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Today Apple will announce its fiscal year 2017 first quarter earnings and everyone is eagerly awaiting the results. Will our beloved personal technology company outperform analyst expectations or will it disappoint? We’re no analysts, but nevertheless we are here to chime in with our own predictions based on stats from the health care users of our mobile charge capture and secure messaging apps.

Let’s take a look at our own iOS and Android numbers to see what the mobile device breakdown looks like.

iOS vs. Android:



Previously we had been tracking the device trends among our mobile charge capture users, including doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Now that we have expanded our mobile functionality to include staff, primary care physicians, medical assistants, and soon to be patients, we wanted to expand our stats to reflect these folks as well. As you can see, Android increased its slice of the pie, but Apple continues to be the predominant smartphone technology in health care.

iPhone By Model:




Looking at the iPhone adoption by model, 12.5% of users upgraded their devices to the iPhone 7 / 7 Plus. The iPhone 6 users fell slightly, so we can surmise they either upgraded to the 7 or migrated to an Android.

The speculation from industry analysts seems to be relatively less gloom & doom this time around for Apple. For one, Apple stock has been performing well. Demand for the new Apple Watch Series 2 continues to grow, especially considering that it was almost impossible to get hold of one over the holidays. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models seem to have done relatively well, especially considering the hefty price tag and absence of the 2-year contract subsidies from network carriers. Given our users’ adoption of the iPhone 7, we may see an upside surprise during Apple’s earnings report. Will our numbers correlate with Apple? We’ll find out at 2pm PT.
Apple will be announcing their third quarter earnings report this afternoon and the financial pundits are all abuzz with their speculations. The all-too-familiar doomsday reports have us wondering if it's groundhog quarter all over again. "Earnings plunge", "downgraded to sell", "iPhone decline", and a "stock slump" are just some of the chipper forecasts from analysts for today.

We've been following mobile trends among the physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who use pMD's charge capture and secure messaging software to see how they stack up against the general market trends. Some of our past Apple earnings predictions have been spot on and others have missed the mark, but the data comparison quarter over quarter is compelling nonetheless.

iOS vs. Android:



Although Apple is the indisputable favorite among health care providers, Apple lost almost half a percent of market share to Android among pMD’s users over the quarter. The decline in Apple devices may be a bad omen for Apple’s earnings this past quarter and supports the lackluster expectations swirling around the Internet.

iPhone By Model:



Looking at the iPhone by model breakdown, iPhone 6S owners grew by a slim margin and the 6 saw a decrease in overall users. Older models of the iPhone are slowly being phased out by newer models, but we’re not seeing the same upgrade rate than we’re accustomed to from Apple devotees. The release of the iPhone 7 in September may reverse this eye-raising trend, and considering that the iPhone accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s revenue, you can bet Apple is up for the challenge. We'll be eagerly awaiting Tim Cook's much anticipated Apple earnings announcement and Q4 plan at 2pm PT today.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• The health care industry is continuously driving job growth in the U.S. In June, approximately 39,000 health care jobs were added to the economy, according to the Department of Labor. This upward trajectory falls in line with gains in ambulatory health care services of 19,000 and hospitals adding 15,000 jobs.  Source

• Participants of an insurer-led care transition program led mainly by pharmacists, saw a 50 percent reduced relative risk of readmission within 30 days of discharge by identifying high risk readmission patients and reconciling medication lists. One study noted that adverse drug events contribute to two-thirds of 30-day readmissions.  Source

• The senate is set to approve a bill that intends to reframe opioid addiction as a health problem as opposed to a crime. The bill will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to give grants to organizations on a state and community level for improving or expanding treatment and recovery programs. The House and Senate Republicans agreed to a version of the bill that will likely fund only about half of President Obama's requested $1.1 billion to help pay for more addiction initiatives and treatment programs. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


This week, Android took back .04 percent of the mobile device pie from Apple. With an enticing Buy One Get, One Free offer from AT&T, it's no surprise that Android is ahead this week.

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.19%
Android: 9.81%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• Hospitals are now offering more mental health and emotional wellness programs to children and teenagers in an ongoing effort to improve population health. Mental health issues are very prevalent in young children and is the most common childhood affliction above cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Including mental health screenings in primary care is another approach that is currently being explored. Source

• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is calling for health care providers to use a 90-day period for Meaningful Use reporting, in contrast to a full calendar year. By shortening the reporting period, hospitals and health systems can continue to make progress in adopting technology systems that support new payment and care delivery models. Source

• While experts agree that mosquitos are Zika's main driver, intimate contact may account for more Zika infections than previously believed. In most parts of the U.S., health officials have presumed that Zika infection risk is low in the non-summer months. However, widespread sexual transmission may alter those numbers. The evidence is still emerging and many of the findings will merit further study.  Source

 

On The Front Lines:


After a three week skid, Apple finally showed some positive growth in the iOS-Android wars among our health care providers! This week, Apple took back .08 percent of the mobile device pie from Android. If the rumors true, the reverse sticker shock of the upcoming iPhone 7 may be a driving factor in Apple's slow crawl back to the top.

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.23%
Android: 9.77%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  New RAA ransomware allows access to Windows registry and connects to web servers. The latest virus strain is coded in JScript and is launched from .js attachments via email. What does this mean? Most of these infections utilize email attachments, so employees need to be cautious on how they handle emails from unknown senders. It's also important that health care organizations install a security product that offers behavioral detection rather than standard definitions, due to the constantly evolving nature of the virus. Source

• The Department of Health and Human Services proposes to alter the Medicare appeals process in an effort to trim the backlog of over 700,000 cases, which would take 11 years to clear entirely. Under this new proposal, the decision-making process would be accelerated and fewer cases would be sent to the third level of appeals. The minimum amount required to lodge an appeal would also change from the current $150 by using Medicare's allowed amount rather than the amount billed by the provider. The proposal would also request increased funding to help clear the backlog of cases by 2021. Source

•  The risk-adjustment program serves as a way to prevent insurers from cherry-picking the healthiest members by distributing the insurance risk of all Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange enrollees. Companies who cover riskier patients with complex health conditions receive money from companies that have generally healthier members. CMS has vowed to make changes in response to some criticism from insurers that the risk-adjustment formula favors bigger payers with more claims experience and leaves out important drug data, making smaller companies with less claims data seem as if their membership base looks healthier than it actually is. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


For the third week in a row, Android has topped Apple in net devices for the week, taking away an additional 0.10 percent of the mobile user base. Could the "sweet" new name reveal for Google's next generation Android operating system, the Android Nougat, be enticing enough for mobile users to make the switch? 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.15%
Android: 9.85%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• The Department of Health and Human Services earlier this week announced that it will spend approximately $100 million over the course of five years to provide training and education to help individual and small group practices prepare for the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS falls under the newly proposed payment program which will change how Medicare pays physicians and other clinicians. The funds will help provide hands-on training tailored to small practices, more specifically for those in under-resourced and underserved areas in the U.S.  Source

• Google, Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic have partnered together to take the confusion out of symptom searching. Symptom search, which is available in Google iOS and Android apps, as well as Google.com search results on mobile devices, is only currently available in the U.S. and only in English. Veronica Pinchin, a product manager on Google's search team, cautions users that the search "is intended for informational purposes only, and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice."  Source

• A growing number of unregulated clinics across the globe claim they can treat, even cure, diseases such as muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's etc by injecting patients with stem cells. In theory, these stem cells could repair damage from an illness or injury. It is estimated that the "stem cell tourism" industry is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, drawing in tens of thousands of patients around the world. While researchers say stem cells hold enormous promise, they caution against the dangers resulting from rapidly-dividing stem cells that can form tumors and mutations.  Source

 

On The Front Lines:


This week, Android took away 0.02 percent of the mobile device pie among our health care providers. Is Apple on a slow and steady decline or will we expect a comeback in the upcoming weeks?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.25%
Android: 9.75%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Receiving constant reminder pop-up alerts can do more harm than good. Nurses, doctors and pharmacists are getting hit with too much information through automated alerts from their electronic health record systems, causing alert fatigue in which these interruptions can turn into noise to be ignored. Clinicians ignore safety notifications between 49 percent and 96 percent of the time. Long term solutions are being tested and designed to offset the need for so many system warnings and alerts. Source

• Companies like Castlight are providing the tools necessary for price transparency when searching for providers online. Insurance companies, hospitals and doctors are, more often than not, resistant to the idea of making their negotiated prices available online, so there is the added challenge of obtaining these prices and other crucial information. The hope is for companies like Castlight to provide employers with the right tools to help their workers make better medical decisions. Source

• A survey conducted by Neilsen Strategic Health Perspectives and the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) has found that only 49% of respondents said their doctors were able to share information about their health. Additional studies and surveys have found that while effective care coordination can improve outcomes for patients, only half or fewer than half of patients are experiencing those benefits. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


Android crushed Apple with a 0.24% surge in total devices this week. Could Google's hefty incentives as part of the Android Security Rewards program be the reason for the spike?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.27%
Android: 9.73%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• A survey conducted by Health Catalyst revealed that only 3 percent of the health systems today meet the target set by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for providing value-based care for patients. Only 23 percent expect to reach that goal by 2019. The survey also shows that 62 percent of health systems have zero to less than 10 percent of their care tied to value-based care and payments, and those numbers include accountable care organizations. Health Catalyst gathered opinions from 78 healthcare professionals who responded to the online survey in May 2016, more than half of which were CEOs or CFOs. Source

• On Monday, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed California's right-to-die bill into law. This law allows terminally ill patients who are given six months or less to live by two doctors to end their lives with the aid of their physician.  The patient must also provide a written request and two oral requests at least 15 days apart and must be deemed mentally capable of making decisions about their own health. The law will go into effect next year. Source

• Medical costs are projected to increase next year by 7.5 percent for people buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act according to The Geisinger Health Plan. One proposed solution? Increasing insurance rates by 40 percent for 2017. However, the Obama administration officials are optimistic that proposed rate increases are often reduced by state officials and in any case, consumers can always switch to cheaper health plans the next year. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


After six excruciating weeks of battling it out with Android, Apple is finally back on top.  This week Apple took a sweet 0.04% piece of the mobile device pie from Android. Could the impending release of the Apple watchOS3 be enticing enough to sway Android users to make the switch?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.51%
Android: 9.49%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• For the first time in the last decade, the death rate in the U.S. has risen, driven in part by deaths due to overdose, suicide and Alzheimer's Disease. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014. The increase in death rate on a national scale is surprising and concerning, especially when other countries in Europe are showing signs of declines in mortality. Source

• Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic remain optimistic about the controversial procedure to transplant a uterus after the first attempt failed in February. 26-year-old Lindsey McFarland, who was born without a uterus, became the first woman to undergo the procedure but had to have it removed within a few weeks due to infection and severe bleeding. Doctors who are conducting these studies to improve the uterine transplant procedure defend what they're doing, even though the procedure may come with physical and psychological ramifications. Source

• While MACRA (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) is working to progress health care towards a more quality-driven model, it's becoming clear that complex EHRs may be hindering physicians at the point of care. Different systems don't talk to each other, limiting the integration and data sharing meant to supposedly improve the management of population health. Recent updates in Meaningful Use and MACRA legislation regulations reflected the ineffeciencies and loss of usefulness from overly complex EHRs. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


For the sixth week in a row, Android beat Apple in total devices this week, however with a narrowing lead of only 0.02%. Looks like Apple could be making a comeback in style!

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.47%
Android: 9.53%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


•  Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, proposes to give Americans younger than age 65, starting at age 50 or 55,  the option to buy into the Medicare program. Questions arise on how this will align with existing insurance coverage options. There are an estimated 7 million, or 11 percent of those age 50 and over that remain uninsured as of 2014. Source

•  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports this week that the percentage of cigarette-smoking adults aged 18 and over have decreased in 2015, down to 15.1 percent versus 16.8 percent in 2014. This significant decline comes as the use of e-cigarette devices increases, especially among teenagers. Source

• CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) will soon launch a series of "Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks" (HIINs) to strengthen patient safety and quality of care as well as to reduce readmissions. The aim of HIINs will be to reduce patient harm by 20 percent and cut readmissions by 12 percent over the next three years. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


For the fifth week in a row, Android has topped Apple in net devices, taking away a whopping 0.09 percent of the mobile user base. Could the new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition be drawing in enough Batman fans in our physician pool to keep driving these numbers up?

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.49%
Android: 9.51%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.