EHRs among top technology priorities for health care executives
Electronic health records are among theÂ top 10 technologies that health care executivesÂ should pay close attention toÂ this year, according to a new report fromÂ research firm ECRI Institute, HealthcareÂ IT News reports.
The report — titled, âTop 10 C-SuiteÂ Watch List: Hospital Technology IssuesÂ for 2012â — aims to help health care executives Â prioritize their efforts to implementÂ and improve health care technologies.
In its discussion of EHRs, the reportÂ notes that medical device integration andÂ the federal meaningful use program ultimately Â aim to improve health care and patientÂ safety. Successful deployment shouldÂ not only ensure reimbursement, but alsoÂ enhance patient safety and quality of care,Â facilitate nursing workflow and increase Â physician and nursing satisfaction.
Medical students using virtual human bodies to learn about anatomyfor health care executives
New YorkÂ UniversityâsÂ School ofÂ Medicine isÂ pioneering Â the use ofÂ 3-D simulationÂ technology Â to teach medicalÂ students aboutÂ human anatomy, the Â New York Times reports.
In a laboratory atÂ NYU Langone MedicalÂ Center in Manhattan, Â anatomy students wearÂ 3-D glasses to dissectÂ virtual human bodies Â that are displayed on aÂ projector screen.
Using a computer, studentsÂ can examine closeupÂ views of simulated Â 3-D organs and otherÂ anatomic structures thatÂ are animated to function Â as they would in a livingÂ body.
John QualterÂ — an assistantÂ professor of educationalÂ informatics at Â NYUâs School of MedicineÂ and the founder Â of BioDigital Systems,Â which created the virtualÂ human models — said the Â program is âlike a livingÂ digital textbook.â
Qualter said Bio-Â Digital plans to furtherÂ develop the technologyÂ on its medical educationÂ website to provide Â a searchable, customizableÂ map of the humanÂ body that could be Â used by physicians andÂ medical websites. NYUÂ administrators saidÂ they plan to use the virtual Â human bodies as aÂ complementary teachingÂ method that will Â not replace the use ofÂ real human cadavers,Â which provide a more Â tactile understanding ofÂ anatomy.
Bharti Airtel ReligareÂ Technologies to offerÂ medical advisory
Airtel, Indiaâs largest mobile phone operator,Â has recently tied-up with Religare Technologies,Â a company controlled by promoters ofÂ the Fortis hospital chain, to offer healthcareÂ solutions and guidance over telephone.
By paying an introductory tele-consultationÂ fee of Rs 15 a call, Airtel customers canÂ get basic medical guidance on non- mergencyÂ health problems through this service,Â 24 hours, seven days a week. Airtel chargesÂ just 50p for this call. With a customer baseÂ of 173 million, Airtelâs latest value addition isÂ expected to provide a productive platformÂ for Religare to promote their e-health service.
Airtel is not the first to introduce a mobileÂ health scheme in the country, a recent trend.Â Some months earlier, telecom operatorsÂ Aircel and Idea had launched a similar serviceÂ in association with the Apollo HospitalÂ group-promoted Healthnet Global.
US diagnostic market to witness unprecedented growth
The US diagnostic market holds a significant share in the global diagnostic market, andÂ accounts for the majority of the total healthcare market. A huge investment in researchÂ and development, and commercially successful innovations in the diagnostic industry hasÂ facilitated the US to outperform other prominent diagnostic markets, including the EU andÂ Japan. According to a latest report, âUS Diagnostic Market Outlook 2014â, by RNCOS, theÂ increasing prevalence of chronic and infectious diseases, emergence of new technologiesÂ in molecular diagnostics, and awareness among health professionals and patients willÂ lead to a further growth in the US diagnostic market.
The report, which is spread over 60 pages, provides an in-depth research and rationalÂ analysis of the current demand for the diagnostic products and clinical lab services marketÂ in the United States. It also provides the forecasts for IVD products, medical imagingÂ equipment and clinical lab services market for 2012-2014.
PET can detect mediastinal lymphomaÂ in children
FDG uptake of thymus measured by PET/CT is an effectiveÂ indicator for the differentiation of mediastinal lymphomaÂ from normal thymus in pediatric patients, according to aÂ study published in Radiology.
Heike E. Daldrup-Link, MD, of Stanford University SchoolÂ of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues wanted to Â evaluate the use of PET/CT in diagnosing malignant lymphomas,Â which are the most common pediatric malignantÂ masses of the anterior and middle mediastinum. More than Â two-thirds of pediatric patients with Hodgkin lymphoma andÂ half of pediatric patients with lymphoblastic non-HodgkinÂ lymphoma present with a mediastinal mass, according toÂ the studyâs background information.
The researchers retrospectively reviewed 282 FDG-PET/Â CT studies in 75 pediatric oncology patients, who were dividedÂ into four groups: 16 with anterior mediastinal lymphomaÂ (group a), five with anterior mediastinal lymphoma with subsequentÂ recurrence (group b), 16 with lymphoma outside the Â mediastinum (group c) and 38 with other malignant tumorsÂ outside the thymus (group d). The analysis included theÂ measurement of maximum standardized uptake values ofÂ anterior mediastinal mass, thymus (SUVt), on PET images.
Results of the study showed a mean prechemotherapyÂ SUVt of 4.82 for group a, 8.45 for group b, 2.00 for groupÂ c and 2.09 for group d. Postchemotherapy SUVt for groupÂ b was 4.74 and thymic rebound was seen in 44 percent of Â patients at an average interval of 10 months from the end ofÂ chemotherapy.
Biocon sees larger licensing incomeÂ from pharma
Biocon , Indiaâs top-listed biotechnology company, expects toÂ generate larger licensing income from pharmaceuticals business,Â its Chairman and Managing Director said.
The Bangalore-based drugmaker earlier said consolidated net Â profit fell 15.8 percent in December quarter, while revenue roseÂ 3 percent. The sales growth in the fiscal third quarter ended DecemberÂ 31 was flat on lower licensing income.The company said, Â licensing fees and income dropped to 292 million rupees in October-Â December from 768 million rupees a year earlier.
Bioconâs presence straddles four main therapeutic areas â Diabetology, Â Cardiology, Nephrology and Oncology â even as it plansÂ to introduce two new divisions, Comprehensive Care, and Immunotherapy,
Wal-Mart plans ambitious expansion into medical care
Wal-Mart issued a statement saying itsÂ request for partners to provide primaryÂ care services was âoverwritten and incorrect.â Â The firm is ânot building a national,Â integrated low-cost primary health Â care platform,â according to the statementÂ by Dr. John Agwunobi, a seniorÂ vice president for health and wellness atÂ the retailer.
The nationâs largest retailer is planningÂ to offer medical services ranging fromÂ the management of diabetes to HIV infections, Â NPR and Kaiser Health NewsÂ have learned.
In the same week in late October thatÂ Wal-Mart said it would stop offeringÂ health insurance benefits to new parttimeÂ employees, the retailer sent out aÂ request for partners to help it âdramatically Â … lower the cost of healthcare … byÂ becoming the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation.â
The 14-page request, which you canÂ read here, asks firms to spell out their expertiseÂ in a wide variety of areas, includingÂ managing and monitoring patientsÂ with chronic, costly health conditions.Â Partners are to be selected in January.
Analysts said Wal-Mart is likely positioningÂ itself to boost store traffic, possiblyÂ by expanding the number of itsÂ in-store medical clinics and the servicesÂ they offer.
The move would also capitalize onÂ growing demand for primary care inÂ 2014, when the federal health law fullyÂ kicks in and millions more Americans areÂ expected to have government or privateÂ health insurance.
âWe have a massive primary careÂ problem that will be made worse byÂ health reform,â says Ian Morrison, aÂ Menlo Park, Â Calif.-based health-careÂ consultant. âAnyone who has a plausibleÂ idea on how to solve this should be allowedÂ to play.â
In-store medical clinics, such as thoseÂ offered by Wal-Mart and other retailers,Â could also be players in another effort inÂ the health law: collaborations between Â doctors and hospitals to streamline careÂ and lower costs.