International health IT week in review: August 9

Pulse+IT's weekly round-up of international health IT news for the week ending August 9: Telehealth and older patients, $18.5b Livongo and Teledoc merger, $16.4b Siemens Healthineers and Varian buy, telemedicine and COVID cancer backlog, Apple-Google COVID tracing in the UK and US, FDA approval for Samsung Health Monitor app, US Medicare telehealth extension, patient identifier ban, EMRs and physician burnout

JAMA study warns telemedicine not suitable for 38% of patients over 65
MobiHealthNews ~ Laura Lovett ~ 05/08/2020

The study, which looked at data from adults over the age of 65, found that over a third of people weren’t ready for video visits. Researchers sited issues ranging from difficulty in hearing to tech issues.

Livongo, Teladoc strike $18.5B merger, creating a digital health behemoth
MedCity News ~ Elise Reuter ~ 05/08/2020

The deal would combine one of the largest telehealth companies with a platform for managing an array of chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Could telemedicine solve the cancer backlog?
The Lancet ~ Becky McCall ~ 06/08/2020

Although millions of patients with cancer around the world face delays in diagnosis and treatment because of the diversion of resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing expectation that telemedicine may play a central role in easing the backlog.

Northern Ireland launches UKs first Covid-19 contact-tracing app
Digital Health News ~ Andrea Downey ~ 06/08/2020

It is interoperable with the app already in use in the Republic of Ireland to allow for easier travel.

Siemens Healthineers to acquire Varian Medical Systems for $16.4bn
Digital Health News ~ Jon Hoeksma ~ 06/08/2020

The German health imaging and medical devices giant, Siemens Healthineers, is to buy cancer device and software specialist Varian Medical Systems for $16.4 billion (£12.5bn).

US' first Apple-Google COVID-19 tracing app goes live in Virginia
MobiHealthNews ~ Dave Muoio ~ 06/08/2020

Much like others built on the API, the app passively uses Bluetooth to anonymously determine whether an individual has come into contact with another user who has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within the last 14 days.

Samsung says it has received FDA clearance for smartwatch ECG tracking
MobiHealthNews ~ Dave Muoio ~ 06/08/2020

While its Galaxy Watch3 device is available now, a launch date for the Samsung Health Monitor app that will enable ECG, blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation tracking is still up in the air.

Trump signs executive order to expand telehealth, boost rural health care
FierceHealthcare ~ Heather Landi ~ 03/08/2020

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials said they plan to issue a proposed Physician Fee Schedule rule that will cement some regulatory flexibilities enacted during the public health emergency to reimburse for telehealth visits.

House votes to overturn unique patient identifier ban
Healthcare IT News ~ Mallory Hackett ~ 31/07/2020

With this amendment, the Department of Health and Human Services could work with the healthcare community to develop a nationwide patient-matching strategy.

Clinician burnout correlates with volume of EHR patient call messages
Healthcare IT News ~ Kat Jercich ~ 31/07/2020

A new study seeks to identify which individual EHR elements might be most associated with burnout.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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