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The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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PwC Report: Consumers Use Social Media for Healthcare Advice

PwC Report: Consumers Use Social Media for Healthcare Advice | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

A new report by PwC found consumers are increasingly turning to social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to find answers to their healthcare concerns, and that this frequently results in seeking out second opinions for previously diagnosed problems.

 

The PwC Report, titled “Social Media ‘Likes’ Healthcare”, includes results of a social media survey of 124 members for the eHealth Initiative carried out by its Health Research Institute (HRI), which revealed that 80 percent of healthcare companies were using social media and had a presence on social media websites.

 

The eHealth Initiative (eHI) is a national organization launched more than ten years ago that focuses on healthcare information and technology with a mission to “drive improvement in the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information and technology.”

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How does a Website help Promote a Gynaecology practice

This is a simple presentation with some ideas for any Gynecologist who may be setting up a website for them self. Medical Websites are an important first step towards promoting Information Therapy. They help creating digital identities for doctors, and start the ball rolling for Digital Medicine to flourish. All the cooler stuff eHealth, Telemedicine, EHR's, Healthcare Gaming, HealthMaps and mHealth will be easier to implement on a large scale if all doctors had digital identities.

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Empathize Like A Doctor, Design Like An Entrepreneur

Every day it seems that we read about the launch of a new startup or technology application claiming to disrupt and reinvent the health care system.

 

For new products to impact health and health care outcomes, we must find a way for them to be adopted by physicians, patients, health care institutions, third-party payers, and regulatory agencies. This will require entrepreneurs and institutions to work together.

 

The majority of health startups today appear to be disconnected from the health care systems they are trying to change. In most cases, this seems to be by design. Entrepreneurs pride themselves on innovative thinking that is outside the established norms and models. To quote Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

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Health Care Providers Must Devise Social Media Strategies

Health Care Providers Must Devise Social Media Strategies | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Social media is key for marketing and recruiting in the United States, but overseas, health care organizations are ahead in using the technology for health monitoring, a CSC report revealed.

 

In its white paper "Should Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media?" CSC takes a look at social media in health care and calls on health care organizations to adopt a more formal social media strategy.

 

CSC cited blogs, Facebook, online role-playing games, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube as examples of social media.

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Switching EMR and EHR – What are the reasons behind

An interesting fact that early adopters of EMR and EHR software are now switching vendors or service providers of for another electronic medical system.

 

Decision to switch from one platform of EMR and EHR to another service provider invokes almost double the pain gone through on shifting from paper-based medical system to electronic system. It is even more complicated when you have been using a XYZ electronic medical system for quite a reasonable time now and you decide to shift to another system on the pretext of wanting better capabilities.

 

In the switching process, all your records and patients’ information is structured and indexed with the current system and if you are using a cloud based or web based EHR, you don’t know where on earth those electronic records exist, how to retrieve them and make useable with the new electronic medical system.

 

Either you have to print them out all on papers and have to start over again or with the advice of the new service provider, all the records have to be transformed in convertible digital formats (XML, CCD etc.)

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EMR Innovation Should Be Spelled KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid

EMR Innovation Should Be Spelled KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The dictionary definition of innovation (according to the all-knowing Google) is a create something new. I don’t like that definition. I think that is weak and limiting. Something can be new and completely useless or just plain badly designed. Would that be innovative? If it is, then I think innovative is a very sad word. To be innovative, something needs to be better, but not necessarily new.

 

For example, if we look at the iPod again, it was not a new concept, really. The iPod was a portable music player. That was not innovative. Walkmans were portable music players long before iPod existed. The innovation came in the fact that iPod was better than what came before it.

 

In the healthcare IT world, there is very little innovation. For example, all EMRs do the same thing and generally that same thing is burdensome in many different ways. That is why healthcare information technology (IT) adoption is still relatively low – even with government incentives. The biggest problem in all of healthcare IT is that the current technology is not innovative (e.g. it is not an improvement).

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Promoting Patient Engagement in Meaningful Use

Promoting Patient Engagement in Meaningful Use | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The proposed rule for Stage 2 Meaningful Use has a strong emphasis on patient engagement. This is certainly a good thing, and I am very glad to see the focus put on this area.

 

As the online petition urging the ONC even further strengthen these requirements says, "Nothing would result in improving the health of the population (and decrease healthcare costs) more than having greater involvement/engagement by individuals in the healthcare process."

 

I've signed the petition, and while the best way to have an impact is to actually submit comments on regulations.gov, this is a good way to show some critical mass on the issue. However, simply saying that it's important to strengthen the Patient Engagement requirements of Stage 2 Meaningful Use does not provide any specific guidance on what the good, the bad, and the ugly is in the proposed rule.

 

There is a great opportunity that Nate Osit, David Harlow, Adrian Gropper, Fred Trotter, and others from the Society for Participatory Medicine have made available to provide feedback and crowd source some comments using this form.

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Making Health IT Pay Off

How long does it take hospitals and other providers to truly gain financial rewards from health IT investments?

 

In an era with hospitals are increasingly expected to perform better while using fewer resources, just how much do information technology investments help hospital bottom lines even as they consume more and more money to maintain? And with a long list of potential spends, which IT outlays are critical? I'll be writing about this topic for an upcoming spread in H&HN, and the view from the field suggests that while hospitals see IT spending as an essential element of competing in a transformed delivery system, keeping up with a slew of new IT capabilities can be time-consuming and costly.

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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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How social networks enable patients to be more involved in their healthcare

How social networks enable patients to be more involved in their healthcare | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

This sharing of information creates a more informed and empowered patient and can lead to a radical reconfiguring of the doctor/patient relationship. The health professional can be challenged. No longer are they the only source of information – and this means relationships become more equal and collaborative.

 

Advancements in technologies, the ubiquity of smartphone devices and social media mean that soon, patients may have all the information they need for a decision about their healthcare to be made. They will be able to collate medical data from a range of different places – through smartphone apps, from their supermarket reward card or through their medical records. Next, they'll be able to find out what all this data means through advanced online tools and they'll be able to take all that information and work with their doctor to reach a shared decision.

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Medical Researchers Tune Into the Internet Buzz

Medical Researchers Tune Into the Internet Buzz | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Message-board chatter and Twitter feeds may provide a road map to areas that deserve further study...

 

Looking for medical information on Internet message boards can be risky for consumers. Some of it is confusing, misleading or downright wrong. But for medical researchers, all that chatter can yield some valuable insights.

 

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, for example, are mining message boards and Twitter feeds to see what breast-cancer and prostate-cancer patients are saying about herbal and nutritional supplements—including whether they take them and why and what side effects they encounter.

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How Patients Can Become Partners With Doctors

How Patients Can Become Partners With Doctors | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

An online network for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease suggests a new way of treating chronic disease, letting patients collaborate with doctors in collecting data and suggesting ideas for treating their condition.

 

A few years ago, a far-flung group of pediatric gastroenterologists set up an online network where they could share data and treatment strategies for children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease, in hopes of improving outcomes. It worked—up to a point. The remission rate jumped to 75% from 50% at some of the centers, but then hit a ceiling.

 

Some of the doctors raised a provocative question: Could they get even better results by bringing patients and parents into the effort?

 

Patients would experiment with new treatments and closely monitor how the regimens affected them day to day, then feed the data into the online network through computers or smartphones for doctors to examine. The patients could also use the network for things like social support, finding other patients who shared similar interests or lived near them.

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How Health Care Is Changing to Emphasize Quality of Life

How Health Care Is Changing to Emphasize Quality of Life | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

An emerging focus on quality of life is helping medical providers see the big picture—and makes for healthier, happier patients.

 

A very simple question is changing the delivery of medical care:

 

How is your health affecting your quality of life?

 

For decades, numbers drove the treatment of diseases like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Public-health officials focused on reducing mortality rates and hitting targets like blood-sugar levels for people with diabetes or cholesterol levels for those with heart disease.

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Patient-centered care requires more than online technologies

Patient-centered care is the mantra of the movement to reform the nation's healthcare delivery system. According to this credo, patients must be able to obtain copies of their medical records and visit summaries; they should have personal health records that they can share with their providers; they should have "patient-centered medical homes"; they should share in medical decision making; and, of course, the security and privacy of their personal health information must be rigorously protected.

 

All of this makes sense, both for the individual and for the healthcare system. Since about 90 percent of healthcare is self care, consumers must be involved--and must, in some cases, change their health behavior--to become healthier and reduce the overall cost of care. "Patient engagement" is also a key component of accountable care organizations, because ACOs' success depends on keeping patients healthy and out of expensive care settings. Only by educating patients and enlisting their cooperation can ACOs generate savings and remain within their budgets.

 

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Healthcare Transformation Starts in Our Own Backyards

Healthcare Transformation Starts in Our Own Backyards | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

It’s no secret that the transformation of U.S. healthcare will take a considerable amount of time (measured in terms of generations of people) and resources (both financial and human) to accomplish.

 

But what we need to understand as an industry is that the best way to work toward accomplishing this goal is by transforming the health of individual communities one by one, learning from our successes and failures to make improvements for our neighbors.

 

From there, we can allow the “snowball effect” to help us reach our ultimate goal: improved health for the entire country. Quite frankly the timeline is irrelevant – we must begin making changes now, beginning with the local healthcare delivery system.

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Where There Is No Doctor: Delivering Healthcare in Hard-to-Reach Places

Where There Is No Doctor: Delivering Healthcare in Hard-to-Reach Places | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Medicine and technology advance at astonishing rates. But these advances don’t always reach everywhere. Often it is indigenous knowledge and creative solutions that fill the gap. In today’s Mobile Message, Sarah Shannon explains how one organisation, Hesperian Health Guides, provides appropriate and effective advice for people living in regions where there is no doctor.

 

Mobile Message is a series of blog posts from FrontlineSMS about how mobile phones and other appropriate technologies are being used throughout the world to improve, enrich, and empower billions of lives. This article was curated by Olivia O’Sullivan, our Media and Research Assistant.

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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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