White House representatives offer “Office Hours” to answer fiscal questions on Twitter
The White House staff is pushing the boundaries as usual, but this time in social media. Following a business-as-usual fiscal debate on Monday, President Obama and his advisers began utilizing Twitter to help citizens understand the debt ceiling and deficit reduction negotiations currently taking place.
Throughout the week, National Economic Council members Brian Deese and Jason Furman have been holding “Office Hours” where they post and respond to questions and comments live on Twitter.
The Obama Administration has recognized the power of large-scale online engagement as an effective communications medium, from the election to a recent Twitter town hall meeting discussing the economy and jobs.
As White House-hopefuls prepare for the upcoming campaign season, we expect to see an even greater use of these tools to reach and interact with voters.
Latest smartphone developments monitor heart rate and measure health
Perhaps smartphones really can do everything. Recent developments by Palo Alto-based Azumio include the Instant Heart Rate app, which lets users monitor their heart rate by holding their finger over a phone’s camera for 10 seconds. In the past nine months more than 8 million people have downloaded this app on iPhone and Android devices.
A multitude of apps and devices have surfaced in recent months that use smartphones and their many sensors to perform a host of medical tasks such as scanning inside a child’s ear, measuring blood pressure, and even checking for malaria.
Azumio is expected to release an app that can quantify stress levels by performing routine stress checks on the user.
These developments by Azumio have helped raise awareness around the potential of smartphones as biofeedback devices and perpetuate the growing trend of mobile health in our increasingly mobile society.