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| Vol. 15 No. 10, May 16, 2018 |


Electronic Health Record Logs Indicate That Physicians Split Time Evenly Between Seeing Patients And Desktop Medicine
Time spent by physicians is a key resource in health care delivery. This U.S. study used data captured by the access time stamp functionality of an electronic health record (EHR) to examine physician work effort. This is a potentially powerful, yet unobtrusive, way to study physicians’ use of time. We used data on physicians’ time allocation patterns captured by over thirty-one million EHR transactions in the period 2011–14 recorded by 471 primary care physicians, who collectively worked on 765,129 patients’ EHRs. Our results suggest that the physicians logged an average of 3.08 hours on office visits and 3.17 hours on desktop medicine each day. Desktop medicine consists of activities such as communicating with patients through a secure patient portal, responding to patients’ online requests for prescription refills or medical advice, ordering tests, sending staff messages, and reviewing test results. Over time, log records from physicians showed a decline in the time allocated to face-to-face visits, accompanied by an increase in time allocated to desktop medicine. Staffing and scheduling in the physician’s office, as well as provider payment models for primary care practice, should account for these desktop medicine efforts.


Genome BC Invests $1 million in Funding to Top Canadian 3D Bioprinting Company Aspect Biosystems
Genome BC (Vancouver) is pleased to announce $1 million in funding to Aspect Biosystems (Aspect), a privately held biotechnology company focused on commercializing cutting-edge 3D bioprinting technologies. Aspect's Lab-on-a-Printer™ 3D bioprinting platform technology enables the rapid creation of functional living tissues. The therapeutic applications are broad and profound and have attracted the attention of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Aspect's 3D bioprinting platform technology is enabling the development of next-generation engineered tissue products addressing multiple applications in therapeutic discovery and regenerative medicine. These products include predictive drug testing platforms as well as transplantable tissue therapeutics. In addition to its internal programs, Aspect is establishing strategic partnerships with pharma, biotech, and healthcare companies as well as academic researchers to realize the full potential of its broadly applicable platform technology. By combining their expertise and technology with domain experts in the field, Aspect is accelerating the development of innovative tissue applications and creating meaningful impact on medical research and practice. 


Students Design Specialty Bag for Treating Children Born with Gastroschisis
Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which some of the baby’s intestines end up outside the body, protruding through a ventral opening near the navel. In developed countries this is a treatable condition that typically requires a series of surgeries and a special bag that holds the intestines in a sterile environment while they slowly descend into the abdomen. In poorly resourced nations, the equipment, including the bag, are often cost prohibitive.
Students at Rice University in Houston, Texas, have developed their own bag, made of stitched silicone, that is considerably cheaper to make than commercially available devices. It uses a 3D printed ring whose diameter can be adjusted to match the patient’s needs. This way only a single design of the device can be copied repeatedly while being applicable for different patients and their needs.

Students Develop Cheap and Portable Cough Assist Device
People with cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and other chronic conditions can have serious difficulty coughing. This creates not only discomfort, but potentially dangerous complications for the lungs and heart. There are cough assist devices on the market that help, but they tent to be pricey, heavy, and require electric power. Now students at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University, working with clinicians at Beaumont Health, a hospital system, have developed their own cough assist device that overcomes these limitations.
The device, already licensed out for manufacturing, is made mostly of plastic and vinyl, and therefore quite light. It’s manually operated, and therefore doesn’t require a nearby power plug. This makes it easy to take on the go, as well as being practical for patients in poorer areas where electric power is not always available. The device includes a pump, mask, and valves that regulate the pressure and volume of the air flow in and out of the lungs.


Health Industry Groups: Time to Tackle Patient Matching
A who's-who of health IT and interoperability experts including HIMSS, AHIMA, AMIA, CHIME, Sequoia Project, SHIEC, Surescripts and others called on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to finally make patient matching and safety a priority. The 33 organizations asked both houses of U.S. Congress to include language that "seeks to end patient safety issues related to patient matching" in any fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills from the U.S. House or Senate.
Patient matching is a process of comparing data from different health IT systems to see if data sources match and belong to the same patient to obtain a complete record of the patient’s health history and medical care. If they match, those patient’s records are combined to eliminate duplication and confusion.
The continuing lack of a national patient identifier system, and the ongoing Congressional prohibition of any federal funding to research the ideas around nationwide patient ID, has long been a frustrating state of affairs for a wide array of health IT experts who see the benefits that could accrue from easier and more seamless patient matching.

India Rejects U.S. Request on Medical Device Price Caps
India has told the United States it won’t abstain from capping prices for more medical devices, regardless of pressure to rethink its stance after price controls on heart stents and knee implants spoilt the market for some U.S. firms, sources familiar with the matter said.
India’s drug pricing authority is also pushing to bring three more devices, used in treating heart ailments, under the ambit of price controls as they are sometimes more expensive than the stent itself, showed a government letter reviewed by Reuters.
India’s $5 billion medical device market has provided rich fishing grounds for U.S.-based companies like Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific Corp, but the prospect of price caps being extended to more products sent shivers through their ranks. In September, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) wrote to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and Trade Minister Suresh Prabhu urging them “to not expand price controls to additional medical devices”, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.
During a meeting last month, Indian officials told USTR Assistant Trade Representative Mark Linscott that India had decided against making any such commitment, a trade ministry official told Reuters on Tuesday.


Fanshawe Student's Clothing Line Caters to Kids Wearing Medical Devices
Kelly Scott, a student at Fanshawe College on London, Ontario where the final year of her fashion design program requires students develop a fashion line. A London family reached out to the college asking if they would research and develop a line of clothing for children who wear medical devices — such as IV lines, ostomy pouches, or feeding tubes — that not only looks good but is functional and gives caregivers ease of access to the devices.
Scott developed five dresses for girls between the ages of two and six, but acknowledges more research is needed for older children. Among the innovative designs Scott implemented were the use of magnetic buttons, Velcro shoulders and sides, and the use of materials that are waterproof or wick away moisture.

Medical Devices with Aptitude: How Smart Implants Improve Patient Outcomes
The European Union’s PRosPERoS (PRinting PERsonalized orthopedic implantS) research project is developing smart, 3D-printed implants for the repair of large bone defects. Personalized and biodegradable implants are being engineered based on magnesium and zinc alloys. By accurately scanning the vertebrae with advanced imaging techniques, PSI implants can be designed and printed.
Built-in sensors represent another opportunity for smartening up implants. Advanced sensor technology is fostering development of implants that can detect an infection and subsequently secrete the appropriate dose of antibiotic. Sensors can measure the strain exerted on the implant, which indicates the extent the fracture has healed.


e-Health 2018 May 27-30, 2018, Vancouver, BC

Join delegates from across Canada and around the world at e-Health 2018 to Celebrate, Grow & Inspire Bold Action in Canada’s Digital Health Community.
This year’s conference will offer proactive top-quality learning and time to network with organizations and people that value quality health information as well as effective integrated system solutions. Network with members of the health informatics community at Canada’s largest e-Health Conference and Tradeshow.

DeviceTalks Minnesota June 4-5, 2018 - Saint Paul, MN
DeviceTalks is the premier industry event for the medtech community fostering the exchange of ideas, insight and technology among the pioneers of the medical technology industry and the engineering behind it.

MedTech Summit June 11-15, 2018 - Brussels, Belgium
EU MDR & IVDR: THE RACE IS ON. Including Clinical Strategies, PMS & Vigilance, Legal, Combination Products, Sterilisation, and Emerging Markets Requirements

The Medical Device R&D Summit Spring June 28-29, 2018 - Las Vegas, NV
The conference will cover areas like the Summit offers an intimate environment for focused discussion on cutting-edge technology, strategy and implementation of solutions to forward-thinking medical device companies interested in staying ahead of the market.


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