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During the holiday season, ideally filled with family, food, and festivities, the topic of depression is often sidelined; even more of a taboo subject than usual. But research suggests it is one of our most persistent blights, ranked ninth in the world behind the major killers, such as heart disease, stroke, and HIV, according to Nature.
Now researchers from multiple disciplines, in both the public and private sectors, are working on various algorithms and approaches to measure a range of mental health trends via large volumes of online activity. Issues such as depression and seasonal anxiety disorder aren’t the first health trends to be investigated in this way – think Google Flu Trends, for instance – but they represent an entry point for researchers, one that most recently has been hailed by a team at Johns Hopkins reporting on techniques that could play a key role in measuring mental health metrics.
Via Alex Butler, Bart Collet
#The recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa has affected countries deeply in need of foreign aid.1 People desperately need correct information on how to prevent and treat Ebola. Despite the poverty, the increasing spread of computers, tablets, and smartphones in the region creates an opportunity for the rapid dissemination of information through the internet and social media, but there is no guarantee that this information is correct. After reports that misinformation spread by text messages led to deaths,2 3 we checked the quality of Ebola related information on Twitter.
We used the Twitter search engine to collect all tweets in English with the terms “Ebola” and “prevention” or “cure” from Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria during 1 to 7 September 2014. We grouped them into medically correct information, medical misinformation, and other (including tweets of a spiritual nature). Most tweets and retweets contained misinformation, and misinformation had a much larger potential reach than correct information (table⇓).
The most common misinformation was that Ebola might be cured by the plant ewedu or by blood transfusion (unqualified—not just from Ebola survivors). Drinking and washing in salty water were also mentioned. Among these tweets, 248 (44%) were retweeted at least once; 95 of these contained scientifically correct information (38.3%), whereas 146 contained medical misinformation (58.9%; P<0.001). Two of these tweets—“Take ewedu daily to prevent and cure Ebola LUTH doctor urges Nigerians” and “Herbal healers’ claim to cure Ebola false”—were retweeted 23 and 24 times, respectively.
While most erroneous tweets were left undisputed, in some cases they were corrected by a Nigerian government agency and this correction spread on Twitter three days later. Public health and government agencies in west Africa should use Twitter to spread correct information and amend misinformation on how to deal with this emergency.
Via Plus91, Denis Granger
The $3 trillion healthcare market has its lure.
By last year, 24 of the Fortune 50 companies had elbowed their way through healthcare’s front door.
Built around new, disruptive technologies, many new entrants are focused on the device side of the business. However, these new entrants must not overlook one critical element during the development cycle: the web of compliance requirements threaded throughout healthcare.
So far these nontraditional healthcare companies developing medical products have primarily focused on innovative technology. The examples are numerous - Apple has launched a mobile health product capable of monitoring heart rate, Verizon introduced healthcare IT solutions connecting clinicians to their patients, and AT&T has launched mHealth, a platform for mobile application development.
However, as companies venture into deeper waters, they must become fluent in the alphabet soup of government regulatory bodies and industry standards entities that enforce compliance requirements in multiple phases of the product lifecycle. The AMA (American Medical Association); CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services); FDA (Food and Drug Administration); as well as HHS’s OIG (Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General) all have roles in R&D, development, launch and commercialization.
The laws and standards these entities enforce impact nearly all operations of the medtech industry, including commercial practices, development, medical affairs, testing, manufacturing, documentation, billing, reimbursement, risk assessment, traceability, practice ethics, patient rights, referral laws, interactions with doctors and government officials and more.
For companies whose core business is not heavily regulated, developing the infrastructure and culture of compliance can be especially daunting. But failing to proactively plan for and develop a compliance program doesn’t simply risk a company’s entrance into the healthcare space; it can jeopardize a new entrant’s larger organization if liabilities arise that can affect other business units.
Pause, if you will, before that dizzying array of rules and regs, but recognize that, somewhere out there, a potential competitor is already moving along the compliance pathway. Analysis of government filings by PwC’s Health Research Institute identified 24 digital health devices that were cleared by the FDA in just the first 10 months of 2014. So sitting back is no solution if you are committed to providing better offerings.
What should a new entrant do as it develops new products?Factor compliance risks into business structureMake sure the compliance organization is scalable andKnow the universe of risks and regulations.
Factor compliance risks into business structure when developing a medical entity
Consider the case where the company is using the same manufacturing facility to manufacture medical as well as nonmedical products. In a worst-case scenario of noncompliance, were a regulatory agency to shut down a facility’s manufacturing, both medical and non-medical business housed there would be impacted.
In addition to minimizing risk, separation can protect nonmedical business lines by helping streamline operations and simplifying compliance requirements. For example, the separation of medical and nonmedical businesses makes it possible for healthcare-specific training to be mandated only for those working on medical products, instead of forcing the entire corporation through a training program regardless of an employee’s involvement with medical products. Other similar efficiencies may also be found in areas of R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
Make sure your compliance structure is scalable, and comes with a robust oversight mechanism
One of the most effective compliance organization structures in PwC’s experience has a single executive in charge of compliance requirements reporting directly to the head of the medical business unit. This supports operational simplicity while outlining clear roles and responsibilities at the executive level.
This also provides an independent, internal evaluation of potential risk issues and minimizes conflicts of interest that could come from reporting to other departments. In this way, potential compliance issues can be raised to the proper level, and receive the proper attention, without being unduly influenced by financial or other business metrics.
Know the universe of risks and regulations applicable to your health business
Here is a list of industry compliance standards and regulatory guidance that is a great place to start in order to develop a best-fit risk control framework:AMA Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 8.061 – Gifts to Physicians from IndustryAdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals (revised 2009)Enforcement Lessons: Settlement AgreementsFederal Sentencing Guidelines Chapter 8 Organizational Guidelines (revised 2004, 2010)HHS’s OIG Compliance Program Guidance for Medical Device ManufacturersOther HHS OIG Guidance: OIG WorkPlan, Advisory Opinions, Fraud & Alert BulletinsSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; and21 CFR Regulations: Part 11, 803, 806, & 820.
There are real ramifications of noncompliance. A failure in this regard can result in millions of dollars of direct losses as well as significant collateral damage to the company. Noncompliance may also impact timeline for launching products, even costing companies their first-mover advantage.
At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to address all compliance challenges. Each company needs to determine what is best for them, grounding that decision on factors such as operational size, risk exposure and the type of products they will be introducing into the market.
The good news is that with the proper business structure, a scalable compliance organization, and knowledge of the risk landscape, compliance need not throttle a company’s innovation pipeline. Indeed, compliance protects the company, prevents destructive risk, and can provide competitive advantages.
--By James S. Varelis, Principal, PwC Health Industries, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences sector
Via Celine Sportisse
There’s a mantra in healthcare right now to “drive patient engagement.” The idea is that informed and engaged patients play a crucial role in improving the quality of care our health system delivers. With the right information, these healthcare consumers will be more active participants in their care, select providers based on quality and value metrics, demand appropriate, high-quality, high-value services and choose treatment options wisely after a thorough process of shared decision-making.
Joseph Smith, MD. PhD (@JoeSmithMD), a cardiologist, cardiac electrophysiologist and engineer, is chief medical and science officer of theGary and Mary West Health Institute (@WestHealth), an independent, nonprofit medical research organization that works with healthcare providers and research institutions to create new, more effective ways of delivering care.
Via Technical Dr. Inc., Beeyond
How To Track Your Life With Apple Health14,2363David NieldProfileFollowDavid NieldFiled to: Apple HealthiOS Tuesday 11:30amShare to KinjaShare to FacebookShare to TwitterGo to permalink
Apple Health still has a long way to go. Some better data analysis would be welcome, for example, and there's no easy way to go back through your statistics, but it's a confident start and one that's currently more comprehensive than Google's comparable offering. If you're an iPhone user then it's automatic monitoring capabilities might just be enough to get you to take your health more seriously.
Via Alex Butler
Via ReactNow, Laurentiu Bogdan
Santé : la vidéo, média par excellence ?Posted on 04/12/2014 by Club Digital Santé wrote in Tribune de la semaine. It has 1 Comment.
Via Anne-Sophie Hardel, Emmanuelle Darsonval
Via Celine Sportisse
Parents in California who have children who get chronic ear infections will soon have a more convenient way to get their kids care.
The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Given the strong interest and comments received from our members, we have published an updated version of the map.
The proliferation of small and large communities is the result ofphysicians’ increasing need to share ideas and discuss clinical cases with colleagues in every part of the world.
The more the number of communities grow, the greater the need to create stronger niche communities, increasingly unfolding the landascape of physician communities. Trying to find some differentiating features in theaggregation trend of physician communities, we have identified 3 main features:
“Specialized” communities tend to be a smaller group and represent the long tail of physician communities, with a small but very specialized number of subscribers. In this type of aggregation the common feature is the professional specialty and consequently a common specific area of interest. In the radiology field, for example, there are many examples of specialized communities like Radrounds.com or Radiopolis.com.
Location specific communities
Location specific communities usually represent an aggregation of physicians that come from thesame country or speak the same language.
These kinds of communities are generally larger than the specialized ones, since they tend to include all physician specialities.
Usually physicians turn to location specific communities for two main reasons. The first is language, especially in Europe, where due to the multitude of different European languages, localized communities are proliferating quickly. The second is related to local roles and rules shared by physicians coming from the same country with regard to their medical or practice management issues.
Examples of localized communities are DocCheck in Germany and Doctors.net.uk in UK that represent the top European physician communities.
What is also interesting is the presence of physician communities in emerging markets. In China for example the dxy.cn community has 1,7 million members, of which 50% are physicians.
Trustworthy Provider based communities
The last (but not least) aggregation factor depends on the community provider's trustworthyness. Many physicians prefer to join communities related to scientific societies they belong to or trusted professional websites that they already consider relevant or reliable information sources. This explains the proliferation of physician communities within professional websites such as BMJ (doc2doc community) or related to medical association websites, such as CardioSource from the American College of Cardiology.
Usually these kinds of communities have a significant number of subscribers, largely also due to their existing physician databases.
The physician community landscape is continuously changing, but there is a trend towards growth of smaller communities, which are able to aggregate and keep active specialist interest groups. The true benchmark for measuring the quality and health of a community in this fragmented scenario will be to measure its social life - in order to understand how active each member really is, communicating, playing and sharing information and knowledge to create collective intelligence.
Via Plus91, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Huge changes are ahead in healthcare. From the Affordable Care Act to new service models to advances in health and fitness technology, the field is definitely in a growth and change mode.
In a nutshell, doing health care better will involve using data better.
Via Celine Sportisse
More than five years ago, Apple sold consumers on mobile applications by telling them no matter what they want to do, “there’s an app for that.” The same couldn’t be said for healthcare providers and patients.
Last July, there were more than 1.5 billion apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores combined. Less than 2% of them—fewer than 28,000—were classified as medical, according to the publication iMedicalApps.
But thanks to FDA’s risk-based regulatory framework, announced in September 2013, and predictions that the market for mobile medical apps could grow to 26-billion users by 2017, more companies are starting to try their hand at mobile medical apps.
“2014 was the year of the app,” says Steve Wilcox, founder of Philadelphia design firm Design Science.
Consumer tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft grabbed headlines with platforms that enable more health and fitness app development, while several traditional medical device companies launched notable apps as well. One is Dexcom’s Follow, which is used in conjunction with a docking cradle to enable diabetics to share data from their continuous glucose monitors.
AliveCor also got FDA clearance for an algorithm to detect atrial fibrillation using its ECG smartphone attachment and app.
Via Celine Sportisse