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 | Vol. 12 No. 22, November 4, 2015  |

Social Media, Data Analytics Enable Real-Time Flu Tracking
Combined data from electronic health records, crowdsourced surveillance information, Google searches and Twitter posts can accurately track influenza outbreaks in real time, according to a study published recently in PLOS Computational Biology.
For the study, the US researchers at Boston Children's Hospital used "ensemble modeling," which uses different sources of information and predictive analytics to determine the probability of an event. The researchers used four major sources of data to predict flu symptoms for particular populations: Athenahealth EHR data processed in near real time, crowd-sourced surveillance data from HealthMap's Flu Near You website, Google search data and Twitter messages.
The ensemble model predicted results more accurately than models using only a single stream of data, reaching a 90% correlation with CDC's two-week forecast for flu outbreaks. In addition, the model operated in real time and correlated almost exactly with CDC's reports of actual flu activity. The researchers said that while the model only tracks the flu on a national scale, they hope to expand it to operate within more-narrow geographical regions and for other diseases. They also hope to create a public tool for flu prediction.    


Smartphone Pilot Signals White Coat Syndrome Solution
A smartphone pilot study has highlighted a potential solution for white coat syndrome - the medical phenomenon responsible for sending some patients’ blood pressure soaring in the GP surgery. Patient Angela Howard was able to prove that her surgery blood pressure test results were uncharacteristically high and not an accurate reflection of her actual health in a month-long trial of the Personal Health Record (PHR) within EMIS Health's Patient Access app.
EMIS Health's personal health record - integrated with Apple's HealthKit - enables UK citizens to manage their own health in partnership with their GP and other health professionals. More than 13,500 users have logged 4.4 million pieces of information since the PHR was launched last year. Patients connect with their PHR via the Patient Access smartphone app, which can also be used to book GP appointments and view life-long medical records.
Single Injectable Agent Spots Tumors and Destroys Them
At Oregon State University scientists are using silicon naphthalocyanine as both an imaging and cancer destruction agent, allowing for a single compound to be used to quickly find and target tumor tissue. Reporting at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Orlando, Florida, the team presented pre-clinical findings of how silicon naphthalocyanine was used to destroy ovarian tumors in laboratory animals, seemingly without side effects and without the cancer returning.
Silicon naphthalocyanine glows when illuminated with near infrared light, while heating up and creating reactive oxygen species. It’s delivered inside the copolymer PEG-PCL that gathers around cancer cells, pointing to the location of the tumors. Once settled, therapy can begin by administering near infrared light to the areas where the tumors are. The particles eventually breakdown and are excreted by the body.

NHS Hospitals Tackle Deadly Condition through UK SME Partnership
An NHS project to predict instances of acute kidney injury (AKI) and reduce avoidable deaths associated with the devastating condition is to form the foundation of a keynote speech at EHI Live on 4th November. A growing number of NHS and overseas hospitals have been working with Patientrack, a UK SME (small to medium sized enterprise), so that doctors can be directly alerted to intervene and prevent patient deterioration. At the same time the technology digitizes bedside observations for nurses and automates early warning score calculations - allowing staff to spend more time with ill patients when they most need it.
Hospitals have also been using the technology in very different ways, beyond these initial applications, to tackle serious illnesses and to improve care. Some have been using it to help staff manage specific conditions including AKI, sepsis, dementia and diabetes, whilst others have used it to help doctors and nurses ensure that patients on end of life pathways are as comfortable and pain free as possible.
Nigeria: FG Targets 90 Million Nigerians With New National E-Health Framework By 2020
As part of government's efforts towards a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all by 2020, the Federal Ministries of Health and Communication Technology, commenced the process of meeting the health needs of 90 million Nigerians, using a new national electronic-health framework. The digital framework, THISDAY learnt will be implemented in synergy with the United Nations Foundation (UNF), the Save-One-Million-Lives-Initiative (SOMLI), is part of a prepatory meeting towards an all-inclusive African Health Summit slated for 2016.


Elsevier Launches Gray's Anatomy 41st Edition with New Digital Dissection
Elsevier, a provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has launched the 41st edition of Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. This latest edition of the anatomical reference text has been revised and updated by a group of clinicians and anatomists building on more than 150 years of anatomical knowledge.
Commenting on the new edition, Professor Susan Standring, the Editor-in-Chief of the 41st edition, said: "Anatomy has become a far wider discipline than Henry Gray, Henry van Dyke Carter or any of their students could have envisioned. Fields such as cell biology, molecular genetics, neuroanatomy, embryology and bioinformatics either had not emerged or were in their infancy in 1858, when the first edition of Gray's Anatomy was published.
The 41st edition is further enriched by new digital content on Expert Consult, an online platform that provides authoritative, world-class book content from Elsevier.


HIMSS Analytics Honours Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health with The HIMSS Stage 7 Award
HIMSS Analytics has awarded Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health in Palo Alto, Calif., with a Stage 7 Award, and all 167 of their network practices with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards. This is the only children’s hospital enterprise in Northern California to receive these prestigious awards. HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.
During the second quarter of 2015, only 3.7% of the more than 5,400 US hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Award, and only 7.4% of the more than 34,000 ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.


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