Facebook hits the brakes on creepy project to access your patient data from hospitals

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Facebook has been in recent talks with several high profile US hospitals in an attempt to glean anonymized patient data for a now-defunct project. The company aimed to collect obscured personal details — including illness and prescription info — in an attempt to match it with user data it collected by the social network. The goal, reportedly, was to help hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment, according to CNBC. The news comes amid growing concerns that the social network isn’t taking the steps needed to secure its users from over-zealous third parties — and often…

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HP releases new germicide-resistant computers for hospitals

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

HP announced a new line of laptops, displays, and all-in-one desktops resistant to intense cleaning materials for people who work in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

There are three products. There’s HP’s EliteOne 800 Healthcare Edition All-in-One desktop, there’s the 27-inch HP Healthcare Edition Clinical Review Display, and there’s the EliteBook 840 Healthcare Edition notebook.

The laptop lets you disable the keyboard and touchscreen while cleaning, so that nothing is accidentally inputted. All three products are built to withstand deterioration from being cleaned with germicidal wipes, which may help reduce the spread of health care-related infections.

HP has included a few other features specifically meant to help hospital workers….

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Leeds hospitals choose Zebra for smart patient wristbands

Leeds hospitals choose Zebra for smart patient wristbands

Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) is using technology from Zebra Technologies to help it better track patient journeys using wristbands.

Wristbands have long been worn by patients as identification devices, and used to help staff track patients’ needs and their routes around a hospital. But on its own, a wristband can be an imperfect solution.

Zebra Technologies’ Scan4Safety programme uses a special wristband printer, the Zebra HC100 printer, along with Z-Band Ultrasoft wristbands as the core of a system which provides enhanced patient tracking services.

The printer produces a wristband that’s compatible with the Scan4Safety barcode identification programme, which allows a hospital to track a patient all the way through their hospital journey, from admission to discharge. Wristbands are printed for Accident and Emergency admissions, for example, and for newborns.

Speaking to Internet of Business, Zebra’s EMEA healthcare director Wayne Miller explained: “The new wristband enables a digital voice for the patient, taking the patient’s ID data placed into a barcode – name, date of birth and NHS number. This digital voice becomes the password to the patient’s electric file. Scan4Safety records the ‘who, what, when, where’ for patient care, allowing an accurate record for both safety and accountancy.”

Read more: Healthcare applications to drive wearable device boom

Safety at scale

Scanning wristbands at each point of care, the hospital can better ensure patients receive the right treatment, reducing errors and delays. Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, with more than 17,000 staff across seven hospitals. It uses in excess of 250,000 wristbands per year.

The Scan4Health system uses GS1 global standards for capturing and sharing information. This is the standard that the Department of Health has set as the standard for care in the UK by 2019, so the system is helping Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) move towards compliance.

The system has been well-received by clinical staff. The Zebra HC100 printers are small, reliable and easy to use. Wristbands are printed from fast-load cartridges that remove the complexity of media loading associated with traditional barcode printers. Moreover, the wristbands are made of healthcare plastics that support LTHT’s infection control regime.

Other Trusts including Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust, North Tees and Salisbury have either deployed or are trialling the Zebra solution, and early results from six pilot projects suggest that Scan4Safety has the potential to save lives, as well as potentially save the NHS up to £1 billion over seven years.

Miller says that the technology also has applications outside of hospital environments, in other healthcare situations. “Can we extend the use of the digital voice outside the hospital? Yes we can,” he told Internet of Business. “It may not be in the form of a wristband, but we can use other methods, such as ID cards, prescriptions with a barcode and, in the coming years, personal electronic devices such as smartphones with biometric readers.”

Read more: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to deploy sensors in intensive care units

The post Leeds hospitals choose Zebra for smart patient wristbands appeared first on Internet of Business.

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New digital healthcare advances come to US hospitals

Robotic spine surgery and smartphone-linked cardiac monitors come to US hospitals

From diagnostic AI to 3D wound imaging, it seems hardly a day goes by without a new breakthrough in digital healthcare. Here are two of the latest innovations out of the US.

While many examples of digital healthcare (like those mentioned above) originate in the UK, given their deeper pockets, US healthcare providers are perhaps more likely early adopters of new advances. One recent example comes from the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, where clinicians have just started using smartphone-compatible cardiac monitors.

The Confirm Rx insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) is the first of its kind and St David’s is the first hospital in Texas to use the technology. The implant is inserted just under the skin of the chest, in a quick, easy procedure. Here, the device will continuously monitor a patient’s heart rhythm and actively send the collected data to a smartphone, via Bluetooth.

The myMerlin mobile app then allows their doctor to remotely tack their condition and diagnose arrhythmias (an abnormal heart rhythm that develops when disease or injury disrupts the heart’s electrical signals, causing the heart to beat erratically) that may require treatment.

Read more: Australian researchers partner with Huawei for smart healthcare

Remote cardiac monitoring

This remote functionality allows both quicker alerts for any potential issues, improving patient care, and negates the expense and time required to bring a patient into the hospital. While remotely transmitting implantable monitors aren’t new, the Confirm Rx ICM eliminates the need for supplementary technology.

“What differentiates the Confirm Rx ICM from other implantable monitors is that it doesn’t require a home base station to transmit information,” said Robert Canby MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at TCAI. “Instead, it utilizes a secure Bluetooth wireless connection to transmit that data to the patient’s smartphone or tablet. This allows the data to then be immediately sent to a monitoring station, rather than waiting until the patient returns home to connect to a base station.”

The app lets you record symptoms on demand, view transmissions and symptom history, and send information to your clinic without having to wait for a nightly sync.

Read more: MediaTek Sensio: the first six-in-one smartphone biosensor module revealed

Robotic spine surgery

Elsewhere, Michigan-based Henry Ford Allegiance Health has begun to offer robotic spine procedures with the help of the ExelciusGPS surgical system. By combining the benefits of navigation and robotics in one technology, this digital healthcare newcomer seeks to overcome the risks that accompany spine surgery.

Robot-assisted surgery is proven to boost the accuracy of procedures, limiting damage to healthy tissue and improving recovery times. While the cost of entry is an insurmountable barrier for many health institutions, those that can overcome this are seeing outstanding results.

As with any new technology, early adopters will pay premium prices. As demand increases, manufacturing processes mature, and technology becomes more mainstream, surgery robotics will become a more realistic option for many.

“Robot-assisted surgery is a new, emerging area that will become the standard in care,” said Henry Ford Allegiance Health neurosurgeon Frank La Marca MD. “At Henry Ford Allegiance Health, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care for our spine surgery patients. We are excited to offer our patients the advantages of the Excelcius system, which allows us to perform minimally invasive procedures which may result in less blood loss, less muscle damage and a potentially faster recovery.”

Read more: Apple Watch KardiaBand accessory shows it’s time for IoT in healthcare

GPS-guided implants and screws

The solution benefits from GPS 3D guided technology, thanks to its seamless integration with preoperative CT, intraoperative CT, and fluoroscopic imaging systems. This allows a neurosurgeon to place screws and implants precisely, via the rigid robotic arm, and enables them to see the exact positioning of objects during an operation.

“The GPS navigation gives me continuous feedback and allows me to see everything in real time. Now, my colleagues and I can pre-program coordinates, so the robotic arm can assist in guiding us to precise locations in the patient’s spine,” said Henry Ford Allegiance neurosurgeon Azam Basheer MD. “The result is safer, faster surgery with less radiation exposure and less need to reposition my patient.”

The navigation system also allows operators to make safer, more consistent and smaller incisions, which promotes healing and reduces scarring. Robot-assisted surgery has huge potential when it comes to freeing up beds by boosting recovery times – certainly something hospitals will be weighing up when considering adopting robotics.

Read more: Junto Health: Healthcare’s journey to IoT maturity

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Apple Watch S3 Devices Are Randomly Restarting in Hospitals

The Apple Watch is increasingly becoming a useful device for both health and medical purposes. But according to a number of user reports, hospital equipment may be causing the wearable to shut down and restart unexpectedly.

Reportedly, users who work in a hospital environment are claiming that their Apple Watch Series 3 devices are unexpectedly and periodically restarting during normal use. Specifically, Apple Watch S3 owners who work in an intensive care unit (ICU) environment seem to be those who are running into problems, according to Apple news site 9to5Mac, which first broke the story.

A reader told the outlet that they had bought an Apple Watch Series 3 for their wife to check messages at her work in an ICU setting. But they added that the device regularly reboots every 60 to 90 minutes when worn in that setting. The couple even had the device swapped, but the problem persisted even with the new replacement Apple Watch.

Other users have reported similar problems with their own Apple Watch Series 3 devices in a hospital setting. Over a dozen users said they experienced the restarting issue in a single Apple Support thread posted in October of last year. The Apple Support community is littered with other reports of similar issues.

“I have the same problem. In fact, both myself and co-worker are having the same issue,” user veejl wrote on the thread. “Notice the restarting only while at work (in a hospital). While at the hospital, restarts randomly and throughout the day. At least 1x/hour.”

The problem only seems to affect the Apple Watch Series 3, with or without cellular. One user wrote that their Apple Watch Series 0 didn’t experience any issues in the exact same hospital setting, before theorizing that it could be related to certain cardiac monitors. Another user wrote that his Apple Watch doesn’t restart periodically when “away from the hospital.”

Users report that placing the wearable into Airplane Mode seems to fix the problem — but, of course, that solution also renders the device fairly useless for receiving messages, calls and other alerts.

In the Apple Watch User Guide, Apple does write that equipment such as a “pacemaker, defibrillator, or any other medical device” could be affected by Apple Watch components or radios that emit electromagnetic fields. On the other hand, Apple doesn’t specify whether issues could work in reverse — with medical devices interfering with the Apple Watch.

Since the issue seems to only affect the Apple Watch Series 3, it’s worth venturing that some internal component specific to the generation is causing the issue. But since the restarting plagues both GPS and GPS+ Cellular models, it’s isn’t readily clear what that specific component could be.

It’s currently unknown if Apple is aware of the issue. If it is a software-side bug, it’s possible that Cupertino could resolve the glitch in a future watchOS update.

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3 Reasons Why Language Services are Needed in Hospitals

Several laws are routinely enforced in an effort to ensure that limited English proficiency (LEP) and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HoH) patients are provided meaningful access to pertinent information surrounding their healthcare and well-being. These regulations were put into effect to incentivize hospitals to provide the same level of health care services and coverage to all patient populations, regardless of their language or culture of origin. One way to ensure that hospitals adhere by these regulations—and deliver proper care to LEP/HoH patients—is by offering language services.

When LEP patients are provided with medical language services, hospitals experience an increase in LEP patient engagement, an enhancement in LEP patient-provider communication and an improvement in LEP patient outcome. Patients who are provided with clear and concise information pertaining to their healthcare and well-being tend to be more actively engaged in their care plans, resulting in shorter lengths of stay and lower readmissions. Here’s how:

See AlsoHow IoT is Revolutionizing Workplace Safety?

Breaking Language Barriers Boosts Patient Comfort

Patient comfort is directly correlated with higher patient satisfaction, engagement and outcome, so it’s no wonder why it’s a top concern for hospitals.  Additionally, patients who are comfortable with their environment tend to have a better patient-provider relationship—and much of this comfort stems from having a firm understanding of healthcare information, plans and procedures. Therefore, any LEP and/or Deaf/HoH patient should be provided with the assistance of a medically qualified interpreter to ensure that such understanding is taking place. To ensure that patients receive communication assistance when needed, providers can collect the patient’s preferred language at intake and post the availability of language services in a clearly visible area.

Providing Clarity Can Prevent Unnecessary Procedures & Tests

Language barriers can have dangerous implications for patients; without the assistance of an interpreter, physicians may misunderstand, miscalculate or misdiagnose the LEP patient’s condition. By using a qualified interpreter, hospitals can significantly reduce the risk of miscommunication and unnecessary procedures and/or tests.

LEP and Deaf/HoH patients who are not provided with language services at the time of admission and/or discharge have been shown to experience both a longer length of stay and a greater risk of readmission within 30 days. A study by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health & Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that the use of a qualified medical interpreter reduced LEP patient stay by almost a day. Shorter lengths of stay have been shown to improve LEP patient outcome and significantly lower the cost of patient care for health systems.

Proper Communication Improves Overall Patient Outcomes

Providers must disclose information pertaining to any patient treatment, test or procedure, including any risk or benefit as well as the likelihood that any risk or benefit will occur. Additionally, the patient must have the ability to make a decision, understand the information provided and grant consent without persuasion by part of the provider. This decision-making capacity of the patient can be greatly impacted by language barriers, hearing loss and/or impairment.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that less than 45% of LEP patients were provided with interpretation, sight translation and/or document translation of consent forms in their preferred language. This indicates an underutilization of language services in healthcare. In order to ensure that informed consent is truly taking place, healthcare facilities are obligated to assess patient language needs prior to offering a service and render language services as needed. Many facilities provide documents that are routinely provided in English in the top needed languages via the use of a hospital translator. LEP patients can then review healthcare information in their own language. Others have medically qualified interpreters verbally summarize documents in the patient’s preferred language to ensure that meaningful understanding takes place. Without the assistance of language services, hospitals compromise the patient’s access to healthcare information, thus placing the outcome of the patient at great risk.

These great disparities in care can be avoided with the use of a qualified interpreter. Interpreters who are medically qualified can quickly determine when a cultural difference is negatively impacting patient-provider communication and act accordingly, resulting in seamless communication, improved patient care and outcome.

Behind the Technology Itself

With the demand for qualified interpreters on the rise in a wide variety of languages, technology is increasingly utilized to help fill the gap. There are three modes of interpretation delivery in healthcare: onsite interpreting, video remote interpreting (VRI) and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI), all of which have been greatly influenced by the advancement of technology. VRI combines the benefits of face-to-face interpretation with the on-demand nature of OPI. With just the press of a button, patients can see and hear a qualified medical interpreter in their language. Over-the-phone interpreters can be reached by any telephone, dual handset, speakerphone or cell phone. The remote nature of VRI and OPI eliminate time spent traveling or scheduling and provide access to a wider range of interpreters qualified in languages of lesser diffusion that may not be available on-site. As for on-site interpretation, mobile and desktop apps now have the capability to route on-site interpreting requests to qualified interpreters in the surrounding area, simplifying the scheduling process and improving interpreter efficiency.

With the LEP patient population rising, technology is quickly proving to be dispensable in the realm of language services. When interpreting resources are limited, technology can be leveraged to widen the scope of services provided to non-English speaking patients, ensuring that all patients are provided with meaningful access to healthcare information.

Author Bio: David leads the overall strategic direction of Stratus Video’s Language Services division and brings over 26 years of experience working for healthcare information technology and service companies. Prior to joining Stratus Video, he was president and founder of MDeverywhere, revenue cycle management software tailored to the healthcare industry.

The post 3 Reasons Why Language Services are Needed in Hospitals appeared first on ReadWrite.


Tesla is Officially Restoring Power to Hospitals in Puerto Rico

The first of Elon Musk’s solar energy-Powerwall projects has successfully restored power to a local hospital in Puerto Rico, according to a tweet from Tesla earlier today. Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is among those working with Musk. The Tesla CEO and founder offered to provide a few hundred energy storage batteries to facilitate the Carribean island’s efforts to restore energy after its grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Tesla isn’t the only one working to return electricity to Puerto Rico. A similar effort is also being made by a two-year-old company from Montana called Whitefish Energy. The company signed a $ 300-million contract with Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority to complete infrastructure work that will provide energy to key industrial facilities needed to kick-start the island’s disrupted economy.

Puerto Rico has taken a rather unique approach to restoring power after Hurricane Maria. Instead of rebuilding the existing energy grid, government officials seek to redo it altogether. The move has drawn flak from both experts and members of the U.S. Congress, particularly with regard to the use of relief funds. Tesla’s success with the Hospital del Niño, however, proves that a combination of renewable energy and storage batteries is an effective and efficient way of providing much needed power to disaster-struck areas.

The post Tesla is Officially Restoring Power to Hospitals in Puerto Rico appeared first on Futurism.


Boston Children’s Hospital’s Dock Health app reduces doctor paperwork, exclusive to Apple iPhone & iPad

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A new iPhone and iPad app deployed at the Boston Children’s Hospital aims to cut back on the pile of physical paper generated by healthcare as part of doing business — and increase the amount of time that physicians and other caregivers can spend taking care of patients.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Matternet Is Expanding Drone Delivery to Hospitals in Switzerland

Hospital Delivery

Delivering our online orders and groceries are one application of drone technology, but while that’s still farther off than we may like, it should be noted that drones are already being used for deliveries in other areas, such as moving blood and other medical resources between hospitals.

Matternet is one such company providing this service in Switzerland, even though it’s based out of California. Matternet built its own drone base station to automate ground operations as well as air traffic, and they’re currently testing their drone network throughout the country.

As explained by Wired, packages are placed in a shoebox-size storage container, then scanned using a QR reader. The package is then transferred to one of Matternet’s drones, and the delivery begins. According to the company, the drones can travel about 12 miles while carrying around 4 pounds, and are capable of finding the safest path through the air — they use the same airspace as emergency helicopters and constantly broadcast their locations.

Prior to the introduction of the drones, hospitals would use third-party couriers to get supplies around. The problem with that, however, was price and trustworthiness.

“We have a vision of a distributed network, not hub and spoke, but true peer-to-peer,” says Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos.

Expanding Services

Zipline is another company using drones to deliver medical supplies to remote health workers in Rwanda and Tanzania, starting in 2018. Workers text their order to the company, who then prepare the items before sending them off. Within fifteen minutes, the drone will drop the package attached to a parachute, with the worker being notified throughout the entire process.

Going forward, Matternet has plans to expand beyond remote locations. The company wants to bring their drone network to more populated areas in Switzerland before the end of 2017, then branch out to the rest of Europe, followed by the U.S. and Japan. If everything goes well, the California-based company hopes more people will use their drones. The speed of their deliveries will be a huge benefit to those requiring medical attention, and knowing help is quickly on the way could provide some much needed solace amidst traumatic injuries.

The post Matternet Is Expanding Drone Delivery to Hospitals in Switzerland appeared first on Futurism.


Cedars-Sinai hospital’s Apple Watch app lets patients find doctors, locate clinics

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Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai offers an Apple Watch app said to be one of the first available from a U.S. hospital, allowing enhanced care for patients directly from their wrist.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News