October 2007

WORLD

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american elderly accessING internet for healthcare

Researchers Mary Schmeida, PhD and Ramona McNeal, PhD reported their findings in the Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved. This study, published in the month of August, shows how the scenario has changed since their last report. The elderly and poor people in America are becoming more Internet-savvy by the day.

The same journal had published in August last year, a study on state hosted web sites, by Edward Miller and his colleagues from Brown University. This study showed how the elderly were having  problems in getting information

from such web sites. Some people were facing special problems because of their disability to see properly. The too small font sizes were the major reason.

It was also noted in the latest study by Schmeida and McNeal, that the information that was searched on Medical Care and Medical Aid was accessed by an indiscriminate array of people. That is to say, people of all ages, from all income groups, ethnic origin, and regardless of their being born as male or female, sought to satisfy their queries from such online searches. Information from a  survey on around 3000 people, that was carried out for the Pew Internet & American Life Project, was also included in the study.

Even though broadband is less accessible in the villages, the rural American population is also actively using the Web today. This just goes to show the 'Underserved' want to receive good service and are willing to seek it.

EMR extended by Arden Cancer Centre, UK

Electronic Medical Records for all patients will be accessible to Cancer care staff at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, by Christmas. The Oncology Department was the first one to get the system in the Arden Cancer Centre. That was in January. Since then it has gradually spread to other sections.

Impac's Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software, has been delivered by Elekta, to create and maintain detailed electronic records of each one of their cancer patients. Now all 400 dedicated users can share a Master Patient Index, and have one common set accessible to the whole trust.

Through the Impac EMR, hospital staff can access patient information from remote locations. The system captures diagnostic as well as treatment information, along with scheduling and billing details.

Communication simplified at Hospitals in Denmark

Wireless Technology has replaced magnetic boards, pagers and hand-written notes at the Horsens Hospital. All the key personnel of the Surgical ward are electronically tracked with RFID.

The University of Aarhus has developed iHospital which consists of AwareMedia. These are flat screens that post schedules and lists of personnel present in the different rooms, like the Operating, Recovery and Post-operative ward. They also post live feeds showing the current status of the Surgical theatres,  drag and drop touch screen and chat feature.

For in-house communication, they have developed 'AwarePhone'. Each handset has the standard capabilities of IM, SMS and voice, together with showing the location, schedule and status of each person. Aarhus University is also trying to get private parties to invest.

Essen University Hospital in germany goes wireless

Fujitsu-Siemens has designed Tablet PCs especially targeting hospital environments. It uses wireless LAN, initially for five wards. With this wireless system, the Medico-module, 'Nursing Process Management' can be accessed by the nurses. Soon to be introduced is also the Electronic Medical Chart.

An ambitious project will be taken up by the  Essen University Hospital's Nursing Service that will make it one of the first German Hospitals to be fully wireless.

The device does not have a fan for ventilation. It is easy to disinfect. It comes with a carrier handle.

When a physician uses the Tablet PC for keying in prescription, a special software called RP-Doc will check it for errors. RP-Doc was developed by the University of Saarbrucken.

A lot of time gets saved for the nurses as, with an electronic documentation workload management can now be done automatically. There is no need for any extra documentation work for the Nurses at the end of the day. Essen is using LEP, the workload management tool that about 200 hospitals in Europe are using. It was developed in Switzerland and is available in German, Italian and French. The English version will be released soon.

The eHealth plan for  Essen University Hospital, still requires 'smartcard' for identification of nurses. It will first of all, require a Central Professional Association in Germany to represent nurses. This will enable the cards to have digital signatures that need to be registered centrally.

Mobile Technology for Telehealth Services in us

The California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) as part of its Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) program, has selected  WebVMC to participate as a provider of remote patient monitoring services.

WebVMC has developed the RemoteAccess and Remote Nurse mobile technology system. This system connects patients, with their families, health care professionals, and providers through a web-based software solution.

The Remote patient monitoring may change the way the home care industry operates. The system has been designed to address some of the issues faced by home care providers all over the world. Issues like staff shortage and patient wellness can be dealt with in an easy and affordable solution.

Mobile Phone Based Wireless Telecardiology System in uk

Telecardiology system is the result of the joint co-operation between eHIT Ltd and AnalyzeYou Inc. The System collects and analyses ECG recordings. It also makes use of a novel algorithm developed by AnalyzeYou Inc, in order to help the cardiologist to identify early signs of heart problems and even prevent sudden death.

Heart activity is continuously measured by a wearable ECG miniature sensor, which transfers the data wirelessly, to the patient's mobile phone. This information is automatically transferred to the health care provider through a mobile connection such as GSM, GPRS, 3G or CDMA. The mobile electrocardiograph offers a simple yet efficient way to get in touch with health care professionals anytime and almost anywhere.

Electronic Health Cards: pilot begins in Bulgaria

The Pilot for issuing electronic health cards in Bulgaria has been started by the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. They are joined by  National Health Insurance Fund, ICW, Kontrax and Cisco.

A microprocessor chip is installed in the card. It stores details of the patient, issuer, card number and a security certificate.  A reliable and secure private network connects the cards to NHIF and all physicians and pharmacies in Slivnitza. The software solutions have been modeled after those in use in Austria and Germany.

On successful completion of the pilot, the cards will be distributed to all the regions by 2009.

MICARDO gets EAL 4+ certification

Version 3 of Sagem Orga's operating system MICARDO, has been certified Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+ by the BSI, the German Office for Security in Information Technology.

When BSI gives the Common Criteria certificate, it signifies that the architecture of MICARDO's OS meets the most stringent security criteria. Sagem Orga has received certification for all its card versions used in eHealth infrastructure of Germany.

The MICARDO OS supports the new German patient health card- eGK, as well as the country's SMC and HBA cards for physicians and pharmacists.

Reports Link RFID Implants To Cancer, Critics Are Skeptical

A recent report published in the Associated Press links RFID implants in laboratory animals, to cancer.

This report has met with a lot of skepticism. Professor Kevin Warwick, Cybernetics, University of Reading, England who has himself had RFID chips implanted in his own body, questioned the ethics of the research team of Dow Chemical, for not making the report public, since 1996. He cited that several animals have had RFID implants for many years, and have not shown any problems.

VeriChip, the maker of RFID devices for monitoring human health, made two studies, after the report in AP. Their studies concluded that there was no link between the microchip implants and malignant tumors in mice.

Pennsylvania hospitals lead in IT adoption

A recent report announced that Pennsylvania hospitals were leading nationally, as far as adopting health Information Technology is concerned.  The American Hospital Association conducted a survey on Pennsylvania Hospitals' Use of Information Technology in late 2006.

The results of the survey showed that  Pennsylvania Hospitals use more health IT functions at a moderate or high level, when compared to the other hospitals. They use computerized order entry at a higher level. They use electronic results review at a higher level. They have more partially or fully implemented electronic health records. They spend more per bed -capital spending and operating costs – on IT. They are much ahead in use of bar coding, electronic decision-support, RFID technology, and sharing of clinical data.

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