A weekly digest of the latest news in the healthcare industry
Online Gamers Open a New Door on AIDS Research- The 3-D image technology used by gamers is paving the way for AIDS researchers to figure out the structure of proteins, which has been the missing link in understanding the cause of many diseases. A report in the journal Nature Structure & Molecular Biology, co-authored by both gamers and researchers, explains how in just three weeks they have turned a flat image of an enzyme from the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, an AIDS-like virus, into a three dimensional chain of unfolding amino acids that is allowing scientists to develop drugs to block them.
Can Your Xbox Detect Illness?- Researchers at the University of Missouri recently found that motion sensors, similar to those that appear in the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect, are likely to emerge as a new tool to detect early onset of illness and fall risks in senior citizens. Systems like the Xbox 360 Kinect use a depth-sensing camera, allowing the device to view people in 3-D, and it can identify changes in movements that can signal fall risks. Once the system has detected a fall, it can connect physicians through a wireless network when a patient needs medical assistance.
Health IT Takes on Heart Attacks and Strokes- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently launched the Million Hearts campaign to prevent one million heart attack and stroke-related deaths. Improvements in health information technology (IT) can immensely help in this effort and is a focal point of the campaign. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), believes investment in technology, such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs), can help increase patient compliance with preventative care recommendations and improve providers’ access to cardiac care tools.
CMS Prepares Providers for HIPAA, ICD-10 Changes- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an online set of widgets that is intended to help healthcare providers prepare for the transition towards HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 standards. Among the applications released, most notable may be compliance timelines for large providers, small providers, payers and vendors. Even though providers have until October 1, 2013 to implement ICD-10 codes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set a January 1, 2012 deadline for using HIPAA 5010 transaction sets quickly approaching. These materials, which are public domain, can be utilized to help your organization make a smooth transition and meet the fast approaching deadline.
Meaningful Use Stage 1: Not Enough to Cut Mortality Rates- According to a study published in Health Affairs, meeting Stage 1 of Meaningful Use is unlikely to affect hospital mortality rates for cardiovascular patients. However, meeting Stage 2 and Stage 3 requirements are expected to produce greater benefits. The study suggests that as more healthcare providers increase their usage of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), lower mortality rates for heart failure and heart attack can be expected. Investment in healthcare IT truly can save lives.
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