Part 2: Healthcare in the Age of Interoperability

The first article of this series mentioned that, after the success of its new messaging standard for electronic health record (EHR) systems, Health Level 7 (HL7) found it difficult to develop and widely deploy a standard for the rich representation of clinical data for use in patient care. This was due, in large part, to the complexity of medicine and the resulting complexity of the clinical terminologies developed to represent it.

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Part 1: Healthcare in the age of interoperability

It is hard to conceive of a better rationale for healthcare interoperability than the management of chronic disease. People in advanced, industrialized countries are living longer, and chronic disease rates among the elderly are on the rise in part because of lifestyle issues, such as obesity and inadequate exercise. As a result, the care of chronic diseases (such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and chronic kidney disease) accounts for well over 90% of spending by Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for people age 65 and over. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has found that the top 5% of patients with four or more chronic diseases are responsible for 30% of all Medicare chronic disease spending. While just 17% of Medicare patients live with more than six chronic conditions, they account for half of all spending on beneficiaries with chronic disease.

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Beyond Wellness For the Healthy: Digital Health Consumer Adoption 2018

Results from Rock Health’s fourth national consumer survey (2018 data) on digital health adoption and sentiments. Adoption continues to rise while consumers leverage digital health tools to address concrete health needs.

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Rehabilitation Research at the National Institutes of Health: Moving the Field Forward (Executive Summary)

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability. For decades, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been conducting and supporting research to discover new ways to minimize disability and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. After the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the NIH established the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research with the goal of developing and implementing a rehabilitation research agenda. Currently, a total of 17 institutes and centers at NIH invest more than $500 million per year in rehabilitation research. Recently, the director of NIH, Dr Francis Collins, appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel to evaluate the status of rehabilitation research across institutes and centers. As a follow-up to the work of that panel, NIH recently organized a conference under the title “Rehabilitation Research at NIH: Moving the Field Forward.” This report is a summary of the discussions and proposals that will help guide rehabilitation research at NIH in the near future.

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Microsoft’s Halo-themed prosthetic arm will make kids feel like Master Chief

Microsoft’s 343 Industries has partnered with bionics non-profit Limbitless Solutions to create Halo-themed, 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children. The prosthetic arms are fully functional, with hands that are capable of gripping objects through EMG sensors. The best part is, they’re donated free of charge to recipients.

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IoT Devices Should Deal with Privacy Impacts for People with Disabilities

The Future of Privacy Forum today released The Internet of Things (IoT) and People with Disabilities: Exploring the Benefits, Challenges, and Privacy Tensions. This paper explores the nuances of privacy considerations for people with disabilities using IoT services and provides recommendations to address privacy considerations, which can include transparency, individual control, respect for context, the need for focused collection and security.

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Letter of Recommendation: Color Blind Pal

When I was 12, I became part of the very select group of people who have had a life-changing experience at a fondue restaurant. After repeatedly grabbing my brother’s green fondue fork and eating his steak from the broth pot, I found myself accused of elder-sibling entitlement. But my father, who is colorblind, said I had done nothing wrong; like me, he was unable to see any difference between my brother’s green fork and my orange one. The Ishihara color-vision testhe administered on his computer later that night confirmed that I was among those few women with red-green colorblindness. He was excited that I saw “correctly” — which is to say, like him. Back then, the ability to understand his frame of reference was mostly limited to other people barred from becoming astronauts. Now there’s an app for it.

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