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Vol. 11 No. 25, December 3, 2014


Study: Detailed EHR Analyses Could Help Identify New Rx Benefits
Detailed analysis of electronic health records could be an effective way to identify new prescription drug benefits, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).
For the study, researchers linked EHR from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Mayo Clinic with the facilities' tumor registries. The study included 32,415 adult patients diagnosed with cancer at VUMC from 1995 to 2010 and 79,258 cancer patients at Mayo. Researchers analyzed the patients' five-year survival rates when exposed and not exposed to metformin, a drug used "as a first-line therapy" for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Among VUMC patients, the study found that using metformin as a Type 2 diabetes therapy resulted in a 22% decrease in mortality compared with patients who received other oral hypoglycemic drugs, 23% decrease in all-cause mortality compared with non-diabetic, metformin-free patients, and 39% decrease in mortality compared with diabetics who received insulin but did not receive metformin.
Researchers said the associations between metformin use and the outcomes were replicated when analyzing the Mayo Clinic EHRs. In addition, the study found that metformin use was associated with a decrease in mortality from several site-specific cancers, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer.


Wireless-Powered Implantable Chip Treats Staph Infections, Dissolves Once Done
Staph infections are often localized in the body, yet can be very difficult to treat both invasively and using antibiotics. Now researchers from Tufts University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an implantable electronic device that is able to kill a staph infection and then dissolve into the body once its job is done. The chip is made out of a silk protein substrate with a magnesium heating element in between. The element is energized externally using a wireless transmitter, heating up and raising the temperature of the tissue around enough to kill bacteria. The treatment time can be controlled by deciding for how long to deliver the RF energy and the silk substrate can be manufactured to dissolve at different rates to allow the implant to be tailored for different applications. In a study on mice, the device worked extremely well in treating staph infections and dissolved completely within about two weeks.
VTT Develops a Simple but Extremely Sensitive Magnetometer
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an innovative magnetometer that can replace conventional technology in applications such as neuroimaging, mineral exploration and molecular diagnostics. Its manufacturing costs are between 70 and 80 per cent lower than those of traditional technology, and the device is not as sensitive to external magnetic fields as its predecessors. The design of the magnetometer also makes it easier to integrate into measuring systems.
Students Build Sonar Powered Watch to Help Blind People Get Around
A team of students at Wake Forest University have developed a wrist-worn device that mimics the bats’ echolocation sense. The unit has a couple sonar sensors that emit high frequency sound and are able to measure the distance to objects based on the returning echo. This is reinterpreted into vibration that the wearer feels that changes in frequency depending on how close the object in front is. The team recruited a blind student who normally gets help from a guide dog to get around to test the device, and she was able to successfully recognize closed doors in her way. They next plan to miniaturize the device and to try to make it use less electricity so that it can run on a built-in battery. The current components cost less than $60, which means that this technology may one day turn into a real product.


Newfoundland and Labrador Hosts First Province-Wide Launch of Upopolis Social Network for Young Patients
Eastern Health and Central Health of Newfoundland and Labrador and TELUS Health and Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) announced the first province-wide launch of Upopolis, an innovative social networking tool helping pediatric patients access kid-friendly medical content and stay connected to their families, friends and schools. Founded and created by KHLF and powered by TELUS Health, is Canada’s only private social network designed for youth receiving medical care in hospitals and treatment centres. Upopolis provides familiar features of social networking, such as personal profiles, micro-blogging, newsfeed, instant chat, and photo uploading while giving patients the opportunity to stay up to date with schoolwork, and navigate through child-friendly medical information verified and approved by healthcare professionals.
EU: Open Call PHC-27-2015 Self-management of Health and Disease and Patient Empowerment Supported by ICT
Empowering citizens and patients to manage their own health and disease can result in more cost-effective healthcare systems by enabling the management of chronic diseases outside institutions, improving health outcomes, and by encouraging healthy citizens to remain so. Several clinical situations would be prevented or better monitored and managed with the participation of the patient him or herself. Care sciences may complement the medical perspective without increasing the cost.
United Kingdon: NHS Security 'Slip-Ups' Highlight Need for EHR
A freedom of information request has revealed there were 701 breaches of security relating to patient data between April 2013 and March 2014 – of those 137 incidents (or 20%) involved loss or theft of paperwork. This was superseded only by “information disclosed in error” – which made up 21% of all cases. Furthermore, 12% (83 incidents) relate to health professionals posting or faxing letters containing personal details to the wrong recipient. Non-secure disposal of paperwork (48) accounted for 7% of total incidents. These figures, obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), contrast with the number of data breaches related to patient information stored that is online.

COACH, IMIA and CNIA Invite Applications for IMIA Nursing Informatics SIG (Open to COACH and CNIA Colleagues)
COACH, the Canadian member of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), jointly with the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association (CNIA), invites applications for the appointed representative seat on the IMIA Nursing Informatics (NI) Special Interest Group (SIG).
COACH and CNIA wish to identify a new representative to bring the Canadian NI agenda and initiatives forward to the international table and contribute to advancing NI world-wide.
Agfa HealthCare Reaches Milestone with 50,000 Digital Radiography Solutions Installed Globally
Agfa HealthCare announces that it has an installed base of over 50,000 digital radiography solutions in hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities around the world. With its complete portfolio of computed radiography (CR) and direct radiography (DR), it can meet the digital imaging needs of any size facility, from high-throughput hospitals with either centralized or decentralized environments, to mid-sized and small hospitals and clinics.

Elekta’s MOSAIQ® Ambulatory EMR Solution Achieves Canada Health Infoway Certification
Canada Health Infoway and Elekta announced that the MOSAIQ® Ambulatory (outpatient) Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution has achieved Infoway's J-Class, Laboratories certification. Elekta's MOSAIQ Ambulatory EMR solution underwent an assessment process to demonstrate that it has met a series of pre-defined, domain specific assessment criteria set by Infoway in order to achieve certification. MOSAIQ is a vendor-neutral, scalable platform that centralizes radiation and medical oncology patient data into a single-user interface, designed to provide a complete picture of patient care.


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