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The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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Four Nordic eHealth pilots achieve lasting results

Four Nordic eHealth pilots achieve lasting results | healthcare technology |
By using fiber for broadband connections, eHealth services such as telehealth consultations are being delivered successfully with lasting results. This was shown by the Connected for Health project and its pilots in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

"The Connected for Health project reached several remarkable results from its piloting and research activities", states Mrs. Marjatta Eväsoja, director of International Affairs and Culture in the Regional Council of Southern Ostrobothnia (Finland), which has been coordinating the project as Lead Partner.


In the project, four pilots were implemented in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. They engaged real end users, patients, clients and professionals, mainly from sparsely populated areas that had built Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network infrastructure.

Wound treatment and cost savings

The pilots achieved lasting results. "In Alavus, Finland, the best results were achieved in distance consultations for wound treatment, whereas in Hudiksvall, Sweden, the pilot's core task was to develop and test a social care alarm system (SCAIP) platform sending event messages between patient and carer. The tests showed that this platform brought the municipality considerate cost savings", tells Mr. Sami Perälä, the executive director of EPTEK.

Patient empowerment

The fourth pilot was implemented in the Region of Southern Denmark, and the main conclusion was the fact that a well-functioning infrastructure ensures reliable eHealth solutions, which can contribute to increased patient empowerment.


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70 percent of physicians now send prescriptions electronically

70 percent of physicians now send prescriptions electronically | healthcare technology |

New numbers from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT show that far more doctors are filing prescriptions electronically than in 2008.

As of the end of April, 70 percent of doctors say that they are using the e-prescribing function common in electronic health record (EHR) software to send prescriptions to pharmacies.

The prescription pad, the phone, and the fax machine have been the dominant means of writing prescriptions for most of medicine’s modern age.

Just 4 percent of new prescriptions and refills were filed electronically in 2008. By 2013, that number had risen to 57 percent.

“We believe that financial incentives can drive providers’ adoption and use of health information technology, such as e-prescribing, and that health information networks can be a powerful tool in tracking incentives’ progress,” the authors said.

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5 Myths About Consumer Use of Digital Healthcare Services

5 Myths About Consumer Use of Digital Healthcare Services | healthcare technology |

A recent international survey by the McKinsey & Company consulting firm addresses some myths about consumer use of digital healthcare services.

Many healthcare executives believe that, due to the sensitive nature of medical care, patients don’t want to use digital services except in a few specific situations. Decision makers often cite relatively low usage of digital healthcare services. Results of this survey however reveal something quite different. 

The 5 myths debunked by this survey are as follows

Myth 1: People don’t want to use digital services for healthcareMyth 2: Only young people want to use digital services

Myth 3: Mobile health is the game changer
Myth 4: Patients want innovative features and apps
Myth 5: A comprehensive platform of service offerings is a prerequisite for creating value

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The e-Health Sensor Shield V2.0

The e-Health Sensor Shield V2.0 | healthcare technology |

The e-Health Sensor Shield V2.0 allows Arduino and Raspberry Pi users to perform biometric and medical applications where body monitoring is needed by using 10 different sensors: pulse, oxygen in blood (SPO2), airflow (breathing), body temperature, electrocardiogram (ECG), glucometer, galvanic skin response (GSR - sweating), blood pressure (sphygmomanometer), patient position (accelerometer) and muscle/eletromyography sensor (EMG).

This information can be used to monitor in real time the state of a patient or to get sensitive data in order to be subsequently analysed for medical diagnosis. Biometric information gathered can be wirelessly sent using any of the 6 connectivity options available: Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS, Bluetooth, 802.15.4 and ZigBee depending on the application.

If real time image diagnosis is needed a camera can be attached to the 3G module in order to send photos and videos of the patient to a medical diagnosis center.

Data can be sent to the Cloud in order to perform permanent storage or visualized in real time by sending the data directly to a laptop or Smartphone. iPhone and Android applications have been designed in order to easily see the patient's information.

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EHR, clinical decision support help identify autism earlier

EHR, clinical decision support help identify autism earlier | healthcare technology |

Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University have demonstrated the potential of an automated system to help primary care physicians screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) more effectively and efficiently, according to an article published in Infants & Young Children.

The work of the research team centered on the implementation of the Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation (CHICA) system, an open source tool that comprises an EHR and aclinical decision support system (CDSS) for pediatric preventive care anddisease management.

“Autism isn’t like strep throat where you can do a quick throat swab and then have a diagnosis,” lead author Nerissa Bauer, MD, of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine said last Friday.

“Autism is a behavioral diagnosis and can look very different depending on the child. Some behaviors are subtle, especially early on. CHICA prompts parents to think about whether they have concerns about certain health risks, such as autism, which makes it easier for the doctor to focus on key issues during a hectic visit.”

According to Bauer et al., the purpose of the tool is to address limitations commonly present in primary care practices when it comes to screening children for ASD. “Limited visit time, low reimbursement, logistics of the clinic workflow, and lack of appropriate staff to implement these tools continue to be major barriers to implementing clinical guidelines in primary care practice,” the authors write.

The CHICA system works by producing a personalized 20-question prescreening form in either English or Spanish for the patient linked to the patient’s EMR and completed by the patient’s parents in the waiting at each visit and scanned back into the system. Then at the 24-month visit system scores these results and alerts the physician to intervene if sufficient concerns are raised.
Prior to the implementation of the CHICA system, only eight out of 5,128 children had an ASA ICD-9 billing code assigned to them. During the two-year study (Nov. 15, 2010–July 25, 2012), a total of 857 were deemed eligible for screening with two-thirds (567) having the autism screening instrument, called the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), completed.  Of these, CHICA identified 171 (30%) as having concerning results, which led to 73 (43%) of these patients having their physicians receive and respond to an alert, and leading to the following decisions:

• 50 (68%)children were considered not to have an ASD;
• 13 (18%) were referred for a more comprehensive workup;
• 8 (11%) children were suspected of having an ASD, but not referred; and
• 2 (3%) were referred for an audiology evaluation.
Bauer et al. are optimistic that similar approaches to screening for chronic diseases have the potential to improve detection and ensure that proper intervention occurs sooner rather than later.
While the results are encouraging, the willingness of physicians to take the necessary steps in adapting their clinical workflows still remains an obstacle that needs to be overcome.
Mikaila Ludvik's curator insight, November 18, 2013 11:17 AM

Its interesting that studies are coming closer to finding a way to detect Austism earlier than we are able to currently.The sooner autism can be detected, then the sooner that child can get help, which is always a good thing. More research studies like this should be funded and should be happening.

Tech4MD's curator insight, December 27, 2013 2:39 PM

Yes, while the results are encouraging, the willingness of physicians to take the necessary steps in adapting their clinical workflows still remains an obstacle that needs to be overcome.

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Medicine goes digital

Medicine goes digital | healthcare technology |

INNOVATION and medicine go together. The ancient Egyptians are thought to have performed surgery back in 2750BC, and the Romans developed medical tools such as forceps and surgical needles. In modern times medicine has been transformed by waves of discovery that have brought marvels like antibiotics, vaccines and heart stents.

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The Use Of Tablets In the World of EMRs ~ EMR, EHR & Health Care Technology

The Use Of Tablets In the World of EMRs ~ EMR, EHR & Health Care Technology | healthcare technology |

With a growing number of physicians adopting tablet PCs for their EMR implementations, EMR vendors and IT manufacturers are looking to build compatible native systems to facilitate user-friendly and efficient EMR execution.


From table desktops to thin clients and now the tablet, EMRs have been tried and tested on a variety of hardware, each bringing its own benefits and drawbacks. However, the striking surge in EMR adoption on tablet PCs has made providers sit up and take notice of this remarkably promising technology.

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6 Ways Technology is Helping to Fight Ebola

6 Ways Technology is Helping to Fight Ebola | healthcare technology |
As Ebola continues to ravish Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, people from all around the world are working together to stop the disease. In addition to the life saving work of medical staff, logisticians and community organizers, information and communication technology (ICT) is also playing a vital part in supporting their work. Below are six examples showing how ICT is already making a difference in the current Ebola crisis.

1. Tracing outbreaks with mapping and geolocation

2. Gathering Ebola information with digital data collection forms

3. Connecting the sick with their relatives using local Wi-Fi networks

4. Sharing and receiving Ebola information via SMS text messages

5. Mythbusting for diaspora communities via social media

6. Supporting translations of Ebola information remotely online


nrip's insight:

Adding to this list, my associates and I have built a mobile Ebola diagnosis and data collection prototype. If interested in exploring possible uses of the same for your organization, please drop me a message.

Lauren Silva's curator insight, October 8, 2014 8:06 PM

In an age where social media and technology affects the everyday human often, it is beneficial to view an article that details the benefits of technology in the world. This article doesn't specify how technology may stop ebola, it focuses more on how it can spread awareness, hope and understanding. The article doesn't pretend like the epidemic isn't happening, but instead focuses on the ups of what is. Family members can still communicate, awareness is spread, and information is reached all through technology.

nrip's comment, October 9, 2014 3:36 AM
@Lauren Silva Thanks for your comments
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:31 AM

The spread of Ebola is a worrying trend

which has gotten the attention of President Obama


WHO statements about the transmission of Ebola and the current status of the outbreak is scooped here:


Innovative means of using technology to curb the spread is welcome indeed.

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Electronic health records ripe for theft

Electronic health records ripe for theft | healthcare technology |

America’s medical records systems are flirting with disaster, say the experts who monitor crime in cyberspace. A hack that exposes the medical and financial records of hundreds of thousands of patients is coming, they say — it’s only a matter of when.

As health data become increasingly digital and the use of electronic health records booms, thieves see patient records in a vulnerable health care system as attractive bait, according to experts interviewed by POLITICO. On the black market, a full identity profile contained in a single record can bring as much as $500.

“What I think it’s going to lead to, if it hasn’t already, is an arms race between the criminal element and the people trying to protect health data,” said Robert Wah, president of the American Medical Association and chief medical officer at the health technology firm CSC. “I think the health data stewards are probably a little behind in the race. The criminal elements are incredibly sophisticated.”

The infamous Target breach occurred last year when hackers stole login information through the retailer’s heating and air system. Although experts aren’t sure what a major health care hack would look like, previous data breaches have resulted in identity and financial theft, and health care fraud.

Significant breaches are already occurring. Over the course of three days, hackers using a Chinese IP address infiltrated the St. Joseph Health System in Bryan, Texas, and exposed the information of 405,000 individuals, gaining names, address, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other information.

It was the third-largest health data breach tracked by the federal government.

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center reported late last year that hackers attacked its computer systems over a course of two months trying to steal credit card, Social Security and other financial information. About 59,000 clients and former clients were left vulnerable.

While a stolen credit card or Social Security number fetches $1 or less on the black market, a person’s medical information can yield hundreds of times more, according to the World Privacy Forum. Thieves want to hack the data to gain access to health insurance, prescription drugs or just a person’s financial information

The Identify Theft Resource Center — which has identified 353 breaches in 2014 across industries it tracks, says almost half occurred in the health sector. Criminal attacks on health data have doubled since 2000, according to the Ponemon Institute, an industry leader in data security.

Health care is the industry sector least prepared for a cyberattack, according to security ratings firm BitSight Technologies. The industry had the highest volume of threats and the slowest response time, leading the FBI in April to issue a warning to health care providers.

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EHRs Detect Depression When Many PCPs Can’t

EHRs Detect Depression When Many PCPs Can’t | healthcare technology |

Depression is one of the hardest disorders to diagnose, yet it affects 14 percent of the world’s population. Researchers have found factors in EHRs may be key to predicting a diagnosis of depression.

While depression comes at a high cost to those who suffer from it, the actual price tag in the United States reaches over $44 billion annually. This takes into account, among other things, lost productivity and direct expenses. Depression is a diagnosis that is often missed by primary care physicians, despite the fact that it is the second most common chronic disorder they treat.

According to EHR Intelligence, researchers from Stanford University have worked to use EHR systems as a tool to help predict depression diagnoses. In the study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, researchers say valuable information already stored in the EHR can be used to predict depression up to a year in advance.

“Depression is a prevalent disorder difficult to diagnose and treat. In particular, depressed patients exhibit largely unpredictable responses to treatment,” explain researchers. “Many depressed patients are not even diagnosed … primary care physicians, who deliver the majority of care for depression, only identify about 50 percent of true depression cases.”

The Stanford team used EHR data including demographic data, ICD-9, RxNorm, CPT codes, progress notes, and pathology, radiology, and transcription reports. From these, they used a model which factored in three criteria: the ICD-9 code, the presence of a depression disorder term in the clinical text, and the presence of an anti-depressive drug ingredient term in the clinical text.

These factors were then compared to predict a diagnosis of depression, response to treatment, and determine the severity of the condition.

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FDA Helping to Advance Treatments Tailored to Patients

FDA Helping to Advance Treatments Tailored to Patients | healthcare technology |

Personalized medicine is the tailoring of a medical treatment to the individual characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient. Many recent advances involve using a patient's genetic information to guide his or her treatment.

Developing a truly personalized approach to patient care will require fundamental advances in the understanding of the biological, anatomical and physiological mechanisms that underlie disease, and how they are affected by environmental, genetic, social and cultural factors.

To describe its unique responsibilities and its efforts in facilitating the advancement of personalized medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new report entitled "Paving the Way for Personalized Medicine: FDA's Role in a New Era of Medical Product Development 

FDA's commitment to personalized medicine dovetails with its focus on advancing regulatory science, which is the science of developing new tools, standards and approaches to assess the safety, effectiveness, quality and performance of FDA-regulated products.

Here are some examples from the report of how FDA is using regulatory science to help speed the development of promising new personalized medicine therapies.

Virtual patient: Advances in medical imaging and the power of computers to create virtual, anatomically correct models of the human body have enabled the use of patient-specific computer simulations in clinical practice and medical device development. This has facilitated the creation of personalized, custom-built medical devices. FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is developing a publicly available digital library of such models and simulations. This space for collaboration and sharing will help advance the personalization of medical device development and use.

Clinical Trial Designs and Methods: FDA is working to refine clinical trial design and statistical methods of analysis to address issues that often arise in the development of targeted therapeutics. The agency is also looking specifically at clinical trials for the development of cancer drugs. For example, FDA is participating in the "I-SPY 2 Trial," a groundbreaking clinical trial model that will help scientists quickly test the most promising drugs in development for women with rapidly growing breast cancers.

Biology of cancer: FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) conducts research to improve the understanding of cancer's underlying biology. A research project focused on the KRAS oncogene, for example, established that many tumors carry subpopulations of KRAS mutant cells, which can contribute to an acquired resistance to some cancer treatments.

Identification of genetic risk factors for vaccine reactions: FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is involved in research collaborations that focus on identifying genetic risk factors associated with negative reactions to vaccines.

Genetics and cardiovascular risk: In collaboration with researchers at the University of Maryland, scientists at NCTR are conducting research to identify genetic factors that interact with common lifestyle factors—such as diet and drug exposure—to contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Personalized medicine for heart devices: Researchers at CDRH have made major advances in understanding the underlying biology of heart disease. They have used new methods to analyze electrocardiograms to identify the causes of heart disease and to predict which patients will benefit from specific cardiovascular treatments. These new methods are being used by outside research groups and may be used to design more efficient clinical trials in the future.

Joel Finkle's curator insight, November 25, 2014 10:33 AM

New FDA report on personalized medicine.  We're not quite to the home "autodoc" but more treatments will be tailored to each patient's genome, for greater safety, efficacy, and probably cost.

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A portable device for common kidney tests

A portable device for common kidney tests | healthcare technology |

A lightweight and field-portable device invented at UCLA that conducts kidney tests and transmits data through a smartphone attachment may significantly reduce the need for frequent office visits by people with diabetes and others with chronic kidney ailments.

The smartphone-based device was developed in the research lab of Aydogan Ozcan, a professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute. Weighing about one-third of a pound, the gadget can determine levels of albumin in the patient's urine and transmit the results within seconds. Albumin is a protein in blood that is a sign of danger when found in urine.

Ozcan's lab also developed the opto-mechanical phone attachment, disposable test tubes, Android app and software to transmit the data. The research was published this month by the peer-reviewed journal Lab on a Chip ("Albumin testing in urine using a smart-phone").

"Albumin testing is frequently done to assess kidney damage, especially for diabetes patients," Ozcan said. "This device provides an extremely convenient platform for chronic patients at home or in remote locations where cell phones work."

Patients at risk for diabetes, kidney disease and other ailments must regularly provide fluid samples — sometimes more than one a day — to monitor their health, which requires visits to labs or health centers.

The new device projects beams of visible light through two small fluorescent tubes attached to the device, one containing a control liquid and the other a urine sample mixed with fluorescent dyes. The smartphone camera captures the fluorescent light after it passes through an additional lens.

An Android application then processes the raw images in less than one second and the device transmits the test results to a database or health care provider. The test, which measures albumin concentration in urine, is accurate to within less than 10 micrograms per milliliter, according to the research, well within accepted clinical standards used in diagnosing conditions such as microalbuminuria, the excretion of albumin in urine.

The time it takes to conduct a test, including preparation of a sample using a small syringe to inject the urine into a fluorescent tube, is about five minutes. Ozcan estimates that the device — for which his lab also has developed an iPhone app — could be produced commercially for $50 to $100 per unit.

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Five Free Simple Google Tools For Doctors

Five Free Simple Google Tools For Doctors | healthcare technology |

Digital technology has done a lot to change healthcare over the past 20 years. And Google is the biggest influence on the web over the past 14 years of the internet. Their “Do No Evil” ‘philosophy’ has given us a whole stable of free and easy to use tools which can make all work easier and better.


Google's premier patient offering, Google Health was quietly buried. There have been no comparable Google tools for doctors. Their Raison d'être, the Google search has long been a much maligned tool for medical professionals. But there is lots more a doctor can do with free Google tools. Let’s
take a look at Five Free Simple Google Tools For Doctors.

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Technoclinics- Upcoming scenario in India

Technoclinics- Upcoming scenario in India | healthcare technology |

Medical industry in India is proud to have adopted the latest medical equipments in every specialization and has achieved tremendous results in terms of rapid and effective treatment. The benefits that the Indian IT sector has made in the global village the past 15 years, are now being extended to the Indian Healthcare industry too!


Taking advantage of these some clinics are transforming into “technoclinics” by smartly using technology and software in their practice.

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