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Volume 19, Number 18, August 31, 2022


Interoperability is the Secret to Effective Healthcare

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 32% of individuals who went to the doctor in 2018 reported a gap in information exchange. This gap included anything from needing to redo a test because their prior data was unavailable, provide medical history because their chart could not be found, bring results to an appointment, or waiting longer than expected for lab results. This lack of data stewardship causes a loss of patient data, which forgoes interoperability that the health IT industry has been working toward for 20+ years. 
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How Does Canada Build a Digital and Data-Driven Healthcare System?

Public Policy Forum, in partnership with Queen’s University and Johnson & Johnson, today released a report titled Canadian Health Care’s Digital Future: Voices of Key Leaders. Stemming from two roundtables of experts and stakeholders representing academia, healthcare, technology, government and business, the latest report highlights key discussions and recommendations for transitioning to an equitable, efficient and innovative digital healthcare model in Canada.
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Building a Digital Healthcare Learning Center for the WHO Academy

Executive director of the WHO Academy Agnes Buzyn talks about the new center, which will provide over 100 programs to policymakers, health workers and the public, to open by 2024.
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EEG Caps for Brain Organoids

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created tiny EEG caps for brain organoids. The team was inspired by full size EEG caps that are used to measure brain activity in human patients. Previously, the Hopkins researchers were forced to use flat electrode arrays that were originally designed to take recordings from cell monolayers, but applying a flat surface to a round organoid only results in measurements from a handful of cells that make full contact. 
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Bioengineered Cornea Restores Sight

Scientists at Linköping University in Sweden have developed a collagen-based corneal implant that can restore sight to blind patients with corneal disease. The breakthrough could pave the way for such patients to receive effective treatment for corneal disease without requiring a corneal transplant from a human donor. There is a shortage of donor corneas, so creating an off-the-shelf alternative could be very useful.
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Why Mobilised Data is the Most Valuable Tool in Healthcare

As chief clinical Information officer (CCIO) at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Martin Farrier feels there should be a shift in focus from what is inputted into an EPR system towards what is outputted, such that the information can be mobilised and enable improvements to care practices. Dr Farrier explains why mobilised data is the most valuable tool in healthcare and that this will especially be the case as we work to achieve the plans set out in the Data Saves Lives strategy in an Integrated Care System (ICS) context.
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AI Predicts Alzheimer’s Disease from a Single Brain Scan

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells over time. A new study shows how artificial intelligence machine learning can be used in the development of a biomarker based on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for.
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Tools That Could Enable the Future of AI in Healthcare

To drive a wide adoption of AI in healthcare, collaboration and coordination across governments, industry, and technology is needed to address the challenges with data, governance and ethics. The need for a medical ecosystem that supports the use of AI is an important one. Without it, the exciting medical research in AI happening today will not continue to be enabled.
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Artificial Intelligence was Supposed to Transform Healthcare. It Hasn’t.

Investors see healthcare’s future as inextricably linked with artificial intelligence. That’s obvious from the cash pouring into AI-enabled digital health startups, including more than $3 billion in the first half of 2022 alone and nearly $10 billion in 2021, according to a Rock Health investment analysis.
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News From Canada

Alberta Health Services, Blue Cross Plan Tap Yes Health to Pilot Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program

Approximately 667,000 people in Alberta live with prediabetes—which places individuals at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because of having higher than normal blood glucose levels. The province had the largest increase in diabetes prevalence in Canada over the last 10 years, and the rate of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is expected to rise another 44% over the next decade, according to the Alberta Health Services (AHS).
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Medtronic Completes Acquisition of Affera

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Affera, Inc. This acquisition expands the company's cardiac ablation portfolio to include its first-ever cardiac mapping and navigation platform that encompasses a differentiated, fully integrated diagnostic, focal pulsed field and radiofrequency ablation solution.
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Teladoc Health & Cloud DX Partner in Canada to Enhance Remote Monitoring Solutions for Patients across the Country

In this partnership, the existing RPM services of the Cloud DX platform in Canada will be enhanced with Teladoc Health's virtual care capabilities. Hospitals and clinics use the Cloud DX platform and tools to manage acute and medically complex patients, including for example, people with COPD, heart failure, or post-surgical needs
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Health Canada and the 35,000 Missing Computers

Health Canada’s technology systems were in such shambles before the COVID-19 pandemic that more than 35,000 computers were missing, an internal audit found. That was only one of a very long list of problems the auditors found in the department’s information-technology branch, which also manages IT for the Public Health Agency of Canada. 
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'On Full Alert': Newfoundland and Labrador's Cyberattack Prompting Other Provinces to Take Closer Look at Cyber Security

Healthcare providers have some of your most private information in their databases — a detailed list of your ailments, the drugs you’re taking, your identification and contact information — and there’s a good chance a cybercriminal is trying to steal it all for a quick buck. In October 2021, a cyberattack on the health authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador plunged the province’s healthcare system into a crisis.
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200 Drivers to Participate in Digital Health Research Project

Moncton University researcher Dr. Jalila Jbilou and her team will work with 200 professional truck drivers on a real-world and real-time digital health project, according to a news release. THAT (Truckers’ Health Adaptive Technology) aims to develop behavioral interventions and enhanced standards of integrated primary care for healthy living behaviors, to prevent or alleviate chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
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COVID Pandemic Highlighted Canada's Unique Pharmaceutical IP Protection Regime

In a COVID-19 environment that has seen accelerated vaccine development, it is important to understand that Canada has developed a unique IP regime for pharmaceutical innovation, which is distinct from other types of innovation
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How Toronto Virtual Clinics are Helping Significantly Cut Wait Times by Nearly 40% in Some Cases

Typically, a referral to a neurologist in Southwestern Ontario takes about 60 days, according to a letter to the editor from the centre published in The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences last year, But wait times in Canada for non-urgent consultations increased to 24 weeks, according to the letter.
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