The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/14/15 

Telehealth trend continues its upward climb

2015 sees digital health funding top $4.3 million

More than $4.3 million flowed into the digital health market this year, with consumer engagement tools, personal health tools, and tracking categories by themselves making up 23 percent of overall funding. Consumerization in healthcare is also driving mergers or funding deals, according to a report by Rock Health.

Doctor shortages, readmission fines drive up use of remote patient monitoring systems

A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the remote patient monitoring market will grow by 13.2 percent during the next five years. The market growth is thought to be caused in part by fear of readmissions penalties, an anticipated doctor shortage, and an increase of chronic health conditions.

Kaiser betting telehealth is the wave of the future

Kaiser Permanente Ventures has invested $10 million in Vidyo, a visual communications company that integrates hi-def video communications into workflow and patients’ electronic health records. Forbes reports that Vidyo is already used by clinicians at Mercy, American Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Philips, among others.

Adequate nursing staff increases survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest patients 

A new report finds that assigning fewer patients to each nurse and improving working conditions for those nurses can increase the number of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients who live to return home. Outcomes are better “when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the report’s authors said in an announcement.

STS issues new CABG guidelines

Physicians who perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should use arteries from the chest and forearm instead of veins from the leg in certain patients, according to guidelines from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The STS members who created the guidelines “found that targeting the left internal thoracic artery during CABG procedures was associated with improved survival, graft patency and freedom from cardiac events compared with saphenous vein grafts,” according to cardiovascularbusiness.com.

 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 12/7/15 

Good news, bad news: High cholesterol rates are down, but fewer than half of patients are taking their statins

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

The good news: High total cholesterol rates declining among U.S. adults

Rates of total high cholesterol and low high-density protein (HDL) in U.S. adults decreased between 2011 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  From 2009 to 2010, 13.4 percent of adults had high cholesterol and 21.3 percent had low HDL cholesterol. From 2011 to 2014, those percentages dropped to 12.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The bad news: Most patients not making changes to reduce cardio risk

Fewer than half of patients considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatments are actually implementing the treatments, which include exercising more, taking statin medication and losing weight. “Cholesterol treatment gaps” are greater among non-white ethnic groups in the United States than they are for Americans who are white.

Mood matters! Patients with negative emotions before interventional procedures have more adverse outcomes    

Adverse effects after angioplasty and interventional radiology procedures are more common in patients who are fearful or distressed prior to the procedures. Patients who went in with negative emotions were more likely than those with positive or neutral emotions to experience prolonged lack of oxygen, low or high blood pressure, post-operative bleeding or an abnormally slow heart rate.

Hospital staff don’t feel prepared for a mass casualty event

Are critical care and emergency room (ER) staff ready to handle the next terrorist or other mass casualty event? Two-thirds of the physicians and nurses surveyed recently said no. They’re concerned about shortages of available surgeons, beds and blood supplies. 

What healthcare leaders must do to improve patient outcomes

Outcomes-based patient care requires a paradigm shift that has yet to occur for many in healthcare management, according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Successfully adapting to this new business model requires investing time and money over the long haul, plus taking two other key actions, the post says.

Hospitals drowning in paperwork 

Did you know that in many hospitals, every two hours of patient care causes one hour of paperwork? It's even worse for emergency rooms, which have a 1-to-1 ratio of paperwork to patient care. Those are just two of the findings in "Patients or Paperwork? The Regulatory Burden Facing America’s Hospitals." The report, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was commissioned by the AHA. 

For more healthcare facts, click here

And for the full report, click here

The best of healthcare news, week of 11/30/15 

The future of healthcare, according to one cardiologist

In the future, smart phones might help prevent heart attacks and strokes. That's according to Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Topol predicts that patients will use their smart phones to provide doctors with continuous data on themselves, as opposed to waiting for office visits--a practice that would provide for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Doctor strikes don't increase patient deaths

In wealthy countries, patient mortality doesn't suffer because of work stoppages by physicians, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates even fell during  some strikes. Researchers theorized that patient mortality didn't increase during strikes because hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and continued to offer emergency care, among other reasons. They also noted that many doctors continued to work during strikes, and theorized that those who worked were better rested, enabling them to provide better care.

Age a big determinant of stroke rates in adults with ACHD

Patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) face a substantially higher risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes than the general population, according to a retrospective study.  "Compared with the general population, patients with ACHD who were younger than 55 years old had a 9 to 12 times higher rate of ischemic stroke, and a 5 to 6 times higher rate of hemorrhagic stroke," the study found. "Patients with ACHD who were 55 to 64 years old had a 2 to 4 times higher rate of ischemic strokes." Heart failure, diabetes and recent MI were the biggest predictors of ischemic stroke. 

One-third of healthcare organizations leave records vulnerable to cyberattacks

Despite the prevalence of hacking, many hospitals haven't implemented strong web security programs, according to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics and Akamai, a content delivery network. More than 39 percent of hospitals in the survey reported that they don't have web application firewalls in place. And 35 percent of healthcare organizations are "vulnerable to a type of  cyberattack that is increasing in frequency and size across all industries," the survey said.

Paper demonstrates efficacy of repeat BAVs in high-risk population

Patients deemed to be at too high a risk for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) can benefit from balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV), according to a new study. "For patients in whom BAV is the only structural treatment available to relieve their symptomatology, repeat BAV performance is one of the only means to maintain symptomatic control in an otherwise very high-risk patient population," the study's authors note.

Posted by Wednesday, December 02, 2015 10:48:00 AM Categories: cardiology healthcare reform HIPAA hospital management hospitals

Best of Cardio and Healthcare News: Week of 11/23/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? We've captured the top industry stories from this week that you won't want to miss.

After Obamacare implementation, public still rates healthcare good or excellent

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) hasn’t changed how Americans rate their healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll. More than half of the respondents rated their healthcare good or excellent, but less than 24 percent were satisfied with healthcare costs. Healthcare coverage was rated positively by only 33 percent.

Diagnostic ECG waveform reading in Carestream Vue Motion viewer cleared by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given clearance for diagnostic reading of electrocardiogram (ECG) waveforms on mobile tablets and desktop displays using Carestream’s Vue Motion universal viewer. The new capability would allow physicians to give faster responses to ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and other serious heart conditions. It would also allow physicians to simultaneously view current and prior ECGs using tools that include pan, zoom, line measurement, caliper, and gain and speed adjustments.

Cardiac outcomes improved after using intravascular ultrasound in stent implantation

After one year, patients with long coronary lesions who were implanted with an intravascular ultrasound-guided everolimus-eluting stent had a significantly lower rate of major adverse cardiac events compared with those implanted with an angiography-guided stent, according to cardiovascularbusiness.com. “Patients were implanted with an everolimus-eluting stent (Xience prime, Abbott Vascular) for long coronary lesions and randomized to receive intravascular ultrasound-guided or angiographic-guided stent implantation immediately after their pre-PCI angiogram,” the site reports. One year later, 2.9 percent of patients undergoing intravascular ultrasound-guided stent implantation suffered major adverse cardiac events, compared with 5.8 percent of patients in the angiographic-guided group.

Cardio-diagnostic processes improve with smart ECG stethoscope attachment

Rijuven’s CardioSleeve for Pediatrics, the first device that adds electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities to transform stethoscopes into smart, mobile-connected devices, has been cleared by the FDA. The device, which can be attached to any stethoscope, can analyze for arrhythmia or murmur and identify heart failure. 

Number and severity of migraine headaches reduced by dual antiplatelet therapy following transcatheter ASD closure

The use of dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of clopidogrel and aspirin–as opposed to aspirin alone–led to fewer and less severe migraine headaches for patients undergoing transcatheter atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. That’s according to a randomized, double-blind trial. About 15 percent of patients had new-onset migraine episodes following transcatheter ASD closure, previous studies found. 

Remote monitoring system for patients with implantable pacemakers gets FDA approval

The first app-based remote monitoring system in the U.S. for patients with implantable pacemakers–called MyCareLink Smart Monitor–was approved by the FDA on Nov. 17. The system, manufactured by Medtronic, has a mobile app that is available for free on Android and Apple platforms. It also features a handheld portable device reader.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/16/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss:

Hospitals urged to review disaster planning in wake of Paris attacks

Saying that French hospitals' mass casualty response can be a guide for United States, U.S. federal agencies called on providers and hospitals to review their disaster plans and to exercise "enhanced vigilance" in the days ahead, fiercehealthcare.com reports. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Health and Human Services this week recommended that providers and hospitals review security plans and conduct drills, hold organizational safety briefings, and make sure emergency communications equipment is functioning properly.

More than 1,000 hospitals named Joint Commission 'top performers'

The Joint Commission recognized more than 1,000 hospitals for their scores on health care quality measures, according to The Joint Commission's 2015 annual report on quality and safety. The report considered how U.S. hospitals perform on evidence-based care. “Overall, hospitals scored a composite measure performance of 97.2 percent, an improvement of more than 15 percent over the first such report in 2002 and 1.6 percent better than the 2010 scores,” according to the fiercehealth.com.

A little help from friends can reduce cardiovascular risk factors

A peer-group intervention program helped adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise better, according to a randomized, multicenter study in Spain. “Wider adoption of such a program may have a meaningful impact on cardiovascular health promotion,” study chairman Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, told participants at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions on Nov. 9.

New technology supports CT as prime cardiac imaging modality

The past 20 years have seen rapid growth in computed tomography over all segments of medicine, with advances in cardiac CT including FFR-CT, perfusion ,and spectral imaging. Recent advances may further expand use of cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Advocates for cardiac CT, speaking at the 2015 meetings of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), and Transcatheter Cardiovascular  Therapeutics (TCT),  reviewed data that may make CT “a first-line, one-stop-shop cardiac imaging modality in the near future,” dicardiology.com reports.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/16/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss:

Hospitals urged to review disaster planning in wake of Paris attacks

Saying that French hospitals' mass casualty response can be a guide for United States, U.S. federal agencies called on providers and hospitals to review their disaster plans and to exercise "enhanced vigilance" in the days ahead, fiercehealthcare.com reports. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Health and Human Services this week recommended that providers and hospitals review security plans and conduct drills, hold organizational safety briefings, and make sure emergency communications equipment is functioning properly.

New technology supports CT as prime cardiac imaging modality

The past 20 years have seen rapid growth in computed tomography over all segments of medicine, with advances in cardiac CT including FFR-CT, perfusion ,and spectral imaging. Recent advances may further expand use of cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Advocates for cardiac CT, speaking at the 2015 meetings of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), and Transcatheter Cardiovascular  Therapeutics (TCT),  reviewed data that may make CT “a first-line, one-stop-shop cardiac imaging modality in the near future,” dicardiology.com reports.

More than 1,000 hospitals named Joint Commission 'top performers'

The Joint Commission recognized more than 1,000 hospitals for their scores on health care quality measures, according to The Joint Commission's 2015 annual report on quality and safety. The report considered how U.S. hospitals perform on evidence-based care. “Overall, hospitals scored a composite measure performance of 97.2 percent, an improvement of more than 15 percent over the first such report in 2002 and 1.6 percent better than the 2010 scores,” according to the fiercehealth.com.

A little help from friends can reduce cardiovascular risk factors

A peer-group intervention program helped adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise better, according to a randomized, multicenter study in Spain. “Wider adoption of such a program may have a meaningful impact on cardiovascular health promotion,” study chairman Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, told participants at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions on Nov. 9.

New registry to track AFib ablation procedures 

In early 2016, the ACC NCDR® is launching the AFib Ablation Registry™. According to the ACC NCDR®, this new registry will collect data on demographics, acute management, outcomes and other information for patients undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation procedures.

“With a growing prevalence of atrial fibrillation and growing options for treatment and stroke prevention in AFib patients, the ACC saw a need for real-world data to track and evaluate the use of these new technologies,” ACC President Kim A. Williams Sr. said in a press release.
The new registry is expected to:

  • Inform practices 

  • Improve patient outcomes

  • Help develop evidence-based guidelines for atrial fibrillation ablation treatments

“AFib is a registry that many of our clients will be considering,” says LUMEDX Registry Manager Katrina Craig Valvis. “If they participate in ICD, it’s likely they will participate in AFib, because both registries are looking closely at the outcomes of electrophysiology-related procedures.”

Considering participating in this new registry? Click here to request your free copy of LUMEDX’s Complete AFib Ablation Registry™ and EP Workflow CD.

In related news, the ACC plans to launch the LAAO Registry, which will capture data on left atrial appendage occlusion procedures to assess real-world procedural indications and outcomes, as well as short- and long-term safety, according to the Journal of Invasive Cardiology.

Posted by Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:07:00 AM Categories: ACC American College of Cardiology industry news

This Week in Cardiology: 08/20/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? We've captured the top industry stories from this week that you won't want to miss.

ACC to Launch Clinical Registries to Track Ablation, LAA Occlusion Procedures for AF 

The American College of Cardiology has announced the launch of two clinical registry programs, the LAAO registry and the AFib Ablation registry. The LAAO registry college data on procedural indications, outcomes and more from left atrial appendage occlusion procedures. The AFib Ablation registry collects demographic information, outcomes, and more for patients who undergo AF ablation. For more information on LUMEDX registry software, click here

Only 1 in 10 With Heart Failure Referred for Postdischarge Cardiac Rehab: Analysis 

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, only 10.4% of patients hospitalized with heart failure from 2005 to 2015 were referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program after discharge. Senior author Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow of Ronald Reagan-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center states that there is "... an important need for targeted quality-improvement programs to improve use of cardiac rehabilitation for eligible patients with heart failure." 

WHF Issues Roadmap for Decreasing Hypertension Worldwide by 2025

Cardiology Today reports that the World Heart Federation has released a new roadmap that is focused on reducing the burden of noncommunicable disease. The roadmap posits that treating patients at the hypertensive level will have a great impact on the prevention of CVD events. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015 12:28:00 PM Categories: ACC American College of Cardiology cardiology cardiology PACS industry news

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/06/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Future of Cardiology Includes Your Heart in 3D

Dassault Systemes, a French company that specializes in 3D software, has released The Living Heart Project - a 3D simulation of the human heart. With the technology, doctors can use 3D glasses to tour a patient's heart and see its muscle movements, electrical impulses, and more. 

What Are the 3 Critical Keys to Healthcare Big Data Analytics? 

A recent industry poll by Stoltenberg Consulting reveals that half of healthcare providers are confused by big data, and 6% are too intimidated to even consider implementing a healthcare big data analytics program. Health IT Analytics discusses three critical steps that hospitals need to take when developing an analytics program. 

FDA to Develop Open-Source Precision Medicine Software Platform 

According to iHealthBeat, the FDA has announced plans to develop an open source software platform that would share genomic information. The software would be a part of President Obama's precision medicine initiative. 

Telehealth Underused in Coordinating Care for Children with Special Needs

FierceHealthIT reports on a new report from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. According to the report, telehealth should be more frequently used in order to bring services to children with special healthcare needs - especially when providers are scarce or poorly distributed. 

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