The start of January has some exciting new technologies on the horizon. Recently, Wahoo Fitness announced their new product, BlueHR — a fitness heart rate monitor — can sync to your iPhone 4s via bluetooth and without the need for addition adaptors.
All users have to do with the BlueHR device is to strap it around their sternum, and they will be able to monitor stats such as their heart rate and the number of calories they are burning via their smartphone. It currently uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology, and as such, the only smartphone that currently has that capability is the iPhone 4S.
We wrote an in-depth article about Bluetooth 4.0 when the iPhone 4s was released, commenting on how it could be a boom for mobile health devices due to the following features of the protocol: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*
Over the years, I have found that patients can be loosely grouped into 4 different types. Nothing particularly wrong with any type, but it does help me to approach patients appropriately if I can get a sense of what type they are.
The four types are:
Type A: If a surgery can “fix” or “cure” me such that I won’t have to take medications every day of my life, than let’s do it.
Type B: I will never consider surgery unless it is a life-threatening situation. If a medicine can help, why do it???
Type C: I will consider surgery only as a last resort when all else fails.
Type D: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
Over on Shrink Rap News, Roy wrote a post about proposed Medicare cuts. He continued the conversation here on Shrink Rap.
I want to expand on the discussion in what I hope will be easy-to-understand terms. Why would anyone who is not a doctor even care what Medicare reimburses their docs? Let me tell you why you might care.
Doctors all have one of four designated categories within the Medicare system:
1) The doc participates and accepts Medicare assignment. The fee for the service is set by Medicare, the patient makes a co-pay and the doctor bills Medicare and gets the rest of the fee from Medicare.
2) The doctor is “non-participating” –which is a deceptive term, because non-participating docs are within the Medicare system. The fee for the service is set by Medicare and is typically 5% less then the fee for participating docs, but the patient pays the Medicare fee in full to the doctor, the doctor files a claim with Medicare, and Medicare reimburses the patient for a portion of the fee.
3) The doctor has formally opted-out. In this case, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*
“There is a better way – structural reforms that empower patients with greater choices and increase the role of competition in the health-care marketplace.” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) August 3, 2011
The highly charged political debates about reforming American health care have provided tempting opportunities to rename the people who receive health services. But because the impetus for this change has been prompted by cost and quality concerns of health care payers, researchers and policy experts rather than emanating from us out of our own needs, some odd words have been called into service. Two phrases commonly used to describe us convey meanings that mischaracterize our experiences and undervalue our needs: “empowered patient” and “health care consumer.”
As one who has done serious time as a patient and who spends serious time listening to talks and reading the literature that use these words to describe us, I ask you to reconsider their use.
“Empowered patient” The fabrication of the verb “to empower” from the noun “power” was used in the civil rights and community development movements to describe a benevolent bestowal of influence on disenfranchised individuals and groups by those who had previously excluded them. When used in relation to health care, the word perpetuates the idea that we are passive entities, waiting to be gratefully endowed by our clinician or a new policy with the right and ability to act on our own behalf. Our “empowerment” takes place not as a result of our own will or preference, but rather because we have been given permission to act in a different way by some external agent.
This word is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*
There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of spin one hears about “the next big thing”…and reality. First it was EMRs and virtual e-visits, then social media, and now patient portals seem poised to be next big thing. The drumbeat of vendors and pundits is unmistakable….physicians that don’t adapt will be toast. It can all sound pretty convincing until you ask to see the evidence. What do patients think?
Take the physician patient portal. If you read between the lines, patient portals are frequently being positioned as the new “front door” to physician practices. By signing on to a secure website patients will have real time access to the electronic health record and will be able to communicate with their physicians by e-mail. Additional patient features include being able to schedule an appointment with their doctor, reading their test results and refilling prescriptions. But despite these features, according to John Moore at Chilmark Research, “nationwide use of patient portals remains at a paltry 6%.”
Ok… so now we know what vendors and pundits think about patient portals. What about patients – what do they think? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*