Monday, September 15, 2014

Is he the Steve Jobs for Health Care or a super-rich hypomanic snake oil salesman?

His reputation precedes him, he has had some failures but also manages to turn lemons into lemonade, one foot in the Venture Capital arena, the other in a 'gestalt' of health innovation and organizational abilities.  Forbes Magazine featured him as the icon of "The Manhattan Project". They titled the article,

Medicine's Manhattan Project: Can The World's Richest Doctor Fix Health Care?

His biography, and resume demonstrate an outstanding presence, and personal charm, daring to go 'where no man has gone before'.  His accomplishments are diverse, especially manipulating his financial treasure to march forward on his mission of disrupting medicine with innovative ideas, merging new tools together.  Many have and are trying to accomplish this same goal. Perhaps he has become more visible due to his extroversion and lack of fear from the establishment, since he is independent of grant funds private or public. He is a quiet speaker and refrains from bold and embellished ideas.
Will he be another icon of Disruptive Men in Medicine ?

Before                                                                                                        After

Read, and judge for yourself.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Google Glass is now available in the U.K.

United States physicians have had the advantages of Google Glass for the past year.  Glass just recently was released for use in the U.K.

Kathi Browne of BrowneKnows, a well known social media moderator on Health Care Talk had the opportunity to discuss the promise of Google Glass for users and developers in the U.K.  In this Google Hangout several medical developers discuss their use and plans for Google Glass.

Now that Google Glass has been made available to the UK, we are seeing many new Glass explorers stepping forward in  +Giannis Anastasiadis  is interested in developing healthcare Glassware. If you have an idea you wish someone would develop for Glass, share it. For those of you who wish to become Glass Explorers,

While Google Glass is not yet  HIPAA compliant there are  developer plans to make it so. Currently Glass users must receive permission from patients if it is used for them. The potential for use of Glass in Healthcare is enormous, more than I want to cover in this post, and will be listed elsewhere (as of September 30, 2014. 

The current iteration of  google glass has some limitations for medical use. It currently has not been cleared as a 'biomedical device', requiring specific adminstrative consent for use in a health facility, for reasons of legal liability. It is a small and powerful computer, generating much heat and was designed for very short bursts of information rather that a continuous use video recorder.

If you are a physician,  surgeon or a google glass developer, we would like to hear from you, for either a post or a Google Hangout Conference.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Are Disease-Related Facebook Pages Used?

iHealthBeat, Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds 32.2% of Facebook pages about diseases are for marketing and promotional purposes, while just 9.4% of such pages are used for general social support.

The study also shows:
  • 20.7% of disease-related Facebook pages aim to raise awareness; and
  • 15.5% provide Wikipedia-type information.
The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Partners HealthCare's Center for Connected Health and Stanford University School of Medicine.
Source: iHealthBeat, Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Study Finds Strengths of Social Media in Health Care, Room for Improvement

Social media in medicine continues to be controversial.  Those who are recent graduates and/or less than 35-40 years of age seem to have integrated social media within the context of HIPAA restrictions.  Most physicians do not use social media unless they restrict personal identification of patients. None offer treatment recommendations over an insecure connection, and their social media and web sites have a visible warning about information provided by their web site is for informational purposes only and not treatment.

recent study found that social networking websites like Facebook can be an important tool for both patients and providers but that such sites need to be further refined to fully realize their potential in health care.

In an iHealthBeat audio report by Rachel Dornhelm, experts discussed the future of social media and health care. The report includes comments from:
  • Timothy Hale, a research scientist at Partners HealthCare's Center for Connected Health;
  • Ben Heywood, co-founder and president of PatientsLikeMe;
  • Christina Thielst, a health administration contractor focusing on social media; and
  • Robert Wah, chief medical officer of Computer Sciences Corporation (Dornhelm, iHealthBeat, 8/20).

Doctors Report Loss of Practice Time After EHR Implementation

Our continuing research done by                      appears to corroborate earlier studies about decreased efficiency and decreased patient volume with the implementation of electronic health records.

Doctors say they waste on average up to four hours per week when using electronic health records, according to a research letter in JAMA Internal MedicineU.S. News & World Report reports. 

Research Letter Details

For the research letter, researchers from the National Library of Medicine's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications analyzed the results of a survey conducted in December 2012 by American College of Physicians (Leonard, U.S. News & World Report, 9/8).
The survey consisted of 19 questions and received responses from 411 internal medicine attending physicians and trainees who worked in an ambulatory practice and used an EHR system (McDonald et al., JAMA Internal Medicine, 9/8).


A difference was noted between practicing clinicians and trainees (residents).
The research letter, which was presented Monday at the National Library of Medicine, found that the mean loss of time for physicians was 48 minutes per day, compared with a mean loss of 18 minutes per day for trainees (U.S. News & World Report, 9/8).
Specifically, the research letter found that after EHR implementation:
  • 89.8% of respondents said at least one data management function was slower;
  • 63.9% of respondents said the time spent taking notes increased;
  • 33.9% of respondents said the time spent finding and reviewing patient data took longer; and
  • 32.2% of respondents said they spent more time reading other clinicians' notes (JAMA Internal Medicine, 9/8).
The authors wrote, "We can only speculate as to whether better computer skills, shorter (half-day) clinic assignments with proportionately less exposure to EMR time costs, or other factors account for the trainees’ smaller per-day time loss" 
Author:  Our experience is that trainees are often using a particular EMR for the first time, which does not require an 'unlearning experience" and that trainees (who are younger were brought up with computers during high school, elementary school, and college), in addition to their immersion in social media.  Some or all of these traits explain the difference in the findings.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Accelerator Launchpad picks five digital health startups | mobihealthnews

Mobile app development continues to accelerate at an ever increasing rate.  It becomes difficult to segregate the bad from the mediocre and good ones.  Here are a few new hopefuls.

Our Next several posts will summarize many hopeful startups as 2014 progresses as predicted.

Accelerator Launchpad picks five digital health startups | mobihealthnews

San Francisco-based accelerator Launchpad Digital Health funded its first five companies this week.
Through the accelerator, the companies receive between $200,000 and $500,000, office space in San Francisco, and advising with legal, accounting, and risk management issues. Launchpad focuses on companies that are working on wellness, remote monitoring, electronic health records, data analytics, and independent living support.

AddApp aims to provide users with context about their daily life. The app integrates data from other apps and devices that the user owns and puts the data into context. Some examples of insights that AddApp provides includes pointing out what gives the user a good night of sleep, showing users which days they are most active, and how they can run farther.

Lyfechannel develops programs for patients who have chronic diseases. The programs are designed to help patients who were recently diagnosed with a chronic disease and need additional help as they begin their care regimen like changing eating habits or getting used to a medication regimen. The program focuses on diabetes, pre-diabetes, COPD, smoking cessation, and heart health. According to an SEC filing, Lyfechannel raised $200,000.

Medable helps healthcare professionals, like physicians and payors, make apps that connect physicians and patients, store medical information safely, and follow the appropriate regulations. Providers can also use the app they make to communicate with each other. The company has built an API so that developers can build the program on Medable’s cloud platform.

QueueDr helps doctors add more appointments to their schedule if they have free time. A doctor’s office will use the platform to send texts to patients telling them about an open appointment slot so that that patients can get in to see the doctor earlier. has developed a “virtual nurse” that provides follow-up care to patients, focusing mostly on those that have chronic diseases. The company offers patients an avatar that analyzes the patient’s condition and provides insights into what steps patients should improve their health. Earlier this month, MobiHealthNews reported that is set to come out of beta later this year.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

EHRs Linked to Higher Revenue, Lower Patient Volume

EHRs Linked to Higher Revenue, Lower Patient Volume


Electronic health record implementation can result in reduced patient volume but can increase revenue over the long term, according to a study published in theJournal of the American Medical Informatics AssociationBecker's Hospital Review's "Hospital CIO" reports (Gregg, "Hospital CIO," Becker's Hospital Review, 9/3).
For the study, researchers from Drexel University compared patient volume and reimbursement at 30 ambulatory practices in the two years after EHR implementation with the practices' pre-implementation baseline (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 9/4).

Study Findings

The study found that practices' reimbursements increased "significantly," even as their number of patient visits declined (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 9/2). Specifically, practices on average submitted claims for 94 additional ancillary procedures per quarter after implementing an EHR system, while patient volume decreased on average by about 108 patients per quarter ("Hospital CIO," Becker's Hospital Review, 9/3).
The researchers wrote they did not find any indication of "upcoding or increased reimbursement rates to explain the increased revenues" (Clinical Innovation & Technology, 9/4).
They noted that their finding of increased revenues "is reassuring and offers a basis for further EHR investment," while their finding of decreased patient volume indicated that EHR systems were increasing practices' efficiency.

They recommended that any practices continuing to see declines in patient volume two years after implementing EHR systems should add analytics functionality to their EHR system to "focus on seeing the right patients" (FierceEMR, 9/2).