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March 7, 2013 Headlines 2 Comments

Topol helps patient in second airline drama

Three hours after giving a keynote speech at HIMSS, during which he discussed the value of mobile health devices and in particular smartphone-enabled ECG solutions, Eric Topol, MD, was flying back to San Diego when flight attendants began asking if there was a doctor on board. Dr. Topol responded and found a patient experiencing an irregular heart beat. He then used the very same device he had demonstrated during his keynote speech at HIMSS to diagnose atrial fibrillation. Dr. Topol was able to calm the woman and the flight landed shortly there-after. 

Mostashari talks ‘human toll’ of broken health system

In the week’s last keynote speech, Farzad Mostashari, MD, discussed ONC’s goals for the year ahead, which include: increasing the footprint and effectiveness of the nation’s HIEs, promoting interoperability, and increasing transparency and access to data for patients.

A Hospital System’s Wellness Program Linked To Health Plan Enrollment Cut Hospitalizations But Not Overall Costs

A recent study published in Health Affairs suggests a correlation between an employer sponsored wellness program which required smokers to enter a cessation program, and all employees to promise that they would eat well and exercise and a resulting 41 percent drop in hospital admissions for COPD, stroke, and heart disease. This study, however, comes with a surprise ending. Researchers conclude that wellness programs are unlikely to significantly reduce healthcare costs in the short term because outpatient visit costs rose almost as rapidly as inpatient visits dropped.

CMS, ONC issue request for information for HIE

CMS and ONC have issued a joint RFI asking for suggestions on what more, or less, the federal government should be doing to advance clinical information exchange.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Great coverage of HIMSS. Thank you.

    That @erictopol makes headlines using a mobile device is potent publicity for all of the vendors mentioned. Is this a BFD, come on now!

    What I find most interesting is that he could have felt her pulse in her wrist with his mobile hand and fingers and with or without a wristwatch, determined she was in atrial fibrillation. That is not rocket science.

    I have resuscitated ill people on the street and at concerts using my CPR skills and no mobil devices (except for my brain, hands, eyes, and mouth) and never so much as got my name in the newspaper. Sour grapes!, but my brain does not have a mobile public relations firm working for it.

  2. @Jenny Dimento

    You’re right, the article certainly does represent well-placed marketing by Dr. Topol. Most of the time a person is treated on an airplace, it results in nothing more than a thank you note from the airline. You’re also right that a qualified clinician, let alone a highly trained cardiologist, can guess atrial fibrillation by exam. Still, if you were in an ER, the first thing you would get after oxygen is a telemetry monitor, then an EKG to see the rhythm. I do think it’s impressive that he was able to get a real-time telemetry read. Even more impressive is the story about the first time he used it on a plane – diagnosing an MI like that can be the difference between life and death for someone. I’m as skeptical as anyone else about flashy, useless technology, but I have to say that having a telemetry monitor in your pocket is still a valuable thing.







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