MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS

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Health promotion works best when it’s done in partnership. Every individual and organisation has unique skills, reach and expertise. While this is important for any health promotion initiative, we think that it’s vital in health software development and evaluation.

The best outcomes happen when developers, designers and other technical professionals are included in a multidisciplinary team as early as possible in the project development process. Read More...

MHEALTH AND EBOLA

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The Ebola outbreak is dominating the news this month and amongst all the terrible stories, we read this interesting piece about how mHealth could be a key facilitator in reducing the spread of the virus. Take a look at this balanced article about how mobiles can be used for rapid dissemination of information in developing countries when time is of the essence.

APP DESIGN AWARDS

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It’s great to see health promotion apps among the finalists of the 2014 Australian Mobile & App Design Awards. We love the Beyond Blue ‘Check in’ app and the VicHealth Better Health Channel app. There are some interesting, innovative apps in the shortlist, which is well worth a look.

COMPETING WITH GIANTS

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Health promotion has always faced competition from bigger, louder and much more highly funded organisations. This month we saw news that McDonalds is trialling home delivery and launching their new app to enable people to order their food before they get to the store. Utilising games, big budgets and savvy marketing, apps such as these can undermine healthy lifestyle initiatives by making the unhealthy choice the easy choice. Here’s the article, and here’s an interesting response from LiveLighter.

/DEV/WORLD 2014

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James White will be presenting at this year’s /dev/world conference in Melbourne, from September 29-30. Now in its seventh year, /dev/world is Australia’s oldest Mac and iOS developer conference, and is attended by some of Australia and New Zealand’s best mobile and desktop application developers. James has attended /dev/world on three previous occasions, but this will be his first time as a presenter. His session will cover analytics and evaluation of mobile apps.

PIFI SCHOLARSHIP

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Becky White has been awarded the 2014 Parent Infant Feeding Initiative (PIFI) Scholarship, funded by Healthway and Curtin University’s School of Public Health. Becky will shortly begin a PhD project investigating the impact of partner attitudes on breastfeeding. As part of her project, Becky will be investigating how mobile technology can be used to impact on a health promotion initiative.  Read More...

MEDICINE 2.0

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James White has been invited to present at the conference Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine and Biomedical Research. The conference will take place from 9-10 October 2014 in Malaga, Spain, and will bring together the world’s premier digital health practitioners.
Read More...

APPLE SCHOLARSHIP

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James White has been awarded an Apple scholarship to attend the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), in San Francisco, from 2-6 June 2014. WWDC is an annual conference attracting more than 5000 iOS and Mac developers from around the world. With tickets in high demand, Apple ensures that talented student developers have an opportunity to attend by awarding 200 scholarships each year. James said, “Attending WWDC is a wonderful opportunity to network with other developers and to receive training and advice from Apple’s best engineers. To receive this scholarship is really gratifying, and I intend to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.” Read Curtin University’s article about this award.

SiREN WORKSHOP UPDATE

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REACH HPI’s Becky and James White presented a half-day satellite workshop at the 2014 symposium of the WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network (SiREN). More than 50 participants attended, from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines, creating a fascinating forum for discussing innovations in sexual health promotion. Read More...

FEED SAFE TAKES APP STORE BY STORM

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In just its first week of availability, Feed Safe was downloaded by thousands of women across Australia. It spent several days as the second most downloaded free health and fitness app in the country. The app has also generated a lot of interest in both traditional and social media, having been discussed in a number of radio interviews, and featured in a prominent article in the West Australian newspaper. “We’ve received so much positive feedback from users,” said Reach HPI’s Becky White, who has received nearly 200 emails from users and community members since the app’s launch. “Users are telling us they love the app’s simplicity and clarity. We’re thrilled to have been involved in producing a resource that Australian women find so useful.”

FEED SAFE AVAILABLE NOW

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Reach HPI today released Feed Safe, a new mobile application built in collaboration with the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) and Curtin University. Feed Safe addresses the issue of alcohol consumption during breastfeeding, and builds on the work of Curtin’s Dr Roslyn Giglia who, together with the ABA, published the brochure Breastfeeding and alcohol: A guide for mothers. Dr Giglia’s work has been incorporated into the NHMRC’s guidelines for alcohol consumption while breastfeeding, and these guidelines form the basis of the Feed Safe app. The project, which included evaluation of the app with around thirty participants, was funded by a Healthway project grant. Read More...

AUSTRALIAN HEALTH PROMOTION ASSOCIATION

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REACH HPI’s Becky White has joined the committee for the West Australian branch of the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA). AHPA is the peak health promotion body in WA. “I’m looking forward to being involved with a range of activities and strategies to help with health promotion within WA, and Australia,” Becky said.

SEXUAL HEALTH, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MOBILE TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP

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REACH HPI will be presenting a half day satellite workshop at the upcoming SiREN sexual health symposium in Perth. The theme for the symposium is ‘Building the foundations for innovation’, and the workshop will cover the use of social media and mobile technology in sexual health promotion, including regulations, ethics, privacy and evaluation. Read More...

MY QUITBUDDY

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In a big win for mobile health, the My QuitBuddy app (available on both the App Store and on Google Play) was recently awarded the best mobile app in the government services category, by the Australian Mobile Awards. The app, developed by the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, has been downloaded nearly a quarter of a million times to date. My Quit Buddy helps Australians to quit smoking, and the focus on evaluation is adding to the evidence for the use of this medium in achieving behaviour change within the population. Read more about the app, and its award.

HEALTH INNOVATION MASTER CLASS

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REACH HPI’s James White recently participated in the first Health Innovation Masterclass, hosted by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. This two-day event brought together medical practitioners, researchers, entrepreneurs and software developers from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, to discuss and develop innovative health ideas. Projects covered a diverse array of fields, including obesity, pain management, medical side-effect tracing, accreditation and diabetes management. Read More...

ANOTHER APP?

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Something we often hear is “There are already so many apps. Why do we need more?” We’d say that, while we don’t necessarily need more health apps, we certainly need better ones. This theme was examined recently on the excellent online scientific forum The Conversation. Many people will not know that while the Therapeutic Goods Administration has guidelines for certain medical apps, there is currently still no regulatory process for non-medical “health” apps. Read More...