Saturday, August 22, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -22nd August, 2015.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

openEHR in Brazil – Sirio Libanes

10/08/2015 wolandscat
openEHR training session last week at Hospital Sirio Libanes, one of the premiere teaching and research hospitals in Brazil. I delivered the background and theory part, Samuel Frade and Bostjan Lah (both from Marand) delivered the programming part.
We were there at the invitation of Beatriz de Fario Leao (no introduction needed there). Met a great team of business analysts and developers, some in the above photo. Looking forward to working more with them.
Brazil is starting to work a lot with openEHR, and may become one of the premier locations using it. Which would be great – a large country moving to a semantic, model-based technology for the EHR and interoperability.

Melanoma App Vendor Barred from Making Deceptive Health Claims

AUG 14, 2015 7:42am ET
Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, a melanoma-detection app vendor has been barred from making further deceptive health claims about his products available for sale online in the Apple and Google app stores.
According to FTC, Avrom Lasarow is now “prohibited from making any misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any product or service, including that a device detects or diagnoses melanoma.” Earlier this year, FTC charged U.K.-based Lasarow and his company—L Health Ltd.—with false advertising regarding the Mole Detective family of apps and their ability to detect melanoma or the risk of melanoma.

Natural language processing in high demand

Posted on Aug 14, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
The global healthcare Natural Language Processing (NLP) market is expected to grow from $1.10 billion in 2015 to $2.67 billion by 2020, according to a new report.
That forecast translates to a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 percent.
The explosive growth in healthcare and life sciences industries, with their vast troves of unstructured clinical data in EHRs, are the main market drivers.

Meaningful use didn't spark EHR uptake

Posted on Aug 14, 2015
By Jack McCarthy, Contributing Writer
There will be government officials and health IT experts who refute these findings. Others, meanwhile, are likely to argue that it just confirms what they've been saying all along.
Here goes: There is little or no actual hard evidence to prove that the Meaningful Use program triggered an uptake in electronic health records adoption. That's  according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Hospital EHR adoption grows, but other care settings still lack ability to receive data

August 14, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
While exchange of data between hospitals and outside providers is increasing, the industry still faces many barriers when it comes to interoperability.
Last year, three out of four hospitals acquired a basic electronic health record system, according to analysis of a study conducted by the American Hospital Association in 2014.
In addition, about 40 percent of hospitals can access clinical information electronically from outside providers or sources, though only 25 percent engaged in the four activities related to interoperable exchange--find, send receive and use--according to a new data brief on the report.

Zobreus launches patient-centered EMR

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi (Twitter | Google+)  | August 12, 2015
Zobreus Medical Corp. has launched its Patient-Oriented Electronic Medical Record in the App Store.
The POEM Record is consumer-centric, yet still allows providers to integrate notes and engage with patients through the platform.

EHRs can increase docs' medical malpractice liability

August 10, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Electronic health records can increase a provider's malpractice exposure, according to an article published in Oncology Business Management.
The article notes that EHRs initially were envisioned to reduce medical errors, but surmises that hasn't yet occurred. Instead, it says, EHRs are causing or contributing to malpractice problems. Lingering issues include:
  • Computer glitches and design flaws, such as a restrictive drop down menu, which can cause medical errors
  • The "transparency" of EHRs themselves, which makes it harder to hide mistakes or sloppy work habits
  • The increased documentation requirements and resulting desire to use templates and other shortcuts, which can lead to discrepancies in the EHR
  • The inability of EHRs to catch some errors, such as dosage mistakes

EHR costs outweigh benefits, analysis finds

August 6, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Electronic health records have potential, but their benefits won't be achieved without significant upfront costs by providers, patients and the federal government, according to a new analysis from the American Action Forum, a nonprofit think tank.
The analysis finds that the hardware, software and labor costs for a solo practitioner to transition to an EHR are about $163,765, and $233,298 for a five-person physician practice. However, physicians were not yet seeing a payoff, with increased costs at least for the first three years after adoption.

DH refuses to release IT savings report

Thomas Meek
13 August 2015
The Department of Health has turned down a Freedom of Information request from Digital Health News to see a report that purportedly shows how technology can save the NHS billions of pounds each year.
If accurate, these savings could account for around half of the £22 billion in annual efficiency gains that NHS England is looking to make by 2020, to help fill a £30 billion gap between funding and demand that could otherwise open up by then.

Report: 50 percent of digital health startups will fail within 20 months

August 13, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
As more startups enter digital healthcare, more are likely to quickly fail, but that gives larger companies the ability to "mine" them for new innovations, according to a report from Accenture.
Accenture examined 900 health IT startups and found that half were in danger of failing within 20 months of their creation. The researchers call them "zombie" start-ups, and say instead of discarding them, larger industry players should acquire them.

Karen DeSalvo: In hindsight, we needed common interoperability standards

August 13, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
A common set of standards for the exchange of electronic health information likely could have improved the current state of interoperability in the industry, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said.
Speaking Wednesday at the eHealth Initiative's iThrive Innovation Challenge in the District of Columbia, DeSalvo (pictured) was asked about what she wishes she or the healthcare industry would have done differently in regard to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.

Study: Use of OpenNotes increases safety, patient engagement

August 13, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Through five years of experience with OpenNotes, which allows patients access to the doctor's notes in their record, researchers say using the tool can increase safety, care quality and patient engagement, according to a study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.
The OpenNotes study began in 2010 when more than 100 primary care doctors at three hospitals opened their notes to 20,000 patients, who were allowed to read their records through a secure, patient website, according to an announcement on the study.
Personal Finance | Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:07am EDT

Coming soon to a screen near you: Doctors

NEW YORK | By Beth Pinsker
When the great summer cold hit my family, we hunkered down with soup, tissues and TV. But then my cough started to sound more worrisome.
Too weary to spend a chunk of my day trooping off to the nearest urgent care center or my primary care physician, I fired up my computer and saw a physician online.
Signing up with Doctor On Demand took only a few clicks. Less than half an hour later, prescriptions were waiting for me at my pharmacy.

Survey: Docs Growing Unhappier With EHRs

August 12, 2015
Compared to five years ago, more physicians are reporting being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their electronic health record (EHR) system, according to a physician-based survey from online resource organization AmericanEHR Partners and the American Medical Association (AMA).
The survey included 940 providers and 155 questions, and found that close to, or more than half of all respondents, reported a negative impact in response to questions about how their EHR system improved costs, efficiency or productivity.
In a similar survey conducted by AmericanEHR five years ago the majority of respondents said that overall they were satisfied or very satisfied with their EHR system; with 39 percent being satisfied and 22 percent being very satisfied. In the current survey the majority of respondents indicated that overall they were dissatisfied with their EHR system; with only 22 percent indicating they were satisfied and 12 percent indicating they were very satisfied.

21st Century Cures Act Prompts Debate Over Patient Consent Rules

by Nicole Lewis, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Thursday, August 13, 2015
As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee crafts its own version of the 21st Century Cures Act, patient privacy advocates vow that they'll impress upon senators the dangers of using personal health data for biomedical research without requiring patient consent.
Patient privacy advocates worry that the House version of the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6), which was passed last month, changes the HIPAA privacy rule in ways that could undermine the trust between patients and their doctors.

EHR Vendor Details Sophisticated Cyberattack

HIM-HIPAA Insider , August 13, 2015

Indiana-based Medical Informatics Engineering says the compromised PHI may have included patients' names, Social Security numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, birthdates, medical conditions, and lab results.

This article originally appeared in HIM-HIPAA Insider.
An Indiana-based EHR vendor and its subsidiary company were the victims of a sophisticated criminal cyber-attack last week that exposed the PHI of some patients at several of the vendor's clients, according to a notice Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) posted to its website June 10.

HIE among Hospitals Increasing, Further Progress Needed

AUG 12, 2015 7:36am ET
While health information exchange among U.S. non-federal acute care hospitals grew in 2014, only 23 percent of hospitals nationwide were able to find, send, receive and use data electronically to/from sources outside their hospital system.
That’s one takeaway from a nationwide American Hospital Association survey released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. In addition, only 41 percent of surveyed hospitals last year reported having necessary clinical information available electronically from outside providers or sources when treating a patient that was seen by another provider or care setting.

ONC tackles interoperability barriers

Posted on Aug 12, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to exchange healthcare information, and therein rests the rub.
Many hospitals ready and willing to exchange healthcare data with other providers find themselves stymied because the healthcare organization at the other end is unable to receive it.
It is one of the chief barriers to interoperability, Vaishali Patel, ONC senior advisor, told the federal Health IT Policy Committee at its meeting Tuesday.
"We examined a number of technical, operational and financial barriers to interoperability," she said, "And we found that lack of exchange partners with the capability to electronically receive information, whether that was because they lacked a system or because their system lacked the capability to receive the information was a top barrier to interoperability, reported by about six in 10 hospitals."

Too little research backs high-risk medical devices

August 12, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Premarket Approval pathway allows high-risk medical devices on the market with only one study to prove their safety and effectiveness, and there are a limited number of studies done post-market, according to research published in Journal of the American Medical Association.
Medical device regulation in the U.S. is more rigorous than in other parts of the world, but "the difference is, in many European countries they have much better capacity to follow devices once they are in practice," senior author Joseph S. Ross, M.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine, told Reuters.

Federal advisory draft report outlines big data challenges

August 12, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
While big data analytics can help to improve the health of individuals and communities, as well as support growth of a learning health system, its use presents several privacy and security challenges, according to a federal advisory group.
In a draft report presented at the Aug. 11 meeting of the Office of the National Coordinator's Health IT Policy Committee, the Privacy and Security Workgroup (PSWG) outlines those challenges and recommends steps to address them. For instance, it notes that "rapid growth" in the amount of health information boosts the risks for violations to occur. What's more, the workgroup says despite efforts to de-identify information in data sets, the threat of re-identification persists.
"Additionally, the complex legal landscape around health privacy creates obstacles for individuals trying to access their personal information and hurdles for researchers attempting to grow the LHS," the workgroup says.

The hackers have spoken: healthcare needs more patient-centered solutions

Vivek Bhatia
Aug 11, 2015
A slew of interesting factors are converging together in healthcare that are putting the patient firmly in the center of the care continuum. This is a big change for provider organizations used to being in that center.
Here at AustinHealthTech, however, we are excited by the dawning of the patient-centered era and nowhere was that more evident than last month during athenahealth’s inaugural Austin More Disruption Please (MDP) hackathon, supported by our local group AustinHealthTech, along with Seton Healthcare and SXSW. The hackathon featured more than 120 hackers from all backgrounds – some traveled from as far as California and Maine to participate in the multi-day event. The goal: change the status quo in health care.

In digital age, paper records still matter

Jeff Rowe
Aug 12, 2015
At any time of technological transition, there’s a period, sometimes a rather long one, in which stakeholders have one foot in the future and one foot in the past.  Take electronic health records, for example.  While significant strides have been taken toward the digitization of health data, in recent years, paper records, and getting access to them, remain the reality for many.
At HealthITAnalytics, Jennifer Bresnick recently looked at some current legislative efforts to ensure that patients have affordable access to their records by capping the copying fees healthcare organizations can charge.  Along the way, she provides a glimpse at some of the more stubborn impediments to a more comprehensive shift to digital communication.

Survey: Most Providers Not Confident in ONC’s Interoperability Plan

August 11, 2015
Just 17 percent of surveyed healthcare providers said they are confident that the industry will meet the 10-year goal for nationwide interoperability, set last year by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
The survey, from Austin, Tx.–based document management solutions provider Scrypt, polled more than 700 healthcare providers to gauge their opinions of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance in the wake of several high profile healthcare-related data breaches. It revealed that staff or human error is the biggest concern in terms of a potential HIPAA breach within healthcare organizations, despite that fact that 98 percent of respondents have policies in place to keep staff informed about changes in HIPAA compliance within their own practice.

Why IBM Just Bought Billions of Medical Images for Watson to Look At

IBM seeks to transform image-based diagnostics by combining its cognitive computing technology with a massive collection of medical images.

Why It Matters

It can be difficult for physicians to detect diagnostic information from medical images.
IBM says that Watson, its artificial-intelligence technology, can use advanced computer vision to process huge volumes of medical images. Now Watson has its sights set on using this ability to help doctors diagnose diseases faster and more accurately.
Last week IBM announced it would buy Merge Healthcare for a billion dollars. If the deal is finalized, this would be the third health-care data company IBM has bought this year (see “Meet the Health-Care Company IBM Needed to Make Watson More Insightful”). Merge specializes in handling all kinds of medical images, and its service is used by more than 7,500 hospitals and clinics in the United States, as well as clinical research organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Shahram Ebadollahi, vice president of innovation and chief science officer for IBM’s Watson Health Group, says the acquisition is part of an effort to draw on many different data sources, including anonymized, text-based medical records, to help physicians make treatment decisions.

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Jacksonville University’s MSHI program also gives you the confidence of knowing that you’re completing your degree from a university with 14 years of proven online healthcare education leadership – and one consistently ranked among America’s best colleges among regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Add in the personalized attention only a private university can give you, and your choice is clear.

Technology Driving Healthcare Revolution, Not Policy

AUG 11, 2015 7:57am ET
Jeffrey A. Sachs has worked on various high-level health initiatives over the years, from advising former New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo to providing guidance on California's Medicaid waiver in 2010.
Yet Sachs, founder of Sachs Policy Group, a New York City-based boutique consultancy, has a career history far-flung from the buttoned-down and cautious health policy wonk might expect him to be – and he makes no bones in discounting the healthcare industry's preoccupation on policy minutiae in turbulent times.
"The move to value is a convergence being driven by technology, not public policy," Sachs said. "I say to the people I talk to, 'If you think it's public policy, that would be really good for you, because you could stop it.' But it's not public policy."

What Google's Alphabet transition means for its healthcare future

August 11, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
In announcing the creation of holding company Alphabet this week, Google's healthcare ventures--of which there are many--could be greatly impacted, Advisory Board Daily Briefing Executive Director Dan Diamond writes in a Forbes blog post.
Primarily, the new structure, of which Google will be one of many subsidiaries, will allow Alphabet to "maximize" the potential of its various units, which include Google X and Calico, Diamond says. The former unit, via collaboration with Novartis, is working on developing smart contact lenses for measuring blood sugar levels using tear fluid. It also has been working on Baseline Study--its research efforts into human disease and illness to better understand how the body goes from healthy to sick--and Google Glass, which reportedly is being updated for specific industries, including healthcare.

Cedars-Sinai's Brennan Spiegel: Digital health no easy feat

August 11, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Digital health is at its infancy, and even technical solutions that hold great potential to transform health outcomes can be waylaid when applied to everyday humans, Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai Health System, writes in a blog post.
Patients lose their devices, can't charge them, feel stigmatized by wearing them, or just have no interest at all in using them, he says. What's more, the data can be misleading.
He cites, as an example, a study conducted at Cedars-Sinai to measure activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A 72-year-old woman found relief during the treatment course of the study, and while the data showed a decrease in her pain, the sensors also showed a marked decrease in her activity.

Workgroup Makes Recommendations for HIE in Emergency Medicine

August 10, 2015
An emergency physician-led workgroup has published several recommendations about how to maximize the value of health information exchange (HIE) in emergency departments.
The recommendations were published online last week in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("Health Information Exchange in Emergency Medicine"). The workgroup, from the American College of Emergency Physicians, the national medical society representing emergency medicine, made five primary recommendations, and seven secondary ones, in support of HIE in emergency medicine. The five primary ones include:
1. Emergency physicians must be involved in regional and federal HIE activities;

Six mobile health startups from the first White House demo day

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 10, 2015
As his time in office draws to a close, President Obama secured his reputation as our first geek president by hosting a tech startup demo day in the White House last week. Although the primary purpose of the demo day was to showcase diversity in tech entrepreneurship, a number of mobile health and wellness-focused companies filled out the ranks of Obama’s invited startups.
Here’s a round-up of the mobile health entrepreneurs that showed off their companies at the White House last week.
Open Health Network — Founded by Los Altos, California residents Tatyana Kanzaveli & Maksim Tsvetovat, Open Health Network is a “smart mobile health platform that helps healthcare organizations, researchers, and patient advocate groups create cutting-edge mobile applications that run on any device and in any language in a day without coding”. The platform lets users create patient surveys and apps that integrate easily with wearable devices and social networks.

How Google Glass can save lives

August 10, 2015Eric Wicklund - Editor, mHealthNews
Even though the prototype was panned by many critics and a new version isn't due out until next year, Google Glass is finding willing users in healthcare. One recent test found that it may have even saved the lives of several poison victims in a hospital ED.
The latest success story comes from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where researchers used the interactive eyewear on a test of toxicology consults at UMass Memorial Medical Center. As reported in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, emergency medicine residents at the hospital used Google Glass in 18 consults, evaluating patients while a secure video feed was established with a supervising consultant.
In each case, the supervising consultant guided the resident through the consult by means of text messages shown on the eyeglasses. In addition, residents had access to images of medicine bottles, EKGs and other information on Glass as they worked with the patients.

Google plans to grow healthcare efforts under Alphabet

Posted on Aug 11, 2015
By Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News
Google divulged an interesting plot late Monday when it announced Alphabet.
Alphabet will be the parent company presiding over many distinct entities, of which Google is to be the largest initially. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be Alphabet CEO and president, respectively.
"Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren't very related," Page wrote on the company's blog.

Study reveals discrepancy between pharmacy claims data, EHR data

Written by Max Green | August 10, 2015
The majority of patient EHRs may contain medication information that is not up to date, according to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care.
Medication reconciliation — the process of comparing a patient's medication orders to the medications they have been taking — is valuable in inpatient settings, at transitions of care and in ambulatory settings, where discrepancies between physician medication orders in the EHR and what the patients actually take frequently occur, according to the authors.

HIE Critical to Emergency Medicine, But Info Lacking in ERs

AUG 10, 2015 7:34am ET
Care standards and protocols to support data exchange in emergency department electronic health records need to be developed, including workflow optimizations and pushing of important information to the clinician through “flags” in the EHR.
Those are among the recommendations from an emergency physician-led workgroup on how to maximize the value of health information exchange in emergency departments. The five primary and seven secondary recommendations were published online recently in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Where big data falls short

Posted on Aug 10, 2015
By Jack McCarthy, Contributing Writer
Big data and analytic tools have not yet been harnessed to bring meaningful improvement to the healthcare industry.
That's according to a new report from the National Quality Forum outlining the challenges to making health data and analytics more usable and available in real time for providers and consumers.
Whereas big data has supported improvement in certain settings, such as reducing ventilator-acquired pneumonia, data analytics has been largely overlooked in the area of healthcare costs, even though this data can inform and assess efforts to improve the affordability and quality of care.
What's more, effective data management is necessary for the success of other incentives to enhance care, such as payment programs, as providers need timely information to understand where to improve and track their progress.

Individual stories show impact of health information theft

August 10, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
As the theft of health information continues to rise, so, too, will the impact it has on the lives of patients who no longer have control over their personal health information.
An article in the Wall Street Journal examines several individual instances of medical identity theft and the resulting fallout on those effected.
One such victim, Kathleen Meiners of Kansas City, began receiving hospital bills last year from Centerpoint Medical Center in Missouri for treatment of a leg injury her son Billy never suffered.  
Meiners fought for months to stop the collection notices and fix her son's medical records, according to the article. But after the grueling and time consuming process of clearing up the confusion, Meiners never found out how the theft of her son's identification occurred.

New algorithm can help detect sepsis earlier

Written by Heather Punke (Twitter | Google+)  | August 07, 2015
A computer algorithm developed by researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore could correctly predict septic shock in 85 percent of cases without increasing the number of false positives, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine.
"The critical advance our study makes is to detect these patients early enough that clinicians have time to intervene," Suchi Saria, a Johns Hopkins assistant professor of computer science and health policy and the study's leader, told Hub.
Researchers created an algorithm that determines a Targeted Real-time Early Warning Score based on 27 factors which measure a patient's risk of septic shock. To do so, researchers used electronic health records of 16,234 patients admitted to intensive care units at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from 2001 to 2007.

Class action sought by lawsuits in massive Indiana health care data breach

August 07, 2015
by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
A pair of lawsuits in a massive Indiana health care records hacking case is just the latest turmoil for health care providers facing an ongoing onslaught of black-hat thieves targeting the rich lode of EHR data.
The suits, filed in federal court, seek class action status over a digital break-in that exposed the private information of 3.9 million people's data, which was compromised by Medical Informatics Engineering, through its NoMoreClipboard subsidiary, and discovered in May, according to the firm.
The compromised information includes patients' names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported.

How To Conquer Digital Innovation Inertia in Health Care

by Fard Johnmar Monday, August 10, 2015
The current state of digital innovation in global health can be described using two words: excitement and frustration. 
On the one hand, StartUp Health, a global entrepreneurship development company, reports that more than 7,600 startups around the world are "developing solutions in digital health." In addition, during the first half of 2015, investors poured more than $2.8 billion into companies creating and scaling digital solutions.
On the other hand, there is great disappointment among medical professionals, executives and others about the current state of digital health technologies. For example, physicians are greatly frustrated with electronic health records. And some doctors loudly complain that many innovations do nothing to aid clinical practice and in fact impede their ability to serve patients. Other executives are frustrated that many digital tools are not yet capable of solving the biggest problems in health, such as preventing non-communicable diseases and modifying negative health behaviors over the medium- and long-term.


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