Augmented Reality iPad App Guides Surgeons During Tumor Removal

A new iPad app from Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Germany is using augmented reality technology to help surgeons excise liver tumors without damaging critical vessels within the organ.

A CT scan is performed before the surgery and the imaged vessels are identified within software, all of which is then transferred to the iPad. During the procedure the surgeon can navigate the imaged liver to see where the vessels are, and if the camera is turned on and pointed at the exposed liver the app automatically superimposes the vessel structure of the organ onto the live picture. Notably, the app is not simply a concept, but was already tested successfully during a liver tumor removal at Asklepios Klinik Barmbek in Hamburg.

Relatris‘s insight:

As with many of these innovations, this application first has to proof usability in daily routine- but again the creativity of the new tools developed and the pace of their development is highly fascinating.

See on www.medgadget.com

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Google Glass in the OR and in Medical Education: Becoming a Disruptive Technology


It’s not the first time I say Google Glass can be the biggest hit in medical technology this yeas, and now as the number of good examples is still rising, it’s becoming more and more evident. Here are a few cases and experiments.
Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS had a pilot project with this team about the use of Google Glass in medical education. Here is his summary:
[…]
Lucien Engelen and his team at REshape created a video that shows what a regular patient-doctor interaction would look like with the Google Glass and what additional features it could add to the process:

Relatris‘s insight:
Some people are scared of Google Glasses, others disguise technologies like these, and still others are fascinated by the possibilities those glasses could bring, and play around to explore the chances and limitations.  It is impressing what is going on, whether the glasses will ever find really useful applications or not. Here are some examples of what people try to do. Find more by googling.

See on scienceroll.com

Power to the patients: Doc appointment and review website Vitals raises $22M

Vitals raises $22 million to add staff, health insurance decision-support tools to doctor appointment and ratings website to satisfy consumer demand for healthcare price transparency

Relatris‘s insight:

Vitals currently serves as a doctors review website and soon will help patients in the US to get through their health insurance journal.

I took the opportunity to check some of the doctors I visited myself in the US for their reviews in Vitalis. To make it short: If you get good reviews, you’r off great, with many stars blinking into the potential patients eyes. But if there is only one or two patients who weren’t happy with you, it looks bad, as the dominating star rating immediately downgrades you.

So how to handle such rating systems that they stay objective? What about just showing star rating after a doctor got e.g. 10 written reviews? What about fine tuning, e.g. separating organizational issues (waiting times) from medical issues?

Doctors rating will come more and more in Europe too, so maybe it’s time to think about a system more elaborate than Amazon-like stars.

See on medcitynews.com

Survey: 45 percent of smartphone users want online physician appointment booking

The survey asked how interested the respondents were in communicating with healthcare providers or obtaining diagnostic tests through a smartphone or tablet […]

Some 43 percent of respondents were interested in asking doctors questions, another 45 percent were interested in booking appointments, while 42 percent were interested in checking the effects and side effects of a medicine. While the percentage differences between the age groups didn’t vary much, people over the age of 65 were less interested than other age groups. Of the healthcare services listed, the patients were least interested in getting reminders to participate in programs for exercise, diet, weight loss and other wellness programs.

Relatris‘s insight:

About 30% of respondents of the questionnaire like to interact with their physician online and would approve of tools allowing to do so easily. Unfortunately, the article does not state which percentage of total American adults online those respondents represented. Still, an app supporting patient/physician interactions can definitively improve communication, which is especially important with diseases as complex as cancer, enhancing patients trust in doctors and medications.

See on mobihealthnews.com

‘Game changing’ cancer database pushes fight against disease forward

See on Scoop.itoncoTools

The world’s largest cancer database will be launched in the UK today, in what experts are calling a “game-changing” stride forward in the fight against the disease.

Millions of patient records containing detailed information on individual cancers and how they have been treated will be available to specialists around the country, paving the way for highly personalised treatment of individual patients.

“This is game-changing,” Jem Rashbass, who led the project at Public Health England, told The Times. “This puts us at the forefront of cancer care for the next two decades.”

“In effect every cancer patient has a rare disease that is different in some way from another cancer. This allows us to carry out refined searches to see how other tumours have responded to identify the optimum treatment as early as possible.”

Relatris‘s insight:

Great to have such a database. The big challenge will be to use it meaningfully, so to not only have good search algorithms, but to draw the right conclusions out of the results. Then, this will be a powerful tool!

See on www.independent.co.uk

Doximity: a mobile app changing the way physicians communicate

See on Scoop.itoncoTools

As the clinical complexity of cases increases and physicians further specialize and sub-specialize, there are more physicians involved in the care of any one patient. When dispersed across hospitals, it becomes difficult to work as clinical team- ie. sharing information, insight, and proposed treatments with each other. Rather than being limited to the information input in the EHR or sent via a fax machine from the 1950s, physician-information mobile apps are emerging as a new tool for physician-to-physician conversations.

Relatris‘s insight:

Another (HIPPA compliant) communication tool. Clearly, in large countries with different EHR systems in place, such tools have a certain necessity. But is it really helpful to publish one system after the other? For which one a physician should decide who works with multiple colleagues having different systems? In Switzerland, many years ago, physicians implemented their own system, http://hin.ch, for secure and uniform communication. All doctors having the same technology really fascilitates life.

See on viralcommunications.wordpress.com

Residency programs grapple with use of smart devices

See on Scoop.itoncoTools

An estimated 85 percent of residents have smartphones, which they use an average 2.1 hours per day—including for clinical work. While such smart devices as phones and tablets promise advances in medical efficiency and functionality, there may be unintended consequences as well.

Relatris‘s insight:

Read the linked article!!! (we cannot scoop it here as it is a pdf file) It raises several core concerns about how we use mobile devices (we think it also applies for desktop computers on your consultation table) in clinical practice. It not only applies to residents but also to clinicians. Do you watch your computer screen during consultations? How does your patient feel in this situation? It happend to me several times- and it felt very wired and rude…..

“It is important to pause and consider the unintended consequences of the adoption of this technology. For example, there have been multiple reports of medical errors caused by information technology, such as computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support systems
[…]
Because of the increased connectivity of these devices to work colleagues as well as to residents’ personal life, interruptions may increase in both realms. This may result in ‘‘distracted doctoring’’ and increased medical errors.
[…]
From an educational perspective, we have found that providing residents with smartphones makes them, in effect, more global and less local. This combined with increased interruptions can create professionalism issues. A resident may be providing good care for a patient on a distant ward when he responds quickly to a request from a nurse via smartphone or tablet. However, this act may be viewed as rudeness by the patient right in front of the resident.
[…]
Because devices make reaching supervisors easier, residents may defer most decision making to supervisors, with resulting loss of autonomy and learning.
[…]
Tablets and smartphones also increase connections to residents’ personal lives. Recently at our institution, an attending on rounds observed his medical student accessing Facebook while the attending was discussing a recently diagnosed cancer with the patient.

See on www.ama-assn.org