Tag: "health IT"

Unconnected Medical Devices Harm Patients

The federal government’s dominance of health information Technology (HIT) has been most apparent, and most harmful, in electronic health records (EHRs). However, the hand of government must lie heavily in other parts of health care, too.

An example is medical devices hooked up to patients at the hospital. Remarkably, these devices do not talk to each other, requiring nurses to waste time transcribing data from one device to another. This infographic summarizes a survey of 500 nurses commissioned by the West Health Institute:

Copyright: West Health Institute (2015)

Copyright: West Health Institute (2015)

 

These are appalling figures. I don’t know about you, but I figured out how to connect my VCR to my TV sometime during the 1980s. Medical devices are heavily regulated by the FDA. The fact that devices critical to hospital patients’ health are still not connected strikes me as a likely consequence of over-regulation.

Hits and Misses

Women jogging

Jogging may be good for your heart: But endurance runners are more likely to die from heat stroke than a heart attack.

Big shrink is listening: A smart phone app that monitors your voice for signs of manic/depression.

There’s little reliable evidence that fish oil helps prevent heart disease.

Ridiculous study or common sense? Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life.

Your dog wears a watch: Why your dog seems to know what time it is.

Hits and Misses

Pediatrician Examining ToddlerA medical student wants “to do the greatest good for the greatest number.” What kind of doctor should he/she become? Tyler Cowen answers. So does David Henderson.

The health co-ops are failing.

Can teledentistry actually work?

Eli Lilly’s answer to fake drugs: A $110 million bar code system with secret codes.

Hits and Misses

Laptop and StethoscopeFederal government has seven different definitions of “health information technology“.

More evidence that medical homes don’t work.

A $295 spoon can detect and counter tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

$175 million worth of worker output lost during first two days of college hoops’ “March Madness“.

Hits and Misses

Milton Friedman’s legacy.

Tom Miller is disappointed in the Coburn/Burr/Hatch health reform bill.

South Korea will not regulate Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (a smartphone with a heart-rate sensor) as a medical device. (See also previous blog entry)

Medicare Advantage cuts: Insurers’ advocacy campaign contradicts Wall Street analysts’ rosy outlook.

Hits and Misses

More evidence: The larger your waist, the higher your risk of dying.

Could robots replace optometrists in giving eye exams?

More lies about ObamaCare?

Up to 70 percent of doctor visits can actually be handled over the phone.

Hits and Misses

How the iPhone will radically change the practice of medicine. (Fascinating video)

Finding: Being really rich makes you very happy.

Health Wonk review is up.

Only 1.6% of climate scientists believe that humans are the main cause of global warming.

Digital Medicine

Today, all the physiological data monitored in a hospital intensive-care unit — including ECG, blood pressure, pulse, oxygenation, sugar level, breathing rate and body temperature — can be recorded and analyzed continuously in real time on a smartphone. A small piece of hardware, either the size of a cellphone, or one integrated with a cellphone, held against your body, functions as an ultrasound device. It can deliver information instantly to you or anyone you designate, and the information rivals that collected in a physician’s office or hospital setting. It can do so when you are experiencing specific symptoms — no appointment necessary — and at virtually no additional cost.

Thanks to more than 20 Silicon Valley startups and advances in microfluidic technology, smartphones will soon be able to function as a mobile, real-time resource for rapidly obtaining all the studies done currently in a medical laboratory, including chemistries, blood values and microbiological studies. A device worn on the wrist, called Visi, has been approved by the FDA for hospital use that can measure your heart’s electrical activity, respiratory rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure (without a cuff), and transmit the data wirelessly. Many other such devices are coming out that could be used by patients in their own homes. (WSJ)

Hits and Misses

MDLivdoctor_laptope: One of the fastest-growing telemedicine startups where patients can register in minutes to speak with a board certified physician by email, on the phone, or in a video call.

Can exercise reduce cancer risk?

By the end of 2015, roughly 75% of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a private managed care plan.

Around 50 percent of the SP500′s earnings are generated overseas…This means that our stock market is to some extent decoupled from our economy.

Government scientists deliberately giving volunteers the flu.

Does More Health Insurance Lead to More Medical Innovation?

Following Medicare and Medicaid’s passage, I find that U.S.-based medical-equipment patenting rose by 40 to 50 percent relative to both other U.S. patenting and foreign medical-equipment patenting. Within the United States, increases in medical-equipment patenting were most dramatic in states where the Great Society insurance expansions were largest and in which there were large baseline numbers of physicians per resident. Consistent with historical case studies, Medical innovation’s determinants extend beyond the potential revenues associated with global market size; a physician driven process of innovation-while-doing appears to play a central role. An extrapolation of the evidence suggests that the last half century’s U.S. insurance expansions have driven 25 percent of recent global medical-equipment innovation. In a standard decomposition of health spending growth, this insurance-induced innovation accounts for 15 percent of the long run rise in U.S. health spending in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other clinical settings.

Jeffrey Clemens, NBER Working Paper.