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Vol. 11 No. 20, September 24, 2014

FACTS AND STATS

Discussing Patient Portals During Office Visits Can Boost Use
Using primary care visits to encourage patients to use online patient portals is the most effective method for increasing use of the technology, according to a new study published recently in the Annals of Family Medicine. For the study, researchers analyzed data on 112,893 patients who had in-person medical visits at eight primary care practices in Virginia (US). Overall, the study found that promoting online patient portals during primary care visits was the most effective way to increase use of the technology, compared with mailing campaigns and other advertising efforts.
During the 31-month study period about 26% of the patients who visited the practices throughout the study created an account on the patient portal, about 33% of the patients who visited the practices during the final month of the study had a new or existing patient portal account and 23.5% of portal users signed up within one day of their visit. In comparison, just 16.8% of patients used the portals when mailing campaigns were used.
http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2014/9/17/study-discussing-patient-portals-during-office-visits-can-boost-use
http://annfammed.org/content/12/5/418.full

 
MEDICAL GADGETS

New Home Diagnosis Technology for Anemia with Less Than a Drop of Blood
This new technology developed at Georgia Tech and Emory University is able to generate an accurate anemia diagnosis from less than a drop of blood. The device uses a lance, similar to those used by diabetics, to generate a drop of blood. When the drop comes into contact with the device’s cap, the blood is drawn into the cap, a small vial, solely through capillary action. The cap then connects to the plastic testing kit which holds the chemical reagents. One specific component in the reagents is a reduction-oxidation reaction-sensitive dye that changes color based on the degree of anemia. Shaking the combined device mixes the blood and reagent to ultimately produce a certain color ranging from green-blue to red. A smart phone application can then be used to analyze the results to give accurate levels of hemoglobin in the blood.
http://www.medgadget.com/2014/09/new-home-diagnosis-technology-for-anemia-with-less-than-a-drop-of-blood.html
 
iGrow Hair Growth System Now Available Over The Counter
Apira Science received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration to offer its iGrow hair growth system over-the-counter. The device illuminates the scalp with red light using lasers and LEDs built into the helmet. It’s intended to be used at home three to four times a week for a period of about 25 minutes. Results, if it works for you, should be expected in four to six months. The helmet has a pair of headphones built-in for listening to music or audio books while hiding what you’re doing from people that might get the wrong idea. In the clinical study the iGrow re-grew hair 10 weeks faster than leading hand-held laser combs and brushes.
http://www.medgadget.com/2014/09/igrow-hair-growth-system-now-available-over-the-counter.html

           
GLOBAL WATERCOOLER

Canada: Infoway Wins Prestigious International Privacy Award
Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) and the Infoway-sponsored Health Information Privacy Group (HIPG) have received the HP-IAPP Privacy Innovation award from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). The award was presented on September 19, 2014 at the closing general session of the IAPP Privacy Academy and CSA Congress in San Jose, California. Infoway and the HIPG were recognized in the small organization category (fewer than 5,000 employees), for the landmark paper "Privacy and EHR Information Flows in Canada – Common understandings of the Pan-Canadian Health Information Privacy Group." The HIPG is a unique multi-disciplinary and inter-jurisdictional working group whose 14 members represent Canada's health ministries and eHealth agencies. The HIPG was created by Infoway in 2008 and is co-chaired by the ministries/agencies and Infoway.
https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/index.php/news-media/2014-news-releases/infoway-wins-prestigious-international-privacy-award
 
UK: Data Transparency Site Launched
The Department of Health has launched a new NHS website to improve the transparency of health data by providing easier access to information about health and care providers. The MyNHS site went live on September 19, 2014, and links to existing data that has already been published on patient safety, efficiency, quality, public health, social care commissioning and hospital food standards. The website has sections with quality indicators for NHS hospitals, social care data from local authorities, key public health outcomes in each local authority area, and information on the performance of public health services delivered by hospitals and GP practices within local authority areas. The site is a joint project between the DH, NHS England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission.
http://www.ehi.co.uk/news/EHI/9643/data-transparency-site-launched
 
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Calls for Proposals to Advance Privacy Knowledge and Awareness
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) issued a call for proposals under its 2015-16 Contributions Program, which funds independent privacy research and related knowledge translation initiatives. The Office invites proposals in a variety of areas related to privacy and protection of personal information in the private sector. Specifically, the Office is interested in receiving proposals for projects that will help anticipate, analyze and explain some of the defining privacy issues that will have a significant impact on Canadians in the coming years. For example, proposals may seek to explore the privacy impacts of emerging issues and technologies, such as big data analytics, biometric technologies, the Internet of Things, or covert surveillance systems.
https://www.priv.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2014/an_140918_e.asp


SIMPLY THE BEST
 
Increased Use of Digital Health Innovation Recognized
Three Canadian digital health leaders emerged as the award recipients in the Canada Health Infoway Accelerate Challenge, launched to help accelerate use of digital health innovation. Award recipients The Ottawa Hospital, The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Health PEI all recorded double-digit growth in the use of their solution over a six month period. They are among a group of eight digital health demonstration projects that Infoway invested in through its Consumer Health Solutions and Innovation investment programs. Recipients were recognized at an award ceremony at The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus this morning, joined by Mr. Royal Galipeau, MP, Ottawa-Orleans.
https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/index.php/news-media/2014-news-releases/increased-use-of-digital-health-innovation-recognized


TRENDS
 
US: Few Consumers Had Online Access to Health Records in 2013
Few consumers had online access to their medical records in 2013, according to an Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT data brief. The ONC brief is based on data collected in 2013 through a survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. The survey involved a nationally representative sample of about 2,100 individuals.
The survey showed that about 28% of respondents were offered online access to their health records. ONC attributed the low rates to "providers' limited capabilities prior to implementation of Stage 2 meaningful use," which requires at least 5% of individuals provided with online access to their health information to "view, download or transmit their records at least once." Among those with online access to their records, the survey showed that 46% of respondents accessed their records at least once, 21% accessed their data once or twice in the past year, 10% accessed their data six or more times in the past year and 54% did not access their data. The main reasons for not accessing the medical records online were: no need to view the data, privacy or security concerns with the website and no access to Internet.
http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2014/9/16/few-consumers-had-online-access-to-health-records-in-2013
http://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/consumeraccessdatabrief_9_10_14.pdf (PDF)
 
TELUS Health Announces Agreement to Acquire Pharmacy Management Software Company XD3 Solutions
TELUS Health announced it has signed an agreement to acquire XD3 Solutions, a pharmacy management solution provider currently serving 150 pharmacies in Quebec. During the past five years, TELUS has invested $20 million in research and development focused on pharmacy management and increased collaboration tools and services to support the transformation of healthcare in Canada. The transaction is expected to close on October 31, 2014.
http://www.telushealth.co/news/telus-health-announces-agreement-acquire-pharmacy-management-software-company-xd3-solutions/

 
INFOWAY UPDATE

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