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 | Vol. 13 No. 5, March 9, 2016 |
Digital Fitness Devices Help Patients Monitor Health and Activity, Improve Outcomes
Many orthopaedic patients are eager to track and improve their health and progress before, during and after treatment. A digital fitness device, technology already owned by 1 in 10 Americans, provides a unique opportunity for patients to monitor their activity levels, medication use, weight, sleep patterns, rehabilitation progress, and other personal health data, ultimately empowering them to improve clinical outcomes, according to a study presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
The study is the first to review applications of these devices specifically for orthopaedic care. The study analyzed activity tracking, cost, interfaces, location of devices on the body, and other relevant features for 28 health devices named the most popular by top consumer tech magazines. The most common features were a pedometer (tracking distance traveled), in addition to monitors for heart rate, sleep and caloric intake, although many other features were available.
Dr. Lajam said data generated by fitness devices can be applied across different levels of orthopaedic care: non-surgical patients can track behavior, activity levels and medication use and alter these factors to lose weight and maintain the best possible function in their extremities; pre-operative patients can reduce risk for post-operative complications by reducing their weight, preventing diabetes through glucose monitoring, and identifying sleep disorders; post-operative patients can evaluate rehabilitation progress and surgical outcomes by measuring walking distances and stairs climbed, and alter physical therapy for better recovery.

Epilepsy App Wins International Award
An app that allows people with epilepsy to self-monitor their condition has won an international challenge, launched by the Epilepsy Foundation of America. The EpSMon – for Epilepsy Self Monitor - app, which was developed by Plymouth University, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust and Oxfordshire-based charity SUDEP Action, won the $30,000 challenge to find a way of reducing the risk of seizures.
More than 300 participants registered for the challenge, which has the ultimate aim of preventing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. The winning app is a digital version of a SUDEP and seizure safety checklist for clinicians. It encourages people with epilepsy to check their condition and overall wellbeing every three months by answering a series of questions. It then flags up any changes or increasing risk that they need to be aware of, and if necessary advises them to see advice from a doctor. The EpsMon project has been mainly funded by bereaved families, and has received particular support in the South West thanks to the support of the Kt’s Fund set up following the death of Katie Hallett, a young nurse. The app is free, and will be released for Android phones on March 14, 2016.


U Scope, a Completely Redesigned Stethoscope for Improved Ergonomics
Stethoscopes have had essentially the same shape and ergonomics for many decades, but a team of designers from Tokyo, Japan have fundamentally redesigned this ubiquitous tool. The new U scope features a modern look, but also important features such as reduced pressure on the ears, comfortable fit during exams and while wearing it around the clinic, and a much more ergonomic chest piece. The U scope also folds much more compactly, small enough to fit into a lab coat with ease. The sound quality was also a critical factor, so the pathway from the chestpiece to the ears is tightly sealed to prevent any air from escaping and reducing sound quality.

Denmark to Accelerate eHealth Technology
Danish public authorities are promoting the development and use of eHealth solutions. Increasing technology-use in healthcare, care for the elderly, social services and in education will “maintain or increase the quality of public welfare services while at the same time reducing public expenditure”, according to an English introduction to Denmark’s Strategy for Digital Welfare (2013-2020), published by the country’s Agency for Digitisation. The welfare plan is developed by the Danish government, Local Government Denmark (LGDK) and Danish Regions.
Last month, three groups of municipalities and regions in Denmark were awarded grants, for each to test an eHealth solution. The welfare strategy is one of seven policy documents that DIGST is making available in English on its website. The other documents deal with: mandatory digital self-service, mandatory digital post, national eID 'NemID', citizens' portal '’, mandatory eInvoicing 'NemHandel', IT projects and programs management in central government.

Get Real Health to Make CHBase Available to Canadian Healthcare Providers
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve healthcare in Canada by getting patients informed, engaged and empowered, Get Real Health will offer CHBase™ to healthcare providers in Canada via TELUS Health. CHBase™ is a data aggregation and development platform that combines clinical data and personal health data to create a comprehensive view of a patient’s health. The platform allows patients to contribute data from their favorite apps and home health devices while retrieving clinical data from all their providers. The providers can pull all this data into patient-oriented health applications or population health management and customer analytics systems.
Sweden recently chose CHBase as the platform for its enhanced solution currently in development where it will enable Swedish technology companies to develop innovative personal health applications powered by data made available to Swedish citizens by the Swedish eHealth Agency, eHälsomyndigheten.
HIMSS Announces New Leadership in Executive Management Team
Blain Newton becomes Executive Vice President of HIMSS Analytics, as of March 1, when current EVP John Hoyt retires from the position. R. Norris Orms, HIMSS executive vice president and chief operating officer, also will retire as of July 1.
Before his promotion to Executive Vice President of HIMSS Analytics, Blain Newton served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the business unit, with overall responsibility for strategy, sales, and operations for HIMSS Analytics product and service offerings. Formerly CEO of CapSite, a Burlington, Vt.-based healthcare technology research and advisory firm acquired by HIMSS Analytics in 2012, he has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare technology industry. He has held leadership roles in finance, solutions management and operations in the US and internationally at companies including IDX Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, and Arthur Andersen.
Since 2010, John Hoyt has served as Executive Vice President of HIMSS Analytics. He will continue to work with HIMSS Analytics with a lighter schedule that includes continued support of maturity models, EMRAM Stage 7 visits and related activities. R. Norris Orms, HIMSS executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been with the organization for 18 years, focused most recently on building the global strategy for HIMSS. He continues to work with HIMSS on a part-time basis until his retirement at the end of the HIMSS fiscal year on June 30.


Sunnybrook’s MyChart™ Achieves Canada Health Infoway Certification
MyChart™ version 2.0 of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s online personal health record (PHR) service and program has achieved Infoway’s Consumer Health Application certification. In order to achieve certification, Sunnybrook underwent an assessment process to demonstrate that it met the standards set by Infoway’s Certification Services.
Sunnybrook’s MyChart™ is an online PHR service and program developed in-house in 2005. It was designed specifically for patients to share access with their clinicians and/or family members. All 1.7 million Sunnybrook patient records in the hospital electronic patient record system are available online for patients to securely access. Sunnybrook’s MyChart™ currently has close to 100,000 active online users and is accessed and shared globally in 159 countries. MyChart™ has partnered with multiple hospitals, lab organizations, and other health organizations.
CHIA Awards: Saluting HI Excellence
The Canadian Health Informatics Awards (CHIA) are now open for 2016 to salute the innovation, leadership and excellence that are the building blocks of effective patient care and a resilient, sustainable health system.
Pay tribute to the outstanding HI professionals, teams, projects and companies that make healthcare work with a 2016 CHIA nomination. This peer-based awards program, presented by COACH: Canada's Health Informatics Association and ITAC Health, is a unique opportunity to recognize exemplary achievement. Winners will be honoured at the CHIA Gala, the main social event at the e-Health 2016 Conference, in Vancouver June 5.  Nominations are due by March 21. CHIA Awards are available for: clinician leadership, corporate citizenship, emerging leader in HI, excellence in Canadian telehealth, innovation in the adoption of HI, leadership in the field of HI, project team - implementation, project team - innovation and care delivery, and project team - patient care innovation.
In addition, as part of CHIA, the Steven Huesing Scholarship is offered for students enrolled at Canadian post-secondary institutions in a HI or related program.


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