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Vol. 12 No. 6, March 25, 2015


Text Message Reminders Boost Breast Cancer Screening Attendance
Women who received a text message reminding them about their breast cancer screening appointment were 20% more likely to attend than those who were not texted, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers, funded by the Imperial College Healthcare Charity, trialled text message reminders for women aged 47-53 years old who were invited for their first appointment for breast cancer screening.
The team compared around 450 women who were sent a text with 435 women who were not texted. It found that 72% of women who were sent a text message reminder attended their screening appointment, compared with 60% who were not. Text message reminders had the biggest impact on women from the most deprived areas who were 28% more likely to attend their first screening appointment if they were sent a text. The research found that women were almost three times more likely to cancel their appointment in advance if they were sent a text message reminder.


Laser Powered, Ultrasound Delivered Gold-Coated Nanoparticles to Fight Acne
Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara and Sebacia (Duluth, GA), a clinical-stage medical device company have developed a novel approach to treating acne using a high-tech combination of ultrasound, gold coated particles and lasers. Acne is caused by a build up of oily sebum and the hair, dirt and other materials which it traps leading to blocked pores. This blockage results in inflammation and infection which manifest as lesions on the skin. The new technique inhibits the production of sebum, essentially getting down to the root cause of the problem. It works by injecting gold-coated silica nanoparticles into the sebaceous glands and heating them up.
The injection is done with the assistance of an ultrasound transducer, which shakes and pushes the nanoparticles through the follicle and into the sebaceous glands. Once the 150 nm particles are in position, a conventional dermatology near-infrared laser light is illuminated over the treatment sites. The nanoparticles are sensitive to this frequency of light, in turn resonating and generating local points of heat. This heat is able to prevent the treated sebaceous glands from generating any more sebum, preventing any potential blockage of follicles and stopping acne at the source.
Mayo Clinic Surgeons Investigate Use of Drones for Medicine
Commercially available unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones are already being used by farmers to survey fields, real estate agents to survey properties, and by rescue teams to look for people in difficult to reach places. Lately there have been attempts to use drones for medical applications, such as ferrying automatic external defibrillators and emergency medicines faster than ambulances. In the latest Air Medical Journal, three researchers from Mayo Clinic’s Department of Surgery investigate the potential for drones to be used to deliver things such as drugs and blood derivatives to clinics, disaster areas, and to remote places that are expensive to reach such as ships and offshore oil platforms.


UK: Welsh Ambulance Crews to Use Digi Pens
The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust has agreed a deal with Anoto for 1,700 digital pens to be given to its ambulance crews across Wales. It is Anoto’s largest digital pen roll out in the NHS to date, and service for the pens will be provided by Vodafone UK. The total contract is worth £850,000 and will last for an initial run of three years. By using the digital pens, ambulance crews in Wales will be able to complete a handwritten patient clinical record as per usual. Rather than duplicating a copy of the form to be transferred to the trust’s clinical audit department for scanning and verification, the paramedic’s notes will be stored directly on the pen.
This encrypted data can then be transferred instantly to the audit department once a pen is docked at a hospital or the ambulance station. The decision to use digital pens comes after a successful trial at Swansea ambulance station. Other alternatives, such as tablet devices, were evaluated by the trust, but the pens were deemed to be the best fit considering that they require the least amount of change to the paramedic’s current routine.
India: Health Ministry to Set up National eHealth Authority to Develop Integrated Health Information System
The Union health ministry will soon establish the National eHealth Authority (NeHA) which will be the nodal authority that will be responsible for development of an Integrated Health Information System (including Telemedicine and mHealth) in India, while collaborating with all the stakeholders, viz., healthcare providers, consumers, healthcare technology industries, and policymakers. The Authority will act as a promotional, regulatory and standards setting organization to guide and support India’s journey in e-Health and consequent realization of benefits of ICT intervention in health sector in an orderly way.  It will be responsible for enforcing the laws & regulations relating to the privacy and security of the patients health information & records. The ministry has invited comments and suggestions from the stakeholders on this concept note by April 20, 2015.
France: Cardiauvergne, a Telemonitoring Service for Heart Failure Patients
Cardiauvergne is a healthcare cooperation grouping (GCS of 35 partners) which proposes remote monitoring service and care coordination for patients with heart failure. The primary objective of Cardiauvergne is to improve the prognosis of heart failure patients by improving their medical care through remote monitoring. The management of Heart Failure involves many health professionals (hospital or liberal cardiologist, general practitioner, pharmacist, nurse, dietician, physiotherapist etc.). The main tasks of Cardiauvergne are:
  • Coordination and better distribution of care tasks after transmission of the information needed to monitor the patient through the sharing of a computerized medical record.
  • Application of support for the recommendations approved by the Scientific Committee Cardiauvergne.
  • Therapeutic education of patients with Heart Failure and their caregivers.

Tech-Savvy Seniors Want Online Options to Access Care from Home
An Accenture survey shows a growing demand among tech-savvy seniors (67%) who want to access healthcare services from home, but the majority (66%) are worried today's technology isn't sufficient to do so. The survey showed seniors who place a higher priority on technology are more likely to proactively manage their health. For example, most seniors (75%) who value technology are active in tracking their weight digitally, compared to 43% of those who do not. Similarly, half of tech-savvy seniors are actively monitoring their cholesterol, compared to 31% of those who do not value technology.
The survey results indicate that seniors are interested in accessing a number of digital technology applications they can use to better manage their healthcare, including:
  • Self-care: More than two-in-three seniors prefer to use self-care technology to independently manage their health.
  • Wearables: More than three-in-five seniors are willing to wear a health-monitoring device to track vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Online Communities: Three-in-five seniors are somewhat or very likely to turn to online communities, such as Patient Like Me, for reactions to a doctor’s recommendation before acting on it.
  • Navigating Healthcare: A third of seniors would prefer to work with a patient navigator to manage their healthcare.
  • Health Record Management: A quarter of seniors regularly use electronic health records for managing their health, such as accessing lab results (57%), and projections by Accenture suggest it will grow to 42% in five years, as consumer-facing tools increase.

Six HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 Hospitals Awarded at HIMSS Turkey Educational Conference & Exhibition
Six Turkish hospitals will be awarded the prestigious Stage 6 EMRAM award for demonstrating outstanding levels of IT implementation ensuring superior healthcare services and much increased patient safety. The awards will be presented at the second HIMSS Turkey Educational Conference & Exhibition, which opens its doors in Antalya. The conference, a joint initiative between the Turkish Ministry of Health and HIMSS Europe, is the second in a series of five conferences. The six HIMSS EMRAM (EMR Adoption Model) Stage 6 hospitals to be awarded are:
  • Tirebolu Devlet Hastanesi, Giresun.
  • Dr. Suat Seren Göğüs Hastalıkları ve Cerrahisi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, İzmir
  • Meslek Hastalıkları Hastanesi, Ankara
  • Bandırma Devlet Hastanesi, Balıkesir
  • Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Hastanesi, Bolu
  • Katip Çelebi Üniversitesi Atatürk Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, İzmir
EHI Awards 2015 Open for Entries
Entries are now open for the EHI Awards 2015, which will be presented at a new venue in the heart of central London this autumn. The annual awards recognize the great work being done by healthcare IT teams across the UK, and will culminate in a black-tie dinner at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel on Thursday, 1 October. The categories for the EHI Awards 2015 are the same as in 2014. A full list of the awards categories, and guidance on how to enter, is available on their dedicated website. Entries will be open for the next two months, and must be received by 4pm on 8 May.


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