The Telemedicine Reporter – International Edition – September 16, 2011

Artezio Participates in the KITENPI Project in Norway

On August, 24-26 Artezio representatives attended the KITENPI Conference organized by NST (Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine).  IT Education Networking Partnering Infrastructure project is dedicated to the development of the interaction between  North European countries and Russia in the area of the information and telecommunications technologies implementation in the healthcare sector.The event held in August 2011 gathered representatives of nearly 20 Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Russian companies. Being one of the leaders in healthcare software development and integration Artezio was invited as an expert from the Russian IT sector. To date, Artezio has accomplished a number of projects in support of life sciences industry such as Clinical Trials Management Software, Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Solutions as well as specialized mobile and handheld applications.

Telemedicine Grant Will Further Expand Health Care Access in Virginia

To help patients in the Mid-Atlantic States access specialty care and reduce the burden of travel for health care, the University of Virginia Center for Telehealth will collaborate with a coalition of health care providers to expand telemedicine services with support from a federal grant. This month, the center was awarded nearly $1 million by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to create the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center. U.Va., in partnership with telehealth networks across the region, will link rural and urban health care providers to expand telehealth capabilities and expertise.

Launch of New Location-Based Personal Safety Service in Australia and New Zealand

Based on Aerotel’s highly successful GeoSKeeper™personal safety and location system, the new 24 hours by 7 days a week service, operated by Elemental Technologies, enables finding the accurate location and providing immediate assistance to elderly persons or people with dementia, offering users and family members safety and peace of mind. GeoSkeeper™ will be distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Elemental Technologies. GeoSKeeper™ is a wrist-worn mobile GPS-based personal safety device. It offers users and their families a new level of safety and peace of mind using its mobile phone technology, built-in speakerphone and active GPS receiver. When the user wanders outside a specified zone (eg neighborhood or school area), or enters a dangerous area, the system sends automatic alerts via txt messages (SMS) and email, including GPS location data to a monitoring center as well as to a relative or a caregiver.

NKorea launches telemedicine network with WHO help

North Korea formally launched a medical videoconference network Tuesday aimed at giving smaller, rural hospitals access to specialists in the capital Pyongyang with the help of the World Health Organization.  WHO has been providing cameras, computers and other equipment to North Korea to help the reclusive, impoverished country connect a main hospital in Pyongyang with medical facilities in 10 provinces. The system is designed to allow doctors to talk to each other to provide additional services to rural patients.  On Tuesday, North Korean health officials and visiting WHO Director-General Margaret Chan held the formal inaugural ceremony for the system at the Kim Man Yu hospital in Pyongyang, according to footage from broadcaster APTN.

Tax on Medical Devices

The most immediate and harmful provision of the Affordable Care Act is a medical device excise tax of 2.3% on medical device revenues, scheduled to go into effect in 2013. The tax is estimated to generate $20 billion in tax revenue annually and is to be levied on the total revenues of a company, regardless of whether the company is profitable. The Medical Device Manufacturer Association (MDMA) estimates that some companies will owe more in taxes than they generate in profits and that some device manufacturers will be forced to close or move jobs overseas due to the tax.

Patients warm to sharing their symptoms with doctors electronically before visits

Most patients are willing to providing symptom information to their general practitioners (GPs) electronically before a consultation, a Norwegian research team concluded. In results published in Methods of Information in Medicine, the team collected data from 83 respondents, of which more than half preferred to provide information on their symptoms to their GPs via e-mail or a web-interface. Among other results, 84% said they were willing to have their symptom data stored in their electronic patient record. Also, 76% approved of their GPs accessing symptom data together with the prevalence of matching diseases to aid in a diagnosis during the next consultation.

Tablet development with fund’s first telemedicine investment

Just a month after moving into Liverpool Science Park (Liverpool, UK), Med ePad won the first investment in a telemedicine startup by the £25 million ($39.6 million) North West Fund for Biomedical (Warrington, UK), which awarded a £50,000 (about $79,000) Pathfinder Investment toward developing a 7-inch tablet for healthcare providers, plus a touch screen mobile Internet device. Med ePad includes condition-specific apps created with healthcare professionals from the National Health Service. Med ePad can record medication regimes and daily living patterns, send appointment reminders, and conduct online consultations and access specific information relating to a condition, in the language of the patient’s choice.

Queensland, Australia health minister honors telemedicine trial as ‘Best Innovation’

A telemedicine trial that enables specialists to assess sick infants in rural and remote areas has won the Queensland Health Minister’s ‘Best Innovation’ award at the 2011 Queensland Health Healthcare Improvement Awards. The project was developed as a research partnership between The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health research fellow, Nigel Armfield, PhD, and Royal Women’s Brisbane Hospital neonatologist Tim Donovan, PhD. Queensland’s telemedicine program saw infants from Hervey Bay, Nambour, Caboolture and Redcliffe hospitals to determine whether telemedicine was a viable approach to overcome the health care access impediments of distance and time. During the 12-month trial period, five infant retrievals were avoided and management changes were made in 14% of cases..

Tracking vital signs, without the wires

Confined to their hospital beds, patients can only fantasize about stripping off all the wires that connect them to monitors and bolting for the door. Suppose, however, that all of a convalescent patient’s electrode patches were consolidated into a single, nearly invisible and weightless version — as thin as a temporary, press-on tattoo. And suppose that a tiny radio transmitter eliminated the need for any wires tethering the patient to monitoring machines. “Epidermal electronics” — a term coined by researchers who have produced prototype devices at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — may enable constant medical monitoring anywhere.

Health Affairs: Telehealth program offers cost reduction

A telehealth tool may help manage care and cut expenses in the treatment for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries, according to a recent study that looked at two clinics in the Northwest, that were exposed to the intervention. Their findings were reported in the September issue of Health Affairs.

Lawrence C. Baker, professor of health research and policy, Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues found that the Health Buddy Program was associated with spending reductions of 7.7 to 13.3 percent per person, per quarter.

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