The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Monday, April 25, 2005

Now, tech-savvy docs like to have a handheld

Now, tech-savvy docs like to have a handheld: "It was early morning and Kathleen Koth, a fourth-year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, couldn't remember the exact dosage for the antibiotic Cipro.
On the shelf was a year-old 10-pound physician's reference, but instead of flipping through the pages, Koth, 31, simply reached into her pocket and pulled out her Sony Clie a personal digital assistant. A couple of points of the pen later, she had the drug, the dose, any interactions, and the possible side effects"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

An online medical reference system

An online medical reference system : "DynaMed (Dynamic Medical Information System), a quick and easy-to-use medical reference system, is a useful resource in clinical, educational and research settings.

Created by a physician, DynaMed is a clinical reference tool for physicians and other health care professionals. Instead of going through the onerous task of searching textbooks and articles, the physician can get the latest information with just a click.

DynaMed is always up dated with a systematic literature surveillance which is carried out each day. Multiple journals, journal review publications, evidence sources and websites are monitored and information of potential clinical importance is added directly to the appropriate sections of DynaMed summaries."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bad news piling up for IT overhaul of health system

TBad news piling up for IT overhaul of health system: "Companies that won the lion's share of the work on the 6 billion ($16 billion) project to overhaul Britain's decrepit National Health Service computer systems were required to sign up to an unusual clause in their contracts.

Before they could get their hands on these potentially lucrative deals, project boss Richard Granger insisted that BT, Accenture, Fujitsu and Computer Sciences Corporation agree not to talk to the press about their work.

It was an attempt by Granger to stop the drip-drip of bad news that had bedevilled previous Government IT projects. The companies duly obliged.

Until this month, when Accenture was forced to break the vow of silence on the project, known as the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The management consultancy revealed that losses on its two NHS contracts had reached between US$110 million ($154 million) and US$150 million and it would not make a profit on them until 2007. "

Monday, April 18, 2005

Future patients could meet RoboDoc

Future patients could meet RoboDoc: "A DALEK-style robotic doctor could be caring for patients on the wards of Welsh hospitals.
Instead of a flesh-and-blood doctor doing the daily ward round, a machine which displays the image of the doctor's face and sound of their voice could carry out bedside patient consultations.
The machine - called RoboDoc - allows doctors to see patients even when they are not in the hospital, or even the same town.
The system, which was developed in the US, is based on video-conferencing technology but is not designed to replace real doctors, despite the current shortages in Wales."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - Opinion - Computerized health files not panacea some envision 04/13/05 - Opinion - Computerized health files not panacea some envision 04/13/05: "You really begin to feel old when you hear reference to something 8 to 10 years old as 'antiquated.' But, then again, we're talking about computers.
And people from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices are trying to explain the results from a rare negative study saying that electronic medical records may not be more prone to errors than handwritten notations, but different types of errors are occurring.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania study was published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Lansing State Journal:Medical privacy rule confusing for patients

Lansing State Journal:Medical privacy rule confusing for patients: "At Lansing dermatologist Gregory Messenger's office, patients sign in by handing in a discreet slip of paper.
Office workers shred any document with patients' full names and Social Security numbers.
And a few times every week, staff members have to turn down spouses or other relatives calling for basic patient information.
'They get angry,' office manager Beth Nathan said of telling the callers they don't have written consent.
Complying with the 2003 patient-privacy rule of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has profoundly changed how doctors and staff talk to and about patients, as well as how patients themselves negotiate the health care system."

Software firm has the right picture

Software firm has the right picture: "Darren Meyer considers his business to be the picture of health.
And why shouldn't he? Lee's Summit-based Summit Imaging Inc. designs, sells, installs and supports software that allows doctors to take photographs of medical scans.
The company has also doubled its revenues every year since its founding in 1999, Meyer said. And in 2004, the company added three Kansas City area hospitals, including St. Luke's Hospital, to its client base. Summit Imaging now serves 15 hospitals and six clinics locally among more than 100 clients nationwide."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Security fears after hospital laptops stolen

Security fears after hospital laptops stolen: "SECURITY at a Glasgow hospital has been stepped up after confidential patient records were stolen.
Thieves have stolen 12 laptops and computer screens from secretarial areas at the Victoria Infirmary.
The alarm was raised after IT staff disclosed that patient information on the computers could have been obtained by thieves.
A total of 170 patients had to be contacted and told their medical histories had been compromised. "

Computers containing patient information stolen

Computers containing patient information stolen: "A California medical group is notifying patients that they may be at risk of identity theft after burglars stole two computers containing their personal information.
The San Jose Medical Group is notifying 185,000 current and past patients, according to published reports. Attempts to reach the group Friday afternoon were unsucessful."

Making medical history portable

Making medical history portable: "If the thought of carrying around your medical information appeals to you but the idea of embedding a computer chip under your skin to do it creeps you out, Dr. Carl Franzblau has an alternative for you.

Franzblau, an associate dean of graduate medical sciences and chairman of the biochemistry department at Boston University, has introduced a simple USB device for storing personal medical information that also doubles as a fob for your keys."

Electronic network links patients to doctors worldwide

Electronic network links patients to doctors worldwide : "Lisa Fao, who has been living with diabetes for a decade, has two lifelines.
One is a reservoir pump infusion set -- a small pager-sized device she carries with her to administer a controlled dose of insulin when she needs it.
Fao is also linked to another lifeline developed through her employer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
UPMC HealthTrak, a secure Internet portal that lets patients communicate with their doctors from anywhere in the world, was launched in the fall of 2003 for diabetes patients. Initially, 200 patients were linked to the system. Today, there are more than 1,000. "

Deleting computer files not enough to ensure privacy ... American Medical News

Deleting computer files not enough to ensure privacy ... American Medical News: "A man in Cottonwood, Ala., snapped up an old computer at a flea market for $10 and was surprised to find it chock full of personal medical information about more than 3,000 people, including his late grandfather.
The episode illustrates how important it is for doctors to scrub all personal or medical information from their old computers or risk public embarrassment and a potential pile of legal trouble."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Telemedicine helps track patient's progress

Telemedicine helps track patient's progress: " Sitting at a small desk in his McClellandtown home, Bill Morganosky monitors his own blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen level every morning with a state-of-the-art telemedicine device.

As Bill, who suffered from a brain aneurysm almost a decade ago, checks his own vital signs, the device immediately transmits the critical medical data over telephone lines in his home to Albert Gallatin Home Care & Hospice's Masontown office.


Registered nurses sit at computer terminals in the Masontown office, as they access Bill's vital signs and other patients' medical information.

The telemedicine device asks Bill a series of medical questions, which are geared for his particular health problems. Bill can easily answer the questions by simply pressing 'yes' and 'no' buttons.

Bill also stands on a small scale that accurately weighs him and sends the information to nurses in the Albert Gallatin office."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Key Medical Workstation Client Runs on Linux

Key Medical Workstation Client Runs on Linux: "As many as 98,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors which Free and Open Source electronic medical records software could reduce. A contender in this area is the Veterans Administration (VA) public domain VistA codebase and large community. In a major advance for FOSS in medicine, Joseph Dal Molin of WorldVistA reports success in getting the VA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) VistA client running on Linux using WINE and Crossover office."

Friday, April 01, 2005

Medical history moving to the Web as feds push for more records online

Medical history moving to the Web as feds push for more records online: "Anne Perlman is in the vanguard of patients using computers to manage their medical care. She goes online to schedule an appointment with her doctor at the Palo Alto, Calif., Medical Foundation, update her vaccination record, even review results of her lab tests.
Recently, feeling curious about whether she needed more tests several years after a benign biopsy for breast cancer, she re-read her detailed biopsy report online and felt reassured.
'It was very comforting,' said Perlman, a 51-year-old former CEO who lives in Menlo Park, Calif., and now consults for high-tech companies. 'I feel like I've been able to be much more proactive with things like figuring out for myself what's the right schedule for a physical.'"