A few months ago, we shared a TEDMED 2011 presentation from neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg on breakthroughs in retinal prosthesis technology.
She explained how the visual process can be broken down in mathematical code, which can then be recreated by a computer and a camera connected to the brain through electrodes.
If Dr. Nirenberg’s presentation wasn’t visually appealing enough, we found this well-designed infographic from Mezzmer that visually explains a number of ocular prosthetic technologies. Some of these technologies are already in use while others are still in the early stages of experimentation, but all of them show just how far we have come since the invention of modern glasses in the 13th century. Click on the image below to see a larger view.
As healthcare continues to merge with the digital space, looking up medical information online as a patient has become increasingly confusing and unreliable. If you want real answers about specific drugs or conditions, you need to decipher the truth through pages of ads, conflicting blog posts and articles, and advice from unknown sources.
Fortunately, people have begun to take notice of this problem over the past couple years and we are starting to see some great online health services emerging.
A couple weeks ago, we published a post about Treato, an online service that lets patients and doctors see what others across the web are saying about certain medications or conditions. While this service allows patients to learn from their peers, HealthTap lets patients learn from a huge community of experts in a number of medical fields.
For over a year HealthTap has allowed patients to anonymously post medical questions free of charge and receive answers from a number of doctors throughout the country.
In June, the company amped up its services with a new HIPAA-compliant app suite that allows patients to ask questions directly to a doctor of their choice. With the app, patients can narrow down HealthTap’s list of over 1 million physicians to a specific location and area of medicine. For $10 users can send a doctor a text with options to include photos or health records, which can be entered and securely stored on HealthTap’s servers. The service allows for one free follow-up message with each one after that costing $5.
This may seem like a pricey text conversation, but it is well worth it if it saves someone a trip to the doctor and the associated co-payment.
While HealthTap is designed to answer patient-generated questions, it can also be extremely beneficial to physicians. Any doctor can join HealthTap’s online community by setting up their own “Virtual Practice.” This gives doctors their own page on HealthTap’s network where they can provide information about their practice, answer patient questions, and collaborate with other physicians. Doctors can also rank each other’s answers and compete for awards in order to gain recognition and build a reputation.
If doctors choose to participate in the new private one-on-one conversations, they can receive HealthTap credits, which can be redeemed for cash or charitable donations.
HealthTap has even found a way to incorporate medical school, allowing select students to draft answers to patient questions and receive feedback from established physicians.
It seems clear that we are entering an era of digital health where finding online medical information is no longer a confusing task, but an efficient and valuable process for all parties involved in the healthcare industry.
If you want to see HealthTap in action, just ask a question with the widget on the right. If you’re a physician or patient active on HealthTap, let us know what you think about the service in the comments section below.
We came across this great infographic-style animated video from the people at eHealth Industries Innovation Centre (ehi²) in Wales and we thought we’d share it with you. It’s well-designed and informative–just one example of some of the amazing work they do at ehi² to move healthcare into the future.
Does your practice have a personalized app yet? As smartphone ownership continues to rise in the US and throughout the world (the latest polls estimate that 35 percent of all American adults own a smartphone) it is becoming increasingly important to integrate mobile into your digital marketing strategy, regardless of the industry you are in.
If you’re an optometrist looking to take your practice’s marketing efforts to the next level, EyeDocApp might be the perfect option. The company allows optometry practices to create their own customized branded apps in order to more easily connect with patients and spread brand awareness.
While there are other apps for medical practices and most web design firms can create customized apps, EyeDocApp is specifically tailored to eye care professionals—optometrists can easily input their logos and information within a pre-built app.
The app allows patients to find your practice with their phone’s GPS, schedule an appointment, send an email, and look up videos and articles on eye conditions. Doctors can add information about specific services offered, upload photos and videos, and even offer discounts, which can then be published on Facebook or Twitter straight from the patient’s phone.
If you use EyeDocApp or a similar service at your practice, leave a comment to let us know how it has worked for you.
Yesterday we posted an infographic highlighting some of the most important foods for keeping your eyes healthy. With the weather heating up and the 4th of July only a day away, we started thinking of ways to make summer grilling a little more eye-healthy.
We wouldn’t expect anyone to forgo the traditional 4th of July burgers and hot dogs, but we found a couple recipes that you can try throughout the summer to give your eyes the nutrients they need.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish like trout, help prevent against macular degeneration and other age-related vision problems while offering a number of other health benefits. The antioxidant lutein, found in kale and other greens, also helps prevent AMD and reduces the risk of cataracts.
With that said, here is a delicious summertime meal rich with omega-3 and lutein so you can keep your eyes healthy this summer. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
- 4 whole trout (about 12 ounces each), cleaned and scaled
- 1 lemon, sliced into 8 rounds, plus 1 lemon cut into wedges for garnish
- 1 large bunch fresh oregano
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Lightly coat grill or broiler pan with cooking spray; heat grill or broiler. Sprinkle exterior and cavity of each fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and season with pepper. Place two lemon rounds and a few oregano sprigs in cavity of each fish.
2. Spray fish with cooking spray; place on grill or under broiler. Cook until golden and firm, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to serving platter; drizzle each fish with 1 teaspoon oil. Garnish with lemon wedges and remaining oregano.
- 5 cups torn kale (3/4 pound)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Combine kale, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag; seal bag, and shake to coat. Remove kale from bag, and place in a wire grilling basket coated with cooking spray. Prepare grill. Place grill basket on grill rack, and grill 5 minutes on each side or until kale begins to char around edges.
Place kale in a large bowl. Combine remaining oil and vinegar; stir well with a wire whisk. Pour vinegar mixture over kale; toss well. Serve kale immediately.
The people at Ultralase created this great infographic for the last World Sight Day. It has some interesting tips and facts on how your eyes work and how to maintain a pair of healthy eyes.