News & Updates

The Annals of Internal Medicine publishes a study on patient comprehension of findings from clinical trials. The study concludes that patients understand health data best when it is expressed in percentages.

CakeHealth launches to the public. Cake Health bills itself as the “Mint of Health Insurance” and helps users track their health claims and expenses. Though it has spent significant resources writing code to scrape information from health care plans, collecting information from the fragmented health insurance industry remains a challenge.

The Office of Minority Health at HHS is partnering with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and AT&T to launch a mobile health project that will provide diabetes self-management training. The study seeks to measure the impact of mHealth interventions on clinical outcomes.

A study in Health Affairs concludes that adding a telehealth intervention for MediCare patients with chronic diseases led to significant spending reductions ($312–$542) per person per quarter. Early evidence also suggests that patients in the telehealth arm may have better mortality outcomes though full analysis is still pending.

Qualcomm partners with Life Care Networks in launching a mobile health project in rural China. The system transmits data from smartphones equipped with ECG sensors as well as other heart disease data to a call center in Beijing staffed around-the-clock by physicians who provide remote monitoring, diagnosis, consultation and treatment services.

United HealthCare releases report on immense potential of telehealth services to provide quality healthcare in rural communities with little access to health care providers. Among the report’s recommendations were expanding rural broadband connectivity, aligning reimbursement across payers to encourage more telemedicine use and improving the availability of telemedicine programs.

athenahealth announces the release of the first online dashboard to provide clear visibility into the performance of physicians on the athenahealth network against Meaningful Use criteria. Visitors to athenahealth.com/MU can explore all 20 Meaningful Use measures and view up-to-date information on how athenahealth’s physicians perform in regards to each measure.

Researchers at the University of Missouri College of Engineering are conducting a feasibility study using the Microsoft Kinect to monitor fall risk among elderly patients. The system would monitor for changes in behavior and activity that might suggest coordination or cognitive changes that would increase fall risk. The Microsoft Kinect was previously used by University of Toronto surgeons to scan medical images during operations with the wave of a hand (without having to disturb a sterile field).

The Wall Street Journal reports on the upcoming ICD-10 medical billing system, which will expand the number of codes 10-fold over the current ICD-9 system. For those clumsy patients, physicians can now bill W22.02X for "walked into lamppost" or select from 312 codes for animal encounters including “bitten by an orca” (W5621XA).

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