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Healthcare Technology Public Health

Social Media helping Clinical Diagnosis in Healthcare


(Image Source: Emory.edu)

 

There have always been questions on the implications of social media in Healthcare. In a paper titled ‘Transforming Healthcare through social media’ I had discussed why the Industry was adoption social networks. http://www.ehealthnews.eu/images/stories/pdf/impact_of_social_media_in_healthcare.pdf

Recently I read an article that reaffirmed the increasing applications of social media in Healthcare.

A group of physicians in France have been using Google + to discuss their cases. They have formed a close circle on G + and they upload cases that they want to discuss and finally arrive at a conclusion. It may be the economic conditions in Europe but using the network to clinically discuss a case supported by images and videos is really a very effective method of getting the right clinical expertise into a clinical discussion. For more on that article please visit http://scienceroll.com/2011/10/23/case-presentations-on-google/

Similarly Physician groups in Spain have been using a Facebook group called Med & Learn to do the same. They discuss clinical case studies and also sometimes discuss cases from their daily practice. Also a bunch of Spanish USMLE aspirants have been using Facebook for their clinical case discussion. To learn more on it please visit http://www.somosmedicina.com/

In the dental field I have seen increasingly cases being discussed online. I feel this is an excellent method to discuss cases, but there might be issues on security and patient confidentiality that might be barriers and have to be overcome within the boundaries of national healthcare policies.

Categories
Healthcare Technology Public Health

The emerging role of analytics in Healthcare

(Image Source: Getty Images)

Why has healthcare analytics become very important in healthcare?
Well the reasons are three fold.

Firstly , IT adoption in healthcare industry is on the rise. In the US even before Obama care cam e into the picture, many healthcare providers, physician groups and community health centers had started adopting IT. In Europe NHS was at the fore front of concepts like ‘One Patient, One Record’. Though the NHS strategy has undergone a change but the objective remains to digitize Healthcare. Continental Europe has been adopting IT at a faster rate than US or UK, with countries like Holland, Belgium, Norway and Germany leading the way. Not to be left behind India and China are on the same route.

Secondly there has been increasing adoption of IT standards in Healthcare. Many hospitals are on HL7 and with the adoption of ICD 10 by the US, most Healthcare providers and Insurance firms will be on the same standard. Similarly there are moves to bring the Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals on the same standards as the EMRs so as to enable the interoperability of data.

Thirdly, Due to IT adoption and introduction of standards there is tonnes of data available. Technically there are three sources of medical data available to a hospital or care giver.

  • The patient record and medical history
  • The hospital records that are available with the care provider of treatment regime for similar diseases
  • Online medical encyclopedias and dictionaries

Now a good treatment regime should involve information from all three sources. and here is greatest scope for analytics. A good clinical decision support system based on analytical technology will be able to help the physician to narrow down on the disease and chart a course for an effective treatment regime.

The objective of a healthcare provider is to improve clinical outcomes and to restore functionality. And I am sure that analytics would come in very useful in meeting that objective.