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Vol. 11 No. 18, August 27, 2014


Implant Telemetry Improves Heart Failure Outcomes
Implanted heart rhythm devices that automatically transmit vital cardiac abnormalities to a telemonitoring center appeared to improve outcomes in heart failures and reduce deaths, according to a study published in the journal Lancet.
For the study, researchers led by Gerhard Hindricks, MD, PhD, director of electrophysiology at Leipzig University Herzzentrum in Germany, monitored 664 patients with chronic heart failure who received one of two defibrillator devices at 36 centres in Europe, Israel and Australia. After a year, 18.9% of patients whose heart rhythms were monitored automatically showed deterioration in heart function compared with 27.2% of similar control patients (P=0.013). In addition, researchers observed ten deaths among the telemonitoring group compared with 27 deaths in the control group (P=0.004). Although "evidence is weak," say the researchers, the study suggests daily telemonitoring "can significantly improve clinical outcomes for patients with heart failure."


Sit & Stand Walking Assistant May Replace Boring Old Crutches
Traditional crutches essentially offload a person’s weight from the injured leg to the upper body, either via the armpits or forearms. This can be uncomfortable and many people simply don’t have the upper body strength to use normal crutches. There have been attempts to design crutches that easier to use, more comfortable, and convenient, but a new concept proposed as part of the Dyson Award takes a whole new approach. The Sit & Stand is a crutch that uses your butt and thigh as the support. The lower leg is attached to the vertical pole of the crutch, the pole essentially becoming the new leg you can stand on. Moving the upper leg back and forth lets you walk somewhat naturally, as opposed to the skip and jump that you have to learn with traditional crutches. Moreover, the Sit & Stand, as the name implies, can be used while sitting too, the hinge adjusting as necessary.
eShield Covers Let You Bring Phones, Cameras, Tablets Inside Operating Rooms
While tablets and smartphones have been revolutionizing many aspects of medicine, it’s been awfully hard to safely bring electronics into operating rooms for sterile use. Now a new product called eShield has been FDA approved that will let you use small electronics inside sterile environments. Produced by Whitney Medical Solutions, the eShield covers are made out of polyethylene that allows the device to maintain touch capabilities of modern screens. Various sizes of eShield covers are available, including ones that can handle large SLR cameras, allowing high quality documentation by the surgical staff itself without calling in an outside unscrubbed photographer.
A Novel Decision Support System Makes Malaria Diagnostics More Effective
A Finnish-Swedish research group at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, and Karolinska institutet, Stockholm, has developed a novel "man and machine" decision support system for diagnosing malaria infection. This innovative diagnostic aid was described in PLOS One scientific journal. The method is based on computer vision algorithms similar to those used in facial recognition systems combined with visualization of only the diagnostically most relevant areas. Tablet computers can be utilized in viewing the images. In this newly developed method, a thin layer of blood smeared on a microscope slide is first digitized. The algorithm analyzes more than 50,000 red blood cells per sample and ranks them according to the probability of infection. Then the program creates a panel containing images of more than a hundred most likely infected cells and presents that panel to the user. The final diagnosis is done by a health-care professional based on the visualized images. By utilizing a set of existing, already diagnosed samples, the researchers were able to show that the accuracy of this method was comparable to the quality criteria defined by the World Health Organization. In the test setting, more than 90% of the infected samples were accurately diagnosed based on the panel. The few problematic samples were of low quality and in a true diagnostic setting would have led to further analyses.


The National Health Innovation Hub Model for Ireland
The Government of Ireland has announced that a National Health Innovation Hub with the potential to support hundreds of new companies and thousands of new jobs will be established in 2014, following the success of a Demonstrator project in Cork and an independent evaluation of its role. The National Health Innovation Hub will be a win-win for businesses, the health system and for job-creation. The Hub will aim to support Irish businesses in the crucial pharmaceutical, medical devices and ICT sectors, which together account for over €140billion in annual exports.
India: e-Health Business to Contribute 2% in Healthcare Sector Soon: Experts
With internet penetration increasing rapidly, e-health in India is fast catching public attention and is poised to contribute significantly to the overall healthcare market, industry experts said. "Currently the overall health care market in India is about $150 billion. But the way internet penetration and awareness about healthcare is increasing in India, the e-health services would grow at a very healthy rate. I expect that very soon, it would contribute about 2% in the overall healthcare sector," Credihealth Managing Director Ravi Virmani told. The government is also in the process of starting an e-health service that will intensify health awareness in the country. e-health services include helping people contact and interact with good doctors, buying medicines and taking e-prescriptions.
Canada: Privacy Commissioner Emphasizes Importance of Online Transparency
Understanding a website’s privacy practices should not require a law degree or time-consuming search for relevant information, says Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien. Online privacy transparency has emerged as a significant concern and is among the key issues highlighted in the Commissioner’s 2013 Annual Report to Parliament on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada’s federal private sector privacy law. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada addressed the issue of transparency in a number of contexts over the 2013 year, including investigations, the development of guidance for organizations and the Office’s participation in a global Internet privacy sweep.

Telemedicine Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020
North America and Europe dominate the global telemedicine market. This is due to high acceptance for this technology in these regions. Brazil, Russia, China and India are expected to show high growth rate. This is due to increasing population and rising incidence of chronic diseases, such as chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes and asthma, in these countries. In addition, increasing cost of healthcare and rising awareness for telemedicine among population in remote areas is also expected to increase the market for telemedicine in the region.
Apple Introduces Robust Framework HealthKit
Apple® has released its iOS 8 SDK giving developers the ability to create new apps like never before. iOS 8 allows developers to further customize the user experience with major extensibility features like Notification Center widgets and third-party keyboards; and introduces robust frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit. HealthKit provides the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, your blood pressure app could share its data with a physician app, such as the Mayo Clinic app, so your doctor can provide high-quality guidance and care.
As HealthKit combines health data to help you take better care of your health, HomeKit lets your home accessories connect seamlessly to better manage your home. HomeKit delivers a common protocol, secure pairing and the ability to easily control individual or groups of devices throughout the house including integration with Siri®. For example, you can tell Siri you are “going to bed” and it could dim the lights, lock your doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat.


Find Out What's New and Happening at Canada Health Infoway

Infoway at Breakfast with the Chiefs
Join us for  Alvarez Unplugged In Conversation with Anton Hart "Digital Health: Looking Back…….Looking Forward"
Richard C. Alvarez, Past President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Health Infoway
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Toronto, ON
8:00 am – 9:00 am (join us at 7:15 am for breakfast)
Location: Mount Sinai Hospital, Ben Sadowski Auditorium, 18th Floor, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
More details and registration information here.

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