Google Backs Harvard Scientist’s 100,000-Genome Quest

March 1, 2008

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — A Harvard University scientist backed by Google Inc. and OrbiMed Advisors LLC plans to unlock the secrets of common diseases by decoding the DNA of 100,000 people in the world’s biggest gene sequencing project.

Harvard’s George Church plans to spend $1 billion to tie DNA information to each person’s health history, creating a database for finding new medicines. The U.S., U.K., China and Sweden this year began working together to decipher the genetic makeup of 1,000 people at a cost of $50 million.

Google, owner of the most popular Internet search engine, is looking for ways to give people greater control over their medical data. Along with the unspecified donation to Church, the Mountain View, California-based company said last week that it would work with the Cleveland Clinic to better organize health records, and last year gave $3.9 million to 23andme Inc., a seller of genomic data to individuals.

Read the rest of the article here.


Google Health Begins Its Preseason at Cleveland Clinic

February 24, 2008

For 18 months, Google has been working to come up with a product offering and a strategy in the promising field of consumer health information. Until now, the search giant hasn’t had anything to show for its labors other than bumps along the way — delays and a management change.

But on Thursday, Google’s technology for personal health records, which is still in development, is getting a big endorsement from the Cleveland Clinic. The big medical center is beginning a pilot project to link the health information for some of its patients with Google personal health records.

Cleveland Clinic is at the cutting edge of health information technology, and its more than 100,000 patients each has a personal health record. But a sizable portion of those patients are retirees, notes Dr. C. Martin Harris, the clinic’s chief information officer. Many of them, he said, spend about five months elsewhere, typically in Florida or Arizona, and the clinic’s sophisticated electronic health records don’t follow them there.

“It forces the patient to become his or her own medical historian,” Dr. Harris said.

The Google personal health record, he said, is a solution to that problem, among others. A person can approve the transfer of information on, say, medical conditions, allergies, medications and laboratory results from the clinic’s computers to a Google personal health record — a series of secure Web pages.

 Read the rest of the article here.


CHARTCARE and Barrie FHT Sign Largest Electronic Medical Records Contract in Canadian History

February 13, 2008

CHARTCARE, Inc.
Februar 12, 2008

NEW YORK, NY — CHARTCARE, Inc. of New York announces that it has been selected by the Barrie and Community Family Health Team in Barrie, Ontario, Canada to implement their OntarioMD approved Clinical Management Solution (CMS).

CHARTCARE will implement its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management Applications (PMA) solution to 60 physicians and numerous additional healthcare providers at 35 different locations within the Barrie area starting next month.

Each practice will maintain their individual billing environments but share all other common elements such as patient scheduling, patient recalls, Electronic Medical Records, lab and medication data. Almost 350 workstations will connect securely through the province’s Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA).

“We are a diverse group of family physicians who were in agreement about networking and combining our patients into one server/database for EMR”, said Dr. Anne DuVall, lead physician for Barrie and Community FHT. “We have followed a long and diligent selection process. In addition to CHARTCARE’s ability to accommodate the many styles of physician workflow within our team, it was important for us to choose a vendor that we felt confident could institute a project of this magnitude”.

“This is a proven deployment of a single patient record across many locations, with a powerful security model”, stated Dennis Niebergal, president & CEO of CHARTCARE. “As with previous negotiations in Ontario, we have appreciated the involvement of Barrie’s OntarioMD advisors as a project management resource. Their expert advice helped eliminate confusion and reduced deficiencies ensuring a more successful implementation and better end result”.

CHARTCARE’s advantage is that our Trusted, Proven and Reliable solution supports physicians’ workflow and can be tailored to meet individual physician needs. It helps enhance patient care, improves patient safety and drives both physician and staff productivity.

About CHARTCARE
CHARTCARE, Inc. (www.chartcare.com) has specialized in software development for the ambulatory physician market since 1984. CHARTCARE’s parent company, CLINICARE Corporation is Canada’s leading provider of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management Applications (PMA). CHARTCARE’s EMR has been rated as one of the Top 2 EMRs in North America for the past 5 consecutive years by the prestigious IT consulting firm – KLAS Enterprises. CLINICARE has also been recognized in recent years by the Canadian Health Informatics Association by being bestowed the “Company of the Year”, “Corporate Citizen of the Year” and “Healthcare Transformation of the Year” Awards. CLINICARE is the only vendor to have received this recognition. CLINICARE is also one of the successful proponents to British Columbia’s Physician Information Technology Office (PITO) initiative. CHARTCARE has branch offices in the United States and Canada, with its Head Office in New York, NY.

 This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including those that may be related to revenue and net income that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are volume and timing of systems sales and installations; length of sales cycles and installation process; the possibility that the products will not achieve market acceptance; seasonal patterns of sales and customer buying behavior; the development by competitors of new or superior technologies; delays in product development; undetected errors or bugs in software; product liability; changing economic, political or regulatory influences in the health-care industry; changes in product-pricing policies; competitive pressures; general economic conditions.


Where errors can be fatal, lab works out the kinks

January 30, 2008

Hospital-based centre puts medical devices to the test through simulations with real doctors and nurses

The Globe and Mail featured an article in December, 2007 highlighting the work of University Health Network’s Healthcare Human Factors Group, specifically their two-year collaboration with Smiths Medical to develop a user-friendly “smart” pump-infusion system.

The UHN is an umbrella institution comprised of three hospitals -Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret. Its Human Factors Group is housed in a new $6-million facility, began operating less than three years ago and has quickly become what is believed to be the world’s largest hospital-based human-factors research centre.  Human factors analysis, also called ergonomics or usability testing, is the term describing the linkage between a technology and its ease of operation.

They saw a video of professional nurses who fumbled when asked to change the medication and the dosage on a machine.  They pressed several buttons on the infusion pump but nothing started the change procedure.  Then they were called away by an emergency alarm when they returned to the (simulated) patient, they could not remember where they were in the process.

Smith Medical saw the video and they were mortified.  This led to an extensive two-year collaboration between the company and the UHN centre to develop a user-friendly “smart” pump-infusion system.

Read this article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wsrinnotesting04/BNStory/Technology/

Comments on this group’s work or other new medical devices?


Electronic Medical Records available to most BC physicians in 2008

July 17, 2007

The BC government and BCMA have announced that pilot testing of electronic medical records technology will begin this September (2007) and will be extended to most physicians’ offices in 2008.

“We are meeting our throne speech commitment to create and launch a new electronic medical records system to give physicians better access to patient records and improve patient care,” said Health Minister George Abbott. “Physicians will be able to choose from among a number of different providers to set up electronic medical records to serve patients anywhere in B.C.”
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Canada Health Infoway – Updates

March 18, 2007

Canada Health Infoway is an organization launched in 2001 to implement an interoperable EHR across 50 per cent of Canada (by population) by the end of 2009.

Here are a few updates:

For more information, please visit: http://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/


MedFusion@Work on March 27

March 14, 2007

Dr. Wyeth Wasserman – Tuesday, Mar 27, 1pm-2:30pm

MedFusion@Work is a series of career shadowing events that will give a small group of students an opportunity to spend 1-2 hours with a researcher in a medical informatics field. If you are interested in computational biology research, this is your opportunity to meet Dr. Wasserman and find out more about his work environment, academic background and daily activities. In addition, you may also get a tour of his lab and department.

If you are interested in participating in this event, please e-mail us at info@ubcmedfusion.com so we can register you!

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