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| Vol. 13 No. 21, October 19, 2016 | 


Top 6 Population Health Programs Hospitals are Undertaking Today
The number of healthcare organizations with population health initiatives has grown year over year from 67 percent in 2015 to 76 percent in 2016, according to a new study from HIMSS Analytics.
To boost population health efforts, healthcare organizations are using a variety of healthcare information technologies. According to the study, 89 percent are using electronic health records as part of their population health efforts, 76 percent are using patient portals, 76 percent are using patient engagement systems and 65 percent are using telemedicine technologies.
The first initiative area is chronic disease management, where healthcare organizations manage populations of patients with such diseases as diabetes and COPD. Healthcare organizations with these types of population health efforts in place went from 83 percent in 2015 to 77 percent in 2016. Some amount of a percentage drop can be attributed to a difference in the number of healthcare organizations studied from year to year (197 in 2015 and 104 in 2016), HIMSS Analytics said.
The second area is wellness and preventive health, where organizations promote workplace health, school health, weight loss and smoking cessation to improve overall health and deter more serious conditions from occurring. This initiative category dropped from 79 percent in 2015 to 72 percent in 2016.
The third initiative area is clinically integrated networks. This model of care is a health network of provider organizations that use protocols to improve care, lower costs and increase value to a particular market. About half of organizations in the 2016 study with population health initiatives in place leverage this model of care, a figure in line with the 2015 study.


What the Senior and Aging Care Industry Wants from Digital Health Innovators
“In healthcare, there is a clear shift in consumption, and its mainly from a consumer we don’t hear a lot about: the aging consumer. There are a lot of attitudes of stereotypes, and they are still less well known,” Jaana Remes, an economist and partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, said at the event. “There is more equality, more diversity, they are more likely to be working later, more likely to be single, they are the most educated older generation yet, and they are much more likely to be tech savvy.”
That means the apps, remote-monitoring systems and connection platforms to their care teams should be designed with the idea that they will actually use it, Remes said.
Unsurprisingly, the demand for home healthcare services is increasing, with the global market valued at nearly $229 billion in 2015 with the expectation of reaching $391 billion by 2021, according to a new report from Zion Market Research. This includes private caregiving, telehealth, medical devices and therapy services.
“Life expectancy has changed dramatically in the US, but while people are living longer, they aren’t necessarily living healthier,” said Dr. Bruce Chernof, CEO of the Scan Foundation, an aging and long-term care charity organization. “Maybe they are living with higher function and longer, but they are living with more chronic diseases. Where could tech play a role?”
Chernof said healthcare providers tend to exert minimal efforts towards integrating social services, and, furthermore, they don't know exactly how those services will add value. For example, doctors separate out behavioral health from other medical health issues when delivering care, or refer people to services that can’t even accommodate them. Technology designed to integrate multiple aspects of healthcare could save time, money and lead to better health outcomes.

Digital Health Pioneers Babylon get Full Marks from CQC
Founded in 2013 by British entrepreneur Dr. Ali Parsa, the babylon healthcare app takes the hassle out of going to the doctors by allowing users to book live video consultations with registered GPs. The on-demand service means most patients can be seen within the hour, at a time and place that suits them- a major appeal for busy people or those that find it inconvenient to get to a doctor.
“Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment.”
CQC, the independent regulator for health and social care in England, has assessed digital healthcare provider babylon as part of an ‘independent health pilot’. In the report, CQC found that risks to patients were assessed and well managed, personal information was protected and patient feedback was continually being used to improve the service. babylon passed all categories assessed – an outstanding result.


Philips Adds Cardiac Transducer to Lumify Smart-Device Based Ultrasound Lineup
Philips has received FDA clearance for its S4-1 cardiac transducer for the Lumify smart-device based ultrasound system. The S4-1 is the third transducer available for the Lumify system and the first to offer cardiac imaging capabilities, in addition to abdominal imaging including lung, OB/GYN, and FAST exam pre-sets. It connects to standard smartphones and tablets and uses cloud-enabled technology to connect with PACS and other network resources.
The S4-1 is a broadband sector array transducer that has a 4 to 1 MHz extended operating frequency range. Supported imaging modes are 2D, color Doppler, M-mode, advanced XRES and multivariate harmonic imaging. The S4-1 transducer and its replaceable cable together weigh 152 grams and the transducer connects through micro-USB.

MySpirometer for Easy and Affordable Lung Function Testing
Spirometers for measuring exhaled air volume have been used in clinical practice for many years now, but the technology has been underutilized due to technology costs limiting accessibility and devices not meeting industry recommendations. Getting it into the hands of patients and making the process easy, convenient, and clinically useful can help reduce exacerbations, predict disease progression, and reduce the usage of steroids. My Spirometer is a new company that developed new technology for making lung function testing something that can be adopted for wider at-home use by COPD and asthma patients to help control their conditions.

WearableHealth Tech Firm Dexcom will Redefine what is Possible in Managing Personal Healthcare
Having recently signed an agreement with the German Health Ministry to improve the reimbursement of real-time CGM technology for those with type 1 diabetes, as well as those with type 2 diabetes who require intensive insulin therapy, Dexcom has already begun to improve access to existing CGM technology. However, the goal is to further miniaturise the technology and further improve accuracy.
Dexcom is leading the drive towards smaller, more accurate and less intrusive CGM sensors through a number of number of international collaborations, including a groundbreaking link-up with Google’s life sciences division, Google Verily. The partnership combines Dexcom’s industry-leading CGM sensor accuracy with Google’s expertise in miniaturising electronics and data analytics.

3D Mammograms Show 'Huge' Improvements in Detecting Breast Cancer
Current two-dimensional mammograms take pictures across the breast in two directions, from top to bottom and from side to side. That’s like being handed a novel by your favorite author and being told you can read only the front and back covers. Meanwhile, the camera in a three-dimensional mammogram operates on a 15-degree arc and scans across the breast. It creates up to 70 individual “slices” of the breast, which are then pieced back together to form a complete image for radiologists to view.
The local 3D mammograms picked up one-third more cancers than 2D tests, the statistics showed. That’s a detection rate of 5.2 cases of cancer per 1,000 mammograms for 3D tests compared to a rate of 4 per 1,000 for 2D tests.


eHealth Ontario is Not for Sale: Wynne's Privatization Guru
The man who advised Premier Kathleen Wynne's government to sell a majority stake in Hydro One is now examining eHealth Ontario — but he insists that doesn't mean another "For Sale" sign is about to appear.
Ed Clark, the former president of TD Bank Group, is being asked for recommendations on how to "maximize the value" of the province's digital medical system. 
eHealth Ontario, a government-owned independent agency, has spent in the range of $350 million to $400 million annually over the past several years to build a system of electronic medical records for patients. 
Clark says that selling any part of the province's digital health infrastructure is "absolutely" off the table.

UCL Institute of Digital Health to Work with Cerner UK
Specific aims of the partnership include closing the gap between research and practice, “developing the future healthcare workforce” and making sure it has appropriate IT skills, and reducing the time to market for digital health innovations.
“With this partnership, not only will we focus on what the health and care of the future should look like, we will also make sure that this care is delivered to care providers as soon as possible, and that their workforces are ready for it,” said Geoff Segal, general manager for Cerner UK and Ireland. Many students who train at University College London end up using Cerner information systems, the statement added.

Doctor Care Anywhere Launches Market-leading Platform to Help it Deliver the Best in Class Digital Doctor and Healthcare Management Service Worldwide
Doctor Care Anywhere, the UK's leading digital healthcare company, today launches a market-leading new version of its platform to help the company deliver on its aim of providing the best-in-class and most accessible digital doctor and healthcare management service worldwide and accelerate its growth in the fast-expanding telehealth sector.
Doctor Care Anywhere provides 20 minute video and phone GP consultations with UK trained GPs 365 days a year from 8am to 10pm UK time (moving to 24/7 by November 2016) from wherever its members are in the world. The new platform boasts a range of enhanced features and combines a virtual and in-person GP service through its recently announced ground-breaking partnership with Nuffield Health.


Rising Investment in Healthcare Information System aids the Expansion of Digital Health Market
Digital health is technology-enabled care that involves the convergence of digital media, health technology, and mobile devices. It is designed to help patients, care givers, and healthcare professionals access relevant data easily and improve the quality of both social and health care. Digital health is gaining impetus since it provides cost-effective solutions at a time when the demand for healthcare services is persistently increasing.

AI and Health: Could Robots Replace our Doctors?
Numerous companies in the healthcare space are experimenting with artificial intelligence, but what does the future hold in this sphere? Roughly every three years, the amount of medical data on the planet doubles in size. By 2020, it is expected to double every 73 days. But you’d be wrong in thinking this exponential growth is being matched by progress in the field. Our vast pool of expertise – research, clinical trials, medical records – is a mess. It’s siloed, it’s unstructured and, crucially, it’s polyglottic.
This is where AI systems like Watson come in. These so-called ‘cognitive computers’ can find patterns in large swathes of unstructured data. But not only that, their ability to learn means they can also navigate languages and all their subtle linguistic cues. Essentially, these systems promise to make the medical profession – and everything in it – Google-able.


Infoway's Second Decade: Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way – Part One  (2011)
Will Falk
Digitising health records has been a policy priority for provinces, the federal government, and governments around the world since the late 90’s.  It is a given in policy circles that investing in the electronic health record (EHR) is worthwhile and all political parties support this. In Canada “eHealth” has been led by provincial Health IT agencies and Canada Health Infoway. Infoway's Second Decade: Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way – Part Two (2011)
Will Falk
Infoway and the Health IT industry in Canada have moved through Stage One successfully and are now in Stage Two — the stabilizing and strengthening stage. The fast pace of new technology development makes it likely that we will move very quickly into Stage Three (we have already in DI/PACS and a few other segments). Turning the Good Ship Infoway   (2011)
Will Falk
Canada Health Infoway is ten years old and has had a successful first decade. This essay is an attempt to track the progress and to highlight challenges to come.


Find Out What's New and Happening at Canada Health Infoway

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