Conference Report

Med-e-Tel 2010 perspective: By Mohamed
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The Med-e-Tel 2010 conference highlighted presentations of successful business cases, research activities, and practical experiences from healthcare givers. Moreover, it had discussions about telemedicine opportunities and experiences on both local and international aspects of ehealth. The Med-e-Tel 2010 had several interesting topics to present, among these were assessing the effectiveness of telehealth and telecare, the development of international initiatives in ... Read more

Health 2.0 Conference, from healthcare IT perspective: …

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Health 2.0 Europe revealed the increasing attention of European countries in healthcare IT. The conference took place at the Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris this April. The event had three major aspects to discuss, which were the online search and content, patient and provider communities, and the consumer self-management tools. Moreover, the conference highlighted the governmental role in spreading the ideas, reviewed during the event, to healthcare communities including hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceuticals providers. The event had leading speakers from several countries in the continent, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. Further more, based on the importance of the event, several major healthcare companies offered sponsorship, such as Pfizer, LEEM, Orange, Akamai, RAPP, Bayer, UCB, and LEEM. Among the topics discussed at Heath 2.0, was the governmental review of national health information systems such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Personal Health Records (PHR) and their contributions in improving the level of healthcare services delivered to citizens. Back to the three major aspects highlighted at the beginning of the conference; Search & Content, the role of search technology in relation with government programs that provide the main sources of healthcare information was discussed at length, with case studies and researches presented by major healthcare online portals such as MedWorm from UK, Health On the Net Foundation from Switzerland, Organized Wisdom from the United States and Webicina from Hungary. Moving to the second aspect, Patients and Online Communities, international phenomena of online patient communities and their stages of advance, along with their roles and effects on healthcare services in several countries were discussed. Among the contributing names are PagineMediche.it from Italy, ACOR from the United States, and iWantGreatCare from UK. Third and the final aspect, the self-management tools were discussed in Health 2.0. It is still a point of debate in the United States regarding tools that offer patients some sophisticated information about medications and treatments similar, if not more, than their physicians. Several speakers highlighted this issue including Isabelle Adenot from French National Order of Pharmacists France, Roy Schoenberg, American Well from the United States, and Sabine Donnai from Imperative Health UK. Finally, it is a fact that Health 2.0 was a great chance for healthcare members, even from outside the European continent, to exchange new ideas and shared experience aiming to cope with the accelerating rhythm of development in the healthcare ... Read more


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Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rabiah, Opened Saudi Medicare 2010 - The 13th International Healthcare, Hospital Supplies and Medical Equipment Show on April 12, 2010, at the Riyadh International Exhibition Center. Mohamed Al Hussaini, Deputy General Manager, Riyadh Exhibitions Company, said, "This opens up numerous business and investment opportunities for those involved in the medical devices and services, healthcare insurance, pharmaceutical, and healthcare education fields which Saudi Medicare 2010 will bring to the table for local, regional and international individuals and groups." The conference highlighted the Saudi pharmaceutical and medical device markets, challenges, trends and developments within the medical field, as well as assesses prospects within the Saudi consumer healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector. Among the professional healthcare providers who attended the conference, Royal Philips Electronics showcased many healthcare solutions specially designed to address the needs of patients and healthcare providers in the Middle East. Philips concentrated on four important areas that would help improving healthcare delivery for patients with cardiac diseases, timely triage discovery to treatment, minimally invasive interventions and connected healthcare solutions in the home for chronic heart patients. Moreover, there were specialists from Europe, North America, the Middle East, and other parts of the world who acted as speakers of the 4th Medical Devices Scientific Forum and the 1st Radiology Technologists Conference, aiming to improve medical facilities and restructure the management of 218 government hospitals into private enterprises. They discussed specializations like medical imaging, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and radiation protection, medical devices technology, its management and the challenges facing those working on it. In conclusion, the Saudi government supports the development of more medical education facilities, and therefore, it announced that some of these will be available for private sector investment and will seek to create partnerships with leading educational institutions to build the country’s medical education ... Read more

MedHealth Cairo 2010 Report: By Abdallah…

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{xtypo_dropcap}T{/xtypo_dropcap}he eighth annual congress of the Arab Hospitals Federation, MedHealth Cairo 2010, was held at Semiramis InterContinental Hotel on 10 and 11 March 2010.  The congress was held simultaneously with the Arab Health Ministers Council and under the patronage of HE Mr. Amr Moussa, secretary general of the League of Arab States.  The theme of this year’s congress was “The Arab Hospital 2015” and the congress drew experts from all over the Arab world to discuss issues such as hospital accreditation, healthcare quality management and improvement, health tourism, telemedicine, information technology applications in healthcare, and the environmental impact of healthcare institutions. Various Hospitals and Healthcare IT companies participated in the exhibition with colorful flyers, flex banners, print material and flags.  Most of the booths were reserved by major hospitals in the Arab world and about 1/3rd of the booths were occupied by Healthcare IT companies.  Among the healthcare IT solutions offered by the companies were mainly Electronic Medical Records, Hospital Information System, and other decision support solutions.  There were also few companies from the standpoint of quality in healthcare sector and some of the organizations who are building healthcare foundations in the Arab world. Among the solutions providers, the exhibition also witnessed telemedicine service offered by “Telemed Providers”, a company with offices in US and Middle East with full cycle of the value chain of telemedicine.  Most of the hospitals and visitors showed great interest in remote medical services like tele-consultation and second opinions and teleradiology services.  The Telemed Providers booth was the most busy booth in the exhibition throughout both days in terms of visitation and interest.Hamad Medical Corporation had a prominent place in the exhibition and their team showed good efforts and spirit in delivering the message of owners of the corporation. Among other hospitals were, AlShorouk Hospital, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Bangkok Hospital, Cairo Orthopedic Center, Clemenceau Medical Center, Dar Al Mona Medical Resort for Care and Rehab, Dar El Hekma Hospital, Private Hospital Association of Jordan, Royal Care International, Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon etc.Other than the Telemedicine services offered by Telemed Providers, The Healthcare IT companies who participated were CompuMedical, DMS, Health Insights, Tamer Company etc. The congress and exhibit was a prime chance for all stake-holders to discuss the future of healthcare in the Arab world.  The participants and visitors of MedHealth Cairo 2010 were impressed by the wide range of services offered, some of them for the first time in the region, such as the remote medical services and distance medicine solutions.   Thanks to the efforts of the Arab Hospitals Federation, the organizers, and participants, MedHealth Cairo 2010 turned out to be great success. {xtypo_quote_right}MedHealth Cairo 2010 Report: By ... Read more


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{xtypo_dropcap}T{/xtypo_dropcap}he European Congress of Radiology (ECR) still has a lot to show for radiology industry, not only regarding new modalities provided by vendors but also regarding new techniques for improving radiologists' quality. Among the companies attended the ECR is Varian Medical Systems. Varian highlighted its line of PaxScan X-ray image detectors for filmless imaging. Along with Varian's X-ray tubes for fluoroscopy, angiography, cardiology and cone-beam CT imaging. Varian's panel digital detector technology includes the most proven and widely used imaging technology. The panel aims to set new standards with its larger field of view and its capability to acquire high resolution images. Philips Healthcare is also one of the major companies showing its range of products at the ECR. Philips spotlighted its high-level product lines including award winning, Extended Brilliance Workspace, with Philips MRI solution Sonalleve MR-HIFU which helps in performing uterine fibroid ablation through a noninvasive approach. That is, in addition to Philips's IT solutions portfolio that aims to help in the improvement of EMR. There is increasing attention to the needs of radiology and diagnostic imaging industry even from companies outside Europe. For instance, Ziosoft, a company from Japan, announced at the ECR that both French and German translations will be included in its 3D, 4D and 5D analytics visualization software. This shows the commitments of companies such as Ziosoft to the European market needs and that this market is a promising one to attract more and more investments. ECR also had several other companies announcements about new contracts and agreements with European organizations for further cooperation. An example about such contract is the one presented by Carestream. Carestream Health presented a long-term agreement for digital imaging services with Stichting Samenwerkende Ziekenhuizen Oost Groningen (SSZOG), a collaboration foundation between three hospitals of east Groningen in the Netherlands. Upon this agreement, Carestream Health will provide its eHealth PACS Services to the three hospitals forming the SSZOG. Finally, ECR 2010 confirmed more cooperation and understanding between all members of the radiology and diagnostic imaging communities, starting with radiologists who had the chance to learn the new technology developed to aid them in their work, along with companies which presented their high leveled products to the attending audience. These companies also had more and more understanding for radiologists' needs which will surely help in developing new technologies. {xtypo_quote_right}ECR 2010 Coverage – Part-2: by ... Read more


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{xtypo_dropcap}T{/xtypo_dropcap}he ECR (European Congress of Radiology) is organized by The European Society of Radiology and is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 4-8 March. ECR 2010 spotlighted several important and interesting issues, including functional imaging in CT, biomarkers, MRI of the lungs, and hybrid imaging. In addition, several other topics were discussed such as the state of the multiple sclerosis, adrenals, and lymph node imaging. Courses on abdominal emergencies and on lung diseases plus a mini course on the liver took place. Moreover, ECR presented a foundation Course on radiology of head and neck. Finally, discussions on managing patients with cancer were carried out. Several high-ranked companies presented lines of products during the ECR, with attention to cover the increased demand by radiologists for new diagnostic imaging devices and technologies. Several new trends were discussed by modality vendors, for instance, Siemens presented its Acuson S2000 ultrasound system. This system aims to apply the use of ultrasound for detection of breast cancer in women. Although using ultrasound in that field was limited and considered secondary to mammography, this concept is to change shortly, thanks to Siemens new technologies. Speaking of mammography, AGFA healthcare presented its DX-M CR systems. The DX-M CR meets market requirements for diagnostic images with high quality. DX-M CR has covered another important aspect which is safety by its capability of exposure dose control and reduction. Agfa HealthCare system is the most complete CR system to date. The contributing companies at the ECR 2010 did not only cover technical aspects of radiology with its new modalities but it also presented several systems that improve the quality of radiologists by applying quality assurance systems to evaluate the work quality of radiologists. An example of such quality assurance systems is the one developed by NightHawk. Since NightHawk's system was already applied in the United States, it is the time for it to be used in Europe to improve the quality of radiologists there. In conclusion, it is surely that ECR 2010 aimed to improve all aspects of radiology and diagnostic imaging. Starting from providing new solutions and techniques for imaging until improving the qualities of radiologists by quality assurance programs. {xtypo_quote_right}ECR 2010 Coverage – Part-1 by ... Read more

HIMSS10 Conference At a Glance
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{xtypo_dropcap}I{/xtypo_dropcap}n the opening keynote session of the HIMSS 2010 Annual Conference, the organizers discussed the task of transforming American healthcare system to meet the challenges of the 21st century. HIMSS board chair directed three important messages to the attendees: To work on the transformation of American healthcare, there should be effecting positive change in four key areas: quality, safety, access to care and cost. And the discussed solutions were: to create electronic health systems so appealing, that they make physicians want to leave their paper medical records behind. Also, creating clinical decision support systems that make it routine for physicians to check their internal knowledge with data and evidence. In addition, offering workflow solutions that improve the efficiency of using health IT. HIMSS’s purpose is this healthcare transformation. And in order to transform healthcare, it requires the development of imaginative solutions. To create the solutions that will drive this transformation. Through the implementation of compelling healthcare IT solutions, they must transform the way healthcare is provided in this country. Further, there were more than 300 education sessions on hot topics such as significant use standards, certification and criteria, ARRA and government contributions to advancing healthcare IT, and the need for nationwide Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and healthcare IT privacy and security practices. All exhibiting companies introduced their latest healthcare innovations and new product launches in over 359,000 square feet of occupied exhibit space. In conclusion, HIMSS10 members have helped improving the delivery of healthcare. They were able to deliver the message that electronic medical record can make a difference in the delivery of quality patient care. {xtypo_quote_right}HIMSS10 Conference At a Glance By ... Read more

EHR and "Meaningful Use" HIMSS 2010 By …

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{xtypo_dropcap}T{/xtypo_dropcap}he HIMSS meeting this year was all about EHRs and "Meaningful Use". First, lets talk about the “Meaningful Use” term:  I doubt whether a lot of people have tried to de-cipher the 700 pages document from the US dept of Health and Services (HHS) specifying the healthcare IT requirements, however many vendors claim to have done so and that they are more than able to meet these requirements.  I like the slogan of one of the whitepapers I picked up stating “Meaningful Use, not Meaningful Waste”.  In any case, this term was probably misused and misinterpreted by most product implementations I have seen at the floor. The bottom line is that one only should be able to claim compliance if their product was properly certified. Certification is a major issue and challenge. The only organization which is certifying EHR's so far is CCHIT. There is a request for proposal for additional certification agencies so that there will be more testing bandwidth for those companies looking for certification and also to provide some competition. The major issue I have with the certification is that in my opinion the certification is geared too much towards whether a system has certain functionality, rather than focusing on interoperability. I believe a strong interface and interoperability certification is more important than functionality as the market will, to a certain degree, determine what is needed. However, the market will not typically determine the level of “openness” and potential for exchanging all of the information freely among multiple EMR’s, EHR’s and PHR’s. Another major need is for simulators, test tools etc. These are being generated at full speed by organizations such as NIST, but in my opinion the progress is not yet fast, sophisticated and easy to use. Talking about PHR’s, there are quite a few coming out, Microsoft, Google and Dossia probably on the forefront. There is actually a good resource, called www.myphr.com which has quite a list of PHR providers. The number one problem is that many people are still concerned about patient privacy and security. Just as an example, we still get regular calls in our office from people who want to order a  book about DICOM or PACS and do not feel comfortable buying on-line using credit card, therefore sharing medical information might even be more scary for such persons. About EHR’s, I have to be honest, after seeing about five of them, I did not remember the first one and they all seem to kind of blur. Reason being that their functionality is basically all the same, except for some bells, whistles, and/or different colors for the tabs on the screen. I did find a major difference though in the level of decision support and automation.  I also learned, speaking with several vendors, that the main challenge prior to installing an EHR is to get consensus among physicians about care plans, standard order sets, etc. I have that experienced myself just dealing with lab results. Certain boundary values for cholesterol might be acceptable by one physician, and not by the other, and then conflict with a recent publication from the American Heart Association. Another thing what several vendors confirmed is that when implementing an EHR, you should go for the “big bang”, i.e. switch over all departments at the same time. If not, there is still a lot of documents being shuffled and unnecessarily printed. The most impressive section at HIMSS was in my opinion the IHE interoperability show case. I have watched these vendors during the recent connectathon in Chicago communicating with ach other, but seeing it in a nice booth using real-life patient scenarios was very impressive. It seems very simple, i.e. vitals from an ER patient being automatically added to a data repository, EHR, using a universal patient identifier and the data also being added to his/her PHR. The amount of integration and various corresponding transactions that are needed to make this happen was impressive, and to see it all work was great. My compliments to HIMSS to allow for such a large booth (larger than any other commercial booth) and to the participants of this excellent presentation. This type of work will really make the healthcare evolution into a revolution and hopefully lead to a “Meaningful Use”. {xtypo_quote_right}EHR and "Meaningful Use" HIMSS 2010 By Herman ... Read more

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