News

HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY, AND NURSING INFORMATICS NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Why All the Hype Around Analytics?

HIMSS Chair of Clinical and Business Intelligence John Middleton, MD believes the reason is “We have a growing treasure trove of data that many believe holds the answers to better health at more sustainable costs. Unfortunately, much of this data is either not easily accessed, shared, compared or analyzed.”  (HIMSS, May 2017)

To Spot Suicidal Veterans, VA Turns to Predictive Analytics Tool

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the Recovery Engagement And Coordination for Health Veterans Enhanced Treatment Program, also known as REACH VET, to pinpoint veterans with suicidal thoughts and intervene immediately.  (Healthcare IT News, April 2017)

The “Most Influential Women in Health IT” Share Words of Wisdom and Issue a Call to Action

Shareefa Al Abulmonem, Marion J. Ball, Ed.D, Rachelle Blake, Christina Caraballo, Karen DeSalvo, M.D., Karen Guice, M.D., and Lisa Stump, the inaugural recipients of HIMSS’ “Most Influential Women in Health IT” award, share nuggets of wisdom from their experience in the industry. (Healthcare Informatics, March 2017)

From Virtual Nurses to Drug Discovery: 106 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Healthcare

For 2017, CB Insights identified over 100 companies that are applying machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to reduce drug discovery times, provide virtual assistance to patients, and diagnose ailments by processing medical images, among other things.  (CB Insights, February 2017)

HIMSS Conference 2017 Government Sessions

Discover how the new administration will impact health and health I.T. at the HIMSS Conference 2017 Government Sessions, from February 19 – 23.  Keynote Speakers include Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM, and Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner.  (HIMSS, February 2017)

mHealth Roundup: Health Apps to Cut Costs, Improve Care

A top focal point for app makers has been management of chronic illness, such as diabetes, as the population of patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes swells. Health and fitness are also a prime focus for payers and providers and are popular with consumers.

But app makers are working to expand beyond those entry-level functions to tackle everything from patient care and management to back-end operations and streamlined business processes.

Here’s a roundup of some of the promising mHealth app developments FierceHealthcare reported on in 2016. (Fierce Healthcare, January 2017)

Trump Weights Letting Veterans Opt Out of V.A. Medical Care

Mr. Trump met on Wednesday afternoon with John H. Noseworthy, the president of the Mayo Clinic; Paul Rothman, the chief executive of Johns Hopkins Medicine; David Torchiana, the chief executive of Partners HealthCare; Delos Cosgrove, the chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic; and several others. The transition official said Mr. Trump was considering asking members of that group to form an advisory committee to help him reshape the V.A. (New York Times, December 2016)

Reaching the Remote: Telemedicine Changing Rural Healthcare

Telehealth provides new tools and methods to reach and serve rural and underserved communities.  (Clinical Informatics News, November 2016)

Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum top takeaways

“You’re going to need governance”, and “Don’t wait for analytics perfection” are some of the nuggets of wisdom at the 2016 HIMSS and Healthcare IT News Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum. (Healthcare IT News, October 2016)

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Promises to Spend $3 Billion to Research and Cure All Diseases

“We believe we can cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children’s lifetime,” Chan said. “It doesn’t mean that no one will get sick, but they should get sick a lot less.” (October 2016; article originally published on September 2016)

Epic reveals R&D Spending Outstrips Apple, Google, and It’s Competitors

Giant EHR company Epic systems claims that it’s Research and Development spending surpasses that of global powerhouses Apple and Google, in terms of percentage of operating expenses – a whopping 50%. (September 2016)

2016-17 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and Overview

According to U.S. News and World, this year “the Best Hospitals Honor Roll has been revamped for 2016-17 to take both the national rankings and the procedure and condition ratings into account.”  (August 2016)

Significant Growth Potential Exists in Clinical, Business Intelligence Solutions Market

“It is not surprising to see moderate adoption levels of clinical and business solutions, or minimal investment plans as organizations have been focused on other clinical areas,” says HIMSS Analytics Director of Research, Brendan FitzGerald.  “However, with the shift to value-based care and the potential impact of predictive and prescriptive analytics on patient care, growth in this solution category should increase significantly in the next three to five years.”  (July 2016; article originally published on June 2016)

Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) chief Karen DeSalvo: now is the time to build on widespread EHR adoption

“As a doctor, a daughter and a policymaker, I know that we need to see actionable, usable, electronic health information available when and where it matters to consumers and all of us who are users of that data,” DeSalvo said.  (June 2016)

ONC: 96 Percent of Acute Care Hospitals Have Adopted Certified EHRs

A large number of nonfederal acute care hospitals – 96% – are now using a certified EHR as of 2015, according to Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT or ONC.  Additionally, “the percentage of hospitals that had adopted “comprehensive” EHRs with increased levels of functionality increased from 1.6 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2015.”  (May 2016)

Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs)

The new acronyms for Medicare payment paths, as explained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These are part of the “single framework to help clinicians transition from payments based on volume to payments based on value.” (April 2016)

Here’s your MACRA primer (and don’t worry, it doesn’t “kill” Meaningful Use)

What is MACRA?  Is it replacing Meaningful Use?  And is Meaningful Use dissolving, or simply evolving?  This link has a simple but helpful explanation about MACRA and the future of Meaningful Use.  (March 2016)

Michael Dell, Peyton Manning will be keynote speakers at this year’s HIMSS 2016 conference

Other notable guest speakers at this event are U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Wharton School of Business Associate Professor of Marketing Jonah Berger, PhD.  The conference is on February 29 – March 4 in Las Vegas.  (February 2016)

What can health care learn from Moneyball?

This month it was announced that Major League Baseball executive Paul DePodesta, who helped inspire the 2011 movie “Moneyball”, has joined faculty of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI)an assistant professor of bioinformatics.  The link above is for the San Diego Tribune article in October 2015, when DePodesta discussed how healthcare can benefit from “Moneyball”-style analytics during the mHealth Summit in New York.  (January 2016)

“Data Analytics Toolkit: Show Me How to Use Analytics in My Practice!” is a pre-conference session at the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics conference in July 2016

The course description notes that the session “will focus on fundamental concepts and skill sets of data analytics in the area of clinical informatics and clinical decision making surrounding care quality, safety, and revenue generation, as well as their applications to the practice settings.” (January 2016)

CMS Promises Meaningful Use Replacement This Year

Andy Slavitt, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said in a healthcare conference in San Francisco that “on the basis of consultations with the American Medical Association (AMA) and other physician groups, CMS was drafting meaningful use reforms that it would disclose over the next several months.” (January 2016)

Top 10 Healthcare IT News stories of 2015
(December 2015)

Is Health Care Google’s Next Big Business After Search?

Cowen and Company reports that Google’s moves (in healthcare-related investements) “represent significant unlocked value”.   (November 2015; article originally published on September 2015)

NIH’s mental health chief is joining Google
The Washington Post reports that NIH director Thomas Insel is leaving the department to join Google, with the goal of “exploring how the company’s technological expertise can be applied to mental-health issues.”  According to Insel, “While technology has had an enormous impact . . . in so many parts of our lives, it still really hasn’t had the impact one might expect in health care.”  (October 2015)

Text messaging patients reduces heart attack, stroke, smoking

Texting may save lives too.  Some hospitals have implemented programs that attempt to use text messaging to improve health and wellness in its participants.  In one program, “patients who received regular text messages offering health tips were able to lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes.”  (September 2015)

How Big Data is Driving the Consumerization of Health Care

PwC has come up with a report outlining the preferences and readiness of digital consumers (i.e. patients) to us new/alternative modes of healthcare, in a world where technology is available to collect data about their health and wellness via mobile apps, wearable devices, and telehealth.  (August 2015)

Healthcare Analytics: Moving from Setup to Use Cases

Using analytics in healthcare to improve the quality of care, patient outcomes, and operations efficiency is in its early stages.  According to Keith Figlioli, senior vice president of healthcare informatics at Premier Inc., “In the past year things have matured fairly rapidly”.  (July 2015)

Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet (updated by AACN on April 2014)

A little over a year ago, the AACN updated their Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet.  At that time, they wrote:  “The U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for care given the national move toward healthcare reform.”  (June 2015)

IBM’s Watson supercomputer to speed up cancer care

Will supercomputer Watson be able to help make decisions about cancer care?  In 2015, fourteen hospitals in the United States and Canada are slated to collaborate with IBM on a program to leverage “cognitive computing” to help in the fight against cancer.  (May 2015)

Why Healthcare May Finally Be Ready for Big Data

The heathcare industry generates huge amounts of data.  Yet, the industry’s use of big data is still in its early days.  In this article, two leaders at Mayo Clinic present signs that show why they think the healthcare industry may now be ready for big data.  (April 2015; note that this article appeared in HBR.com on December 2014)

Stage 3 meaningful use proposed rule and certification criteria released

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services release the proposed Stage 3 meaningful use rules, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT propose a new 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria rule. (March 2015)

Cybersecurity in Healthcare

As enterprise and personal health records are transitioning to electronic formats rather than paper, cybersecurity in healthcare is gaining more attention as a very important component of healthcare technology.  FierceHealthIT.com has come up with a special report that “examines what hospital providers and health payers currently are doing to prevent data breaches, as well as what they should be doing”.  The report also includes information from attorneys and patient advocates about cybersecurity challenges that lie ahead in healthcare.  (February 2015)

The Best Wearable Tech of 2015

C|Net lists its top wearable tech for 2015, and a good number of them are health and wellness-related.  (January 2015)

Obamacare’s Bill For Small Business?  Big Bucks, Fewer Jobs

A new report by American Action Forum (AAF) shows that there has been a loss of 350,000 jobs and a decrease of $22.6 Billion in annual take-home pay due to Obamacare-related premium increases at small businesses. (September 2014)

The Ingestible And Stick-on Micro Tech Powering Your Healthcare

Healthcare Tech You Can See, Wear, and…Ingest?  How smart skin patches, smart pills, and other “wearables” are changing the way healthcare is provided and monitored. (August 2014)

Big Data Has Potential Use in Reducing Health Care Costs in the U.S.

The increase use of electronic health records (EHRs) and the rapid progress in clinical analytics provides the U.S. with opportunities to use big data to reduce health care costs. (July 2014)

SmartPhones In the Bedroom May Not be a Smart Idea

A doctor at Akron Children’s Hospital says that smartphones may be causing insomnia and other health conditions, especially in teenagers and younger kids. (June 2014)

Healthcare Has a New Tool and New Face:  Avatars

The use of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) or Avatars are on the rise in healthcare.  This is happening as “organizations seek cost-effective yet engaging ways to interact with patients in order to meet federal mandates and target population health initiatives.” (May 2014)

Ready, Steady…Spoon

This battery-powered spoon from LiftLab keeps itself steady despite the user’s shaking hand. (April 2014)

Wellpoint CEO:  Technology, smartphones will shape healthcare’s future

Real life seems to be taking a page out of the TV series Star Trek – making healthcare-related technology available in the palm of people’s hands.  “Smartphone technology, social media, and data mining will drive change and shift the future of healthcare, said Wellpoint, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish”, Fierce Healthcare reports. (March 2014)

New to-do lists loom for ‘post-EHR era’

Is there life after EHR implementation?  Healthcare IT News reports that “the ‘U.S. Healthcare Provider Predictions for 2014′ report, authored by IDC Research Director Judy Hanover, spotlights the technologies and strategies that will be top-of-mind in the coming year, and shows how new realities will be shaping investment priorities in an era of regulatory burden and increased risk.”  (January 2014)

Healthcare Analytics Market Poised to Skyrocket

Healthcare analytics – which aims to make sense of the vast amounts of data in the healthcare industry – “is projected to be worth more than $21 billion by 2020 according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.”  Healthcare analytics can be used to improve patient outcomes, help clinicians make better clinical decisions, and even assist in budgeting. (December 2013)

FDA Reveals Final Mobile Health App Guidelines

The FDA guidelines include regulating apps “that carry significant risks if they aren’t operated correctly, such as apps intended to be used as an accessory to a regulated device or apps that transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device.” On the other hand, other apps that don’t fall into this category might not need to be regulated, such as “apps that aren’t medical devices, and apps that might meet the definition of a medical device but pose a low risk to the public.”  (September 2013)

Don’t Be Scared if Your Surgeon Is Wearing Google Glass in the Operating Room

Will we soon be seeing doctors in their offices and operating rooms wearing a new high-tech accessory, not just on their bodies but on their faces?  Some health care practitioners have started using Google Glass to view a patient’s CAT scan images during surgery, or as a teaching tool, while others may be exploring ways this new device can improve doctor-patient communication.  (August 2013)

Tech Companies Turn Focus To Older Customers

Tech companies are now becoming more senior-friendly.  Examples of the technologies being developed are in-home sensors that monitor seniors’ routines of the day and alerts family or caregivers when something unexpectedly changes, to those that remotely monitor blood sugar and other vital signs.     (July 2013)

Using Mobile Technologies for Healthier Aging

A white paper by mHealth Alliance, the United Nations Foundation, and Pfizer, explores “ways mobile communications technology can help people age better and in good health.”  Interesting fact from this report: A survey of older people in 36 countries, including many LMICs (low- and middle-income countries), 61% of older people had access to a mobile phone in 2011.  (March 2013)

9 in 10 Doctors Would Recommend mHealth Applications to Patients
The Doctor is in…your Smartphone?  A new survey of healthcare providers conducted by eClinicalWorks, a market leader in ambulatory clinical systems, shows that 93 percent of physicians find value in having a mobile health app connected to electronic health records (EHRs). (February 2013)

Bionic eye brings Australian woman partial sight

Bionic eye for a brighter future. Dianne Ashworth, who has severe vision loss due to inherited condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, was fitted with a prototype bionic eye in May at the Royal Vision Eye and Ear Hospital and was switched on a month later. The bionic eyes were built and tested by the Bionic Vision Australia.     (September 2012)

Stem cell cure for implants under research at Toronto hospital

Stem cell cure for implants: Wishful thinking now, major possibility later. Dr. Nizar Mahomed and colleagues at the University of Health Network (UHN) in Toronto is doing fascinating new research that would make surgeries such as knee replacement a thing of the past.

Health Care IT: Rugged Mobile Devices Aid Public Safety Personnel, Field Service Workers

Here is another set of rugged mobile devices that will be helpful to some professionals in harsh working environments.     (June 2012)

Predicting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Before It Happens

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder NO MORE–because of early detection. A project led by researchers at Tel Aviv University seeks to identify those who are susceptible to long-standing disorders if exposed to a traumatic incident. The researchers hope to develop a portable brain monitoring machine that will “enable detection or quantification of the emotional state of people suffering from trauma”.     (June 2012)

Skin Contact Breast Tumor Detection

Skin to Breast: A new breakthrough for breast tumor detection? Researchers at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis explains that their system uses a planar microstrip antenna designed on a flexible subrate that is optimized for operation in direct contact with the skin. The overall goal of the research is to develop a wearable, brassiere-like imaging system and suggests that the system is cost effective and could detect breast cancer earlier than other systems.     (June 2012)

New energy source for future medical implants: Sugar

SUGAR: A sweet cure for paralysis. A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Rahul Sarpeshkar developed a fuel cell tha powers human cells: glucose. The glucose fueled cell could be used to drive highly efficient brain implants of the future which in turn could help paralyzed patients move their arms and legs again.     (June 2012)

Bright Spots of the Direct Project Adoption

From cluttered and stressful paperwork to organized and stress free computer work. Using the Direct Project services offered by ONC’s State Health Information Exchange Program grantees, doctors and hospitals can now share patient information electronically and securely supports safe care transitions and informed referrals to other providers. With Direct Project, healthcare providers have means to share health-related information as easily as one uses e-mail today.     (June 2012)

6 Reasons Why Physicians Need To Be In Social Media

From the exam room to the world wide web. Social media is popular not only to the young generation of today but to the working professionals as well. During the Connecting Healthcare+Social Media in New York, family physician and blogger Dr. Mike Sevilla, M.D. took to the stage and presented not only his own social media story but also to convince other physicians why they need to be in social media.     (May 2012)

MModal Fluency Cloud Application Converts Speech to Text in EHRs

Be careful, what you’re saying is being written down..by an application. MModal, a developer of clinical documentation software introduced a group of applications called Fluency. Fluency allows doctors to dictate patient narratives, which are converted from speech to text in electronic health records. The software is able to understand the intent of a doctor’s speech as well as accents, dialects and cadence.     (May 2012)

Origami Paper Sensor Could Detect Malaria, HIV for 10 cents

Origami, the paper art that could save your life. Researchers at the University of Texas has made an origami-inspired 3D sensor called origami Paper Analytical Device (oPAD) with strategic folding that can identity more substances in more complex tests. It is applied with the same principles as of home pregnancy tests. Assembled in less than a minute for less than a dime, it is hoped that oPAD could someday reliably detect diseases such as malaria and HIV.     (March 2012)

Singing Gloves Gives New Meaning to Jazz Hands

The hands say it all. DIVA, or Digital Ventriloquized Actor, is a project made by a team of engineers from the University of British Columbia that uses a pair of gloves to read hand gestures and convert them into speech or a song. This breakthrough has the potential to give those with hearing and speech disabilities a new way to talk and sing.     (February 2012)

Could Smart Biomask regenerate burned faces?

A mask for regeneration. This is no beauty product, though. Under development at the University of Texas at Arlington, within five years, an intelligent biochemical mask could regrow burned faces of soldiers. The mask, if the research works out, could return soldiers to duty faster and reduce the number of operations they have to undergo.     (February 2012)

Obama Administration and Text4Baby joins forces to connect pregnant women and children to health coverage and information

Free text messaging for your baby. To mark the anniversaries of both the signing of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) and the launching of Text4Baby (a free national health texting service), The Centers of Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will be partnering with Text4Baby that promotes in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that would provide pregnant women and new mothers free text messages on important health care issues.     (February 2012)

Health Care IT: 11 Rugged Mobile Devices Designed for Extreme Work Environments

Tough Gadgets for tougher people. Here’s a list of gadgets that would allow professionals in healthcare, the military, construction and shipping to work better in their harsh work environments. These devices were designed to survive extreme conditions such as extreme heat, a splash in the puddle, or a fall into concrete.     (January 2012)

Gaming. The next big healthcare trend?

Gaming for fun and for health! Yes, you read it right. The Games for Health Project has a lot of ideas of how gaming can lead to healthier behavior. They came up with five main categories of games that can improve well-being: Cognitive and Emotional Health, Participatory Health, Exergaming and Fitness, Rehabilitation Games and Medical Education and Training. These kinds of games allow patients better participation in their own health and doctors to improve on their medical training.     (January 2012)

Health Datapalooza to be held June 5 and 6 2012 in Washington, DC

Technologically party like it’s 2012!  The Health Data Initiative Forum III: The Health Datapalooza promises to bring together a diverse group of data experts, technology developers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, health care system leaders, and community advocates to support innovative applications of health and health care data.  Includes keynote addresses and panels, an expo, and an Apps Demo Challenge where prizes are given to the best app.  Deadline for online registration is Tuesday, May 29, 2012.     (April 2012)

Snuggle up with 3G wireless

Cute, cuddly…and wirelessly connected?  AT&T and McLean, Va.-based Exmovere announced an agreement to wirelessly enable Exmovere’s patented biosensor baby pajamas, Exmobaby.  With these pajamas, parents can monitor their babies with its embedded ECG, thermometer and movement sensors to keep tabs on babies’ behavior and even their emotions.      (March 2012)

Rap (Music) Charges New Medical Sensor

Doop-dap-doo-doo-dap…listen up!  Purdue University researchers found that a new, tiny medical sensor which has the potential to help patients who have suffered aneurisms or paralysis victims with incontinence can be recharged using the acoustic waves from rap music.     (January 2012)

Talkin’ Telehealth

Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider might be coming soon to a telephone or computer near you.  Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association is confident that the industry is on the brink of explosive growth.     (January 2012)

Toyota Expects to Offer Healthcare Robots in 2013

Need a lift?  We’re not just talking about a ride to the hospital, but actual robotic help when transferring/lifting patients.  World-renown Japanese car-maker Toyota is working on robots that help lift and/or transfer patients, and even help the paralyzed walk.     (November 2011)

High-Tech Tools for Today’s – and Tomorrow’s – Nurses
How is technology re-shaping nursing practice and nursing education?  In this article, four leaders in nursing education and innovation share weigh in on recent and future health care technology.     (April 2010)

Virtual Nurse Technology on Path to Commercial Use
Too many patients to discharge, too little time?  If you need help giving discharge instructions, virtual nurse “Louise” is here to help!     (March 2010)

It’s More Than an Electronic Health Record – Call It a “Health Information Highway”

“…the digitizing of medical records could have a far more profound effect on health – and our economy – than most people realize.” – Richard (RJ) Eskow     (March 2009)

 

 

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