Scientists create ultrasound patch for central BP monitoring | Study demonstrates value of simulators in ultrasound training curricula | New Apple Watch could trigger unnecessary medical visits, heart docs worry
September 18, 2018
Providing Ultrasound Information to Enhance Patient Care and Safety
A 240-micrometer-thick wearable ultrasound device has been developed by researchers from the University of California at San Diego for continuous monitoring of central blood pressure in arteries up to 4 centimeters underneath the skin. The patch was compared with a tonometer, demonstrating greater consistency and precision, as well as results that were comparable to a traditional ultrasound probe, the researchers reported in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Access to ultrasound simulators within an ultrasound training curriculum augmented fourth-year medical students' point-of-care skills and knowledge, a study published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine found. Students who used a simulator in addition to the training curriculum outperformed those in the control group on visual and practice examinations after the four-week training.
Apple has touted its latest Apple Watch, which has FDA-approved heart monitoring features, as a tool for consumers to proactively monitor their health, but some cardiologists worry it could trigger unnecessary anxiety and unneeded care among users. Some doctors say heart rhythms vary naturally and expressed concern that the device could signal a problem when there isn't one, prompting a cascade of medical visits and tests, but others say the watch may benefit people with irregular heart rhythms who are not aware they have an issue.
Process automation via bots can be a big help to small- and medium-sized practices, assisting with appointments, insurance and accounting. Artificial intelligence is often less complex and less costly than many believe.
Radiologists cited having a stable system with predictable behavior as their highest priority for picture archiving and communication systems, followed by minimal repetitive non-value-added work, interoperability and near-instantaneous load times, according to a study in a radiology journal. Researchers also found that integrated instant messaging, nonaffiliated site connectivity and mobile device compatibility were radiologists' lowest PACS priorities.
Team-based health care may help reduce physician burnout, improve patient outcomes and enhance efficiency of care delivery, according to a review published in NAM Perspectives. Researchers also identified several barriers to team-based care, including digital health barriers such as EHR platforms, payment barriers and workforce barriers.
A study in The BMJ found 14.8% of women at high risk of preeclampsia who took high-dosage folic acid supplements developed the condition after 20 weeks' gestation, compared with 13.5% of women who took a placebo. The study also found no differences in adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who received weekly text reminders to take methotrexate were more likely to be adherent than those who received only a 15-minute counseling session with a pharmacist or standard care, researchers reported in Arthritis Care & Research. Nonadherence is associated with higher disease activity, more joint pain and higher costs, but patients may forget to take a weekly drug or underestimate the importance of medication adherence when disease activity is low.
The CMS has proposed eliminating Medicare compliance requirements it says are unnecessary, outdated and burdensome for health care facilities as part of its Patients Over Paperwork program. The agency said the proposal could save health care providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually, in part by eliminating a provision that requires repeated resubmission of data for patients needing an organ transplant and a requirement for ambulatory surgical centers to perform presurgical evaluations in addition to the operating physician.
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