselves as an alternative to visiting the doctor as well as taking on bigger resource sites like WebMD. But patients would still need a visit to the doctor for a prescription or if something’s really wrong, so it will be interesting to see what their future holds.

A new opinion piece in NEJM highlights the issues FDA has in reviewing mobile medical apps – although thousands are launched each year, FDA has reviewed only about 100 in the past decade and approved only 40. Now, we know that the number of apps that require FDA approval is relatively slim – mostly centering around diagnostic apps – but they still number much more than the organization can currently handle. So HCPs and consumers who only want to use FDA-approved apps will have some slim pickins.

Move over, hand gestures – the newest cool feature in tech is sound – ultrasonic sound, to be exact, which is being explored by toothbrush makers and Google, among others, to see how it can be implemented to make our tech experiences better.

-Carly Kuper, VP, Strategic Marketing & Corporate Communications
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