Saturday, December 15, 2007

Physicians in Wales Use Online Videos To Educate Patients

I mentioned this web site about a year ago, but I see they updated their site and its still pretty cool.



GP launches YouTube health films

A GPs' surgery in mid Wales has launched a series of health education films on YouTube, better known as a website featuring home videos.

Advice about flu vaccination and cervical screening are two of the topics covered by Builth and Llanwrtyd Medical Practice in Powys.

Doctors said they wanted to help educate their 7,700 patients and a wider global audience.

Last year, the surgery launched a series of podcasts to advise patients.

YouTube allows users to upload their home videos and other clips online.

Dr Richard Walters, who helped to develop the practice's project, said surgeries normally printed leaflets to advise patients, but added that things were changing.

Sometimes getting patients to watch a quick video on the computer screen is a lot easier.
Dr Richard Walters

He told the Western Mail newspaper: "There are a lot of things that we do in a GP practice that have to be conveyed to patients, some of which are not easy to demonstrate within the surgery.

"Sometimes getting patients to watch a quick video on the computer screen is a lot easier."

He added: "We are a practice in rural mid Wales, shops in Hereford and Aberystwyth are an hour away, Cardiff an hour-and-a-half, so although broadband access is not ideal, people tend to use the internet for all sorts of things."

The practice, which covers more than 500 square miles (1,295 sq kms), hopes its advice online will avoid unnecessary travelling to a see a doctor.

The videos include tips about asthma inhalers, smear testing, blood sugar testing and the winter flu vaccine, and are made by two practice nurses.

New topics are planned to be added every month.

As well as being available on YouTube, the videos are posted on the practice's own website and can be downloaded onto an MP3 player.

The surgery is no stranger to using modern technology to get across its health messages to patients.

Last year, it launched podcasts demonstrating, among other topics, how to use an asthma inhaler properly.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Selected Examples of Cell Phone Technology Used in Healthcare

Selected Examples of Cell Phone Technology Used in Healthcare

Thanks to Leslie atVirtual Medical World for the link.

In the examples below, you will see a variety of ways that cell phones and PDAs are already beginning to be used in healthcare to monitor vital signs and respiration rates, analyze EKG patterns and send the information to a call center or EHR systems, store emergency medical information, maintain personal health records, locate wandering patients, connect providers to patients, put accurate information immediately at the clinician's fingertips when needed, and so much more.

SkyScape's MedAlert is a new service that delivers comprehensive medical reference alerts by specialty to your cell phone. Now, it's easier than ever to stay updated on your specialty without having to read voluminous articles and news releases. You simply choose Journal summaries and breaking medical news resources that interest you and have them sent directly to your cell phone. MedAlert allows you to instantly improve your efficiency and productivity while greatly enhancing patient satisfaction at point of care. See

CellularMD is the first mobility suite available that healthcare enables the device providers already carry: their cell phone. CellularMD isn't a cell phone, but a suite of healthcare applications that can be loaded on many of today's cell phones and PDAs. The suite mobilizes the healthcare tasks of dictation, document signature, prescription, billing and more. To complete the picture, remember all of the functionality of today's organizer applications: calendar, scheduler, address book, e-mail, instant messaging and more. See

MedicTouch Pulse Meter - MedicTouch LLC, developer of the first cellular wearable health and wellness devices, and Sun Microsystems Inc., launched the Pulse Meter mobile health solution for Java technology-enabled mobile phone in 2004. MedicTouch Pulse Meter is the first mobile health and wellness monitor that allows users to monitor their pulse, view the results in a high-resolution screen on a Java technology-enabled mobile phone, and transmit the data to a Java compliant server. The Pulse Meter and Java mobile phone combination creates an ideal health monitoring solution for sport enthusiasts, the elderly, rehabilitation outpatients and health care providers; providing health monitoring anytime, anyplace, anywhere. See

Wherifone - Wherify Wireless Inc. is a developer of patented wireless location solutions and services for family safety and communications. In 2006 it was reported that their Wherifone was the world's first GSM/GPS locator cell phone designed specifically for children and seniors. The two-way cell phone has built-in Aided-GPS location and "managed dial" features that allow family and care providers to quickly locate and communicate with their elderly patients and relatives.

Wireless Obstetrics Monitoring Device - In October 2006, Virtual Medical Worlds reported that Fairview Hospital was the first hospital in the United States to use a new wireless technology to monitor the progress of high-risk pregnancies and other obstetrics patients remotely. The wireless technology allows obstetricians to use their personal digital assistants (PDAs) or Smart Phones to remotely access fetal heart tracings, maternal contraction patterns, up-to-date nursing notes, and other critical, virtual real-time data transmitted from the hospital's labor and delivery unit. See

Ring Sensor is an ambulatory, telemetric, continuous health monitoring device developed by d'Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology at MIT. It combines basic photo plethysmographic techniques with low-power telemetry. Worn by the patient as a finger ring, it is capable of monitoring vital signs related to cardiovascular health. Remote monitoring is possible via a wireless link transmitting patient's vital signs to a cellular phone or computer. According to an April 2004 article in Technology Review, clinical trials have been done in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital's emergency room, and researchers are now working on commercialization of the ring-sized device. See

LifeComm - San Diego wireless technology giant Qualcomm is planning to launch a mobile network that would allow people to use their cell phones to manage myriad health issues including diabetes and dieting. Called LifeComm, the service would offer cell phones that could double as glucose meters to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetics, track aerobic activity in dieters or otherwise function as a medical device. The new wireless phone service is expected to launch in 2008 in the United States. See

Clinical Imaging - Use of cell phones to send images via e-mail to consulting physicians at remote locations appears to be a feasible approach for visualization of chronic leg ulcerations, according to an article in the February 2005 issue of the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. See

Finally, in an article from ScienceDaily.Com, it was reported that a Michigan hospital has cut in half the time it takes to begin life-saving treatment of heart attack patients by using cell phones to transmit electrocardiograms (ECG) from the field, according to a study published in the November 2005 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. See

Cell Phones, PDAs, and EHR SystemsIn addition to the above, there are a growing number of other examples clearly showing that the use of cell phones or PDAs to view or interact with a patient's electronic health record (EHR) continues to grow and evolve rapidly. As hospitals and clinics acquire EHR systems over this next decade, cell phones and PDAs will be an integral part of the architecture that is deployed. The following are just a few examples that illustrate what is happening in this arena.

When handheld personal digital assistants hit the market in the late 1990s, the Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) immediately started exploring how clinicians could use them, both on the battlefield and in military treatment facilities. Medical PDAs - called MDAs at TATRC - can improve medical record keeping, give providers instant access to medical information and patient histories, alert providers to lab results, speed up the flow of patient information among providers and commanders, and may shorten the time first responders spend on the battlefield filling out forms. For more information about this and other innovations visit

NTT Docomo has devised a mobile phone based medical records database for nurses and doctors on the move. On it was recently reported that the password-protected system is being used by the Kameda Medical Center who visit around 200 patients in the region. The data is viewed using the Docomo Foma 3G handset and lets the doctors and nurses access the patients' hospital records.

As of July 2007, Life Record was pleased to announce, that as of July 2007, they were the first and only EMR to run perfectly on the Apple iPhone. Life Record EMR is an Electronic Medical Record application for use in medical practices of all types. Given the recent buzz about the iPhone, we had to include this in the article. See

CapMed is making emergency medical information on individuals available via cell phone technology. The CapMed system, known as ICE First, is compatible with phones from several standard manufacturers. CapMed's system allows consumers to securely store and manage selected emergency medical record information in their cell phones and on the web. Using the website allows you to easily update your information, and to make sure you have a backup copy of your information in case you're ever in an emergency and don't have your phone. For more information visit

PocketMD - is in wide use throughout the nation's system of Veterans hospitals. Pocket MD uses Windows Mobile and Pocket PCs. With it, doctors have wireless access to complete patient records stored in the Veterans Health Administration VistA database. Pocket MD, based in Fargo, N.D., is working on extensions for its product that would enable doctors to update patient records on the fly, order medications, and record vital signs. While originally designed around the VA's highly acclaimed VistA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), PocketMD now supports a full array of commercial legacy EHR systems from McKesson to Cerner, Siemens, and MEDITECH. See

Finally, according to a recent article in Information Week, starting at the end of March 2007, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania plans to provide 100,000 of its members - and later all 600,000 - electronic access to their and their dependents' personal health records. Members will be able to access their information from cell phones, as well as PDAs and PCs. The information, which includes recent diagnoses, prescribed medications, and immunizations, will be culled from the insurer's claims data and information that members provide. "It's not a complete record, but it will have relevant diagnoses and drug information, which members can share with doctors or others", said Dr. Drew Palin, Chief Development Officer at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. See

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Automated health counselors help reduce readmission rates and encourage positive behavioral choices.

Automated health counselors help reduce readmission rates and encourage positive behavioral choices.
In busy clinics and hospitals, clinicians struggle to spend adequate time with every patient. There are rarely enough hours in the day to answer each patient’s questions or to thoroughly instruct each one in complex medication or self-care regimens, let alone test the comprehension of this information...

Research Data Show Variations in E-Health Behaviors

New data from the National Research Corporation show that e-health behaviors can vary significantly based on a user's age, chronic conditions, insurance coverage and income. To be successful, Web-based health services must be easy to use, offer convenience and provide real value...

Victoria Order of Nurses launches patient monitoring program

VON Canada and the Erie St. Clair Community Care and Access Centre are pleased to announce the launch of an innovative chronic disease self-management program called Stay @ Home. The first phase of the program, in the Chatham-Kent region of Ontario, is aimed at 20-25 individuals with diabetes who are at risk of hospitalization or emergency room visits. It introduces the use of a telehome monitoring program enhanced by disease specific education and self-management classes.

“The project offers yet another tangible example of what can be done to improve patient care and comfort in their homes, while helping to reduce burdens on hospitals and the healthcare system,” says Dr. Judith Shamian (pictured), President and CEO of VON Canada. “This project allows clients to remain in their homes instead of in an institutional setting and to play an active role in their treatment and recovery. It’s a great example of the application of technology bringing about a win-win for both patients and hospitals.”

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Call for Papers

* ICMCC Event 2008
* Patient Empowerment – The Power of Information
* WBS, University of Westminster
* London, UK
* June 9-11, 2008

Please find the call for papers for the ICMCC Event 2008, the annual conference of the International Council on Medical & Care Compunetics – ICMCC (

For its fifth annual event, ICMCC will focus on the power of information. Information is both the result of data put to use and, once combined with experience, the basis of knowledge. If used properly it can empower patients, both actively and passively.
Information is one of the primordial aspects of medical and care compunetics, the field of social, societal and ethical aspects of computing and networking.
Therefore information related aspects will be at the core of the 2008 event program and this call for papers.

The main themes of the conference are:
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Approaches
Patient Record Access
Data- , Information-, Knowledge Management

Authors are encouraged to focus their contributions from a patient’s perspective.

Accepted papers will be published in “Medical and Care Compunetics 5” (IOS Press - "Studies in Health Technology and Informatics"), available at the conference.

Papers can be sent as mail attachments to mentioning "Event paper" in the subject line before February 18, 2008.

For more detailed information please refer to

HC2008 Call for Participations - 7 days to deadline

HC2008 INVITATION TO THE FUTURE 21-23 April 2008 Frontline care services are about to undergo even more substantial change in order to meet the challenges of providing healthcare and social care in the digital age. The focus of the 2008 event, therefore, is on looking forward. It will consider how care services could look in five or more years time and how best to get there.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

“The Digital Health Revolution”

Interesting web site from The Dr Geek M.D.,

ScribeMedia is producing a new WebTV Show called “The Digital Health
Revolution” (DHR):

This bi-weekly program chronicles how the Internet, computers, mobile
phones and other technologies are impacting health globally.

A major emphasis of DHR will be on how social media (e.g, blogs,
podcasts and social networks) have handed unprecedented power to the
masses. It features in-depth and intimate interviews with the people
who are researching, using and creating the digital technologies that
are reshaping health today.

The show is hosted by Fard Johnmar, founder of healthcare marketing
communications consultancy Envision Solutions, LLC
( Johnmar has been recognized globally
for his social media expertise. He also writes HealthcareVox
(, which was listed as one of the world’s top
50 English language blogs by

Thursday, October 11, 2007

E -Mailing Doctors Boosts Health Access, Quality, Study Finds

Parents who contacted their child's pediatrician through e-mail reported increased access to care and improved quality of care, according to a study in the October issue of Pediatrics, Reuters Health reports.

Paul Rosen and C. Kent Kwoh of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied results from a physician e-mail access program over a two-year period. Along with improved access and quality of care, families who used the program also said they had a "better understanding of their child's medical tests," Rosen said.

The researchers found using the e-mail program provided responses from physicians 57% faster than using the telephone.

Forty percent of the 848 e-mails were sent outside business hours, according to the study.
The program asked that participants not use e-mail for emergencies. Researchers found that 5.7% of total messages were urgent, such as notification of new symptoms or an expectation of a same-day response from the doctor.

"Patients would like the ability to e-mail their doctors," Rosen said, adding, "More physicians should consider providing the service" (Douglas, Reuters Health, 10/10).

Friday, October 5, 2007

from the web2.0 meeting...The history of health

Interesting and thought provoking video on you tube.

Thanks to Joan the Swiss Ms for the link.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More Patients Use Cell Phones To Manage Chronic Diseases

There is a growing push to employ common electronic devices to monitor chronic diseases, let patients confer with physicians remotely and encourage stricter adherence to medication, diet and exercise, the National Post reports.

For example, the average blood pressure reading of 31 patients was significantly reduced when they used a cell phone-based system that sent alerts to patients and physicians when their blood pressures got too high or too low, according to a study in this month's American Journal of Hypertension.Researchers launched the study at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto because blood pressure tends to fluctuate and is affected by external factors, but doctors usually see just an isolated reading, making it difficult to treat effectively.Study participants used a blood pressure cuff equipped with a Bluetooth device that automatically transmitted data to the cell phone, which then sent the readings to a central server.

Algorithms determined if the reading was too high or too low and sent alerts to doctors and patients when necessary using a standard landline. Doctors also received a series of readings via fax before a patient's visit. A larger clinical trial using BlackBerry devices is being conducted to confirm the initial findings.Other health care applications for cell phones also are being investigated. A Health Canada team is encouraging drug companies to record and transmit photos of patients' meals via cell phone during clinical trials for diabetes drugs in an effort to compare the effect of diet and exercise to medications, the Post reports.

In addition, cell phone network provider Qualcomm by late 2008 hopes to launch Lifecomm, a monthly service that provides health care applications to cell phones. Don Jones, Qualcomm's health vice president, said that he thinks the next major market probably will be for phones that allow patients to video conference

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Researchers Tap GPS, PDAs For Malaria Prevention

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are using PDA software and GPS navigation systems to collect data on homes in Nigeria that have bed nets treated with insecticides. Without such equipment, data collection took researchers weeks to compile. They now spend about a day collecting the information.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Children's Advocacy Group Releases Telemedicine Report: E-Health ...

I am almost totally convinced that is one of the ways we can promote telehealth.

The Children’s Partnership (TCP) released an Issue Brief, “Meeting the Health Care Needs of California’s Children: The Role of Telemedicine,” today to inform leaders and the public of how telemedicine can address the health care needs of California’s children. The brief pays particular attention to children who are low-income and living in medically underserved areas. The full report is available for download at:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 - August 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Kaiser Tracking Poll Finds Health Care Follows Only Iraq Among Issues The Public Wants Presidential Candidates to Talk About In the Campaign

Health Care Second To Iraq Among Both Republicans and Independents, While Democrats For the First Time Rank The Two Issues Equally Among Topics They Want Candidates To Discuss

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 - August 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Looking for partnerships

Fraunhofer IGD ( is looking for partners (companies and/or universities and/or organizations) to complete the consortium for a telemedicine project, which is going to operate in ACP countries ( , Africa and Caribean and Pacific counries) and MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER COUNTRIES ( Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinianadministered areas, Syrian Arab, Tunisia)
Eligible partners to join the consortium can be seen partners coming form ACP, MPC countries or Europe and having medical background and previously worked in telemedicine projects.

The project will aim to the maternity and child care. We are going to develop a medical network that addresses the problems of providing maternal health care from a distance. The medical network will be supported by expert physicians located in urban cities of Africa and Europe. The medical applications will focus on pre-natal and maternal care and in extend to both gynaecology and paediatrics and typical infectious diseases for the region such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
The examinations will involve ultrasound examination (2D and/or 3D), blood test and blood test imaging for automation diagnosis. All the patient information, extracted from the examinations will be stored in a healthcare database, along with the demographic information and medication prescription.
The project will aim to generate, share and use knowledge through research partnerships with third countries in the areas identified through bi-regional dialogues with third countries/regions and international fora, on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit. Research areas may include: health policy research, health systems and health care service research, neglected infectious diseases and emerging unforeseen policy needs in those regions, as well as other topics of strategic importance.

Best wishes,

---------------------------------------------------Fraunhofer IGDDepartment Cognitive Computing & Medical ImagingIlias Sachpazidis phone:+49/(0)/6151/155 507Fraunhoferstr. 5 fax :+49/(0)/6151/155 480D-64283 Darmstadt Ilias.Sachpazidis@igd.fhg.deGermany

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Petra Wilson and Christopher Nolan appointed HIMSS EMEA Governing Council Chair and Vice Chair

Petra Wilson, a Director for Public Sector Healthcare in Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), has been elected Chair of the HIMSS EMEA Governing Council. Christopher Nolan from the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland is appointed Vice Chair. Both were unanimously elected by the HIMSS EMEA Governing Council on 2 July 2007, and will serve for one year, until 30 June 2008.

"I am honoured by the confidence and trust that my colleagues on the Council have shown, and feel privileged to be part of HIMSS' mission to advance the uptake of health IT. I fully support the mission and goals of HIMSS and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Council and the staff in the Brussels office on expanding HIMSS' efforts in the EMEA region," said Petra Wilson.

Petra Wilson has for the past 18 months held the post of Director for Public Sector Healthcare in Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Prior to her current position, she was Deputy Director of the European Health Management Association (EHMA) in Brussels, where she was responsible for the development of its relations with the European Commission and other EU Institutions. This role enabled her to advise a wide number of European healthcare organisations on EU health policies. Petra is originally from the UK, is fluent in German and French, and holds a doctorate in public health law from Oxford University.

"I have been an "international" member of HIMSS for some 15 years and in recent years our number, as well as attendance at HIMSS events, has grown. HIMSS EMEA is a clear answer to our contribution and I am delighted to be a member of its inaugural Council and Vice Chair," said Chris Nolan.

Christopher Nolan has more than thirty years of experience working in health IT. His past and current positions also include Director of Healthcare Informatics Training Services Ltd. in Ireland, founder member of the HealthCare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Healthcare Informatics Standards Committee of the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Fellow of the Irish Computer Society, board member of the EuroRec Institute and joint owner of a nursing home, residential home and community care organisation. He has worked on acute care hospital information systems, laboratories, pharmacy, radiology and imaging, as well as all other departments including finance and administration.

"I look forward to working with Dr. Wilson and Mr. Nolan. They complement each other well: their combined forty-five years experience spans almost all aspects and sectors of health IT in the region, and they bring enormous expertise and knowledge to HIMSS EMEA," said Michael StrĂ¼bin, HIMSS EMEA Executive Director.

The ten-member HIMSS EMEA Governing Council is composed of health IT professionals from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and represents various countries, regions, constituencies and language communities. The Council provides strategic advice and guidance to the HIMSS EMEA office that was opened in Brussels in September 2006. The HIMSS EMEA office offers information, networking and professional development services specifically targeted towards health IT professionals in the EMEA region.