Friday, August 31, 2007

The Emotional Side of Diabetes - 10 Things You Should Know

The Emotional Side of Diabetes - 10 Things You Should Know: "The Emotional Side of Diabetes Living well with diabetes takes emotional strength. Why? Because this is a tough disease. Diabetes is more than just a simple matter of eating right and taking your medications. Staying strong emotionally is the key to keeping stress and your blood glucose levels where they belong. Unfortunately, people with diabetes as well as doctors often neglect these “real life” aspects of the disease. How can you manage diabetes while also giving proper attention to your own thoughts and feelings? What follows are the most important things you need to know about the emotional features of diabetes, including: the personal side the social side the behavioral side"

Diabetes Mine: Breaking Ground with "The Self-Managed Disease"

Diabetes Mine: Breaking Ground with "The Self-Managed Disease": "The point is (yes, I'm getting to it!) that patients aren't just abstract 'subjects' at which doctors can throw new drugs and devices. Rather, they are the key people who will make the medicine work. Like so many 'new' concepts in medical science, common sense is finally coming to the surface here: patients' behavior matters at least as much as the treatments available!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Relational Agents and Virtual Health Coaches

Relational Agents and Virtual Health Coaches : "Schizophrenia affects 1% of the population, and requires long-term management of symptoms. With medication adherence, symptoms can be controlled permitting individuals with this condition to enjoy a fuller, more productive life. However, the incidence of medication non-adherence in schizophrenia approaches 50% the first year and sometimes 75% the second year. Research has shown that psycho-education plus the interpersonal relationship of a health care provider can affect outcomes in a positive way by improving adherence, decreasing hospital re-admissions, and improving symptoms. The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate a home desktop computer-based relational agent to promote medication adherence among patients with schizophrenia. Patients will have a daily consultation with the agent about their medication-taking behavior, obstacles to adherence and coping strategies for medication side effects."

Price Shopping

Price Shopping : "Question: My wife recently went to the doctor. She recommended blood work that was going to cost $300 at a local hospital laboratory. She asked if there was something cheaper or an alternative since we had to pay for this out of pocket. The nurse told her about a company that would come to the house, draw the blood, and charge us $80 and send the results to the doctor. We set up an appointment, had the work done and everything worked out well. I am surprised that there was an alternative that was so much less expensive. Is this common?

Answer: Charges for out of pocket services in the healthcare system often have large differences. Many of the providers only market by word of mouth through nurses, technicians and physician office employees. Your experience points out how important it is to ask questions. You never know when one of these provider services might exist and at much lower prices than standard institutions. Remember to get your blood work done well in advance of a doctor’s appointment so the results are in the doctor’s hands when you arrive. Without that report you may need to schedule a second and basically unnecessary and costly doctor’s appointment. Thanks for sharing your experience."

HealthCareSoundOff.com

HealthCareSoundOff.com: "So there really is no rhyme or reason to how hospitals price and what you will pay for services. But with your deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance going up, you have an incentive to do some shopping. Where should you start?"

SIMpill

SIMpill: "

We provide innovative yet simple solutions that are easy to implement, easy to use and give a disproportionate return on investment:

* Text message reminders to patients to take their medication (includes disease specific lists, a range of 600+ different informative daily reminders, ability to target by stage of disease and treatment),

* Range of patient information which can be re-branded according to your needs,

* Provider/prescriber intervention where required,

* Consultation on organising and running support groups where appropriate

* SIMpill® compliance monitoring and intervention in selected patients."

Virtual Coach for Pain Management | Centre for Global eHealth Innovation

Virtual Coach for Pain Management | Centre for Global eHealth Innovation: "The Virtual Coach will guide patients through a series of common questions about the experience and management of pain related to a particular health issue. The initial content of this tool will focus on questions that women with breast cancer have about pain related to cancer eventually expanding to include questions relevant to individuals with other cancer types and pain of other etiologies. The database of questions will reflect questions of interest to patients based on interviews conducted with patients and health professionals. The Virtual Coach will prompt patients to select and prioritize questions that are most relevant to them at that time. It will offer standardized responses to each of the questions in the database and include links to authorized resources with further information. The Virtual Coach will also help patients prepare for routine questions that they will likely receive from their health professional during a typical pain assessment. The Virtual Coach will prompt patients to prepare answers to a series of questions that their health professional will likely ask them about their pain. This list of questions will be developed in consultation with health professionals with expertise in pain management. We envision that use of this online system will enable a better exchange of information during consultations, improve the ability of patients and c"

A Mobile Phone Based Tele-Monitoring System For Chronic Disease Management | Centre for Global eHealth Innovation

A Mobile Phone Based Tele-Monitoring System For Chronic Disease Management | Centre for Global eHealth Innovation: "Bluetooth-enabled medical devices (BP monitor 2 and glucometer) were used to transmit data to a mobile phone. A custom application running on the mobile phone acts as a personal medical diary of the patient’s test history. The application relays data securely back to a central data repository where clinical rules are applied and alerts generated. These alerts are sent to the patient’s physician by fax (in the absence of any other electronic means of communication) and to the patient by automated text and phone messages. The system is designed to remind patients by text and voice message to take their home readings if they fail to adhere to the prescribed schedule."

SIMpulse - Your health-heart-beat

SIMpulse - Your health-heart-beat: "Every time you take your medicine simply press a speed dial on your cell phone and we'll record your medication event. Register your prescription with us and we will send a text message to your cell phone to remind you if you forget. If you still forget, after we have reminded you, as an option, we can send a text message to a friend or family member's phone, who can then personally remind you to take your medicine. Additionally we will make available your health heart beat records and graphs on our website, so that you and your loved ones can keep track of just how well you are following your chronic medication program."

Health IT in India

Health IT in India Despite India’s recent ascendancy as the hub of the IT and IT-enabled services industry powered by a vast pool of skilled manpower, it has lagged tremendously behind other countries in HIT adoption. Large corporate hospitals in India spend under 1% of their operating budget on IT, while spending is closer to 3% in the West. Barring a few preliminary attempts to computerize basic hospital administrative and some clinical functions, there has been little appreciation or impetus given to HIT adoption.

IndivoHealth | Personally Controlled Health Record

IndivoHealth | Personally Controlled Health Record: " Indivo is a personally controlled health record system that enables patients to own complete, secure copies of their medical records. Indivo integrates health information across sites of care and over time. Indivo is built to public standards as an open-source application platform and is actively deployed in real-life settings.

Distinguishing Features of Indivo The Indivo personally controlled health record differs from other PHR efforts in important ways:

* Indivo places a strict emphasis on patient control and ownership of medical information and offers the detailed technical infrastructure to provide this control. Hence we use the term 'personally controlled health record' to describe Indivo.

* Indivo is an actual medical record, not a portal. (Portals, often provided by healthcare institutions, are windows through which patients can view, but not own or control, a portion of their health data stored at that institution.)

* Indivo stores fully detailed clinical encounter records, taken from either electronic systems, paper reports or patient entry. Indivo's XML-based storage allows for a flexible data model and Indivo developers are working closely with the HITSP process to ensure broad interoperability.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Patient Destiny: The 10 Steps to Patient Empowerment

Patient Destiny: The 10 Steps to Patient Empowerment:
"Step 1: Learn from other's experience! Accept that empowerment is possible and with this, will come an improvement in overall health
2: Search for like patients. These partners are invaluable in advising you how to take charge and ensuring that you are not alone.
Step 3: Search for providers. It is critical that your physician (or other care provider) wants to work with you as much as you want to work with them.
Step 4: Take stock. Search for information on your disease. It is very important to know more about what things are good and what things are bad to do relating to your overall health
Step 5: Get access to your specific information so as to help you make decisions.
Step 6: Be willing to raise questions and present options to your provider.
Step 7: Provide your physician with accurate status updates – again, if you work with them, then they will work with you.
Step 8: Be responsible – follow your treatment protocol - comply with your medication schedule - this helps you gain credibility with all of your providers and care team.
Step 9: Stay active in your general search and looking for specific data that may help you like a personal health record or patient portals. Look for tools to assist in your decision making –the Internet is a great source providing websites for empowerment. There are many out there.
Step 10: Reach out to other like patients that you can mentor in order to complete the circle; this promotes awareness and brings us all further along the path to empowerment."

DesktopSpa

DesktopSpa: "ImagePaths.com LLC announced yesterday the release of DesktopSpa, a web-based health services provider offering consumers direct access to complementary and preventative health interventions for a wide range of costly conditions such as stress, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure and depression. DesktopSpa delivers brief, 2 to 6-minute audio and video health exercises, such as yoga, acupressure, guided imagery and meditation, to individuals' personal computers and handheld devices. The patent-pending system enables users to build their own personalized complementary healthcare schedule that prompts and reminds them when it is time for Daily Desktop Treatments. DesktopSpa's treatments have been produced by more than 20 of holistic healthcare's most trusted and respected authorities, including Andrew Weil, Belleruth Naparstek, Bernie Siegel, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joan Borysenko and Cyndi Lee."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Challenge Diabetes

Challenge Diabetes: "“We believe ultimately it’s more about self – management than physician management (the truth is they probably don’t all have time to look through mountains of numbers – it’s probably better for you to look at the key ones! But all these trials will be great for researchers to learn more on the technology so we’re all in favor”. And we couldn’t agree more with that emphasis on self-management or even teams of patients working together. The days of provider-centric diabetes care are numbered and Diabetech is proving out this new care model."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The folly of 1 percent policy - The Boston Globe

The folly of 1 percent policy - The Boston Globe: "THE PHRASE that comes to mind when you hear Dick Cheney is probably not 'reshaping American childbirth.' Yet Vice President Cheney's 'One Percent Doctrine' -- the title of Ron Suskind's 2006 book on post9/11 national security policy -- perfectly captures an approach to decision-making in American medicine that misallocates resources and undermines primary care. By focusing maximum resources on preventing an extremely rare but potentially disastrous outcome over necessary preventive care, this model has shaped healthcare decision-making in areas ranging from hysterectomies to coronary bypasses. One shift -- the rapidly rising caesarean rate -- exemplifies this problem. "

PCHRI 2006 | The Harvard Medical School Meeting on Personally Controlled Health Record Infrastructure

PCHRI 2006 | The Harvard Medical School Meeting on Personally Controlled Health Record Infrastructure: "Patients should be at the center of the healthcare universe. Personal Health Records are an integral part of the national debate on healthcare reform. But are patients' rights being considered in the move towards an interconnected health system? And will the infrastructure that emerges truly support and encourage the development and adoption of innovative new healthcare products and services? Are 'Health Banks' the answer? These were some of the issues explored at the first annual invited Harvard Medical School Meeting on Personally Controlled Health Records Infrastructure. This invitation-only event was held on October 10th and 11th, 2006 at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School."

HealthFrame - Personal Health Record Software - Features

HealthFrame - Personal Health Record Software - Features: "• Calendar Use the calendar for a time-based view of your medical record: tests, treatments, visits or other relevant occurrences. • Charts Graphical charts provide visual feedback on your key medical indicators: weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. • Continuity of Care The ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR) standard allows you to share electronic medical records with your doctors. • Expense Tracking HealthFrame can record and report on expenses related to any aspect of your medical care (visits, medications, etc). • Forms & Reports HealthFrame generates common forms based on your health records: family history, summer camp, medical history, etc. • Journals Journals are a collection of notes (journal entries) around a particular health or wellness-related topic. • Library Access to relevant, accredited information about your health (conditions, medications, immunizations, tests). • Medical History This powerful, easy to read, and easy to customize report succinctly summarizes your entire medical history. • Related Links HealthFrame™ lets you add or link to any related information you want. • Sync with iPod With a click, transfer emergency contact information, provider and medication lists, known allergies"

PHRs are becoming smarter and more useful !

Friday, August 24, 2007

The globalisation of healthcare services

The globalisation of healthcare services There are many factors for the growth of so-called medical tourism, which is really simply the globalization of health care services. These factors depend somewhat on the countries being considered, but they include: the rapid development of very high quality health care professionals and facilities in low wage countries in the past decade; the extremely high costs associated with medical, dental, and surgical procedures in the U.S.; and the relatively long waits for some types of care in the U.K., Canada, and other nations with nationalized health payment schemes. I think you’d also have to add the globalization of information technology, such as the World Wide Web, and the attractiveness of many of the destination countries in terms of their cultures and vacation offering. The world is becoming
flat, as Thomas Friedman says, and this applies even to some health care products and services.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Health 2.0 conference - health2con.com

health2con.com: "The Health 2.0 Conference September 20, 2007 The Hilton San Francisco . Social networks are redefining relationships within communities in unanticipated and previously unimaginable ways. Web 2.0 tools – like blogs, wikis, podcasts, user-generated video and specialized search – are generating a fundamental shift away from the traditional flow of information as defined by payers, physicians, hospital systems, and suppliers. It is absolutely clear that we are at the start of a significant shift in demand from both consumers and providers for better information and easier ways to share experiences."

The Missing Link: Bridging The Patient-Provider Health Information Gap -- Tang and Lansky 24 (5): 1290 -- Health Affairs

The Missing Link: Bridging The Patient-Provider Health Information Gap -- Tang and Lansky 24 (5): 1290 -- Health Affairs: "How does an EHR differ from a PHR? One way to view the difference is to consider the intended user. An EHR is a collection of health information that has been gathered by and is managed by an enterprise—typically a doctor’s office, a hospital, or an integrated system. In today’s health care system, one patient might have several EHRs under the control of various organizations. No one EHR has all of the patient’s health information. Fully integrated systems, such as those of Kaiser Permanente and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), come closest to having comprehensive information on their patients. In contrast, a PHR is meant to address the health information needs of the individual patient or consumer. In addition to the provider-centric recording of the patient’s interaction with the health care system, a PHR would include information, entered by the patient, about daily symptoms, over-the-counter medicines taken, personal exercise programs, special diets, or data from home monitoring devices. By combining personal health information with knowledge about diseases and their treatment, a PHR system can provide tools to help patients become more active participants in their own health care."

IndivoHealth | Concept & Research | Personally Controlled Health Record

IndivoHealth | Concept & Research | Personally Controlled Health Record: "The Indivo system is essentially an inversion of the current approach to medical records, in that the record resides with the patients and the patients grant permissions to institutions, clinicians, researchers, and other users of medical information. Indivo is a distributed, web-based, personally controlled electronic medical record system that is ubiquitously accessible to the nomadic user, built to public standards, and available under an open-source license. The concepts evolve from our 1994 publication, the Guardian Angel Manifesto and our early innovations with electronic patient-doctor communication. We put forth principles to guide development of patient controlled records in a 2001 BMJ paper:"

Managing diabetes better with your mobile phone

Good blood glucose control is the best defence against developing the complications of diabetes, but interpreting your blood glucose results is not always easy.

The think positive diabetes management system (t+ diabetes) will help you to track your blood glucose levels, providing immediate feedback whenever you send a reading wherever you are. t+ diabetes will help you to develop a better understanding of what affects your blood glucose level and how you can control your condition for a better life


Meter, phone and server

How the t+ diabetes management system can help you

With immediate feedback on all your results, t+ diabetes gives you the reassurance that your condition is being closely monitored

t+ diabetes lets you take control of your condition by developing a better understanding of what works for you

by providing close support from healthcare professionals, t+ diabetes helps you to account for changes in your condition quickly and easily

t+ diabetes saves you time, as the system reminds you when prescribed items are running low and allows you to reorder from your pharmacy with your mobile phone

t+ diabetes is quick and easy to use, consisting of a mobile phone, a OneTouch® Ultra® meter and a specially designed Bluetooth cradle to link the two together

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Learning Healthcare System:

The Learning Healthcare System:: "The opportunities to use EHRs as a basis for increased collaboration between patient and provider are immense. One major consideration in everyday health care is medication list management. This is a truly important area because we are caught in a paradigm where there is a disconnect between what a physician thinks a patient is taking and what the patient is taking in reality. In this case, patients have the opportunity to play a critical role in the translation of everyday information to their provider through the utility of tools such as EHRs. Currently, however, few patients think it is their responsibility to keep track of what they are actually taking. These new tools present an opportunity to change the culture that fosters this disconnect for both the patient and the provider. Another opportunity centers around the ability to update conditions and status. There is a lot of work being done on interactive patient portals where patients can manage personal health records. This will require a better understanding of how patients view their own condition relative to how a health professional would characterize them, but nonetheless has significant opportunity to benefit the patient, make disease states more understandable to the provider, and provide a means to generate information for the healthcare system. "

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Baby making in India !

Google and Microsoft Look to Change Health Care - New York Times

Google and Microsoft Look to Change Health Care - New York Times: "In politics, every serious candidate for the White House has a health care plan. So too in business, where the two leading candidates for Web supremacy, Google and Microsoft, are working up their plans to improve the nation’s health care. Skip to next paragraph Multimedia Looking for AnswersGraphic Looking for Answers Terrance McCarthy for The New York Times Adam Bosworth, the leader of Google’s health care initiative. By combining better Internet search tools, the vast resources of the Web and online personal health records, both companies are betting they can enable people to make smarter choices about their health habits and medical care. “What’s behind this is the mass consumerization of health information,” said Dr. David J. Brailer, the former health information technology coordinator in the Bush administration, who now heads a firm that invests in health ventures."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Connected Health and Interoperability

Connected Health and Interoperability Continua Health Alliance is an open industry, nonprofit alliance. It is a collaborative organization. We are more than 110 companies that have come together to collaborate on bringing this connected technology to the world. It comes down to being able to empower patients, consumers and healthcare providers in developing new methods to deliver healthcare.

Health care | From clipboards to keyboards | Economist.com

Health care | From clipboards to keyboards | Economist.com: "The health-care sector in North America spends surprisingly little on information technology (IT). The financial-services industry spends about $200 billion a year on high-tech kit; health providers spend just over a tenth of that amount (see chart). But John-David Lovelock of Gartner, a market-research firm, predicts that IT spending in health care will increase by an average of 4.7% per year between 2005 to 2010, the fastest growth-rate of any industry and well above the average of 3.7%. Technology firms sense the coming bonanza, judging by the mood at a gathering of health-care experts held in New York on May 15th and hosted by Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman of GE. Joseph Hogan, the head of GE's health-care division, declared that “technology will be at the heart of fixing the health-care crisis.” A spokesman for Siemens, a German rival, argued that the “explosion of medical knowledge” from the field of genomics means that information systems are no longer optional."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

INDIA-GLOBAL BABY - Malpani Clinic on Reuters !

STORY: Indian doctors came to the rescue of a couple from Florida, USA to
get their child through in-vitro fertilisation cycles - a technique by which
human eggs are fertilised outside the womb.

Forty-five-year old acupuncture physician Nicole Brown and thirty-nine-year
old Scott have flown down to western commercial hub Mumbai, to have the
operation done.

"Our main reason was the dollar we were spending and we looked for the
best places to go where we felt a connection. So my wife felt connections to
Vietnam- she is Vietnamese-and India because it's spiritual. There were other
places she checked also-Romania- but we didn't feel the connection going to
these places," said Scott.

The couple has been married for the past three years and has been trying
for a child. Doctors told Nichole to go for in-vitro fertilization as her egg
were not good enough to conceive.

A 27-year-old Vietnamese food technician has been selected to donate the
egg, to retain Nicole's ethnicity.

After visiting Argentina, Greece and Vietnam, the couple finally chose
India.

"We are finding in countries like USA, England the personal touch of
the doctor is not there. Like typically in England for example, the nurses are
handling the patient, the nurses do the Sonography, they talk to them. The
doctor is seen only once and then for the egg pick up. While here --between my
husband -- and me Doctor Anirudh Malpani - we see each and every patient from
the beginning till the end. We do the consultation, we do the Sonography, we
do the pick up, and we talk to them in the laboratory at every stage. We are
connecting with them they get a human touch," said Doctor Anjali Malpani,
Gynecologist at Malpani nursing home that will do the operation.

While the process would have cost the couple between $20,000 to 30,000 in
the U.S., they would have to spend less than half the amount in the Mumbai
hospital.

"I have treated 140 patients from abroad from 50 different countries
in 2006. That's a huge jump from what we were doing about 3 years ago and the
influx is definitely there. What they want is a good doctor. Of course you
have to have success, our success is as good as anywhere in the world,"
she added.

Over the years India has grown as a medical tourism destination, with
treatment costs starting at around a tenth of comparable prices in the West.
The value of medical tourism to India is estimated to reach $2 billion
annually by 2012.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Funding by angels up 10.8% / Individuals invested $25.6 billion in '06 -- big slice in health care

Funding by angels up 10.8% / Individuals invested $25.6 billion in '06 -- big slice in health care: "He said the aging of the Baby Boom generation and the growing reliance on information technology in health care has prompted entrepreneurs to explore new business opportunities. He cited the trend of making medical records digital and more easily accessible to patients and their health care providers. 'There is an opportunity here to automate and integrate,' he said. 'I think there is a screaming need for streamlining the management of patient information.' The study said angel investments were also the largest source of initial capital, with 46 percent of investments in the seed or startup stage."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

What is Medical Travel? | MedTripInfo

What is Medical Travel? | MedTripInfo: "International medical travel means leaving your home country to obtain medical or dental care. If you're new to the topic, you might be surprised to learn that some overseas facilities --even in countries that Americans and Europeans often think of as poor and backward-- can offer comparable standards of medical care to what you're used to in the United States or Western Europe. In addition, customer service levels can be much higher. It's not unusual to find surgeons who give you their cell phone number and encourage you to call, or to find one-on-one nursing and good food. Prices are lower, too. Often much lower, even figuring in the cost of travel. This is a key factor, especially for Americans. As of 2007, uninsured and underinsured patients make up the bulk of medical travelers from the United States. That may change as insurance companies revise their policies. Europeans sometimes have different motivations: leaving their home countries to avoid long waiting lists for treatment. The international medical travel field is still new, so you have to be careful. Gradually, concerns like accreditation and malpractice will be addressed. The Joint Commission International, an arm of US hospital accreditation agency JCAHO, already accredits more than 100 non-US facilities. Oh, and please don't call it 'medical tourism.' Medical treatment and recuperation is serious business ! "

What questions should health plans and employers be asking about medical tourism? | MedTripInfo

What questions should health plans and employers be asking about medical tourism? | MedTripInfo: "Until now, medical tourism has mainly been a self-pay phenomenon. But over time the patient base has expanded from the plastic surgery crowd to the uninsured and underinsured. Now health plans and employers have started to ask what role medical tourism can play for them. Here are some questions health plans and employers should be asking right now:"

Physicians and Web 2.0

Physicians and Web 2.0 So who is posting professional content online? Such physicians tend to be older
than the average physician; clearly representing those with something pertinent and relevant to say. These physicians spend a lot more time online than their colleagues and they are much
more likely to use the Internet between and during patient consultations, while also being significantly more likely to visit pharmaceutical corporate sites, use e-detailing, visit service portals, and exchange email with pharmaceutical companies. Understanding this audience is
critical to understanding how to impact the minority that often influences the majority of other physician readers online today.

The Krafty Librarian

The Krafty Librarian: "Satisfying clinical information needs remains a major challenge in medicine, underscored by recent studies showing high medical error rates and suboptimal physician adherence to evidence-based practice guidelines. Advanced clinical decision support systems can improve practitioner performance and patient outcomes. Similarly, integrating online information resources into electronic health records (EHRs) shows great potential for positively impacting health care quality. This paper explores the evolution and current status of knowledge-based resource linkages within EHRs, including the benefits and drawbacks, as well as the important role librarians can play in this process."

Self-Service Kiosks Gaining Foothold in Health Care Industry - iHealthBeat

Self-Service Kiosks Gaining Foothold in Health Care Industry - iHealthBeat: "Digital self-service kiosks are being adopted by more industries, such as health care, as the technology has become easier to use and capable of handling more complex tasks, the AP/Washington Post reports. Businesses say that the kiosks can improve service and save money. Consulting firm Summit Research Associates in April estimated that 800,00 consumer kiosks, not including ATMs, will be installed in North America by the end of the year. That number is expected to grow to 1.2 million by 2009. More than 100 U.S. hospitals are using kiosks from NCR, a technology company. Their Web-based system allows users to schedule appointments, view lab results and update insurance information or family history, the AP/Post reports."

Monday, August 06, 2007

HealthCheckUSA - order your own blood tests online !

HealthCheckUSA - order your own blood tests online ! : "'Direct-to-Consumer' lab testing service is first of its kind in Louisiana: HealthCheckUSA lab will allow individuals to order blood tests without a doctor's referral.' 'To avoid the hassle of tangled and confusing medical bureaucracies, long waits and high costs, many patients go directly to lab testing sites to obtain medical profiles on their own,' said Holt Vaughan, President of HealthCheckUSA. 'We are proud to offer this convenient and affordable service to the Lake Charles area.'"

This is a great idea ! Not only is it less expensive and easier , it also allows patients to take more control of their illness and their lives, so that they can manage their disease better !

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Artificial intelligence bot for patient education

I have published a Talking Bot on our website which uses Artificial Intelligence ( AI) to teach patients about endometriosis. Check this out - and please provide me with feedback. I think this is a cool way to teach patients !

This is a "first cut" with lots of rough edges - but the potential is enormous. This is exciting new technology and it's fun to play with too !

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Health.com :: The 4 Biggest Mistakes Doctors Make (with women)

Health.com :: The 4 Biggest Mistakes Doctors Make (with women): "Even the smartest doctors can misdiagnose patients when they think too quickly or too mechanically, says Harvard Medical School professor Jerome Groopman, MD, author of the sobering and candid How Doctors Think. Some research, he says, indicates that misdiagnosis happens in up to 20 percent of all cases—and up to half of those misdiagnoses have serious consequences.

“We want to do the best we can, and we’re terrified of making a misdiagnosis, but we’re not perfect,” Groopman says. Add to that the fact that many docs have heavy caseloads and get only minutes per patient, and you have a common recipe for medical mistakes.

What can you do to prevent a misdiagnosis and get the attention and treatment you need? First, learn the four common mental traps that doctors fall into—and then use these tricks to help your own doctor steer clear of them."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Have some fun ! As an IVF specialist, I enjoyed this game !


Sperm Wars - Destroy all the sperm

How to Talk to your Doctor

How to Talk to your Doctor “The doctor knows best.”
“I work with my health care provider to share treatment decisions.”

These statements represent two different types of health care consumers: the passive patient and the active patient. In the passive role, we expect our health care providers to assume ultimate responsibility for our medical care. In contrast, taking an active role means working with your health care providers to ensure that you get the best care for your needs.
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