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 | Vol. 12 No. 23, November 18, 2015  |

Depressed? Look For Help From A Human, Not A Computer
Almost 8% of Americans 12 and older dealt with depression at some point between 2009 and 2012. With that many of us feeling blue, wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply hop on the computer in our pajamas, without any of the stigma of asking for help, and find real relief? Online programs to fight depression are already commercially available, and while they sound efficient and cost-saving, a study out of the UK reports that they’re not effective, primarily because depressed patients aren’t likely to engage with them or stick with them. The study recently published in The BMJ, looked at computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy and found that it was no more effective in treating depression than the usual care patients receive from a primary care doctor.
For the study, researchers from the University of York conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 691 patients with depression from 83 physician practices across England. Patients were divided into three groups: one group receiving only traditional care from a physician and two groups receiving traditional physician care plus one of two computerized CBT programs, either "Beating the Blues" or "MoodGYM." Participants were balanced across the groups for age, educational background, severity and duration of depression, sex and use of antidepressants.
The study found the computer-assisted CBT programs to be ineffective in large part because patients with depression are not likely to engage or stick with them. After four months, the patients using computerized CBT programs showed no improvement in depression levels compared with patients who only received traditional care from their physicians. In addition, nearly one-quarter of patients dropped out within four months. 


Nima Pocket-Size Sensor Checks Your Food for Hidden Gluten
Gluten-free diets have been all the rage as of late for claims of a whole host of health benefits, such as weight loss, increased energy, and a stronger immune system. While scientific evidence for many of these claims is borderline sketchy to completely non-existent, celiac disease is an actual disorder in which the body treats gluten basically like an allergen. People who suffer from celiac disease or food allergies must alter their lifestyle to exclude the allergens, but there are often circumstances beyond their control, such as eating out. To help consumers determine if a certain food is safe to eat, San Francisco based 6SensorLabs has developed Nima, a portable food sensor that utilizes actual chemistry to test for the presence of gluten.
Nima works as follows: you simply place a pea-size sample of food or liquid (excluding alcohol) into the disposable cartridge and screw the top on. The sample drops into the bottom of the chamber which contains the reagent to test for gluten. The cartridge is loaded into the main unit and powered on, and in about two minutes a smiley face or frown face displays to indicate if the food sample contains less or more than 20 parts per million of gluten – the FDA standard to be considered “gluten-free”.
Formula 1 Tech Monitors Sick Children
An NHS hospital is using technology developed to monitor drivers in the McLaren Formula One racing team to keep track of the health of seriously ill children. Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is hosting a three-year research study that uses wireless sensors developed by Isansys Lifecare to collect data such as heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels to provide clinicians with an early warning sign if a patient is deteriorating. This data is transmitted via a low energy Bluetooth connection to the Isansys gateway located near to the bedside, which provides a real-time display of a patient’s vital signs. The gateway then wirelessly transmits this clinical information to McLaren’s data analytics platform, Lifeinsight, which processes the data and sends out an audio alarm if a child’s measurements go below or above a certain level. Similar technology is used to keep track of the body measurements of F1 drivers during a race.
The trust hopes that this system will mean that deteriorating patients can be recognized and treated more quickly than a paper-based approach where vital signs are recorded by nurses on a chart every one to four hours. The Real-Time Adaptive and Predictive Indicator of Deterioration, or RAPID, study is funded by a £1.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund to accelerate the translation of innovated technology into practical clinical applications. The study, which is taking place on all the trust’s cardiac wards, started one year ago and aims to have recruited about 1,200 patients by the time it is completed in 2017.

Digital Health Week 2015 Launches in Canada
Leading health organizations want Canadians to mark Digital Health Week 2015 (November 16 to 22) by imagining how their lives will change when they can go online to access their lab results, book medical appointments or have an e-visit with their doctor. Digital Health Week is supported by health organizations from across Canada to help Canadians recognize the value of going digital and to inspire further progress in providing Canadians with digital health tools.
Most Canadians (89%) feel it is important that they personally have full access to digital health tools and capabilities (Harris/Decima). Ninety percent of Canadians who access their own health information online describe the experience as positive (Harris/Decima). More than half of the visits to regular doctors/places of care could be avoided by adults aged 18-54 if they had had access to information and tools to connect with their providers (Conference Board of Canada).
Jordan: e-Health Program to Be Implemented Nationwide
The Jordanian government signed a five-year framework agreement with the Electronic Health Solutions Company (EHS) to regulate the implementation of the e-health program “Hakeem” at the national level. The agreement — signed by Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury and EHS Chairman Rami Farraj — aims at coordinating cooperation between EHS — the implementing party of Hakeem program — and the concerned health authorities in Jordan, improving healthcare services and controlling expenditures in the health sector, according to officials.
The vision behind the Hakeem programme is to create a database of patients’ medical histories across the Kingdom, including all the tests, procedures and surgeries they undergo, in addition to the diseases they suffer from, their allergies, the medications they take and other health information. Currently, there are 10 public hospitals connected to the programme, with the figure expected to reach 17 by the end of this year. In addition, there are 33 health centres connected to the system.

e-Health Market Worth $308.0 Billion By 2022
Global e-Health market is expected to reach USD 308.0 billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. The transition of the healthcare industry into digital healthcare system for management and analysis of patient health is expected to be the most vital driver of the market. Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and technological advancements in this field are few impact rendering factors. Rising use of mobile technologies and internet along with increasing adoption for home care by patients is expected to propel market growth over the forecast period.
Furthermore, expanding scope of IT companies pertaining to the development of real-time applications and software catering to the healthcare industry is expected to drive demand over the forecast period. Federal agencies such as the European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry (COCIR), in order to encourage and popularize e-Health, formulated various policies since 2007. One of these is the e-Health Action Plan, formulated in December 2012, which includes 16 proposed actions to boost e-Health use, focused on increasing research, innovation, interoperability and adoption.


TELUS Health and Doctors of the World Bring Health IT and Care to Montreal’s Disadvantaged Citizens
With more than 3,000 homeless in Montreal, many of whom are without regular or direct access to medical care, Canada’s first mobile healthcare clinic has made an indelible mark. Powered by TELUS Health and Doctors of the World, two organizations embracing community giving and using technological innovations to build a better healthcare system in Canada, a hyper-local mobile health clinic launched in June 2014 has enabled more than 3,000 medical acts such as vaccinations, screening tests and general health examinations; and reintegrated more than 800 of Montreal’s disadvantaged community back into the public health system.
It is estimated that between 150,000 to 300,000 Canadians are homeless, and as temperatures begin to drop and we prepare for the harsh Canadian winter season ahead, caring for those on the street will become even more critical. A study of homelessness in Canada revealed that homeless Canadians visit a medical clinic an average of 10 times a year; more than 75% had been to a hospital emergency room and 31% had been admitted to hospital to treat severe illness.
Susan Anderson Named Orion Health Managing Director for Canada
Orion Health™, a population health management and healthcare integration company, announced the appointment of Susan Anderson as Managing Director of its Canadian operations. Susan is a COACH Board Director.
Susan is an accomplished e-Health strategist with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare informatics. Most recently, she was the Assistant Deputy Minister and CIO for the Health Information Technology and Systems Division at Alberta Health where she played a pivotal role in transforming Alberta’s healthcare system into one of the most digitally connected in North America. At the forefront of Alberta’s Electronic Health Record implementation, she helped steer the expansion of EHR data sources, deployment to users, integration for physicians and pharmacists, and introduced public access to EHRs. Susan has also worked with private healthcare companies to reduce operating costs, has aided in Canada Health Infoway initiatives such as clinical end user engagement including development of peer-to-peer clinical user support networks for Canadian jurisdictions, and has furthered the adoption and innovation of e-Health within clinical practices across the country.


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