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A Look Into Health IT and Patient Safety

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Over the last decade, health information technology (HIT) has had a significant influence on patient quality of care and safety. HIT is defined as “the application of information processing utilizing computer software and hardware that will process, store, and retrieve data for decision making” and knowledge sharing. The technology aims to reduce human errors, improve care coordination, and enhance clinical outcomes for patients. Here are some examples of existing technologies that have changed the healthcare landscape: 

  • Electronic Physician’s Orders: In this process, physicians utilize electronic or computer support to enter medication orders. More robust systems also allow physicians to order consultations, tests, and procedures. Electronic Physician’s Orders have been interlinked with the clinical support decision systems (CDS) to ensure the safety of clinical orders. This is done by preventing drug dosage and administration errors. A metanalysis suggests that this process been found to reduce medication errors and severe drug reactions effectively. 
  • Clinical Decision Support: This form of support is meant to relay patient-related information to the healthcare provider to optimize clinical decision making. The tools that assist in clinical decision making include notifications, clinical guidelines, patient clinical summaries, and other documentation. Research has concluded that compliance with on-screen physician reminders resulted in small improvements in process adherence, medication orders, and different clinical outcomes. 
  • Bar Code Medication Administration: Bar code technology is integrated with electronic medical records to ensure that patients receive the correct amount of medication. Advanced software has special medicine validation features that can provide alerts if there is look-alike medication. This technology has reduced medication administration errors by 50% to 80%

While there is substantial evidence that health information technology plays a role in patient safety, it is essential to receive front-line and executive buy-in. Buy-in will allow the organization to be fully equipped to reap the benefits of the technology. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787626/

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Covid-19

Portable X-Ray Receives FDA Clearance for COVID Testing

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New forms of COVID-19 testing continue to emerge as companies use innovative techniques to determine if an individual could have the virus. From CRISPR testing approval from the FDA to an automated robot conducting COVID-19 testing, a new method from Aspenstate has just been announced.

A lightweight, portable X-ray system from Aspenstate known as the AiRTouch has received FDA clearance. This form of testing could be beneficial for quickly obtaining chest X-rays from potential COVID-19 patients. The AiRTouch weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 Kg) and looks like a large touchscreen digital camera. The device takes a picture with a push of a button and can wirelessly transfer the images to a clinical image storage system or PACS without a computer. The battery from AiRTouch can charge within two hours and can obtain up to 300 exposures per charge. 

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This portable X-ray system could be useful for quickly obtaining chest X-rays of COVID-19 patients.  According to the company, its portability has already made it useful in drive-through screening centers in South Korea

“Our clients have noticed a dramatic increase in capacity and the ability to move patients through quickly and efficiently,” David Lee, Vice President and COO of Aspenstate, stated. 

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Lee went on to say that the device is very simple to use with the integrated software, and portable features allow the use of the device outside of conventional X-ray resources. The company believes the AiRTouch for chest X-rays for COVID-19 could also be used in urgent care facilities, ambulances, sports medicine, extremities, dental, and veterinary settings

Check out this video on the AiRTouch:

Sources: 

  1. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/05/07/new-crispr-test-for-covid-19-could-be-a-simple-at-home-diagnostic-test-according-to-scientists/
  2. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/06/05/safe-covid-19-testing-performed-by-automated-rob
  3. https://www.medgadget.com/2020/05/airtouch-portable-x-ray-receives-fda-clearance.htmlot/

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Covid-19

Safe COVID-19 Testing Performed by Automated Robot

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Medical professionals testing people for COVID-19 usually involves performing a throat swab to collect a sample for processing. Clinicians that are collecting COVID-19 samples from individuals must wear an entire package of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can be quite uncomfortable when worn for long periods. Since the expansion of test sampling is now being conducted outside of clinical facilities and with temperatures rising, wearing protective gear can become difficult for clinicians.

In Denmark, a team of robotic engineers at the University of Southern Denmark have designed a machine that can conduct throat swabs automatically without a human clinician present in the facility. The robot reaches into the throat and moves a swab against the selected tissue within. After the sample is collected, it stores the swab into a glass jar and seals the top shut.  

The robot was trained to be gentle, and volunteers who have already been swabbed by the device have reported no discomfort. Further trials are needed to confirm the efficiency of the new machine and to ensure that no malfunction can occur. To help market and manufacture the new robot, the engineers that developed it have started up a company called Lifeline Robotics. The engineers hope to have devices testing people for COVID-19 as early as late June, but the advanced technology is sure to be useful when the pandemic is over. 

Here are some videos to demonstrate how the machine works:

Sources: 

  1. https://www.medgadget.com/2020/06/automated-robot-takes-swabs-for-safe-covid-19-testing.html
  2. https://www.lifelinerobotics.com/

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Digital Health

5 Apps For a Good Night’s Sleep

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Getting quality sleep will play a vital role in how you feel when you are awake throughout the day. Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function, including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Here are five apps that can help you get a good night’s sleep and track your sleeping schedule. 

Noisli

With Noisli, you can choose from different sounds like thunder, wind, and white noise to create a personal sleep soundtrack to help you fall asleep. You can create a combo of sounds you love and can save in the app for future use. Make sure to keep your phone plugged-in if you keep your phone on overnight to hear your soothing sleep soundtrack.

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Pzizz

The Pzizz app can set a timer for a sleep session, and the app plays soothing dreamscape, including a combo of music, voiceovers, and sound effects. The app also has an option to set up a built-in alarm to wake up. For more advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to choose different sounds. 


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Slumber 

Slumber offers a mixture of experiences to help you fall asleep, whether it’s meditation focused, bedtime story series, or sounds of a warm jacuzzi. There are background noises to choose from like rain or the ocean and can play for up to 10 hours after the track finishes. Each week there are new sleep-inducing stories and meditations you can choose from. You can listen to them all if you upgrade to the premium version.

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Sleep Cycle

If you want to understand how you slept, the Sleep Cycle app can help you achieve your sleep goals. It tracks your sleep patterns and offers tips to improve your sleep. The app also has an alarm clock that kindly wakes you up when you’re in your lightest sleep phase, waking you up feeling rejuvenated. It’s important to remember that no sleep tracker is 100% accurate. If you are still struggling to sleep you should consult with your primary care physician or dedicated sleep specialist.

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10% Happier

10% Happier offers a wide range of meditations, including ones for sleep that span from three minutes to 45 minutes to ease your mind and fall right to sleep. There are also meditation exercises with a variety of genres and the option to message a coach for additional support.

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Mobile and web applications are making it accessible for people to help support their mental health, finding a healthcare physician, prescription delivery, and much more. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#3.-Good-sleep-can-improve-concentration-and-productivity
  2. https://www.noisli.com/apps
  3. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/g26963663/best-sleep-apps/
  4. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pzizz-sleep-nap-focus/id915664862
  5. https://slumber.fm/about
  6. https://www.sleepcycle.com/
  7. https://www.tenpercent.com/
  8. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/11/5-apps-to-help-support-your-mental-health-during-an-epidemic/
  9. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/03/25/finding-accessible-healthcare-during-a-pandemic/
  10. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/18/5-apps-for-prescription-delivery/

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