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Archive for the ‘Telemedicine’ Category

Rural Funding Opportunity: USDA Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service is soliciting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program, which helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including: most State and local governmental entities, Federally-recognized Tribes, non-profits, for-profit businesses, and consortia of eligible entities. The application deadline is March 14, 2016. For more information, visit the USDA website.

NLM Announces Biomedical Informatics Course, in Partnership with Georgia Regents University!

The National Library of Medicine has announced that Georgia Regents University (GRU) will serve as the host organization for the NLM-sponsored biomedical informatics course. The NLM Biomedical Informatics Course, now entering its 22nd year, offers participants a week-long immersive experience in biomedical informatics taught by experts in the field. The course was previously held at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, with Cathy Norton, MLS, as the MBL principal investigator. NLM plans to take the skills shaped over the past two decades at MBL to its new colleagues at GRU. The first course organized at Georgia Regents University will be held September 14-20, 2014, followed by an additional session April 12-18, 2015. The course will be held at a conference center at the Brasstown Resort in Young Harris, GA, at no cost to participants.

Application to the course is open to anyone, but space is limited. Preference will be given to American applicants who demonstrate, through a brief application letter, that they have the significant need for an understanding of the informatics solutions that are available to address their biomedical research, practice and education challenges and that, through their official position, they are significant “change agents” who can influence the adoption of best practices in their own environment and expand the influence of the course to others through teaching or by example. The application deadline is July 7.

The course, co-directed by James J. Cimino, MD, Chief, Laboratory for Informatics Development at the National Library of Medicine and the NIH Clinical Center, and NLM Director Donald Lindberg, MD, will guide participants through topics including biomedical informatics methods, clinical informatics, big data and imaging, genomics, consumer health informatics, mathematical modeling, and telemedicine and telehealth. The co-principal investigators from GRU are Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, PhD, Professor and Director of Libraries, and Kathy J. Davies, MLS, Chair, Research and Education Services, Robert B. Greenblatt, MD Library.

ONC Seeks Consumer Opinions on Using Mobile Devices to Communicate Health Information

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer plans to perform a project using a qualitative data collection approach to obtain in-depth information from mHealth users regarding privacy and security concerns with this technology and perspectives on potential safeguards. mHealth refers to the use of mobile devices to communicate health information, and includes text messaging, email accessibility on the device, Skype, or the use of applications downloaded to the device.

A series of focus groups will be held in a variety of geographic regions to look at the attitudes and perspectives of individuals across different populations. For more information on this and other mHealth initiatives at HHS, please visit, under “Privacy/Security Research.” For more information, or contact Joy Pritts, JD.

2012 Go Viral to Improve Health Challenge

2012 Go Viral to Improve Health Challenge PosterBased on the success of last spring’s event, the IOM and NAE are sponsoring the 2nd annual Go Viral to Improve Health: Health Data Collegiate Challenge. Working in interdisciplinary teams that meld technological skills with health knowledge, college students can generate powerful apps to improve health for individuals and communities. A video of last year’s first-place winners presenting their app, Sleep Bot, at the 2011 Health Data Initiative Forum is available online.

IOM and NAE need your help in reaching out to students about the challenge. Information about eligibility, judging criteria, and registration is available on the IOM website and Facebook page. A downloadable and printable flyer is available to help spread the message about this year’s student challenge. You are encouraged to help get the word out by “liking” the Go Viral to Improve Health Facebook page and forwarding information about the challenge to faculty and students who may be interested in participating. This year, a total of $10,000 in prizes will be available to the student teams who develop the best new health apps. Team registration is open until February 10, 2012.

To help teams get started, the National Library of Medicine provides API (Application Programming Interface), a set of routines that an application uses to request and carry out lower-level services performed by a computer’s operating system, for many of its resources and databases. The NLM Show Off Your Apps challenge utilized NLM API to create to create innovative software applications that use the Library’s vast collection of biomedical data, including downloadable data sets, application programming interfaces (APIs).

WHO Global Observatory for eHealth “mHealth” Report Now Online!

The World Health Organization has published its third Global Observatory for eHealth report, mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies. The Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) is an initiative dedicated to the study of eHealth and its evolution and impact on health in countries, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

According to the International Telecommunication Union there are now close to 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world, with over 85% of the world’s population now covered by a commercial wireless signal. This is transforming the way health services and information are accessed, delivered, and managed. With increased accessibility comes the possibility of greater personalization and citizen-focused public health and medical care. The report analyzes the results from WHO’s second global survey on eHealth in 2009, which focused on mHealth (mobile health). The report also provides case studies of mHealth in action around the world, including SMS campaigns in Bangladesh which allow pregnant women in remote villages to receive timely prenatal advice and Cambodia’s Cam e-WARN system which monitors disease outbreaks via SMS.

Previous GOe reports, Atlas – eHealth country profiles and Telemedicine – Opportunities and developments in Member States are also available for free on the WHO website.

NRHA Quality and Clinical Conference handouts

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association Quality and Clinical Conference. The NRHA has made the handouts from the conference available at Topics include electronic health records, telemedicine, and models for rural health care.

Telemedicine Using Remote Presence Robots

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Quality and Clinical Conference in Park City, UT. At the conference, Doug Romer, Executive Director-Patient Care Services at Grande Ronde Hospital in LaGrande, OR, gave a fascinating talk and demonstration of the “remote presence” telemedicine services provided by the hospital in conjunction with various partners.

The hospital uses an inTouch RP7 robot that can be controlled remotely by physicians not located at the hospital. The robot has a monitor, camera and audio system so that the patients and remote physician can see and hear each other.

At the conference, Mr. Romer conducted a live demo of the system using the hotel’s wireless Internet access — participants were able to communicate with a patient undergoing an ultrasound and see the results of the ultrasound live. We were instructed that the patient did not want to know the sex of the baby, so to please not reveal that information when we saw the ultrasound!

To see the system in action, view the video the hospital has made available on this page: