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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Some health-related apps should be avoided

By Harvard Health Letters





JewishWorldReview.com | Of the countless applications (apps) available for your computer tablet and smartphone, there are an estimated 40,000 health-related apps for consumers and physicians. But how do you know if these apps are safe and accurate?

"You don't," says Dr. Nathan Eagle, a mobile health technology expert and adjunct assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health. "While most mobile apps are vetted by the app store to ensure they aren't compromising the user's privacy, there is very little formal vetting to certify the app can do what it claims it can do beyond basic user reviews."

MOBILE HEALTH APPS
Health-related apps are part of a revolution in health care known as mobile health, or mhealth. It's a simple concept: Mobile devices, particularly phones, are with people constantly and connected to the Internet. One of the "anytime, anywhere" services a mobile device can provide is health information.

That includes information for the user from the Internet, information from the user's doctor to the user (messages, or access to the user's medical record), and information from the user to his or her doctor (like today's weight and blood pressure).

The apps are downloaded onto a device from the Internet, usually through sites such as the iTunes store or Google Play. Many apps are free, but many more must be purchased, with prices ranging from less than a dollar to a thousand dollars.



Some apps are simple tools, such as calorie counters, pedometers, medication managers, fitness videos, and calculators to track and analyze your run times. Others are much more sophisticated, such as apps that measure your heart rate, blood sugar, or blood pressure.

Many of these turn your phone into a monitor or tracking device with the help of accessories that do the work, such as a blood pressure cuff you plug into your phone.

POTENTIAL DANGERS
Unfortunately, health apps are not yet regulated. That means there's no way to know which apps are accurate and reliable and which are technological snake oil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is just now in the process of developing the rules by which it will judge health apps that make medical claims.

A probe by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting found that many health apps claim to diagnose or cure medical conditions. Dr. Eagle says such claims are troubling.

"You don't want to rely on your phone to diagnose or treat anything, because you can't be sure. When it comes to diagnosis, a smartphone is no substitute for a medical health professional."

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology found that three out of four apps that evaluate whether moles are the deadly skin cancer melanoma often failed to recognize true melanomas. And last year, the Federal Trade Commission levied fines against two app makers for claiming they could cure acne.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
In contrast, Dr. Eagle says it is safe to use apps that act as trackers or calculators.

"The vast majority of health apps help you collect data about yourself, show you exercise routines, track your movement, and tell you how many calories you've burned. Those are wonderful apps and are completely safe," he notes. "They use the phone as a sensor but refrain from making the jump to diagnostics."


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Dr. Eagle recommends that you check to see who produces the app, how often the app is updated, and if it provides references for the information it offers. Go for well-known health brands, such as government agencies and research universities.

In other words, you can join the mhealth revolution and take advantage of the information available at your fingertips, as long as you scrutinize the information you find on your cellphone in the same way you would on the Internet: carefully.

When using health apps:

DO select from well-known health brands, such as government agencies and research universities.

DO use the app as a sensor or monitor.

DON'T rely on the app to diagnose or cure medical conditions

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