| Vol. 12 No. 10, May 20, 2015 |
FACTS AND STATS
Analysis Finds Telehealth Might Help Change 'Future Path of Diabetes'
Telehealth interventions can help diabetics with glycemic control, increasing their exercise levels and reducing their body weight, according to an analysis of 73 research articles, published recently in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.
The analysis examined 73 articles that evaluated the outcomes of using telehealth to help control diabetes. According to the analysis authors, the articles varied in terms of patient populations, research protocols and technologies and resources used. The authors found that among the research articles the telephone was the tool most often used for telehealth diabetes interventions and the Internet was the tool most often used for teleretinopathy. They also found that collecting and using data is important for successfully incorporating telehealth into diabetes care.
The researchers said their findings demonstrate that "telediabetes warrants a prominent place in the medical armamentarium that must be marshaled to face and perhaps change the future path of diabetes."
Octopus Inspires Flexible Tool for Minimally Invasive Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery has come a long way, but it still relies on rigid instruments that slide in and out of the body on linear tracks. This limitation prevents many operations from being conducted in a minimally invasive fashion. An engineering team from Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy took inspiration from octopus tentacles to build a device that can bend on demand, perhaps one day resulting in flexible endoscopic surgical tools that can reach anywhere in the body. The device consists of two parts, each able to flex in any direction thanks to inflatable cylinders positioned inside. There are three cylinders per module that combine their efforts to bend in different directions. The entire device is made from soft materials, but can become stiff and rigid on demand thanks to an internal membrane that is filled with a granular material to which a vacuum is applied.
Electric Bandages Speed Up Healing of Wounds
Electricity underlies just about every process in the body in some way, and researchers at University of Manchester are studying it to create electronic bandages that can speed up healing. They recruited 40 volunteers who had two identical wounds created on their inner arms using a punch biopsy. One was allowed to heal naturally, while the other was treated with electric current delivered in pulses over a period of two weeks. The researchers showed substantial increase in new vascular growth within the treated wound that grew smaller faster than the untreated one. The new findings, published in PLoS ONE, will form the basis for the creation of electronic bandages and other wound healing devices that would be optimized to a specific task. The University of Manchester team is partnering with Oxford BioElectronics Ltd., an Abingdon, England firm, to embark on a five year project to develop and test such devices and help bring them to market.
UK: Records Access Target Hit
Nearly all GP practices in England are able to offer a variety of online services to patients, including access to a summary of their record, appointment booking, and ordering repeat prescriptions. Data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre appears to justify the “optimism” expressed by NHS England in March that that the government’s target for online access to medical records would be hit. The HSCIC’s indicator portal shows that on 31 March 2015, 7,566 practices were offering patients the opportunity to view a subset of their medical records online. That is 96.8% of the total 7,813 practices in England and translates to a potential user base of more than 55 million people. The initial plan was to provide patients with online access to their full patient record by 31 March 2015, but these plans were later scaled back to require GP practices to provide access to the information held by the Summary Care Record by this date. The latest figures show that the target of 95% of practices was hit; although 197 practices had still not enabled the functionality by the end of March, while a further ten had no functionality in place.
Healthcare and the Online World | CBC’s Check Up Panel (video)
What happens to your healthcare in a digital world? Our Check Up panel tackles that tricky question. Statistics provided by Canada Health Infoway.
EU: Healthcare Projects Should Collaborate on Open Source
Software projects in healthcare would benefit from increased collaboration, using open source, exchanging know-how and open documentation, say experts from IsfTeH, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. “Most important is the sharing of best practices, but reusing common software components also reduces costs”, the experts say. The experts, Thomas Karopka, Monika Hubler and Etienne Saliez are promoting the use of free and open source software in healthcare. Since 2013, they have been involved in the organisation of the ‘Open Source Village’, part of the the annual Medetel eHealth conference in Luxembourg. At this year’s conference on 22 April, they they reviewed a handful of open source eHealth solutions. “It was not an official presentation”, MD Saliez says. “We talked about a few of the more well-known open source projects, including hospital information project GNU/Health, the OSCAR Electronic Medical Record system and the Ipath telemedicine solution.
Chronométriq Launches Its First Ever Self-Service Health Kiosk in Quebec
Chronométriq is pleased to announce the launch of its first self-service health kiosk. Created in partnership with TELUS Health and the Lévis-Métro medical clinic, the kiosk enables clinics to improve access to the health services they offer as well as optimize patient reception and registration. The Chronométriq system, created to enable health network users to wait anywhere they want, is used today by hundreds of thousands of patients in Quebec and Ontario. With the launch of its self-service health kiosk, Chronométriq aims to simplify the lives of patients and healthcare providers by optimizing interactions between them. With Chronométriq’s kiosk, patients will be able, among other things, to notify administrative staff of their arrival at the clinic, get estimates of waiting time before their appointments, and even plan their next appointments.
HIMSS Analytics Announces EMRAM Stage 7 Revalidation Process
HIMSS Analytics announced a new Stage 7 revalidation process for the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). Moving forward, the validation will have a three year lifespan. All stage 7 organizations will need to initiate the revalidation process between the second anniversary of the original validation and its expiration date. As of fourth quarter 2014, 3.6% of hospitals and 6.2% of ambulatory facilities had achieved Stage 7 in the United States--meaning they are virtually paperless and are able to readily share clinical information electronically. In most cases, the revamped revalidation process will include a pared-down site visit. However, when a new core clinical vendor is implemented or an organization has changed ownership, one should expect a full three-person site visit. Stage 7 healthcare organizations will receive notification and thorough instructions regarding the new process by year's end.
Agfa HealthCare Invests in and for France, as a Major Strategic Player in the Digital Healthcare and Imaging Markets
Agfa HealthCare announces that it is committed to continue to strengthen its role as a major player in the French digital healthcare and imaging markets. The Agfa Group now counts 730 employees in France, across nine sites, including four R&D centers. France is a strategic market for Agfa HealthCare. The company is focusing on developing and marketing its solutions to meet the specific needs of French hospitals. It uses its extensive and long-term experience to create and continuously improve healthcare IT solutions that cover the needs of public and private healthcare enterprises, whether operating as single facilities, multi-site hospitals or regional groups, as well as the requirements for interoperability between the different healthcare actors within the defined Health Territories.
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