Applied Bimatics - An Informatics & eHealth Blog

I am a clinician with a passion for informatics. This blog is about my eHealth journey exploring interoperability in Electronic Medical Records (EMR/EHR), Patient Safety, Pharmacovigilance, Data Analytics, Clinical Research and Bioinformatics in a clinical context. Comparing Canadian, Indian and Middle Eastern healthcare systems and services. Join our open facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clinical.bioinformaticians/


A survey on ultra wideband and ultrasonic communication for body area networks

Emergence of implantable and wearable medical sensors for patient monitoring, diagnosis as well as cure has helped in the development of body area networks (BANs). For networking of these implantable and wearable devices, an appropriate choice of radio technology and communication methodology has to be made. Ultra wideband (UWB) has been identified as a solution for wireless body area networks (WBANs) in IEEE 802.15.6, but there are issues to be addressed such as attenuation inside body for implantable devices, energy efficient networking with low heat dissipation and others. Ultrasonic communication although an emerging technology promises better propagation inside body in watery media. It is known to be used without much health hazard in medical applications. This paper compares and evaluates the above two technologies for WBAN. It provides an extensive survey of existing work on UWB and ultrasonic communication for body area networks and highlights the unaddressed research challenges in using UWB and ultrasonic for WBAN applications.

By Sandipan Basu; Mahasweta Sarkar; Santosh Nagaraj; Suchismita Chinara in International Journal of Ultra Wideband Communications and Systems (IJUWBCS), 2016 Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 143 - 154

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When Medicare patients move, healthcare spending changes

Body: 

When healthcare spending varies widely from one geographical region to another, including for pricey procedures like imaging exams, which variable is more to blame—provider choices or patient preferences?

Both, and in about equal measure, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who crunched the numbers on millions of Medicare patients who relocated from one place to another.

MIT economist Heidi Williams, PhD, a co-author of the study, tells MIT News that some geographic spending variations may be explained by provider populations being more skilled at certain procedures—and thus more inclined to order them—in some areas than in others.

The researchers further found that, when Medicare enrollees relocate, most of their healthcare spending happens within the first year after the move.

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By David Pearson

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Telemedicine for Developing Countries

Background: Developing countries need telemedicine applications that help in many situations, when physicians are a small number with respect to the population, when specialized physicians are not available, when patients and physicians in rural villages need assistance in the delivery of health care. Moreover, the requirements of telemedicine applications for developing countries are somewhat more demanding than for developed countries. Indeed, further social, organizational, and technical aspects need to be considered for successful telemedicine applications in developing countries. Objective: We consider all the major projects in telemedicine, devoted to developing countries, as described by the proper scientific literature. On the basis of such literature, we want to define a specific taxonomy that allows a proper classification and a fast overview of telemedicine projects in developing countries. Moreover, by considering both the literature and some recent direct experiences, we want to complete such overview by discussing some design issues to be taken into consideration when developing telemedicine software systems. Methods: We considered and reviewed the major conferences and journals in depth, and looked for reports on the telemedicine projects. Results: We provide the reader with a survey of the main projects and systems, from which we derived a taxonomy of features of telemedicine systems for developing countries. We also propose and discuss some classification criteria for design issues, based on the lessons learned in this research area. Conclusions: We highlight some challenges and recommendations to be considered when designing a telemedicine system for developing countries....

By C. Combi (1), G. Pozzani (1), G. Pozzi (2)

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Cognitive security will be available to any hospital within three years, IBM predicts

The breed of emerging security technologies, which leverage AI and machine learning, can slow down hackers and sift through massive data volumes to help users make actionable decisions.

By Jessica Davis

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REDAlert+

Each year, thousands of people in developing countries die due to delayed medical response. A common complaint is that emergency vehicles respond late and when they reach the hospital, precious time is lost in understanding the patient trauma before the doctors can get to work. A large number of deaths can be prevented if medical services can be provided to the victims in time, which can happen when the emergency wing of a hospital has advance information about the trauma before the patient reaches the hospital. Most hospitals lack communication infrastructure that allows them to coordinate with emergency vehicles bringing patients to hospital. In developed countries, Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks (VANETs) are prevalent. These networks use vehicles as mobile nodes to create a small-interconnected network on the road. A mobile application based on the principle of VANETs in combination with wireless communication and database management has been devised, that when integrated with emergency vehicles and hospitals, provides a seamless medical response system at times of an emergency.

By Shakdher, Arjun

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Generic feature learning for wireless capsule endoscopy analysis

The interpretation and analysis of wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) recordings is a complex task which requires sophisticated computer aided decision (CAD) systems to help physicians with video screening and, finally, with the diagnosis. Most CAD systems used in capsule endoscopy share a common system design, but use very different image and video representations. As a result, each time a new clinical application of WCE appears, a new CAD system has to be designed from scratch. This makes the design of new CAD systems very time consuming.

By Santi Seguí, Michal Drozdzal, Guillem Pascual, Petia Radeva, Carolina Malagelada, Fernando Azpiroz, Jordi Vitrià

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Pokémon Go's immediate impact on public health: 144 billion steps and counting

The accidental health app bested other tools in engaging patients who stand to benefit most. But whether Pokémon Go or future apps and devices specifically designed to keep people moving will succeed depends on the very big question of design.

By Tom Sullivan

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Improving Patient Safety Reporting with the Common Formats: Common Data Representation for Patient Safety Organizations

Publication date: Available online 29 September 2016
Source:Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Author(s): Peter L. Elkin, Henry C. Johnson, Michael R. Callahan, David C. Classen
Medical errors and patient safety issues remain a significant problem for the healthcare industry in the United States. The Institute of Medicine report To Err is Human reported that there were as many as 98,000 deaths per year due to medical error as of 1999. Many authors and government officials believe that the first step on the path to improvement in patient safety is more comprehensive collection and analysis of patient safety events. The belief is that this will enable safety improvements based on data showing the nature and frequency of events that occur, and the effectiveness of interventions. This systematization of healthcare practice can be a step in the right direction toward a value based, safety conscious and effective healthcare system. To help standardize this reporting and analysis, AHRQ created Common Formats for Patient Safety data collection and reporting. This manuscript describes the development of patient safety reporting and learning through the Patient Safety Organizations (PSO)s and the Common Formats and gives readers an overview of how the system is expected to function and the breadth of development of the Common Formats to date.

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Open Source Platform for Collaborative Construction of Wearable Sensor Datasets for Human Motion Analysis and an Application for Gait Analysis

Publication date: Available online 1 September 2016
Source:Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Author(s): César Llamas, Manuel A. González, Cármen Hernández, Jesús Vegas
Nearly every practical improvement in modelling human motion is well founded in a properly designed collection of data or datasets. These datasets must be made publicly available for the community could validate and accept them. It is reasonable to concede that a collective, guided enterprise could serve to devise solid and substantial datasets, as a result of a collaborative effort, in the same sense as the open software community does. In this way datasets could be complemented, extended and expanded in size with, for example, more individuals, samples and human actions. For this to be possible some commitments must be made by the collaborators, being one of them sharing the same data acquisition platform.In this paper, we offer an affordable open source hardware and software platform based on inertial wearable sensors in a way that several groups could cooperate in the construction of datasets through common software suitable for collaboration. Some experimental results about the throughput of the overall system are reported showing the feasibility of acquiring data from up to 6 sensors with a sampling frequency no less than 118Hz. Also, a proof-of-concept dataset is provided comprising sampled data from 12 subjects suitable for gait analysis.

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.

Address

Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON
Canada