One Day The Blind May See The World With The Tongue


Wicab, Inc out of Middleton, Wisconsin is developing a device that converts visual images into electrical signals that are fed to a user’s tongue via a special “lollipop”. A special electrode panel of the lollipop essentially draws images on the tongue by firing electric pulses on some of the pixels and not others, supposedly producing a feeling similar to a carbonated beverage.

Check out the device in this video: CLICK HERE

Consultant physician Andrew Whitehouse discusses the problem of "bed-blocking"

Here is an opportunity to use Technology more effectively.

Andrew Whitehouse
VIEWPOINT
By Dr Andrew Whitehouse
Consultant physician, West Midlands


Elderly man in hospital
Elderly people have to remain in hospital until social care is arranged

Bed-blocking is an ongoing problem for the health service, with elderly patients stuck in hospital waiting for their long-term care to be arranged.

In this week’s Scrubbing Up health column, Dr Andrew Whitehouse says the answer is to merge health and social services budgets – so elderly people get more streamlined care.

Why do we waste so much money treating our elderly so badly?

Every time I do my ward rounds I find, like other physicians, that roughly a third of my patients do not need to be in hospital.

We deal with the medical and rehabilitation needs of our elderly rather efficiently and we agree the way forward with the patient and her relatives.

When discharge is prescribed, we advise the social services department of any care needs the patient has.


It costs about £700 a day to keep a patient in hospital, and about £700 a week for a decent full-time nursing home placement

This may be for a home care visitor package to assist dressing or washing. It may be for residential or nursing home placement.

Then the wait begins.

The social services department has its own procedures for deciding on what, when and how to deliver, and of course we comply with these procedures diligently and promptly.

Indeed we begin to think about the plan for discharge at the point of admission.

But despite this cooperation long delays are routine; delays which dreadfully distress the elderly and their families for whom these may be precious last months or years, delays which result in hospital acquired infections and depression, and which mean the beds cannot be used for those who really should be in hospital.

Read the rest of the article HERE

NHS Lothian Medical Director supports electronic medical records

Here is a letter from Dr Charles Swainson in the Evening News.

Centralised records improve healthcare
I was dismayed to read Dr John Welford’s letter, “System to blame for record losses, not medical staff” (News, 31 July).

Centralisation and computerisation of medical records have little to do with losing patients’ confidential medical information.

The mass computerisation he mentions refers to the introduction of a modern patient management system in NHS Lothian, TRAK, which is gradually building an electronic medical record for each patient. Currently it contains basic demographic data and contact details, service attended, laboratory and radiology results, and letters. Other key parts of the records, such as operation notes, are held on a computerised surgical database which is looked after by the surgeons.

There are huge advantages to these systems in terms of providing faster, safer healthcare. Each patient may benefit from the expertise of an extensive medical team, all working from different locations. They may be receiving care from a team including their GP, radiologists, oncologists and other health professionals. Hosting these records centrally, in one place, cuts delay and allows every member of the team access to full information on the patient to inform their expert contribution to that person’s care.
Dr Charles Swainson, medical director, NHS Lothian

Link to page

Fife Council’s Telecare programme uses satellite technology to monitor people with dementia

Success in tracking dementia sufferers

A PILOT project in Fife, enabling people with dementia to enjoy more independent lives whilst at the same time giving their families peace of mind, is being hailed a major success.

For a number of months, as part of its wider Telecare programme, Fife Council’s social work service, in partnership with the region’s health service and police, has been monitoring the benefits of using satellite tracking technology to trace dementia sufferers should they become disorientated.

Five people across Fife—two in Glenrothes and the others in Gauldry, Crossford and Kirkcaldy—have now been given GPS (global positioning system) devices as part of the pilot, meaning that family members, carers and even the police can quickly pinpoint the wearer if they become lost.

The matchbox-sized sensors enable a person with early-stage dementia to get out and about with the confidence that a family member or other carer can offer assistance if needed.

Such has been the project’s success thus far, that John Honeyman, training and marketing adviser with the Fife Telecare Programme, said he hoped the technology would become more widespread and eventually become the norm.

“This is only running as a pilot but we want what we’re doing to become as routine as meals on wheels or community alarms,” he said.

“People know these terms so we want the term Telecare to be the same so people know and readily understand the benefits of it.

“The potential cost benefits are clear in that if, for example, there was an emergency situation where the police had to stand up several officers to conduct a search, that could cost them a lot of money and resources.

“But moving away from the cost side of things, in terms of the effect this illness has on the person but also their family, that’s where we’re looking to measure the impact.

To read the report CLICK HERE

Conservatives intend to scrap plans for a central database of patient records.

Tories face NHS database tangle

By Ross Hawkins
BBC News political correspondent

Computer

The Tories say their plans will be cheaper than a national database

The Conservatives want to let you view your health records online.

All they have to do first is dismantle one of the biggest civil IT projects in the world.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley made headlines when he told the BBC about plans to give patients access to their medical histories through their home PCs.

But to achieve that the Tories want to pick apart the massive NHS computer project known as the National Programme for IT.

Its goal is to electronically link all GPs and hospitals in England.

Its price tag is £12.7bn, and part of the project is at least four years late. It has long been the target of criticism from MPs, medics and the media.

To read the full report CLICK HERE