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