In Boston, Telemedicine Brings Doctors And Patients Together
Partners HealthCare's new system may be one of the first in the nation to wirelessly populate official electronic health records with data collected by an increasing number of remote home monitoring devices.
What's the Latest Development?
Last month, Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based local consortium of hospitals and other health organizations, launched a system that lets patients collect data from home medical devices -- glucose meters, bathroom scales, and the like -- and transmit it wirelessly to a hospital database via their computer or mobile device. An article in Monday's (July 29) Boston Globe notes that the system best serves those with chronic conditions, drastically reducing the number of visits to doctors' offices and giving patients more of an active role in monitoring their health.
What's the Big Idea?
The Boston system may be one of the first to closely integrate patient-collected data from at-home instruments into electronic health records, but it's only the latest effort to tap into the growing quantified self movement. A Berg Insights report released earlier this year showed that "2.8 million patients worldwide used home-based remote monitoring services in 2012 and [that number is expected] to grow about 27 percent between 2011 and 2017." While the infrastructure for telemedicine isn't yet available for everyone, increased financial pressures on hospitals will no doubt strengthen the appeal of patient-driven technologies.
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Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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