MIT, Samsung work to bring mobile innovations to veterans

By | May 4, 2019

A three-day hackathon that started on May 3 could bring new mobile healthcare innovations to the treatment of veterans in the not-to-distant future.

The third annual MIT Hacking Medicine Grand Hack started on May 3 with engineers, clinicians, designers and other developers collaborating to address some of the largest health challenges facing veterans, assisted with smartphones and other mobile devices.

Hackathon participants will create new applications using the Samsung Galaxy Note9, a large phone similar to the size of a tablet with a 6.4-inch screen size, making the new product a tablet and smartphone in one.

Also See: Lack of access to broadband hampering telehealth for veterans

The android phone will support veterans engaged in active sports therapies, or rehabilitation, center and mental health treatments. The Note9 phone further supports Bluetooth, a camera with artificial intelligence capabilities and removable solid state drives to offer storage space.

David Rhew

David Rhew

In short, developers refer to use of the phone as a PC-like experience.

“Use of consumer-based technologies can help expand access to care, reduce costs and improve the user experience for patients and clinicians,” says David Rhew, chief medical information officer at Samsung and a judge for the hackathon.

The phone further will aid vets by supporting telehealth, virtual care and remote patient monitoring.

Virtual reality, such as having a patient watch a video and imaging swimming with dolphins, is another way to bring services to veterans and other types of patients, particularly those in pain. Cedars-Sinai, for example, did a study using virtual reality to cut pain levels by 50 percent, Rhew explains.

In one study, patients wearing a virtual reality headset and watched calming scenes, and when the scenes were over they still experienced calmness for one or two hours.

“You are immersed in the video and not experiencing the pain,” Rhew says. It is a non-narcotic pain alternative.”

Joseph Goedert

Joseph Goedert

Goedert is senior editor of Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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