Google Glass Used to Teach Patient Exams

From Gizmodo:

Glass enables wearers to near-effortlessly shoot point-of-view video makes it perhaps the most revolutionary teaching tool ever created, as Dr. Abraham Verghese of Stanford University School of Medicine shows here.

Teaching physical exam techniques is a major challenge. The signs that tell a physician something’s wrong are often exceedingly subtle, and for students, watching an exam from eight rows back in a lecture hall is like trying to appreciate the dialog in Citizen Kane from across the street. Dr. Verghese’s video shows students exactly what he’s seeing, how he’s approaching the patient, where he’s placing his hands — everything you’d hope your newly-graduated M.D. or D.O. should know.

ACA Likely to Deliver Bigger Bang in Rural Areas

From MedPage Today:

The rural uninsured may reap a bigger benefit from the Affordable Care Act than their city-dwelling counterparts, which prompted health policy experts to call for a ramped-up campaign to publicize ACA in rural communities.

More rural residents than urban dwellers (10.7% versus 9.6%) can receive tax subsidies under the ACA to purchase private insurance and more uninsured are eligible for an expanded Medicaid program (9.9% versus 8.5%), Keith Mueller, PhD, director of the Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis in Iowa City, said.

London Fire Brigade Says Number Of People Trapped In Handcuffs Has Risen, Possibly Because Of ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

From the AP, Business Insider and the BBC:

 London firefighters say they have freed hundreds of people with body parts trapped in household objects in the last three years, including 18 children with heads stuck in potties or toilet seats and 79 people trapped in handcuffs.

The London Fire Brigade speculated that the popularity of erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” may account for a rise in handcuffs-related emergencies.

Firefighters in London have been called to assist people who have become stuck in objects such as handcuffs and toilet seats more than 1,300 times in the last three years.

London Fire Brigade said each instance cost taxpayers some £290, meaning the mishaps have cost at least £377,000.

Emergency callouts included incidents where men had their genitals stuck in a toaster and a vacuum cleaner.

Hospital workers visit patient homes to reduce ER visits

From Fierce Healthcare:

Home-visit programs are helping children’s hospitals in the Philadelphia area curb costly emergency room visits for asthma attacks, according to NewsWorks.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), for example, sends home visitors from its Community Asthma Prevention Program to the homes of high-risk asthma patients in inner-city Philadelphia to look for asthma attack triggers, such as blinds, carpeting and rotating fans.

U.S. bans new home health, ambulance providers in three regions

From Reuters, via Kaiser Health News:

The U.S. government on Friday said it would temporarily ban new home health providers and ambulance suppliers from enrolling in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in three areas of the country, citing the risk of fraud.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said the bans will apply to home health agencies in the Miami, Florida and Chicago, Illinois metropolitan areas as well as ambulance suppliers in the Houston, Texas area.

More Doctors Steer Clear of Medicare

From the Wall Street Journal, via Kaiser Health News:

Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts. The number of doctors who opted out of Medicare last year, while a small proportion of the nation’s health professionals, nearly tripled from three years earlier, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that administers the program. Other doctors are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat even if they don’t formally opt out of the system (Beck, 7/28).

This Robot Can Draw Your Blood

From Gizmodo:ImageA startup called Veebot is testing a prototype robot that they hope will draw blood faster and more accurately than a human. The goal is to automate both blood draws and IV insertions to make the process even more standard, and reduce complications. The robot has a tourniquet similar to a blood pressure cuff to make a patients’ veins more prominent. It uses infrared light, a special camera and ultrasound combined with image-analysis software to choose a vein and confirm that enough blood is flowing through it. Then the robot lines up the needle and inserts it into the arm at the calculated correct depth. The whole draw takes about a minute plus additional time depending on how much blood is being collected.