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Feb 2017 Developer Tracker: Can artificial intelligence personalize health care apps?

Blog Post created by johnstevens on Feb 23, 2017

Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in developer spaces. Here’s the overview of the Developer Tracker published in February 2017.

 

According to an estimate from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 500 million smartphone users are actively using a health care–related application. The FDA also projects that more than 1.5 billion smartphone users will have downloaded a mobile health app by 2018.

 

While these apps may allow users to take better care of their personal health, they often lack the personalization that health care typically requires.

 

Gilad Meiri, founder and CEO of Neura, and his team are working to change that. This month, the company debuted a new software-as-a-service development kit that’s designed to help medical and health care app builders make their software more personalized. February’s Developer Tracker features an interview with Meiri in which he discusses personalization in health care software and how it can help improve outcomes for patients and providers alike.

 

While there is a wide range of apps that claim to help patients track their treatment and prescription plans, a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that most apps do not do enough to affect a patient’s behavior and would benefit from a more personalized approach. As a result, the study concludes these apps do not have a true impact on adherence to medical plans.

 

Meiri says that Neura’s new software development kit is designed to combat this exact problem. The software adapts to user needs, he explains, monitoring their behavior and using it to help patients build better, healthier habits.

 

He notes that the software allows app builders to use this behavioral data to send alerts to users when they are most likely to act on the notification and, as a result, increase adherence to treatment plans and improve health outcomes.

 

“This is an impactful place for us to be. People who aren’t able to follow their doctor’s prescription plan can significantly compromise their health or preventative care treatment,” Meiri says. “Medication management apps and medical devices enabled by Neura adapt to the user’s day and help the user do what they need to do, right when they need to do it.”

Neura learns when to remind users to take prescriptions or engage in treatment by finding out more about a patient’s behavior and patterns, Meiri says.

 

The service uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover what a user does in the real world, by tracking movements along with biometric indicators, similar to devices like fitness trackers. However, Meiri says that he and his team have improved on popular wearable devices that measure whether a user is taking part in a healthy activity — like working out — based on data from technological devices. This includes information from devices like accelerometers, which measures how fast a person is moving and can determine if they are going for a jog or bike ride, or a heart rate monitor, which can tell if a user’s heart is working harder than normal.

 

But these indicators have a major flaw, Meiri says.

 

“Right now, most apps and devices can tell you if you are doing something but not why you are doing it,” he explains. “They cannot determine if you’re moving faster and your heart rate is increasing because you’re going for a jog and working out or if it’s because you’re running to catch the train or catch the bus. So they don’t know if you’re really engaging in a healthy activity or just doing something as a result of circumstance.”

 

The software combines multiple data streams that can be collected by a smartphone app or a wearable medical device to learn about a user’s daily activity, such as when they typically wake up or go to sleep, leave for work and return home, where and what they eat, and when they typically work out.

 

Meiri explains that, over time, devices and apps that use Neura’s software can determine, for example, when a patient arrives at the gym or another location where they typically work out or exercise. The software can then be used for reminders like prompting a diabetic to check his or her glucose levels before working out, increasing the odds that a user will follow through with treatment. With benefits for consumers, providers and developers, keep an eye on increased personalization coming to health care apps, now and in the near future.

 

Read the full interview in February’s edition of PYMNTS.com’s Developer TrackerTM, powered by Vantiv. It also covers other developer-focused news and updates including:

 

  • castAR taps Broadleaf Commerce for developer marketplace

castAR seems to be turning over a new leaf. The company recently selected Broadleaf Commerce to help build a new marketplace for developers. The marketplace will allow developers to upload and develop projects from any location. According to a release, castAR turned to Broadleaf Commerce due to its framework, which the company plans to leverage for this new marketplace. “Augmented reality will fundamentally change how people play and work together, and we’re excited to be working to bring this technology to consumers in 2017. We looked at several customizable Java frameworks and found that Broadleaf was best-suited.”

 

  • Vantiv, CardFlight collaborate on EMV mobility

Have EMV reader, will travel. Payment processing service and technology solution provider Vantiv recently announced the debut of a mobile EMV POS solution, based on a partnership with mPOS provider CardFlight. Under terms of a new agreement between the two companies, Vantiv will offer CardFlight’s SwipeSimple mPOS solution, which includes an EMV-enabled mobile chip card reader and a mobile app for iOS and Android devices to its merchants. The solution offers additional features, including back-office reporting portals and other business tools. "EMV and mobile are two of the important trends for financial institution customers, who offer payments solutions for their business customers," Kelly Beatty, SVP and general manager of merchant solutions for financial institutions at Vantiv, said in a press release. "CardFlight's mobile POS solution is a natural fit, and their ability to co-brand the solution for our customers is a key differentiator."

 

Download the report.

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