Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Troubled Teens Could Benefit from Online Access to Health Records, Say Researchers

 

From the 22 October 2012 article at ScienceDaily

 

 Online health records could be surprisingly useful for at-risk teenagers who cycle through the juvenile justice system. A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center found that these young people have high rates of Internet use and an unexpectedly favorable attitude toward accessing their health records online.

Teens who get in trouble with the law could particularly benefit from online health records because they generally have worse health than other adolescents — and no one keeping track of the health care they do receive. These teens’ health problems range from spotty immunization histories to chronic diseases such as asthma, sexually transmitted infections, mental illnesses and substance abuse. And not only do poverty, difficult relationships with their parents and frequent moves make it hard for them to get consistent health care, these problems also increase the chances that doctors who are treating them will not have access to their medical histories..

The teens were enthusiastic about the option, with 90 percent saying it would be useful to have their health information automatically put online so they could access it later.

“I didn’t expect this level of interest because they don’t typically think of health as something that’s part of their daily lives,” Anoshiravani said, adding that these teens engage in risky behaviors that make them seem cavalier about their health.

These teens’ need for reliable and accessible health records is made even more urgent because they often do not have family members overseeing health-related chores, such as tracking immunizations and medications, checking lab results or recording their medical history. The lack of records is a problem not just in the short term but also when these teens reach adulthood, especially for those who survived serious medical events in childhood. “They may turn 18 and not know they were born with a heart defect that was surgically repaired,” Anoshiravani said.

Contrast that situation to a typical teenager. “A parent or grandparent is going with them to the doctor and keeping their health records,” Anoshiravani said, noting that troubled teens don’t have that help. And it’s not realistic to expect these teens to keep a hard copy of their medical file. “Carrying around pieces of paper that they could lose did not make sense to them, but having a place to check this information online did make a lot of sense,” he added.

The researchers were surprised to find that the teenagers would also share online health records: The vast majority of the respondents were willing to share their records with doctors and half said they would want to share the information with their parents.

The next step, Anoshiravani said, is to implement and test online health records for at-risk teens. The biggest challenge will revolve around the issue of information-sharing, since minors’ parents are entitled to see some parts of their health records, while other types of records cannot be shared with parents without the patients’ consent….

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October 22, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 technologies that will transform eHealth in 2012 (by Microsoft)

4 technologies that will transform eHealth in 2012 (by Microsoft)  (Science Intelligence and InfoPros Blog Item)

(Originally posted by Crounse, Bill…. 4 leading trends and technologies that will transform health and healthcare in 2012 and beyond. HealthBlog, Posted on 15th of December 2011.)

 

Bill Crounse, the Microsoft’s worldwide health senior director, gives his predictions for leading technologies that will impact the eHealth in 2012.

Among the leading trends for such transformation is the so-called “consumerization of IT”.  Powerful consumer technologies like social networking, smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, digital media, and gaming are opening new platforms and channels for delivering innovative health solutions.  Let me therefore offer 4 solution areas that I believe will deliver real impact for better health in 2012 and beyond.

  1. Tele-Health Services
    Regulatory and reimbursement reforms will stimulate the market to deliver more cost-effective modalities for both preventive services and care.  That will increasingly include the delivery of health information and medical services directly into the home whenever possible.  So much of what healthcare providers do is focused on the analysis of signs, symptoms and results, dissemination of information, and prescriptions for treatment .  Much of this can, and increasingly will be done, “virtually”.
  2. Remote Monitoring and Mobile Health
    Remote monitoring with advanced sensor technologies coupled with mobile devices and services as outlined above, will make it possible to care for more patients in less acute settings, including the home, and to do so at scale with fewer staff.  I am particularly impressed by companies that are working with regulators (such as the FDA) to develop approved medical devices and secure gateways that facilitate clinical information exchanges.
  3. The Kinect Effect and Health Gaming
    Never have I seen such excitement from partners and customers about the possibilities for this technology to transform the way we get health information, collaborate with experts,  and receive certain kinds of services.  One day we may even participate in virtual classes and group counseling using this technology.  It’s not only quite practical, but once again a way to scale services while lowering costs, not to mention increasing convenience for everyone.
  4. Big Data, Cloud and Analytics
    Some people might say our problem isn’t a paucity of information it is too much information.  What we lack are the tools to put all that information to good use.  Cloud computing and connected devices give us the means to access the information we need, whenever and wherever we need it.  Smart devices and powerful software give us tools to make sense of it.  Throw in a modicum of artificial intelligence and machine learning and you have a recipe that finally releases us from the jaws of too much data into a world of understanding and wisdom.

 

December 18, 2011 Posted by | health care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Global Observatory for eHealth – World Health Organization Initiative

From the WHO Global Observatory for eHealth Web site

eHealth is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health. It is recognised as one of the most rapidly growing areas in health today….

…[in 2005] WHO launched the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe), an initiative dedicated to the study of eHealth—its evolution and impact on health in countries.

Mission and objectives

The Observatory’s mission is to improve health by providing Member States with strategic information and guidance on effective practices and standards in eHealth.

Its objectives are to:

  • provide relevant, timely, and high-quality evidence and information to support national governments and international bodies in improving policy, practice, and management of eHealth;
  • increase awareness and commitment of governments and the private sector to invest in, promote, and advance eHealth;
  • generate knowledge that will significantly contribute to the improvement of health through the use of ICT; and
  • disseminate research findings through publications on key eHealth research topics as a reference for governments and policy-makers.

 

Accomplishments of the observatory so far…

Safety and security on the Internet: challenges and advances in Member States

Safety and security on the Internet Challenges and advances in Member States

mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies

mHealth

Telemedicine – Opportunities and developments in Member States

Telemedicine – Opportunities and developments in Member States

 

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , | 2 Comments

   

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