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Sunquest Signs Contract to Provide LIS Support for 124 Hospitals in Australia
Sunquest Information Systems is embarking on a project that has the potential to change the face of lab computing. It has signed a contract to provide lab computing support for all of the hospitals in the state of Queensland, Australia, which has a population of about 4.5 million people (see:Queensland Health partners with Sunquest for Laboratory Information System). Below is an excerpt from the press release:The contemporary enterprise laboratory information system (LIS) and services will support improved care responsiveness, safety and healthcare outcomes for the millions of Queenslanders served by the state's 124 ho...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 22, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Digital Imaging in Pathology Genomic Testing Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends LIS Definitions and Strategy LIS Vendor News Pathology Informatics Source Type: blogs

One-Click Healthcare with Amazon; Narrow Networks Yield Savings and Quality
The recent announcement that a trio of powerful companies, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan were entering the healthcare market has caused major reverberations on Wall Street and other sectors of the economy (see: Three Major Corporations Will Form Healthcare Company for Their Employees). The announcement has caused speculation about their actual business plan with some suggesting that the company would deploy new technology to disrupt this large part of the US economy. A recent article further suggested that the"Amazonification" of healthcare could start by bringing one-click"shopping"...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 19, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Equifax Releases Credit Locking App That May Not Work; Try Credit Freeze
Equifax is giving software a bad name. First there was the huge database breach of the company in the Fall of 2017 (see:Massive Equifax Data Breach Could Affect Half of the U.S. Population). Not only was this a major database security mishap but the company did not endear itself to consumers in terms of the remedies proposed to correct the problem. It also brought to light the fact that some big and often anonymous companies like Equifax can be the cause of many bad days for consumers through no fault of their own. Now comes news that the company has released a faulty app that is designed to allow consumers to lock access ...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 15, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Computer Security Electronic Health Record (EHR) Source Type: blogs

Intermountain Precision Genomics to Develop Hereditary Cancer Gene Panels
The emerging healthcare model which is dominated by a small number of very large health systems will be characterized, in part, by in-house, sophisticated genomic and molecular lab testing by these systems. This is because these large health systems will have the capital to invest in their own"laboratories of excellence" within their system. Such is the case withIntermountain Healthcare which has its own in-house genomics laboratory called Intermountain Precision Genomics. Intermountain Health is one of the giant health systems with 37,000 employees, 22 hospitals, and more than 185 clinics. Here is the missi...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 13, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Genomic Testing Healthcare Business Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Medical Consumerism Pathology Informatics Reference Laboratories Test Kits and Source Type: blogs

Medical Chatbot Improves Patient Response Rate for Flu Shot Reminders
One of the continuing challenges in healthcare is developing techniques for communicating with patients in an efficient and effective way. The goal of such a conversation may be to remind them about an appointment or perhaps persuade them to take some action regarding their health. A recent article addressed a chatbot campaign launched by a physician office to increase patient response to flu shots (see:Chatbot campaign for flu shots bolsters patient response rate by 30%). A chatbot is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods (see:Chatbot) Such programs are often designed t...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 9, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Consumerism Medical Education Preventive Medicine Public Health Source Type: blogs

Inspirata Acquires Omnyx from GE Healthcare, Achieving an End-to-End Solution
The business model of Inspirata is relatively unique compared to other companies connected to digital pathology. The company seeks to enhance the digital pathology workflow of its clients presumably pathology departments and consulting firms. Here is a summary of the company goals copied from the company web page (WELCOME TO INSPIRATA):We...help cancer institutions overcome the financial barriers to adoption using our unique business and delivery model where we make the upfront capital investment in the hardware, software and storage needed to enable a cancer institution to move to a fully automated digital pathology ...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 7, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Digital Imaging in Pathology Food and Drug Administration Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Lab Regulation Pathology Informatics Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

Pathology Informatics Webinar on Precision Medicine; February 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET
You are all invited to participate in an upcoming free webinar entitled: The Challenges of Enabling Precision Medicine Diagnostics. This is part of a continuing series of presentations sponsored by theAssociation for Pathology Informatics (API) andSunquest Information Systems. The webinar will take place onTuesday, February 20, at 1:00 p.m. ET. You can register atthis link to reserve your spot. The recent surge in interest for precision medicine diagnostics has many healthcare facilities and laboratories facing a number of operational and clinical challenges, including volume of data produced, data interpret...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 5, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

Fitbit Bands Collect Data Describing Six Billion Nights of Sleep
We are entering a new era when billions of data points relating to health are being collected via health wearables such asFitbit bands. A recent article revealed some fascinating information about the sleep patterns of many people in the U.S. (see:What Fitbit's 6 billion nights of sleep data reveals about us). Below is an excerpt from the article. It's chock full of interesting data including graphs so read the whole thing if you are interested.Most of Fitibit ’s bands...have built-in heart-rate monitors, which produce much more accurate sleep-measurement results than earlier bands. These bands track you...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 3, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Public Health Source Type: blogs

Three Major Corporations Will Form Healthcare Company for Their Employees
Major tech companies like Microsoft have not been very successful in"disrupting" healthcare in the past (see:What Are the Consequences of Big Tech Entering the Healthcare Market?;Microsoft's Amalga/HealthVault Strategy Becomes Obvious). However, a recent announcement byAmazon,BerkshireHathaway, andJPMorgan Chase that they were forming a new health care company is garnering a lot of attention in the news (see:Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Disrupt Health Care). Below is an excerpt from the article:Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced...that they would form an independent ...
Source: Lab Soft News - February 1, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Hospital Financial Medical Consumerism Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs

Shutdown of Claritas Genomics Comes as a Surprise to Lab Community
The recent shutdown ofClaritas Genomics came as a surprise to many lab professionals with some reports making reference to the possibility that inadequate reimbursement for genetic testing may have been the root cause (see:Sudden Shutdown of Claritas Genomics After Five Years as A Leading Source of Pediatric Genetic Testing..) Below is an excerpt from the article:[The shutdown of Claritas may be] the latest market sign of how health insurers are making it difficult for labs to get paid for proprietary molecular diagnostic assays and genetic tests....Claritas was like other genetic testing laboratories... tha...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 31, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Food and Drug Administration Genomic Testing Lab Industry Trends Lab Regulation Medical Consumerism Medical Research Public Health Source Type: blogs

Hospital Groups Plan to Launch a Company to Manufacture Generic Drugs
Manufacturers of generic drugs likeTeva Pharmaceutical have been suffering serious financial reverses (see: Teva warns on profit as drugmaker's problems deepen). Moreover, periodic shortages of generic drugs have been exacerbated by the fact that some of them are manufactured by only one company (see:New Study Highlights Escalated Dangers of Generic Drug Shortages). Here is a quote from this article:In 2011, 251 drug shortages occurred, 73% of which were generic sterile injectables that served as treatments for sepsis, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. In February 2011, the FDA announced a severe natio...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 27, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Food and Drug Administration Healthcare Business Healthcare Innovations Hospital Executive Management Pharmaceutical Industry Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Apple Has Plans to Copy EHR Records to iPhones and Apple Watches
A few weeks ago, I posted a note about"Big Tech" trying to enter the healthcare market (see: What Are the Consequences of Big Tech Entering the Healthcare Market?). Here's a quote from that note:My own view about the future of Big Tech in healthcare, in addition to the equity deals, is that it will focus on healthcare wearables....The reason for this is that personal devices ...are well understood by the Big Tech companies, certainly Apple, and they know how to market them to consumers.What they probably do not understand is the mindset of healthcare executives and their general lack of understanding of ...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 25, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

VA-Cerner EHR Deal Paused Over Interoperability Concerns
In August, 2015, I blogged that Cerner had secured a contract to provide a global EHR to the military (see:Cerner/Leidos/Accenture Secure EHR Contract for a Global Military EHR). At that time, I made the following comment about the deal:As to Epic"failure" to win the contract, I suspect that there were a lot of smiles of relief in Verona when the winner was announced. I think that Epic was competing in the contest because everyone expected it to do so. The Epic culture and emphasis on client control was probably a non-starter for the military brass. Leidos/SAIC contrariwise was a known quantity for them.Epic has ...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 22, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Source Type: blogs

Allscripts Hit by Ransomware, Knocking Some Services Offline
EHR vendorAllscripts was reported to have been hit by ransomware yesterday (see:Allscripts hit by ransomware, knocking some services offline). Users took to Twitter to complain about the company's cloud EHR being down, with some unable to access patient information all day. The Allscripts website and Twitter account don ’t specifically mention the outage. Instead, the company tweeted to users who specifically took to their social media accounts to voice their concerns. Mr. Histalkmade note of the incident.Allscripts serves a considerable number of physicians and patients (see:Who We Are):45,000 physicia...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 19, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

How to Explain the Increasing Use of the Term LIMS Instead of LIS
For about the last four decades, the termlaboratory information system (LIS) has been used to describe computer systems installed in hospital pathology departments. By way of comparison, the termlaboratory information management system (LIMS) was used to refer to systems installed in research laboratories and in industrial labs such as those associated with food processing. About five years ago, I began to hear pathology informaticians with a molecular and genomic lab background refer to the hospital lab systems as LIMSs. This made some sense to me given their connections in research. It's now commonplace in articles t...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 18, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Genomic Testing Healthcare Information Technology Hospital Executive Management Lab Industry Trends LIS Definitions and Strategy LIS Vendor News Pathology Inf Source Type: blogs

CT Exams Show Enlarged Aortas in Former Professional Football Players
More than four years ago I made the following comment aboutchronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which was then being diagnosed in professional football players (see:NFL Physician Says Diagnosis of"Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy" Lacks Validity):I think that I already know how this story is going to turn out. Neurologists, pathologists, and radiologists are going to develop tests and imaging procedures that will provide earlier evidence of concussive injury for both amateur and professional football players. This will result in many players having to sit on the bench for longer periods of time after such injur...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 17, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Medical Research Medicolegal Issues Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs

Obese Army Recruits Pose a Challenge to U.S. National Security
The U.S. Army draws a disproportionate share of its recruits from the southern part of the U.S. As a have noted in a previous blog note about the"stroke belt" and also as documented in other news articles, the southern part of the country is not a healthy environment for many of its residents (see: Stroke Belt; Cognitive Decline Documented in the U.S. Southern"Stroke Belt" States;Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps). To quote some statistics from from this latter CDC reference:The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (32.0%), followed by the Midwest (31.4%), the Northeast (26.9%), and the Wes...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 13, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Medical Consumerism Preventive Medicine Public Health Source Type: blogs

Categorizing the Various E-Health Activities Involving Patients & Consumers
We are in era when consumers are participating in various types of electronic health services. For example, I have been blogging for years about telemedicine, also known as teleconsultation (see, for example:Your Doctor in a Kiosk; A New Variant of Telemedicine;Telemedicine as a Tool for Physician Visits in Senior and Assisted Living Facilities). Some of these encounters involve video interactions between a physician/nurse and a patient. However, many patient-doctor interactions are occurring via e-messages which are essentially secure email distributed through a patient portal. Some e-messages need to be linked ...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 11, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Medical Consumerism Point-of-Care Testing Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

What Is Meant by Healthcare Consumers " Owning " Their Medical Records
I received the following comment from a reader of this blog reacting to a recent post (see: What Are the Consequences of Big Tech Entering the Healthcare Market?):I'm torn by one of your comments in this post. When you say"We all know that healthcare organizations are sitting on a mountain of data", does that data really belong to the healthcare organizations, or to the people who's medical records comprise that data? Just last week you posted about our health records not belonging to us, so do we really want Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc to get"free" access to our records to mine/use for t...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 9, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Lab Information Medical Consumerism Pharmaceutical Industry Source Type: blogs

Defining Digital Health, the Tsunami That Is Overtaking the Current Model
A recent article about Denver's digital health boom caused me to ponder about some of the implications of the digital health mania that's coming down the road and how it will affect our current health care model (see:Denver ’s Digital Health Boom). Below is an excerpt from it:Medical care is no longer confined to the doctor ’s office. Or even, sometimes, to an actual doctor. That iPhone in your pocket now has the capability to diagnose your cough, answer insurance questions, and get you pregnant …or at least help the process along. Digital health (think: smartphones, social networks, and int...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 5, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Preventive Medicine Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

What Are the Consequences of Big Tech Entering the Healthcare Market?
For about the past decade, an open question about Big Tech has been their possible entry strategy into healthcare and whether they would be successful. Healthcare constitutes a very large portion of the U.S. economy so it won't be ignored by tech giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and even Facebook. A recent article addressed this specific question (see:How Big Tech Is Going After Your Health Care). It's long so read the whole article if interested. Below is an excerpt from it:Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have transformed the way billions of us communicate, shop, socialize and work. Now...
Source: Lab Soft News - January 3, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Business Healthcare Information Technology Lab Information Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Mobile Health Teams as a Variant on the Theme of Decentralized Acute Care in the Home
I have come to the conclusion that we need to rethink the mission of hospitals and have blogged about the impetus toward decentralization that is causing various types of healthcare to be delivered closer to patients' homes (see:Merged CVS and Aetna Will Move Toward a Community-Based Healthcare Model;The Changing Role of Clinical Pathologists; Analogy with Hospital Pharmacists;TEN MAJOR TRENDS FACING THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IN THE AMBULATORY SPACE ON A FIVE-YEAR HORIZON). Part of this trend is exemplified by the emergence of the so-called bedless hospital (see: The Future of Healthcare: Virtual Physician Visits&am...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 29, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Preventive Medicine Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Your Health Records Don't Belong to You; It's Time for a Change in the State Laws
I am more convinced than ever that it's time to ensure that medical records should legally"belong" to the patients for whom they are created. A recent article addressed this theme in a very detailed way (see:Your Health Records Don't Belong To You. It's Time You Demand Them!). Below is an excerpt from it:Despite years of rhetoric, patients have never really been at the center of the health care universe ― at least not since the introduction of electronic health records (EHR). And this has become increasingly obvious in the fight for access and control of patient medical data. A recent conversation b...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 28, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Medical Education Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

What Is Digital Therapeutics; Examples of an App That Is Gaining Attention
I had never heard the term digital therapeutics until I encountered a recent article that used the term (see:Digital Therapeutics: The Future of Health Care Will Be App-Based). Below is an excerpt from it:Last month, healthcare startupOmada Health secured a $50 million C round led by major insurer Cigna, which brings the 5-year-old company ’s total funding to over $127 million.That kind of nine-figure investment isn ’t unusual for a company with the next blockbuster drug or game changing medical device, but Omada’s core product is a diabetes-preventing mobile app! Omada is a leader in one of the hottest n...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 21, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

Home Genetic Testing May Cause Surprises; Better Pay Attention
In a recent blog note, I discussed the possibility of being"surprised" when a genetic test revealed that one had a predisposition to develop early Alzheimer's disease (see: Genetic Testing Could Lead to a Discovery of Genes Predisposing to Alzheimer's). In this same vein, here's a link to an article that discusses in detail some of the"surprises" that may come about about one's parentage is revealed as a result of consumer-oriented DNA home testing (see:As home DNA tests become more common, people must grapple with surprises about their parents). Below is an excerpt from it:More peo...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 19, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Testing Genomic Testing Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Medical Consumerism Medical Ethics Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Analytics May Be the Secret Sauce to Propel CVS-Aetna Forward
In a recent post, I discussed the CVS purchase of Aetna and speculated on the benefits that might accrue to the merged company (see:Merged CVS and Aetna Will Move Toward a Community-Based Healthcare Model). In an initial press release, CVS executives announced that the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases would become a special focus. Below is an excerpt from this statement by the company:Because the storefront pharmacies and MinuteClinics are embedded in local communities and have become places that Americans frequent,...the combined company will be better able to manage patients with chronic diseases, who may see ...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 15, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Insurance Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs

ELLKAY Acquires CareEvolve and Thus a Larger Footprint in Lab Computing
I was a little behind on this news but I only recently learned thatELLKAY acquiredCareEvolve in February of this year from OPKO Health. CareEvolve was previously a unit ofBioReference Laboratories which had been purchased by OPKO (see:ELLKAY Completes Acquisition of CareEvolve Laboratory Portal and Connectivity Platform). Apparently OPKO did not find CareEvolve's software business a good fit for them. Here's an excerpt from this article about CareEvolve's business model:The CareEvolve portal and interfaces power routine clinical, anatomic pathology, genomics, toxicology, and other types of laboratorie...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 13, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures LIS Definitions and Strategy Pathology Informatics Reference Laboratories Source Type: blogs

New Ownership Model for Derm Practices; ClearPath Manages Digital Images
At the end of last week, I helped manage theDigital Pathology Workshop that was sponsored by theAssociation for Pathology Informatics (API). One of our faculty members was Michael Kent, Ph.D., who works for a dermatology reference pathology lab in Dayton, Ohio -- Dermatology Lab of the Central States (DLCS). DLCS is part of a large dermatology entity calledDermatology of Central States (DOCS) which was recently acquired by a Chicago private equity firm,Sheridan Capital Partners (see:Sheridan Capital Partners Invests in Dermatologists of Central States). I was previously unaware that dermatology practices were bei...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 11, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Digital Imaging in Pathology Healthcare Business Healthcare Information Technology Pathology Informatics Source Type: blogs

Making Surgical Pathology and Radiology Reports More Patient-Friendly
To restate the obvious, surgical pathology reports have a new audience -- patients. Some of them are accessing their reports via patient portals (see, for example:Patients Often Lukewarm about Patient Portals; Problems with Training?;Could Apple Be Trying to Develop a"Patient Portal" for the iPhone?). Traditionally, pathologists have dictated these reports with the understanding that they were communicating primarily with the physicians who submitted the tissue for diagnosis. An important question these days is whether the language of these reports needs to be altered in any way now that patients are reading them...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 8, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Medical Consumerism Medical Education Pathology Informatics Radiology Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

Merged CVS and Aetna Will Move Toward a Community-Based Healthcare Model
Following the purchase of Aetna, the third largest U.S. health insurance company, CVS has lost no time in describing the healthcare goal for this large new entity:a community based care model (see:CVS and Aetna seek community-based care model in giant healthcare deal). I have previously blogged about this same topic (see:Possible Purchase of Aetna by CVS; Strategic Healthcare Implications). Below is an excerpt from this current article:Through their $69 billion deal, CVS Health and Aetna are swinging an axe at the traditional ways in which patients access healthcare in hopes of building a new kind of model that's ...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 6, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Insurance Lab Industry Trends Medical Consumerism Point-of-Care Testing Quality of Care Reference Laboratories Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Genetic Testing Could Lead to a Discovery of Genes Predisposing to Alzheimer's
I have previously blogged about some of the complexities of genetic testing for carriers of ApoE4 who are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (see:New Gene Testing a Threat to Insurance Companies; How They Might Respond). A recent article in theNew York Times addressed this same issue (see:What if You Knew Alzheimer ’s Was Coming for You?). Below is an excerpt from it. The article is quite long so follow the link to read the whole thing if you are interested.Six years ago, at age 49, Julie Gregory paid an online service to sequence her genes, hoping to turn up clues about her poor circulation, blood-sugar ...
Source: Lab Soft News - December 5, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Food and Drug Administration Lab Industry Trends Lab Information Lab Regulation Medical Consumerism Medical Ethics Source Type: blogs

Should Virtualists Be Recognized as a New Type of Medical Specialist?
An article published in the JAMA Network by Nochomovitz and Sharma suggested that we should recognize a new type of medical specialist, the virtualist (see:Is It Time for a New Medical Specialty? The Medical Virtualist). These physicians would limit their practice to telemedicine, which is to say treating patients on a virtual basis. This is an appropriate suggestion from a credentialing viewpoint given that a number of new sub-specialties have emerged in recent times such as general surgical oncology, interventional radiology, electrophysiology, and pathology informatics. Below is an excerpt from the articl...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 30, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Medical Education Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Mayo Clinic Develops a Lab Test for Inflammatory Demyelinating Diseases
The spectrum ofinflammatory demyelinating diseases (IDD) includes neuromyelitis optica, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, optic neuritis, and transverse myelitis, all of which need to be differentiated from multiple sclerosis (MS).Mayo Clinic scientists have developed a test for an antibody to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) which can help to differentiate the former set of diseases from the latter disease (see:Mayo Clinic develops neuro test that distinguishes demyelinating diseases from MS). Below is an excerpt from the article announcing its availability:Mayo Clinic has launched a first-in-t...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 29, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Could Apple Be Trying to Develop a " Patient Portal " for the iPhone?
Apple has periodically experimented with various products for the healthcare market because it accounts for such a large percentage of the economy. There even has been periodic speculation that the company thus might try to compete in the EHR space (see:Could Amazon or Apple actually make a dent in the EHR market?). Here's a quote from this article:"It will be an uphill battle [for Apple in the EHR market], especially if they try to compete in the larger segments of the market," said Bryan Fiekers, Senior Director of Research Services at HIMSS Analytics.....John Moore, founder and managing partner of Chilmark...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 28, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Detroit and Wayne County Sue Drug Makers Over Opioid Crisis
I have blogged about the opioid crisis which is enveloping the entire country (see: Pharmaceutical Companies and PBMs Helped to Create Our Opioid Crisis). The Sackler family, owners ofPurdue Pharma, have been much in the news with assertions by some media that the company, when marketingOxyContin, conspired to downplay its addictive qualities (see: THE SECRETIVE FAMILY MAKING BILLIONS FROM THE OPIOID CRISIS; The Family That Built an Empire of Pain). It should therefore not come as a surprise that some governmental bodies such as Detroit/Wayne County are suing drug manufacturers for having caused the cha...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 23, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Medical Consumerism Medical Ethics Medicolegal Issues Source Type: blogs

Roche to Acquire Viewics, an Analytics Software Company
I have posted numerous notes about analytics software (see, for example:Lab Analytics Emerges as Hot Area for Software Development;Relevance of Lifestyle Analytics for Healthcare Organizations;Leveraging Lab Analytic Data to Include Actionable Details to Improve Quality; Much of the Future for Pathology and Lab Medicine Rests with Analytics).Roche Diagnostics is now acquiring a lab analytics vendor,Viewics (see: Media Release). Below is an excerpt from the press release from Roche:* Roche to acquire Viewics, Inc. to provide data-driven lab business analytics and add further digital capabilities along the laborato...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 22, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures LIS Definitions and Strategy LIS Vendor News Pathology Informatics Source Type: blogs

MSK-IMPACT: New Tumor Profiling Genetic Test Approved by the FDA
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has developed the first tumor-profiling laboratory developed test (LDT) approved by the FDA. It's called MSK-IMPACT. Below are some details about the test from a recent article (see:FDA Authorizes MSK-IMPACT Test for Analyzing Patient Tumor):The FDA ’s authorization of MSK-IMPACT sets a precedent for future authorization of tests developed by both academic and commercial labs....The test was developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Pathology to look for genetic mutations and other alterations in patients’ tumors.....MSK-IMPACT, which stands for ...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 18, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Food and Drug Administration Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Feasibility of the Delivery of Lab Specimen and Units of Blood by Drone
The use of drones for delivery of various types of goods has been in the news lately (see:Here ’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s drone delivery project, Prime Air). However, the use case that caught my attention was the delivery of clinical lab specimens (see:Johns Hopkins ’ Test Drone Travels 161 Miles to Set Record for Delivery Distance of Clinical Laboratory Specimens), Below is an excerpt from this article:....Johns Hopkins University Medicine (JHUM) has set a record in America for the longest distance drone delivery of viable medical specimens. In a project to demonstrate the viability of...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 16, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Blood banking Clinical Lab Industry News Lab Industry Trends Source Type: blogs

Down Syndrome Disappearing in Iceland; Similar Events Will Become More Common
We are now living in an era when infants born with genetic disorders such asDown Syndrome will disappear in some societies (see:"What kind of society do you want to live in?": Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing). Below is an excerpt from this article explaining this process. Read the whole article if you are so motivated. With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland. Since prenatal screening tests we...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 14, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Testing Lab Industry Trends Medical Ethics Medical Research Source Type: blogs

The Need for More Research in Provider-to-Provider Telemedicine
A recent article inDark Daily provided me with a useful way to better understand the field of telemedicine by dividing it into three segments (see:Telemedicine Gaining Momentum in US as Large Employers Look for Ways to Decrease Costs; Trend Has Implications for Pathology Groups and Medical Laboratories). Below is an excerpt from it:[A recent article] divides telemedicine technology into three distinct segments:1. Provider-to-provider2. Remote patient monitoring3. Patient-to-providerIn an article...[written[ for MedCityNews (see: Telemedicine: Take a lesson from retail to improve patient adoption),...[the author] calls...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 10, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Medical Research Quality of Care Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

The Case of the " Disappearing Hospital Beds " ; Implications for Pathologists
I have posted a number of previous notes about the greater emphasis being placed on ambulatory care and bedless hospitals (see, for example: Hospitals Investing Capital in Variety of Outpatient Facilities: IT Serves as the Glue;Some Additional Ideas About the Bedless Hospitals of the Future). I had not come across hard numbers about this phenomenon until now. A recent article discussed the case of the"disappearing hospital beds" (see:The case of the disappearing hospital beds). Below is an excerpt from it:Healthcare is leaving the traditional four walls of hospitals.As patients, payers, and providers se...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 8, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Healthcare Delivery Lab Industry Trends Quality of Care Reference Laboratories Telemedicine Test Kits and Home Testing Source Type: blogs

Telemedicine and Home Monitoring Will Promote Healthcare Transformation
I believe that telemedicine and home monitoring of patients post hospital discharge will be more broadly adopted as common healthcare services. The reason that they have lagged in popularity up to now is that the reimbursement picture is confusing and physicians and nurses have not been trained in their use. These two types of services provide a substitution of technology for bricks-and-mortar investments and substitute technology for labor. A recent article discussed the involvement ofMedtronic in home monitoring devices (see: Medtronic alliance looks to expand use of home-monitoring devices). Below is an e...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 6, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Medical Research Preventive Medicine Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Ovarian Cancer Does Not Exist; Effect on Gynecologic Cancer Surgery
When I was both a medical student and a pathology resident, I was intrigued by the fact that many ovarian cancers I looked at under the microscope consisted of columnar cells and often seemed to grow on the surface of the ovary. Various teachers told me that the neoplasms were mimicking peritoneal and tubal epithelium. Experts now assert that there is no such thing as"ovarian cancer" -- all such neoplasms are now thought to originate in the uterine tubes, thus explaining their histologic appearance (see:Tackling Cancer Myths: It ’s time to accept that ovarian cancer doesn’t exist). Here is an excerpt ...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 3, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Medical Consumerism Medical Education Medical Research Preventive Medicine Quality of Care Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

The Challenge of Analyzing EHR Data; Can This Problem Be Solved?
A recent comprehensive and insightful article in theHarvard Business Review succinctly summarized the essence of the problem facing hospitals and their EHRs in the introduction (see: The IT Transformation Health Care Needs). I copy it below:A central reason the negatives [of EHRs] seem to outweigh the positives is the way IT systems are being used.To date, the priorities of most health care organizations have been replacing paper records with electronic ones and improving billing to maximize reimbursements. Although revenues have risen as a result, the impact of IT on reducing the costs and improving the quality ...
Source: Lab Soft News - November 1, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Business Healthcare Information Technology Hospital Executive Management Hospital Financial Medical Research Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Possible Purchase of Aetna by CVS; Strategic Healthcare Implications
CVS has been reported to be in engaged in talks for the purchase ofAetna in what I would describe as movement toward vertical healthcare integration (see: CVS Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy Aetna in Landmark Acquisition). Below is an excerpt from this article:CVS Health, the giant drugstore chain that also runs walk-in clinics and a pharmacy benefit business, is in talks to buy Aetna, one of the nation ’s largest health insurance companies, according to people briefed on the talks....[I]f consummated, the deal could be worth more than $60 billion based on Aetna ’s current market value, which would...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 30, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

Look Who Is Going to Be Appear at an Upcoming Geisinger Symposium?
Geisinger Health System, which I consider to be one of the most innovative and progressive health systems in the country, is planning a national health care symposium next month. The invitation-only event will be held Nov. 8, 9 and 10 on the Danville, Pennsylvania, campus of Geisinger Medical Center (see: “From Crisis to Cure” to be held in November on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center). I have posted a number of notes about Geisinger's innovation efforts in the past (see, for example:Geisinger Develops Its Own EHR Interconnectivity Software Solution; Should Hospitals Recruit Patien...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 28, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Business Hospital Executive Management Medical Education Source Type: blogs

Pharmaceutical Companies and PBMs Helped to Create Our Opioid Crisis
I have blogged previously about the role of PBMs in shipping drugs to retail drug stores that placed suspiciously high drug orders (see:Drug Distributor McKesson Pays Record Penalty For Suspicious Opioid Orders). The role of the Sackler family, owners ofPurdue Pharma, in aggressively pushing Oxycontin is also now coming to light (see:The Sackler Family: best known for philanthropy, they made billions promoting Oxycontin;Report: Stamford company confirms DOJ probe). Let's face facts. You can't have a country-wide epidemic of prescription drugs without the connivance of some of the major corporations. Some of th...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 27, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Medical Ethics Pharmaceutical Industry Source Type: blogs

Centralized Cardiac Monitoring Center Developed by Cleveland Clinic
I have blogged about the development of virtual critical care units whereby smaller hospitals maintain critical care beds but rely upon remotely located intensivists to monitor their patients (see:Staffing An Intensive Care Unit From Miles Away Has Advantages;Telemedicine Transforms Intensive Care Units in Smaller Hospitals with Remote Monitoring). These units are developed in situations where skilled personnel are not available locally. The Cleveland Clinic has developed another variation on this theme with their centralized cardiac telemetry monitoring unit for non-critically ill patients (see:An Update on the Centr...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 26, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Preventive Medicine Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Apple Watch " Gifted " to Insurance Policy Holders; Any Gotcha's with the Deal?
I have posted a number of previous notes about both"wearables" and wellness advocacy by employers and insurance companies (see, for example:Wearable Health Monitoring Devices: a Means to Lower Insurance Costs?;United Healthcare Expands Its Wellness Program Using Activity Trackers). Now comes news that the John Hancock insurance company is giving away Apple Watches to participants in itsVitality program (see:You can get an Apple Watch for only $25 ... with one small catch). The latter insurance product is oriented toward customers who pursue a healthy lifestyle. Below is an excerpt from the article:John Hanco...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 24, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Medical Research Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs

Large Genomic Study to Explore Ways to Manage the Opioid Drug Crisis
A University of Michigan research group is using genomics to extract clues about how to contain the opioid crisis. The details were included in a recent article about the effort (see:U-M Precision Health Effort Looking Beyond Genomics in Researching Opioid Crisis). An excerpt from it is presented below:The University of Michigan's Genomics Initiative last week recruited the 50,000th patient who will contribute a biological sample for genomic analysis and phenotypic data to a growing repository for longitudinal research....The initiative's first project will investigate the many characteristics, including genomics, ...
Source: Lab Soft News - October 19, 2017 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Lab Industry Trends Medical Research Pharmaceutical Industry Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs