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GE Healthcare to Acquire XPRO, a Brazilian Medical Device Company

GE Healthcare to Acquire XPRO, a Brazilian Medical Device Company | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
More and more often we hear about company’s aspiring to penetrate the emerging markets in order to grow their business and in turn provide a societal benefit to its local inhabitants. One company that has followed through on this from a healthcare standpoint is GE Healthcare. Through its depth and breadth of expertise in developing medical imaging technologies it has secured a proven track record with doing just that in the mature markets but also, localizing its solutions for the emerging markets such as India and China. In addition, GE is also known as a pioneer within the field of reverse innovation.

 

Today we see the company acquiring XPRO, a Brazilian medical device company seen to complement the existing portfolio and the company’s desire to expand its business in such a diverse and growing geography as is Latin America.

 

Hooman Hakami, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Detection & Guidance Solutions (DGS) and Rogerio Patrus, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Latin America, both share with us some insights into how they are looking to grow GE Healthcare’s business in Brazil and why the choice to acquire XPRO.

 

What is XPRO?


Rogerio Patrus - XPRO is an experienced Brazilian Interventional X-ray equipment manufacturer company, founded 15 years ago. With over 120 vascular systems in the installed base - primarily at private value customer sites - XPRO has become a well-known player in healthcare in Brazil. This is a fantastic opportunity for GE as together we will look to broaden our presence in the country.

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Medical device open innovation could be expanding

Medical device open innovation could be expanding | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it

I’m not sure why it has not received more attention in the medical device start-up world, but the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (EACA), which recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, has the potential to open the door to intriguing fundraising possibilities for individual medical device innovators and start-ups.

 

Although the title of the bill suggests a government grant or tax incentive program, the legislation actually proposes common sense changes to securities law to bring entrepreneurialism into the 21st century. Some pundits have referred to it as the Crowdfunding Act.

 

According to Wikipedia, Crowdfunding is the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

 

Since the 1930’s, securities law has had several restrictions that prevents Crowdfunding use for equity fundraising, including:


a prohibition against “general solicitation”. Basically, the company has to have a relationship with the investors before offering to sell them securities.


The investors have to be “accredited investors”, or onerous disclosure documents require completion A “broker-dealer” that takes compensation from the sale must be registered with the SEC

 

Over the last year, I have become familiar with the Crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where users raise money for individual projects simply by posting details of their project online. These projects are generally limited to works of art, charitable activities, or adventures (acts of creativity). Kickstarter works off of the threshold pledge system (TPS), more fondly known as the Street Performer Protocol. If you have ever walked through an open-air market square and observed a crowd forming around two acrobatic teenagers playing loud music and promising to somersault over ten bystanders lying on the ground if the spectators stuff at least $20 into their hat, you have witnessed TPS.

 

At first blush, Kickstarter may seem cute and many of the projects are amateurish, but serious projects have raised serious money. For example, Diaspora raised more than $200,000 from 6,479 people for their open-source social media website to compete with Facebook.

To get around security law, Kickstarter projects do not provide equity in the project but give donors something in return. The Diaspora project offered $1,000 backers access to their nightly build servers to check out progress on the project throughout the early phases. $25 backers received a bunch of cool Diaspora stuff (stickers, t-shirts, etc.)

 

Kickstarter and the handful of sites like it have demonstrated the power and efficiency of the Internet to democratize investment and leverage the force of a broader spectrum of smaller investors. The obvious next step is applying the methodology to purchasing equity in start-ups...

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A Perspective on Invention, Innovation, and Regulation of Medical Devices

A Perspective on Invention, Innovation, and Regulation of Medical Devices | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about regulation stifling innovation in the medical device sector. Much of it strikes me as misguided or a discussion of something unrelated. Instead, it is my opinion that efforts to avoid regulation are an important contributor to stifling innovation of safe and effective medical devices. Let’s begin by defining our terms:

 

1. Invention is the act of creating, or improving, something that is new.
2. Innovation is the act of successfully commercializing something that has been invented; it will be successful, if it has real (utilitarian) or perceived (aesthetic) value. This definition is consistent with the over half century of published work on diffusion of innovation. Innovation cannot include commercializing dangerous or defective products. If you want to protect your profitability, make sure your products are safe (each won’t cause harm) and effective (each will do what you claim).
3. Regulation (in the medical device sector) is a control mechanism for protecting the public (health).


Yes, regulation can impact invention. If there is little or no opportunity to benefit from your intellectual property, then it is likely that you will focus your energies elsewhere. Regulation can also impact innovation; in fact, that is exactly FDA’s congressionally-mandated mission. Congress established that FDA regulates manufacturers—not inventors, practitioners, or consumers. Practitioners are regulated by each individual state. Congress charged FDA with protecting the health of consumers.

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GE Healthcare adding to staff, budget for R&D

GE Healthcare adding to staff, budget for R&D | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it

Multinational medical device and technology provider GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric Co, said it plans to employ another 200 Chinese engineers next year to support local research and development (R&D) work, along with a higher investment budget, to further expand its market share in second- and third-tier cities.


"The increase in the number of engineers in the coming year will be the same as that this year," said Rachel Duan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare China.


Duan said that more than 40 new products are scheduled to be introduced to China in the next three years, with 80 percent to be sold to local hospitals and clinics.


In 2011, the US-based company launched 10 new products that were customized for the Chinese market, including a portable ultrasound system and magnetic resonance apparatus.


R&D investment in China next year is likely to account for as much as 8 percent of the year's local sales revenue, Duan told China Daily.


"Investment in China is expected to increase faster because the industry may grow by over 20 percent a year in the next couple of years, mainly thanks to the rapid business expansion in smaller cities," said John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. He declined to disclose the exact investment amount.

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iPad 2 App from Philips Remotely Measures Vital Signs, Detects Porkies

iPad 2 App from Philips Remotely Measures Vital Signs, Detects Porkies | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Philips have just released an app for the iPad 2 which can detect heart rate and respiratory rate. The Vital Signs Camera App uses the tablet’s camera to sense small changes facial color, indicative of beat by beat changes in blood flow, to determine your heart rate. Respiratory rate is determined by tracking the movement of the chest during respiration.The video gives a nice overview of the system and true to form, the interface and design would appear to be very much in line with Philips and Apple’s zen aesthethic.

 

This is not the first time we have come across non-contact measures of vital signs using video processing. Earlier this year researchers from M.I.T.’s Media Lab published a paper on a technique to achieve this using a standard low-cost webcam. However this does seem to be one of the first apps to incorporate this technology with the backing of a major healthcare company.

 

Philips is careful to state the app is not a medical tool, but it does seem to be a step in the right direction for socializing personal health. The company is also making the algorithms available for licensing so we could well see a host of apps with this technology emerging in the future. Seeing as the Vital Signs App is already 2 parts Polygraph it also opens up a whole world of video interrogation for all you iPad 2 users.

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Thoratec May Entice J&J, Medtronic, Abbott, Oracle Says

Thoratec Corp., maker of implantable heart pumps, may attract bids from Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic Inc. or Abbott Laboratories if the company seeks a buyer, said Oracle Investment Management Inc., a Thoratec investor.

 

Thoratec needs the resources of a bigger company to reach its potential in a market for heart-failure patients that may reach $10 billion in annual sales, Larry Feinberg, Oracle’s founder, said in a telephone interview today. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge fund, controller of 3.12 million Thoratec shares, wrote to the company’s board yesterday urging it to retain an investment bank for an auction.

 

Thoratec, with a market value of about $1.88 billion, would be an “undeniable” fit for makers of implantable defibrillators like Medtronic, St. Jude Medical Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp., Feinberg said. Johnson & Johnson’s chief financial officer said in a September conference that his company is interested in the heart-pump business as well.

 

“The executives of the medical-device industry are looking for where the growth is and they recognize this is it,” Feinberg said. “At this point in time, we have more confidence a big company can take this to the next level.”

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Health Council of Canada / Conseil canadien de la santé - How Engaged are Canadians in their Primary Care?

Health Council of Canada / Conseil canadien de la santé - How Engaged are Canadians in their Primary Care? | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it

Only 48% of Canadians feel involved and are actively participating in their health care – which affects how they feel about their health. In a report released today, How Engaged are Canadians in their Primary Care? Results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, the Health Council of Canada takes a look at why less than half of Canadians are taking a more active role in maintaining their health.

 

The report shows that engaged patients are happier with their care and more likely to participate in disease prevention, screenings and health promoting activities. The biggest barrier to patient engagement is time, and those patients who had experiences with long waits or who felt they didn't have enough time with their doctor did not feel as engaged in their care.

 

Among 10 other countries who take part in the survey, Canada falls in the middle when it pertains to patient engagement. The countries ranking highest – New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland – are the same countries in a past Commonwealth survey (2010) who earned high ratings from citizens on access, affordability, timeliness and coordination of care.

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Webicina's health information from social media for patients

Webicina's health information from social media for patients | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Selected social media resources in your condition:

Sleep, Allergy, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Cancer, COPD, Crohn's disease, Depression, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Fitness, High Blood Pressure, HIV / AIDS, Leukemia, Nutrition, Parkinson's Disease, Pregnancy, Sexual Health, Stem Cells, Stroke, Transplantation, Weight loss, Women's Health.
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Two roads ahead: “I fear to be a patient” vs. “Opportunities for Patient-Clinician Partnership”

Treat yourself to 3 minutes of Don Berwick's 2009 speech on patient-centered care, which at a certain point becomes an elegy:

Now cheer yourself up with the latest article from the Journal of Participatory Medicine: “The Cancer Supportive Care Model: A Patient-Partnered Paradigm Shift in Health Care Delivery,” by Elias Anaissie and Tara Mink.

I have a special fondness for Table 2, which lays out elements of “patient dignity,” “patient empowerment,” and “patient safety.” (You know you’re a health geek when you start to see poetry in black-and-white gridlines.)
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Discussing social media with physicians on Sermo

I was recently asked by Adam Sharp, MD the Chief Medical Officer of Sermo, the physician-only online community at Sermo.com, to write a guest post of my choosing and facilitate a discussion about it for a few days. My choice? Social media, (based on the recent article colleagues and I co-published in The Permanente Journal). This post is about my experience and what I learned.

I know that only a minority of physicians are visible on social networks like Twitter.com, after all, a minority of them are even exchanging e-mail with patients, so there could be no doubt that this topic would be a controversial one with a community of 110,000 physicians, most of whom do not practice in integrated care systems.

And …
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Patient perspectives should be part of evidence-based medicine, Dr. Weil et al say

Patient perspectives should be part of evidence-based medicine, Dr. Weil et al say | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been the rational cornerstone of medical decision making for decades. RCTs demonstrate a drug or therapeutic course’s efficacy – that is, the extent to which a specific intervention, procedure, or regimen produces a beneficial result under ideal conditions.

Of course, how a particular therapy works in an individual is highly personalized based not only on a body’s biochemistry, but personal preferences, perceptions, and personality. That’s why Dr. Andrew Weil and his colleagues, Dr. Scott Shannon and Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, say that medical decision making should take into account the patient perspective...
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The Rise of Social Media & Participatory Medicine

The Rise of Social Media & Participatory Medicine | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
The growing use of social media and participatory medicine is allowing patients to take greater control of their own health care.
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The Expert Patient: Who knows best, the doctor or the patient? | Features | National Post

The Expert Patient: Who knows best, the doctor or the patient? | Features | National Post | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Marcel Gignac does not mince words in his blog about the new, CCSVI theory of multiple sclerosis and how to treat it. He has called Nova Scotia’s health minister a “murderer” for not funding the controversial treatment, said physicians at the Halifax MS clinic were unqualified to practice medicine and described a new MS drug as “the most expensive form of Russian Roulette.”

The blog’s preface states that specialists in the disease, who typically have a four-year medical degree and five years of neurological training, simply read books that interpret what patients feel.

“The only expert can be the patient,” asserts the resident of Amherst, N.S., a former call-centre manager. “I am an MS expert.”
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New sleep-monitoring device uses Irish med tech

New sleep-monitoring device uses Irish med tech | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Technology developed at NovaUCD by BiancaMed, a division of the California company ResMed, is being used in a new wireless sleep-monitoring device that Omron Healthcare has just launched in the Japanese marketplace.

 

BiancaMed itself was originally established by Dr Philip de Chazal, Dr Conor Hanley and Prof Conor Heneghan to commercialise research undertaken in UCD's School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering.

 

Last July the company was acquired by ResMed, the San Diego-headquartered developer of systems to diagnose, treat and manage sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnoea and snoring.

All three co-founders are still with the ResMed BiancaMed division at NovaUCD.

 

Omron Healthcare, a partner of BiancaMed, has just launched is a new wireless sleep monitoring device, which uses BiancaMed technology to offer wireless, non-contact sleep monitoring in Japan. The device also connects to healthcare support services in Japan.

 

The device's non-contact sensing technology apparently measures sleep throughout the night and can report sleep quality metrics.

 

"Insufficient sleep in itself may be an indicator of another underlying problem, sleep-disordered breathing, which is known to cause and negatively impact heart disease, diabetes, stroke and, more recently, cancer," said Hanley, the managing director of ResMed BiancaMed division at NovaUCD.

 

BiancaMed employs 35 people at its NovaUCD base.

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GE Healthcare's MIND campaign goes online for patients with neurodegenerative diseases

GE Healthcare's MIND campaign is going online to give those affected by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia and parkinsonian syndromes a platform to share their stories.

 

MIND - Making an Impact on Neurodegenerative Diseases — is a global campaign initiated by GE Healthcare to identify gaps in current frameworks for the detection, diagnosis, and care of neurodegenerative disease, and to propose viable solutions. GE Healthcare is partnering with expert organizations and individuals around the world, initially focusing on France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, to drive policy to support patients, families, and caregivers affected by neurodegenerative disease, and to examine ways to reduce the cost of disease management.

 

Launched today, www.mindonlinecampaign.com is asking people touched by neurodegenerative disease to share their stories and inform the campaign from the grassroots.

 

"People who are touched by these diseases are at the core of the MIND campaign and we want to hear from them about how these diseases have affected their lives," said Pascale Witz, President and CEO, GE Healthcare, Medical Diagnostics. "We are committed to improving things for patients and for caregivers, and will use our expertise and our voice to call on policymakers to act to alleviate the suffering caused by neurodegenerative disease."

 

"We are looking forward to working with GE Healthcare on the MIND campaign," said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International. "Together, we will find solutions that will positively impact the lives of millions of people living with the most prevalent forms of neurodegenerative disease."

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2011 healthcare innovation: Medtronic’s Ishrak, mHealth and more

2011 healthcare innovation: Medtronic’s Ishrak, mHealth and more | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Healthcare doesn’t do “memes” — at least not as much as the tech industry does.

 

But 2011 showed that is changing. Amid the tidal wave-sized trends like healthcare reform, innovation in the life sciences and healthcare has started to take to the web. Now more than ever, concepts that will change healthcare forever were starting not just in labs or through clinical trials or tech transfer offices, but online: through healthcare social media, open innovation and digitally minded startups and incubators ready to catch convergence by the tail.

 

MedCity surfed much of that wave in 2011. Below are some of our best stories as they played out on our digital pages (based on what you were reading).
The Omar Ishrak Era Begins at Medtronic

Omar Ishrak arrived at Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and things changed immediately in big ways and small. He embraced social media (somewhat). Then, he quickly told the industry how Medtronic would expand under Ishrak: an aggressive global push with a focus on India, a drive to increase revenue from its emerging health IT operations and a greater factoring of sustainability when developing products.

 

Ishrak had a largely it-is-what-it-is approach to U.S. healthcare reform. “As far as we are concerned, as long as we work on programs that provide better quality, lowers cost at the same time and provide technologies that improve access, then those are the right strategies to win in any healthcare system,” he said in September. “The specifics of the U.S. are the specifics of the U.S., and it’s complex. But at the end of the day, these three things need to be achieved in the U.S.” But he also said he favors the European approach to regulatory approval: One that seems to be getting products to market much faster.

 

More Health IT (Every Way Possible)

 

The mobile health revolution has arrived (even if everyone is still struggling to figure out what’s what). Four top-notch incubators have emerged in Blueprint Health, Rock Health, HealthBox and Startup Health. They are teaming with the likes of Kauffman Foundation and Mayo Clinic and are gathering startups across the country that let doctors answer questions through an app, manage prescription medications and better manage patient stress.

 

And other areas of health IT emerged: big data, innovations in electronic medical records and the increasing adoption of chief medical information officers.

 

Will this perspective on the future of healthcare data be a 2012 mantra?

 

“Organizations should not have information as a basis for competition. We should work to have data shared so [that] data can be assembled into the most complete picture we can get of an individual. Organizations should then compete on how well they serve an individual based on that information.”

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GE Healthcare and Microsoft to Launch Health Information Technology Joint Venture

GE Healthcare and Microsoft to Launch Health Information Technology Joint Venture | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Pretend for a minute you are a nurse working with a group of doctors who help hundreds of patients with a disease like diabetes. Today, you rely on patients to come into the office with their individual charts from different doctors. Of course, there are also the important comments from patients on how they have been doing at home. You piece together the information to help improve their health, but also to make their experience easier.

 

Instead, imagine you could connect all of this information – latest visits to their doctors, results from tests or procedures, and all the data we will one day collect from devices at home – and compare it to the latest research. It would be so much easier to make a difference in each person’s life … you’d know which patient to contact and offer specialized help, and also be able to collaborate with everyone involved in the care of that patient.

 

Healthcare information technology will one day make this possible, and that is where today’s news fit’s in.

 

Consistent with our healthymagination strategy, GE and Microsoft today announced plans to start a joint venture that will allow healthcare teams to help improve quality, performance and the patient experience through health information technology.

Combining Microsoft’s deep expertise in building platforms and enterprise ecosystems with GE Healthcare’s complementary experience in clinical and administrative workflow solutions, the global venture will deliver something truly different: the industry’s first Healthcare Performance Management Suite focused on enabling population health management to alter the economics of health and wellness.

 

The need is real. For example, in the United States alone, wasteful healthcare spending has been calculated at up to US$1.2 trillion of the US$2.2 trillion spent on healthcare in 2008, or more than a half. The New England Journal of Medicine has reported that patients receive recommended care less than 55% of the time. The amount of clinical knowledge doubles every eight years, and it can take 14 years, on average, for new evidence to find its way into common practice.

 

Combining our innovation, technical skills and deep understanding of the global challenges the healthcare industry is facing, our companies have a shared vision to deliver on the promise of a connected, patient-centric healthcare system.

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GE Gets Connected Health App Approval

GE Gets Connected Health App Approval | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
There is no question that connected healthcare is in our future. The technology is certainly there, as evidenced by the growing number of smartphones and tablets being used in hospitals and physician offices. Unfortunately, the hurdle for most developers has been the regulatory approval process—a tedious but necessary process to get mobile medical technology off the design table and into the market.

 

As the industry continues to innovate, one of the main challenges for developers has been waiting for the FDA to figure out how it will apply its regulatory authorities to select software applications intended for use on mobile platforms. Needless to say, this is slowing an already slow approval process.

 

The industry is making headway, however. Last week, GE Healthcare, www.gelifesciences.com, announced it received FDA clearance for a technology that allows radiologists to remotely review diagnostic CT (computed tomography) and MR (magnetic resonance) images using their iPads or iPhones.

 

The Centricity Radiology Mobile Access 2.0 received clearance for primary diagnosis that accesses images and reports from Centricity PACS, GE’s picture archive and communication system. According to GE, this new mode of access removes a sizable productivity barrier for an increasingly mobile field.

 

Because the application was originally designed for the Apple iOS and Android frameworks, Woodlock says the system requires little training and “provides a more productive user experience versus an emulated Windows application that was designed to be driven by a mouse.”

 

In addition to diagnostic CT and MR images, the platform provides users with access to past exams. Patient privacy is protected, however, as medical professionals are not allowed to download any personal data to the client device. There are other fine print items as well: Diagnostic clearance is limited to computed tomography and magnetic resonance exams on an iPad or iPhone when not in proximity to a PACS workstation.

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Next “doctor as e-patient”: Howard Luks, MD

Next “doctor as e-patient”: Howard Luks, MD | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it

We’ve sometimes written about doctors as e-patients. (There are a lot!) Here’s the next.

SPM member Howard Luks MD, orthopedist, had some symptoms. He spoke to his physician and GI doc, who gave him pills. It didn’t make sense to him.

 

So he did what a lot of us do:

 

“Then I headed onto a few patient-centric web sites. The information I found there was enlightening. There were a number of stories that were identical to mine. There were a few simple strategies that were suggested. I adopted them, and guess what? Sleeping well, waking up rested, no pills, no medications.”

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Medical podcasts going viral

Medical podcasts going viral | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it

Who would have thought it possible? A podcast on gallstones or appendicitis essentially going viral? Or at least what passes for going viral in the sequestered little world otherwise known as undergraduate medical education.

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Empowered Patient: Bring a Family Member or Friend with you to Your Doctor’s Appointment

Empowered Patient: Bring a Family Member or Friend with you to Your Doctor’s Appointment | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
Should you bring a family member or friend with you when a patient has a doctor’s appointment?

That is a question explored on a recent post on KevinMD...
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Social media, online technologies hold promise for improved patient interaction

Social media, online technologies hold promise for improved patient interaction | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
The use of social media and Internet-based technology continues to grow around the world, most rapidly in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, a development that could alter the physician-patient relationship.

Web-based technologies include social networking, video sharing and blogging. Internet usage has been increasing worldwide, with the fastest growth in the Asia region, at an estimated 893 million Internet users and 23% penetration rate as of March 2011. The region is followed by Europe, at an estimated 475 million users, or a 58.4% penetration as of 2010, according to Internet World Stats.

As the number of Internet users increases, medical professionals...
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Peer-to-peer Healthcare: Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Obvious.

Patients and caregivers know things — about themselves, about each other, about treatments — and they want to share what they know to help other people. Technology helps to surface and organize that knowledge to make it useful for as many people as possible.
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You’ve heard of the ePatient. Meet the iPatient

You’ve heard of the ePatient. Meet the iPatient | Medical devices industry | Scoop.it
But don’t let him become the focus of your attention, says a Stanford professor.

Something struck a chord with blogger Jon Mertz when he read a New York Times op-ed piece, "Treat the Patient, Not the CT Scan," by Abraham Verghese, a Stanford University School of Medicine professor.

"This computer record creates what I call an 'iPatient,'" Verghese says, "and this iPatient threatens to become the real focus of our attention, while the real patient in the bed often feels neglected, a mere placeholder for the virtual record."

In the HL7Standards blog, Mertz says "balance is required between the electronic and personal patient exchanges."

As he thought about what an iPatient might be, rather than a "mere placeholder," he came up with these characteristics.

What an iPatient is...
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Ongoing clinical studies show new value for patient social networks

It turns out that social networks are good for something other than sharing what's for dinner, notifying the planet what flavor of coffee's in your cup or looking up old pals from high school. Two clinical studies recently published in peer-reviewed journals tapped patients from different social networks to participate in what the studies are calling "citizen science." They challenged traditional assumptions about patient recruitment, sometimes a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Boston Children's Hospital Informatics Program researchers Elissa Weitzman and Dr. Kenneth Mandl coauthored a study testing the willingness of TuDiabetes.org users to share glycemic control data (indicated by A1c stats) for the sake of public health surveillance. More than 1,600 patients -- 17% of the site's worldwide users -- signed up for the project, which was just the first study coming out of the ongoing surveillance project.
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