5 Things We’re Reading on Health Care Innovation

This week’s innovation stories include new uses for video games, text messages and smartwatches. Plus, how walking in someone else’s shoes fuels innovation.  

Videogames as medicine?

Soon, doctors may be able to prescribe a video game to treat children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Akili Interactive Labs has been testing a videogame for kids with ADHD, and late-stage studies show promising results. The company is expected to seek Food and Drug Administration approval next year. Stat News shares more.

Text messages as lifesavers?

Smartphones have become ubiquitous. One organization, Crisis Text Line, has turned those smartphones into a way to save lives. People experiencing grief, a panic attack or suicidal thoughts can reach out for help in that moment via text message. They’ll be connected to crisis counselors who can help or, in emergencies, call 911. The New York Times profiles the program in this video.

Can the Apple Watch alert users about heart problems? 

Apple is testing its smartwatch’s capability to detect irregular heartbeats. Atrial fibrillation, a particular type of irregular heartbeat, may lead to stroke and other heart-related health problems. People who download the study app on their Apple Watch and iPhone will be alerted if the smartwatch detects an irregular heart rhythm, and they will be offered a free meeting with a physician involved in the study. Read more from USA Today.

Apps aren’t just for patients — 10 top provider-facing applications

Increasingly, clinicians are using smartphone apps that provide clinical decision support and other functions to help engage and educate their patients. Modern Healthcare breaks down the phenomenon and the most popular provider-facing apps.

How a walk in someone else’s shoes can spur innovation

When it comes to getting someone excited about laundry, toothpaste or even health insurance, sometimes you need to spend time observing how people actually use these products to find out how to improve their experience. Kevin Cassidy, an executive with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, shared his perspective on this approach to innovation in a LinkedIn blog post. Read it here.

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