Category Archives: Health Information Technology

Using Apple Research Kit for Asthma Mobile Health Study

By Jennifer Salopek

Apple launched its Research Kit on March 9, “giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies,” according to a press release. The kit comprised five iPhone apps to gather data from participants with asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. The Asthma Health app was developed by a team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, led by Yvonne Chan, MD, PhD, FACEP. At a presentation at the AAMC Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems meeting in Austin last month, Chan detailed the preliminary results generated by the app.

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Offsite Clinical Pharmacist Provides Medication Expertise at U of Colorado

As with so many technology-facilitated relationships these days, researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine discovered that distance need not be a barrier when providing clinical pharmacy services to its outpatient family medicine clinics.  While onsite clinical pharmacy services had been offered at the university’s A.F. Williams Family Medicine clinic for more than 15 years, those services were not cost-effective for the three other, more distant clinics. By developing relationships built on mutual trust and respect, clinical pharmacists reviewing the medication regimens of patients with upcoming appointments via their EPIC electronic medical record have saved more than $52,000 in unnecessary high-cost drugs, among other impressive results. Study co-author Joseph J. Saseen, MD, explains further in this video interview with Wing of Zock editor Jennifer Salopek. The CU team was recognized for its work in the AAMC’s Clinical Care Innovation Challenge. A full abstract of the study can be found here.

Innovating Around the Concept of “Library”

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Although it occupies a physical structure made of brick, featuring study carrels and a circulation desk, the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia houses much more than books and journals. As it has sought to redefine itself in the digital age, as so many other medical libraries have done, CMHSL has added intangibles to its collection: knowledge, collaboration, experimentation, innovation. Indeed, Director and Associate Dean Gretchen Arnold and her staff have brought a fresh approach to the very definition of “library.”

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Health Care Field Optimistic About Innovation in Telehealth Landscape With Testing of eConsult Model

By Sarah Sonies

Despite concerns about possible challenges, telemedicine and other distance technologies such as e-consults, are developing rapidly, with many academic medical centers (AMCs) testing new models to improve patient care.

According to Michael R. Marquardt, MBA, MPH, director in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at the University of Virginia Health System, AMCs are uniquely positioned to provide telemedicine care because of their triple mission: patient care, medical education, and research. Continue reading Health Care Field Optimistic About Innovation in Telehealth Landscape With Testing of eConsult Model

Health Care Social Media Review

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Screen shot 2012-02-22 at 10.07.49 AM_1We at Wing of Zock are very pleased to host our first edition of Health Care Social Media Review. This roundup of blog posts treating different aspects at the intersection of health care and social media is wide-ranging, both in terms of topic and origination point. However, as a blog about innovation in academic medicine, we are naturally drawn to posts that deal with medical education and professionalism.

Via Health Care Social Media Monitor, Marie Ennis O’Connor offers “Medical Students: Here’s How to Manage Social Media.” Rendered as an infographic, this thoughtful guide urges readers through such steps as: See for Yourself; Get Rid of What You Don’t Like; Go Off the Grid; and Don’t Be a Comedian (Unless You Are a Comedian). All sound advice that medical students would do well to heed.

Howard Luks, MD, penned “The Great Untapped Opportunity for Doctors on Social Media” for a May 23 post on The Doctor Blog. Noting that “recognition of social media’s value propositions have come slowly in health care,” Luks exhorts health care professionals to engage and communicate patients via social media. He writes:

By passing up this opportunity, we are missing the chance to help clear misinformation and doubts. When we make use of social media, we can put content forth in a manner that is easy to absorb, easy to understand, and easy to use. We can create an online knowledge core that addresses most of their basic questions. This is, in my view, what the patient segment of the social media healthcare audience requires most.

In “What an EMR Built on Twitter Would Look Like,” David Do, MD, resident physician at the University of Pennsylvania and chief technology officer at Symcat, offers the bold prediction that doctors will follow patients on Twitter to get real-time updates on patients’ health. In his post on The Health Care Blog, he notes that many physicians are unhappy with EMRs, finding them inefficient, redundant, and unreliable. On the other hand, social media can help organize immense amounts of information. Do offers a graphic mockup of a live-feed EMR and describes the ways it can improve on existing EMRs. Continue reading Health Care Social Media Review

Telemedicine: Leading the Way to Virtual Care Delivery

By Sarah Sonies

Health care and insurance specialists predict that within a few years, almost the majority of health care will be delivered virtually.

In remarks two weeks ago in the opening of the 2014 American Telemedicine Association (ATA 2014) annual meeting and technology trade show, Edward M. Brown, ATA president and CEO of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) discussed the future of technology in care delivery.

“I fully believe that within the next five years, more than 50 percent of health care delivery will be virtual,” said Brown.

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1776 Challenge Cup Gives Best and Brightest Startups a Chance to Win Big

By Sarah Sonies

Sixteen competed, but only two could win. In what proved to be both a competition and an impromptu lesson on prosthetics, health care startups from all over the world pitched their ideas Thursday night for a chance to win $150,000 in prizes and funding.

Called the Challenge Cup, the competition is part of the Challenge Festival. Produced by startup incubator 1776, the festival is a week of events in Washington, DC, showcasing innovators from around the world who seek transformative solutions to global challenges.

Held May 10-May 17, the first annual festival culminated in the Challenge Cup Global Finals, where 64 international startups from 16 cities around the world were selected by the 1776 team to share their ideas in four areas: energy, education, health, and smart cities. Continue reading 1776 Challenge Cup Gives Best and Brightest Startups a Chance to Win Big

Rebooting Primary Care from the Bottom Up

Originally posted on April 16, 2014

Zubin DamaniaFor the better part of a decade, I practiced inpatient hospital medicine at a large academic center (the name isn’t important, but it rhymes with Afghanistan…ford).

I used to play a game with the med students and housestaff: let’s estimate how many of our inpatients actually didn’t need hospitalization, had they simply received effective outpatient preventative care. Over the years, our totals were almost never less than 50%.

For my fellow math-challenged Americans: that’s ONE HALF! Clearly, if there were actually were any incentives to prevent disease, they sure as heck weren’t working.

In a country whose care pyramid is upside down—more specialists than primary care docs, really?—we’re squandering our physical, emotional, and economic health while spending more per capita than anyone else. Four percent of our healthcare dollars go towards primary care, with much of the remaining 95% paying for the failure of primary care. (The missing 1%? Doritos.)

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