| Vol. 13 No. 15, July 27, 2016 |
FACTS AND STATS
Hospitals broaden their use of digital healthcare
A survey of more than 2,100 hospitals nationwide finds hospitals are focusing on digital doctor visits, also known as telehealth or telemedicine, to treat a bigger number of specific conditions and hook up patients with specialists.
More than 25% of hospitals also are now using telemedicine and other web-based technology, including wearables and mobile apps, to monitor patients with such chronic diseases as congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart disease. Hospitals also are using digital healthcare technology and the web to engage with patients outside of the hospital.
68% of hospitals now offer patients web tools that allow them to upload their own data securely through a hospital’s data portal compared with 61% that use social media outlets such as Facebook to provide support groups and 26% that offer digital physician visits through an iPad, iPhone or mobile app.
53% of hospitals are connecting individual patient electronic health record data with population health tools such as computerized patient registries that provide patient monitoring, patient outreach, point-of-care reminders, care management, health risk classification and other purposes.
Most hospitals are investing in mobile health initiatives, including 81% that are using apps to notify clinicians of sudden changes in patient conditions and related events such as falls, respiratory distress or failure.
Investors pump $2 billion into digital healthcare in first half of 2016
In its latest report on investment in digital healthcare, Rock Health says the value of deals in the first six months of the year totaled about $2 billion. That compares with about $2.2 billion in the first half of 2015, the research firm says.
“We ended the first half of 2016 with slightly over $2 billion in total venture funding and that’s on track with the levels of both 2014 and 2015,” write Rock Health researchers Mitchell Mom and Ashlee Adams in a new blog post. “In a year when everyone expected funding to decline, digital health has been as steady as ever.”
TELUS Health Acquires Canadian Digital Healthcare Company Nightingale
With this acquisition, Telus will also obtain the company’s electronic medical records (EMR) software, which is currently used by over 4,000 physicians in Canada, mainly in the Ontario and Atlantic regions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
An EMR is a digital health record that can be accessed online, allowing users to present up-to-date medical information wherever they choose to see a doctor.
Fitbit trackers to be used in important health study
A new study that investigates the impact of weight loss on breast cancer recurrence will be using Fitbit trackers to help participants track their progress towards their weight loss goals. Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will begin enrolling volunteer participants
on August 1, 2016 for the six year long study.
The Breast Cancer Weight Loss (BWEL) study
, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, will enrol over 3,000 overweight women who are in the early stage of cancer, to see if losing weight can help prevent the disease from returning. Patients in the weight loss group will work with a health coach over the phone to help them increase their exercise and reduce calories.
Providence Health Care Becomes First Canadian Center to Adopt Revolutionary HeartFlow FFRct Analysis to Assess Coronary Artery Disease
Providence Health Care
has become the first center in Canada to adopt the HeartFlow® FFRct Analysis, and also first in the world to utilize the next generation version of the platform. The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis, which was recently approved by Health Canada, is a novel, non-invasive technology used by clinicians to assess their patients for coronary artery disease.
Developed by HeartFlow, Inc.
, the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is the only non-invasive technology to provide insight into both the extent of coronary artery disease and the impact that disease has on blood flow to the heart, aiding clinicians in selecting an appropriate treatment. The latest generation of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is a cloud-based platform that allows for the more rapid processing of cases. The innovative technology has been proven to reduce the need for invasive and costly procedures previously performed to diagnose patients suspected of having coronary artery disease.
“The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis has the potential to substantially shift the way we diagnose patients with chest pain,” said Jonathon Leipsic, M.D., FRCPC, chairman of the Department of Radiology for Providence Health Care. “The technology offers us a deeper understanding of the extent of the coronary artery disease and risk it poses to the patient. This has very much changed our practice, allowing for more appropriate and personalized treatment decision making.”
Brazil launches app for Olympic athletes, visitors to report health conditions
Brazilians and international attendees of the Olympic and Paralympic Games next month will have the opportunity to self-monitor and report symptoms typical of known epidemics.
The Secretary of Health Surveillance from the Ministry of Health in Brazil has launched a new smartphone application called the Guardioes da Saude (Guardians of Health), an interactive and real-time tool that will help facilitate actions of public health services to identify and potentially contain public health events much faster.
Based on a similar application - Saude na Copa - launched during the FIFA World Cup 2014, Guardioes da Saude will encourage users to indicate their health condition daily.
Users of the app will record their own health through the daily questions related to health conditions, such as fever, body aches or joint pain. Even those feeling healthy, however, are also encouraged to report.
Consumers in Singapore Want Self-Directed Healthcare Enabled by Digital Technologies
Consumers in Singapore are ready to accept self-directed healthcare driven by digital technologies, with more than half of them willing to use virtual-care technologies as a replacement for a face-to-face healthcare visit, according to a new report by Accenture.
The report, titled Innovation-Powered Healthcare in Asia Pacific, is based on a three-country survey of 2,250 citizens – 750 each in Australia, Japan and Singapore. According to the report, 54 per cent of Singaporean consumers said they would forego a face-to-face visit with a physician in lieu of a virtual visit if that would enable them to be seen sooner.
The survey also found that more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of respondents in Singapore said they trust themselves to take charge of their own health, and nearly the same number (74 per cent) said they want more options for self-managing their care.
Mayo Clinic, Thomas Jefferson transform telehealth and virtual care to redesign the patient experience
Thomas Jefferson is among the vanguard of hospital systems re-engineering telehealth and virtual care platforms to improve the patient experience. The Mayo Clinic, Ohio Health, and Hospital Corporation of America are also undertaking similar turn-around initiatives.
Hospital Corporation of America, likewise, had to reengineer its sprawling telehealth program, which spans 382 sites in 20 states.
“We’ve transitioned from technology-focused telehealth to clinically focused, technology-enabled telehealth,” said Christopher Northam, HCA’s vice president of telehealth. Although telestroke and telebehavioral care are still the pillars of the HCA program, the network has widened to include remote home monitoring, rehab clinics and radiology centers.
HCA also linked the telehealth platform to its Meditech EHR. “Our enterprise data warehouse has over 28 petabytes of data,” said Ryan Richardson, director of HCA’s strategic analytics. “We’re able to cull actionable data from the warehouse, including telehealth volume by physician and service line. And we’re starting to analyze the length of a telehealth encounter with the quality of the outcomes.”
STEPS to Value Podcast: Episode #19: Innovation, UX & Health Care vs. Healthcare (Duration: 0:26:31)
In this age of rapid digital transformation, the speed at which innovation occurs often impacts success. We know this is true for organizations, but what is its role in systemic transformation? As we move towards a health care delivery system that is based more on value than on volume will innovation come in the form of wholesale transformation or will it occupy in small spaces, chipping away at the old model over time? How do we define the future state? What does it look like? Is it all about technology? Or must we rethink the way we think about health care. In this episode we talk with Dr. Jacob Reider about this timely topic, about the innovative use of technology, the promotion of benevolence in business and the opportunities that lay ahead for each of us to improve the health of our communities.
Health IT adoption lags due to lack of patient interest
For all the promise surrounding health IT, the adoption of new technologies to improve coordination between patients and care providers remains sluggish, according to new research from Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives.
In a survey of slightly more than 30,000 consumers and 626 physicians, Nielsen found only modest upticks in the use of technology in the healthcare arena, and also highlighted the stubborn tendency of providers to operate in siloes, rather than embrace the model of coordinated care that many health reform advocates are championing.
"This survey is evidence of the failure of American healthcare to provide coordinated, technologically enabled, high-quality healthcare to the majority of people," Robert Pearl, chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, which sponsored the research, said in a statement.
Telus report reveals that Canadians want to use tech to manage their healthcare
Canadians want the medley of tasks they can accomplish online to extend to healthcare, according to a recent Telus report.
The study shows that 89 percent of Canadians believe that digital technology will lead to better care, and that 85 percent of Canadians are not taking advantage of what tools are already available.
On the other hand, only 15 percent of those surveyed reported using digital tools to manage any aspect of their healthcare and approximately 48 percent are unaware that such tools are even available at medical offices, clinics and pharmacies.
“Our health is our most prized possession, and Canadians may not realize that by embracing technology we can all better manage our health and the health of our loved ones,” said Hélène Chartier, vice president of strategy and enablement at Telus Health, in a statement.
Ultra-High Speed Internet Coming to 300 Communities in Southwestern Ontario
The governments of Ontario and Canada are investing up to $180 million to help bring ultra-high speed internet to homes and businesses in southwestern Ontario.
Canada and Ontario will each provide up to $90 million towards the total project cost of approximately $281 million. This investment is part of the new Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project, which will expand access to broadband by delivering fibre optic coverage to over 300 communities with a total population of 3.5 million -- spanning counties and municipalities in southwestern Ontario, as well as Caledon and Niagara.
UOIT applying cloud-based Big Data analytics to improve patient care
Big Data analytics have the potential to be a game-changer in how Ontario patients and families receive clinical health-care services. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) will contribute its Big Data expertise to a new Health Ecosphere Pipeline Project announced July 21 by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The university will collaborate with Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, York University and IBM Canada in this $34.5 million health informatics research program.
SIMPLY THE BEST
Canadian Technology that Uses Speech to Track Alzheimer's Captures First Prize at AGE-WELL Pitch Competition
A new technology that analyzes a person's natural speech to detect and monitor Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders has won the AGE-WELL Pitch Competition: Technology to Support People with Dementia.
The new tablet-based assessment tool records short samples of a person's speech as they describe a picture – even a family photo – on the screen. It extracts hundreds of variables from the samples, producing results in under five minutes.
"Speech is a rich source of information on people's cognitive health," said Liam Kaufman, CEO and Co-founder of Winterlight Labs, who developed the tool with Dr. Frank Rudzicz, Maria Yancheva and Katie Fraser of the University of Toronto. Dr. Rudzicz is also a scientist at Toronto Rehab-University Health Network in Toronto, Canada.
ELECTRONIC HEALTHCARE ARTICLES
Key Cloud Computing Issues and Questions for the Health Industry
Early use of cloud computing is already transforming the nature of competition in commercial sectors (see Amazon, Google and Facebook). In the next few years, health industry organizations will likely see similarly sweeping changes by leveraging cloud computing. Development of a health industry information ecosystem, centred on electronic health records located in highly secure cloud-based environments, is one major area of expected change. Increasing digitization of health information (e.g., images, test results) will be another likely outcome, as will the growing integration of mobile devices with cloud-based applications to support wellness programs and remote health monitoring.
The Big Data Revolution: Opportunities for Chief Nurse Executives
A discussion of how nurse executives armed with informatics competency can harness the full potential of Big Data and the new opportunities it offers for nursing knowledge development.
Find Out What's New and Happening at Canada Health Infoway
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