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| Vol. 14 No. 6, March 22, 2017 | 


Three-Fourths of Patients Want More Access to Digital Health Tools
A growing number of consumers want more access to digital healthcare services, but so far healthcare providers aren’t delivering as many online services as patients want.
That’s the chief takeaway of a new survey of 1,501 U.S. consumers from consulting firm Accenture. About three-quarters of respondents noted they would use virtual services to track health indicators such as blood pressure, pulse and glucose levels. 76% of consumers also would schedule appointments online and 70% say they would conduct a digital office visit for treatment of a non-urgent health issue such as a rash or a sore throat.
But despite the feedback from consumers wanting more digital healthcare tools to personalize and manage their health and wellness, only 21% of respondents so far are receiving care online or using digital healthcare tools widely. Those metrics suggest that many healthcare care providers still are not offering such digital tools or educating patients on how to use them, Accenture says.
“Consumers are clear: In the 21st century, 20th century healthcare is not good enough,” says Accenture managing director of virtual health services Frances Dare. “Technology-enabled services will be equally important as traditional in-person services, allowing the modern patient to choose when and how they receive health and care services.”
Consumers today want a combination of in-person and virtual health services, Accenture says. 78% of consumers surveyed indicated they would be interested in receiving healthcare virtually some or most of the time. Therefore, the research suggests, health systems need to balance and integrate virtual and in-person services with the varying degrees to which consumers see themselves as being in charge of their own health, both today (cited by 85% of respondents) and by 51% if they become ill or injured, according to the Accenture survey.


Progress in the Enhanced Use of Electronic Medical Records: Data From the Ontario Experience
Mavis Jones, PhD; Chad Koziel, MMA; Darren Larsen, MD; Plumaletta Berry, MHI; Elena Kubatka-Willms, MPP
A new research paper from OntarioMD based on data from over 4,000 clinicians shows that Ontario physicians perceive the quality of the care they provide improves the longer they use their electronic medical records (EMRs). The paper describes a change management strategy, including a self-assessment survey tool and EMR maturity model (EMM), developed to support the adoption and implementation of EMRs among community-based physicians in the province of Ontario, Canada.

3D Signatures’ TeloView™ Software Identifies and Stages Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease From a Cheek Swab
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 3D Signatures Inc. (TSX-V:DXD) (OTCQB:TDSGF) (FSE:3D0) (the "Company" or "3DS"), is pleased to announce clinical study results which confirm that based on a swab from the inside of a patient’s cheek, its proprietary TeloView™ software platform has the ability to identify patients with Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”) and, furthermore, distinguish between mild, moderate, and severe forms of the disease. The results of this confirmatory study have been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
AD is the most common form of dementia affecting approximately five million Americans age 65 and older, as well as an estimated 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 who are afflicted with early-onset AD. AD is clinically defined as a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that involves cognitive impairment, memory loss, visual-spatial retrogression and language impairment. AD is the fifth leading cause of death for people age 65 and older.

How Digital Health Could Help End the Opioid Addiction Crisis
Dr. Atul Gawande, revered surgeon, health care thinker, and journalist, in a new article published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery. Gawande argues that widespread adoption of electronic prescriptions—as opposed to the old-school, hand-written variety still used by so many medical providers —for certain painkillers could make a serious dent in opioid abuse and go a long toward protecting Americans who might fall prey to addictive drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin.
... "electronic prescribing would make it far easier for surgeons to write smaller prescriptions that meet the needs of 80% of patients, or even 50%, knowing they could remotely order an additional supply if a patient needed it."
This system of prescribing could "prevent duplicate and forged prescriptions by using 2-factor authentication; reduce dosing errors; cross-reference prescription monitoring program databases; and simplify the prescription process for doctors and patients." Furthermore, "electronic prescribing would make it far easier for surgeons to write smaller prescriptions that meet the needs of 80% of patients, or even 50%, knowing they could remotely order an additional supply if a patient needed it."


Doctors Adopt VR Gaming Technology to Ease Preoperation Anxiety in Scared Patients at Sick Kids and Sunnybrook in Toronto
Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers anymore. Toronto anesthesiologists Fahad Alam and Clyde Matava are using immersive reality in health care in the only such lab in Canada called the Collaborative Human Immersive and Interactive Lab (CHISIL).
They have tested the technology on more than 200 patients including Tess at The Hospital for Sick Children and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “We’re taking (VR) out of the gaming realm, and actually using it to help patients and changing care,” said Alam. With the immersive experience, “the fear of unknown is kind of eliminated.”
They doctors are now analyzing the data and the results have been encouraging. There have been no episodes of “VR sickness” (headaches and nausea similar to motion sickness) and any fear prior to surgery has decreased. They found that nearly all the children at Sick Kids preferred the VR over traditional PowerPoint slides to explain the surgery process.

Device Allows Patients to Work Remotely with Physiotherapist from the Comfort of Home
The Stroke Wearable Operative Rehabilitation Device (SWORD) provides an exercise program on a tablet computer, which gives instructions to a patient, whose movements are monitored by sensors strapped to the body.
Progress reports are sent through the cloud to a remote physiotherapist, who can alter the exercises by sending instructions back to the tablet for the patient to see.


BC's Health and Technology District Signs MOU with Israel's Center for Digital Innovation Negev
International Partnership building collaborations on health & technology related innovations and creates virtual pathway between Israel and Canada
SURREY, BC and BE'ER SHEBA, Israel, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ - The Health and Technology District in Surrey is pleased to announce an international partnership with the Center for Digital Innovation in Israel, to formalize a number of action oriented collaborations on health related technologies, creating an international network between partners to support health-tech innovations in Israel and across North America.
The Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) is located in the Advanced Technology Park in Be'er Sheba (Israel), the growing 'Silicon Valley' of the Middle East. CDI is a leading-edge, non-profit innovation center created through the collaborative efforts of some of Israel's most outstanding entrepreneurs and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. CDI operate in the areas of digital healthcare, healthy aging, education and smart cities and converges experienced entrepreneurs, start-up companies, innovators, researchers, industry leaders, academics, the public sector and investors to generate a high Return on Innovation (ROI), for the mega challenges of the 21st century, such as the cost of healthcare and chronic diseases to provide solutions.


Helping Innovators Improve Lives of People with Disabilities
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) announced on March 9, 2017 that applications for the third annual Accessibility Innovation Showcase (AIS) and the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition are now open.
In partnership with the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), the AIS has become a cornerstone of OCE's annual Discovery Conference, which runs May 15-16, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The AIS brings together industry and entrepreneurs, showcasing and promoting groundbreaking technologies that are changing the lives of people with disabilities.
"The Accessibility Innovation Showcase has become one of the most popular features of the OCE Discovery Conference each year," says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO. "While improving the lives of people with disabilities, technologies that start as assistive devices can also find wider applications, such as speech-to-text, making Discovery an exciting space for the convergence of innovative technology and the broader demands of the marketplace."
The Accessibility Innovation Showcase will feature 25 companies, providing them with an opportunity to present their accessibility-focused innovation and technology to the broader innovation ecosystem, build business networks and preview products for potential investors. It is also a chance for the audience to experience and learn about accessibility technology first-hand.

Johnson & Johnson's CaringCrowd®, work by CI&T and R/GA, Takes Home SXSW Interactive Innovation Award
AUSTIN, Texas, March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson's CaringCrowd®, along with its strategic  partners CI&T and R/GA, received the SXSW Interactive Innovation People's Choice Award at the 20th annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards. CI&T and R/GA collaborated on the interactive and design work. Out of 65 finalists, Johnson & Johnson's CaringCrowd® was voted the winner by the SXSW Interactive community at the Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on March 12. Known for celebrating the most inspiring, creative advancements of the year, the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards embrace the evolving scope of the digital industry by reflecting its increasingly diverse ecosystem of platforms, software, apps and devices.


Gaps in Primary Healthcare Electronic Medical Record Research and Knowledge: Findings of a Pan-Canadian Study         
Amanda L. Terry, Moira Stewart, Martin Fortin, Sabrina T. Wong, Maureen Kennedy, Fred Burge, Richard Birtwhistle, Inese Grava-Gubins, Greg Webster and Amardeep Thind
While the barriers to electronic medical record (EMR) adoption by physicians are well-known, much less is known on the broader challenges regarding EMR use faced by primary healthcare (PHC) EMR stakeholders in Canada. The aim of this paper is to identify, describe and prioritize gaps in PHC EMR knowledge and research.

Saving Ontario Healthcare Dollars through E-health Standardization: A Quantitative Study     
Yaron Derman, Simon La, Jingping Ji, Natalia Lizon and Anthony Kung
Health information and information technology professionals intuitively sense that the broad implementation of standardized processes and interoperable information technology throughout the health system is a good thing.


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