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Vol. 12 No. 2, January 28, 2015


Survey: 64% of Patients Willing to Have Video Visits with Docs
Sixty four percent of patients are willing to participate in a video visit with a doctor, according to an online Harris Poll survey of 2,019 American adults aged 18 and up conducted in December 2014. Telehealth company American Well commissioned Harris Poll to conduct the survey. Of those that were willing to visit with their doctor over video, 61% said convenience was a factor in this decision.
Seven percent of respondents who had been with their doctor for less than a year said they would switch doctors to get online video visits. And 10% of respondents who had been with their doctor for two to four years said they would switch. Younger people were more likely to switch to a physician that offered video visits. Eleven percent of patients between the ages of 18 and 34 said they would switch, while 8% of patients aged 35 to 44 said they would switch.
Overall, 70% of patients said they would prefer to receive a prescription via online video visit vs. an in-person office visit. Of those surveyed, 60% would be comfortable getting an Rx refill via video visit.
Consumers want these video visits to be affordable. A majority of respondents, 62%, thought video visits should be cheaper than an in-person visit. Another 22% said they should be about the same and 5% said they should cost more.


Samsung Unveils Prototype Stroke Detecting Headset
While brain monitoring using EEG is not a new technique, advancements in technology may allow it to be used for detecting a variety of conditions that are currently hard to diagnose. The Early Detection Sensor & Algorithm Package (EDSAP) will pair up with a user’s smartphone or tablet to display the results of the ECG tests, which can be done within about a minute. The company says that its sensors are able to pickup a much higher quality signal than current EEG headsets thanks to newly developed dry electrodes made of a novel material discovered by the group. The material is rubbery in feel, is highly conductive, and doesn’t require a gel or saline solution to be applied to make a good electrical connection with the scalp.
New Device Delivers Sound through Tongue to Let Deaf People Hear
The common perception is that we hear with our ears, however it is really the brain that converts sound waves into what we perceive as sound. Brain has a lot of plasticity and is able to adapt its regions to perform tasks normally not assigned to them. This principle is what led researchers at Colorado State University to attempt to use the tongue as a medium for passing sound to the brain in deaf people.
The researchers developed a flat shaped neurostimulator with a bunch of electrodes in a grid at one end. It’s connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to an earpiece that captures sound. The system processes the audio signals received by the earpiece and converts them into electrical pulses that are delivered through the stimulator. The user simply presses his tongue against the electrodes on the mouthpiece and feels tingling or vibration. The idea is that this sensation, really sound interpreted another way, can be translated by the brain into perceived audio if given proper training.


Core Electronic Health Record for Saskatchewan Complete
A historic milestone has been reached now that a comprehensive provincial electronic health record (EHR) for Saskatchewan residents is a reality. Health providers with access to the EHR Viewer can now see their patients' diagnostic imaging results, completing the core components of an EHR for Saskatchewan residents, as defined by Canada Health Infoway.
The EHR Viewer is a secure website developed for Saskatchewan healthcare providers to give access to patient information regardless of where an individual goes for care or where they live in the province.
The EHR Viewer also includes access to: patient prescription and allergy information from community pharmacies; more than 90% of laboratory results from health regions and the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory; immunization histories; supports to help physicians better manage their patients with chronic disease, including diabetes and coronary artery disease; standardized operative reporting for breast cancer surgeries; hospital admission, discharge and transfer summaries, providing family physicians with valuable patient information; and discharge summaries from hospitals in the Saskatoon Health Region, allowing doctors to view the instructions their patients receive following release from hospital.
About 3,300 healthcare providers have access to the EHR Viewer, including physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.
Wales Invests £3m in Sharing Documents
The Welsh Government has announced that £3 million will be spent on rolling out a system to enable hospital staff and GPs to share information, including tests and clinical correspondence. The Emergency Department Clinical Information Management Scheme is the latest element of Wales’ plan to create a suite of national IT systems for its health service to be given the go-ahead by ministers.
Although it is set-up differently, and no longer runs an internal market, Wales’ NHS faces many of the same issues as the NHS in England when it comes to dealing with an ageing population, living with a burden of chronic ill health, on a tight budget.
In 2013, the Welsh Government issued a ‘Together for Health’ plan to deliver a “high quality and sustainable services and improved patient benefits” over five years.
The plan includes investment in digital technologies, building on an IT strategy issued in 2012, which itself built on the foundations of a national infrastructure, patient administration system, nationally-procured digital imaging and lab systems, and programs to create e-referral and summary record systems.
Among other developments, the strategy called for “an integrated view of the whole health record to authorized users.”
EU SME eHealth Competition 2015
The eHealth Competition is an initiative that rewards the best eHealth / mHealth solutions produced by SMEs (European Small and Medium Enterprises). Its objective is to support business success of SMEs by giving them visibility together with marketing opportunities to attract customers, partners and external capital. This Competition recognizes the best eHealth SMEs at European level and support their business success by giving them visibility together with marketing opportunities to attract customers, partners and external capital.
The eHealth Competition Final this year will take place on the 11th of May 2015 in Riga (Latvia), as a satellite event of the eHealth Week 2015 conference, one of the most important eHealth events in Europe.
South Africa: e-Health Still Sluggish
Emerging markets like South Africa are not the only ones that face challenges when it comes to unifying technology and healthcare – the global connected health market at large is seeing sluggish development. This is according to technology market research firm Infonetics Research, and is the primary deduction arising from its first Connected Health M2M (machine-to-machine) Connections and Services report. The firm attributes slow e-health maturation to regulatory constraints – a significant hurdle in the US market.
The research firm notes Europe is anticipated to be the leading region, with North America following close behind. Worldwide M2M connected healthcare service revenue totalled $533 million in 2013, an increase of 15% from the prior year, while connections grew 23% in 2013 from 2012, to 44 million.

Danish Open Source Early Warning System for Schools
A system for smartphones, tablet computers and PCs that can warn students, teachers and school personnel of emergencies is to be developed for the Norwegian Akerhus county. The solution will be built by the Danish ICT service specialist Magenta, using open source components. The early warning system assists school personnel and the authorities, combining video, audio and maps. The system will also send SMS alerts and other warnings to students, school staff and all relevant organizations.
Components that will be used for the system include the CentOS Linux operating system, the Apache web server and the Postgresql database management system. Management and control of the systems will be done using Open APC, and for real time communications Magenta is considering WebRTC. If all goes according to plan, the system will be in use at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.

2015 HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award Now Open
HIMSS Europe has launched the nomination process for the HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who, in the judgment of the HIMSS Europe Governing Council, has demonstrated significant leadership in promoting the use of information technology in healthcare in Europe. To be eligible for the HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award, the candidate must: be a resident of Europe, be professionally active in Europe. The HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award consists of a symbol of recognition, publication of information in an official HIMSS, and publication and on the HIMSS Europe website.
The HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award will be presented at eHealth Week 2015 in Riga, Latvia on 11 - 13 May, 2015. HIMSS Europe is accepting submissions until Monday, 16 February 2015.


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