Telemedicine comes to Saint Lucia–and the Caribbean

click to enlargeThe wide world of telemedicine! It’s hard to get away from the internet (see The Telegraph’s digital detox list of countries and areas with little to none, like North Korea), but your Editors have found that telemedicine is reaching far away places like the small, volcanic Windward Island of Saint Lucia. For those who are considering a winter holiday or are resident in this eastern Caribbean Commonwealth-member island with a dual French and British history, you can take advantage of Bois d’Orange’s Easycare Clinic‘s telemedicine services. These include real-time video consults, answers to healthcare questions, creation and maintenance of PHRs, vital signs tracking, and full access to a health network. Registration is free at www.easycare-stlucia.com along with the app. St. Lucia Times

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, a report from the Bahamas tells us that that the Princess Elizabeth Hospital A&E department is now covering Fresh Creek Community Clinic in Andros and Marsh Harbour in Abaco (the ‘family islands’). According to Edward Stephenson, a healthcare consultant in the Caribbean, telemedicine has been established privately in Turks & Caicos, Haiti, Dominican Republic and St. Vincent. The VA’s Home Telehealth program was established in Puerto Rico and the USVI, although in what present condition after two hurricanes is unknown. The University of the West Indies has had a telehealth program for Trinidad and Tobago since 2004 and works with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto in a program that includes that country as well as the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ATA has had a long-standing Latin America and Caribbean Chapter (ATALACC) which also is affiliated with the University of Arizona’s well-known Arizona Telemedicine Program–which in turn is affiliated with Panama’s Proyecto Nacional de Telemedicina y Telesalud. Readers’ updates welcome on this subject!

Breaking: FDA approves the first drug with a digital ingestion tracking system

Not many drug approvals warrant an FDA press release, but this one did and deservedly so. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a version of the psychiatric drug Abilify (aripiprazole) equipped with the Proteus Digital Health ingestible tracking system. Abilify MyCite has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults. It is the first approved commercial version of a drug equipped with the Proteus Discover system, which tracks the ingestion of the pill from a sensor in the tablet activated by gastric juices to a patch worn by the patient and then to a smartphone app. The patient, caregivers, and physicians can track medication usage (timing and compliance) through the app, adjusting dosage and timing as needed.

The Proteus press release states that the rollout is gradual through select health plans and providers, targeting a limited number of appropriate adults with schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, or major depressive disorder. It is contra-indicated for pediatric patients and adults with dementia-related psychosis.

Abilify, developed by Japan’s Otsuka and originally marketed in the US with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), has been generic since 2015. This Editor finds it interesting that Proteus would be combined with a now off-patent drug, creating a new one in limited release. Proteus’ original and ongoing tests were centered on combining their system with high-value (=expensive) drugs with high sensitivity as to dosage times and compliance–for instance, cardiovascular and infectious disease (hepatitis C, TB). Here we have a focus on managing serious mental illness and treatment. 

Editors (Steve and Donna) first noticed Proteus as far back as September 2009. Looking back at our early articles, Proteus has come a long way from ‘creepy’ and ‘tattletale’. With nearly half a billion dollars invested and a dozen funding rounds since 2001 (Crunchbase), approvals were long in coming–nine years from submission of patch and tablet sensor to the FDA (2008), seven years from the patch approval (2010), five years from the tablet sensor approval (2012), to release of a drug using the Proteus system. The only thing this Editor still wonders about is what happens to the sensors in the digestive tract. They contain copper, magnesium, and silicon–copper especially can be toxic. If the sensors do not dissolve completely, can this be hazardous for those with Crohn’s, colitis, or diverticulitis/diverticulosis?  Hat tip to Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, via Rob Dhoble, on LinkedIn.

Also, if you can stand it, a lengthy article from the New York Times with lots of back and forth about the existential threats of monitoring drugs, potential coercion (preferable to injected Abilify), how some with schizophrenia already manage, and Proteus as a ‘biomedical Big Brother’. (Some commenters appear to have the very vapors about any digital trackers, including AiCure and etectRx.)

Telehealth roundups: Cuyahoga County (OH), BMJ systematic review, AAFP Forum

click to enlargeTelehealth/telemedicine case studies are many, but those of us in the field are always on the hunt for fresh results. And the results seem to be fairly successful.

Cuyahoga County in Ohio instituted a telehealth program for its 569-person Educational Service Center this past July. In the first 90 days, 45 telemedicine consultations were completed with an average savings of $342 for each visit. Median wait time to the doctor consult was 2 minutes, 23 seconds. This amounted to a 130 percent return on investment, or $48,000. This is over the summer, when many employees were on leave, and does not calculate productivity gains, e.g. less sick time. The ESC goal is 80 percent utilization. This last would boggle the Big Minds over at the RAND Corporation which criticized the 88 percent rise in utilization when CalPERS members used Teladoc. TTA 8 Mar, 25 Mar  The provider of telehealth services is First Stop Health. Healthcare IT News.

BMJ reviewed 44 studies (of over 2,100 studies surveyed in the last five years) to identify factors around telehealth effectiveness and efficiency. “The factors listed most often were improved outcomes (20%), preferred modality (10%), ease of use (9%), low cost 8%), improved communication (8%) and decreased travel time (7%), which in total accounted for 61% of occurrences.” Patient satisfaction was achieved when providers delivered healthcare via videoconference or any other telehealth method. Telehealth and patient satisfaction: a systematic review and narrative analysis (PDF)

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care hosted a Capitol Hill meeting on telehealth in primary care 9 November. The conundrum that PCPs face: telehealth is well-suited to primary care, the CPT codes are there, physician time can be easily recorded, and patients now are comfortable with it–but connectivity, health plans, and expansion of the referral network beyond the local are still not there. Regina Holliday, a well-known patient advocate who will be speaking at MedMo17, spoke about telehealth’s great advantages in mental health, especially to younger patients who want anonymous counseling and those in rural areas where it’s hundreds of miles to a mental health clinic or a psychiatrist. AAFP Forum Report

Tender/Prior Information Alerts: North Yorkshire, North Ayrshire

Susanne Woodman, our Eye on Tenders, has located more complete information on a North Yorkshire tender we listed on 7 Nov and a prior information notice by North Ayrshire for a contract to be published next month.

  • North Yorkshire: The North Yorkshire County Council has listed full information on the tender for Assistive Technology services for North Yorkshire. It is for technology, monitoring and support to extend healthier independent living in the home and reduce demand on social care services. It is a three-year contract (extension up to 24 additional months) valued at £4.85 m. Bids close on 17 January 2018. TED–Tenders Electronic Daily 
  • North Ayrshire (Scotland): This Prior Information Request by North Ayrshire Council is for a 24/7/365 call handling system which is fully compatible with alarm equipment and telecare peripherals installed or provided by the Council in the full North Ayrshire Council area which includes the islands of Arran and Cumbrae. There are about 4,200 services users of primarily Tunstall equipment with a volume of 21,000 to 28,500 calls per month. The contract will be from 01 September 2018 to 31 August 2019. The contract will be published on 4 Dec. Public Contracts Scotland and TED

NYC Healthcare Innovation Festival: four big events 28 Nov – 6 Dec–readers get 20% off

NYC will be a health and health tech-related hub for a busy 10 days between the holidays of Thanksgiving and the run-up to Christmas. Run by four separate organizations, they are being co-marketed as the NYC Healthcare Innovation Festival. So after you digest your turkey and trimmings, you’ll have four great conferences plus an opportunity to do some holiday shopping in NYC! Registration for each event is separate–see the discount code below offered by NYCHIF!

HITLAB Innovators Summit, 28-30 November, Columbia University, Lerner Hall, 114th Street (2920 Broadway)

This is a provider/pharma-focused three-day meeting, with topics ranging from implementing entrepreneurial principles in life science companies to M&A and investing trends in digital health. HITLAB is affiliated with Columbia University. It hosts the 2017 HITLAB World Cup of Voice-Activated Technology in Diabetes, presented by Novo Nordisk, the main sponsor. Click the title above for more information and registration.

MedStartr Momentum 2017 (MedMo17), 30 November – 1 December, PricewaterhouseCoopers headquarters, 300 Madison Avenue @42nd Street

MedStartr’s third annual Momentum meeting will be highlighting the young companies which will be transforming the future of healthcare. Want to get involved with the best new companies in healthcare? Join the five pitch contests, nine Momentum talks, and seven panels over two full days, all about driving innovation in healthcare from the perspectives of patients, doctors, partners, institutions, and investors. Sponsored by MedStartr and Health 2.0 NYC, this attracts a wide swath of speakers and participants from global healthcare players to startups and academia. It promises to be a lively gathering! TTA is a MedStartr and Health 2.0 NYC supporter/media sponsor since 2010; Editor Donna will be a host for this event and a MedStartr Mentor. Check the MedStartr page to find and fund some of the most interesting startup ideas in healthcare. For more information and to register, click the link in the title above or the sidebar advert at right.

NODE Health Digital Medicine Conference, 4-5 December, Microsoft Innovation Center, 11 Times Square

What will be the effective digital solutions bringing value across the healthcare continuum? Health system, payer, pharma, investors, academics, and healthcare tech executives will be discussing how to use digital health to improve outcomes, patient experience, and population health, and review the scientific evidence for digital innovation. It’s a combination of special sessions, workshops, Center of Excellence Tours, exhibitions, and poster sessions. TTA is a media partner of NODE Health 2017. Click the title above for more information and registration. (more…)

CES Unveiled’s preview of health tech at CES 2018

CES Unveiled, Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC, Thursday 9 November

The Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) press preview of the gargantuan CES 9-12 January 2018 Las Vegas event was the first of several international preview ‘road shows’. It’s a benchmark of the ebb and flow of health tech and related trends on the grand scale. Gone are the flashy wearables which would change colors based on our sweat patterns and heart rate, or track the health and movement of pets. Now it’s the Big Issues of 5G, AI, machine learning, AR/VR, and smart cities. Entertainment, especially sports, are now being reinvented by all of these.

The developments this Editor gleaned from the mountain of information CEA plies us keyboard tappers that are most relevant to healthcare are:

  • Wireless 5G. As this Editor has written previously from Ericsson and Qualcomm, 5G and 5G New Radio will enable amazingly fast mobile speeds and hard-to-believe fast connectivity by 2019. It will enable IoT, self-driving cars, cars that communicate with each other, reconstruction of industrial plants, electric distribution, multimodal transport, and perhaps the largest of all, smart cities. The automation of everything is the new mantra. Accenture estimates the impact will be 3 million new jobs (nothing about loss), annual GDP increased by $500bn, and drive a $275bn investment from telecom operators.
  • AI.  Society will be impacted by machine learning, neural networks and narrow (e.g. calorie counting, diagnostics) versus general AI (simulation of human intelligence). This affects voice-activated assistants like Echo, Alexa, and Google Home (now owned by 12 percent of the population, CES survey) as well as robotics to ‘read’ us better. These conversations with context may move to relationships with not only these assistants but home robots such as from Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri (which this Editor attempted to interact with on the show floor, to little effect and disappointment). Oddly not mentioned were uses of AI in ADL and vital signs tracking interpreted for predictive health.
  • Biometrics. This will affect security first in items like padlocks (the new Bio-Key Touchlock) using fingerprint recognition and smart wallets, then facial recognition usable in a wide variety of situations such as workplaces, buildings, and smartphones. Imagine their use in items like key safes, phones, home locks, and waypoints inside the home for activity monitoring.
  • AR and VR. Power presence now puts viewers in the middle of a story that is hard to distinguish from reality. The pricing for viewers is dropping to the $200-400 range with Oculus Go and Rift. At the Connected Health Conference, this Editor saw how VR experiences could ease anxiety and disconnectedness in older people with mobility difficulties or dementia (OneCaringTeam‘s Aloha VR) or pain reduction (Cedars-Sinai tests). The other is Glass for those hands-on workers [TTA 24 July] and heads-up displays in retail.

CES is also hosting the fourth Extreme Tech Challenge. Of the ten semi-finalists showing down on 11 January, three are in healthcare: Neurotrack to assess and improve memory; Tissue Analytics that uses smartphone cameras to assess wounds and healing; and (drum roll) the winner of TTA’s Insanely Cute Factor competition, the Owlet smart sock for baby monitoring [TTA’s backfile here]. One of the judges is Sir Richard Branson, who will host the finalists on 28 February on Necker Island (which hopefully will be rebuilt by that time).

After the nearly two-hour briefing, CEA hosted a mini-show on the ground floor of the Metropolitan. (more…)

BU CTE Center post-mortem presentation on Aaron Hernandez: stage 3 CTE

This past Thursday, Boston University CTE Center director Ann McKee presented the specific findings of the brain examination of New England Patriots’ player Aaron Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder when he committed suicide in his Massachusetts prison cell. The family donated his brain after his death. At age 27, his brain was determined to have Stage 3 (of 4) chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), with severe deposition of tau protein in the frontal lobes of the brain.

Dr. McKee noted, “These are very unusual findings for someone so young”, stating that this level of damage usually is found in players at least 20 years older. In a 2016 New York Times interview after the death of Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, Dr. McKee correlated long careers plus the increasing age of the player with the severity of CTE.

Dr. McKee confined herself to presenting the pathology, but the CTE Center’s research has associated CTE with aggressiveness, explosiveness, impulsivity, depression, memory loss and other cognitive changes. The CTE Center has pioneered research in the prevalence of CTE in NFL players’ brains [TTA 26 July] and is conducting longitudinal research on the relationship between concussive and sub-concussive head trauma and behavioral change [TTA 21 Sept] in the living. More details and video available here: Boston Herald, CNN. The September BU CTE Center diagnosis of Mr. Hernandez.

The importance to health tech is in the prevention, mitigation, and early diagnosis (not possible yet) of the end result of repeated concussive and sub-concussive damage, sustained in contact sports, military service (usually combat), and in civilian trauma from, for instance, car and industrial accidents. TTA’s long-standing coverage of CTE and brain trauma can be gleaned from searches on these terms.

Some quick, cheerful updates from Welbeing, CarePredict, Tunstall, Tynetec, Hasbro, Fitbit

It’s Friday, and in search of cheerful topics, here are some updates on doings from telecare, telehealth, and related companies we’ve recently noted on TTA:

Welbeing‘s opened a new head office at Technology Business Park in Moy Avenue in Eastbourne….CarePredict‘s AI for ADL system using the Tempo wearable has new implementations at LifeWell Senior Living’s community in Santa Fe, New Mexico (their third with CarePredict) and a three-year commitment with the Avanti Towne Lake community, Cypress, Texas. Dave Muoio has an interview with CEO Satish Movva on Mobihealthnews….Tunstall is partnering with Milpitas, California-based noHold’s Albert bot to create a virtual assistant for Tunstall’s mobile Smart Hub product, currently in Australia and in trials in Europe and the USA….Tynetec (advert above) has been closely associated and fundraised with the Dementia Dog Project and DogsforGood. An article in the Express highlights both in the beneficial role of pets with Alzheimers and dementia sufferers…. In robotic pet news, Hasbro is upgrading its ‘Joy for All’ companion pets through a Brown University research program, Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support (ARIES) to add medication reminders, basic artificial intelligence, and more (Mobihealthnews)….Fitbit continues its march to a clinicalized product touting diabetes management partnerships with Medtronic and DexCom, plus clinical trials detecting sleep apnea through its SpO2 sensor. 3rd quarter sales were up 23 percent to $244 million and 40 percent from repeat purchasers, but they took an $8 million loss from a distributor (MedCityNews).

Themes and trends at Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE 2017

Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE, in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday 14-15 November, annually attracts the top thinkers and doers in innovation and aging services. It brings together academia, designers, developers, investors, and senior care executives from all over the world to rethink the aging experience in both immediately practical and long-term visionary ways.

Looking at OPTIMIZE’s agenda, there are major themes that are on point for major industry trends.

Reinventing aging with an AI twist

What will aging be like during the next decades of the 21st Century? What must be done to support quality of life, active lives, and more independence? From nursing homes with more home-like environments (Green House Project) to Bill Thomas’ latest project–‘tiny houses’ that support independent living (Minkas)—there are many developments which will affect the perception and reality of aging.

Designers like Yves Béhar of fuseproject are rethinking home design as a continuum that supports all ages and abilities in what they want and need. Beyond physical design, these new homes are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology that support wellness, engagement, and safety. Advances that are already here include voice-activated devices such as Amazon Alexa, virtual reality (VR), and IoT-enabled remote care (telehealth and telecare).

For attendees at Aging2.0, there will be substantial discussion on AI’s impact and implications, highlighted at Tuesday afternoon’s general session ‘AI-ging Into the Future’ and in Wednesday’s AI/IoT-related breakouts. AI is powering breakthroughs in social robotics and predictive health, the latter using sensor-based ADL and vital signs information for wellness, fall prevention, and dementia care. Some companies part of this conversation are CarePredict, EarlySense, SafelyYou, and Intuition Robotics.

Thriving, not surviving

Thriving in later age, not simply ‘aging in place’ or compensating for the loss of ability, must engage the community, the individual, and providers. There’s new interest in addressing interrelated social factors such as isolation, life purpose, food, healthcare quality, safety, and transportation. Business models and connected living technologies can combine to redesign post-acute care for better recovery, to prevent unnecessary readmissions, and provide more proactive care for chronic diseases as well as support wellness.

In this area, OPTIMIZE has many sessions on cities and localities reorganizing to support older adults in social determinants of health, transportation innovations, and wearables for passive communications between the older person and caregivers/providers. Some organizations and companies contributing to the conversation are grandPad, Village to Village Network, Lyft, and Milken Institute.

Technology and best practices positively affect the bottom line

How can senior housing and communities put innovation into action today? How can developers make it easier for them to adopt innovation? Innovations that ‘activate’ staff and caregivers create a multiplier for a positive effect on care. Successful rollouts create a positive impact on both the operations and financial health of senior living communities.

(more…)

A blogger’s lot is not a happy one

Who would want to be a digital health blogger? Seconds of inspiration lead to minutes of typing which lead to hours of making sure you have the right URL embedded, the right layout, put in the right tags, tipped your hat to everyone who has helped, not caused offence (well not too much anyway), and so on. And for what? Occasionally you run into someone at a show who says how much they like a post, and that’s it. Well not quite, because there’s a wonderful sense of release when you’ve got something burning inside you out in the open, even if nothing comes back to you.

This came to mind recently because another drawback of being a blogger is that people send you stuff they think is important and get quite irate if you don’t agree (and so don’t blog it). One such piece is the announcement last week that David Allison, Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation and former Chief Operating Officer for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is joining Draper & Dash to add “to their stellar executive board team dedicated to enabling world-class digital analytics platforms”. I’ll say straight away that I don’t know why someone with such impeccable-looking credentials is taking essentially what used to be called a “desk job”, so I mean nothing personal by picking this example. It just happened to be the one that spurred me into action.

It does worry me though that (more…)

Fall risk in older adults may be higher during warm weather–indoors

A new study contradicts the accepted wisdom of ‘when’ and ‘where’. Fall risk for older adults peaks in the winter, with outdoor falls in the ice and snow. Wrong. A new study presented at the recent Anesthesiology 2017 meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists found that hip fractures peaked during the warmer months at 55 percent.

  • The leading months were May (10.5 percent), September (10.3 percent), and October (9.7 percent)
  • Over 76 percent of those fractures occurred indoors while tripping over an obstacle like throw rugs or falling out of bed
  • Outdoor fractures in warm months were led by trips over obstacles, with the second and third leading causes being struck by or falling from a vehicle (!) or falling on or down stairs

The study sampled 544 patients treated at The Hospital of Central Connecticut for hip fracture from 2013 to 2016, with warm months defined as May 1 through October 31. Study author Jason Guercio, MD, MBA concluded that “Given the results of this study, it appears that efforts to decrease fall risk among the elderly living in cold climates should not be preferentially aimed at preventing outdoor fractures in winter, but should focus on conditions present throughout the year, and most importantly on mitigating indoor risk.” For caregivers, another reason why hazards in walking areas have to be reviewed and minimized.

The information provided does not give any indication as to the patient activity when the accident happened. There was also no correlation with health conditions or time. For instance, other studies have pointed out that a person rising out of bed in the morning has a change of blood pressure (high and low), and in the middle of the night, that person may be half-asleep. 

Where does technology come in? Getting ahead of the curve via gait analytics to alert for changes in gait and difficulty in walking. Noticing those changes could lead to proactive care and prevention. But as of now, those systems are either in test (Xsens MVN BIOMECH, WiGait TTA 4 May, Carnegie-Mellon TTA 23 May 16, Tiger Place MU TTA 29 Aug 15) or in early days in assisted living (CarePredict)–which doesn’t much help older adults at home. ASA release, McKnight’s Senior Living

The King’s Fund 2018 Digital Health Congress–call for presentations, early bird rates

click to enlargeThe King’s Fund Digital Health & Care Congress, 10-11 July 2018, The King’s Fund, London.  Deadline for project submissions is Friday 15 December. Early bird rates now available!

It’s time again to think ahead! The King’s Fund Digital Health Congress organizers are again seeking the best projects on the adoption of technology in the English health system from those in the trenches, working in health and care. Project themes include:

  • Prevention and improving access to care
    Projects might include: self-care apps; digital access to rehabilitation services; patient access to care records or digital messaging to benefit public health.
  • Cross-sector working
    Projects might include: shared care records, interoperability and data sharing projects or technology to enable place-based working
  • Care design and delivery
    Projects might include: improving the quality and experience of care for patients; ways of engaging clinicians and service users in design of care pathways or using digital technology to change the way care is delivered.

More information on projects, how to submit them, and the presentation format are on their page here. Accepted presenters receive a complimentary admission to the full conference. Deadline is Friday 15 December and notification is Friday 26 January 2018.

Registration and sponsorships for July are open now. Early bird rates are available now through before 31 December, where you save £50. Sponsoring or exhibiting? Email Michael Spencer or call him on 020 7307 2482 to discuss opportunities. Hat tip to Claire Taylor of The King’s Fund for the advance notice. TTA is a media partner of The King’s Fund events (see Leeds upcoming in December–information/registration link at the right sidebar and here).

How *does* the NHS get funded and work? The King’s Fund pulls it together for you.

Confused on how a CCG (clinical commissioning group) is funded? Mystified about the relationship between local authorities and the NHS? Updated last month, The King’s Fund’s handy organograms (US=org chart) explain the formal organization of the NHS, how it is funded by Parliament, and the relationships between entities. The slides are downloadable. There are also two six-minute videos that tackle how NHS and NHS England work. See this page also for links to content on local service design, governance, and regulation, plus NHS finances. How is the NHS structured?

Tender Alerts: Yorkshire assistive tech, Wales DPS for health

Susanne Woodman, our Eye on Tenders, has set her gaze on two high-value UK tender offerings:

  • Yorkshire and the Humber: North Yorkshire County Council is seeking a vendor for Assistive Technology Services to enable people to live in their own homes for longer and reduce demand on social care services. The value of the five-year contract is £4.9m with a start of 01 April 2018 ending 31 March 2023. Tenders must be submitted by 17 January 2018. There is not much information on the Gov.UK page and it’s recommended that you contact Tim Wood of the NYCC at tim.wood@northyorks.gov.uk.
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS): The NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership is seeking multiple vendors for its procurement project establishing a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Digital Patient Services Partners. According to the tender summary, this will be the first ever DPS created in Health in the UK and within any known ICT market. There are five lots to this tender and it is complicated, so review the information on the Full Notice Text tab on the Sell2Wales site. This Editor suspects the deadline may be in error as it’s out to 30 July 2021!

NYeC sets SHIN-NY 2020 HIE roadmap, awards five leaders at gala

click to enlargeThe New York eHealth Collaborative’s biennial Gala last Wednesday marked the formal debut of the Statewide Health Information Network for NY (SHIN-NY or ‘shiny’) 2020 Roadmap for development of the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE). Before an audience of most of NY state’s healthcare organization leaders and key staff, new Executive Director Valerie Grey opened the evening with a topline of the SHIN-NY’s major goals in ensuring a robust HIE supporting value-based care, interoperability including innovations such as blockchain and natural language processing (NLP), public health advocacy, efficiency, and increased affordability. It extends NYeC’s founding goals of connecting providers and achieving the Triple Aim (improved patient experience, population health, at a lower per capita cost–which we don’t hear much about anymore). The full text of the Roadmap is available for download here.

NYeC recognized five healthcare leaders:

Transformative Leader: David Blumenthal, MD, President of The Commonwealth Fund, who is past Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Healthcare in Boston. The Commonwealth Fund is an independent research entity on health and social issues. Most recently, this Editor reviewed their paper on Spanish-language telemedicine assistance services [16 Aug]. Dr. Blumenthal noted the transformative spread of health records, to where a younger generation cannot conceive of dependency on written charts, and access of patients to their personal health records. He also noted the lack of system interoperability and usability. Will there be a disruptive entrant as he predicts in the future?

Honorees:

James (Jim) R. Tallon, Jr., former president of the United Hospital Fund of NY and former chairman of The Commonwealth Fund. He recounted the early years of NYeC (as a board member). In looking at the future, he hopes we can find our way to a more effective public policy. Overall, he believes that healthcare will be better organized and benefit more people. 

Paul Macielak, Esq., president and CEO of the NY State Health Plan Association which represents 29 NYS health plans, discussed the benefits of building out ‘the next mile’ — the HIE for the Capital (Albany) region for the consumer and the provider communities.

Patrick Roohan, VP Data Management and Analytic Solutions, MVP Health Care, was formerly the state Deputy Commissioner/Director of the Office of Quality and Patient Safety. He noted healthcare’s growth through technology and the effect it will have on quality and safety.

The night’s final honoree was Eugene (Gene) Heslin, MD, First Deputy Commissioner of the NY State Department of Health (DOH) and a family practice physician from Saugerties. (more…)

Public Health England: we’re hiring to expand digital initiatives

Public Health England is going on a bit of a hiring blitz, with currently nine posts on offer and more to come over the next few months, according to a report on PublicTechnology.net. Digital health is coming up front, with their stated intent to support an in-house user-centered design team and expanding their project- and delivery-management functions. The positions are manager and designer levels. This does seem in concert with NHS England initiatives noted on our most recent Tender Alerts. Those interested should refer to Gov.UK’s page on Working for PHE with links to Civil Service and NHS Jobs. Hat tip to Susanne Woodman of BRE.

And speaking of new jobs, Dr. Mike Short, who was a senior executive for many years with Telefónica (the O2 mobile network) and quite active in advocating digital health, has joined the UK Department for International Trade as their first Chief Scientific Adviser. He is also currently a visiting professor at the universities of Surrey, Coventry, Leeds and Lancaster. Congratulations! Another from PublicTechnology.net