February - May 2007
Telemedicine in British Prisons
The BBC reports that one of Britain's high-security prisons
telemedicine to diagnose suspected heart attacks among prisoners.
Managers at Wakefield Prison, which houses some of England's most notorious
criminals, say the move has improved public safety and cut costs.
A hand-held electrocardiogram (ECG) device sends a signal by landline to a
monitoring centre, where it is shown on a screen and interpreted by clinicians.
The results are given verbally over the phone and followed up with an email.
People experiencing heart problems would normally receive an ECG at hospital.
But the hand-held ECG can be used by people who are not health professionals,
according to the makers, Broomwell HealthWatch.
May 23rd, 2007
Bathing Infants in Radiation
Baby monitors could be "bathing
the infants in radiation at an age when they are most vulnerable to it,"
according to British newspaper The Independent.
Sir William Stewart, chairman of the Health Protection Agency, has been
privately pressing an investigation into the effects on children of installing
Wi-Fi networks in schools.
Baby monitors are typically placed close to infants, who are particularly at
risk from radiation. An inquiry by Sir William into mobile phones seven years
ago reported that a one-year-old child could absorb about twice as much per
kilogram of body weight as an adult.
Babies are especially vulnerable because their bodies and nervous systems are
still developing and because they will have more time to accumulate exposure to
the radiation and for any delayed effects to develop.
Professor Denis Henshaw of the University of Bristol said the monitors are
"being marketed without any checks and balances or even studies into their
May 23rd, 2007
Telemedicine Is Really Taking Off - But Not in the US
HealthCare & Productivity.com interviews Bill Crounse, worldwide health
director for Microsoft:
Other markets — South Korea, Thailand, Singapore — are looking at healthcare
as an exportable commodity. Telemedicine is really taking off in other parts of
the world where healthcare access is an issue. Not in the U.S. We’re also behind
in the way mobile devices are used. In fact, all around the world in healthcare,
I’m seeing faster adoption of information technology than here in the U.S. We
lag behind much of the industrialized world in healthcare IT and that gap will
widen if we are not careful.
May 17th, 2007
The Mobile Phone - Your New Healthcare Terminal
Mobile phones of the future will become "healthcare
terminals", incorporating such functions as blood pressure monitors and
thermometers, according to Japanese telecommunications giant NTT DoCoMo:
The company is weighing a function, for example, to take a user's temperature
using a built-in sensor and record and show it in a graph so that the user can
check and manage the data. A mobile phone is also expected to be used for the
management of data measured with, e.g., an external blood pressure meter or
pulse meter in addition to a thermometer.
On April 17, 2007, NTT Data Corp. announced that it will launch a test of
healthcare service using mobile phones. The service tested will store
measurement data obtained by external healthcare equipment in a mobile phone. In
the future, however, measurement itself is likely to be performed on a mobile
May 4th, 2007
Omron Targets Mother's Day
various of its healthcare monitors as gifts for Mother's Day. A press release
from the company states:
For busy mothers who take care of everyone around them, finding time to
manage their most important asset -- health -- can be quite a challenge. The
American Heart Association reports that heart disease is the number-one killer
of women, yet few American women are aware of the danger heart disease poses, or
the increased risk of strokes and heart attacks caused by high blood pressure,
physical inactivity and obesity. With Mother's Day quickly approaching, Omron
Healthcare is offering Moms easy-to-use products to proactively monitor their
health status and activity levels to help reduce these risk factors and stay
healthy for a lifetime.
Three products are being promoted:
Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HJ-720ITC Pocket Pedometer
Omron HBF-500 Body Composition Monitor with Scale
Meanwhile, Omron has reported
record sales and
profits for the year ending March 31st, 2007:
In Japan, sales of digital blood pressure monitors, body composition
analyzers and pedometers increased strongly on the back of expanding awareness
of metabolic syndrome and healthcare system reforms that will obligate insurers
to provide specified health checkups and health guidance to insured persons
starting in fiscal 2008.
Overseas, sales of digital blood pressure monitors, a core product, were weak in
the United States, reflecting a slowdown in consumer spending, but sales in
Europe were strong overall, led by the digital blood pressure monitor business
in Russia and Eastern Europe. In China, the decline in selling prices of blood
pressure monitors continued in an intensely competitive environment, but sales
increased over the previous fiscal year due to sales expansion in the second
half of the period.
May 3rd, 2007
Med-e-Tel 2007 conference on eHealth and telemedicine opens today, with
sessions on such topics as "Homecare Applications and Maintaining Quality of
Life for Elderly, Disabled and People with Special Needs", "User Experience
Guidelines for eHealth Telecare Services', "International Telemedicine & eHealth
Initiatives and Developments" and "eHealth for Developing Countries: Lessons
Also, check out the
April 18th, 2007
Sleep Apneoa on YouTube
Machine blogger writes:
Whilst bored at home, I have spent man hours scouring YouTube and found the
following videos all about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, a condition I have suffered
from for 10 years or so and have been receiving treatment in the form of CPAP
(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) for the last 4 years.
April 11th, 2007
Teleradiology leader NightHawk Radiology Holdings has
announced the acquisition of The Radlinx Group.
According to a
The acquisition of The Radlinx Group and its 303 hospitals increases
NightHawk's customer base to over 1,300 hospitals nationwide representing 24% of
all U.S. hospitals. With the addition of The Radlinx Group, NightHawk
significantly expands its presence in key areas of the United States, including
Texas, the second largest market in the U.S. Combined with the recent
acquisition of Teleradiology Diagnostic Service in California, this acquisition
further solidifies NightHawk's position as the industry leader for providing
high quality, cost effective radiology solutions to radiology groups across the
"The strategic acquisition of The Radlinx Group, with their doctors located
across the U.S., should help alleviate concerns the industry may have about
Medicare interpretations being performed outside the U.S.," said Tim Mayleben,
NightHawk Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "While we
continue to capitalize on the efficiencies of our centralized approach to
interpreting radiological procedures, we are also able to utilize our
proprietary workflow to seamlessly distribute images to our U.S.-based doctors."
April 10th, 2007
CPAP Is Best
Reuters Health reports:
People with mild to moderate sleep apnea may benefit more from breathing
pressurized air via a facemask at night than from wearing an oral device while
they sleep, Chinese researchers report.
In addition, losing weight seems to improve disordered breathing during sleep,
but most people can't ease the problem sufficiently with weight loss alone.
...CPAP improved obstructed breathing better than the oral appliance, which, in
turn, improved breathing better than conservative measures alone, the
researchers report. Moreover, CPAP was associated with significantly better
relief from daytime sleepiness.
...Summing up, the researchers conclude: "CPAP produced the best improvement in
terms of physiologic, symptomatic, and health-related quality-of-life measures,
while the oral appliance was slightly less effective."
April 7th, 2007
Telemedicine is Hot - It Just Needs a Good Branding Campaign
OMMA (the magazine of online media, marketing and advertising) reports:
Think user-created video and music are hot? Meet telemedicine.
Sometimes called digital medicine or remote monitoring, the process of providing
health care remotely via the Web is a massive market that is finally beginning
...“The technology behind the industry has been in place for 15 years,” says
[research analyst Harry] Wang. “What holds it back is the lack of understanding
of the business between doctors, insurers and patients.”
In other words, a few good branding campaigns could help this nascent industry
grow into a real market.
April 4th, 2007
Pedometer - the "Stick a Clock in It" Device of the New Millennium
Gizmodo mocks the Sony Ericsson W580 cellphone for its pedometer, with a
Even though the pedometer has essentially become the "stick a clock in it"
device of the new millennium, this video shows that designers actually put some
love into the interface. And besides, how else can one track just how many
jostles closer their phone is to dying?
April 2nd, 2007
When the concept of telemedicine was introduced several years ago with the
intent of broadening patient access to a decreasing number of specialists,
dermatology was considered possibly the best specialty to use the new system
because it is such a visual field.
Dermatology Times talked to several dermatologists around the country who have
used, or are familiar with, teledermatology. The doctors discussed development
of the program and the problems and advances made within teledermatology. Some
of them are in tertiary care centers, others in private practice. Some are
finding it extremely useful, others are still waiting for bugs to be worked out,
not the least of which is reimbursement.
It's a lengthy and fascinating report.
March 30th, 2007
A commentator in Britain's Daily Telegraph discusses a
recent judge's ruling on
sex, alcohol and consent:
During Monday's ruling in the Court of Appeal, Sir Igor said: "Provisions
intended to protect women from sexual assaults might very well be conflated into
a system which would provide patronising interference with the right of
autonomous adults to make personal decisions for themselves."
One suggestion, apparently, has been some kind of ''sex breathalyser'' which
will tell a woman when she is past the point of being able to give consent. Is
the drunk potential rape victim supposed to self-test? Should nice boys carry
them to make sure the consent is copper-bottomed?
March 29th, 2007
Telemedicine - ECG Results to Your Doctor's Mobile Phone
Engadget reports on a new telemedicine device:
There's a growing number of devices that not only monitor one's health, but
can also transmit pertinent information back to remote caregivers, but SHL
Telemedicine's latest gizmo takes things a step further by beaming your ECG
results directly to your physician's mobile phone. The oddly-named CardioSen'C
is a portable heart-monitoring system that gathers information from twelve
electrodes strapped to one's chest and upper body, and once activated, transmits
the results of the electrocardiograph instantly to a user-selected handset.
March 28th, 2007
Nine Best Pedometers
The Prevention.com website
tested 38 pedometers and presents (pdf file) profiles of
the nine best of
these. They are Acumen Jog Mate, Omron HJ-105, Accusplit Eagle 1720, Highgear
Via, Yamax SW-200 Digi-Walker, Sportline Fitness Pro Pedometer 360, Oregon
Scientific Talking Pedometer with FM Radio, New-Lifestyles NL-2000 and
March 28th, 2007
Breathalyzer Story of the Day
A Bulgarian school is reporting an improvement in student grades after
introducing a breathalyser test for teachers.
The headmaster of Hristo Botev school in Vratsa brought in the tests for all
teachers after students complained they were turning up smelling of beer and the
local home-made spirit rakia.
Headmaster Victor Krastev said: "At first the teachers thought I was joking but
they soon got used to the test, and it works perfectly - now they are all as
sober as babies and we have seen a 15% improvement in grades."
He said he planned to pass on his experiences to other headmasters who claim
they have the same problems with staff.
March 20th, 2007
Polar Or Garmin
- Which Heart Rate Monitor Is Best?
Polar is one of the leading names in heart rate
monitors, for athletes and others. Garmin is also popular, with a range of
monitors, some of which not only measure heart rate but also use global
positioning system technology to track speed and distance covered. Both
companies have their fans. But which is best?
The IndyStar.com website carries a
comparison from road racer Josh Trisler:
Polar is the most trusted name in heart-rate monitors. Polar has now released
a line of running computers that use a foot-pod speed and distance sensor along
with their heart-rate function. Foot pods use inertia devices known as
accelerometers to calculate speed and distance.
Continue reading "Polar
Or Garmin - Which Heart Rate Monitor Is Best?
March 19th, 2007
Report on Four Pedometers
In its "Gear" section the Los Angeles Times carries a report, "Pedometers
Catch Up To The 21st Century", with a brief look at four products.
- High Gear VIA Wrist: Combination pedometer and wristwatch. "Wristwatch
does double duty."
- Oregon Scientific Pedometer with Pulse Meter: Combines a pedometer and
a streamlined heart-rate monitor. "Counts steps and heartbeats."
- Omron Pocket Pedometer: Deluxe model that can download your workout
information to a computer. "Work out, then geek out by analyzing data."
- Sportline 345: Basic flip-up, waist-belt ped with popular distance and
calories-burned features. "Simple model with popular features."
March 13th, 2007
Shouldn't Bother With It"
The TidBITS website carries the
longest review I've seen for
the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. In essence, the writer doesn't really like it. Here's
the first paragraph:
I've been putting this review off, because it doesn't thrill me to warn even
a subset of people away from a popular product. But that's exactly what I have
to do - in short, although the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be a fun addition for
anyone who runs with an iPod or wants a bit more encouragement to run,
competitive runners shouldn't bother with it. It simply isn't worthwhile as a
training aid for anyone who values distance and pace accuracy.
March 12th, 2007
Remote Heart Monitors - Telemedicine in the
The Food and Drug
Administration's rejection of Medtronic's remote heart monitor has been big
news - probably because it was reported in the "newspaper of record", the
New York Times.
According to the report:
Medicine's march toward remote monitoring of patients hit at least a
temporary roadblock yesterday.
Continue reading "Remote Heart
Monitors - Telemedicine in the News"