Tag Archives: healthcare

mHealth trends

In this digital era healthcare industry is changing towards a more mobile and efficient system: mHealth is the future. What are the ongoing trends in this industry? An article in the Beckers Hospital review gives a top 10. I would like to highlight some items:

“Mobile devices and apps are becoming an integral part of telemedicine. Telemedicine crosses the geographic expanse and connects providers to patients, even providers to other providers, to extend services to underserved areas. Many major telemedicine companies are offering telemedicine apps as a means for patients to connect and communicate with physicians remotely and on-the-go. It’s an increasingly popular service — 84 percent of young adults age 18 to 34 said they would prefer a consultation via a mobile device. While more hospitals and health systems are toying with telemedicine, the service is also coming under fire as the industry debates payment and reimbursement practices and what telehealth services should be used for.”

As a telemedicine company, we think further than only digital consultation. We understand that if patient, non-patient or care professional need support, that can be provided by technical solutions. Like support with medication treatment or monitoring heart rhythm after an operation.

The cost benefits of mHealth may be enormous. If a patient is tracking his or her symptoms and those symptoms are being wirelessly transmitted to a clinician in the hospital, that patient just saved a trip to the clinic and the hospital saved costs associated with treating that patient. With mHealth comes a more comprehensive, accessible and data-driven industry that helps utilize resources more efficiently and effectively.”

Vitaphone Netherlands daily collects thousands of vital signs and presents the results to healthcare professionals and sometimes patients too. Further investigation might translate all these efforts into a financial result.

Author: Indy Kavelaars

Source: Beckers Hospital Review

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ECRI & medication adherence

Early January is a great moment for our fortune tellers to predict the future of healthcare. Although we are more eager to understand how long the polar winds will continue to blow in North America and spring finally will end in Western Europe, these professionals tell us that we can expect in 2014 of healthcare improvements. Most of the time, the suggestions have a question mark at the end: “Roboman, Arise: Should You Offer Wearable Powered Exoskeleton Rehabilitation for Individuals with Paraplegia? The Pressure Is On: Is Catheter-based Renal Denervation for Treatment-resistant Hypertension a New Cash Cow or More Fuel for the Fire?”1. Well: I don’t have the answers.
Another question from the fortune tellers: “Will Intelligent Pills Magically Improve Medication Adherence and Prevent Readmissions?”1 . The answer is easy: no, they won’t. Because it’s not about ‘Intelligent Pills’ or ‘Prepacked Medication’ alone. It’s about the way you deal with the information. Did the patient take the pills: great news, no action is needed just sometimes a small tap on the shoulder so that the patients also know they are doing great. But if the Medication Adherence Support System registers that the pills haven’t been taken, action is needed. That can be a call, a sms or even a one-on-one meeting with the user. And the presentation of his/her results of the level of adherence. Plus personal attention. Only that way we can improve the 50% medication adherence that we experience today, according to WHO.

Author: Rene Stenvert @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: 1 ECRI

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Benchmark medication adherence

HIN (Healthcare Intelligence Network) has published a report of their benchmark which compares 104 healthcare organizations on how they are improving medication adherence in their populations. Complex patients are the most common targets of medication adherence programs (75 percent of the responds). The use of multi-dose blister packs has more than quadrupled in the last 12 months, from 7 to 29 percent. Hypertension has now replaced diabetes as the condition where healthcare organizations think medication adherence programs have the greatest effect, according to 61% of the respondents.

The figure below shows that most respondents think telephonic follow-up will work to improve Medication Adherence (MA). We, at Vitaphone, think a combination of different tactics is the best approach, with a medication adherence support system as basic tool.

When do efforts to improve medication adherence occur

When do efforts to improve medication adherence occur

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: HIN Healthcare Benchmarks Medication Adherence

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Health IT and e-health will dramatically change the future healthcare

In a comprehensive review of literature, including previously published systematic reviews and relevant individual studies, the authors predict that health IT and e-health will dramatically change the future of healthcare.

They estimate that if 30 percent of the community-based physicians’ offices fully implement health IT, the demand for physicians would be reduced by about 4-9 percent. We think that a fully implemented IT will lead to better exchange of health information with the result that possible interventions will happen earlier in the care process. Through delegation of care to nurse practitioners and physician assistants, enabled by health IT, the demand for physicians will reduce by another 4-7 percent. Similarly, IT-supported delegation from specialist physicians to generalists could reduce the demand for specialists by 2–5 percent. The use of health IT could also help address regional shortages of physicians by potentially enabling 12 percent of care to be delivered remotely. These estimated impacts could more than double if health IT systems were adopted by 70 percent of the US ambulatory care delivery settings.

We know that e-health and health-IT will change healthcare. We are convinced that the biggest change will happen in self-monitoring. When this self-monitoring gets connected to health IT and e-health systems, the changes will become even more dramatic.

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands
Source: The Impact Of Health Information Technology And e-Health On The Future Demand For Physician Services by  Jonathan P. Weiner, Susan Yeh and David Blumentha

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Stop playing around with subsidy-driven pilots!

For more than a decade, developers and care professionals ask the healthcare community to use IT solutions to make the necessary changes happen. This because everyone involved is convinced that there are plenty possibilities to increase survival rate, decrease costs and safe doctor’s time. The results are marginal but help is on its way! During a Mobile Healthcare Congress, Neelie Kroes (European Commissioner for Digital Agenda) pointed out that telemonitoring can increase survival rates up to 15%, decrease costs with 10% and save one hour per day on doctor’s time.

Is this the signal to stop playing around with subsidy-driven pilots and presentations of so called futurists where the optimized healthcare only exists in PowerPoint presentations? It’s time to act!

Auteur: Rene Stenvert @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: MedZine

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Free download: US Healthcare spendings 1991-2011 excel

Some highlights of the excel are:

  • Total spending on personal healthcare over the years 1991 to 2011 increased from 667,7B to 2279,3B dollars
  • Prescription drugs spending increased 44,4B to 262,9B dollars
  • To understand who pays all these spendings and how this has shifted within the years, you can download the excel and select page 3. Look at the Private Health Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid shift in spendings.

To get the excel:

Get here your free download excel of US Healthcare spending 1991-2011

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5 US statistics on how social media impacts healthcare industry?

1. More than 40 % of the consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health

This implies healthcare professionals must create educational content to inform patients about health related issues. They have to understand that people tend to trust social media although the information isn’t always correct.

2. 19% of smartphone owners have at least one health app on their phone. Exercise, diet and weight apps are the most popular types.

3. A recent study showed that 54% of patients are very comfortable with their providers seeking advice from online communities to better treat their conditions.

4. 60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.

This statistic is important because it shows that most doctors believe the transparency and authenticity that social media forces actually improves the quality of care.

5. International Telecommunications Union estimates that the global penetration of mobile devices has reached 87% as of 2011.

Mobile is the future of healthcare!
Author: Indy Kavelaars
Source: ReferralMD

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Infographic: Healthcare is huge!

This infographic shows how big the healthcare industry is in the United States. What is interesting to look at?

  • In 2011 the total healthcare spending was 2.7 trillion and it is expected to double in the next decade
  • The amount of spending on healthcare technologies is increasing
  • Technology is changing the way healthcare is provided and administered
  • Reducing operational/overhead costs, increasing staff productivity, increasing patient satisfaction and improving workflow efficiency are the top priorities

US Healthcare providers rank ‘continuing medical education’ as most appealing use of Telemedicine. It seems these providers need to have a look (again) at the real definition of Telemedicine! And they will find new opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity, efficiency & patient satisfaction!

Infographic: Healthcare is huge!

Infographic: Healthcare is huge!

Author: Indy Kavelaars

Source: CompTIA

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Changing the world of healthcare

Some time ago I wrote a blog about the cardiologist and healtcare visionary Eric Topol. Like Eric, Vitaphone understands that patients need to take initiative to change the healthcare industry.

This week, Eric states that “it is the most exciting, momentous time in the history of medicine. For the first time, we can rapidly and affordably sequence a human genome. We have sensors that can remotely track virtually any physiologic metric, from vital signs to glucose to intraocular pressure. Medicine is thus poised for its biggest shakeup ever as it transforms to a more precise, individualized, and democratized model”. With Mr Topol’s appointment at Medscape he will help capture this excitement, the changes and opportunities, along with the challenges and the need for validation.

Professor, we hope you will follow us too because we have some solutions which are on the verge of changing the world of healthcare.

Source: Medscape

Author: Indy Kavelaars

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Telehealth, relevant to everyone!

What is telehealth and what does it mean for the future? We stumbled upon a video of Dr. Malcolm Fisk which gives a very good explanation of the term ‘telehealth’. It also shows a very open and broad vision of telehealth with many opportunities. Watch the interview at Healthcare news or read the interview below.

“Telehealth is one aspect of the research done at the Age Research Centre, Coventry University. And here with me is the Co-director Dr. Malcolm Fisk. For people who don’t know, can you give me a definition of ‘telehealth’?”

The means by which people can access or the way that services are delivered through telephone, the internet or through communications technologies generally. Obviously we have seen a rapid development in the way that technologies are available to people and the role out of broadband has helped in this. So this means that we can start to think about services been delivered or accessed in this kind of ways and that the new technologies we use are very much part of this.

“So what would the typical things be that people would do at home using technology?”

Well if you are a younger person for instance with diabetes they might well enable you to send information to a healthcare practitioner. Or indeed gather information just for yourself and store it on a cloud or somewhere to help you manage your own health condition.

More important perhaps the larger number of older people with chronic conditions. Very often heart conditions or respiratory conditions, who use different devices to measure different vital signs on a daily basis usually, to send that information again to the healthcare practitioner. So then they can then advise them as to what they should do with the medication and things like this.

“What do you see as the implications of new technologies for telehealth services?”

Well there are very, very important implications here because of the way mobile technologies are developing. What it means is that whilst perhaps being guilty of thinking about telehealth too narrowly around vital signs monitoring. We can actually think of in terms of the relevance to all people of all ages in the way that they access and use news services. So it is not just a technology or a range of services that help people stay independent at home it is potentially helping people when they are travelling when they’re in work, when they’re going to college or school. Relevance to people of all ages.

“Now you are working on European code of practice on telehealth. Now do we need one and what is your opinion about it?”

Well we need one because telehealth is evolving so rapidly. We can see that the nature of telehealth services is changing rapidly as well. Possibly there may be a hundred-and-one different aspects of telehealth from medication compliance to helping care for someone with dementia all these things are in the mix. A code of practice will establish a benchmark quality standard to which we hope anyway to which telehealth services will reach across Europe and will provide the safe guards which are necessary in such an area of care and support.

“And what does telehealth mean for traditional health services?”

Well we can see changes will have come about because many more people will choose to use telehealth services themselves. And will, very often, be gathering information and data about their health conditions. Which they will take to their consultants or GP’s and they will clearly have to respond to these services and new technologies. Rather than the collisions being necessarily dictating the frameworks of health provision or support services that you may need.

Source: Naidex & Healthcare news

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