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Research Study Uses Surveys, Smartphone Sensor Data to Study Stress

March 16, 2018
by David Raths
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UCSF, Sage Bionetworks partner on ‘My BP Lab’ study

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Sage Bionetworks have launched a research study called “My BP Lab” that uses surveys and sensor data collected from participants’ smartphones to quantify and understand their daily stress.

The study leverages an optical sensor embedded in the newly released Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphone to derive estimates of heart rate and blood pressure. With My BP Lab, participants can track variation in their blood pressure relative to daily experiences over the course of the three-week study.

“This study potentially will provide the largest dataset ever obtained on stress levels, health behaviors, and physiological responses during the course of one’s daily life,” said Wendy Berry Mendes, a UCSF professor and principal investigator of the My BP Lab study, in a prepared statement. “By collecting subjective experiences, behaviors like sleep and exercise, and blood pressure levels across a three week period, we can identify the most important triggers of stress physiology.”

Blood pressure, along with contextual information, can provide individuals with insights as to how their daily activities affect their stress levels and overall well-being.

“Integration of health sensors into consumer smartphones provides a powerful opportunity for researchers to understand the impact that our surroundings can have on our health,” said Brian M. Bot, principal scientist at Sage Bionetworks and co-investigator of My BP Lab, in a statement. “In My BP Lab, we are able to explore the impact of stress on measures of health outside of a clinical setting.”

The study utilizes ResearchStack, an open source software framework designed to support researchers interested in launching studies through smartphones that use the Android operating system. This is the second Android-based study supported by Sage Bionetworks.

Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit research organization that supports participant-centered research studies. It entered mobile health research in March of 2015, providing data governance and technical infrastructure to support remote enrollment and secure data management. Sage has supported over two-dozen separate studies in partnership with a number of academic and industry collaborators that have collectively engaged more than 100,000 participants.

My BP Lab is open to participants over the age of 18 living in the United States with a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. The research is being conducted under the supervision of Professor Wendy Berry Mendes at UCSF and uses optical sensor technology from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The My BP Lab study app will be available starting March 15, 2018. Information is available on the study website and the app may be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

 

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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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