How Is Big Data Modifying the Way We Treat Patients Today?

As the need for better treatments and demand for improved patient care increases, the ability to sift through the vast sources of data and quickly and intelligently extrapolate actionable trends becomes meaningful. With such needs comes the rise of new technology, including the use of big data.

BigDataBig data refers to the large volumes of digital data collected from various sources, be it doctor visits, clinical examination results, etc., It shapes the way we manage, analyze, and leverage data in any industry. So, it is no surprise that one of the most promising areas where it is being applied is the healthcare industry.

Why is big data necessary for healthcare?

Big data in healthcare use specific health data of an individual or a population to identify potential disease cures, epidemic preventions, reduction in medical costs, and more. Read More

Artificial Intelligence Benefits & Applications in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence in medicine is a great idea that can greatly improve the patient-doctor communication and healthcare professionals. One of the greatest benefits of AI especially in technology is that it enhances the capacity to process & store large amounts of data. This process is a mainstreamed and standardized manner and translates that information into functional tools.

Artificial Intelligence, a great addition to the expertise of the human factor in healthcare

Artificial intelligence is of great importance in health care. It can collect data over time, access data stored in other computers and go over data written on the internet, online books and research notes in a matter of seconds, and make an educated decision based on all the data it’s been over.

When implementing new technology as a process in our practice many things can go wrong due to lack of knowledge or human error during the implementation phase of the technology. As much as AI as a new technology can be of benefit to healthcare providers it can also prove to be disruptive later down the line mainly due to human error in the past. Before we adopt any new process, or technology it’s important to fully understand it in order to avoid critical or even fatal mistakes.

Artificial Inteligence

 

To make AI as efficient and effective as possible in the future some steps should be taken:

  • AI should be used to assist healthcare givers, not always to fully automate the process.
  • The adopted platform should be fully understood by all who will be operating the AI system.
  • Engage and involve students in discussions and real-time practice with AI systems. The sooner they start practicing the better.
  • When implementing the system, have a professional oversee the whole procedure.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence:

Even though AI has been around for a while, it’s been seeing a real boom and progress the past few years. Even though AI has advanced to a great extent, the AI system cannot operate fully by themselves or think as a human would, at least not yet. Still, AI offers the following great benefits to healthcare providers and practices all around the world:

  • Fast & Accurate diagnostics:

    Some diseases require immediate action otherwise they will become more severe. Luckily AI systems have the capability to learn from previous cases and store knowledge, as well as access stored knowledge anywhere around the globe. After some studies or research on artificial neural networks, researchers say that it is scientifically proven that these networks can diagnose fast & accurate some other diseases includes eye problems, malignant melanoma etc.

  • Reduce Human errors:

    AI may be most effective at reducing human error. After all, human beings are emotional and sensitive beings, so any emotional trauma or stress on the doctor’s side might pose a threat to the patient undergoing the operation. AI could be the best assistant as it would monitor the whole procedure and greatly decrease stressful situations.

  • Cost Reduction:

    With the emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, the patient can get doctor assistance without visiting hospitals/clinics which results in cost-cutting. AI assistants provide online care  &  assist patients to add their data more frequently via online medical records etc.

  • Virtual Presence:

    This technology is also known as Telemedicine which allows specialists to assist their patients who live in remote locations. Using a remote presence robot, doctors can engage with their staff & patients in hospitals/clinics & assist or clear their queries.

These are just some of the benefits known to us for now. As AI progresses we are most likely to keep seeing many new breakthroughs in science and medicine.

How AI Could Help Shape the Future of Medicine

Technology progresses so fast nowadays it’s hard to keep track. Sometimes it’s even hard to distinguish science fiction from reality. Many of the things we’re used to seeing only in Sci-Fi movies on our TV screen are now becoming a reality. One of the main factors technology is changing is employment and automation of jobs in different industries. Different jobs in different industries have different rates of automatability.

 

optz-graph

 

When it comes to the medical professions, the rate of automatability sits comfortably at 0.4. That means doctors and surgeons have a chance of 0.4% of being replaced by automation in the future. However, this is not to say that technological progress doesn’t affect the medical professions.

 

Performing heart surgeries, giving diagnosis etc. must have a certain percent of empathy for them. And that’s what makes the human factor in medicine crucial. Now let’s take a look at some ways AI will shape the future of medicine.

 

 

 

1. AI will catch mistakes

Even though the human factor is crucial, AI’s place is right there beside the human factor as a partner. The human mind is prone to stress and other psychological factors that might contribute a higher rate of error due to these factors, whereas an AI equipped machine or computer will observe from a stress-free perspective making it capable of catching mistakes faster and with a greater rate of effectiveness than the human.

An AI also has a much deeper level and capacity for storing knowledge, and maybe more importantly instant access to it whenever it’s needed. So at any time, the AI can simply comb through pages of medical data while performing another task such as assisting the surgeon at the operating table.

 

2. They will help detect diseases

Even though a single machine by itself is powerful enough, AI’s connected to a network can do amazing things. Such a thing is detecting and treating underlying diseases and conditions which may be affecting different areas of an individual’s health.

Connected together they can see where one person went wrong and work upon that knowledge and analysis as a baseline. This will also decrease the possibilities of an error in diagnosis because networked AI’s have much more insight than a single one.

3.Assisting in surgery

As stated previously AI will have a very important role to play when it comes to assisting the surgeon during surgeries. The biggest benefit from AI’s at the operating table is that they can provide the surgeon with real-time information by overlaying digital cues and images atop real ones when paired with augmented reality.

These are just some of the ways AI is going to assist medicine in the near future. All in all, the future is looking bright for medicine and AI.

 

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Medicine

Even though artificial intelligence has been around for a while, it’s just now that it’s being popularized and implemented in our everyday lives in every possible way. From smartphones with AI interfaces to self-driving cars, the benefits are clearly visible.

With all the noise surrounding artificial intelligence and the rising speculations that AI has the potential to evolve in a great danger to mankind, it’s easy to let our survival instincts kick in and discard AI as something bad and threatening. But is AI really pitting man against the machine?

parelax-acute-bg

I think medicine is the perfect example where the benefits of AI clearly shine over its possible future negative effects, mostly because even the steadiest hand can’t be as steady as the precisely accurate robots and extremely fine-tuned diagnostic algorithms to solve complex surgical and clinical problems. Read More

The Different Stages of Wound Healing

Different types of wounds take different time periods and different care procedures to fully heal but most of them go through similar or same healing stages. In general smaller wounds take less time to heal while larger and deeper wounds requiring more time and more care to fully heal. The whole healing process of the wound depends on many factors such as wound dressings, the attention and care you devote to the wound, the origin of the wound and so on.

eKare 3D Wound Imaging

 

All wounds go through four stages of healing:

  • Hemostasis Phase
  • Inflammatory Phase
  • Proliferative Phase
  • Maturation Phase

Hemostasis Phase

Hemostasis is the first stage of the wound which starts once the blood starts leaking out of the body. The function of the hemostasis phase is to close the wound by clotting. The first step of hemostasis starts when blood vessels constrict to restrict the blood flow. As soon as this happens, platelets stick together in order to seal the break in the wall of the blood vessel. After these mini-phases, coagulation happens and reinforces the platelet plug with threads of fibrin which serve as a molecular binding agent.

Inflammatory Phase

Inflammation is the phase that begins right after homeostasis has been achieved. Inflammation is the phase when the injured individual begins to feel the physical consequence of the wound and inflammation, such as swelling pain, heart, and redness. Even though the inflammatory phase in physically unpleasant it’s very important because it’s what prevents infection and controls bleeding.

Proliferative Phase

The proliferation phase is the phase in which the wound begins to be rebuilt with new, healthy granulation tissue. In order for the granulation to be formed, it’s vital for the blood vessels to receive a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen. The newly formed tissue is composed of a mixture of extracellular matrix and collagen, which allows for the development of a new network of blood vessels to replace the damaged ones.

The color of the of the granulations tissue is an indicator whether the wound is healing as supposed to. For example, if the tissue has a pinkish or red color it means that it’s getting all the nutrients needed to fully heal. If it’s bluish or dark, it possibly means that the wound either isn’t getting all the needed nutrients, or there is an infection present.

Maturation

Maturations it the last stage of wound healing, also known as the remodeling phase. In this stage, the collagen is remodeled and the wound fully closes. The cells which were used to remodel the wound and are no longer needed are replaced by apoptosis or programmed cell death. Usually, remodeling happens after 21 days and can continue for a year or more.

Even though the wound looks fully healed in this phase, it’s really important to continue with the treatment as long as prescribed. It’s important to really pay attention to this process, as the inability to progress through these phases can lead to chronic wounds which are a further complication of the patient’s state.

Exercises That Are Beneficial for Wound Care Patients

It’s safe to say that individuals seeking treatment for diabetic foot ulcers are not the most disciplined when it comes to lifestyle choices. The declining quality of life that affects many people with diabetes can be directly connected to the lack of exercise.

Webp.net-resizeimage (1)

Exercise not only helps your body stay more vital and healthy which can aid physically, but exercise is also important for the mental state of mind which again reflects on our physical body and health.

Also, exercise has proven to lower blood glucose levels which directly benefits patients with diabetes. However, exercise alone cannot solve the underlying problem. This takes more effort which includes lowering calories and adjusting your nutrition.

 

Which exercises are suitable for patients with chronic wounds?

The most important thing to probably be aware of is to perform exercises that do not put too much weight or pressure on the places where the wound is located. Also to be careful not to perform exercises which might result in wound tearing, or damaging and displacing the dressing of the wound.

So we’ve compiled a short list of exercises which individuals with diabetes and/or chronic wounds can safely do on their own time, or with a trained instructor.

  • Pilates

 Pilates emphasizes core strength building, balance stretching and flexibility. Pilates can either be done by stretching and performing movements by yourself, or use machines that replicate these movements.

  • Strength Training

According to the American Diabetes Association strength training is one of the most effective types of training for people with diabetes. However it’,s important to remember to use light weights or to exercise using basic calisthenics such as lunges, sit-ups or planks. The risk of injury in these types of exercises is low and they can be performed safely.

  • Arm and Leg Lifts

 A simple but effective exercise which requires you to lift your arms as high as possible and hold them in a steady position for about 90 seconds. The leg lift requires you to elevate the limb up to the hip joint and hold it there for a few seconds.

  • Combined training

A good idea can be to do all types of exercises in a combined training. For example, pilates 10 minutes, strength training, 15 minutes and brisk walking for 15 minutes. This can give great results as there are all types of exercises included.

These are just some general tips to give you an idea of the direction in which you can go. However, it’s always best to consult with a physician or doctor to see what kind of exercise can work out best for you.

 

How Does Diabetes Affect Wound Healing?

Wounds or sores that take a longer time to heal can indicate an underlying disease such as diabetes, which has a direct impact on the body’s ability to heal wounds. Diabetes is a direct response to the organisms inability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone which has the function to turn glucose, or sugar, into energy. This has a direct impact on the body’s ability to heal wounds.

inSight for Wound Management

Wounds in patients with diabetes not only heal more slowly but have a potential to get worse more rapidly, so they require much more attention than a normal wound. There are several things that affect wound healing in a patient with diabetes which include:

  • Blood Glucose levels
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Immune System Deficiency
  • Infection

1. Blood Glucose Levels

Blood glucose levels are the main factor in the process of wound healing. When blood glucose levels are above normal the arteries in the body become more narrow and stiffen preventing normal blood flow which results in:

  • Prevents nutrients and oxygen from energizing cells
  • Prevents the immune system from functioning efficiently
  • Increases inflammation in the body’s cells

2. Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is the event which leads to a patient’s nerves being affected and resulting in loss of sensation. This means that a person cannot feel a blister, infection or a surgical wound being developed. Because a patient cannot feel a wound becoming worse it may delay the person from asking for medical assistance leading to the wound infecting further or worse.

3. Immune System Deficiency

Many people who are affected by diabetes have a problem with their immune system. This is due to the lack of immune fighter cells being sent to heal wounds, while having their ability to take action lowered. This can result in the immune system not functioning properly, making wound healing slower and risk of infection higher.

4. Infection

People with diabetes are exposed to a higher risk of developing a bad infection. This is mainly due to the weakened immune system. The body has a hard time fighting off bad bacteria that causes an infection.

Higher blood sugar levels are also to blame for infections. There are bacteria that thrive on the higher sugar levels in the blood, increasing the risk of an infection developing, or making an already developed infection worse.

These are just some of the contributing factors that affect wound healing. Most of these can be avoided or their impact decreased by regular check ups with your doctor, as well as maintaining a healthy nutrition. However, before you do anything it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or physician.

 

5 Tips for Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulcers

If you have diabetes it’s crucial to have regular foot exams, at least every six months performed by a doctor or a foot care professional. Foot exams can often reveal lesions that haven’t completely healed or are infected.

 

prevent-diabetic

In order to be sure your feet are healthy you can do daily inspections at home by yourself.

Look for any signs of possible trouble such as bumps, bruises, sores, cracked skin, patches of thin or tiny skin. If there are any potential signs of trouble, immediately consult your healthcare professional.

 

 

To summarize the few key points to preventing diabetic foot ulcers:

  • Patient Education
  • Toenail and foot skin care
  • Appropriate footwear selection
  • Proactive surgery treatments
  • Be active

 Patient Education

The first and maybe most important factor in preventing foot ulcers is patient education. Constantly and continuously consulting with a doctor or physician will reduce the risk of getting a foot ulcer by paying attention to all the details the patient can’t think of himself. Doctors can inform patients of the risk factors that lead up to foot ulcer and help prevent them.

Toenail and foot skin care

Diabetic patients can have nervous system dysfunctions and because of this, a patient’s skin is much more prone to dryness which can lead up to loss of elasticity and formation of calluses at the site of the healed wound. Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and a gentle soap. After washing always use a moisturizer to keep your feed hydrated.

Appropriate footwear selection

You must be careful when choosing your footwear. It’s a good idea to keep your foot tighter in order to prevent the inside of the show from rubbing against your foot and causing ulcers, but they should be kept loose enough in order to keep your comfortable.

Proactive surgery treatments

If a foot ulcer fails to heal there may be some underlying problem. The most common issues related to the foot ulcer failing to heal may be an underlying bone deformity, a blood flow problem, or an infection deep in the foot could all relate to the foot ulcer not healing. That’s why proactive surgery treatments can be a great prevention measure.

Be active

In order to keep yourself healthy, taking a short walk every day can increase blood flow, and also helps with weight related problems.

This is just a short list of what you can immediately apply to your lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of foot ulcers. However, nothing can replace a visit to your doctor or physician. Remember to do constant check-ups!

Great news! We are now officially partnered with Premiere Inc.

We have great news! In order to provide you with a better service, we have partnered with Premiere Inc. Group purchasing organizations such as Premiere Inc. were created to help hospitals and other providers to pool their purchasing power to secure significant discounts on virtually all medical and other hospital supplies. Using the power of collaboration, hospitals, particularly small and rural, rely heavily on GPOs to provide economies of scale and labor savings, as well as providing other supply chain efficiencies, such as e-commerce systems, data analysis, benchmarking, and best practice sharing.

Premiere Inc. Partnership logo

eKare has been awarded a group purchasing agreement for Digital Wound Management System with Premier. Effective March 1st, 2018.

Digital Wound Management System is a new product category created by Premier. This contract allows Premier members to take advantage of special pricing and terms pre-negotiated for eKare’s inSight™ 3D Wound Imaging and Documentation system.

Premier is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,900 U.S. hospitals and 150,000 other providers to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost.

Top 5 Med Tech Events to Visit This April

Medical Technology or Med Tech, is any technology that is used in medicine to improve or save a patient’s life. Medical Technology can take many forms and can be used in a multitude of situations where a patient’s health is concerned directly and indirectly.

med-tech

Med Tech improves patients lives by enabling doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to more easily diagnose, monitor and treat nearly any disease or condition. Medical Technology is finding its way into the hands of new people every day mainly through technological advancement and by standardizing complicated and inefficient medical procedures.

Because of this, complicated medical work is made much more simple and much more efficient which benefits both patients and medical personnel. Medtech could disrupt healthcare soon and that’s why doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors and physicians come together to different Med Tech events to share their vision and ideas for a brighter future.

 

If you’re interested in such events and conferences we’ve compiled a list of 5 Med Tech events worth visiting. In order to make it easier for you to plan ahead, we’ve sorted them by dates. Read More