The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Friday, July 30, 2004

Welcome to E-Health-Media

Welcome to E-Health-Media: "A university research team has developed a robotic device that allows a doctor to examine a patient in a remote location by ultrasound, with the scans relayed back to the doctor in real-time.
E-Health Insider has been the first in the UK to see OTELO (mObile Tele-Echography system using an ultra-Light rObot) in action. It combines teleconferencing software with a robotic ultrasound probe that exactly reproduces the hand movements of the expert. The doctor uses a fictive probe with movement sensors, while the robot in the remote location (left) fully replicates the movement using six motors. "

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Pilot Project Studies EHR Implementation Issues

Annals of Family Medicine -- Porter 2 (4): 377: "President Bush has made implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) a priority and wants EHRs used nationwide by 2010.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has a more ambitious goal: to have 50% of active members using EHRs by the end of 2005.
To help make that goal a reality, the Academy is conducting a pilot project that should find out exactly what it will take to implement an EHR system in a family medicine setting. "

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Broadband: A life-saving technology

Broadband: A life-saving technology - News - ZDNet: "In a small military hospital in Guam, a cardiac patient lay unconscious as a catheter was slid carefully into the right chamber of his heart.
The surgery was fairly routine, save for one notable absence: The physician in charge wasn't in the operating room during the procedure. In fact, he wasn't even on the island.
Dr. Benjamin Berg supervised the entire surgery while in front of a computer screen 3,500 miles away at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. He dictated the procedure to the less-experienced colleague who performed the operation, monitoring every move with a high-resolution video camera while getting instant sensor data from the catheter itself."

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Pushing computers to the limit

BBC NEWS | Technology | Pushing computers to the limit: "BBC Click Online's Spencer Kelly looks at the ever increasing speed of processors and wonders how long computers can keep getting faster. "

Patient becomes unlikely inventor of cancer-fighting technology

Patient becomes unlikely inventor of cancer-fighting technology: "During sleepless nights caused by the steroids he was taking during cancer chemotherapy, John Kanzius decided to use his drug-induced insomnia wisely.
He spent the wee hours at his computer, studying the structure of normal cells and how they differed from cancer cells. He became fluent in cancer biology, including his own rare B-cell form of leukemia, and eventually amassed 100 pounds of medical research."

Friday, July 23, 2004

One of the world�s most sophisticated systems for keeping electronic health records

One of the world�s most sophisticated systems for keeping electronic health records: "One of the world�s most sophisticated systems for keeping electronic health records will soon be easily available to doctors, hospitals and clinics around the country, courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "

Monday, July 19, 2004

PDAs put doctors in the picture

Australian IT - PDAs put doctors in the picture (Kelly Mills, JULY 20, 2004): "AMID startling statistics on errors in our hospitals, Barwon Health, Geelong, is introducing an electronic medical handover application to improve patient care and create an audit trail of instructions between doctors.

Traditionally, there has been an ad hoc arrangement for information transfer to junior doctors on shift change-overs.
Taking advantage of the Barwon Health clinical information system CORDis (Correspondence, Operation Notes, Reports, Discharge Summary Information System), developed in 2001 by Melbourne company Dynamic Solutions, doctors at the Geelong Hospital developed an add-on application to document instructions left for junior doctors. "

Tennessee Governor Announces Volunteer eHealth Initiative

News: Tennessee Governor Announces Volunteer eHealth Initiative - Jul 19 2004 05:00AM: "Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen recently proposed a technology pilot project to improve the delivery of health care in Southwest Tennessee and help lay the groundwork for better care and disease management statewide.

The 'Volunteer eHealth Initiative' will provide a framework for hospitals, physician groups, clinics, health plans and other health-care stakeholders in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties to work together to establish regional data-sharing agreements. The project is being prompted by long-term efforts to reform TennCare, the state's $7 billion Medicaid-expansion program, but has the potential to benefit the entire community in the three-county region. If the pilot project is successful, it eventually could be expanded to other parts of the state."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Doctors linked by network [19jul04]

The Courier-Mail: Doctors linked by network [19jul04]: "THOUSANDS of GP clinics across Australia will soon be wired with broadband Internet connections as the Federal Government prepares for the roll-out of electronic health records.

Health Minister Tony Abbott will announce in Townsville today a $35 million broadband initiative to fund the installation of secure business Internet connections to 5500 general practice clinics and 200 Aboriginal community-controlled health services. "

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Health Care on a Network String

Health Care on a Network String - Collaboration - CIO Magazine Jul 15,2004: "By hooking onto a shared IT network, rural community health centers have been able to improve patient care and drive down administrative costs."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

EMIS rolls out web-based GP appointment booking

Welcome to E-Health-Media: "EMIS have nationally launched their own online appointment booking service, EMIS Access, which allows patients to send secure messages or book appointments with their GPs over the web.
The website links into the EMIS system; however, GPs' own websites will also be able to interface with the system. Patients will also be able to change and update their contact details, and cancel or change appointments. EMIS Access directly links in with GPs own appointment systems, so all data is updated in real time."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mobile Health Data | The Hand-held Health Care Authority

Mobile Health Data | The Hand-held Health Care Authority

Charlottesville, Va.-based Unbound Medicine has released hand-held surgical clinical content software. Unbound Surgery is a Web-based application that can be used on PDAs running the Palm OS or Windows Mobile operating systems.

The software is designed to provide clinicians evidence-based surgical information at the point of care. It features regularly updated data on nearly 400 topics, as well as more than 790 video clips, graphics and supporting tables. In addition, the application enables users to download Web-based articles from medical journals.

Monday, July 12, 2004

BodyOnline takes animation to medicine

Australian IT - BodyOnline takes animation to medicine (Jennifer Foreshew, JULY 13, 2004): "BECAUSE of its lifelike 3D images and animations of body parts, it has been dubbed the Walt Disney of medical information, but Greg Richard, managing director of medical imaging company BodyOnline, is more modest.

'It is not quite Walt Disney,' Mr Richard said, 'but if you put a stethoscope into Shrek's ear you might get something pretty close to it.'
Sydney-based BodyOnline is the first Australian company � and the only medical imaging company � to become a creative partner of Getty Images in Seattle, the largest image library in the world. "

Health care takes to the phones

Health care takes to the phones: "After throwing on a T-shirt and shorts, John Henkel fires up the computer for another day of working from his Wilton home.
He's not a software designer, though, nor a business consultant. Henkel is a registered nurse."

Flickering on the computer screen are the names of elderly patients from Texas waiting for him to call and check on their health status as part of a federal disease management program.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

ER boasts rooms without a view

ER boasts rooms without a view: "St. Francis Hospital and Health Center in Blue Island will open a $5 million addition Monday, doubling the hospital's capacity to quickly treat urgent cases.
'The faster you treat patients, the better they are,' said David Van Horn, the hospital's vice president of strategy and business development.
Electronic patient tracking, bedside registration, an expanded treatment area for minor injuries and larger rooms with new cardiac monitoring devices are among the features offered to increase privacy and speed care.
'Our goal is to keep people out of the waiting room,' said emergency services director Janice Mierzwa. 'Our new emergency room is designed to deliver superior care even more effectively.'
The expansion is the final part of a two-year, $34 million project the hospital started in 2002. The emergency room grew from nearly 8,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet."

Saturday, July 10, 2004

C&W close to NHS email deal

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | C&W close to NHS email deal: "Cable & Wireless is close to winning a contract to run the email system used by the NHS.
The contract is being awarded under the NHS's National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) and is part of a �6bn investment to upgrade technology across the health service.
The contract to provide an email system to be used by 1.2 million doctors and health workers was originally awarded to US company EDS in September 2002 when it had a value in excess of �90m. "

Democrat & Chronicle: Unity tries antidote to doctors' scribbling

Democrat & Chronicle: Unity tries antidote to doctors' scribbling: "Unity Health System has started an $8.7 million project that will allow doctors, residents and nurses to use computers rather than to handwrite patient orders.
Providers at Park Ridge Hospital and Unity's other health care facilities will type orders, notes, prescriptions and lab requests into Palm Pilots, laptops or desktops."

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Presidential campaigns put spotlight on telemedicine

Presidential campaigns put spotlight on telemedicine

As they campaigned on opposite coasts in recent weeks, Sen. John Kerry and President George Bush highlighted the same advance in telemedicine.

Kerry spoke of a cardiologist in rural Virginia who recently spotted a congenital heart defect on an ultrasound beamed from a patient 75 miles away.

Bush, speaking at the Commerce Department after viewing a demonstration of how broadband technologies allowed a doctor standing with him to offer a diagnosis to a patient in Maryland, repeated a promise to make broadband access available to all corners of the country by 2007.

MSNBC - Robots gaining traction in hospitals

MSNBC - Robots gaining traction in hospitals

Near a pair of swinging doors at a local hospital, a cart sits apparently abandoned. Yet at the push of a button, it perks up to say, “thank you” and rolls itself out the door toward the pharmacy.

Monday, July 05, 2004

AP Wire | 07/05/2004 | Courier robots get traction in hospitals after fits and starts

AP Wire | 07/05/2004 | Courier robots get traction in hospitals after fits and starts

A cart sits apparently abandoned near a pair of swinging doors. At the push of a button, it says, "thank you" and rolls itself through a door held open by a worker and into the pharmacy.

The TUG has finished its latest delivery.

The tractor-trailer-like TUG, which looks like a vacuum cleaner mated to a cabinet, is the latest robot that can be found plying the hallways of hospitals nationwide.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Hospitals 'should allow mobiles'

BBC NEWS - Hospitals 'should allow mobiles'

Doctors say they should be allowed to use mobile phones in hospitals.
The British Medical Association's annual conference in Llandudno has heard there is little evidence to support the current ban in many trusts.

Doctors said they would be able to look after patients more effectively if they could use phones rather than having to rely on pagers.

However, the Department of Health said there was some evidence that phones can interfere with vital medical equipment.

Military research 'to save lives'

BBC NEWS - Military research 'to save lives'

Sensors to seek out mines and submarines have been adapted in a detection system to save lives during Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.
The simple system, developed by science firm QinetiQ, spots ferrous objects entering MRI scan rooms.

It could help cut "MRI projectile" incidents, when steel objects are attracted by the electromagnetic field.

On average, it happens every 100 to 1,000 scans. Rare cases have been fatal, and incidents can damage machines.