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The growing role of voice assistants in health care

Judging by the number of commercials advertising “smart speakers,” voice technology is going to be big this holiday season. In 2017, almost 44 million voice assistants were sold, and these devices are penetrating the U.S. market even faster than smartphones. Retailers are banking on consumers wanting to ask Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, “What’s the weather like today?”Read More

The possibilities of in-ear technology go far beyond wireless earbuds

Wearables are on the rise again, despite sagging sales and stock prices for Apple Watch, Fitbit, and others in 2016. And now there’s a new digital health tool in town: hearables. As we mentioned in our post, What’s to Come for Health Care in 2018, this emerging technology ranges from Bluetooth-connected wireless earbuds to voice-activated devices that improve hearing and more.Read More

Along with exciting innovations come cost increases for patients and providers

A lot can change in a year. That’s especially true in health care. Last December in our annual predictions post, we said that wearables had hit a rough patch as the industry struggled with what to do with all that data. Fast-forward a year: “Today, Apple Watch is poised to become the world’s best selling wearable. And, the market is quickly diversifying as hearables (once again led by Apple) and clinical wearables gain importance,” reported health care technology news site HIT Consultant. (Hearables, by the way, are Bluetooth-connected, wireless earbuds and headphones that can improve hearing loss and act as voice-activated assistants, among other things.)Read More

From apps to smart pills, new digital tools are tackling this costly problem

Patients who do not take their medication or follow through on doctor-prescribed treatments are a common – and costly – problem. A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care examined more than 857,000 patients mostly being treated for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. The patients were undergoing more than 1.2 million distinct therapies.Read More

The alarm on your smartphone buzzes next to your bed. You get up, check your FitBit to see how many hours of sleep you logged, then pull up your calendar on your Apple watch. “Alexa, what’s today’s weather report?” you ask your Bluetooth speaker. As you’re using your daily meditation app, you get a FaceTime call from your daughter in college. All this technology is great, right? So easy, so useful, so … harmful?Read More