MedStartr Challenge at the AMIA Annual Symposium 5 November

Alex Fair, CEO of MedStartr, has posted this Editor on their latest Crowd Challenge, this time at the AMIA Annual Symposium in San Francisco, 3-7 November. There are over 40 companies competing for five presentation spots in the AMIA 2018 PitchIT Competition on 5 November. What’s at stake? AMIA’s Informatics Partnership Council (IPC) sponsoring PitchIt has a prize of up $12,500, plus MedStartr has $25,000 in grants and entry into the MedStartr Acceleration Program. The link to the eligible companies is here on MedStartr, the leading crowdfunding platform exclusively for healthcare. Review, vote, and fund! 

Connected health to help cure–physician burnout?

Here’s an interesting proposition: digital health tools such as telemedicine, telehealth and mobile health can help to reduce physician burnout. Except that if one is looking for support points in this HCI Healthcare Informatics article, one would be hard pressed. There’s no link to QuantiaMD‘s study (a 225,000-member US physician community), an inexplicable lapse. Your persistent Editor tracked it down, and found it connects the dots a bit more. It starts with the proposition that nearly half of doctors wouldn’t recommend medicine as a career to their children, then identifies a key frustration–“healthcare technologies that sap time and money are among the top reasons.” The solution? Other “emerging technologies—in the form of telemedicine, mHealth tools, and connected health devices—may actually help reverse this trend of physician burnout.” The paper then describes how telemedicine virtual visits, giving patients telehealth tools which will aid compliance and monitoring, especially with new treatments, and the opportunity to improve care all are Good Things. But not entirely convincing that these can be effective in mitigating the complex reasons why behind doctor burnout. Read the QuantiaMD study for yourself. Hat tip to Stuart Hochron, MD, JD of Practice Unite via LinkedIn

65 years of health informatics

The surprising fact is that healthcare informatics, so associated with IT and computers, started well before computers in wide use*–65 years ago by Germany’s Dr. Gustav Wagner, founder of the German Society for Medical Documentation, Computer Science and Statistics which continues today as the GMDS. This infographic published in HealthWorks Collective presents other milestones on the timeline such as the influential paper published in 1959 by Ledney and Lusted on the use of computers in medical diagnosis and therapy. Unfortunately the UK and European advances of the period and forward are passed by in the graphic’s US focus. To fill in the historical gaps: Vanderbilt University Department of Biomedical Informatics backgrounder, Health Informatics/Wikipedia  Hat tip to reader William T. Oravecz of Saint Francis Care, Connecticut.

*Computers were developed for WWII war work: codebreaking Colossus [UK, which broke the German High Command’s codes on the Lorenz SZ-40] and the ENIAC [US Army 1946, for ballistic computation!]