| Vol. 12 No. 20, October 7, 2015 |
FACTS AND STATS
Report: Millennials More Likely To Use Tech for Health, Wellbeing
Millennials are more likely than the rest of the adult population to use technology to track fitness and personal wellness goals and to compare provider quality, according to a report by Deloitte. The report was based on survey responses from 3,616 US adults. Overall, the report found that consumer engagement has increased in several technology-related areas, including using online resources for health purposes and relying on technology for health monitoring.
The report found that 52% of respondents said they searched online for health- or care-related information. Further, the report found that use of social media, patient portals and performance scorecards has increased, with 25% of all respondents saying they viewed a scorecard to compare performance of doctors, hospitals or health plans, up from 19% in 2013 and 49% of millennials saying they did so in 2015, compared with 31% in 2013.
Meanwhile, the report found that 28% of respondents said they used technology for fitness and health purposes in 2015, up from 17% in 2013. Among millennials, nearly half said they used technology for health and fitness this year. Engagement was higher among patients who had higher incomes, had major health issues and were younger.
New Self-Positioning Transcatheter Mitral Valve Developed by National University of Singapore
Transcatheter heart valve replacements have become life savers for many frail patients who are unsuitable for open heart surgery. While many benefit from implantation of the prosthetic valves, the anatomy of many patients doesn’t lend well to the procedure while for some the placement of the device turns out to be very difficult. Valves are often placed poorly and some can’t be easily repositioned. Now a team at National University of Singapore has developed a prosthetic transcatheter mitral heart valve that positions itself on its own to best fit each patient’s anatomy. The VeloX valve works with different size mitral annuli and consists of the standard pericardial leaflets on top of a polymer coated nitinol self-expanding structure. The device self-positions and can be removed or repositioned if the fit isn’t quite right.
The NUS team has patented the technology and will launch a startup to put the device through trials and eventually commercialize it into a real product.
Sniffing out Cancer with Improved 'Electronic Nose' Sensors
Scientists have been exploring new ways to "smell" signs of cancer by analyzing what’s in patients’ breath. In ACS’ journal Nano Letters, one team now reports new progress toward this goal. The researchers have developed a small array of flexible sensors, which accurately detect compounds in breath samples that are specific to ovarian cancer. Diagnosing cancer today usually involves various imaging techniques, examining tissue samples under a microscope, or testing cells for proteins or genetic material. In search of safer and less invasive ways to tell if someone has cancer, scientists have recently started analyzing breath and defining specific profiles of compounds in breath samples. But translating these exhaled disease fingerprints into a meaningful diagnosis has required a large number of sensors, which makes them impractical for clinical use. Hossam Haick and colleagues sought to address this problem.
The researchers developed a small, breath-diagnostic array based on flexible gold-nanoparticle sensors for use in an "electronic nose." The system - tested on breath samples from 43 volunteers, 17 of whom had ovarian cancer - showed an accuracy rate of 82%. The researchers say developing this method further would require larger-scale clinical testing. They add that the approach could also apply to diagnostics for other diseases.
Canada: Group Health Centre Gives Patients a New Way to Access Care
How would you like to access your healthcare team from home, camp, or even on vacation? The Group Health Centre (GHC) is thrilled to announce the formal launch of myCARE – a secure online patient portal. myCARE has the capacity to allow you to send messages to your healthcare team, request prescription renewals, manage appointments, review select lab test results, and more – all at your own convenience from your computer or mobile device. myCARE has been running in a “pilot” phase at GHC since December 2014 for patients of select primary care providers. Starting October 6, 2015, myCARE will now be available to patients of over 30 GHC doctors and nurse practitioners.
eSafety Guidelines Now Available to Public Healthcare Orgs & Professionals in Ontario
eHealth Ontario has taken a major step forward in protecting patients from inadvertent safety risks related to healthcare technology through an agreement making the COACH eSafety Guidelines available to public healthcare organizations and professionals across Ontario.
The 148-page eSafety Guidelines document was developed as a result of concerns about inadvertent risk related to technology in healthcare. "Our eSafety Guidelines are a unique, practical resource to help organizations and professionals plan and implement digital health solutions," said COACH CEO Mark Casselman. "Based on established quality and risk management, security safeguards, and human factors design principles, the Guidelines provide a sustainable approach to eHealth safety that supports clinical care delivery and patient empowerment."
UK: Pharmacists Demand Patient Record Access
Community pharmacists in the UK should have read and write access to full electronic records for their patients, says the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in a new campaign. The RPS is calling for a staged development that will eventually see all community pharmacists able to see a single online patient record with all relevant details, and be able to update this record based on their interactions with the patient, provided the patient gives consent.
Speaking at the Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology event in London, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board Sandra Gidley said that as a result the care patients receive would be “more holistic” and safety would be improved.
Earlier this year community pharmacists were given access to the patients’ NHS Summary Care Record, a set of key information - allergies, medications and adverse reactions – that is held on the NHS Spine. Roll out is due to start this month backed by £7.5 million of investment in training following a pilot at 140 sites.
SIMPLY THE BEST
The Harvard Contest That Is Trying to Improve Healthcare Delivery
The Harvard Business School-Harvard Medical School Forum on Health Care Innovation has announced four finalists in its inaugural competition aimed at boosting the adoption of small-scale health care delivery applications. The inaugural Health Acceleration Challenge – which was launched last fall – is designed to promote wider use of healthcare delivery technologies that already have been implemented on a smaller scale.
In total, there were 478 applications from 29 countries and 43 US states. A group of 50 judges selected 18 semi-finalists and then four finalists. Judges evaluated the applications on evidence of success, potential effect and strength of the dissemination plan.
The four finalists include:
- BloodBuy, a provider of technologies connecting hospitals and blood centers with blood products;
- I-PASS Institute, a group of organizations that teaches physicians to use its I-PASS Handoff Bundle for improving care transitions;
- Medalogix, which developed technology, called Medalogix Bridge, that uses predictive analytics to identify hospice-eligible patients; and
- Twine Health, a provider of a platform that allows users with chronic conditions to co-create personalized care plans with their care teams.
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