HealthLeaders Media IT - December 4, 2007 | Probing the 'Information' Society
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HealthLeaders IT

Probing the 'Information' Society
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

In our November issue you will find a profile I prepared on Donald Hopkins, MD. It was a nice break to write about a topic other than technology. Hopkins' work overseas eradicating the guinea worm disease that takes place in impoverished areas where the technology we take for granted doesn't exist. The tools at his disposal are primitive ones, including screens used to filter water. That's one of the first steps toward eliminating the horrific disease. [Read More]
Gary Baldwin
December 4, 2007
Editor's Picks
Rural hospitals' link to get boost
Rural hospitals throughout Illinois will soon be connected to a high-speed fiber-optic network aimed at improving their health care by linking staff to the expertise and resources of much larger hospitals in the Chicago area, reports the Chicago Tribune. Under the set-up, rural hospitals could tap the expertise of radiologists and other specialists who could review images and other complex data. The military has been using telemedicine technology like this for years, so it is good to see the private sector catching up. I know that here in Illinois, specialists are in short supply in many downstate counties, so technology can address labor distribution as well as improve communications. [Read More]

Web-based Telehealth monitors patients in their homes
Here's another current news story about telemedicine, from the Worcester Telegram. An Internet-based program monitors patients with such chronic illnesses as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes. At the recent AMIA conference in Chicago, I heard several panelists describe similar ventures. Speakers pointed out that the home monitoring technology is less mature than documentation software and therefore prone to bugs. Yet, there are numerous projects in play across the U.S. In addition to the clinical benefits, there's a major customer service element at play here: patients may no longer have to make lengthy trips to see a physician. I suspect that the remote monitoring set-up may also ensure compliance as well. Remember the "Hawthorne Effect" we studied in college? [Read More]

RSNA, ACR respond to study: CT could cause 2 percent of U.S cancers
The massive RSNA conference wrapped up last week in Chicago, attracting more than 60,000 people, as it does every year here in Chicago (The Loop is clogged with the big shuttle busses). The number of new product launches in the imaging space exceeds space limitations here, but I did take note of this particular story about CT as a possible cause of cancer. As radiation-based imaging continues to grow in popularity, these issues will likely gain even more prominence in the years ahead. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
AMGA's data warehouse initiative in focus
Digital Healthcare & Productivity - December 4, 2007

Benefits of electronic health records seen as outweighing privacy risks
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - December 4, 2007

Tool to predict breast cancer is being revised
New York Times - December 4, 2007
Events & Product News
FDA: Stent safer than Taxus

Siemens Medical CEO preaches single-source sermon

Healthcare Supply Chain Standards Coalition expands
Sponsored Headlines From AT&T
Securing Personal Health Information: AT&T can secure health information for the healthcare industry.

RHIO: Electronic health records could save as much as $78 billion.

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RFID: Business Revolution: Advancements in RFID are causing big changes.

Q&A: Critical Steps in Ensuring Business Continuity: Consult this guide to learn how your company can ensure continuity.

Survey Findings: Emerging Technologies in the Enterprise: A survey shows new technologies help companies gain an edge.
From HealthLeaders Magazine
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