ECG app on iPhone found effective in diagnosing atrial fibrillation; Mobile health apps taking a bite out of Weight Watchers customer base;

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> Researchers at the University of Sydney have found the AliveCor Heart Monitor for iPhone (iECG) to be a highly effective, accurate and cost-effective way to screen patients to identify previously undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) and to prevent strokes. When taking a reading, the iECG can be seen on the iPhone screen in real time. In addition, the iECG is transmitted to a secure server (cloud) where a specialist can review the iECGs remotely. The website can automatically analyze the reading to make a diagnosis of AF. The researchers tested the website's automatic prediction in the SEARCH-AF study and found it correctly diagnosed atrial fibrillation 97 percent of the time. Article

> Weight Watchers' financial bottom line is taking a hit thanks to the popularity of mobile health apps. The company is experiencing lower sign-up rates, a drop in the price of its stock, and a 16 percent decrease in second-quarter earnings for Fiscal Year 2013. "We feel that some of that is driven by the continued sudden explosion of interest in free apps and activity monitors," Nicholas Hotchkin, Weight Watchers' chief financial officer, said during a recent earnings conference call. Weight Watchers and mobile apps have similar goals: getting people to become more aware of what they're eating and keeping tabs throughout the day. Article

> The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has launched a mobile app to make it easier for the public to access health information. The app connects all ADPH social media accounts--Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube--in one place. In addition to news releases, the app connects the user to notices and events, messages from the state health officer, Alabama Public Health Training Network messages, and program information.  The app, which requires Android 2.2 or later and iPhone iOS5 or later on mobile devices such as smart phones and iPads, is available for downloading at no charge. Article

Medical Imaging News

> Radiology residents in trauma centers--particularly those in the third or fourth year of their training--have fairly low discrepancy rates according to a study published online in Emergency Radiology. In the multi-year study--conducted by Jennifer Tomich, M.D., and colleagues at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.--the researchers found that resident miss rates ranged from 0.23 to 0.42 percent, which, they wrote, was at the lower end of discrepancies reported in previous research. The study sample comprised more than 193,000 dictated studies, including 103,292 X-ray exams, 81,537 CT exams, 7,787 ultrasound exams, 484 nuclear medicine studies and 446 fluoroscopy studies. Article

Healthcare IT News

> New technology developed by researchers collaborating from several universities can detect malware on medical devices by noting their power usage, as outlined in research that will be presented at the USENIX Workshop on Health Information Technologies in Washington, D.C., this week. The technology, a tool called WattsUpDoc, gives hospitals an easy way to spot dangerous equipment and take it offline. In experiments conducted, WattsUpDoc detected previously known malware with at least 94 percent accuracy--and previously unknown malware with at least 85 percent accuracy--on several embedded devices. Article

And Finally… Dr. Strangelove. Article