Docs, States Look to Telehealth to Deliver Medical Care

florCan’t get in to see a doctor? Or live hundreds of miles from a specialist? Try Skyping in to their office.

That may be the wave of the future. And it’s gotten the attention of the Legislature, which is being asked to pass legislation to certify and impose standards on a growing practice.

More and more doctors and hospitals Continue reading

Severity of Readmission Punishments Doubling for Hospitals

readThe number of hospitals facing financial penalties for failing to stop patients from returning to the hospital will remain steady next year, but the potential severity of the punishments is doubling.

The CMS’ hospital readmissions reduction program is expected to cut Medicare spending on hospitals Continue reading

Shifting Burdens

hipHospitals increasingly concerned over effects of cost-sharing provisions in health plans to be offered through insurance exchanges

Plenty of unknown financial challenges await Carolinas HealthCare System with the rollout of health reform provisions next year. What’s not uncertain is whether more of Carolinas’ patients will have high-deductible insurance plans with cost-sharing provisions they often cannot afford. Continue reading

Topol: Hospitals, Office Visits of Little Use in the Future

topolHello. I’m Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Genomic Medicine and theheart.org. In this series, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, named for the book I wrote, I am trying to zoom in on critical aspects of how the digital world can create better healthcare.

Why do we need hospitals in the future? Why do we need to have office visits with physicians in the future? That’s really what this segment is about because we know that hospitals are a dangerous place. We know that Continue reading

Topol: Hospitals, Office Visits of Little Use in the Future

Hello. I’m Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Genomic Medicine and theheart.org. In this series, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, named for the book I wrote, I am trying to zoom in on critical aspects of how the digital world can create better healthcare.

Why do we need hospitals in the future? Continue reading

The Last Antibiotic: Drug Companies Run out of Weapons Against the Very Same Superbugs they Helped Create

antibioticsThe age of antibiotics is over. It’s history. There are no more patented chemical antibiotics in the pipeline. The drug companies have all but abandoned antibiotics research, leaving humanity to suffer the fate of a wave of drug-resistant bacteria — superbugs — that the drug companies actually helped create.

The industry is down Continue reading

Unvaccinated People a Public Health Threat? Nope, People who Take Antibiotics Are the Real Danger

vaccinatedVaccine pushers often resort to an interesting fear tactic to try to mandate vaccine obedience among the masses: They insist that those who are unvaccinated are a health threat to the rest of the vaccinated population because the vaccinated people might get infected by the unvaccinated disease carriers!

The quack logic of such a claim should be self-evident. Continue reading

New Procedure Repairs Severed Nerves in Minutes, Restoring Limb Use in Days or Weeks

Team apply new procedure to rapidly induce nerve regeneration in mammals

American scientists believe a new procedure to repair severed nerves could result in patients recovering in days or weeks, rather than months or years. The team used a cellular mechanism similar to that used by many invertebrates to repair damage to nerve axons. Their results are published today in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

“We have developed a procedure which can repair severed nerves within minutes so that the behavior they control can be partially restored within days and often largely restored within two to four weeks,” said Professor George Bittner Continue reading

A STAR Scientist Discovers how to Combat Hospital-Acquired Infections, Deadly Food Poisoning and Bioterrorism Toxins

This study paves the way for developing toxin antidotes to safeguard public health and national security.

A team of scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) has discovered the secret recipe for ‘antidotes’ that could neutralize the deadly plant toxin Ricin, widely feared for its bioterrorism potential, as well as the Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE) responsible for the tens of thousands of hospital-acquired infections in immune-compromised patients all over the world. The results of this first ever genome-wide study to understand how the Ricin and PE toxins attack cells may also be useful for designing more effective antidotes against Diphtheria and Shiga-like toxins secreted by infectious strains of E. coli bacteria, such as those responsible for the recent food poisoning Continue reading

Brutal Medical Radiation

With radiation levels increasing across the entire northern hemisphere the radiation your doctor uses takes on a new dangerous meaning. Physicians know that radiation is dangerous but they cannot help themselves, they love to use radiation both in testing and in treatment. Modifying physician behavior is hard thing to do but we have to do it and do it now in the radiation departments. How doctors and hospitals relate to and use radiation in both diagnosis and treatment of disease needs to come under full review and in most cases be brought to a halt.

Modifying physician behavior is hard thing to do but we have to do it and do it now in the radiation departments. How doctors and hospitals relate to and use radiation in both diagnosis and treatment of disease needs to come under full review and in most cases be brought to a halt. Continue reading

Survey Shows Most Hospitals Online but Telemedicine Services not Fully Deployed

More than 90% of European hospitals are connected to broadband, 80% have electronic patient record systems, but only 4% of hospitals grant patients online access to their electronic records, according to the results of a survey conducted for the European Commission. European hospitals are more advanced than US hospitals in terms of external medical exchange, but they lag behind in using eHealth to view laboratory reports or radiology images. The survey provides useful data for the work of the EU eHealth Task Force on assessing the role of information and communications technologies (ICT) in health and social care, which is due to suggest ways for ICT to speed up innovation in healthcare to the benefit of patients, carers and the healthcare sector. The EU eHealth Task Force met for the first time in Budapest on 10th May (see IP/11/551) on the margins of eHealth week (10-12 May) The deployment of eHealth technologies in Europe, with a view  Continue reading

Hospital ‘Center of Excellence Program’ launched by US Tele-Medicine

For Immediate Release:

Hospital ‘Center of Excellence Program’ launched by US Tele-Medicine

Qualifying hospitals and clinics can now earn revenues derived from Telemedicine referrals.  In addition, these hospitals and clinics will access a national Telemedicine provider as a solution to overflow issues and to support expansion.

“The global world of Telemedicine opens to these facilities without the major up-front costs and effort normally associated with developing an in-house Telemedicine department,” said Gideon Ilumin, Director of Business Affairs for US Tele-Medicine.

US Tele-Medicine, a national health care provider based in Beverly Hills, CA and licensed in twelve states, providing General Practice and Family Practice services, is forming joint ventures with hospitals and clinics in its territories. The program is called “Center of Excellence” and identifies these facilities as telemedicine approved.   In the agreements, US Tele-Medicine refers its telehealth patients to the joint venture partners for consultation, imaging, surgical procedures, and specialty care.

“We present a number of solutions. First we increase hospital/clinic revenues, as the nature of telemedicine referrals generally involve more expensive specialty procedures that a telemedicine doctor cannot accomplish on the phone or internet,” said Ilumin.  “Secondly our infrastructure brings a solution to clinics and hospitals wishing to expand their patient base, yet finding they are restrained by finances, personnel or structural limitations,” said Ilumin.

US Tele-Medicine supplies remote and wireless monitoring devices to patients that measure a number of vital signs and transmit that information to the US Tele-Medicine EMR (EHR) platform, for medical oversight.  The strength of US Tele-Medicine is providing management for many chronic conditions in a less expensive environment such as the home or office.

Randy Ryder, US Tele-Medicine’s Director of Patient Services says, “Most clinics and hospitals need to expand to stay afloat.  I understand that, but I also know that many people come to these facilities and wait, sometimes for hours, to see a physician, when all they are seeking is basic primary care or some support for a chronic condition. US Tele-Medicine is especially effective at treating this type of patient.”

“Imagine the improvement in ease of operation for a hospital or a clinic when you remove that patient load from over-utilizing facilities,” said Ryder.  “Hospitals can then concentrate on being hospitals, rather than Doctor’s offices, and expand their specialties or surgical centers, where their economic strengths come from.”

So what happens to these patients?  “They receive their care at home, in their offices or on the go,” answered Ryder. “Telemedicine is a modality proven to promote greater wellness, provide accessible medical care at reduced costs and do it immediately.”

Ilumin said “We are the most advanced telemedicine operation in the USA today, far ahead of others in the use of technology.  By referring their patients to US Tele-Medicine, hospitals and clinics enter the world of telemedicine without the substantial up-front investment.  Strategically this is very smart both financially and for reputations’ sake (marketing effectiveness) of that facility.  Adopting the “Center of Excellence” program increases revenues and demonstrates to the world the inclusivity and understanding of state-of-the art medicine as well as adding tremendous public prestige.”

For more information, go to www.ustelemedicine.com,

email: media@ustelemediicne.com, or call 800-498-1081

Researcher Calls for Alternative Medicine in Qatar Hospitals

A medical researcher from the Primary Health Care Department has suggested that a separate section for alternative medicine be set up within the public hospitals in Qatar.

“A national centre for alternative medicine research should also be established in the country,” urged Dr Mohamed Reslan.

He had recently carried out the first Qatari research on the effect of cupping therapy in treating chronic headache and back pain at Al Heijamah clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The scientific investigation, which involved a team from HMC, took more than a year to complete and its results have been published in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine.

The total number of the participants was 86, with 51.2% of them being male (51.2%). The majority was non-Qatari (72.1%); 37 of them had headache and 49 back pain.

Most of the participants were treated with wet cup therapy (98.8%) and only one of them was treated with dry cup. Fifty-two of the participants had one session of cupping while five completed all the four sessions.

The pain score for patients with headache was decreased from eight to four after cupping therapy followed by intermittent periods of fluctuating pain, scored from four to five for around five weeks, then it maintained constant at four score until the end of the follow-up period.

Meanwhile, the pain scale for patients with low back pain decreased from seven to three after two weeks and stayed constant until the end of the 12 weeks, Reslan explained.

It is claimed this is the first study of its kind, in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, which discusses cupping therapy mechanism as a scientific theory capable of laboratorial investigation and application and establishes specific criteria for quantity of blood withdrawn at each session, frequency of cupping and the power of blood aspiration in any single session.

Reslan also recommends in-depth studies on cupping therapy for its impact on the individual and community health and its direct dealing with blood.  He has encouraged the use of cupping therapy for treatment of chronic severe pain, particularly in cases where no surgical intervention is available and cases with no satisfactory response to medications.

However, Reslan has urged caution from using cupping therapy in treating cases that require blood transfusion, anaemic and hemorrhagic cases, or any case not properly diagnosed as well as cases of varicose veins, varicocele, diabetes, thyropathy or epilepsy.

Kuwait Government Approves New Alternative Medicine Hospital

KUWAIT- The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a new 300-bed capacity hospital for alternative medicine and rehabilitation at a total cost of KD 30 million, announced the

The new hospital will built on the site where the current alternative medicine hospital is situated. A state-of-the art, fully equipped hospital will replace the existing building. It will include a rehabilitation center for the disabled, senior citizens’ care centers among other facilities offered.

The hospital will also be connected to one of the most advanced international centers in the field of alternative medicine, said Al-Abdulhadi. It is expected to be ready within five years, reported Al-Qabas.

On a separate note, Al-Abdulhadi announced that the decision concerning the appointment of new directors for medical, technical divisions will be made soon, especially after the Ministry completes the process of electing the most qualified candidates for the posts in coordination with the regulations of the Civil Service Commission(CSC).

Meanwhile, Al-Abdulhadi addressed the issue of health insurance hospitals, stating that the project to establish these hospitals still await a decision made by the Cabinet before it is set up. These facilities are expected to provide citizens and residents with the best medical care services.

Green Spaces ‘Improve Health’

Green Spaces ‘Improve Health’

The best health benefits come from living less than a kilometre (0.62miles) from a green space.

There is more evidence that living near a ‘green space’ has health benefits.

Research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says the impact is particularly noticeable in reducing rates of mental ill health.

The annual rates of 15 out of 24 major physical diseases were also significantly lower among those living closer to green spaces.

One environmental expert said the study confirmed that green spaces create ‘oases’ of improved health around them.

The researchers from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at the health records of 350,000 people registered with 195 family doctors across the Netherlands.

Only people who had been registered with their GP for longer than 12 months were included because the study assumed this was the minimum amount of time people would have to live in an environment before any effect of it would be noticeable.

Health impact

The percentages of green space within a one and three kilometre (0.62 and 1.86 miles) radius of their home were calculated using their postcode.

On average, green space accounted for 42% of the residential area within one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius and almost 61% within a three kilometre (1.86 miles) radius of people’s homes.

DISEASES THAT BENEFIT MOST FROM GREEN SPACES

Coronary heart disease

Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints

Depression and anxiety

Diabetes

Respiratory infections and asthma

Migraine and vertigo

Stomach bugs and urinary tract infections

Unexplained physical symptoms

And the annual rates for 24 diseases in 7 different categories were calculated.

The health benefits for most of the diseases were only seen when the greenery was within a one kilometre ( 0.62 miles ) radius of the home.

The exceptions to this were anxiety disorders, infectious diseases of the digestive system and medically unexplained physical symptoms which were seen to benefit even when the green spaces were within three kilometres of the home.

The biggest impact was on anxiety disorders and depression.

Anxiety disorders

The annual prevalence of anxiety disorders for those living in a residential area containing 10% of green space within a one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius of their home was 26 per 1000 whereas for those living in an area containing 90% of green space it was 18 per 1000.

For depression the rates were 32 per 1000 for the people in the more built up areas and 24 per 1000 for those in the greener areas.  The researchers also showed that this relation was strongest for children younger than 12. They were 21% less likely to suffer from depression in the greener areas.

Two unexpected findings were that the greener spaces did not show benefits for high blood pressure and that the relation appeared stronger for people aged 46 to 65 than for the elderly.

The researchers think the green spaces help recovery from stress and offer greater opportunities for social contacts.

They say the free physical exercise and better air quality could also contribute.

Dr Jolanda Maas of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said: “It clearly shows that green spaces are not just a luxury but they relate directly to diseases and the way people feel in their living environments.”

“Most of the diseases which are related to green spaces are diseases which are highly prevalent and costly to treat so policy makers need to realize that this is something they may be able to diminish with green spaces.”

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said the study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.

She said: “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality. “Anything that reduces our exposure to the modern-day ‘cocktail’ of atmospheric pollutants has got to be a good thing.”