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TedMed 2012: “Can a “computer co-pilot” help anyone be a surgeon?”

TedMed 2012: “Can a “computer co-pilot” help anyone be a surgeon?” | healthcare technology |

Mary (Missy) Cummings, Professor at MIT’s Humans and Automation Laboratory and a former fighter pilot who “loved dropping bombs and loved striking targets – 3000 rounds per minute you can’t beat that” has shared some creative ideas about how healthcare industry roles can be redefined through the automation of rule based behaviours.


“If you can do what I do as well as I can what does that make me?”


At a stretch I can just about imagine some of the stresses of being a fighter pilot but being able to do that job whilst putting up with a work environment where inebriated colleagues shared attitudes like that… WOW.


It’s also another fascinating insight into the frailty of the human ego. I sometimes hear a similar sentiment being shared by Doctors when I’m demoing the patient history taking tool we use as part of the consultation process here at 3G Doctor.


Despite the clinical validation this questionnaire technology has already got (check out this paper by Dr John Bachman MD, Prof of Primary Care at the Mayo Clinic) many Doctors choose to ignore the opportunity it presents to complement their ability to care by immortalising the world’s best history taking skills and removing the time/cost/effort associated with them documenting this information themselves instead many just consider it’s existence as though it is a challenge to their very existence.


“We have somehow stilled the skill set of a pilot – which in the past took many years of training and more than a million dollars – into an iPhone…. …and you would not believe the hate email I got from military and commercial pilots who were very resentful that I was somehow trivializing their task”


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Social Media and Patient Advocacy

These are the slides from my talk at the 4th Annual Putting Patients First Conference in Mumbai.

If god were to manifest the world using technology, he would first create something like social media. Conceptually provide technology with the ability to understand the thoughts of a population

SocMed leaves behind the old model of 1-to-1 communication – “talking to someone over the phone”  Enables one-to-many communication (via blogs or microblogging) or many-to-many communication (discussion forums, social walls). Now anyone can setup an online community site/portal to represent a small or big offline community.

Further, anyone can setup an online site related to a treatment, a disease, a doctor, a drug , a concept or anything and see it grow into a popular site which in effect is simply the manifestation of a community which exists/ed but which no one ever knew of.

Plaza Dental Group's curator insight, January 29, 2014 7:53 AM

Great info! I think SocMed  will boost the thought of population and will effect change in local communities. 

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COVID-19 is VR's time to shine

COVID-19 is VR's time to shine | healthcare technology |

The leading digital health narrative emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rise of telehealth and live video consultations as a reliable modality for delivering care.


But have other, younger health-delivery technologies been enjoying a similar rise in adoption? For virtual reality, the answer appears to be yes – with some caveats.


Healthcare VR programs and startups have had to navigate several unexpected roadblocks as a result of the outbreak, leading to a number of in-hospital deployments and research projects being sidelined or modified.


Others have stayed the course or even flourished, with at-home and remote-care deployments in particular finding little need to slow down.


The broader healthcare industry's recent ideological shift toward digital health technologies has stakeholders of all kinds anticipating a long-term boost to the adoption of VR for care. 


"Everyone is talking about telemedicine as sort of the solution to overcoming the physical barriers between patients and their providers, and there's no doubt that's taken off in a big way ... but there still are very important limitations to that that VR can help overcome,"


"It is an opportunity for VR to shine right now – if we can figure out how best to do it."


read the original unedited article at



nrips insight:

this is the time for digital health to be adopted with an open mind, for its pros, for its ease of use, for its simplicity, for its long term cost benefits.

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Beyond telehealth: the virtual care technology trends that will transform healthcare

Beyond telehealth: the virtual care technology trends that will transform healthcare | healthcare technology |

We are directionally headed towards a significant shift in the way care is delivered.


The rapid up scaling of virtual care capacity and the mainstreaming of Telehealth have given rise to new digital health tools. Self-triaging and contact tracing for COVID-19 infection detection are among the new breed of digital health applications that startups to big firms alike were looking at to seize the emerging opportunities.


Telehealth is here to stay. Healthcare is shifting to virtual care models. Digital front door apps are all the rage. What else is emerging that could change the way we experience care?


While telehealth is now the de facto mode of accessing healthcare for most low-acuity and routine care needs, a number of related technology-led trends are quietly gaining ground as well. Here the author looks at a few of these and opinionates on their potential impact on healthcare consumer experiences.


"contactless" experiences:

Covid has made us all afraid to touch any surface exposed to the public. Nowhere is this fear more prominent than a hospital or clinic setting. Healthcare executives now speak of airport check-in type of experiences for healthcare appointments, both for in-person and virtual visits.


Technology-enabled workflows now enable patients to complete most of the registration formalities prior to the visit, be it a virtual consult or a clinic visit. Registration kiosks in hospital lobbies may soon be enabled with facial recognition software to eliminate the need for touching any surface.

Routine examinations are also going virtual, with many diagnostic procedures now possible through remotely controlled devices. Caregivers are beginning to do their patient rounds through virtual visits. This trend will only grow in the coming years.


Contact tracing

Inspired by the success of India, Singapore and South Korea, contact tracing applications on Bluetooth-enabled devices have been positioned as an effective means to track and trace infections to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Despite many setbacks, contact tracing's potential for deployment within communities and populations for uses beyond COVID-19 has longer-term potential, and this could be the single most important technology-enabled healthcare program to come out of the COVID-19 crisis.


Remote monitoring and automated communication

Healthcare executives are more motivated than ever to keep their populations healthy in their homes. A vast and growing array of automated communication tools allows caregivers to use rule-based messaging to push everything from health coaching, post-discharge care instructions, and appointment reminders through IVR, text, SMS, and mobile alerts.


Data mining tools can identify subsets of populations at risk and enable caregivers to intervene on time. A New York-based COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition involving tech giant Amazon that targeted high-risk populations through SMS campaigns that reached up to 10,000 members a day, is an example of how automated communication tools can serve populations in a crisis and during normal times.


The use of digital health and automated communication tools has also improved healthcare outcomes by reducing no-shows for appointments, increased adherence to medication regimens, and targeted interventions during adverse events.


There is an unprecedented opportunity today to use telehealth technologies in the complete continuum of care. However, healthcare enterprises and their technology partners need to make them more user-friendly.


That will determine success for new technology-enabled virtual care models. Every health system has to design the digital experience that is suited for their patient populations while remembering to address the needs of caregivers who will deliver and manage the experiences.


nrips insight:

Yes, it seems like the directional shift care is going to be delivered,  spoken about for years by many, including me, is arriving. This piece speaks of 3 technologies, of which I believe contactless will probably not survive the test of time. Predictive analysis, Population health interventions or As I like to call it Community Health Interventions will also be big gainers. Mobile platforms will keep enhancing, on the back of contact tracing or assessments, but they will certainly lead to an improvement in information therapy, which hopefully will come main stream.

Kamiya Britton's curator insight, July 1, 11:27 PM
Telehealth has been on the rise with interface doctor visits, therapists appointments, and contactless visits. These new adaptions to the "new normal" have transform healthcare as we knew before. With patients not wanting to physically visit the doctors in fear of exposure. Virtual visits have become a new way to contact the doctor through zoom or skype. I believe that this does keep patients up to date with new technology. But this also takes away the patient-doctor relationship. This could also become a way for diseases and present health issues to not be taken care of. Having personal experiences, Telehealth does not supplement the physical necessities needed for diagnosis and treatment. The demand for disease awareness will decrease because patients can become dishonest and frustrated with the technology adjustment. This would increase sales for tablets and phones that are compatible with Zoom or Skype. Introducing technology as an additive can become modernized to elderly patients. But for health concerns, this is should not become supplements for health appointments. 
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EMR-based solutions help decrease unnecessary lab testing

EMR-based solutions help decrease unnecessary lab testing | healthcare technology |

Boston Medical Center reduced the number of patients who received unnecessary diagnostic testing after implementing new recommendations into its electronic medical record (EMR) system.


The study, published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, looked at the effectiveness of implementing electronic health record (EHR)-based interventions to promote high-value care.


The hospital saw significant decreases in pre-admission chest x-rays and labs ordered at routine times six months after the implementation. The proportion of patients that received pre-admission chest x-rays significantly decreased 3.1 percent; the proportion of labs ordered at routine times decreased 4 percent; and total lab utilization declined 1,009 orders per month.


The proportion of postoperative patients who received appropriate pain and pneumonia prevention orders increased 20 percent, the results revealed. However, there was no significant difference in the estimated red blood cell transfusion utilization rate or number of non-ICU urinary catheter days following the implementation.


While the interventions reduced diagnostic testing, they did not have a significant effect on clinical interventions. 


more at


nrips insight:

Well designed EMR's definitely improve the care process for patients. Reducing the number of unnecessary Lab tests can lead to a  significant decrease in care costs as well as time investment for patients and families. 

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Persuasive EHR Workflow Design Increased Same-Day Data Entry by 10%

Persuasive EHR Workflow Design Increased Same-Day Data Entry by 10% | healthcare technology |

Incorporating persuasive design concepts into primary care electronic health records (EHRs) increased same-day data entry by 10 percent per physician, demonstrating the potential for persuasive design to change data entry behavior, a study published in JMIR Human Factors revealed.


Persuasive design is a way of developing technology to influence behavior by leveraging social processes. Healthcare stakeholders have primarily focused on using persuasive design in consumer-facing mobile apps to improve outcomes, but there are few examples of using persuasive design to influence clinician behavior.


In primary care settings, providers often face barriers to entering data into EHRs in a timely manner.  Data entry tasks often take a long time, and users may feel as if completing documentation is a lower priority than seeing patients or finishing other tasks.


“Persuasive design is a viable approach for designing and encouraging behavior change and could support effective data capture in the field of medical informatics. There may be opportunities to continue improving this approach, and further work is required to perfect and test additional designs,” the team concluded.


read the original unedited article at



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EHRs offer automated warnings to combat Paediatric Malnutrition

EHRs offer automated warnings to combat Paediatric Malnutrition | healthcare technology |

Data from electronic health records (EHR) can be used to create an automated screening tool for malnutrition in paediatric hospital inpatients, according to work by a US team of clinicians, dietitians, and researchers. The system developed by Charles Phillips of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and colleagues provides daily alerts to healthcare providers so they can quickly intervene with appropriate treatment.


"Undernutrition is extremely common in children with cancer - the population we studied in this project," explains Phillips, who is a paediatric oncologist at the hospital.


"There is currently no universal, standardized approach to nutrition screening for children in hospitals, and our project is the first fully automated pediatric malnutrition screen using EHR data." The multidisciplinary team published details of their approach in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics.


The team analysed EHR data from inpatients at the hospital's 54-bed paediatric oncology unit for late 2016 to early 2018, which covered around 2100 hospital admissions. The anthropometric measurements in the EHR included height, length, weight and body mass index. The researchers used software to take note of changes in those measurements, and used criteria issued by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, to evaluate each patient's risk of malnutrition based on the ongoing measurements and the EHR data.


For each child that the screening program determined to be at risk of under-nutrution, the software would apply a flag of mild, moderate, or severe, and then automatically send an email to the clinicians on the ward giving them each patient's name, medical record number, unit, and malnutrition severity level, as well as other data.



In the patient cohort, the researchers' automated screen calculated the overall prevalence of malnutrition at 42 percent for the entire period of study. This was consistent with the range expected from previous studies where up to about 65 percent for inpatient paediatric oncology patients is observed). Overall severity levels for malnutrition were 47 percent in the mild category, 24 percent moderate and 29 percent severe; again, consistent with other research and clinical experience.


link to the study paper:


Read the original unedited article at


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The state of blockchain, cloud, EHR adoption & more

The state of blockchain, cloud, EHR adoption & more | healthcare technology |

In its State of the Market 2018 report, HIMSS Analytics outlined nationwide adoption of major health IT trends.


The report detailed market insights related to blockchain, cloud computing, EHRs, precision medicine and telehealth, among other health IT segments.


Here are 5 highlights from the report:


1. Blockchain. The plurality of hospitals (45.3 percent) are still learning about blockchain and have not deployed any related programs. However, 55 percent said it is "somewhat likely" they complete a blockchain proof-of-concept or pilot in the next 24 months, followed by 17 percent of whom said it was "very likely."


2. Cloud. The majority of hospitals (65 percent) said they currently use the cloud or cloud services. Reasons for adopting cloud services included concerns with disaster recovery (37 percent), lack of internal IT expertise on site (25 percent) and IT maintenance costs (25 percent).


3. EHRs. EHRs have achieved almost universal hospital adoption; however, interoperability continues to present a core challenge. Only 2 percent of hospitals are on a single vendor at all affiliated practices, and nearly three-quarters of hospitals said they deal with more than 10 disparate outpatient vendors.


4. Precision medicine. Hospitals tended to cite lack of funding, technological or clinical expertise as barriers to adopting precision medicine, although nearly half of hospitals (45 percent) said they plan to expand their existing programs.


5. Telehealth. Telehealth adoption has reached 50 percent at U.S. hospitals. Moving forward, 55 percent of hospitals said they are "unsure" if they have plans to invest in telehealth services in the next 24 months, followed by 27 percent that said they do.


more at



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Alexa for Doctors Claims 70 Percent Reduction in #EHR Time 

Alexa for Doctors Claims 70 Percent Reduction in #EHR Time  | healthcare technology |

Suki, the artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant for healthcare professionals, launched in May to praise from health-tech innovators who hoped “Alexa for doctors” might slash electronic health record (EHR) documentation time.

If the company’s early numbers are any indication, that wish might come true.

Suki said recently that doctors who use the digital assistant have seen a 70 percent drop in time spent writing and filing medical notes.


That figure is 10 percentage points better than the preliminary results of Suki’s pilot. The finding could prove powerful, as research has suggested that physicians burn almost two hours in the EHR for every hour of patient interaction.


Suki has processed more than 12,000 patient encounters in the real world, handling 1,000 per week, according to the company. This steady stream of real-world data is poised to strengthen the technology’s machine-learning algorithm, which was trained on 250,000 patient encounters before it went live.

So far, Suki has integrated with three EHR systems. The company said that number is slated to rise.

Using voice commands, the technology pens a “clinically accurate” note that it then sends to a doctor’s EHR system.

Over the past several years, innovators across healthcare have advocated for a clinical voice assistant. But the challenges are many, from precise listening and documentation to satisfying cybersecurity concerns.

Although a clinical AI assistant might be far off for many providers and health systems, Suki and similar technologies could help solve a mounting problem in medicine: physician burnout.

Time spent in the EHR has been linked to physician burnout. On the conference circuit and in the opinion pages, doctor after doctor describes the stresses of medical note documentation — and how these demands eat up time and detract from care delivery.

Can Suki help improve workflows? It seems so. But can it go a step beyond and help physicians overcome burnout? Maybe. The answer to that question will depend on adoption rates and how Suki performs at scale.


Will Suki become a part of the clinic of tomorrow? Lets wait and see


read the unedited story at



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Implementation of an Automated Pediatric Malnutrition Screen Using Anthropometric Measurements in the #EHR

Implementation of an Automated Pediatric Malnutrition Screen Using Anthropometric Measurements in the #EHR | healthcare technology |

Nutrition evaluation and intervention in hospitalized pediatric patients is critical, because undernutrition negatively impacts physical and cognitive development, wound healing, immune function, mortality, and quality of life.


Multiple, validated pediatric nutrition screening tools are available, yet no consensus on the ideal tool exists.


Generally, the aims of the nutrition screening process are identification of current nutrition status and determination of a need for further nutrition assessment and intervention.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has developed what it says is the first automated pediatric malnutrition screening tool using EHR data.


In this study the tool was used to analyze anthropometric measurements in the hospital’s Epic EHR—including body mass index, height, length and weight—for inpatients in the pediatric oncology unit at CHOP for a little more than a year, representing about 2,100 hospitalizations.


Researchers used software to take note of changes in the anthropometric measurements to assess each hospitalized patient’s risk of malnutrition. For those pediatric cancer patients determined to be at risk, the automated program categorized their risk as either mild, moderate or severe.


In the study, 47 percent were classified as at mild risk, 24 percent as moderate risk and 29 percent as severe—consistent with clinical experience and other research. In addition, the overall prevalence of malnutrition was determined to be 42 percent for the study period, which was also consistent with previous studies.


“This test study demonstrates the feasibility of using EHR data to create an automated screening tool for malnutrition in pediatric inpatients, Further research is needed to formally assess this screening tool, but it has the potential to identify at-risk patients in the early stages of malnutrition, so we can intervene quickly. In addition, this tool could be implemented to screen all pediatric patients for malnutrition, because it uses data common to all electronic medical records.”






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Python as a tool for e-health systems by Diana Pholo

E-health has proven to have many benefits including reduced errors in medical diagnosis.

A number of machine learning (ML) techniques have been applied in medical diagnosis, each having its benefits and disadvantages.

With its powerful pre-built libraries, Python is great for implementing machine learning in the medical field, where many people do not have an Artificial Intelligence background.

This talk will focus on applying ML on medical datasets using Scikit-learn, a Python module that comes packed with various machine learning algorithms. It will be structured as follows:

  • An introduction to e-health.
  • Types of medical data.
  • Some Benchmark algorithms used in medical diagnosis: Decision trees, K-Nearest Neighbours, Naive Bayes and Support Vector Machines.
  • How to implement benchmark algorithms using Scikit-learn.
  • Performance evaluation metrics used in e-health.

This talk is aimed at people interested in real-life applications of machine learning using Python. Although centered around ML in medicine, the acquired skills can be extended to other fields.

About the speaker: Diana Pholo is a PhD student and lecturer in the department of Computer Systems Engineering, at the Tshwane University of Technology.

Here is her Linkedin profile:



access the deck and the original article at


nrips insight:

Finally something for the coders who follow this blog. This is a good kickstarter for a weekend to spend coding learning algos in python 

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Technologies will play a key role in transformation of health services, says Saudi minister

Technologies will play a key role in transformation of health services, says Saudi minister | healthcare technology |

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said digital health technologies will play a central role in the transformation of health services.


He was inaugurating the HIMSS event in Riyadh, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of e-health care and its role in improving performance, services and the use of resources in the health sector.


Addressing the opening session, Al-Rabiah said digital health technologies will play a central role in the transformation of health services envisioned by the Health Ministry.


A large part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan focuses on health issues, he added.


E-health will be an essential part of this transformation, and will support it so as to contribute significantly to the improvement of health services and streamline access to such health services,” he said.


The Mawid app, which was presented during the inaugural session, is a centralized system that enables patients to book appointments in Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in coordination with the relevant department, Al-Rabiah added. 


Through the app, patients can book, amend or cancel their appointments at any hospital to which they were referred, and rate the quality of services provided, he said. 


Another app, Seha, provides an online medical consultation service through doctors accredited by the Health Ministry, he added.


Patients can get these consultations via chat, voice or video calls, and evaluate their experience at the end of the consultation, said Al-Rabiah, adding that the ministry is developing electronic medical prescriptions.


I think artificial intelligence (AI) will play a huge role in the development of health services in the coming years,” he said, adding that the ministry will include AI services in Seha.


Based on experiences outside the Kingdom, AI gives better results than visiting a physician, Al-Rabiah said.

“We appreciate the pivotal role of the physician, which is indispensable, but this technique will reduce pressure on the physician and facilitate access to health services in common diseases,” he added.


Al-Rabiah reviewed an app that remotely and promptly interprets X-ray images, which is already being used in four hospitals. AI will be introduced to make readings more in-depth and accurate, he said.

Al-Rabiah stressed the need to train and qualify health practitioners to use these new techniques, and thanked the SCHS for making such training a prerequisite for obtaining a health practice license.

“The future is brighter with the use of technologies in health services, and the Kingdom will be a leader in this field,” he said.

nrips insight:

To know why did I posted this PR sounding piece, read the ministers quotes in this post. 


E-health will be an essential part of this transformation, and will support it so as to contribute significantly to the improvement of health services and streamline access to such health services,

I think artificial intelligence (AI) will play a huge role in the development of health services in the coming years.

Based on experiences outside the Kingdom, AI gives better results than visiting a physician


That last line was surprising, but having come from the esteemed minister, it sounds promising that Saudi Arabia may end up becoming a hotbed for AI use in Healthcare, and end up helping other nations learn from the mistakes and the success that comes with it.


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How Users Experience and Use an #eHealth Intervention Based on Self-Regulation. #study

How Users Experience and Use an #eHealth Intervention Based on Self-Regulation. #study | healthcare technology |

The objective of this study was to investigate how users experience the implementation of self-regulation techniques
in a Web-based intervention targeting physical activity and sedentary behavior in the general population.


Background: eHealth interventions show stronger effects when informed by solid behavioral change theories; for example,
self-regulation models supporting people in translating vague intentions to specific actions have shown to be effective in altering
health behaviors. Although these theories inform developers about which behavioral change techniques should be included, they
provide limited information about how these techniques can be engagingly implemented in Web-based interventions. Considering
the high levels of attrition in eHealth, investigating users’ experience about the implementation of behavior change techniques might be a fruitful avenue.


The techniques “providing feedback on performance,” “action planning,” and “prompting review of behavioral goals”
were appreciated by users.

However, the implementation of “barrier identification/problem solving” appeared to frustrate users; this was also reflected by the users’ website data—many coping plans were of poor quality.

Most users were well aware of the benefits of adopting a more active way of living and stated not to have learned novel information. However, they appreciated the provided information because it reminded them about the importance of having an active lifestyle. Furthermore, prompting users to self-monitor their behavioral change was not sufficiently stimulating to make users actually monitor their behavior.


Conclusions: Iteratively involving potential end users offers guidance to optimally adapt the implementation of various

manoj's curator insight, October 20, 2018 3:38 AM
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Why Apple, Google, Amazon hired cardiologists

Why Apple, Google, Amazon hired cardiologists | healthcare technology |
  • The world's largest technology companies have all hired well-known cardiologists.
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure affect a large number of people, are well-understood, and there's evidence that consumer products can help.


Big Silicon Valley companies have often competed for talent with specialized skills, like expertise in artificial intelligence or trendy new programming languages.


Now they're competing for heart doctors.


Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon have all hired well-known cardiologists.


This might just be a coincidence. Cardiologists tend to be well educated and hard working, and big tech companies have a track record of recruiting such people.


In recent years, all of these companies have started to invest in products and devices that are targeted to millions of people who could benefit by tracking their heart health.


Apple's smartwatch now includes an electrocardiogram, which can detect heart rhythm irregularities. Verily's study watch, which is designed for clinical trial research, also tracks heart rate and heart rhythm, and it's doing a lot of work in chronic disease management. 


So the more likely explanation is that tech companies are interested in health care, and they have all come to the conclusion that cardiology should be an early (if not initial) target.


Here's why.



It's a huge potential market

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world, and strokes are among the leading causes of death.


And that's not all that cardiologists treat. "Our scope covers other common disease such as high blood pressure, which impacts about a third of people in the U.S. — 75 million Americans — as well as lipid and cholesterol disorders," said Dr. Mo Elshazly, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.


Many cardiologists are also experts in nutrition and exercise science, which impacts a huge number of people who are committed to staying healthy.


That's useful for the teams within the largest tech companies that are more focused on wellness and fitness applications, rather than on health and medical.


Alphabet has Google Fit. Apple has a fitness group for its Apple Watch. And Amazon is looking at health and wellness applications for its Alexa voice assistant.

It's well-studied

Cardiology is among the most-studied fields in medicine, meaning there's already a lot of evidence to understand the root causes of heart disease, as well as how to prevent it. That's attractive for tech companies, which tend to base their development decisions on data.

Their consumer products are already making a difference

Let's take Apple, as an example. The company launched its first Apple Watch model with a heart rate sensor, never expecting that people would use it to discover they were pregnant, at risk for a heart attack or experiencing a dangerous irregular heart rhythm.

But as people began sharing examples of how the Apple Watch saved their life, the company started to invest heavily in the science and technology to drive more of these stories. A lot of that work culminated in the first-ever clearance for a heart rhythm sensor called an ECG for Apple Watch earlier in the summer.





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Digital Strategies #HealthIT Must Prioritize During #COVID19

Digital Strategies #HealthIT Must Prioritize During #COVID19 | healthcare technology |

As healthcare providers battle an increasing influx of patients and dwindling inventory – including critical personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies like masks, ventilators, and hospital beds – they are relying more heavily on their digital tools and applications than ever before.


Prior to this recent pandemic, research shows that 84 percent of people have experienced problems with digital services in the last year.


In the middle of a global health crisis, there’s no tolerance for bad performance when it’s a matter of a patients’ health.


To improve these experiences, health IT professionals must leverage AI and machine learning to pinpoint the moment digital issues arise and automatically remediate issues.


This saves IT teams time and resources that could be spent creating new services that will further improve the patient and doctor’s experience during the crisis.


Digital strategies that HealthIT leaders must consider to support healthcare professionals regardless of where and when they are providing care.


  • Real-time analytics and monitoring
  • Remote monitoring


Read the entire article at




nrips insight:

I believe HealthIT must focus on the following 3 at the moment -

- TeleHealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

- Early Warning and Disease Surveillance using Machine Learning algorithms

- Intelligent Self Screening and AI based Triaging


Contact me via @nrip on Twitter or Contact The HealthIT team at Plus91 to discuss

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What Therapists Need to Know about Telehealth Technology

What Therapists Need to Know about Telehealth Technology | healthcare technology |

Thousands of therapists are providing Tele-services to their patients during the covid imposed lockdown using video-enabled platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.


Many of them hadn’t intended to ever take the online route, however, a number of them are now discovering the ease of use and the convenience of it, both for themselves and for their patients.


While the technological tools available for mental health professionals and patients has dramatically improved over the past decade, those transitioning to online services rapidly need to hold a few things in mind.


It’s not the same as in-person therapy


While online psychotherapy has been shown to be just as effective as in-person care, the delivery of psychotherapy via telehealth requires skills that in-person therapy does not.


Because the skill set for online consults is  different, therapists typically need additional training in telehealth. The amount of training can/will vary depending on the skills of each person. As the technology continues to get more user-friendly, the amount of training needed becomes less.


The legal considerations have changed, but not in the ways some therapists think


The Department of Health and Human Services is using its enforcement discretion to allow providers to use video-calling platforms, such as Zoom and Facebook Messenger, that are not compliant with HIPAA privacy rules. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also loosened geographic restrictions on telehealth provision. But both of these moves have been widely misunderstood, and they are only temporary in nature.


Ethical standards haven’t changed


Certainly, many therapists had to switch to telehealth quickly and may have done so even without initial training in order to ensure continuity of care to at-risk clients. In the event of a complaint, ethics committees would likely take such factors into consideration. But therapists who have not been trained in telehealth and whose clients have not provided informed consent specific to telehealth should do so as quickly as possible.


Therapist fears about negative impacts haven’t been supported by research


While telehealth needs to be entered into thoughtfully, many of the reasons therapists have traditionally given for their resistance to telehealth simply haven’t shown up. For example, therapists often point to the eye contact issue described above and express concern that building a therapeutic relationship is harder online. Research hasn’t supported this idea.


While therapists are sometimes less satisfied with the therapeutic relationship in telehealth, clients show no difference – and in some studies actually feel a stronger alliance in online care.


Mistakes are common and avoidable


Some steps one can take to avoid common mistakes include:

– Choose a secure telehealth platform that offers a Business Associate Agreement stipulating who has access to confidential information and how it can be used

– Learn the platform well, and practice using it with a friend or colleague to test all of its features

– Understand the legal requirements surrounding telehealth in your state, and complete any state-mandated training

– Always get client consent before sending private client information via an unsecured email

– Review your telehealth technology and data security practices at least annually.


read the original article at


nrips insight:

TeleHealth has always been considered well suited to a Technology based intervention, and patients have always been open to it. At Plus91 we have always found mental health professionals sitting on the fence when it came to online and mobile consultations. Many of them find it a logically good choice but are unsure of adopting it "at this time" and would explore it sometime int he future. But the covid pandemic changed that. As many of my doctor friends say now, this is so much easier than I had imagined.

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Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19

Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19 | healthcare technology |

With fear of COVID-19 keeping many routine visitors away, rural hospitals have too few patients to stay afloat financially, and virtual medicine isn't saving them.


Virtual health care, in theory, sounds perfectly suited to the needs of rural populations. It kicks down the barrier of traveling great distances for medical needs and works increasingly well for diagnosing and managing the chronic and non-emergency health issues endemic to these parts of the country, such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and melanoma


Yet success at implementing these virtual systems has been a patchwork. Unreliable access to at-home technology, broadband internet service, and cell reception have plagued some places, while ever present financial hurdles abound. Rather than usher in a long-anticipated telemedicine revolution in remote areas, COVID-19 has exposed its limitations, and highlighted what tools and regulations rural hospitals will need to survive the pandemic.


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nrips insight:

TeleHealth is a an excellent solution to provide convenient care to a certain population in a timely and affordable manner. Its use cases have expanded beyond the typical to becoming almost a mainstream consultation option. However, that is not what TeleHealth is best suited for. It cannot and should not be expected to replace traditional healthcare provision.


Where Remote patient monitoring is very helpful in offering timely information about a patient, a virtual consultation is at best a worthy replacement for a physical consultation only in emergency cases


I am sure in the years to come, this will change, but that's what  it is now.

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Exploring the Effect of Data on Precision Medicine Research

Exploring the Effect of Data on Precision Medicine Research | healthcare technology |

In a study published in the AMA Journal of Ethics, researchers explored the role of social and behavioral data in precision medicine research.


Electronic health records (EHRs) can offer information on social and behavioral data, which can aid research investigating genetic and social factors across health disparities; for example, factors such as substance use and eating habits inform some of the risk associated with preventable premature deaths in the United States. Brittany Hollister, PhD, and Vence L. Bonham, JD, from the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, discussed potential biases in collecting, using, and interpreting EHR-based data in precision medicine research.


Current collection of behavioral and social data by precision medicine researchers is increasingly done using EHR data, as opposed to self-report methods such as surveys. However, extraction and use of EHR data poses challenges of inconsistencies or inaccuracies. Another challenge is determining what data are included or excluded from EHRs, and the consequences of using data collected through biased methodologies. The National Academy of Medicine addressed some of this in recommendations for the systematic capture of behavioral and social measures.2 They recommended intentional collection of structured social environment data, as well as the development of a plan by the National Institutes of Health to include social and behavioral data in EHRs. The current inconsistencies in collecting social and behavioral data pose difficulties to use in precision medicine research, but with improved collection methods these difficulties could be amended.


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U.S. military to adopt Adaptiiv's 3D bolus cancer software

U.S. military to adopt Adaptiiv's 3D bolus cancer software | healthcare technology |

Adaptiiv Medical Technologies said that the U.S. military will use its 3D bolus software to treat American veterans with cancer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.


Adaptiiv designed its software to convert patient CT scan data into a digital model that can be used to print a bolus that conforms to patient anatomy, according to the company. The structure is then exported as an STL file that can be printed in a matter of hours on a healthcare facility’s existing 3D printer or on a printer provided by the company.


Using Adaptiiv software, practitioners can 3D print patient-specific, uniform thickness boluses, modulated boluses for modulated electron radiation therapy (MERT), high-dose-rate (HDR) surface brachytherapy and other potential ancillary devices. The boluses are printed using durable, tissue-equivalent materials that hold their shape and do not degrade during treatments. Patients typically use the same 3D printed bolus for the duration of their treatment, reducing the risk of infection. Patients are more comfortable throughout the treatment period, while set-up and production times are reduced, the company said

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Penn Medicine’s new transformation project looks to fill the ‘middle space’ between EHRs and clinicians

Penn Medicine’s new transformation project looks to fill the ‘middle space’ between EHRs and clinicians | healthcare technology |

A new project launched by Penn Medicine last week will take on the monumental task of EHR usability.


Impatient with the current progress of electronic health records (EHRs), one of the nation’s foremost academic medical centers is taking matters into its own hands.


Last week, Penn Medicine—which operates as the health system under the University of Pennsylvania—launched a new initiative aimed at transforming EHRs into “more streamlined, interactive, smarter tools.”


That effort will focus primarily on what David Asch, M.D., the executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, calls “the middle space” between EHRs and clinical productivity.


“It’s about the creation of some middleware that takes the EHR products created by large companies and creates interfaces that are better,” he told FierceHealthcare. “It might ultimately be absorbed by those [EHR] companies, but I don’t think we can wait. I don’t think we should force clinicians to move to the EHR when we can be a part of the solution to help bring the EHR to them.”


Part of Penn Medicine’s effort is a focus on using EHRs not just as an administrative or documentation tool, but also pushing it into the care delivery arena. That involves shaking up the traditional health system approach that says clinicians simply need more education to unlock the unused functionality of EHRs. The notion that clinicians need help becoming the “master of the EHR” often rubs them the wrong way, Asch says.


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Mental health patients like having access to #EMRs and clinical notes

Mental health patients like having access to #EMRs and clinical notes | healthcare technology |

Patients with mental health conditions had positive perceptions about electronic medical records (EMRs) and physician clinical notes after being given full access to their records, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.


Throughout the last 10 years, EMRs and clinical notes have become more accessible to patients, with some evidence suggesting the access helps patients become more engaged and confident with their doctors. Despite the benefits, some clinicians and doctors have concerns about sharing clinic notes with mental health patients due to safety reasons.


In the study, a research team compared the perceptions patients with and without a mental health diagnosis had about EMRs after receiving full access to clinical notes through secure online portals.


The team used data from an original OpenNotes study, which provided patients full access to their EMRs and clinical notes from multiple healthcare systems.


The patients were then asked to complete a survey on their thoughts using EMRs. The survey was completed by 2,534 total patients—400 patients had a mental health diagnosis, while 2,134 patients did not.


According to the results, patients with mental health conditions enjoyed having access to their records.


“Compared with patients without mental health diagnoses, primary care patients with mental health diagnoses were similarly enthusiastic about the utility of reading their doctors’ notes online,” the study said.


The research team also suggested access to EMRs may increase communication and trust between doctors and mental health patients.



Access the Annals of Family medicine study at


read the unedited original article at



nrips insight:

Its increasingly being found by more than 1 study that there EHRs are a big benefit to Mental health professionals as well as their patients. EHR's with simplified note taking , as well as simple health intervention technologies are a great help in the mental health profession. #HealthIT has a useful role to play in Mental Health.

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Head of IBM Watson Health leaving post after growing criticism

Head of IBM Watson Health leaving post after growing criticism | healthcare technology |

After 3 years as head of IBM’s health division, Deborah DiSanzo is leaving her role.


A company spokesman said that DiSanzo will no longer lead IBM Watson Health, the Cambridge-based division that has pitched the company’s famed artificial intelligence capabilities as solutions for a myriad of health challenges, like treating cancer and analyzing medical images.


Even as it has heavily advertised the potential of Watson Health, IBM has not met lofty expectations in some areas. Its flagship cancer software, which used artificial intelligence to recommend courses of treatment, has been ridiculed by some doctors inside and outside of the company. 


And it has struggled to integrate different technologies from other businesses it has acquired, laying off employees in the process.


more at



nrips insight:

Over the years IBM Watson promised much to the healthcare world and delivered pretty much nothing.  I must say, reading up about IBM Watson taught me a thing or more about marketing :). Given that there is definitely good stuff being worked on within IBM, I hope that IBM will learn that healthcare requires patience and accuracy, and Watson will someday start doing good for healthcare.

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Which eHealth interventions are most effective for smoking cessation?

Which eHealth interventions are most effective for smoking cessation? | healthcare technology |

The Purpose of this study was to synthesize evidence of the effects and potential effect modifiers of different electronic health (eHealth) interventions to help people quit smoking.


Four databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, and The Cochrane Library) were searched in March 2017 using terms that included “smoking cessation”, “eHealth/mHealth” and “electronic technology” to find relevant studies. Meta-analysis and meta-regression analyses were performed.

Results: The review included 108 studies and 110,372 participants. Compared to nonactive control groups (eg, usual care), smoking cessation interventions using web-based and mobile health (mHealth) platform resulted in significantly greater smoking abstinence.

Similarly, smoking cessation trials using tailored text messages  and web-based information and conjunctive nicotine replacement therapy  may also increase cessation.


In contrast, little or no benefit for smoking abstinence was found for computer-assisted interventions. The magnitude of effect sizes from mHealth smoking cessation interventions was likely to be greater if the trial was conducted in the USA or Europe and when the intervention included individually tailored text messages. In contrast, high frequency of texts (daily) was less effective than weekly texts.



There was consistent evidence that web-based and mHealth smoking cessation interventions may increase abstinence moderately. Methodologic quality of trials and the intervention characteristics (tailored vs untailored) are critical effect modifiers among eHealth smoking cessation interventions, especially for web-based and text messaging trials. Future smoking cessation intervention should take advantages of web-based and mHealth engagement to improve prolonged abstinence. 


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Use of eHealth Technologies Common in MS Community

Use of eHealth Technologies Common in MS Community | healthcare technology |

Use of eHealth technologies is common in the multiple sclerosis (MS) population and facilitates the exchange of health care information with providers, according to a recent study.


However, use of eHealth and mHealth technologies varies substantially with sociodemographic factors, and health care providers need to be aware of these disparities as these technologies are increasingly leveraged in health care settings.


Researchers surveyed participants in the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry in 2017 about their use of eHealth technologies using questions adapted from the Health Information National Trends (HINTS) 4 Cycle 4 survey. They found:


  • Of 6,423 participants included in the analysis, most participants were female, and white, with a mean (SD) age of 59.7 (10.1) years.
  • Overall, 5,408 (84.2%) had exchanged medical information with a health professional most often using a secure online portal (1,839, 28.6%), followed by email (1,327, 20.7%).
  • Of the 5,529 smartphone and tablet users, 2,556 (46.2%) used an mHealth app.


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Estonia and Finland sign trailblazing medication deal

Estonia and Finland sign trailblazing medication deal | healthcare technology |

Estonia and Finland have signed an agreement which will allow Finns to purchase prescription medication in Estonia via e-prescriptions by the end of December.


Estonians will receive reciprocal rights in 2019.


The two countries hope that the deal will set a precedent other EU members will follow.


In an interview with Euractiv, Estonian Health Minister Riina Sikkut said that it is common practice for healthcare professionals in Estonia to use the e-health system to exchange patient medical records.


“But it is also important for people who have a need for healthcare services abroad to have his or her health data available to a doctor, nurse or a pharmacist so that they could also provide quality healthcare services and continuity of care,” said Ms Sikkut.


One concern which has prevented such agreements gaining traction before now is that digital prescriptions being available EU-wide could lead to medical tourism.


“When Finnish digital prescriptions become valid in Estonia, pharmaceutical drugs can only be bought here by the person to whom the drug is prescribed,” Kaidi Kelt, chief executive of Benu Pharmacies in Estonia, told Baltic News Services (BNS). She added that the possibility of medical tourism can thus be ruled out, stating that a person cannot collect all of their acquaintances’ prescriptions and make regular trips to Estonia simply to buy pharmaceutical drugs in bulk.


“Pharmaceutical drugs vary in their price and there is no reason to presume that everything is always cheaper in Estonia,” explains Ms Kelt.


“All European pharmacists are keeping an eye on us. The success of this project between Estonia and Finland could pave the way for implementing cross-border digital prescriptions in other EU states as well.”


Estonia also wants to be one of the first to implement the exchange of patient history, as part of the EU’s e-Health Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) project.




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Major grant for development of ehealth program for cardiac rehabilitation

Major grant for development of ehealth program for cardiac rehabilitation | healthcare technology |

Every year, more than 3 million people in Europe experience a heart attack. For half of them, this is not the first time. Most of these recurrent heart attacks can be prevented by improving the lifestyle after the first heart attack, for which patients are often offered cardiac rehabilitation. These programs consist of exercise and lifestyle recommendations. Cardiac rehabilitation is provided at specialized centers.
According to estimates, if all cardiac patients were to undergo cardiac rehabilitation, the mortality from myocardial infarctions could fall by 26 percent and hospital admissions by more than 30 percent. Despite these benefits, less than half of cardiac patients receive cardiac rehabilitation. This lack of participation is mainly due the distance to the cardiac rehabilitation centers, which patients experience as being too far. There are also many objections to the limited possibilities for taking an individualized program.
Research has shown that an internet-based rehabilitation program can achieve the same results as rehabilitation at a center. An e-health application for cardiac rehabilitation could therefore eliminate many obstacles for patients.


However, such an application is not yet available.


With Eurostar funding of € 1.9 million, a European consortium of researchers and companies will create CaRe, a mobile platform for cardiac rehabilitation.


Maria Hopman is creating this e-health program for cardiac rehabilitation together with a consortium of Danish and Swiss companies. Starting in 2021, the program will be available for physiotherapists and hospitals in Europe.


more at





nrips insight:

This week I am finding a lot of exciting pilots being funded well enough to take them to commercialization. Which is excellent. However, I find a number of such pilots seem to overlap in ideas and purpose. I wish there is collaboration of ideas between similar projects, especially, if not only to avoid another lack of interoperability scenario, arising 3-4 years from now, and causing pain for patients and care givers alike.

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4 Companies Using Tech to Make #MentalHealth Help More Accessible 

4 Companies Using Tech to Make #MentalHealth Help More Accessible  | healthcare technology |

Those suffering from mental health problems have more options than ever before. And along with the tireless efforts of advocates and mental health professionals, technological advancements have also played a large role in combating mental illness.


From diagnosing mental health issues, to finding local treatment options and support groups, the internet allows us to deal with mental health in a way that previous generations would never have thought possible. And thanks to advances in smartphone technology, new methods such as online therapy are becoming more and more common.


According to the American Psychological Association, some studies indicate that “telemental health” and “asynchronous messaging therapy” can, in some cases, “be as effective as in-person therapy.”


Other studies have shown that online therapy often proves useful as a first step for those who are reluctant to get help, and can lead to patients to seeking out more intensive treatment methods.


For those who are interested in exploring the world of online therapy, we list here 4 websites which are a great place to start on your journey toward optimal mental health.

You can receive online therapy, counseling, and psychiatry with these sites that optimize your mental health.





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