By John Hearne
I recently read a story about an elderly woman with a heart condition. She lives in a building without air conditioning and there was concern that a hot and humid day in July could easily put her health at risk and possibly lead to a costly ER visit.
As the story pointed out, the reality is that a few hundred dollars for an air conditioner could solve the problem before it ever happened.
Of course, to case workers at social services agencies around the world, the difficulty of identifying interventions before situations become critical is not news.
In a perfect system, an individual’s health needs would be understood not only medically, but also in the context of their lifestyle, living environment, family conditions and other social factors. Making this information readily available to health and case workers would help them spend more time in the field where they are needed the most. Continue Reading »
By David Turek
A major challenge in cardiology is to predict who will die suddenly from ventricular arrhythmias – the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, which itself is the largest cause of natural death in the U.S.
Despite years of intense medical research, likely victims are hard to predict and even if identified, there are not effective and low-cost therapies available.
Mathematical models have the potential to provide insight into the mechanics of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, but we’ve never had the computational power necessary to make a model run even close to the speed of a real beating heart. Instead, researchers have been forced to work at low resolution, settle for short run times of – at most – a few beats, or take hours for a single heart beat.
by Keith J. Figlioli, senior vice president of healthcare informatics for Premier healthcare alliance
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer, would you prefer to only have local physicians working on treatment? Or would you rather have physicians who are working with the best minds in America to develop a personalized treatment plan?
Not everyone can receive care at Johns Hopkins or the Cleveland Clinic, and they shouldn’t have to.
Taking advantage of what technology can do is central to this type of information sharing. But today, healthcare providers use technology to solve challenges they see individually, at a price they can afford. Not surprisingly, the result is often dissatisfaction, primarily for two reasons.
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
As a medical student in a large public hospital in New York City, Basit Chaudhry, M.D., first experienced one of the most vexing problems facing doctors today: How do you discover and deal with all the information that’s required to provide optimal care?
“So much of what doctors do today is about trying to figure out how to collect and aggregate all the necessary medical data,” Dr. Chaudhry said. “As I went further along in my training and practice it became more and more apparent to me that if we don’t solve this problem, it’s going to be difficult to build a better, more humane healthcare system.” Continue Reading »