Technology

Smartphone Data Accurately Predict Blood Glucose Levels

A new personalized prediction model uses smartphone-collected patient data and aggregate population data to create personalized blood glucose predictions for individuals.

Web-Based Intervention Found to Improve Eating Disorders

  • In a randomized, controlled trial, the Featback intervention was found to reduce rates of eating disorders among a Dutch population.
  • Web-based intervention also helped to reduce rates of eating-disorder comorbid psychopathologies.
  • Featback helped participants reduce rates of symptoms of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder in a statistically significant manner.
  • Therapist support did not further improve the efficacy of the Featback intervention but it did improve patient satisfaction.

New Non-Invasive Monitor May Be Able to Report Subjective Pain Experience During Surgery

  • Nociception index may provide objective measure of subjective pain experience.
  • In testing, the index mirrored physiologic responses normally observed by anesthesiologists during surgery.
  • If effective device may improve titration of analgesic and anesthetic drugs during surgery.
  • Device would be first method to objectively measure subjective pain experience.

A Smartphone App Can Improve Survival in Patients with Lung Cancer

  • Patients who used the app survived 7 months longer, on average, than those who did not use it.
  • Approximately 75% of high-risk lung cancer patients were alive 1 year after they started using the app, compared with 49% of patients who received typical cancer care.
  • Prospective, randomized trail included 121 patients.
  • Smartphone application may enable patients to earlier alerts to caregivers.

Record Portability is a Moral Issue, Not a Technical One

Thirty-years after my death of my father, 20 years since the passage of HIPAA, and nearly 5 years since the death of my wife, not much has really changed. Patients, not providers; patients, not payers; patients, not the institutions are still responsible for shuffling healthcare data among providers and institutions. That is when patients can access those data, which, by the HIPAA act, is their own property.

Meaningful Use to End in 2016; will Morph into MACRA, MIPS

  • The Meaningful Use program will end in 2016 and will transition to the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) by 2019.
  • The specifics of the new programs will be revealed in early 2016.
  • Meaningful Use has successfully resulted in the widespread implementation and use of healthcare information technology (HIT) and systems.
  • MACRA and MIPS will focus on the use of HIT to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Google, J&J Co-Found Company to Build Surgical Robots

  • New Johnson & Johnson/Google Life Sciences spinoff will be called Verb Surgical.
  • Verb Surgical will continue to develop advanced surgical robots.
  • J&J’s Ethicon division will develop the surgical instruments for the robotic surgical platform built by Verb.
  • Verb aims to incorporate machine learning, robotic surgery, instrumentation, advanced visualization, and data analytics in order to further advance a surgical robotics platform.

New Test Detects Nearly Any Virus

  • New test can efficiently detect virus present at very low levels.
  • Test may be useful where diagnosis remains elusive after standard testing, or in situations in which the cause of a disease outbreak is unknown.
  • Washington University is making the technology publicly available to clinics worldwide.
  • New test is significantly more accurate and rapid than any other test currently available.

Connect with Patients Through Telemedicine

  • The American College of Physicians notes that there are challenges, cautions, and benefits for primary care doctors adopting telehealth.
  • Telemedicine can help physicians and patients remain in routine contact.
  • Telemedicine can also help to save time for staff and patients by enabling communication without an office visit.
  • Legal questions remain unanswered.
  • In many cases it is not clear that insurers will cover telemedical costs.

Healthcare Data: Wild, Wild West or Brave New World?

  • Were paper records more secure?
  • Health records of more than 120 million Americans have been exposed to hackers.
  • Non-interoperability poses at least as great a threat to American healthcare as does stolen data.
  • Interoperability is a problem that could be solved by the EMR manufacturers.
  • How will healthcare IT solve this challenge?

Will This Small Company Revolutionize Your Treatment, Patient Experience?

  • As many as 35 million Americans are prescribed more than 5 medications
  • The rate of nonadherence surpasses 50% when the patient is taking ≥5 prescriptions per day.
  • Improving adherence can improve outcomes, reduce costs, and increase patient satisfaction.

Investigation Reveals Nearly 1200 Health Data Breaches Since 2009

  • Health data breaches can now be considered common in the U.S. with about 22 occurring every day since 2009.
  • Nearly 1200 “large-scale” breaches have been reported to the Federal government since 2009.
  • Approximately 120,000 “small-scale” breaches have been reported in the same period.
  • The medical data of more than 120 million American patients have been exposed.

Big Announcements at 2015 Annual Meeting of Heathcare Information Management Society

According to reports from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual meeting, HIMSS15, which concluded today in Chicago, there were a number of important presentations.

Will the Apple Watch and Doc-Oriented Apps Be Good for Medicine?

  • Doctors can use the Apple watch to send and receive messages, receive notifications of various types, and manage communications with colleagues, all in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
  • Messages sent via the Apple watch will not automatically integrate into patients’ electronic medical records.
  • Wrist watches are dirty and increase infection risk. In one study, the use of a wrist watch was associated with an enhanced total bacterial count on hands compared to hands without a watch (P <0.001).