Devices like smartphones, Fuelbands, and Fitbits are capturing increasingly insightful data, giving us instant feedback on our health, from how we eat, sleep, and exercise, to our heart rates, blood pressure, and stress levels. For those seeking more complex data about themselves, companies like Wellness FX, 23&Me, and San Intelligence are offering the chance to look at our own individual blood chemistry and DNA and make healthier choices based on that info.
The technology is going to progress faster than we realize. Soon we’re going to be drinking milkshakes containing microchips that can feed back to us the state of our physical selves in real-time. And as we reach that point, the most productive health change you can make is to exercise a little better or eat a little more mindfully.
'Oracle recently released a report noting, among other things, that healthcare isn’t prepared to manage Big Data. That’s hardly shocking, since healthcare seems largely inept at managing any data, much less Big Data, which is generally defined as having one or more of these characteristics:
* Variety, meaning structured, semi-structured and unstructured data * Velocity, meaning you want it moved at high speeds * Volume, think petabytes and terabytes
Maybe health care IT doesn’t have a data problem so much as it has a Big Data problem.
What do I mean? Well, most health care records actually fall into the domain of Big Data more than your typical, relational database kind of data. Specifically:
* Most health care records are actually unstructured data, e.g., text documents or images. Doctor’s notes on patients, nurse’s care plans, lab results, x-rays and MRI results all fall well outside the domain of structured data. I
* Health care data is often high volume, particularly when you’re talking about a state or national electronic health records system. What’s more, when you deal with images, like x-rays or other scans, you’re increasing the data’s volume in terms of storage requirements.
* Finally, most health care records need to be moved relatively quickly, and as individual records. So, if I’m having a consult tomorrow with a surgeon, then the x-rays need to be at the office by morning.
It looks like there’s a clear use case for Big Data technologies in health care.
In fact, if I may be so bold, maybe health care’s data problems are not entirely caused by niche vendors, data silos and a lack of investment.
Maybe the reason health care IT is such a mess is because the existing tools couldn’t handle Big Data needs in an affordable way.
Former executives from mobile gaming company ngmoco are set to launch Mango Health, a San Francisco-based health startup focused on developing mobile applications that use game design principles to help consumers improve and manage their health.
Adherence to prescription drugs and supplements is a problem that not only puts the long-term health of millions of patients at risk. It's a problem that may add an extra $100 to 300 billion in health care costs in the U.S.
Clients who already use paper-based materials for distribution or in an instructor-led environment often ask us how we can enhance the learning experience for...
[...] One of our clients actually took it a step futher – they are now printing QR codes on all their product labels that are directly tied to ‘just-in-time’ use resources – videos that show the product being used, Dos and Don’ts, and the ability to subscribe to advanced courseware linked to the product. Rather than pushing or forcing training on individuals, provide information at the point of need, where learners value it because it helps them do the task at hand. (more about this later).
Electronic health record systems are changing how physicians and patients communicate in the doctor's office, and new medical websites are helping patients become more involved in their health care.
The growing prevalence of electronic health record systems and other technologies is transforming how physicians and patients interact, the Boston Globe reports.
Some of the technology-related changes affecting the health care system are:
Physicians using EHR systems to enter patient data during office visits; Patients using medical websites to find information about their health conditions before seeking a physician's opinion; and Patients and physicians communicating via email.
Implications of EHR Use
Both physicians and patients have expressed concern that the use of EHR systems could interfere with personal communication between physicians and patients during visits.
Joseph Kvedar -- director of the Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare -- said he attempts to mitigate such concerns by turning his computer screen so the patient can view what he is entering into the EHR. Kvedar said, "They won't think I'm writing secret thoughts into a computer."
Patient Use of Medical Websites
According to the Society for Participatory Medicine, patients' use of medical websites like WebMD.com have allowed patients to "shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, in which providers encourage and value them as full partners."
However, some physicians have expressed concern that medical websites will lead patients to incorrectly self-diagnose an illness or worry unnecessarily about their symptoms.
Although many patients are interested in emailing their physicians to ask health-related questions, some physicians are concerned that email communications could lead to patient privacy breaches or malpractice lawsuits.
Meanwhile, other physicians say they like emailing with patients because it saves time.
Larry Cohan -- a pediatrician who practices in Braintree, Mass. and Boston -- said email can "knock off some easy questions without having to set up an appointment" (English, Boston Globe, 7/20).
Because many of the policy changes now under way in the US health care system are intended to foster collaboration and improve coordination among physicians, understanding physician social networks will be important. In this editorial, JAMA provides a brief overview of the report by Landon et al, explain its relationship to other work, and discuss the potential importance of deepening the understanding of social networks in health care.
The study by Landon and colleagues uses data on the connections—intentional and unintentional—created by shared patients to describe the structure of the networks that connect physicians in a diverse sample of US hospital referral regions (HRRs). The authors suggested knowledge of these natural social networks may be useful to those striving to improve coordination, such as payers forming accountable care organizations (ACOs) or hospitals worried about readmissions.
Many of the policy reforms now under way—episode payments, the patient-centered medical home (with its emphasis on care coordination), and ACOs—are intended to address these problems. At their core, these reforms are social innovations. The explicit intent is to encourage collaboration among physicians, other clinicians, and hospitals to improve care not only for individual patients (by coordinating the care delivered by multiple clinicians across space and time) but also for populations (by developing shared clinical pathways that ensure the best possible care for patients with specific health problems).
Patients' non-adherence to prescribed medication costs the U.S.health care system an estimated $290 billion annually and can lead to poor clinical outcomes, increased hospitalizations and higher mortality.
'Consumers need safe, reliable, trustworthy apps to help guide their health and wellness and help them manage their chronic diseases.
The health app world needs guidance. The vast assortment of apps to choose from makes it difficult for consumers to navigate. Which apps are reliable, trustworthy, and medically sound?
How do consumers navigate the crowded world of health apps?
"Common sense rules," Joseph Kvedar, M.D says. If consumers think it's a "magic app," it probably isn't.
It doesn't seem as if there is too much hype -- just little guidance. The push to move the mHealth app world forward may be reside in the demands of consumers to be served with health and wellness apps that are safe, reliable and trustworthy, developed by companies who are not just those looking to "get rich quick'.
[AS: Relevance and reliability are clearly paramount when it comes to #mhealth apps; however, I'd add to that apps also need to be interesting, elegant, and functional in order to retain users' interest and support. I've started curating some health games that have caught my eye at healthgames.wordpress.com]
A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research has revealed that people who self-diagnose have a higher tendency of believing they suffer from a serious illness because they concentrate on their symptoms instead of the likelihood of a certain disease. The finding has important implications for both public health professionals and consumers alike.
Dengfeng Yan and Jaideep Sengupta from Hong Kong's University of Science and Technology) remark:
"In today's wired world, self-diagnosis via internet search is very common. Such symptom-matching exercises may lead consumers to overestimate the likelihood of getting a serious disease because they focus on their symptoms while ignoring the very low likelihood that their symptoms are related to any serious illness."
Consumers have the tendency to view their own health in a worst-case scenario compared to the health of others, which they view in a calm, objective manner. For instance, if another person has indigestion, we tend to accurately view their ailment as that, yet if we suffer the same symptoms, we may panic and think it could be a heart attack.
In a consumer survey, the researchers asked participants to imagine that they or someone else was experiencing common symptoms like coughing, fever, nasal congestion and a headache. The participants were then asked to judge the likelihood that they or the other person had contracted either a regular flu or H1N1 (swine flu) or regular.
The researchers discovered that participants were a lot more accurate when they assessed other people's symptoms compared with themselves, pointing out that they may take medical action that is not required and can actually harm them as they are more likely to misdiagnose themselves, which is also has a negative impact from a societal cost perspective.
The researchers conclude:
"One of the easiest ways to get rid of this bias is to see a real doctor instead of Dr. Google. A real doctor possesses much more knowledge and will take the prevalence of a disease into consideration because she is viewing the patient from a distance. This will prevent symptoms from exerting a disproportionate influence on the diagnosis."
The popularity of health and medical apps has begun to explode, and the amount of health data along with it, much of it thanks to those increasingly wearable and user-friendly gizmos that use smart sensors to capture and transmit all shades of biometric data. Smartphones now tap into these health devices,
You may not be familiar with them by name, but Azumio is one of a number of young startups tapping into this hot trend, leveraging smart mobile technology to get us making better and more informed health decisions.
Though I don't totally agree with it - namely because of the voice part (picking up a device will always be simpler than connecting a headset to answer a call) - this is an interesting review of the all-tablet case.
Maybe a hybrid tablet + Bluetooth headset combo could do the trick?
But then again we love using our phones with just one hand, don't we?
Partners Healthcare specialists will work with CHS Healthcare Services, a large onsite clinic operator, to provide telemedicine services to its corporate clients.
CHS will initially market Partners' Online Specialty Consultation Services to its Fortune 500 customers across the country. Employees of companies that buy the service will be able to get second opinions from the 4,000 specialists who work at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital, Partners' flagship institutions in Boston.
Janssen launches mobile medication reminder service - Care4Today is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones as well as 'feature phones'
Care4Today was developed by Janssen’s San Diego-based Healthcare Innovation team, an entrepreneurial unit within Janssen Research & Development that was set up last year.
“Janssen Healthcare Innovation is developing products and services to transform the patient experience and promote better health outcomes. We have identified improving medication adherence as one of our key initiatives,” said Diego Miralles, the head of Janssen Healthcare Innovation.
Clinical skills laboratories have been established in medical institutions as facilities for simulation-based medical education (SBME).
SBME is believed to be superior to the traditional style of medical education from the viewpoint of the active and adult learning theories. SBME can provide a learning cycle of debriefing and feedback for learners as well as evaluation of procedures and competency.
SBME offers both learners and patients a safe environment for practice and error. In a full-environment simulation, learners can obtain not only technical skills but also non-technical skills, such as leadership, team work, communication, situation awareness, decision-making, and awareness of personal limitations. SBME is also effective for integration of clinical medicine and basic medicine.
In addition, technology-enhanced simulation training is associated with beneficial effects for outcomes of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and patient-related outcomes. To perform SBME, effectively, not only simulators including high-fidelity mannequin-type simulators or virtual-reality simulators but also full-time faculties and instructors as professionals of SBME are essential in a clinical skills laboratory for SBME.
Clinical skills laboratory is expected to become an integrated medical education center to achieve continuing professional development, integrated learning of basic and clinical medicine, and citizens' participation and cooperation in medical education.
You’re in the doctor’s office as she tells you that she’s very sorry, but you have lymphoma. Later, before you walk out of her chilly exam room and into your changed life, when you ask how you can find out more about your disease, she says, “Whatever you do, don’t go looking on the Internet.”
As tomorrow night will be held the first Smart Soccer match which is to oppose the MLS All Star Team with Chelsea FC on Phily's Chester Stadium, Adidas unveiled its micoach Elite System.
The micoach Elite System includes a small data cell that fits into a player’s base layer in a protective pocket on the back between the shoulder blades. Connected by a series of electrodes and sensors woven into the fabric of the base layer, the cell wirelessly transmits more than 200 data records per second from each player to a central computer and then is displayed in a series of simplified insights and results on the coach’s iPad. At the touch of his fingertips, a coach can monitor the workload of an individual player, compare one athlete with another or view the whole team to gain a complete picture of the squad.
Infographic that surveyed non-MD healthcare professionals who work directly with patients to learn how they are using technology to educate their patients.
With 35,000 primary care physicians needed by 2015, ongoing efforts to control healthcare costs are giving rise to a large group of professionals known as healthcare extenders. These non-MD professionals work with and on behalf of patients, on the front lines of healthcare. Their fast-growing numbers include nurses, nurse practitioners, health educators, registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, and social workers. These patient focused professionals are becoming increasing critical to the delivery of healthcare serving as the primary point of contact across the lifecycle of chronic disease management.
« Shopping for an online patient forum? Read about the Francophone online diabetes community poster presented at Doctors 2.0 & You | Main | Video Postcard from Doctors 2.0 & You #doctors20 #FMDAware »
Study of French doctors on Twitter: 50% use pseudonym
What is the profile of French doctors on Twitter? You have to find them first ! This appeared to be a good subject for one of the posters we would present at our own conference ;-) Doctors 2.0 & You 2012, in view of the existence of two lists totaling 200 French-speaking doctors curated by Henri Gracies. This blogpost includes the resulting work: a traditional scientific poster and an infography. The project was shared by Denise Silber @health20paris, Mathilde Holard, and Henri Gracies @meditwitt.
The full poster (click here) presents the methodology and details
The infography is below in turquoise.
Note: the analysis, based on data collected in March, April 2012) was limited by the anonymity of the physicians and the ensuing lack of data.
1. Approximately one half of the list could be identified as working in France. (109/200).
2. Of those, 50% use a pseudonym and ensure that the reader cannot identify them.
3. Also of note, physicians tweet regarding subjects other than medicine in about half of the tweets that they emit.
4. A distinguishing factor was the fact of being male or female.
a) Those we could identify as male physicians had been on Twitter for a longer period than those identifiable as women.
b) Males also had more followers than the female physicians.
c) Women had a greater tendency to use a pseudonym than men.
d) Few of these Twitter physicians could be identified on Facebook, despite the high presence of the French population on Facebook, given the physicians' anonymity: 29% of our male Twitter physicians and 19% of females could be identified on Facebook.
How to communicate well with a patient while working on an EHRAmerican Medical NewsRecent reports have shown that the number of physicians who have adopted electronic health records has doubled since 2008.
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