More sophistication and performance in new POCT and monitoring systems for home use
Efforts to increase patient home self-testing and monitoring continue to pay off. Two new products for point-of-care (POC) health tests and patient home monitoring recently entered the marketplace. Both systems are devices that enable healthcare professionals to remotely monitor patients with chronic illnesses.
Separately, UK-based The Jaltek Group and Sweden-based Ericsson each introduced wireless monitoring systems worn by patients at home or in healthcare facilities. These systems improve patients’ quality of life by continuously monitoring their vital signs while allowing free movement. These devices also avoid the need for frequent trips to the doctor and may lower health care costs.
Pathologists will soon be practicing in an information-rich environment
“Pathology 2.0” is the term coined by one pathologist at the Mayo Clinic to describe how a multitude of informatics innovations will transform the clinical and operational relationships pathology laboratories have with physicians, patients, and payers. Pathology 2.0 describes the interactive functions associated with “Web 2.0.”
Meet Keith Kaplan, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Kaplan has a unique view of how Web 2.0 capabilities will underpin added value services in anatomic pathology. “Over the last several years, Web 2.0 has completely revolutionized the way people communicate ideas and information,” observed Kaplan.
As health insurers build patient-friendly web sites, they now want all the lab test data
For laboratories wanting to contract with managed care plans, it will soon be “all about the data.” In upcoming contract renewal talks, expect health insurers to have a keen interest in working specifically with those clinical laboratories and pathology groups which can interface and electronically provide lab test data.
Dark Daily is first to identify this important development. It creates an opportunity for local laboratories to contribute added value to payers in their region. There is a specific reason for this increased interest. Health insurers are building information-rich Web sites for their insured beneficiaries. It is now important for them to have laboratory test data that they can use to populate the digital health record of their beneficiaries.
Upcoming Lab Quality Confab features “world class” cost-cutting methods and experts
Belt-tightening by clinical labs and pathology groups continues as the current economic recession approaches the end of its second full year. To generate additional cash, a significant number of labs report aggressive belt-tightening on the operations side of the business.
This is particularly true of hospital and health system labs. Many have been asked by their administration to reduce spending below budgeted levels in order to allow the parent hospital to accumulate cash. Since baseline budgets for most hospital labs are already established at parsimonious levels, this compounds the difficulty of cutting costs to free up cash for the parent hospital.
3,000 pathologists gather to hear just-published studies and learn about the newest assays
DATELINE: FLORENCE, ITALY—As many as 3,000 pathologists from nations across the globe have gathered in Florence this week for the 22nd Annual European Congress of Pathology. Your Dark Daily Editor is here to give a presentation and learn about the most important new trends in pathology and laboratory medicine.
This large conference offers a rich menu of topics and a multitude of speakers. As to be expected, almost all sessions are about clinical services and advances in diagnostic technologies that enhance the ability of pathologists to diagnose disease. However, the patient safety trend—although not purely a clinical issue—has been a common theme here this week. Few presentations are delivered that don’t include some comments about patient safety.