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Vol. 11 No. 1, January 15, 2014


UK: Research Shows GPs Are Switched On to EPS
New research from has revealed that GPs' use of electronic prescriptions is gaining momentum. An online survey of 834 GPs in England found that 15% of respondents had already switched to EPS R2, with 25% of those not currently using electronic prescriptions planning to upgrade in 2014.
The research, conducted on behalf of NHS-contracted mail order pharmacy Pharmacy2U, is the first to present a comprehensive view of the EPS landscape in England. It showed that many GPs have faith in an electronic future. Forty-three per cent of respondents - including those who have not yet switched - were confident that EPS would enable them to provide a more efficient repeat prescription service.



Active-MRI Used to Visualize Internal Motion of Wrist Joints
Diseased joints can be difficult to diagnose because MRI imaging is usually used to produce static scans of the relevant anatomy. Researchers at University of California, Davis have reported developing a new MRI imaging technique that produces videos of wrists in motion. The technique relies on using “active MRI” to quickly snap images at a 475 ms temporal resolution. The patient simply replicates the wrist motion that’s causing discomfort within the scanner, allowing a physician to better spot exactly what the cause is.
An Engineered Superglue Helps Fix Broken, Beating Hearts
A team of researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led by Pedro del Nido and Jeff Karp have engineered a surgical glue that is controllably adhesive even on bloody tissues, and is flexible, biodegradeable and non-toxic. Dubbed HLAA, or hydrophobic light-activated adhesive, the polymer (poly(glycerol sebacate acrylate)) is initially a viscous gel when applied to a wound.  Application of ultraviolet light for a few seconds cures the polymer in place, turning it into an elastic hemostatic rubber seal, even in high pressure environments, such as large blood vessels or cardiac wall defects in pigs.
Face Reconstruction in 3D Printing Show
Surgeons at the Welsh Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board are using 3D printing to reconstruct a patient’s face. Using 3D printing, the team has created titanium implants based on images from a CT scan for a patient whose face was crushed in a motorbike accident. The work is being led by consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar maxillofacial laboratory services manager, reconstructive scientist Peter Evans at the health board’s Morriston Hospital. Evans said that the patient had severe facial injuries and had emergency surgery right after the accident, but that they were now at a stage where that can “do a proper reconstruction of his face."
Canada: Google Ads Sparked by Web Surfing on Health Sites Violate Privacy Rights, Investigation Finds
Google’s online advertising service used sensitive information about individuals’ online activities to target them with health-related advertisements, contrary to Canadian privacy law, an investigation has found. In response to the investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Google has agreed to take steps aimed at stopping the privacy-intrusive ads. “We are pleased Google is acting to address this problem. Most Canadians consider health information to be extremely sensitive. It is inappropriate for this type of information to be used in online behavioural advertising,” says Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier.
Members of the European Parliament Back eHealth for Europe
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour or a resolution to promote eHealth earlier today following the presentation of a report stressing the benefits that using online tools to access healthcare and managing disease can provide for European patients. Spanish politician Pilar Ayuso – who presented the report – said: “The EU healthcare system faced many challenges as a result of population increase, ageing, patient and healthcare professionals' mobility, and increasingly tight budgets.”
EU: Commission Launches Pilot to Open Up Publicly Funded Research Data
Valuable information produced by researchers in many EU-funded projects will be shared freely as a result of a Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020. Researchers in projects participating in the pilot are asked to make the underlying data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications and other scientific information available for use by other researchers, innovative industries and citizens. For 2014-2015, topic areas participating in the Open Research Data Pilot will receive funding of around €3 billion.

Wireless EHR Market Set To Explode
The global market for wireless EHR technologies will reach $23.5 billion by 2018, according to BCC Research. The same market “was valued at nearly $9.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to increase to $11.2 billion in 2013,” according to a press release announcing the research. “BCC Research projects the market to ... register a five-year compound annual growth rate of 16.1% from 2013 to 2018.”
Using Tablets, Telemedicine to Speed Stroke Treatment
A University of Virginia Health System team is working with local rescue squads to diagnose stroke patients before they reach the hospital, enabling more patients to receive lifesaving treatment and have a full recovery. Working through UVA Innovation’s USEED fundraising program, U.Va. clinicians are raising $10,000 to equip two additional local ambulances with the iTREAT mobile telemedicine kit. The goal is to connect paramedics through a secure video link with U.Va.’s specially trained stroke neurologists and emergency medicine physicians, who can diagnose stroke patients while they’re in the ambulance and enable treatment to begin as soon as patients arrive at the hospital.
American Hospitals Show EMR Growth Opportunities for Patient Portals, Clinical Data Warehousing and Radiology Barcoding Applications
Patient portals, clinical data warehousing/mining and radiology barcoding applications are poised for accelerated growth among hospitals, according to data from the recently released HIMSS Analytics Essentials of the US Hospital IT Market, Winter 2013 Edition. Based on an analysis of the current market penetration and projected five-year sales trajectory for each application considered in the applications of the EMRAM report, first-time purchases of these advanced EMR applications are expected to increase greatly among hospitals across the country.
Kaiser-Led Network Looks to Improve Outcomes
A new contract of nearly $7 million will take advantage of Kaiser Permanente’s IT proficiency in healthcare research to build a data network aimed at improving patient outcomes in colorectal cancer, heart disease and obesity. The new network—Kaiser Permanente & Strategic Partners Patient Outcomes Research To Advance Learning, known as PORTAL—brings together four  healthcare delivery systems (Kaiser Permanente, Group Health Cooperative, HealthPartners and Denver Health), the 11 research centers affiliated with these systems, and patients, clinicians and operational leaders to develop the infrastructure necessary to conduct comparative effectiveness research, Kaiser officials say.

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