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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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

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First Look: Synzi Offers New Platform to Improve Patient Engagement and Care Delivery

Synzi recently announced a new investment from Kinderhook Industries forming a new separate entity from language services company, Stratus Video.

From the official announcement shared with MMW:

Synzi’s cutting-edge platform brings together several methods of communications which enhance the telehealth marketplace. The platform improves patient interactions by leveraging mobile devices to strengthen engagement, optimize health outcomes and reduce costs. For health systems, the platform offers on-demand video capabilities that enable virtual consults for urgent care and mental health, as well as virtual visits which optimize care post-discharge. For health plans, the platform streamlines care management programming and increases engagement amongst members at risk for readmission. Uniquely, Synzi can also service limited English proficiency (LEP) and the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing patient population with direct access to a video interpreter.

“We are very excited for the additional investment to form Synzi as we see this as a unique market opportunity,” said Chris Michalik, Managing Director at Kinderhook Industries, Synzi’s investment firm. “As we saw the incredible growth in Stratus Video, we are confident that Synzi will follow the same growth trajectory as it serves a vital role in improving patient care.”

“The telehealth division of Stratus Video first launched at the 2017 J.P. Morgan Chase Healthcare Conference, so it’s incredibly rewarding, a year later, to be able to showcase our growth and to demonstrate Synzi’s value as a standalone company,” said Lee Horner, CEO of Synzi. “We are excited for the new market opportunities ahead and look forward to working with the right partners to help bring forth an innovative approach to delivering timely care.”

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‘Hitman: Game of the Year Edition’ adds new ‘Patient Zero’ campaign

When developer IO Interactive separated from publisher Square Enix, it got to keep the popular Hitman franchise, giving the now-independent studio control over the 2016 stealth shooter game it developed. Back in June, the company released the first e…
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A Chinese Robot Dentist Operated on a Human Patient for the First Time Ever

The Robot Will See You Now

A robot dentist in China has successfully operated on a human patient without human input and, more importantly, without any harm coming to the patient.

The South China Morning Post reports the procedure lasted about an hour, and involved the implanting of two teeth into a woman’s mouth. The artificial teeth, created using 3D printing technology, were fitted within a margin of error of 0.2 – 0.3 mm — the standard required for the type of surgery the robot was performing.

The robot dentist implanting the artificial teeth. Image Credit: South China Morning Post
The robot dentist implanting the artificial teeth. Image Credit: South China Morning Post

Prior to the beginning of the operation, human medical staff positioned orientation equipment onto the patient. They also programmed the robot’s movements, as well determined the angle and depth needed to properly implant the teeth. So while the robot did perform the operation on its own, it still needed people to set things up.

The Need for Robotic Assistants

The Chinese robot dentist was created in response to a shortage of qualified human dentists and the disconcerting number of human-made errors. Dentists are always working within a small space within the mouth, and are sometimes unable to see what they’re doing.

According to the South China Morning Post, a survey discovered over 400 million people are in need of new teeth, and of the one million implants performed each year, a number of low quality dental surgeries can cause more problems for the patient.

The robot dentist’s success will go a long way to support the development of other such robotics and reduce the number of issues that arise as a result of mishandled operations. Over the years, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic assistants have been used to aid dentists with other procedures like root canal surgery and orthodontic operations as well as training students. In March, a dental assistant known as Yomi received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is also expected to improve the success of dental procedures.

Outside of dentistry, AI and robots have also been used to successfully complete brain surgery and operate inside the human eye. They may still need our help getting started and require our presence alongside them, but it’s only a matter of time before we can simply sit down and let them do all of the work.

The post A Chinese Robot Dentist Operated on a Human Patient for the First Time Ever appeared first on Futurism.

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Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Trials Put on Hold Following Death of a Patient

Loss Of Patient

Just one week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmaceutical company Novartis to use a new cancer treatment known as CAR-T therapy, the organization is now putting additional trials on hold. The reason? The death of the first patient to be treated with it.

CAR-T tackles cancer by using a person’s own immune cells. The cells are extracted, modified to carry a new gene, then reintroduced to the body. Current trials were meant to test the effectiveness of CAR-T treatment that used immune cells from a donor, instead of those from the patient. As reported by MIT Technology Review, this modified treatment was referred to as “Off-the-Shelf” or “Universal” CAR-T.

French biopharmaceutical company Cellectis announced the FDA’s decision on September 4, revealing the lost patient to be a 78-year old male suffering from blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN). The patient was treated with a dose of Cellectis’ treatment, but died eight days later following a lethal reaction to it.

The FDA has also moved to halt CAR-T testing on leukemia, even though it was shown to work on two infants earlier this year.

Lasting Impacts

Cellectis isn’t the first company to lose a patient during one of its drug trials: last year Juno Therapeutics was forced to put its trials on hold after the deaths of several patients. The FDA stepped in, but allowed testing to continue following a few changes. When additional patients died, Juno was prompted to scrap further testing altogether.

Cellectis, meanwhile, will have to deal with its investors — since the company’s stock took a bit of a hit after the announcement. The company should also expect a tougher fight to get their trials going again. It may not be the first to lose a patient, but it is the company behind the latest, and the FDA may not been too keen on resuming trials if the proper safety measures aren’t in place.

The same can be said of other companies in the middle of CAR-T testing, or those hoping to get the same approval as Novartis. Endpoints notes that Kite Pharma has been expecting approval for the last month, but Cellectis action’s may put such approval on hold.

“Cellectis is working closely with the investigators and the FDA in order to resume the trials with an amended protocol including a lowered dosing of UCART123,” the company said in a statement.
On August 28, the DSMB (Data Safety Monitoring Board) recommended lowering the dose to 6.25×104 UCART123 cells per kilogram and capping cyclophosphamide to a total dose of 4g over 3 days.
It’s currently unclear what the results of this change are.

The post Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Trials Put on Hold Following Death of a Patient appeared first on Futurism.

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Cedars-Sinai pilot uses Apple’s iPad to provide patient with data, control infection in NICU

Article Image

A pilot program at Cedars-Sinai hospital is not only using iPads to relay vital information to patients, but is also being used by parents with children in the NICU for interaction when the chance of spreading infection to the vulnerable is high.
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Qualcomm Life: Remote patient monitoring is a tonic for healthcare challenges

Qualcomm Life: Remote patient monitoring is a tonic for health challenges

For many in healthcare, the answer to tackling chronic conditions lies in remote patient monitoring, explains Qualcomm Life’s Laurent Vandebrouck in an exclusive interview with Internet of Business.

Here’s the good news: in Europe, we’re all living longer. Over the past 50 years or so, life expectancy has increased by about 10 years for both men and women in the 28 countries of the European Union, to reach an average of 80.9 years – slightly more for women (83.6 years) and slightly less for men (78.1 years).

The flipside is that, as we age, we’re more likely to experience chronic health conditions – illnesses that can be controlled, but not cured. These include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, for example.

Laurent Vandebrouck of Qualcomm Life

Chronic illness places a terrific strain on healthcare systems, says Laurent Vandebrouck, managing director, Europe, at connected healthcare leader, Qualcomm Life. In many countries, managing chronic illness accounts for as much as 80 percent of healthcare spending, he says.

So for many clinicians, healthcare providers and insurance companies, the answer increasingly lies in remote patient monitoring, or RPM, using the latest smart, connected medical devices. These might include medication dispensers, blood pressure monitors and blood glucose meters, for example.

This approach gives patients the benefits of being able to live independently, in their own homes, while their doctors continue to keep a close eye on their conditions.

Read more: Internet of Things the ‘most powerful disruptor’ in healthcare

Monitoring by exception

“It’s about monitoring by exception,” Vandebrouck explains. When a doctor or nurse using RPM is alerted to an issue with a specific patient, they can call that patient in for an appointment. “It enables healthcare providers, clinicians and insurers to focus on those patients who really need care, when they need it, with a view to reducing hospital readmissions,” he says.

Qualcomm Life’s role in this is two-fold. First, the company works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies on the development of the connected medical devices used in RPM programs, providing them with reference architectures and the wireless communications technologies that their devices will require to collect and transmit data.

Second, it provides the connectivity gateways in patient’s homes that collect, encrypt and transmit data from medical devices to Qualcomm Life’s cloud-based 2net Platform and to virtually any third party cloud-based system, where it can be accessed by authorized medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, insurers and pharmaceutical companies. It’s through these cloud-based remote monitoring systems that a care provider might be alerted, for example, if a patient with diabetes had experienced a string of high blood glucose readings.

Qualcomm Life’s solutions extend across the care continuum, with connectivity platforms for in the hospital, at the patient’s home and everywhere in between. Last month, for example, Qualcomm Life announced that its Capsule solution will be used to connect and integrate medical device data at Hospital Unimed Recife III, a leading hospital system in Brazil. And in Europe, the company announced last year that its 2net Platform will serve as the medical device connectivity solution for Philips HealthSuite, the cloud-enabled health ecosystem of devices, apps and digital tools from Dutch technology company Philips. Philips selected Qualcomm Life to power all of the medical device connectivity for its remote care and home care solutions and services, such as Philips Respironics, and Philips Hospital to Home.

Read more: HIMSS17: US healthcare industry connects dots between AI, personalized care and precision medicine

A growing market

The rise in chronic conditions, often against a backdrop of constraints on healthcare budgets and hospital beds, means that RPM simply makes good sense for many organizations in the sector, says Vandebrouck. “There’s no escape here: healthcare providers are under great pressure to use their resources wisely, to reduce the number of readmissions and still deliver the best patient outcomes. These are the challenges that Qualcomm Life, as a technology enabler, is helping them tackle,” he says.

Many are already stepping up to the challenge and others will follow. According to a recent report from research company Berg Insight, the number of remotely monitored patients worldwide grew by 44 percent to 7.1 million in 2016 as the market entered a growth phase fuelled by rising market acceptance. That figure is set to rise to 50.2 million by 2021, the company’s analysts reckon.

Read more: Orbita looks to empower patients with Amazon’s Alexa

The post Qualcomm Life: Remote patient monitoring is a tonic for healthcare challenges appeared first on Internet of Business.

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VitalConnect raises $33 million for its remote patient monitoring tech

VitalConnect, a San Francisco-based company that develops wearable sensors for the healthcare industry, has raised $ 33 million in its latest investment round.

The company’s Series C equity financing round was led by new investors MVM Life Science Partners and Baxter Ventures, the venture capital arm of Baxter International.

With this money, the firm will further commercialise its remote monitoring platform and work towards developing new solutions for healthcare scenarios.

Read more: HIMSS17: US healthcare industry connects dots between AI, personalized care and precision medicine

Pioneering tech

Positioned as the firm’s leading product, the Vital Patch wearable biosensor is capable of monitoring and recording eight patient vital signs continuously.

This lightweight, wireless, adhesive patch is integrated with cloud-based software and analytics so doctors can constantly monitor the condition of patients.

It doesn’t cause any discomfort to the patient and provides caregivers with an insight into their health, helping them to make the best medical decisions.

The patch and platform are already being rolled out in hospitals across the US and other locations around the world. Results have already shown high patient satisfaction and improved economics, the company claims.

Read more: Healthcare: The IoT doesn’t need no AI hype

Transforming healthcare

Dr. Nersi Nazari, chairman and CEO of VitalConnect, said that wearable biosensors are capable of transforming the medical world and that his firm is a key part of this.

“The integration of wearable biosensors into existing and emerging healthcare environments will change the care paradigm within hospitals as well as enable virtual care opportunities that were never before possible,” he said.

“Biosensors, when paired with sophisticated data analytics platforms, have the unique opportunity to enable better care for patients while reducing costs for hospitals – a win for both patients and providers.”

Read more: Healthcare professionals hit by Internet of Things reality check

High praise

Anne Sissel, vice president and head of Baxter Ventures, praised the company.“VitalConnect provides an innovative biosensor and monitoring solution to enable predictive and personalized patient care,” she said.

“Baxter Ventures is pleased to invest in VitalConnect and support its innovative approach for improving patient care.”

Dr. Stephen Reeders, founder of MVM, is to join the VitalConnect board of directors as the part of the deal, with a remit to help the company grow globally.

He said: “MVM has been looking for some time for a wireless technology that can deliver better care for patients and a high return on investment for providers, across a range of care environments. We have found it in VitalConnect.”

Read more: Scalpel, clamp, VR headset: A surgeon’s quest to fix healthcare

The rise of health wearables

Phil Brunkard, CIO of local government and health at BT, said wearables are transforming healthcare. “Devices with sensors worn by patients can collect data on blood pressure or oxygen levels, glucose levels, sleep patterns and coagulation rates,” he said.

“The connected medical wearables and even implants can also check patients are taking their prescribed medicines and perhaps even administer drugs too”.

“The potential to integrate wearable patient monitoring devices into existing patient care record systems, healthcare diagnostic and prescription systems would also make it easier to track patient recovery and health outcomes.”

The post VitalConnect raises $ 33 million for its remote patient monitoring tech appeared first on Internet of Business.

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