Betting on Google Glass for surgeons pays off big time for Austin startup

October 29, 2013 4:26 pm by 

Kyle Samani’s is growing at fast pace.Samani presented at DEMO earlier this month andwon a DEMO God award. The company has raised $350,000 so far and is looking for another $100,000. One pilot project of the Glass software for surgeons has started and another will launch soon.

The first pilot was at UC Irvine Mecical Center few weeks ago, testing the Glass software during in-patient and out-patient surgeries in several settings, including the ICU and emergency room. Samani said at the DEMO that the results have been positive.

“Doctors are happy because they are not wasting time running around, nurses are happy because they’re not waiting on their doctors, patients are getting a better, faster, safer experience,” he said.

Samani said that another pilot project will be starting shortly at Banner Health, the largest healthcare provider in the southwestern US with 40 hospitals under management.
Here is an update from the company blog:

We’ve built and are actively testing a HIPAA compliant, first person, audio and video streaming solution called Pristine EyeSight. We’re streaming from Glass to any authorized device on the hospital’s network.

We solve the problem of ‘Can you come over here and look at this?’ This is a profound concept with a diverse set of use cases throughout virtually every avenue of care.

In addition to EyeSight, we’ve also built Pristine CheckLists. They are, as the name suggests, HIPAA compliant checklists on Glass. They’re driving patient safety and operational efficiency. They’re being tested at UC Irvine throughout perioperative settings. In time, we believe we’ll implement checklists throughout the hospital. They’re useful in situations in which the cost of being wrong is high.

We publicly unveiled these apps to the world on stage at the DEMO conference on October 17th.

While I’ve been jumping from GlazedCon to Health 2.0 to the American College of Surgery to the American Society of Anesthesiology and to DEMO, Mark and Patrick have been doing the real work: piloting our software in live patient care environments with the doctors and nurses at UC Irvine Medical Center. We’ve been testing in inpatient surgery, outpatient surgery, the ICU, and the GI lab. We’re still identifying the use cases and opportunities for these technologies throughout the hospital. There are so many to be tackled. Initial responses have been positive from almost everyone at Irvine, even though the product has a long ways to go.

Over the next few months, we’re going to continue refining the product and user experience based on real-world feedback. Although the apps are functional today, there’s an enormous amount of work to be done to deliver a world class user product. The devil is in the details.

Read more:

Health Informatics Scotland 2012 conference programme announced

Health Informatics Scotland 2012 conference programme announced

I am delighted to be able to share with you our programme for 2012.  We have a fantastic array of high level speakers including 15 directors / heads of IT or clinical leads, and 9 overseas presenters highlighting the international reputation our conference has developed in its short three year history.

Speakers from Government (with Derek Feeley CEO of NHS Scotland, and Paul Rhodes eHealth Director) to NHS leaders and esteemed academics (including the Chief Scientist).  With talks arranged across four themes relevant to healthcare in Scotland in 2012 you can be sure of a great event!

So watch out for delegate registration when its announced.  Get the dates in your diary 20 – 21 September 2012 in Glasgow.  Book it!


Download the Health Informatics Scotland 2012 programme here


Paul Woolman

Chair Health Informatics Scotland 2012 (a not for profit event run by BCS Health Scotland )

Electronic tattoo ‘could revolutionise patient monitoring’

By James Gallagher

Health reporter, BBC News

Sensor in a tattoo

An “electronic tattoo” could herald a revolution in the way patients are monitored and provide a breakthrough in computer gaming, say US scientists.

They used the device, which is thinner than a human hair, to monitor the heart and brain, according to a study in the journal Science.

The sensor attaches to human skin just like a temporary tattoo and can move, wrinkle and stretch without breaking.

Researchers hope it could replace bulky equipment currently used in hospitals.

A mass of cables, wires, gel-coated sticky pads and monitors are currently needed to keep track of a patient’s vital signs.

Scientists say this can be “distressing”, such as when a patient with heart problems has to wear a bulky monitor for a month “in order to capture abnormal but rare cardiac events”.

Solar cells

With the tattoo, all the electronic parts are built out of wavy, snake-like components, which mean they can cope with being stretched and squeezed.

There are also tiny solar cells which can generate power or get energy from electromagnetic radiation.

The device is small, less than 50 micrometres thick – less than the diameter of a human hair.

The sensor is mounted on to a water-soluble sheet of plastic, so is attached to the body by brushing with water, just like a temporary tattoo.

It sticks on due to weak forces of attraction between the skin and a polyester layer at the base of the sensor, which is the same force which sticks geckos to walls.

In the study, the tattoo was used to measure electrical activity in the leg, heart and brain. It found that the “measurements agree remarkably well” with those taken by traditional methods.

Skin electronics The sensor moves with the skin

Researchers believe the technology could be used to replace traditional wires and cables.

Smaller, less invasive, sensors could be especially useful for monitoring premature babies or for studying patients with sleep apnoea without them wearing wires through the night, researchers say.

Prof Todd Coleman, from the University of Illinois, said: “If we want to understand brain function in a natural environment, that’s completely incompatible with studies in a laboratory.

“The best way to do this is to record neural signals in natural settings, with devices that are invisible to the user.”

The device was worn for up to 24 hours without loss of function or skin irritation.

However, there are problems with longer-term use, as the skin constantly produces new cells, while those at the surface die and are brushed off, meaning a new sensor would need to be attached at least every fortnight.

Read more about this on the BBC site



New wi-fi hand hygiene monitoring system

Ekahau Inc., the worldwide leader in high performance Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), announced that it is introducing a Wi-Fi Hand Hygiene Monitoring solution that automatically monitors hand hygiene of employees in the healthcare facilities to prevent the spread of hospital acquired infections and other transmittable diseases.

wi-fi hand hygiene monitor
wi-fi hand hygiene monitor

The hand hygiene solution combines Ekahau location-enabled staff badges and Ekahau beacons that are embedded into GOJO’s SmartLink™ Series Dispensers located throughout a hospital. The staff badges – which also are commonly used for staff messaging, workflow and safety applications – enable the RTLS system to automatically monitor staff-patient interactions, as well as when the staff member washes his or her hands before and after interacting with a patient in order to calculate compliance based on hospital policy. By leveraging the two-way communications capabilities of the Ekahau RTLS system, staff members can receive reminders and status information on the text display of their badges to help improve hand hygiene compliance. To ensure full compliance, the Ekahau transmitters that are integrated into the dispensers will only be activated when hands are sanitized, eliminating any false information from being collected.

Hand Hygiene Monitoring solution
The Hand Hygiene Monitoring solution consists of these components

“Hand hygiene is a significant concern, particularly in the healthcare market where, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital acquired infections add more than $30 billion to annual healthcare costs and result in almost 100,000 deaths,” said Tuomo Rutanen, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Ekahau. “We believe that Ekahau’s real-time location tracking technology – which is already in use at more than 300 hospitals worldwide and works over the customer’s existing Wi-Fi networks – has been integrated with GOJO hand sanitizing units to provide hospitals a way to ensure staff is compliant with hand washing procedures.”

”Today, most healthcare institutions still go through a manual observation method to collect and report hand hygiene compliance rates. This manual observation method typically requires significant cost and effort, but rarely yields timely and accurate information on hand hygiene compliance,” said Dave Mackay, Healthcare vice president at GOJO Industries. ”When you consider the potential for Ekahau’s real-time location tracking technology, enabled by GOJO’s touch-free dispensing systems, to deliver real-time hand hygiene monitoring at an individual care level, it’s exciting to think about the difference this could make for infection control.”

Read more about this new wi-fi hand hygiene monitor

or at the Ekahau company website

Scots bed-blocking figure increases

Delayed discharges from Scottish hospitals are on the increase, according to new figures.

Bed blocking
Delayed discharges from Scottish hospitals are on the increase, according to new figures

Official statistics show there were 168 patients waiting six weeks or more to be discharged in January. This compares to 128 at the October census, and 83 in January 2010.

Delayed discharges, or “bed-blocking”, occur in most cases when patients are unable to leave hospital because they are waiting for care arrangements to be put in place.

Overall, there were a total of 790 delayed discharges in Scotland in the latest round of statistics, compared with 776 at the October 2010 census, and 606 in January last year.

The latest figures have prompted renewed calls for the Scottish Government to take further action.

Theresa Fyffe, director of the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said: “Politicians claim the NHS budget is being protected from cuts. But if local councils are struggling to make ends meet, this can result in delays in making care home places available.

“As a result people who are well enough to be in a homely setting end up staying in hospital wards for no good reason. This is not good for patients and increases the financial pressures on the NHS. Unnecessary hospital stays are not dignified and benefit no one. This upward trend in delayed discharges must be reversed to make patient care better for all.”

Read the rest of the article on bed-blocking

Read the ISD Report on Delayed Discharges in NHS Scotland

Unprecedented call for shake-up of health service in Scotland


18 Feb 2011

SENIOR health service staff are calling for a radical shake-up of hospital services and a rethink of waiting time targets as budget cuts bite.

Calls for a shake-up of Scotland's hospitals as departments face axe under proposals

In a hard-hitting report being sent to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, senior managers with NHS Scotland say some hospital departments, including A&E, should be axed and other services centralised.

The unprecedented document lists a range of specialist treatments – including head injury care and organ transplants – which they say many managers and clinicians believe should be offered on fewer sites.

It demands an urgent review of the strategy to cut waiting times, revealing some senior officials believe the drive to slash the delay between GP referral and hospital treatment to 18 weeks this year will cost a lot without achieving much.

Screening men for a deadly weakness in the artery wall – which was due to be introduced this year – should also be reconsidered, according to the managers.

They stress changes are needed in order to avoid compulsory redundancies, pointing out recruitment freezes and reducing staff numbers through natural wastage will not deliver the shake-up required on their own.

It is rare for top NHS staff to say anything in public that might be seen as criticising ministers. However, the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) Scotland, which represents 90% of chief executives in the Scottish health service, has produced the report amid concern that people do not realise how tight NHS finances will become because politicians talk about “protecting” the health budget.

Rising expenses, including an annual hike of around 10% in the cost of prescription drugs and growing demand from an ageing population, mean health boards are facing real-terms budget cuts.

The report, which has already been sent to Derek Feeley, acting chief executive of NHS Scotland, says: “All of this will mean changes to the way the NHS operates on an unprecedented scale.”

Reconfiguring hospital services is repeatedly mentioned in the report, which notes consultants are concerned some specialist services do not treat enough patients or attract enough staff to meet quality and safety standards.

Martin Hill, secretary of IHM Scotland, said the way medicine was delivered had changed. He said some patients, such as the elderly, were being cared for at home more regularly, and that medical advances were making some forms of treatment highly specialised.

Click this link to find out more about the IHM in Scotland

Read the rest of this article HERE

The full text of the key paper Getting into Shape click the link below  [mc id=”775″ type=”file”]Getting into Shape [/mc]

Scottish Government issues guidance to boards on establishing banks of medical staff.


A nursing bank has already saved millions of pounds in agency costs

Doctor banks aim to cut NHS Scotland costs

A nursing bank has already saved millions of pounds in agency costs

A system of doctor banks is to be introduced in Scotland in an effort to cut the amount spent on agency staff.

Guidance has been sent to Scotland’s health boards detailing the steps they need to take to cut down on the level of agencies covering doctors’ shifts.

Under the plans, NHS-recruited doctors would be used to supplement staffing rotas where needed.

A similar scheme for nurses cut spending on agency staff from £30m in 2003-04 to £8.2m in 2009-10.

The NHS nursing banks provide an internal pool of staff who can be called on at short notice to cover both planned and unplanned absences.

Spending on agency locum doctors increased in Scotland from about £18m in 2006-07 to £36m in 2009-10.

A spokesman for NHS Scotland said agency doctors could cost up to £104 an hour, compared with £11 an hour for internal staff.

Read more on Doctors banks here

Ninewells Hospital introduces computers on wheels (“COWs”) for staff

Computers moove with the times at Ninewells Hospital

Two COWs caused quite a “steer” when they appeared on a Ninewells Hospital ward on Tuesday.

Computers on wheels
Staff nurse Jemma Williamson wheels one of the new computers into a bay on ward 22.
  • By Marjory Inglis
  • Published in the Courier : 09.02.11

The computers on wheels (COWs) will allow medical staff to check laboratory results and X-rays at patients’ bedsides and add notes to medical records.

The first two COWs were introduced to ward 22, the hospital’s renal unit, but a whole herd will be in place soon.

Read more of this article about Computers on Wheels

NHS Scotland eHealth Awards – Shortlist available now

The shortlist is now available for each category for the prestigious NHS Scotland eHealth Awards

Best NHS Scotland IT service delivery team

TrakCare Programme – NHS Lothian

SCI Diabetes Collaboration (SCI-DC) – NHS Tayside, University of Dundee & Scottish Diabetes Group

SERPR – Strathclyde Electronic Renal Patient Record – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

NHS Service Desk Implementation – NHS Lothian

Best NHS Scotland eHealth initiative supporting quality improvement of patient service or outcomes

eHealth systems to support clinical outcomes measurement and service improvement – NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Electronic Clinical Communications – NHS Tayside

Development of an online point of care knowledge support package – NHS NES

Best NHS Scotland use of Innovative IT for Patient Care

SERPR – Strathclyde Electronic Renal Patient Record – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Telecardiology – NHS Highland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde & Scottish Centre for Telehealth (SCT)

Theatre Reporting Application – NHS Borders

Telehealth for Long Term conditions in Argyll and Bute

Replacing the Ward Whiteboard – NHS Forth Valley

Implementing the Tidal Model within an eHealth clinical recording system – NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Multi Disciplinary Information System (MiDIS) – NHS Tayside

See the winners announced at the awards ceremony part of Health Informatics Scotland 2010

More details about Health Informatics Scotland 2010

Has your company or NHS project any involvement with the shortlisted candidates?  If so you might want to make sure your customers are there to support them!

Call for speedier treatment for patients who suffer from mini-stroke

Mini-stroke victims ‘miss out on vital care’

By Nick Triggle Health reporter, BBC News

Mini-strokes often lead to a full-blown attack

Mini stroke tia
Mini-strokes often lead to a full-blown attack

Many patients at high risk of stroke are not getting the specialist treatment they need, an audit found.

People who suffer a mini-stroke are meant to undergo neck surgery to help prevent a full-blown attack.

The Royal College of Physicians and Vascular Society found just a third of 3,000 patients had the op by the two-week deadline, and many did not get it.

About 500 lives a year could be saved, they said. The government said progress had been made on stroke services.

Mini-strokes – or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) as they are known – will often lead to a full-blown attack.

This audit shows that there is still a long way to go to make sure people get urgent preventative treatment that could prevent a catastrophic stroke”

Nikki Hill Stroke Association

However, one in five full strokes can be prevented through an operation known as a carotid endarterectomy to unblock the arteries.

This has to be done within 14 days of symptoms showing to be really effective.

But the review of more than 3,000 cases showed only 1,005 were done within that timeframe. The average wait was 28 days.

Lack of GP referral, hospital staff and equipment were all highlighted as key problems.

The audit concluded that stroke services would be best concentrated in fewer, larger centres to ensure adequate staffing and resources were available.

However, not all the delays were down to the NHS – nearly a fifth of patients waited too long before seeking help.

Read the full article about mini stroke and TIA