WISER for Windows 4.5 now available

The National Library of Medicine’s WISER for Windows 4.5 is now available. This new version of WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) fully integrates Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) content and updates the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) content to 2012.

Here is a closer look at What’s New in this release:

  • Full integration of CHEMM content, which includes:
    • New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles, along with a customized home screen for all WISER profiles
    • Acute Care Guidelines for six known mass casualty agents/agent classes
    • The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material
    • CHEMM Intelligent Syndromes Tool (CHEMM-IST), a new help identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident
  • ERG content is now updated to the 2012 release. This includes the full ERG 2012 tool.

WISER for Windows 4.5 can be downloaded directly from the WISER Web site.

Coming Soon

  • WebWISER 4.5, which includes CHEMM integration, ERG 2012 updates, and more
  • WISER for Android 3.1, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform

WISER for Android 2.0 available

From the National Library of Medicine:

WISERThe National Library of Medicine WISER for Android 2.0 is now available and can be installed directly from the Google Play Store.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nih.nlm.wiser

WISER now fully integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) website.  http://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/

    • New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles
    • Acute care guidelines for 6 known mass casualty agents/agent classes
    • The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material
    • CHEMM Intelligent Syndrome Tool (CHEMM-IST), a new help identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident

Emergency Response Guidebook data is now updated to the ERG 2012; WISER for Android includes a custom ERG 2012 tool.

The Doctor Can See You Now. Really, Right Now.

From the Healthy Consumer in the New York Times:

Often the worst part of a visit to the doctor isn’t the awkward hospital gown, needle sticks or embarrassing physical exams — it’s the drawn-out wait, camped out in the reception room in the company of sick patients and old magazines.

During a particularly long wait to see his dermatologist, Parker Oks, 18, thought there had to be a better way.

“They know approximately how long an appointment will take,” said Mr. Oks, a freshman at Boston University. “But the problem is that they don’t know how long it will actually take.”

That realization led Mr. Oks to create Appointment Status, a Web site devoted to improving appointment efficiency and providing patients with information to avoid long waits. Working with three teenagers from Staten Island Technical High School, where he had gone, Mr. Oks aims to make it easier for patients to schedule appointments — and to find out how far behind the doctor may be before settling into a waiting room chair.

It’s one of several innovations meant to help patients. While many digital developments — electronic medical records and mobile medical encyclopedias — have streamlined doctors’ work, new tools for patients are starting to hit cellphones and the Internet offering help in keeping track of medications, recording heart rate and glucose levels and managing personal and family medical history, among other tasks.

Read the complete article here.

Coming next: Using an app as prescribed

From the New York Times:

Before long, your doctor may be telling you to download two apps and call her in the morning.

Smartphone apps already fill the roles of television remotes, bike speedometers and flashlights. Soon they may also act as medical devices, helping patients monitor their heart rate or manage their diabetes, and be paid for by insurance.

The idea of medically prescribed apps excites some people in the health care industry, who see them as a starting point for even more sophisticated applications that might otherwise never be built. But first, a range of issues — around vetting, paying for and monitoring the proper use of such apps — needs to be worked out.

“It is intuitive to people, the idea of a prescription,” said Lee H. Perlman, managing director of Happtique, a subsidiary of the business arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association. Happtique is creating a system to allow doctors to prescribe apps, and Mr. Perlman suggested that a change in the way people think about medicine might be required: “We’re basically saying that pills can also be information, that pills can also be connectivity.”

Simple apps that track users’ personal fitness goals have already gained wide traction. Now medical professionals and entrepreneurs want to use similar approaches to dealing with chronic ailments like diabetes or heart disease.

If smartphone-based systems can reduce the amount of other medical care that patients need, the potential benefit to the health care system would be enormous; the total cost of treating diabetes alone in 2007 was $174 billion, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the complete article here.

 

Health-care apps for smartphones pit FDA against tech industry

From the Washington Post:

Three tries. More than two years. And roughly $150,000.

That’s what it took for MIM Software to get the Food and Drug Administration’s clearance for a smartphone application that physicians can use to view MRIs and other medical images.Three tries. More than two years. And roughly $150,000.

“It was 2008 when we first tried,” said Mark Cain, the Ohio firm’s chief technology officer. “They didn’t know what questions to ask and neither did we. . . . But at some point, they had to be thinking, ‘How many more people will be lined up behind these guys?’ ”

His was, in fact, among the first apps cleared by the FDA. And since then, medical applications have flooded onto millions of smartphones, offering consumers the chance to check their heart rate, identify a pill in their medicine cabinet or even scan moles for skin cancer. Soon, if a firm called AliveCor gets its way, they may even be able to get an EKG by pressing iPhone to chest.

The gee-whiz factor can both astonish and alarm.

A defect in apps that essentially turn your phone or tablet into a medical device could prove problematic or even life-threatening: The app may not work as it should. For instance, what if lighting or contrast issues distort an X-ray that’s viewed on an iPhone or iPad?

That’s why federal regulators lurched into action a year ago, offering their thinking on how to police this vast new frontier. Just as they were putting the finishing touches on a plan, lawmakers intervened. The Senate agreed to put the plan on hold after technology firms argued that heightened oversight would stifle innovation and cost jobs.

To read the complete article, click here.

 

VA is launching iPad patient study to evaluate healthcare benefits of tablet use

From iMedicalApps:

The VA administration is now testing out various applications and pilot programs that utilize tablets in different ways.

The VA has announced it has created an initiative aimed at studying the benefits associated with the use of mhealth apps and tablet devices to improve and coordinate care between physicians, veterans and their families/caregivers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been embracing mHealth for awhile now with the goal of improving the outcomes of its veterans. In fact, we have previously reported that the VA is giving out iPhones and iPads to its hospitals for physicians to securely access patient records.

To that end, the VA is handing out 1,000 iPads to veteran’s families in the “Clinic-in-Hand” pilot program. These are not just stock iPads either, they will come pre-loaded with apps that are designed to facilitate communication with the veteran’s physician. There will also be apps included that aid in providing care.

Currently, only Apple’s iOS is being utilized, but there are plans in the future to expand to other operating systems such as Android. 

To read the complete story, click here.

Free iPad App, “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” from NLM

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has created a free iPad app to provide a lively virtual experience of its popular exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.

The app lets users explore video interviews with tribal elders, healers and other prominent people who practice traditional medicine, Western medicine or a combination of both. From their unique experiences and perspectives, they weave a tapestry of stories of the vibrant and diverse cultures of and medicine ways practiced by Alaska Natives, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. Other video clips provide an exhibition overview and highlights of the 4,400-mile journey of a totem pole specially crafted for the exhibition, from Washington state to the NIH campus in Bethesda.

The NLM Native Voices app works on all iPads with iOS4.2 and higher. Download the free app here.