Mobile Technology: the missing link between health and social care integration?

By Colin Reid, CEO of TotalMobile Ltd.
It is no secret that health and social care integration is high on the UK Government’s agenda, particularly in regards to looking after older people. Our aging society is forcing local organisations such as councils, NHS trusts, GPs and their Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to work closer together, and there is a lot of strategic discussion and debate as to how to meet the Government’s directives. Maybe now is the time to take a bottom-up approach to integration and look at the practical ways we can support both sets of frontline workers in the first instance.

Integrate at the point of delivery
Both health professionals and social care workers play a pivotal role in the ever-increasing necessity for out-of-hospital care. Whether they are assessing and recording clinical activities or completing a care plan, both social workers and healthcare professionals need relevant and up-to-date information to ensure those who need support get the right care at the right time.

Despite the digital transformation within the NHS and the emphasis placed on ICT for health and social care integration, mobile working, at this stage, does not necessarily mean mobile technology. Putting the right technology (literally) in the hands of frontline workers and making sure they are better connected for home visits can increase the amount of care for those in need and reduce time spent on ancillary activities including travel, paperwork and data entry.

Mobile working can provide common ground from which to start health and social care integration. For example, a social worker equipped with a mobile device that can access case notes, care plans and assessments will make better decisions on behalf of the person they are supporting, in addition to involving that person in their own care. If the same social worker was also able to access information from the health side, a better picture of the person’s wellbeing can be painted. This creates more informed decision-making and can reduce unnecessary readmissions to hospital.

Read more…
Visit Totalmobile website:

Doctors 2.0™ & You Announces Title – From Europe to the World: Healthcare Social Media and Mobile Health

[Press release from]

5 – 6 June 2014, Paris, France.
Doctors 2.0™ & You, the inclusive digital health congress announced the title for its 4th edition, taking place on June 5-6, 2014, at the magnificent Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. “From Europe to the World: Healthcare Social Media and Mobile Health” Doctors 2.0 & You 2014 will emphasize the wealth of digital health innovation from around the world: Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and of course, North America. Doctors 2.0 & You is currently accepting online applications for new speakers, start-up contestants, media and supporting partners, sponsors.

Doctors 2.0 & You, is geared to people from all of healthcare and from around the world, whether annual participants who will enjoy all the new material, or first time attendees. According to conference founder Denise Silber: “Doctors 2.0 & You is about people. Innovation comes from patients, from physicians, from out of the box thinkers at start-ups and structured organizations wherever they may be. Each edition of the conference covers very new ground, on how Social Media and Mobile Apps help get results for patients.”

The quote “Illness happens, but dreams still prevail!” above is from 2014 keynote, Jamie Tripp Utitus, a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) survivor, thriver and international MS blogger. Jamie is the author of a children’s book about a young girl whose mother gives birth while almost simultaneously being diagnosed with MS. Jamie will be signing copies of her book Zoe Bowie and the Meatball, MS Blues… at the conference. As Jamie says: “MS led me to blogging, friends all over the world, 2 books, and now Paris, for the Doctors 2.0 & You. Illness happens, but dreams still prevail!”

According to Dr. Berci Mesko, Doctors 2.0 & You Ambassador and Keynote speaker: “In 2014, we will get to a point where everybody understands the importance of social media in medicine and healthcare, so we have to focus on the meaningful and practical uses of it with evidence. Therefore, the next edition of Doctors 2.0 and You will be crucial!”

Dr. Mesko will also host a MasterClass at Doctors 2.0 & You on “Master skills in tracking social media”. Dr. Mesko has recently published the book Social Media in Clinical Practice.

Amongst the novelties for the 4th edition, both authors, Jamie and Berci will be signing their books on site.

2014 Topics will include: Quantified Self and Connected Objects, Serious Games, Social Media Impact on Medical Congresses, Quality of Mobile Health, Health and Medical Uses of Facebook, Evaluation of Online Communities, Patient Blogging, Professional Blogging, eReputation and Hospital strategy, Pharmacovigilance and Social Media, Best iPad apps for Physicians, Government experience with Social Media, Pharma Digital Strategy, Data Privacy.

Participants at the two-day event will be offered a selection of 20+ parallel sessions and the plenary. They will also network with attendees, speakers and exhibitors including start-up contestants, poster presenters and demonstrators. According to Audun Utengen and Tom Lee of Symplur who audited the 2013 #doctors20 hashtag results, “Doctors 2.0 & You was the most successful of this category in Europe with nearly 8000 tweets in two days, expressed in 15 languages. And we expect the growth to continue in 2014.”

Doctors 2.0™ & You partners with Stanford Medicine X conference, founded by Dr. Larry Chu of Stanford Medical School, who will be present with members of his Medicine X team. As Dr. Chu indicates, “The patient-centered scope of both of our conferences is what binds us together as kindred spirits. I truly believe that what Denise Silber is doing in Europe with Doctors 2.0 & You is important work and I’m proud to support her mission of bringing a patient-centered voice to ICT in healthcare. I will be at Doctors 2.0 & You in June, 2014!”

Round the clock live Tweeting in multiple languages will be visualized throughout the event. The conference will open its doors at 10 AM on Thursday June 5, 2014 and close at 5 PM on Friday June 6, 2013. 450 international participants are expected. Patients should contact the organizers for free seats, space permitting, on a first come, first served basis.

The participation of attendees from all of healthcare and from around the world makes for a most unique networking experience.

Early Bird rates run until December 20, 2013.

For further information, please visit:

About Doctors 2.0™ & You
Now in its fourth edition, Doctors 2.0™ & You is the first international conference of its kind to examine how doctors and patients are using social media, applications and web 2.0 tools to work with peers, governments, industry and payers. The conference draws on the expertise of physicians, patient communities, online and mobile tool providers, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and governments to help address the role of new technology in healthcare from both the doctor and patient perspective.

About Basil Strategies
Basil Strategies, established in Paris in 2001, is both a digital health communications agency and organizer of events and training. Denise Silber, the founder and President of Basil Strategies in Paris, is a member of the International Conference Advisory Board that organizes the Doctors 2.0 and You congress with the help of the Doctors 2.0 & You International Advisory Board. Silber, who was named to the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civil decoration, is a recognized eHealth, health 2.0 and social media expert in the US and Europe.

New Web portal for drug discovery

MP900316779[Press release from GRANATUM -]

Researchers can now use the GRANATUM web portal to socially interact and cooperate, build and share hypotheses, search databases, design and execute in-silico experiments to screen potential chemoprevention drugs ahead of in-vitro and in-vivo test. It is ready to connect biomedical researchers and provide access to information about cancer research and established pharmaceutical agents from 83 global data sources in an integrated, semantically interlinked manner.

The European GRANATUM project started two years ago. Mission: to build a collaboration platform for biomedical researchers in the field of cancer drug research. Version 1.0 of this web portal is now available at It provides access to the globally available biomedical knowledge and data resources that the scientists need to prepare complex experiments to identify novel agents for cancer prevention and to design experimental studies. This will accelerate research and reduce its costs.

Faster research results
Scientists from universities, research institutes and pharmaceutical companies are invited to use the GRANATUM Platform to share their knowledge and cooperatively generate expertise and experimental data, thus producing research results faster. Based on the GRANATUM Biomedical Semantic Model researchers can semantically annotate, manage and access biomedical resources, e.g. public databases, digital libraries and archives, online communities and discussions.

A Scientific Workflow Management System for biomedical experts provides a set of advanced tools to create, update, store, and share in-silico modeling experiments for the discovery of new chemopreventive agents.

Connecting socially
“The GRANATUM Portal will socially connect biomedical research across national boundaries, ease scientific exchange and, for the first time, allow collaboration in formulating hypotheses and testing potential drugs,” explains Prof. Wolfgang Prinz, the coordinator of the GRANATUM project and deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

The GRANATUM Portal is based on the BSCW Shared Workspace System developed by Fraunhofer FIT and OrbiTeam Software GmbH. It was designed and built in the GRANATUM project as “A Social Collaborative Working Space Semantically Interlinking Biomedical Researchers, Knowledge And Data For The Design And Execution Of In-Silico Models And Experiments In Cancer Chemoprevention”, partially funded by the European Commission as part of the FP7 framework.

The GRANATUM consortium includes seven partners: National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG-DERI), Cybion Srl. (Italy), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), University of Cyprus (UCY/CBC and UCY/CS), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), UBITECH (Greece), and Fraunhofer FIT acting as project coordinator.

For further information, please visit:

iPLATO Innovation Improves Patient Access to GP Services

London, 11 September 2013 – iPLATO Healthcare, a UK leader in cloud based mHealth and Analytics, has launched a new feature which allows patients to automatically cancel GP appointments via their mobile phone without intervention by reception staff at the practice. This new iPLATO feature – available for Enterprise and Pro users – will further reduce the practice workload related to appointment management and improve patient access to GP services.

Early users of automated cancellations are excited about the possibilities of this new feature. “Whilst eliminating effort for practice staff to deal with incoming cancellation requests from patients, this new feature has significantly sped up the process of making short term appointments available for other patients” says Lesley Kenny, Practice Manager and trial practice at The Hammersmith Surgery. “The reception team find it extremely efficient as freed up appointments can be given to someone else phoning in. I strongly urge all iPLATO users to trial ‘automated cancellations’ and not miss out!”

“Automated appointment cancellations is part of a broader feature set that aims to update the practice’s GP System automatically based on incoming messages from patients” says Tobias Alpsten, CEO of iPLATO Healthcare. “The new iPLATO feature recognises ‘Keywords’ so, when a patient sends a Keyword such as ‘CANCEL’ as a reply to an appointment reminder, the appointment is automatically removed from the GP System and the practice reception are notified via e-mail. This new feature improves patient services and reduces the administrational burden for practices to manage appointments.”

“Improved access to GP services reduces pressure on A&E” adds Alpsten. “In addition to improved access to GP services the Keyword feature will lead to long term outcomes such as reduced workload for reaching QoF targets and reduced pressure on switchboards.

Overall it’s a win-win-win for our commissioners, practices and patients!”

About iPLATO
iPLATO Healthcare is British innovation company. iPLATO’s evidence based mobile health solutions have proven to improve patient access to healthcare, to enable powerful health promotion targeted at people at risk and to support people with long term conditions.

Serving millions of patients and thousands of healthcare professionals every day iPLATO has emerged as the leader in mobile health. Across this network the company is running campaigns to promote smoking cessation, weight loss, childhood immunisation and pandemic awareness as well as mobile disease management services for people with diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and HIV.

iPLATO Healthcare’s mission is to, in partnership with clinicians, help healthcare commissioners transform patient care through cloud based mHealth and Analytics.

Press release source:

Psychotherapy via the Internet

Does psychotherapy via the Internet work? For the first time, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich have studied whether online psychotherapy and conventional face-to-face therapy are equally effective in experiments. Based on earlier studies, the Zurich team assumed that the two forms of therapy were on a par. Not only was their theory confirmed, the results for online therapy even exceeded their expectations.

Six therapists treated 62 patients, the majority of whom were suffering from moderate depression. The patients were divided into two equal groups at random and assigned to one of the therapeutic forms. The treatment consisted of eight sessions with different established techniques that stem from cognitive behavior therapy and could be carried out both orally and in writing. Patients treated online had to perform one predetermined written task per therapy unit – such as querying their own negative self-image. They were known to the therapist by name. (…)

Read more

Source: –

2013 European Telemedicine Conference

logo29 – 30 October 2013, Edinburgh, UK. – Telemedicine is one of the fastest growing areas of innovation in healthcare to improve patient care, increase access and lower costs. It is a proven solution to many of the systemic problems in our existing healthcare system. To stay on top of the possibilities and abreast of the latest innovations in telemedicine, the first European Telemedicine Conference is a must attend event.

The first annual European Telemedicine Conference (ETC) combines the efforts of several leading European Healthcare Organisations into one powerful event. In 2013, the ETC incorporates the annual Scottish Centre for Telemedicine and Telecare Conference with the UPMC International Telemedicine Conference. This collaboration also draws on the strengths of its other partners to produce a vibrant local event with rich international appeal.

With speakers from USA, Spain, Norway, UK and more joining experts in telemedicine from Scotland, the conference promises to to deliver presentations covering all the major strategic issues of the day. The conference offers three tracks themed:

  • Living well with telehealthcare!
  • Telemedicine – From research and documentation to best practice.
  • Telemedicine – Experiences from the clinical reality.

This unique interactive area of the Conference offers delegates hands-on experiences of pipe-line products and the latest concepts in telemedicine.

Universities, SMEs and service providers will showcase new and emerging products in this field and attendees will be able to try out, touch and feel healthcare IT simulations.

Based on the successful “Dragon’s Den” BBC programme, the Innovation Hothouse will feature pitches by developers of their latest innovations to a panel of industry experts. The audience will decide upon the winning pitches and the winners will receive a special sponsorship “package” to assist in product development. There will be three sessions with pitches from:

  • Health and care public sector
  • Universities and R&D centers
  • Small to medium enterprise

The panel will be led by Roy Lilley, well respected entrepreneur, writer, broadcaster and commentator on health and social issues. He has, twice, been voted top UK speaker on NHS topics so these sessions promise to be both informative and entertaining.

For further information, please visit:

About HIMSS Europe
HIMSS Europe is dedicated to bringing together all the major players in the Health ICT community to transcend borders and languages and engender a truly regional dialogue. As members of HIMSS Europe, individual professionals (managers, administrators, clinicians, technology experts and users), vendor companies and IT providers meet, interact and learn from one another.

With the opening of its Europe office in Brussels, HIMSS is now positioned to provide activities, programmes and education specifically designed for the Europe Health ICT community. Guided by a Governing Council of members from within the Europe region, the HIMSS Europe staff will focus on the needs of individual and corporate members across Europe to ensure dedicated services and membership value.


Watching the brain in action

mapping the brain euronewsSource: euronews
Just imagine being able to surf through the brain and its 86 billion neurons – well now you can.

Scientists have developed the first high-definition 3D model of a complete human brain – it is called Big Brain.

Researchers from Canada and Germany have constructed the 3D digital model based upon the preserved brain of a 65-year-old woman that had been preserved in wax.

It was sliced into ultra-thin sections. The scientists then used modern brain imaging technologies to analyse each individual piece after which the sections were put back together into the highest possible resolution 3D digital model.

Katrin Amunts, the project leader at the Forschungszentrum in Jülich, said: “The Big Brain is a three-dimensional atlas of the human brain with microscopic resolution. We had to make ​​more than 7,500 histological sections of a human brain, which then were reconstructed three-dimensionally. Which means that finally we have a mass which we can study. Actually it works just the way we do with Google Earth, where we can also zoom in to specific cities, look at certain roads. The brain atlas is quite similar.”

The research was recently published in the journal Science and can be accessed freely online.

Read more (and watcth the impressive video!) on the euronews website:

conhIT 2013: Healthcare IT Industry Demonstrates its Innovative Drive in Berlin

15 April 2013 - As Europe’s leading industry event for healthcare IT, conhIT – Connecting Healthcare IT fulfilled all the high expectations placed in it. 5,980 trade visitors from more than 40 countries attended conhIT in Berlin, 500 more than last year. From 9 to 11 April, 320 exhibitors from 14 countries displayed their healthcare IT products and services on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

“Exhibitor and trade visitor numbers rose significantly, impressively confirming conhIT’s wide appeal for the entire healthcare IT sector,” said Dr. Christian Göke, COO Messe Berlin, summarising the event. “Over three days packed with events trade visitors were able to gain a broad impression of innovative healthcare IT solutions and find out about the latest topics at events specially organised for professionals. Looking back, what defined conhIT 2013 was its comprehensive market overview and that it offered outstanding opportunities for advanced training and networking,” he added.

Event organisers bvitg e. V. draw positive conclusion “True to the slogan of the conhIT Congress, ‘Good IT – better medical care’, there is now an increasing focus on healthcare IT. In recent years significant progress has been made in a number of fields,” said Bernhard Calmer, chairman of the German Association of the Healthcare IT Industry (bvitg). “That was also evident at conhIT. Never before were there so many events as this year. With every relevant industry institution involved, conhIT made sure the programme featured fascinating topics that addressed every target audience.”

The positive mood within the industry could be felt everywhere at conhIT. Visitors and exhibitors inside the well-attended display halls and two adjacent conference halls exchanged experiences and found out about the latest aspects of healthcare IT. On the afternoons at conhIT, over a period of three days, there were 13 Congress sessions, four seminars and some 100 Networking Events, more than in any previous year.

Partnership with Belgium a success
Belgium, this year’s partner country which was represented by Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels, featured prominently at the Industrial Fair and other events. Trade visitors made use of this opportunity to meet Belgian exhibitors and find out more about their products.

“For the 24 companies from Belgium that attended conhIT this was a specialist industry event where experts could exchange views and meet with German and international customers and partners”, was how Jürgen Maerschand, the Flemish trade attaché, commented the results of cooperation with Messe Berlin and bvitg at conhIT. “We look forward to cooperating in the future and to working on other joint projects,” said Maerschand.

Strong partners, an outstanding congress
For the first time, Congress delegates at conhIT 2013 were able to use voting tools to respond directly to moderators’ questions, rate lectures and take an interactive part in the Congress. This feature made it possible for an award honouring the best Congress session to be presented on Thursday already, at the conhIT closing event. Dr. Carl Dujat, president of the BVMI, presented the award to Dr. Pierre-Michael Meier of the Initiative for Management and IT Service Management in the Healthcare Industry (IuiG), who together with Helmut Schlegel of KH-IT had sponsored and moderated the session entitled “Maximising efficiency through IT process support.”

“We are very satisfied with the way conhIT went this year. The fact that most of the Congress sessions and Academy seminars were so well-attended was proof that we clearly made the right choice of topics and speakers,” said Dr. Dujat commenting on the quality of the specialist programme.

Healthcare IT industry offers prospects for young people too
The keen interest expressed by students and graduates proved that healthcare IT companies offer good prospects as employers. A total of nine universities had organised excursions for their students to conhIT. Numerous exhibitors made use of the opportunity to post their vacancies at the job exchange or introduce themselves on the pages of the Career Guide.

“On Wednesday at the Career Workshop 300 people thronged the Congress hall,” said Prof. Dr. Paul Schmücker of GMDS, the organiser and moderator of the event. “The aim of GMDS, BVMI, KH-IT and bvitg, the associations involved in career activities, is to bring students and young professionals into contact with healthcare IT companies and institutions and to further an exchange of information. That aim was achieved,” said Schmücker.

Directly following the workshop an award presentation took place honouring students’ diploma work focusing on practical healthcare IT issues. The winner was Iris Schmücker of the University of Duisburg-Essen whose diploma was entitled “The concept and implementation of a serious game for shaping individual training.”

Highlights of the first day in words and pictures
Besides those present at the event, thousands more were able to follow the keynote speeches held by speakers at the conhIT opening event by tuning into live videos on their computers. Anyone who missed the opening event on 9 April can still watch video clips online. Videos of the opening event, the session hosted by the partner country Belgium, as well as the international session can be watched at

Comments by exhibitors on conhIT 2013
Gerd Friss, Marketing Supervisor, 3M Health Information Systems: “conhIT has finally made its mark as the meeting place of the industry. From our point of view the event was another success. bvitg and Messe Berlin organised conhIT in a very professional manner yet again. We will be back.”

Winfried Post, General Manager, Agfa HealthCare DACH: “After scheduling a larger number of appointments with customers and visitors prior to conhIT it was clear we would be inundated with visitors at the fair, and that was indeed the case. More and more visitors are very well informed, enabling us to offer them detailed information about our products. Their focus is mainly on our interactive mobile solutions and our new, fully integrated voice recognition system. Overall, I can say that conhIT has established itself as an event for IT heads and company executives keen to find out more in this field.”

Michaela Bicker, CompuGroup Medical Deutschland: “conhIT 2013 exceeded all the expectations. We are highly satisfied with the results we have achieved at conhIT 2013 so far. Outstanding Congress events, fascinating panel discussions and workshops and a very well attended Industrial Fair rounded off our overall impression of this leading eHealth event and demonstrated that conhIT is attracting growing industry attention.”

Andreas Rehermann, Head of Marketing and Hospital Sales, Medizinische Medien Informations GmbH: “There was keen interest in ‘our’ topic, the action plan for safe drug treatment (AMTS). The number of delegates who attended the lectures at the Congress and Networking Events and who took part in relevant guided tours at the fair was much higher than last year. The number and quality of the meetings we had also reflected the growing interest in AMTS.”

Uwe Lehmann, Head of Business Management and Marketing Health Services Deutschland, Siemens AG Healthcare Sector: “The fact that Siemens has been a partner of conhIT since it was first launched shows how important this event is for us. Once again our expectations were fulfilled in every respect. The halls were booked up, the discussions were informative and in particular we had successful meetings with our customers and partners.”

Andrea Röwekamp, Marketing, T-Systems SFPH GmbH: “conhIT has fully established itself as the platform for the hospital IT sector. Both the large number of visitors and the well-informed discussions we had were a reflection of this. For us the fair was a success.”

More comments by exhibitors can be found at

About conhIT – Connecting Healthcare IT
conhIT targets decision-makers in IT departments, management, in the medical profession, nursing, doctors, doctors’ networks and medical care centres who need to find out about the latest developments in IT and healthcare, meet members of the industry and make use of opportunities for high-level advanced training. As an integrated event, over a period of three days conhIT combines an Industrial Fair, a Congress and Networking Events that are of particular interest to this sector. Launched in 2008 by the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg) as the meeting place for the healthcare IT industry and organised by Messe Berlin, this event recently recorded 320 exhibitors and 5,980 visitors in 2013 and has now become Europe’s leading event for the healthcare IT sector.

conhIT is organised in cooperation with the following industry associations: the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg), the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS), the German Association of Medical Computer Scientists (BVMI). The National Association of Hospital IT Managers (KH-IT) and the Working Group of Directors of Medical Computing Centres at German University Clinics (ALKRZ) have provided contributions to the subject matter.

Resource Management in Hospitals: Still a Largely Untapped Potential

Logo_conhIT_Berlin9 – 11 April 2011, Berlin, Germany.
For years hospitals have been forced by cost-saving pressures to improve their internal processes to ensure they remain competitive. Not all options have been exploited yet. Multidimensional resource management can not only improve efficiency, but can also benefit the patient. At conhIT 2013 providers and users will be discussing the IT demands on modern hospital resource management as well as the obstacles that still stand in the way of solutions for the entire hospital sector.

A glance at the operating schedules is the easiest way to find out what modern hospital resource management can achieve. “A lot has been accomplished in recent years,” says Angelika Händel of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. “In many hospitals nowadays, the employees involved can find out at any time about the operating schedule, operation details and when to bring in the next patient.” Even ordering operating materials and work schedules are unimaginable without using IT.

The fact that operating theatres are at the forefront of IT-assisted resource management hardly comes as a surprise: “An empty operating theatre costs several thousand euros every hour. At a time when economically speaking many hospitals are barely viable that is something they do not want to afford,” says Dr. Christoph Seidel, CIO, Klinikum Braunschweig. Together with Angelika Händel, a board member of Deutscher Verband Medizinischer Dokumentare (DVMD), Seidel, who is also director of the Competence Center for the Electronic Signature in Healthcare (CCESigG), will be chairing a Congress session on resource management at conhIT 2013.

Multidimensional resource management maximises benefits
Proper planning of resources has the potential to improve efficiency outside of the operating theatre as well. To date, however, hardly any steps have been taken in this direction. “Generally speaking, one can say that IT-assisted resource management works well in cases in which a hospital information system’s task is to assign a job, for example an X-ray examination.” Extra medical information is then provided for this job and combined with an order for transporting a patient. In many hospitals that is an efficient and automated process.

However, when the necessity arises to organise complex, IT-assisted planning processes many hospitals quickly reach their limits. “As soon as several planning factors have to be considered at the same time, which may also involve different departments, things become difficult. Most IT systems are incapable of handling such a multi-layered approach,” says Händel.

There are many examples that bear this out. At the top of the wishlist of many CIOs is a hospital-wide appointments management system. That would require drawing on data from completely different systems, inconceivable in a normal work situation, especially if the relevant systems are not from the same company. “HL7 represents an excellent communication standard for the hospital sector. What we do not have are cross-sectoral standards for resource management,” says Seidel.

Efficiency is in the patient’s interest too
The industry is aware of these deficits, as Andreas Kassner of the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg) points out: “The complex nature of day-to-day work in hospitals means that in many cases human beings still act as an interface. That is why there is definitely a need for standardisation. Hospitals should enter into a dialogue with manufacturers and offer concrete suggestions for improvements.”

What is clear is that efficient hospital resource management not only saves money but eases nerves as well. “Good resource planning should mean that patients do not have to wait all day for an operation or to stand around for ever in the emergency waiting room,” says Händel. A hospital might not be a car factory. “But with the help of IT and within certain limits it should be feasible to organise what would otherwise be impossible.”

More on this subject at conhIT 2013
On Thursday, 10 April 2013 at conhIT, experts taking part in the Congress Session no. 7 (Resource management) will be holding several lectures on their latest experiences of how hospitals work in practice. Resident practitioners and patients can also benefit from instruments that optimise day-to-day processes, for example online appointments systems. Also on 10 April 2013, the conhIT Forum “Focus on online services – from doctors for patients” will also be examining this topic. Anyone wishing to find out more ahead of conhIT about the products and services relevant to this subject can find the exhibitors in question in the conhIT Virtual Market Place and can already book an appointment at the Industrial Fair.

For further information, please visit:

About conhIT – Connecting Healthcare IT
conhIT targets decision-makers in IT departments, management, in the medical profession, nursing, doctors, doctors’ networks and medical care centres who need to find out about the latest developments in IT and healthcare, meet members of the industry and make use of opportunities for high-level advanced training. As an integrated event, over a period of three days conhIT combines an Industrial Fair, a Congress and Networking Events which are of particular interest to this sector. Launched in 2008 by the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg) as the meeting place for the healthcare IT industry and organised by Messe Berlin, this event recently recorded 270 exhibitors and 5,300 visitors and has now become Europe’s leading event for the healthcare IT sector.

conhIT 2013 is organised in cooperation with the following industry associations: the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg), the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS), the German Association of Medical Computer Scientists (BVMI). The National Association of Hospital IT Managers (KH-IT) and the Working Group of Directors of Medical Computing Centres at German University Clinics (ALKRZ) have provided contributions to the subject matter.

Source: conhIT Pressemitteilungen

Speech recognition booms as EHR adoption grows

The market for speech recognition software has been growing tremendously over the past few years, partly because of the spread of electronic health records, KLAS Research analyst Ben Brown told InformationWeek Healthcare.

Brown also noted that some physicians don’t want to document in EHRs by pointing and clicking or typing, so they use speech recognition or some combination of methods. Brown made this observation during a discussion of his report on how healthcare providers perceive the leading speech recognition solutions. In the past, these solutions have cut time and costs for transcription and imaging documentation. Now, the report noted, “the hottest steam” in the market is around EMRs/EHRs.

KLAS’ survey measured the popularity of applications in three categories: speech EMR, front-end speech imaging and back-end speech. Front-end refers to applications that require clinicians to edit the transcribed text after they dictate, while back-end applications are those in which transcriptions or editors fix the text generated by speech recognition.

In the speech EMR category, Nuance Dragon Medical, the only reviewed product, received a relatively high rating. Nuance has the most live clients at this point, with Dolbey a distant second and M*Modal third. “The ability to improve documentation efficiency across thousands of hospitals appears real,” the report said.

Nuance has the broadest technology portfolio of any of the speech recognition vendors, but Dolbey’s front/back-end solution is gaining market share. M*Modal, formerly known as Medquist, is also gaining momentum on the back of the speech engine Medquist garnered when it acquired M*Modal and took its name.

In the area of front-end speech imaging, used for imaging documentation, Afga and Dolbey are improving their performance while Nuance and M*Modal struggle, the report said. It attributes Nuance’s problem to “delayed implementations and poor training.” M*Modal lags because it is using an older SpeechQ engine created by Philips and later acquired by Nuance.

However, M*Modal is picking up momentum in back-end speech with its Fluency for Transcription product, which uses the M*Modal speech engine. The leader in that category is Nuance, followed by Dolbey, M*Modal and 3M.

Overall, Brown said, speech recognition has improved incrementally in recent years. But the real determinant of accuracy is the proper training of applications to recognize users’ voices. “Most people who have the right training and applications tend to see better results,” he noted.

While the survey didn’t ask about natural language processing or computer-assisted coding, the speech recognition vendors are among the leaders in those categories. Nuance recently announced that at the IHE North America Connectathon 2013 event in Chicago, it successfully completed testing for extracting discrete data from paper records and automatically populating appropriate fields in medical documents, using its clinical language understanding solution. And M*Modal has just reached an agreement with 3M to turn transcribed text into structured documentation for purposes of computer-assisted coding (CAC), clinical documentation improvement (CDI), quality metrics and analytics.
[Read more...]

By Ken Terry, InformationWeek Healthcare
News > Speech Recognition Booms as EHR Adoption Grows, 27/02/2013