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Vol. 11 No. 11, May 21, 2014


82% of Young Adults Would Prefer Telehealth to In-Person Visit
A new study from MDLIVE, a US telehealth software provider, has found the vast majority (82%) of young adults age 18 to 34 say having a consultation with their physician via a mobile device is the best option for them (infographic). The nationwide survey was conducted online in March within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of MDLIVE among over 2,000 adults ages 18 and over. The survey, which was aimed at discovering how Americans feel about having mobile access to doctors in the United States, found that more than half of Americans who have a doctor (54%) have postponed a visit because it is too inconvenient. Top reasons for postponing a visit include: cannot take a day off from work (30%); high costs (25%); takes too long to get an appointment (16%); don’t want to sit too long in the waiting room (12%), among others.
The study also found young Americans would sacrifice something for access to their physician on their mobile device anytime. For example, 13% would give up shopping for a month and 9% would give up their next vacation. Of the respondents age 18 to 34, 42% would be willing to sacrifice something if it meant they would have access to their physician on their mobile device at any time. However, only 19% of people age 55 to 64 would sacrifice something for the mobile access to their physician.


Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Prostate Cancer Using Urine Samples
We may soon be able to make easy and early diagnoses of prostate cancer by smell. Investigators in Finland have established that a novel noninvasive technique can detect prostate cancer using an electronic nose. In a proof of principle study, the eNose successfully discriminated between prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by "sniffing" urine headspace (the space directly above the urine sample). Results using the eNose are comparable to testing prostate specific antigen (PSA), reports the Journal of Urology®.

New Wireless Technology Beams Power into Body to Energize Tiny Implantable Devices
Effectively powering implantable electronic devices has been a challenge ever since they first came to market. Researchers from Stanford University just reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on a new wireless charging system that can penetrate deep into the body to power a tiny, grain of rice-sized device. Previously, efficient power transfer through dense tissue without using large inducting coils has been difficult. The researchers overcame many of the challenges using a method called midfield powering to create a spot of high-energy that can be focused on the implant to power it remotely.

Mobile Phone Data Helps Combat Malaria
An international study led by the University of Southampton and the National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme (NVDCP) in Namibia has used mobile phone data to help combat malaria more effectively. The study used anonymised mobile records to measure population movements within Namibia in Africa over the period of a year (2010-11). By combining this data with information about diagnosed cases of malaria, topography and climate, the researchers have been able to identify geographical 'hotspots' of the disease and design targeted plans for its elimination. Geographer at the University of Southampton Dr Andy Tatem says: "Understanding the movement of people is crucial in eliminating malaria. Attempts to clear the disease from an area can be ruined by highly mobile populations quickly reintroducing the parasite which causes malaria. Our study demonstrates that the rapid global proliferation of mobile phones now provides us with an opportunity to study the movement of people, using sample sizes running in to millions. This data, combined with disease case based mapping, can help us plan where and how to intervene."


Canadian Nurses Poised for Digital Health Leadership
An inaugural survey undertaken jointly by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) reveals that 83% of Canadian nurses are comfortable using digital health tools in practice and approximately three-quarters feel digital health tools could improve continuity of care (78%) and patient safety (72%).
While nurses recognize that digital health tools present a range of benefits for both themselves and their patients, there are a number of factors impacting the full realization of digital health in nursing practice. Some of the barriers cited include the use of both paper and electronic systems to access patient information (61%), having multiple log-ins to access different clinical systems (54%) and inadequate types of tools and access for their roles. Those nurses currently using digital health tools use them mainly to enter and retrieve patient notes (65%).
Integrated Care and Communication across Sectors in New Zealand
Times are changing: the era of fragmented healthcare is nearing its end. Awareness has been growing in many health systems as a result of the major challenges which lie ahead - growing pressure on healthcare resources due to demographic change; increasing quality requirements, and tightening of budgets - can only be met by restructuring the whole approach to the provision of healthcare. In the future, it will be necessary to manage patients across the entire treatment process - from primary to inpatient care, rehabilitation and social care. In Canterbury, New Zealand, a new holistic approach to healthcare has been the goal for six years, with measurable success. A report written by The King's Fund - an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England - looks at the work undertaken by New Zealand’s Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) to create a more integrated, patient-centric, efficient and high quality healthcare system. Authors Nicholas Timmins, Senior Fellow, Health Policy and Chris Ham, Chief Executive explore how an integrated system has improved health care in Canterbury, and consider the lessons which other countries can learn from the Canterbury model.
Europe: e-Health Forum - Health Management in the 21st Century
This is eHealth Forum week, a time to discuss how technology can bring positive changes into healthcare systems and turn today's health and ageing challenges into economic growth. This year's Forum takes place in Greece, where the successful use of eHealth tools, developed as a result of EU research and innovation funding or support- can inspire other EU countries.

Kaiser Permanente $2 Million Grant Expands Maternity Services at MLK Jr. Community Hospital
Kaiser Permanente Southern California has announced a $2 million grant to help expand maternity services at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles, scheduled to open in the spring of 2015. The Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit grant will aid with the expansion of labor and delivery, as part of the new hospital’s Healthy Babies, Healthy Beginnings initiative to provide high-quality maternity services to 1.2 million residents throughout South Los Angeles and its surrounding communities, including Compton, Inglewood, Watts, Willowbrook and Lynwood. South L.A. has the highest rates of preterm births, infant mortality and low birth weight babies, according to the Community Health Councils. This grant will make it possible for the new state-of-the-art hospital to support and increase the number of healthy deliveries for families in the community.
Canada: Federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioner Issue New Guidelines for Online Consent
The federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioners published new guidelines to help organizations understand the importance of being transparent about their online privacy practices. The guidelines were developed in cooperation with the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of British Columbia and Alberta. Meaningful consent for the collection and use of personal information is an essential component of Canadian private-sector privacy laws. Private sector organizations are required to obtain meaningful consent before collecting, using and disclosing personal information. The new guidelines outline some of the key considerations for obtaining meaningful online consent. For example: organizations should be fully transparent about their privacy practices; communicating privacy practices is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; organizations should recognize and adapt to special considerations in managing the personal information of children and youth, and organizations should implement innovative ways of presenting privacy information to children and youth that take into account their cognitive and emotional development and life experience.


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