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healthcare technology
The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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Doubting the cost savings of health information technology

Perhaps a better research question: does health IT reduce the duplication of image ordering in a population with matched disease acuity?

 

Reduced ordering of imaging and other diagnostic studies by physicians is often cited as a likely mechanism for estimated cost savings due to health information technology. Possible mechanisms include reduction in redundant (duplicated) tests secondary to better access to information or due to point-of-order decision support that helps providers rethink the appropriateness of testing. However, these mechanisms and the purported savings are merely assumptions.

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SaaS EHR Down Time vs. In House EHR Down Time

It would be interesting to look at how a SaaS EHR down time is different from an in house EHR down time.

 

I’ll use the list of reasons your EHR go down as my discussion points for how it’s different with a SaaS EHR versus an in house EHR. On each point, I’ll see if either approach has an advantage over the other.

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How iPads Improve the Patient Experience

Since the first-generation iPad hit the market in 2010, physicians have embraced the gadget and its apps, many of which enhance or expedite clinical care. But until recently, the patient experience has not been directly influenced by Apple's hit device, other than by way of the patient being impressed with their physician’s technological prowess.

 

Lately, app developers and hospitals have been rethinking the iPad’s potential in the patient experience and have been using the tablet in creative ways.

 

iPads as Patient Guides


Mayo Clinic has begun using content- and app-loaded iPads to help guide patients through their hospital experience. Earlier this month the health system posted a video depicting iPad use on its YouTube page.

 

Each heart surgery patient is given an iPad to help them visualize and prepare for their plan of care.

 

"The iPad is a nice way to navigate through some of those resources and keep track on a daily basis that you’re doing the things you need to do to make sure you’re doing the things that you should be," heart patient Randy Sterner said in the video.

 

From what we can see in the video, the tailored app includes the patient’s daily schedule, information about the hospital stay, patient education information, and notes about planning for recovery.

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Inflation of software medical devices - part 3 - Software in Medical Devices

Medical device apps or not medical device apps

 

Apps may be categorized in three big sets: encyclopedic apps, health lifestyle apps and real medical devices apps.


Encyclopedic apps are not medical devices, neither for FDA nor for CE Mark. They often contain data or knowledge that can be found in books. They are most of time created by book editors which publish their books in electronic format.


Health lifestyle apps are made for people who are not physicians, for diet, life hygiene or general health condition. These are most of times not medical devices. The frontier between general health and medical devices is sometimes thin. They may fall into the regulations whereas it was not expected by their manufacturers.


Medical devices apps are those with an intended use, which is clearly in the scope of regulations. “Clearly” is not a clear criterion, you may object. That’s true, there is no clear boundary between general health apps and medical devices.

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Inflation of software medical devices - Part 1 - Software in Medical Devices

Inflation of software medical devices - Part 1 - Software in Medical Devices | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about money and quantitative easing! I let people with better knowledge in economics (that makes a lot of people!) do that.


When I talk about inflation, I mean the inflation of software medical devices in their number and variety, which creates a collateral inflation in the number of regulations, guidances, standards, and the like.


This post is the first of a series of three. In this first post, I focus on the inflation of standards. The next one will be on the inflation of regulations and the last one on the inflation of medical devices.

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Is my software in class A, B or C?

Let’s do a little experience. Imagine a thermometer, which measures body temperature, with a piece of software inside. I could demonstrate that its software is class A or class C.

 

EC 62304 defines three safety classes for software:


Class A: No injury or damage to health is possible
Class B: Non-SERIOUS INJURY is possible
Class C: Death or SERIOUS INJURY is possible


Here comes the eternal question: Which class my software belongs to?


Let’s do a little experience. Imagine a thermometer, which measures body temperature, with a piece of software inside. I could demonstrate that its software is class A or class C.


If the thermometer gives a wrong value, then the nurse is going to give a medicine to treat the fever. The wrong medicine may endanger the patient, and eventually cause death. Class C.


If the thermometer gives a wrong value, then the nurse may give a wrong treatment to the patient. However there is no chance that this may endanger the patient. Class B.


If the thermometer gives a wrong value, then the nurse is going to touch the forehead of the patient, or redo the measurement with another thermometer, or check the blood pressure of the patient to confirm the fever. No damage is possible. Class A.

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How valuable is a social media presence for a Healthcare Conference?

We’ve recently witnessed a couple of incredible healthcare conferences taking place, #himss12 and #TEDxMaastricht, both ground breaking in their impact of healthcare social media. Today marks the last day of another huge healthcare conference, #tedmed, which of course have inspired us to have a another look at our database to see if putting numbers into context can tell us a story.

 

For us who live and breath healthcare social media, it’s a given that a social media presence for any conference can be incredible powerful and valuable when done right, but we are often approached by conference organizers who want an anwer to “how valuable?“. They may be a bit new to healthcare social media (hey, who isn’t?), but they have recognized that social media has a part to play in their conference, so the question quickly becomes, “how much resources should we put into this to make it right?” That’s a fair question, and the answer will obvisouly vary widely depending on the nature of the conference and your audience.

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Can EHRs catch up with Facebook?

We end the week with an intentionally provocative question: Have we gotten EHRs all wrong?

 

The “we” in that question refers to the array of policymakers and stakeholders that have been developing and promoting EHRs for the past several years. And the question itself comes in response to this Texas doctor who blogs fairly regularly on, among other things, health IT.

 

He begins with a history lesson concerning how the internet worked during the 1980’s and 1990’s, then points to Facebook as a prime example of how far the world has come.

 

And EHRs? That’s right, they’re much closer to the internet model of old. As he puts it, “The similarities between modern EMRs and the BBS system are striking. Like many old Bulletin Board Systems the vast majority of EMR systems do not communicate with each other (nor even the outside world). Not only are they often incapable of communicating with another EMR or computer but even in 2012 most new EMRs don’t even have an option for sharing information with other systems! This is one of the biggest paradoxes and failures of almost all EMRs. Designed for an industry where the sharing of medical information among different facilities and health care providers is critical to the timely, effective, and safe delivery of medical care, the majority of these systems are designed to share information only within the limited confines of the specific facility or health care system that they serve. EMRs are essentially information islands cut off almost completely from direct contact with the rest of the interconnected world.”

 

But technology is only the product of the mentality behind it. And in his view, “the majority of health care facilities and health care providers still think about medical records the same way they did 100 years ago – as property or proprietary information.

 

A physical medical chart is considered to be the property of the facility or provider who generated the chart even though the patient is considered to be the “owner” of the information contained within the chart.”

 

The piece is definitely worth reading in its entirety, as is a follow-up post in which he lays out what he sees as steps for solving the problem. And then let us know what you think.

 

Are we really that far off the mark?

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5 keys to IT and the physician-patient relationship

As the concept of patient-centered care continues to evolve, a key to its success is the relationship between physician and patient. But factor in all the technologies springing up left and right, and finding the perfect balance between patient engagement and new IT initiatives can be tricky.

 

"Focusing specifically on the physician-patient relationship – it's behind the rest of the world," said Steve Wigginton, CEO of Medley Health, a medical practice marketing and communication services company.

 

"But there are a lot of benefits to be had. More information is readily available to physicians as a result of IT, and therefore, it's easier for them to keep track of what's going on with their patients."

 

"IT has, in some ways, made it possible for patients to be more self-serviced around transactional types of interchanges with their doctor," Wigginton continued. This includes "scheduling appointments, reviewing bills, etc. Those are just some of the main ways we're seeing IT have an impact so far."

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Using Big Data To Predict Your Potential Heart Problems

Using Big Data To Predict Your Potential Heart Problems | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

It’s safe to say that Dr. Leslie Saxon, the founder of the USC Center for Body Computing, is more tech savvy than most doctors. Not only has she created a space at USC for academics, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists to work on the future of wireless health, she also recently completed a study with AliveCor (maker of the iPhone ECG device) showing that wireless, ubiquitous heart rate monitoring--say, with the AliveCor iPhone case--can detect all sorts of heart conditions (note: I was part of this study).

 

Now Saxon is taking on another ambitious challenge: everyheartbeat, a website that will allow people to log their heart rate data using any available sensor--the iPhone light, the AliveCor iPhone case, or anything else that people have access to. The site--intended to be a place for people to continuously monitor their health--will record and analyze all heartbeat data that comes in to find global patterns and even warn people of potential heart issues. Saxon’s ultimate goal is to record every heartbeat in the world.

 

How can you realize the potential of continuous wireless communication as it relates to health?


"I’ve been thinking for awhile about how to realize the potential of continuous wireless communication as it relates to health," explains Saxon. "I came up with this concept because we have some traction here--a relatively complete understanding of wearable sensors and implantable devices."

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Engaged Patients Report Higher Quality Care, Better Overall Experience

Patients who take an active role in their own healthcare have fewer medical errors, higher ratings of care, and more positive views of the health system as a whole, according to a new international survey.

 

In the past few decades, healthcare has shifted from a practice-centric model in which patients were once viewed as passive recipients of health services to more patient-centered care in which patients are becoming more engaged participant in their care.

 

In an analysis of 2011 survey data of patients with complex healthcare needs in 11 countries – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States – researchers found wide country variations in how well patients were engaged by their physicians.

 

The survey, released by the Commonwealth Fund on March 29, found that better engaged patients reported a higher quality of their care, and their overall experience with the health system improved when they were more involved in their care.

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I appreciate the benefits of health IT as a breast cancer survivor

I appreciate the benefits of health IT as a breast cancer survivor | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

As a 38-year-old breast cancer survivor, Stef Woods is on a mission: Raise awareness that breast cancer can strike at a young age and it can affect men, not just women. That's why she did a photo shoot while undergoing treatment in the chemotherapy room and why she walks the runway in breast cancer awareness fashion shows for Pink Jams! – a nonprofit breast cancer advocacy organization. Ms. Woods was diagnosed in June 2010 with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and it was early detection that is helping her beat the cancer and health information technology (health IT) which helps Ms. Woods and her providers better coordinate her care.

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MEDICAL WEBSITES CAN HELP A PATIENT EXPERIENCE A DOCTOR'S AWESOMENESS

MEDICAL WEBSITES CAN HELP A PATIENT EXPERIENCE A DOCTOR'S AWESOMENESS | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

MEDICAL WEBSITES CAN HELP A PATIENT EXPERIENCE A DOCTOR'S AWESOMENESS ...

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Would you Join the "Facebook of Medicine"?

On the final day of TEDMED2012, Saxon announced everyheartbeat.org, the site where she hopes to engender the “Facebook of medicine.” The site will begin with heartbeats, which smart phone owners could measure themselves with add-on accessories or even simply with an app that uses a smart phone’s camera to measure heart rate in a user’s finger. Eventually, the idea is that users of everyheartbeat.org will be able to add many kinds of health data, from blood pressure to glucose levels to bouts of flu.

 

Saxon, a cardiologist, says the full-realization of everyheartbeat will create self-awareness in users and allow doctors and researchers to make new observations from profoundly large amounts of health data. She is already part of an ongoing study that is collecting the heart rate data of some 200,000 cardiac patients with implanted medical devices. But, of course, she doesn’t see the majority of everyheartbeat participants going under the knife for their health knowledge. Wearable sensors and mobile phone accessories and apps could give participants the power to collect some of their own data; other information, such as cholesterol levels, could come from tests at the doctor’s office.

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Rebooting the medical meeting – 9 lessons from TEDMED

Rebooting the medical meeting – 9 lessons from TEDMED | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
A few things that medical meeting organisers could learn from the organisers of TEDMED.

 

1. Make presentations at TEDMED are 18 minutes long. This allows for large numbers of presentations with fine tuned ideas to presented in a polished digestible format to an audience. George Bernard Shaw said. “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” Even the most excruciating presentation is bearable if you know it’ll be over shortly.

 

2. Give speakers guidance on their style of presentation with specific suggestions; e.g. “think big, make the complex plain, connect with peoples’ emotions, don’t flaunt your ego, don’t read your talk, finish on time” etc. Check their slides well in advance of the talk and offer guidance. Speakers need to be guided and managed.

 

3. Introduce talks which stimulate thought, innovation and creativity rather than didactic hard data. It’s not always essential to have the answer or solution to make a presentation interesting.

 

4. Introduce an element to your meeting with speakers from

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Break Into Health IT: 9 Master's Degree Programs

Break Into Health IT: 9 Master's Degree Programs | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Having trouble landing a health IT job because you're not a clinician, or your IT experience lies outside healthcare? These master's degree and health informatics programs can help bridge the gap.

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Inflation of software medical devices - Part 2 - Software in Medical Devices

Regulations


The most well-known (or widespread?) regulations are the 21CFR of the USA and the 93/42 directive of the European Union. The FDA has recently increased its number of inspections, mainly in foreigner countries. Even if FDA lacks of agents to do so, the trend is here. And an inspection of the FDA can be compared to being sued. If one day you have one, you’re not going to enjoy it! The regulations themselves don’t change but the FDA will to increase the law enforcement by foreign companies.


On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a new directive on medical devices is being drafted by the European commission. The content of this directive is still under construction but some new features are already known. The classification rules will change, for instance products which contain biological substances will be class III. The list of essential requirements will contain new ones, especially about software. This new directive should be released by 2013 or early 2014 and be active a few years later (remember that 2007/47 directive became mandatory in 2010).

 

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EHR Accessibility Module Challenge

 

First Place: $60,000 + demo opportunity
Second Place: $20,000
Third Place: $5,000

 

Health information technology (HIT) and electronic health records (EHRs) hold great promise in improving the health outcomes and coordination of care for people with disabilities. However, the accessibility and usability of HIT is a matter of serious concern to people of diverse disabilities, including those who have vision, hearing, intellectual, manual dexterity, mental health, developmental and other types of disabilities.

 

The disabled population cannot afford to miss out on the multitude of benefits that can be derived from having access to the health information stored in EHRs just because existing tools are not compliant with its needs. Building an accessible system from the ground up can be more cost effective than retrofitting current ones to suit this large group and can prevent future interoperability issues.

 

In addition, innovation in this area can also help older individuals with changing abilities due to aging, and can help inspire usability improvements for all consumers on a more general basis.

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Patients Take Back Control with Technology

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a cold and dehumanizing thing.

 

Unfortunately, in medicine, that often happens with one and the same device.

 

The very instruments that diagnose and treat us can often make us feel more like test subjects than patients receiving care. Anyone who's ever had an MRI knows the device that can find what's ailing us is also oppressively big and noisy. Woe to you if you're claustrophobic.

 

But technology is now being applied in the interests of healing the entire patient—mind, body, and soul.

It's happening in a big way, perhaps appropriately, next door to Hollywood, where the entertainment industry cranks out one technology-fueled blockbuster after another.

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TEDMED: How to Succeed in Healthcare | Common Sense

TEDMED: How to Succeed in Healthcare | Common Sense | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
Here’s the secret to succeeding in business. Ready? First, make a good product that works well and is delivered efficiently. Second, never forget how important your customers are, or you’ll lose them. Repeat.

 

It works for almost every industry. A lot of people think Coke tastes great. Why else drink it? Exxon refines crude oil into gasoline. It makes your car run. Sell. Repeat.

 

But when it comes to healthcare and its delivery, the system isn’t working nearly as well as it could, the products offered don’t provide the results you deserve, and customers – patients – don’t always receive the benefits they should. This was a theme that really stuck for me as I listened to some extremely smart and accomplished people speak this week at TEDMED.

 

Despite this inconsistent, often frustrating system, there’s a lot of hope and progress being made to fix it, with evidence-based medicine, the effective use of data and mutual accountability leading the way at putting patients first.

 

Here’s a look at what leaders of the CDC and FDA, the executive health editor at Reuters, President Obama’s chief technology officer and a cancer theoretician and mathematician had to say about improving patient health. See what I mean about extremely smart and accomplished people?

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Why Superior EHR Customer Service is Critical to Your Practice’s Success

Why Superior EHR Customer Service is Critical to Your Practice’s Success | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The EHR industry is characterized by fairly poor customer satisfaction—the average KLAS score for service sits at a low 73% (Ambulatory EMRs for 11–75 Physicians).

 

Physicians who cannot rely on their EHR company for excellent support will find their productivity and success jeopardized. No longer is the impact of an EHR limited to its use in managing charts—the increasing demands of government and other payer programs have extended the reach of an EHR beyond the four walls of the practice, and success or failure now has increasingly significant financial implications.

 

Physicians must be able to successfully share information, connect to HIEs, and report on clinical data. In the future, they will need to respond to new reimbursement models such as ACOs. All of these communications are complicated and fraught with potential technical challenges—even with the best EHR solutions—making access to the highest quality customer support vital.

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Google+ for Doctors: Make Big Online Marketing Gains Now

For doctors trying to reach their patients online, using Google+ can provide surprising marketing benefits that help them be more “findable” on the web. Consider that 44 percent of all internet users search online to find information about health professionals, and suddenly the importance for doctors of having a good online presence should be more clear.

 

In this article I’ll discuss three reasons why I think that, if you participate in Google+, the newest social network, you can improve the chances your name will come up when prospective patients search for something you’ve written about. If you’re not a doctor but you do know that many prospective clients use the web as a way to find you and your competitors, this article will also be relevant to you.

 

1. Rise in the Rankings

 

First, participating in Google+ gives doctors an advantage because content you share on Google+ has an “edge” against other stories. That’s right -- Google (the search engine) likes stories that’ve gotten shared or +1’d on Google+ better.

For example, if a doctor writes a post about back pain and shares it via Google+, Google may favor this post in search results for topics related to back pain over comparable results not linked to a Google+ user. That’s important -- because the higher up your content appears in search results, the more likely it is someone will visit your site.

 

2. Amplify Your Web Activity


Second, benefits of participating in Google+ grow as your network grows. Fellow blogger and search marketing expert Brian Whalley elaborates on what this means:

“[As you build up] a large following on Google+, content you've shared with your followers will also show up in those followers' relevant Google.com searches, keeping your business top of mind and increasing its visibility among existing followers across multiple channels.”

 

3. Stand Out From the Crowd


Third, Google+ helps you stand out in search results because of the social data (such as your headshot, a link to your Google+ profile, and/or the number of people who have +1’d your article) included along with your content as another perk of participating. Social data will make people trust your content and make a searcher more likely to click it.

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5 Facebook Marketing Strategies for Health Care Non-Profits

5 Facebook Marketing Strategies for Health Care Non-Profits | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Days are already here when you cannot afford to omit social networking sites from your online marketing strategy.

 

The reason is social networking sites have established themselves as low-cost or no-cost avenue to market your product. Sites like Facebook are more effective if you are talking about a non-profit initiative dealing with public healthcare. You can draw people’s attention, engage them in your non-profit activity, ask them to volunteer and definitely raise fund. And for all these you don’t need to spend hefty money on adverts and promotional.


But what’s so special about Facebook? In fact, every networking site has its niche. Unlike LinkedIn and Twitter, on Facebook people maintain a more sociable attitude. People here try to replicate what they do or want to do for their society in real life. Non-profit healthcare initiatives, trying to improve public health, can expect more acceptances on Facebook rather than on business networking sites. So, if you have genuine cause to think about you should try FB to get people on your side. There are too many non-profit healthcare initiatives, like, ‘Stand up to Cancer’, Tyson Hunger Relief’, ‘Free the Children’ and many, out there campaigning on FB successfully.

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Who Is Using Social Media In Healthcare?

Social media is permeating our personal and professional lives everywhere you look—even in the healthcare industry. As more hospitals, clinics, doctors and medical staff are joining social media platforms, it is imperative that healthcare providers have a comprehensive social media policy in place. Don’t have a policy in place yet? Looking for some motivation?

 

Recent research shows that, of the 5,754 registered hospitals in the United States, 21% of them are actively using social media. That’s one out of five hospitals promoting and potentially engaging with the public and patients on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube. Facebook is by far the most popular social media choice with 87% creating a brand page and encouraging people to “like” them.

Coming in second with 77% of hospitals is Foursquare, the social site that lets you “check in” to places to see who else is there and what they have to say about it. Twitter, the other social media golden child, is used by two-thirds of hospitals who tend to tweet about upcoming events, encourage wellness checks and screenings as well as provide helpful links and information to common ailments and conditions.

 

Healthcare organizations are getting creative with their use of social media as well. While marketing, brand and reputation management are staples of their social programs, employee and clinical trial recruitment, education initiatives and patient monitoring are also in their repertoire.

 

 

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Technology gives doctors new ways to see patients

Technology gives doctors new ways to see patients | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

ravis Proctor logged onto his computer, turned on his new webcam and clicked his mouse. Within seconds, the 42-year-old father of three was face to face with Dr. Kelvin Burton, his primary care physician.

 

Just months ago, Proctor would have had to drive for nearly an hour round-trip from his home in Powder Springs to Burton's Douglasville family care practice just for a checkup.

 

Not anymore.

 

Now in what amounts to a 21st century house call, Burton and other doctors are seeing their patients via teleconferencing on personal computers, iPads and, if they have the app, iPhones.

 

From the convenience of home, patients can receive care for minor illnesses or receive a diagnosis for something as complicated as a heart condition.

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