Gradually, both will become integrated across the continuum of care. The reality is that, mHealth has succeeded and it has emerged as the winner and is changing the rules of healthcare.
A mhealth app (mobile based application) for managing diabetes is now US FDA approved, and has been allocated a ‘drug code’, which means that doctors can now prescribe an mHealth app in a similar manner as medicines ( drugs) and this will be reimbursed by the insurance companies. Now mHealth apps have the same status as drugs in the United States !
Areas where mHealth can deliver huge impact :
# Mother and Child Health # Rural Health – Remote diagnosis / consultation with specialists # Management of chronic diseases # Training of Health care workers / professionals # Epidemiology , program monitoring and supervision # Vaccination alerts # Management of TB # Emergency Care / Trauma
• Timely data received with technology driven care will help send the right interventions thus saving lives. Also, this will help in big data generation and analytics which will be crucial for outcome driven care.
• Telemedicine and mHealth care are the best tools during disaster management
# Made in India campaign will encourage MNCs to make Point of care diagnostics products in India, and India can become an exporter of medical devices and telemedicine services
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People who use social networking sites are more likely to seek health information online.People with a chronic disease or a loved one with a chronic disease were more likely to search for disease-specific information.Women and people with higher incomes were more likely than men and people with lower incomes to use social networking sites.
The use of social networking sites may have implications for accessing online health information, finds a new longitudinal study from the Journal of Health Communication.
“Socioeconomic and demographic factors that lead to the disparities in social networking sites could also contribute to disparities in seeking health information online,” said the study’s lead author, Yang Feng, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of communication studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
“People who are active users of social networking sites may tend to be active online health information seekers. With the growth of social networking, the relationship between their use and people’s likelihood to seek health information online was more obvious in 2010 than in 2008 and 2006.”
Researchers analyzed data collected from phone interviews of 2,928 adults who took part in the Health Tracking Surveys from the Pew Internet & American Life Project during 2006, 2008 and 2010. The surveys asked participants whether they used the Internet; used social networking sites such as Facebook; whether they searched for health information online, including information about a specific disease, medical treatment or doctors; and whether or not they or someone close to them had a chronic disease.
The researchers found significant disparities in use of social networking sites and the tendency to search for health information online. In all three years of the survey, age was the most significant factor in social networking site use, with younger people more likely to use them than older people. In 2010, women and people with higher incomes were more likely than men and people with lower incomes to use social networking sites.
Additionally, in 2008 and 2010, having a chronic disease and use of online social networking predicted people’s likelihood of seeking information about a specific disease or medical condition online. In 2010, after controlling for demographic factors, people who used social networking sites were 131 percent more likely to seek information about a specific disease or medical problem online than people who did not use social media.
Older people were less likely to search for information about a specific treatment or doctor online. Non-Whites were less likely to search online for disease or treatment information. As expected, people with a chronic disease or a person close to them with a chronic disease were more likely to look for disease-specific information online but no more likely to search for information on doctors or hospitals.
“Even though social networking sites have grown over the years, some social groups, such as older men with low incomes and minorities, are not fully engaged with social networking and are less likely to obtain health information through these sites. Yet, we may still lack customized health education programs to target these people. This study helps to identify those social groups who are not making good use of social networking sites throughout the years,” noted Feng.
Ajay Sethi, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, agreed with the study’s findings but noted, “Whenever a new technology or intervention is introduced to a population, the early adopters are typically distinct from the late or never adopters.”
The volume of information on diseases and conditions on the Internet is huge compared to the number of websites that review doctors and hospitals and those websites. “Those sites, pertaining to providers tends to be buried,” said Sethi. “A Google search of a hospital name, for example, will bring up lots of links, and if you add ‘review’ you’ll probably pull up mostly anonymous individuals.”
He suggested healthcare providers ought to ask their patients, in a non-accusatory way where they get their information. “That can spark a discussion as to what is credible and what may not be. Many health care systems offer links to health websites through their own site or provide informational pages for patients.”
For More Information:
Reach the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, at (202) 387-2829 or email@example.com
Yang Feng & Wenjing Xie (2014): Digital Divide 2.0: The Role of Social Networking Sites in Seeking Health Information Online From a Longitudinal Perspective, Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, DOI:10.1080/10810730.2014.906522
The events created a social media firestorm and heralded a completely new era of medical communication.
It also marked a line in the sand - by broadcasting in social media, doctors, nurses and associated medical practitioners expose themselves to possibly greater risk than any other group, because their profession demands the highest standard of conduct.
An Australian nurse used a fake account to set up a Facebook page under a pseudonym attacking a colleague whom she considered to be lazy and incompetent. The nurse sent a legal letter both to her colleague and the hospital she worked for, which was referenced on the social network. The offender was subsequently sacked but not before creating considerable damage to her colleague’s reputation. The case is ongoing.
This and many other cases mean that hospitals now include compliance with a Social Media Policy in their employee contracts. But that’s not the worst of it.
Social media and search engines are also awash with people providing misleading medical information. This includes everyone from well-meaning Facebook friends to the manipulations of multilevel marketers, who promote the “proven health benefits" of everything from the acai berry to ganoderma.
What can a medical professional do to counter all this rubbish? Social media coach Leila Henderson believes "you simply cannot stop patients consulting Dr Google, but wouldn’t it be better if the information presented was evidence based, useful, and actionable?"
Social media can be used in different ways by medical professionals, each imposing different risks and restrictions:
Doctor-to-public: relatively common as a means of marketing a medical practice or directly communicating issues surrounding a practice or community, this tends to be website-based or included in a Facebook page that does not allow public posts.
Doctor-to-patient:rare due to concerns about privacy and liability, as well as the difficulty in documenting interactions. While patients would love to embrace this type of interaction, they forget or are unaware of the restrictions under which doctors must operate.
Doctor-to-doctor: doctors may set up “private groups” but these would used only to share general information. Discussion of patient information in any public network is obviously out of bounds.
So, on the upside, medical practitioners can use social media to:
positively influence the health debate
positively influence the health of patients
educate themselves on misinformation
But on the downside, any medical professional who participates online has to beware of three major pitfalls:
Potential for accusations of unethical behaviour
Potential to infringe professional doctor-patient divide
Potential to infringe colleague-to-colleague privacy
Ms Henderson says that while the Australian Medical Association provides professional guidelines, most behaviour boils down to common sense:
You should set up separate accounts for your practice, for yourself personally and for communication with colleagues
Say nothing and publish nothing you would not want to see plastered on a billboard on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Don’t talk about patients at all – it is then impossible to violate their privacy
"On balance, I think medical blogs, whitepapers, slideshows and surveys are useful tools to educate, listen, coach and mentor people where they are currently looking for information," Ms Henderson says. “When doctors share their knowledge and experience online, everyone can benefit.”
The use of social media has increased dramatically over the last decade. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have allowed the rapid communication of ideas and news around the world at fast speeds. Recent estimates suggest that over 90% of young adults have some type of online presence, weather it is in the form of a Facebook page, and/or Twitter or LinkedIn account. Moreover, it is estimated that over 80% of 25-34 year olds browse the World Wide Web regularly, with 50% of these accessing the Web from a mobile device. This presents a great opportunity for educators, especially in the Public Health arena, to interact and engage students in a field that is rapidly changing and depends on timely information to make decisions, which may have a potential effect in the population as a whole.
The “theory of student involvement” (1) promotes the interaction of students’ with peers and faculty alike, in order to have the most positive academic experience while pursuing a college degree. Hence, considering our students are changing the way they connect with each other and the “world”, we as Public Health educators, should consider utilizing some of these technologies to further engage our students and allow them to have “some control” about the information they learn and share, of course, without sacrificing the core pillars of any academic program.
Over the last year, I have become involved in the utilization of social media in the classroom, and consider there are five important components why it can be useful in any Public Health classroom:
1.Breaking news in Public Health
Considering the importance of “time” in the management of any disease, utilizing social media to follow leading institutions such as the National Health Service in the UK, or the Center for Disease Control in the US, will keep students informed of ‘news’, which can later serve as a topic of discussion in classroom, or ‘online’, as a student can pose questions and receive immediate feedback from instructor, peers, or even the leading authorities in those organizations. Thus, social media can be used as a way to disseminate content and course specific information.
2.Theme specific live-chats
In an environment where allocation of traveling resources may be scarce, social media presents an opportunity for all students to virtually travel to any part of the world, while seating at their desks. The biggest “hurdle”, if any, is to follow the right organizations. Today, search algorithms make it easy to utilize these sites and learn more about any topic.
3.Develop an community outside the classroom
The utilization of social media can create an “outside the classroom environment”, in which students remain engaged in a topic before, during or even after the class has ended. Moreover, some students may be more comfortable sharing their opinions in a Social Media platform than in the classroom; hence, encouraging all students to participate in the dialogue.
4.Interact with world-renown Public Health practitioners
Aside from meeting world-renowned practitioners at international conferences around the world, which could be very expensive for faculty and almost impossible for students, social media presents an opportunity to reach out to professionals around the world and interact with them in a “live” environment, which could enhance participation and involvement by students in any course.
5.Meet other students/professionals in the field
Although meeting world-renown practitioners is exciting, reaching out to other professionals, or other students in the field enhances the collaborative nature of public health and encourages learning from others in the field. Additionally, these interactions can create possibilities for internships, additional graduate and post-graduation work, and even potential jobs.
Although Social Media can be a great tool for the classroom, there are a couple of issues that need to be address for a productive implementation:
Unfortunately, even though students around the world commonly use Social Media often, it may be difficult for some students to actively engage in class discussions, etc., due to a lack of a mobile device. Some may only have laptops, or even desktops, which limit the utilization of this technology. Thus, instructors should be aware of this limitation when “requiring” its use in the Public Health classroom.
Although Internet privacy is a big issue these days, it should made clear to ALL students that professional and personal accounts should not be combined. As young professionals, they each need to work on their “online presence” and the last thing they want to do is to meet a world-renowned epidemiologist who knows what they did Saturday night! I believe here is where instructors need to pay more attention and have strict guidelines for proper utilization.
As social media continues to gain popularity among our society, public health instructors should consider utilizing these technologies to promote student engagement both in and outside the classroom. These technologies could maximizing those “teachable moments” in public health, which usually occur outside of the classroom when students are going about their day and see/do something that reminds them of what they discussed in class the week before! Personally, I think we should stop trying to analyze how and why students are currently using social media; instead, we should focus how WE want them to use it in our classrooms, so that they can become better practitioners and public health professionals.
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In opening its new, flagship hospital in the state capital last month, MaineGeneral Medical Center took a bit of a gamble promoting the a $312 million Alfond Center for Health on Facebook.
"Healthcare tends to lag a little bit in terms of social media," Nicole McSweeney, director of marketing and communications for MaineGeneral, said. "It really lagged here in Maine."
MaineGeneral counted down the final 100 days before the Nov. 9 opening of the Alfond Center via Facebook and through a temporary website,ournewhospital.org. Posts included photo galleries, history of MaineGeneral and event listings.
Twitter, however, was not really a consideration given local trends, said McSweeney. "Twitter in Central Maine is not that widely used," she said.
The Facebook page for the new hospital has about 2,100 followers. While that's barely a blip compared to the 723,000 "likes" the Cleveland Clinichas, it still is more than twice as many than before the countdown started, according to McSweeney.
The campaign seems to have worked. An open house promoted on Facebook drew 12,000 visitors in one weekend in Augusta, a town with a population of fewer than 20,000.
When the hospital opened, MaineHealth had to transport 120 patients in a single day from the two old inpatient facilities in Augusta and Waterville, which were being consolidated into a single campus.
"A lot of people wanted to watch," McSweeney recalled. But management was concerned about violating the privacy rights of the patients being moved, so McSweeney relied on Facebook to try to keep the public away.
"We made a commitment to post hourly updates" of the move on Facebook, McSweeney said. She reported getting 11,000 page views that day, and the transfer was successful. "There were very few hiccups. Things went very smoothly," McSweeney said.
Since the opening, the Facebook page has had a profile of an executive each Sunday. McSweeney also posts updates on new services and observances of health-related events, such as World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
The old hospital in Waterville is being remodeled into an outpatient center with a 24/7 emergency department, to be called Thayer Center for Health when it opens next fall. Expect to see updates on Facebook.
The Alfond Center for Health is modern in terms of information technology, though the IT shop is more functional than groundbreaking.
Allscripts inpatient and ambulatory EHRs were in place at the old facilities, and those transferred over, said CIO Danny Burgess. "We coupled our existing technologies with some new technologies," Burgess said.
Burgess said his top priorities for 2014 are complying with ICD-10 by the federally mandated Oct. 1 deadline and meeting Stage 2 requirements for the meaningful useEHR incentive program.
The hospital is not fully paperless, though most data capture and retrieval is electronic, according to Burgess. "It's a paper-last environment," he said.
Mark St. John, administrative director for technology services, said that MaineGeneral is consolidating much of its IT infrastructure into a 1,400-square-foot data center in the new facility, and also has built a distributed antenna system into the facility to help ensure reliable wireless coverage.
Patient-facing technology includes a real-time location system from Traverse City, Mich.-based Versus Technology, with integration of devices from a variety of other vendors.
A Responder 5 nurse call system, provided by Rauland-Borg, Mount Prospect, Ill., is integrated with the RTLS, as is Vocera wireless communications hardware, St. John said. With the help of Philips Intellispace Event Manager software, nurse calls and in-room patient monitors are tied to the Vocera "badge" that each nurse wears. When an alarm sounds, the nurse can go to the patient's room or simply make a call from the wireless communications badge, St. John said.
This setup allowed MaineGeneral to replace its pagers within the hospital, though the organization still does use the antiquated technology because its service area across mostly rural Kennebec County is sparsely populated, and wireless broadband coverage is spotty, according to St. John.
Each inpatient room has a 44-inch HDTV, and TeleHealth Services, of Raleigh, N.C., is supplying patient education services over the in-house cable system, St. John said. Clinicians can turn the screen on their in-room computers to show videos as well.
For staff, about 30 meeting rooms, including a large education center, have been outfitted with videoconferencing equipment to communicate with other MaineGeneral facilities. So far, the links have mostly been used for meetings, though St. John expects to see the organization employ the technology for medical and nursing education.
"I think it's not as widely used as it's going to be in a year," St. John said.
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