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Smart Walking Stick Monitors Vitals and Calls for Help

Posted on July 13, 2011 I Written By

This is one of those devices that I can’t help but think it should have been developed sooner because it is simple yet brilliant.

A concept called simply “the aid” this walking stick is designed to give confidence to those who have suffered traumatic injuries.  The cane provides vital signs to help users better monitor their health.  It also provides a simple navigation system to help you get home.  Should an emergency occur it can even call a central health center and give them your location courtesy of “the aid”.

Having had family that relied upon a cane to simply get around, a device like this would have given the whole family more confidence in their safety.  When you have already had a major injury that requires the use of a cane, you are even more scared that something worse will happen because you are so unstable.

The 2011 Fujitsu design award was given to “the aid” designer Egle Ugintaite from Lithuania.  In his words:

”the aid’ is mainly dedicated to help elderly people, or people after trauma who often have a lack of confidence to step outside their house, causing isolation, depression… ‘the aid’ is designed to be a real ‘helping hand’: to guide and prevent one from being lost, providing a feeling of security, allowing one to receive immediate help if they need it, and, of course physical support, as a walking cane. an integrated navigator, which works as a service + health device (pulse, blood pressure temperature) features measuring sensors along with an SOS button, which, by pressing it when help is needed, contacts the help centerand sends the user’s current health data and location to provide immediate and qualified help. the object is simple to use (2 buttons only), but at the same time smart.

A much more in depth description and a bunch of great images can be found at this website.

Independent Thinking of Doctors Limits EHR Vendor Consolidation

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m not sure all the details of why this is the case (but I’m sure some will tell me why in the comments), but doctors are some of the most independent thinkers that I know. I’m not saying whether this is a good or a bad thing. It’s just an observation based on thousands of interactions with doctors from all specialties. This independence is shown in a plethora of areas from charting to treating to diagnosing to the business of medicine.

Turns out, this independence is part of why I’ve heard doctors say hundreds of times that they basically want their own EHR and not a mainstream one. Doctors want an EHR that fits their unique practice style. Thus they have an expectation that whatever EHR they choose should understand that each doctor is different and naturally adapt to each unique doctors need. Ok, that’s a pretty broad generalization and no one would ever vocalize it that way, but it’s an undercurrent that I’ve seen time and time again.

I believe this is an important characteristic of the EHR market that must be considered. If you don’t accept the broad theory of doctor independence in practice style and approach, then most of you will appreciate that doctors from various specialties have unique needs. The easy to understand examples are Pediatricians and OB/GYNs. Everyone can quite readily see that tracking child growth and pregnancy require different charting and documentation requirements. I believe each specialty could describe similar requirements that are unique to that specialty.

This doctor and specialty independence is why I’ve long argued against what everyone loves to call mass EHR vendor consolidation. Certainly we can all agree that we have too many EHR vendors right now. However, I’ve read many many people argue that there’s only going to be 3-5 EHR vendors left standing after the mass EHR consolidation (or EHR vendor failure). I just don’t believe that’s the case. If we get down to 100 EHR companies, I’ll be impressed.

There are two things that might partially affect my EHR consolidation prediction.

First, I won’t be surprised if some really smart company comes along and scoops up each of the best of breed EHR companies for various specialties. However, instead of sunsetting the acquired EHR software, they continue to offer that same EHR software to a specific specialty. Then, they do this over and over again across all the specialties. So, the larger company would own a pediactric EHR, an OB/GYN EHR, a Family Practice EHR, a Cardiology EHR, a Orthopedic EHR, an Oncology EHR, etc. You get the idea. Instead of getting benefits from software development consolidation, they get the benefits in other areas of their business. It would be really fun to run a company like this.

The other healthcare trends that could have a serious impact on this is the ACO movement and hospitals buying up clinics. I’m still not sure how those two trends are going to play out. However, this type of consolidation of healthcare entities could impact whether a specialty specific EHR is a viable option. Clinics that are bought by a hospital or become part of an ACO lose some of their independence. At least their independence in selecting an EHR software.

Are there things I’m missing? Any other trends that are happening that will change the EHR consolidation landscape?

SMRTNet: The Exchange of Clinical Information in Oklahoma

Posted on I Written By

SMRTNET is the product of a four year effort to provide a capability for medical providers to securely exchange electronic health information under federal and state law. Connections include hospitals, physician offices, laboratory, university, Native American tribe, public health, mental health, and community health centers. SMRTNET is the largest HIE in the state of Oklahoma, containing nearly 2 million patient records from 45 unique contributing facilities. No other Cerner Solutions as SMRTNET is its own entity (not a hospital or health system) just simply uses Cerner as the technology for their offerings.



Watch the video here.