Posts Tagged ‘medical technology’



Q&A: Seamless Medical’s David Perez is Giving the Physician Waiting Room a 2.0 Update

October 14th, 2013
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David Perez is the founder and CEO of Seamless Medical Systems, a New Mexico-based company that developed cloud-based patient-engagement platforms that integrate electronic medical records (EMRs) and other health data to create a complete health profile for any patient. SNAP® Practice, a Seamless product, engages a patient starting with registration in the waiting room, extending to the exam room while connecting patients and practice via any mobile device outside of the office. Popper and Company’s Ken Walz interviewed Perez about Seamless Medical Systems and what he sees ahead in the future of healthcare technology. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Digital Health Prevent You from a Premature Death?

June 27th, 2013
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“Prevention is better than cure,” said Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist and scholar. Now, a modern report on technology highlights just this concept, and in the process emphasizes the value of digital health in aiding prevention.

In this year’s Internet Trends report, the authoritative assessment of the Internet’s evolution, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers featured various components of digital health. The report shows a relationship—albeit not necessarily a correlation—between the volume of health data being shared, the number of wearable devices, and health apps and the increasing power placed in the hands of consumers to manage and improve their own health.

In one powerful statistic, Meeker’s report showed that 40 percent of premature deaths—the largest proportion of such deaths—are due to behavioral factors such as smoking, obesity and inactivity, and alcohol abuse. This figure indicates that consumers can proactively avoid premature death by becoming better informed about their own health and, if/when motivated, taking action to avoid the risk factors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medicare’s Data Release Places More Power in Hands of Informed Medical Consumers

May 8th, 2013
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Today, Medicare is releasing data on in-patient hospital costs across the country to provide consumers/patients with cost comparison information. Unsurprisingly, the data are interesting and price discrepancies staggering, but the release of the data itself is also fascinating as yet another example of big government opening its vaults, so to speak, as well as adding more momentum to the power shift in healthcare from physicians/providers toward consumers/patients.

This move clearly speaks to the idea that access to information can drive behavior/decision making and that access to cost information can harness the power of the medical consumer to drive costs down. Read the rest of this entry »

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Making Telehealth Work in the Clinic

February 21st, 2012
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In a previous blog post for Popper and Co, I discussed how telehealth can be a life-saving tool in rural and urban settings. As devices get more versatile and affordable, we will start seeing additional efficiencies in health care delivery. Moreover, patients will (if they aren’t already) start demanding it. But does telehealth work in every situation? And how should telehealth systems developers adapt to an individual practice’s needs?

The Center for Telehealth and Cybermedicine Research found that while enthusiasm for telehealth was high among patients and (some) caregivers, not every clinic could perceive a benefit. It is very easy, for example, to lose the advantages of this technology without first doing some preliminary research on your particular center and patients. Telehealth must be needs-driven, filling gaps in health services that are not effectively met.

In some cases, demand for telehealth may not be very high. If patients can find care at other facilities or may be reluctant to seek care for certain diseases, then telehealth may not be helpful. Similarly, if practitioners are reluctant to use telehealth tools, this reluctance may place such a system in jeopardy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Telehealth Saves Lives, Reduces Costs: A Physician’s Perspective

February 9th, 2012
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Wireless technology is evolving in positive ways. It’s now more affordable, more accessible (thanks to broadband capacity), and more portable (via devices such as tablets and smartphones). And it is no exaggeration to say that this technology has made a life-saving difference for many patients who otherwise would not get care.

At the Center for Telehealth and Cybermedicine Research at the University of New Mexico, we studied the ability of telehealth tools (e.g., video connections, conference calling, electronic record sharing) to improve access and outcomes of rural New Mexicans suffering from a variety of health problems. In that role, we have been the incubator for several applications of telehealth designed to integrate the technologies that address important healthcare needs and gaps in access. One example was hepatitis C. While this disease is curable, multiple treatments are required and patients must be monitored for adverse effects. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) was initially incubated in our Center under the leadership of Dr. Sanjeev Arora. That project was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating how the program provided community healthcare providers with the expertise and tools they needed to treat hundreds, if not thousands, of people who previously were receiving no care for hepatitis C. In addition, outcomes of these remote patients were as good as outcomes of patients who traveled (often hundreds of miles) to the University’s medical center in Albuquerque. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cutting a Path Toward Product Development

January 9th, 2011
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A recent issue of The New Yorker included an interesting article by Jonah Lehrer entitled,  The Truth Wears Off—Is there something wrong with the scientific method? The article focuses on the “decline effect,” which has been observed and debated in various studies in disciplines ranging from psychology to pharmacology to biomedical research.  One of the observations is: As more trials were conducted with a given agent, the less efficacious that agent appeared.  In many cases, the agent was no better than its predecessor, even though the initial study results were significant.

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