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 | Vol. 12 No. 26, December 30, 2015  |
Kaiser Survey Links Portal Use with Improved Perceptions of Health
Thirty-two percent of patients with chronic conditions said that exchanging e-mail with provider improved their overall health, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of Managed Care. The study is among the first to examine how the ability to send secure e-mails to doctors affects patient behaviour, preferences and perceptions about their own healthcare.
Researchers surveyed 1,041 Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California who had chronic conditions such as asthma, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes or hypertension. Survey participants included patients who had used Kaiser Permanente's online patient portal, My Health Manager, to send secure e-mail messages, as well as patients who had not sent any messages. Surveys were completed in 2011 by mail, online or by telephone interview to ensure that access to technology would not affect response rates.
Among the survey's key findings:
  • Virtually all patients with chronic conditions said that exchanging e-mail with their healthcare provider either improved (32%) or did not change their overall health (67%); less than 1% said that e-mailing made their health worse.
  • More than half of respondents (56%) had sent their provider an e-mail within the previous year, and 46% used e-mail as the first method of contact for one or more medical concerns.
  • Among patients who had e-mailed their healthcare provider, 42% reported that it reduced phone contacts and 36% said it reduced in-person visits.

The Best Medical Technologies of 2015
As we look back on the medtech developments of 2015 there’s definitely a sense that we’re living through revolutionary times. Nearly every day exciting and fascinating technologies are being unveiled by small and large companies, universities, and even tiny independent groups. Medgadget’s list of the most important inventions of the last 12 months.

UE: Final e-Health Guidelines Presented to Policy-Makers
Partners of the ENS4Care project presented the final guidelines for the deployment of eHealth by nurses and social workers to policy-makers on 8 December 2015 at the European Innovation Summit. The acceptance of eHealth by health and social care professionals is fundamental in order for it to be taken up successfully across Europe.
DKT Pakistan Opens First e-Health
In a first of its kind initiative DKT Pakistan inaugurated the first doctHERs e-health facility in their Dhanak clinic in Ilyas Goth, Karachi. An international social franchising organization that came to Pakistan in 2012, DKT Pakistan has been striving to provide better family planning and healthcare services to the people of the country. Having established 850 Dhanak clinics around the country, DKT Pakistan is now extending their services with the addition of a quality health examination facility in collaboration with doctHERs.
The facility which was inaugurated in Ilyas Goth at DKT Pakistan’s existing clinic allows a qualified doctor to be connected with the lady health worker / nurse virtually. The doctor will guide the nurse how to examine the patient and explain his / her symptoms to the doctor for any medical tests that needs to be conducted or for required prescription of medications.
PwC Report Identifies Key Health IT Trends To Watch for in 2016
The adoption and use of new healthcare technologies will help drive several new industry trends in 2016, according to an annual report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute.
PwC's annual "Top Health Industry Issues for 2016" is based on the results of a survey of 1,000 US consumers and interviews with various healthcare industry leaders. The report authors examined the survey data to identify 10 issues that stand out for 2016. The report predicted that in 2016:
  • Cybersecurity will be a concern for mobile health applications and connected medical devices as the threat from hackers increases;
  • New databases will enable healthcare systems and hospitals to analyze large and diverse datasets;
  • Primary and behavioral healthcare providers will increasingly use remote technology to better manage patients' mental health and directly connect with patients;
  • Use of mobile health apps and connected medical devices will increase as the healthcare system transitions from a fee-for-service model and wireless technology continues to improve. (PDF)


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