Fulfill your REMS-compliant training on ER and LA opioids

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Misuse and abuse of opioids has grown to be a serious public health concern about addiction, overdose, and death. REMS-compliant training is a critical component of the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS program.

On July 9, 2012, the FDA approved a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) for extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid medications. The REMS introduces new safety measures to reduce risks and improve safe use of ER/LA opioids while continuing to provide access to these medications for patients in pain.

You can access free online REMS-compliant training on ER and LA opioids CME activities on QuantiaMD.

NEJM perspective article about Big Data in Healthcare

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dr. Sebastian Schneeweiss recently wrote an interesting perspective article in the NEJM about big data in health care. He writes:
Two key “learning” applications of big health care data that hold the promise of improving patient care are the generation of new knowledge about the effectiveness of treatments and the prediction of outcomes. Both these functions exceed the bounds of most computer applications currently used in health care, which tend to offer physicians such tools as context-sensitive warning messages, reminders, suggestions for economical prescribing, and results of mandated quality-improvement activities. 
Physicians currently struggle to apply new medical knowledge to their own patients, since most evidence regarding the effectiveness of medical innovations has been generated by studies involving patients who differ from their own and who were treated in highly controlled research environments. But many data that are routinely collected in a health care system can be used to evaluate medical products and interventions and directly influence patient care in the very systems that generated the data.
Given that clinical trials are conducted in an environment that usually doesn't reflect the "real world," clinicians often use that as an excuse to deviate from guideline recommendations. It's actually not an excuse. When you have a patient who has certain comorbid conditions or other factors, you need to make a clinical judgement about how you will treat that individual, and that may require you to deviate from clinical practice guidelines.

Currently, it is very costly and cumbersome to conduct "real-world" research studies. But, as we collect more data about the "effectiveness of treatments and the prediction of outcomes," clinicians will be more empowered than ever before to make better clinical decisions. It won't be an era of "cookbook medicine" that's entirely driven by static algorithms and flowcharts. Instead, treatment decisions will be customized and tailored for each individual based on unique factors, genomic profiles, patient preferences, socioeconomic factors, and much more.


Innovation HealthJam #InnovationHealthJam

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In a few weeks, the Innovation HealthJam will happen online! June 17-19. Here's what it's going to be about:

Come together for this Innovation HealthJam and help brainstorm new ideas for the healthcare technology area. This event will challenge a large diverse group within the medical eco-system to re-frame health care in the United States. This online brainstorming event will bring together healthcare providers, healthcare technology companies, universities, patient advocacy groups, trade associations, and government agencies from the healthcare industry to discuss how innovation can address healthcare challenges. By engaging thousands of prominent leaders, professionals, and passionate individuals, the event is intended to generate breakthrough ideas that will redefine healthcare.

Topics:
  • Patient Engagement and Healthcare Design for Consumers
  • Technology and Older Adults: The New Era of Connected Aging
  • A Mobile Health Agenda for Transforming Healthcare Delivery
  • Compute for Personalized Medicine: Finding the Cause and Cure through Genomics
  • Telehealth and Telemedicine: Emerging Opportunities in Addressing the Triple Aim (Linking Patients, Caregivers and Providers)
  • Your Physician of the Future
  • Health Innovation for Vulnerable Populations - Worldwide
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
You can sign up here: http://www.innovationhealthjam.com

Follow updates on Twitter: #InnovationHealthJam

The FDA launches #openFDA to give access to public health data

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Yesterday, the FDA announced a new initiative called openFDA to give developers, health care researchers, clinicians, and the public access to important public health data. openFDA is currently in beta, but it's definitely looking quite promising.

OpenFDA utilizes a search-based Application Program Interface (API) to collect large amounts of existing publicly available data, offering developers the ability to search through text within that data, ranking results much like a search using Google would do. This method then allows them to build their own applications on top of openFDA, giving them a large amount of flexibility to determine what types of data they would like to search and how they would like to present that data to end-users. This enables a wide variety of applications to be built on one common platform.

The openFDA Initiative was formally launched with the creation of the Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO) and the Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation (OITI) at the FDA.

Get ready for the 2014 Health Datapalooza! #hdpalooza

Friday, May 23, 2014

Are you familiar with the Health Datapalooza? What exactly is a palooza? The Urban Dictionary defines palooza as "an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there's no tomorrow." You don't have to be a data junkie or an informatics geek to have fun at the Health Datapalooza.

Health Datapalooza is a national conference focused on liberating health data, and bringing together the companies, startups, academics, government agencies, and individuals with the newest and most innovative and effective uses of health data to improve patient outcomes.

This year, the event is June 1 - 3 in Washington DC.

The two-day event includes:
  • Keynote presentations, newsmaker panels, breakout groups, training sessions, meet-ups, code-a-thons, and other interactive sessions focused on health data applications.
  • Rapid-fire announcements of business deals, data competitions, new academic programs and projects, cross-sector collaborations, and other opportunities for engagement.
  • An “Apps Expo” that allows attendees to explore innovative new tools and services and interact directly with the developers and data experts who create the applications.
  • The hallmark of the event is a national competition that searches for the best and most innovative uses of health data in apps and products. The competition culminates in live demonstrations of the winning applications to Health Datapalooza attendees.
Join the digital health revolution and hear about some of the innovations that are transforming the landscape of healthcare in this country.

http://healthdatapalooza.org

#DoMoreHIT At the Crossroads: Technology and Transformation in Healthcare

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#DoMoreHIT At the Crossroads: Technology and Transformation in Healthcare

Today, follow the @DellHealth for #DoMoreHIT think tank livestreaming 3/18 at 10 am CDT http://del.ly/6011gZh3

Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:00am EDT — Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:00pm EDT

Join a dynamic conversation exploring the burning issues in healthcare IT and how they will drive transformation in the year ahead.

Review of the Fitbug Orb Activity Tracker

Friday, February 7, 2014

This review was originally published on FitnessTechMD by @DrJosephKim

Over the past few months, I've had a chance to test and use a number of the newer wearable activity trackers (also known as fitness trackers or wearable activity monitors) like the Polar Loop and the Bowflex Boost. In this review, I'll write about my experience using the Fitbug Orb.

The Fitbug Orb is a round activity tracker that is priced at $49.95 and it can be worn on a wrist strap, on a belt clip, or on a magnetic clip. It comes in pink, black, or white and has a single button along with a single LED light that glows different colors. I've been using the Fitbug Orb for several weeks, wearing it every day at work, when I exercise, and when I sleep.

The black elastomer band holding the Orb around my wrist was comfortable during the day and while sleeping. Overall, the plastic device is light, but it is thick. It's much thicker than the Misfit Shine (which is made of aluminum). The wristband buckle (on the underside of your wrist) has a low profile so it did not disrupt my typing (compared to the Nike+ FuelBand which is much thicker and fairly rigid on the underside, so you'll feel it when you're typing). Since there is no metal touching my skin, you won't develop a nickel allergy rash (due to contact dermatitis). Some Fitbit Force users have reported such a rash recently.

In the picture below, you'll see the Fitbug Orb (in a wristband) on the far right. Nike+ FuelBand is on top, the Misfit Shine is in the middle, the Polar Loop is on the far left, and the Bowflex Boost is on the bottom:


In the picture below, you'll see the Fitbug Orb on my wrist against several other activity trackers: (top to bottom: Misfit Shine, Bowflex Boost, Fitbug Orb, Polar Loop, Nike+ FuelBand):


Unlike some of the other wrist-worn activity trackers, the Orb does not display time directly on the device (neither do the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, Bowflex Boost, etc.). Wrist-worn trackers that display time include examples like the Fitbit Force, Nike+ FuelBand, Misfit Shine, and Polar Loop.

The Orb is a nice option for people looking for a lower-priced wearable activity tracker that you can wear on your wrist, belt, underclothes, etc. Many activity trackers (like the Fitbit Flex, Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, or Polar Loop) are designed to be worn exclusively on your wrist. That may work for people who don't mind having something on the wrist all the time, but for others who want that flexibility to wear the tracker on different parts of the body, devices like the Fitbug Orb may be an attractive option.

Since the Orb is not waterproof for swimming, it's also not waterproof to handle your washing machine. So, if you accidentally throw your clothes in the wash with your Orb clipped to your waist or pocket, your Orb may come out non-functional. This is another reason why I advocate for wrist-worn activity trackers. There is less likelihood that your device will end up in the washing machine if it's always around your wrist.

About Dr. Joseph Kim

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Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of MedicineandTechnology.com, an independent website owned and operated by Dr. Kim. He is also the President of MCM Education, a professional medical education and publishing company that develops continuing medical education (CME) activities in joint sponsorship with medical universities, hospitals, and medical associations.

Dr. Kim is a digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for health information technology, mobile health, and social media. He frequently speaks at conferences about non-clinical careers for physicians, continuing medical education, mobile health technology, and social media in medicine. He is a regular contributor for the Physician Executive Journal, the official journal of the American College of Physician Executives.

Dr. Kim holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a doctorate of medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health.
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