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Vol. 10 No. 21, October 9, 2013


Patients Like Viewing Lab Results Online, Study Finds
The majority of patients report positive feelings after viewing their laboratory results online, according to a Kaiser Permanente (KP) study published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine. The survey examined patients’ reactions to viewing laboratory results, including emotional responses, what actions patients took after learning their results, and impact of preparatory conversations between physicians and patients.
Respondents were 1,546 KP patients who had viewed at least one test result online within the past year. Response rate was 43%, completion rate was 39%. Overall:
  • Patients reported high levels of satisfaction, appreciation, calm, happiness and relief when viewing their results online. Few reported worry, confusion, fear, upset or anger, according to the study.
  • The most common follow-up activities were discussing results with family or friends, online research and making a graph of the pattern of test results over time.
  • Patients who spoke with their doctors prior to viewing their results experienced significantly more relief, appreciation, satisfaction, happiness and calm; and less confusion compared to those who did not speak with their doctors.


Nanodiamond Sensor Could Help Detect Iron Levels in Blood
Researchers from Ulm University, Germany believe they have developed a new method of detecting iron concentration in the bloodstream by measuring the presence of ferritin, a protein responsible for the storage and transport of iron. This is done by utilizing imperfect synthetic nanodiamonds, whose imperfections, namely nitrogen-vacancy defect centers, enable the scientists to detect the orientations of electron spins in external fields generated by the magnetic properties of iron ions, and thus, their strength. Furthermore, electrostatic interactions between the nanodiamonds and ferritin enable the absorption of the protein molecules (and the magnetized iron ions within).
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago First to Develop Thought Controlled Robotic Leg
Now researchers from Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) are reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine the development of a leg prosthesis that senses electromyographic (EMG) signals from already innervated and surgically reinnervated muscles of the thigh to control its motion. The leg actually combines data about its position and movement along with the EMG signals to infer how the person wants the leg to move. The new leg automatically adjusts between different walking scenarios, moving appropriately whether climbing stairs, ramps, or just navigating a flat surface.

Australia: $2 Billion ICT Healthcare Spending Shifts to Services
IDCAnalysts predict a shift in the $2 billion worth of investment in the ICT healthcare market from telecommunications and hardware to the delivery of software and IT services. The IDC ‘Australia Healthcare ICT Market 2013-2017’ report has revealed a detailed analysis of healthcare spending in ICT. In 2012, the healthcare industry invested an estimated $2.06 billion in ICT and this is expected to increase to $2.16 billion in 2017 at a growth rate of 1% per year. The spending is currently dominated by investments in telecommunications and hardware which accounted for 33.5% and 31.8% respectively.
Estonia: Large Increase in the Use of e-Health Systems in Estonian Healthcare
Estonian e-Health statistics show that since the beginning of 2010, e-Health system documents are being forwarded and viewed at a growing pace, and this growth has been accelerating. For example, the number of electronic health records (EHR) inquiries grew from mid-2010 to August 2013 by nine times. The number of queries will continue to grow together with the increase in the number of documents sent - to the end of August this year 2.3 million documents were transmitted, which is 25% more than the same period in 2012.
Finland: Launch of a New Electronic Data Management Strategy
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland has recently announced the launching of an electronic data management strategy with the aim to define the social and health care electronic data management national strategy until 2020. The basis of the strategy will be the relevant work undertaken by the Finnish Government, the Social Affairs and Health Ministry’s strategy, published in 2010, other current data management processes, the existing Finnish information management strategy, as well as the statutory national health and social care information system services and the maximization of the utilization of investments.

Philips Collaborates with Accenture to Create First Proof of Concept for Delivering Vital Patient Data via Google Glass
Philips and Accenture announced the creation of a proof-of-concept demonstration that uses a Google Glass™ head-mounted display for researching ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of performing surgical procedures. The demonstration connects Google Glass to Philips IntelliVue Solutions and proves the concept of seamless transfer of patient vital signs into Google Glass, potentially providing physicians with hands-free access to critical clinical information.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Honored by URAC for Advancing Patient Safety
Kaiser Permanente Northern California has been awarded Platinum Honors for Health Care Consumer Engagement and Protection by URAC, one of the US leading health-care accreditation organizations and an important advocate for health-care quality and patient safety. This award was granted by URAC (formerly known as the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) and recognizes the achievements of organizations that are effectively advancing the role of consumers as active participants in health care through health-improvement best practices.

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