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 | Vol. 12 No. 16, August 12, 2015 |

More than Two-Thirds of British Adults Think the NHS Should Use Technology More to Increase Efficiency and Improve Patient Outcomes
More than two-thirds (68%) of British adults believe that the NHS could and should use technology more in order to increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes and raise the overall patient experience, according to online research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Trustmarque. However, the research has revealed that NHS England isn’t on target to meet the Government’s commitment to give everybody online access to their GP records by 2015. Indeed, 96% of respondents stated they either didn’t have online access to all of their health records, or were unaware of whether they did or not.
The findings also highlighted that the inability of health professionals to share information effectively was affecting patient care and efficiency. Almost two-fifths (39%) of adults said they or someone they knew had to provide health professionals (such as GPs, pharmacists, hospital workers etc.) with the same medical information on more than one occasion in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, over a quarter (28%) stated they or someone they knew had experienced a delay in receiving care due to health professionals not sharing information.
A Trustmarque commentary on the findings says “there is a clear opportunity for the NHS to encourage more patients to use the e-Referral Service, simply by raising awareness of it among the general public.” Despite the existence of the well-established online advice services, such as NHS Choices and the Emis-run, just a fifth (21%) of those polled said they used online healthcare information regularly.

First Response Monitor Tracks Heart, Respiratory Rates in Multiple Trauma Victims
The Cambridge Design Partnership, an industrial design consulting firm out of Cambridge, UK, has created a vital signs monitor designed to help first responders to manage multiple victims during emergency situations. The First Response Monitor clips onto the nose and immediately begins monitoring the heart and respiratory rate of the person wearing it. The readings can be transmitted in real-time to a paired smartphone or tablet via the latest Bluetooth low energy wireless standard. EMTs or battlefield medics can quickly snap the devices on all the trauma victims in their care and begin monitoring their vitals en masse.
While the First Response Monitor was designed for emergency situations involving multiple victims, because the device is so small and easily deployed it may find use in hospitals and clinics for keeping a discreet eye on patients. Moreover, the respiratory rate has been easy to ignore in the past because only compact heart rate monitors have been around for a while now, but thanks to this new device the respiratory rate will hopefully get more attention as a factor to consider during acute situations.
Elastic Material Sticks to Skin, Releases Drugs When Stretched
A team of investigators from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have designed a novel drug release technology that relies on a stretchable elastomer and drug loaded nanoparticles to unload medication when the skin flexes and contracts. The idea is that this kind of approach can deliver drugs transdermally only when needed. For example, people with arthritis may be able to get pain relieving drugs during walks in doses that are proportional to how many steps are taken.
The patches consist of an elastomer that has tiny capsules throughout its surface, each filled with drug loaded nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are designed to slowly release a medication into the capsules where they reside. The capsules themselves are not impermeable, but will let compounds through when enough pressure is applied to them. This pressure comes from stretching of the elastomer film, which in turn stretches the capsules and compresses them to release the drugs. Microneedles placed below each capsule allow the drugs to pass into the skin. The combination of the mechanisms lets the nanoparticles load the capsules with a small amount of a medication and release it into the skin immediately on demand.

Canada: ConnectingSouthWestOntario (cSWO) Hospitals 100% Connected
Together with the local health integration networks (LHINs) and health service providers, eHealth Ontario is working to deliver integrated healthcare for Ontarians. Regional integration involves the development of three health information hubs (connectingGTA, connectingSouthWestOntario [cSWO] and connectingNorthernandEasternOntario [cNEO]). As part of eHealth Ontario’s cSWO program, on July 16, 2015, the remaining six hospital sites in Erie St. Clair were successfully integrated with the regional clinical viewer, ClinicalConnect™. This means that 100% of the 67 acute care hospital sites in south west Ontario now provide data as part of the integrated EHR for Ontarians. Data from the regional cancer care programs and the community care access centres (CCACs) in each of the four south west Ontario LHINs is also available through ClinicalConnect. In addition, lab requests and results from eHealth Ontario’s Ontario laboratories information system (OLIS) and diagnostic images from 53 hospitals through Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) are now integrated in ClinicalConnect.
HORIZON 2020 in Brief: The EU Framework Program for Research & Innovation
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever. It will lead to more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) - in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract.
Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe's leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that investment in research and innovation is essential for Europe's future and so put it at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this by coupling research to innovation and focusing on three key areas: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology that drives economic growth.

Hopkins Looks to Code to Identify a 'Major and Underappreciated' Health Problem
Johns Hopkins University researchers have taken to their computers to tackle one of the top killers in the nation's hospitals: sepsis. Chemicals released in the bloodstream trigger body-wide inflammation, which can weaken the heart, impede the flow of blood and oxygen, and cause organs to fail. It's difficult to predict, diagnose and treat.
But the Hopkins researchers have developed a model that has shown promise in identifying which patients are likely to develop the condition — often, before the damage begins and when treatments are more likely to work. If their code is proved effective during a pilot program to begin in the next year at Howard County General Hospital, it could be rapidly deployed to any facility that uses electronic medical records. The computer model pores over data taken regularly from patients, such as blood pressure and heart rate, and determines the risk of sepsis. The condition is not only devastating; it's also costly, because it prolongs hospital stays.
In their study, published this month in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers used thousands of health records from patients in the intensive care unit at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center over six years to predict the disease 85% of the time. Two-thirds of the time, they predicted sepsis before it inflicted any damage. Clinicians most often detect sepsis in the beginning stages, when body temperature changes, heart and respiration rates rise, and they know or think there is an infection. Without IV fluids, antibiotics and other treatments, the condition can cascade into septic shock, causing lasting damage or death.
Many Primary Care Providers Say Health IT Positively Affects Care
Many primary care providers view health IT as a positive addition to care delivery, according to an issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund and Kaiser Family Foundation. For the brief, the Commonwealth Fund and KFF between January and March surveyed more than 1,600 PCPs and 525 clinicians who work in primary care practices. According to the brief, many respondents said that health IT has had positive effects on quality of care. Specifically, 64% of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said health IT has positively affected providers' ability to deliver quality care and 50% of PCPs said health IT has positively affected providers' ability to deliver quality care.
In comparison, 28% of PCPs and 20% of other clinicians said health IT had a negative effect on the delivery of quality care, 10% of PCPs and 8% of other clinicians said health IT had no effect on the delivery of quality care and 11% of PCPs and 7% of other clinicians said they were unsure.
Open Call H2020-ISSI-2015-1 for Integrating Society in Science and Innovation (ISSI-3-2015: Knowledge Sharing Platform)
Evidence from Sixth Framework Programme Science and Society (S&S) and Seventh Framework Programme Science in Society (SiS) programs shows that more consistent policy development in Science and Technology requires systematic cooperation and a shared knowledge base on which European, national and sub-national research and innovation policy decisions can be drawn from.
The topic aims to foster the sharing of 'Science With and For Society' experience and know-how in Europe, and beyond. Activities shall envisage building a Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP) to federate Responsible Research and Innovation communities and make RRI and its key dimensions more effective research and innovation policy support tools. It shall simultaneously operate and draw from the networking of relevant projects, service contracts and actors. Furthermore, the KSP shall provide an RRI assessment and good practice function, and will disseminate and advocate findings with a view to strengthen European leadership in the governance of Responsible Research and Innovation in both policy-relevant and thematic European and global fora corresponding to the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges.
Health IT Summit in Vancouver, BC, September 17 - 18, 2015
Institute for Health Technology Transformation Vancouver Health IT Summit


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