The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Patients' medical records now available online

Patients' medical records now available online: "The Internet keeps Tow Berg in touch with her health, whether she is at home, at work or on vacation.
In the past, Berg, 53, of Marshfield would have to wait for a phone call from the doctor's office to find out if her blood medication was on track. She began taking coumadin, an anticoagulant, after suffering a stroke six years ago.
'A lot of time I would have to wait for a call,' Berg said. 'But they always leave at 5 (p.m.), and I'm not home a lot of the time.'
'It's good to know (the test results) before I start doing something. It's convenient for me.'
If she wasn't home she was out of luck. But now her monthly blood test results are available online at a secure Marshfield Clinic Web site. That information helps her keep her medication in check."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Get Ready to Go Digital

Get Ready to Go Digital: "Staring ahead at jars of cotton balls and a box of latex gloves on a counter, you notice the doctor standing beside you. He anesthetizes your right arm, just above your elbow, then, after a few minutes, takes a syringe and injects a small microchip into your arm. The whole procedure takes less than 20 minutes, and you're out of there in no time.

You've officially been chipped.

Hospitals now have easy access to your medical records, police can track you if you get kidnapped and you can do all your shopping without your wallet.

Though some liken the scenario to a George Orwell novel, this is not science-fiction.

It could soon be reality.

In October, The Food and Drug Administration approved an implantable chip, known as the VeriChip, that provides doctors quick access to medical information by just scanning a patient�s arm. "

Monday, November 08, 2004

Txt msg helps docs save £££££

Txt msg helps docs save £££££: "PATIENTS are finally getting the message about missed doctors' appointments - thanks to a new system that reminds them by text.

Around nine million GP appointments were missed across the country last year. Doctors say it cost the NHS �162million, at �18 per appointment.

But three Islington surgeries are piloting a national scheme where patients are reminded of appointments by text. And early figures suggest the number of people not turning up has plummeted.

At Goodinge Health Centre, off North Road, Holloway, 700 text messages have been sent since the trial began on September 27.

Missed appointments have fallen by 14 per cent - particularly impressive considering the surgery only has mobile phone numbers for one in seven patients at the moment."

Give grandma a chip on the shoulder

Give grandma a chip on the shoulder : "EVEN the keenest RFID advocates generally draw the line at tagging humans, but growing numbers of people think it's okay to implant health records under the skin in case of a medical emergency, okay to chip grandma in case she wanders away from the nursing home, and okay to tag babies in case they're abducted and turn up years later in another state with other family and you have to prove their identity."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Healthbeat: PACS

WHOI - Healthbeat: PACS: "Many hospitals are now embracing a technology, called Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). In a PACS environment, diagnostic information is recorded in digital format, which allows physicians throughout the hospital to have immediate access to the scans via computer. Through the Internet, the images can also be accessed by consultants around the country � or the world. And since the information is in computer format, the images can be enhanced or manipulated to provide more detail. With archiving, doctors can also retrieve older scans for comparison. "