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A Comprehensive Guide to Eye Care for Seniors

Published by Meghan Villalba, President | AROCC.org

Quick Links:


Introduction: Why Is Eye Care for Seniors Important? 

As we age, there’s nothing more important than our health, specifically the wellness of our five senses. Vision is no exception to the rule, yet it can be difficult to feel like you’re doing enough for your eye care as you get older.  According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, approximately one in three elderly people experiences some type of vision reduction or eye disease by age 65. 

Regular, preventative eye care screenings ideally are already a part of your annual or biannual health check-ups. Sure, it’s normal for prescriptions to change. As you grow older, normal changes to vision are bound to happen. Your 20/20 vision may fade. You may find yourself trying on reading glasses at the pharmacy these days. Seeing your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) once in a while may seem like enough of a preventative measure but for seniors, it’s critically important to go the extra mile. 

Grandmother and granddaughter look at a cell phone

Eye health can affect your holistic physical and mental health. Many seniors experience slips and falls that otherwise could be mitigated by successful eye surgery. Seniors with eye conditions may get back functionality and independence when they seek professional treatment. 

For example, successful eye surgery may lengthen the time one can continue to drive a vehicle. Vision is a beautiful part of life, and no one who can have relief from symptoms should settle for less than great eyecare. 

It’s important to understand that an eye disease or eye condition does not always indicate that you will experience vision loss. Often, vision loss occurs when symptoms are beyond surgical repair. 

In this guide, you’ll learn eye care best practices, discover warning signs of age-related conditions, and know what to expect when you get a preventative eye exam. When you’re armed with knowledge about symptoms and treatment options for eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, you’ll make smarter, logic-informed decisions for disease prevention. 


What Eye Conditions Should You Look Out For? 

Blue eyes are prone to conditions and diseases as we age

There are four critical diseases of the eye that affect seniors: 

  1. Cataracts
  2. Macular Degeneration
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Diabetic Eye Disease  

1. Cataracts

A cataract is a medical condition where the lens of the eye starts to become visibly cloudy, causing blurred vision and decreased coordination due to lack of clarity. 

Specifically, proteins in the eye accumulate and eventually prevent the retina and the lens of the eye from sending clear images to one another. Developing a cataract is considered a standard age-related condition, and the main treatment option available for cataracts is surgery. 

A) Early Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts 

Cataracts tend to develop slowly over time, but there are common signs beyond cloudy vision you can watch out for. 

  • Double vision or seeing halos
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Difficulty seeing in low light 
  • Noticeable changes in prescription or vision, especially if in between appointments with your eye care practitioner  
  • Loss of vibrancy when seeing color 
  • Blurred vision

B) Who Is Most at Risk?

Ophthalmologists generally refer to cataracts as an age-related condition of the eye. However, there are some lifestyle and health decisions that can increase your risk of developing cataracts, such as: 

  • Smoking or excessive consumption alcohol 
  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • High blood pressure
  • Sustained, regular, unprotected sun exposure (specifically to UV radiation)
  • Previous injury to the eye

C) Treatment 

If you’re not interested in eye surgery and prefer to manage cataracts alternatively, talk to your ophthalmologist about stronger lenses or other ways to live with your cataracts. 

However, in most cases, your eye doctor will recommend surgery to remove the cataract so you can return to daily activities and maintain your eye health for longer.

The National Eye Institute reports a 90% efficacy rate, where 9 out of every 10 people who get the surgery have better vision afterward. 

Cataract surgery tends to be an outpatient procedure that takes an hour or less. The eye will receive an anesthetic, and the patient will receive a mild sedative to place them at ease.

D) Resources on Cataracts

2. Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the thinning of the “macula,” which is the part of the retina that makes vision clear and detailed. The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute defines “age-related macular degeneration” (AMD) as progressive eye condition that affects as many as 15 million Americans, with 200,000 new cases each year. 

Though macular degeneration is classified as incurable, there are varying degrees of severity. AMD happens gradually, and there are three stages of the disorder:

  1. Early AMD, where vision loss has not yet occurred. Your eye doctor can still discover macular degeneration during this stage, especially if you are getting examined regularly. 
  2. Intermediate AMD is where you may experience some vision loss, but perhaps not enough to notice or worry you. 
  3. Late AMD, where vision loss is recognized.   

A) Early Signs and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration 

Symptoms will vary based on the person, but a few things a macular degeneration patient may experience are: 

  • Diminished vision in one (or both) eyes 
  • Difficulty adjusting to changes in light, or work in dim light
  • Blurred vision, whether when interacting with people or reading 
  • Uncomfortable brightness in situations that aren’t as bright as perceived 

B) Who Is Most at Risk? 

According to The Mayo Clinic, smoking nearly doubles your risk of developing AMD. Studies suggest that obesity and cardiovascular disease may predispose someone to macular degeneration as well. Your eye doctor will also always take family history and genetics into consideration. Most patients with AMD are over the age of 50.

C) Treatment 

Unlike glaucoma, there isn’t a medical treatment for macular degeneration. The best measures against AMD are preventative ones, such as following a diet dense in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and omega-3s. Quitting smoking or avoiding smoking is another way to reduce your likelihood of macular degeneration. 

Protecting the eyes from sun exposure such as harmful UV rays or blue light is another key prevention tool. 

D) Resources on Macular Degeneration 

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the main nerve to the eye—also referred to as the “optic nerve”—becomes damaged. Vision becomes patchy. 

While scientists aren’t completely sure why this happens, glaucoma can lead to sudden and complete vision loss without showing major signs or symptoms. Early detection is the only way to prevent glaucoma from affecting vision. Any vision loss associated with glaucoma can’t be recovered. Glaucoma Research Foundation reported research from The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group that in the U.S., more than 120,000 are blind from the condition.

Regular eye exams can make the difference between glaucoma detection and missing a diagnosis. There are multiple types of glaucoma, according to the International Glaucoma Association, such as primary open angle glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and others. 

A) Early Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma 

The tricky part about glaucoma is that it usually doesn’t have symptoms at first, which can make detection difficult. Signs of the disease worsening include loss of peripheral (side) vision. Glaucoma can occur in one or both eyes. 

Some other symptoms of glaucoma include blurred or distorted vision, eye pain, loss of peripheral vision, and headaches. 

B) How is Glaucoma Diagnosed? 

Glaucoma is typically diagnosed through a dilated eye exam, which is painless for the patient. 

C) Who Is Most at Risk?

According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma can affect anyone, but those who are over the age of 60 are the most susceptible. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you’ll want to be extra vigilant about getting regular complete eye exams. 

The American Optometric Association reports that African Americans over the age of 40 and Hispanics over the age of 60 present a higher risk of developing glaucoma.  

It’s worth noting that glaucoma doesn’t only affect seniors; it can happen at any age. Developmental glaucoma is when newborns or young children experience the disease.

D) Treatment 

Eye conditions like glaucoma are highly variable, and eye doctors determine specific treatment based on factors like the damage to the optic nerve, corneal thickness, and how much the glaucoma is affecting peripheral vision. There are three main forms of glaucoma treatment today:

  1. Eye drops, which lower the pressure of the eye to lessen optic nerve damage 
  2. Laser treatment, also called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, creates better drainage in the eye to relieve intraocular pressure (IOP)
  3. Surgery was previously the least common treatment type, but is gaining popularity in newer studies. Glaucoma specialists will recommend surgery when laser treatment and eye drops aren’t helping your symptoms. The typical recovery period for eye surgery lasts between 3-6 weeks. 

E) Resources on Glaucoma 

4. Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is also called “diabetic retinopathy,” occurring when blood vessels of the retina are damaged. Poor regulation of blood sugar can increase your risk of diabetic eye disease. The longer you’ve been living with diabetes, the higher your chance of developing retinopathy. 

There are two main types of diabetic eye disease: 

  1. Nonproliferative Retinopathy, which is where capillaries in the eye form pouches that affect vision and is the most common of the retinopathies
  2. Proliferative Retinopathy, which causes the development of new, weak blood vessels as they try to increase blood flow to the struggling eye. 

The best thing patients with diabetic eye disease can do is closely monitor both their vision, diabetes, and health. Working with multiple healthcare practitioners for a holistic practice is critical to slow its progression. Diabetic blindness can occur when the disease is left to its own devices.

A) Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease 

In the early states of diabetic eye disease, symptoms may be very mild or difficult to connect with your diabetes. You may experience: 

  • Flashing lights in your vision 
  • Floating spots in the eye, called “floaters”
  • Blind spots
  • Poor or diminished perception of color 

B) Who Is Most at Risk?

  • People with type 1 and 2 diabetes are at increased risk for the disease and its complications, according to the American Diabetes Association.  
  • Those who smoke or have smoked in the past 
  • Those with patterns of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar
  • Those with diabetes who opt not to get an annual dilated eye exam, which can ward off the advancement of the disease

C) Treatment 

Milder cases of diabetic eye disease can be maintained with careful monitoring of diabetes and blood sugar. Once blood pressure and blood sugar are controlled for several months, repair can begin to naturally occur, according to Harvard Health Publishing

More serious cases of diabetic retinopathy mean that the retina has sustained damage that require surgery. Laser treatments, injections of medication into the eye, and surgery on the retina are common treatment options for this category. 

The retina can detach from its proper place, so an eye doctor may recommend a laser surgery to shrink the rogue, weak blood vessels causing the detachment. Injection of a medication to the eye that blocks the growth of blood vessels in the eye is another course of treatment that has seen an increase in efficacy according to the American Society of Retina Specialists

Always ask your eye doctor which treatment is most appropriate for your case of diabetic eye disease.

D) Resources on Diabetic Eye Disease


Preventative Eye Care Tips 

Woman operates an eye testing device in an office.

Daily life has plenty of distractions, screens, and harsh lights that can affect your vision over time. 

One tenant of good eye care is consistency. You wouldn’t apply sunscreen only on beach days, right? The same principle applies to practicing good eye care. Here are some tips: 

  • Ask your family and loved ones about their eye history, and write down their responses to share with your eye doctor
  • Take measures to quit smoking or avoid smoking altogether
  • Exercise regularly for optimal health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors to protect the eye from harsh UV lights
  • Wear protective eye gear during activities where the eye may sustain damage or get hurt
  • Don’t overwear contact lenses, which can cause infection of the eye
  • If you do wear contact lenses, follow cleanliness guidelines and your eye doctor’s instructions for how often to discard them

Nutrition 

We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale at the kitchen table: “Eat carrots to improve your vision!” Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as a carrot a day keeps the cataracts away. Though carrots do contain essential vitamins like Vitamin A, which protects the eye by strengthening its surface.

There are dietary best practices that can better your eye health in the long-term; for example, Real Simple recommends following a diet that’s dense in leafy greens like kale and spinach, squash, and, essentially, sticking to a colorful diet. 

Medical News Today also provides dietary suggestions such as increasing intake of antioxidants and omega-3s, as well as recommended daily intakes from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 


Eye Check Up Protocol for Seniors 

Why Do You Need an Eye Exam?

Eye exams are the only method we have of identifying early onset eye conditions. 

It’s important to get eye exams on a regular basis the same way that you’d put gas in your car if the tank was running low, or visit the doctor annually for a physical exam. 

For those over 60 years old, regular eye exams can make a difference in the future health of your eyes and your vision.  

How Often Do You Need an Eye Exam?

According to Prevent Blindness.org, how often you should get your eyes checked varies based on your age range and pre-existing health conditions.  

  • Those between 40-64 should get a complete eye exam every 2-4 years 
  • Those 65 years or older should see their ophthalmologist every year
  • Those with pre-existing eye conditions or concerns about family history should ask their eye doctor how often they’d like to see them

Do You Need An Eye Exam If You Have Good Vision? 

The short answer is: yes! Just because you have good eyesight doesn’t mean you may not have underlying conditions that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Regular eye exams, just like going to the dentist or your primary care doctor, are preventative and can identify warning signs of eye disease or vision issues before symptoms appear, or worsen. 

What to Expect at an Eye Exam for Seniors

Even if you have good vision, you’ll still need to have your eyes tested. Eye exams can be as simple as the standard inspection ophthalmologists use to prescribe glasses. Early detection is the key to preventing vision loss. 

With advancing technologies, videos of different eye conditions make it easier to understand potential conditions and diagnoses. You don’t need to be in medical school to benefit from learning some eye anatomy. 

You may hear a lot about corrective surgeries like Lasik, but remember—your ophthalmologist would never recommend an exam or treatment that they truly didn’t believe you need.  

Why Do I Need a Dilated Eye Exam? 

Dilation is the widening of the pupil to increase light to the eye. Dilated eye exams are one of the only methods of detection for glaucoma or macular degeneration. According to the Mayo Clinic, dilation can also identify health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. After dilation, which is a painless process, you will generally experience blurry vision or some extra light sensitivity. 

If you do have a dilated eye exam during your visit with the ophthalmologist, it’s recommended that you avoid driving or operating machinery for at least several hours until the pupil returns to normal dilation. 


Convincing An Elderly Family Member to See An Ophthalmologist

As family members and friends grow older, it may be tricky to convince them that going to the ophthalmologist is necessary—especially if they insist they’re healthy. You may be tempted to take a family member at their word, but eye issues can come on suddenly, and seniors may not realize the severity of their symptoms if they’re treating other major health problems in tandem. 

Some don’t have eye insurance, which can add another layer of difficulty, especially if they’re paying out of pocket for all their eyecare. Exams, treatments, and surgeries can add up on top of existing bills and medical necessities.

However, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vision is well-cared for and addressing any symptoms that arise far outweighs the alternative—missed diagnoses, discomfort, or even loss of vision. 

Resources: 

  • EyeCare America, also known as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides information on no and low-cost eye exams. 
  • The [no-follow] National Eye Institute compiled a list of applications and programs to help pay for eye care and low-cost alternatives. 
  • Programs that provide free eye exams and glasses 

Check Your Insurance Coverage: 

  • eHealthMedicare details what specific Medicare programs can help with senior eye care
  • Learn details of individual plans like Humana
  • Recommendations on vision insurance from Senior Living

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Swiss spend the most on health care

Swiss spend the most on health care

The Swiss spend more from their own pockets for health care than any other nation, according to a survey for the price comparison website Comparis. Providers of supplementary health insurance are the biggest beneficiaries.

The Comparis survey found that out of CHF80 billion (USD 82 billion) health expenditure in 2016, the Swiss paid CHF24 billion themselves.

Since 2012, expenditure covered directly by households has continued to rise, it says. This includes CHF5.5 billion for retirement home care, CHF2.8 billion in dentists’ bills and 1.6 billion for medicines.

Whereas insurance companies’ revenue from supplementary healthcare premiums has continued to rise, pay-outs under supplementary schemes have risen only moderately. Between 2008 and 2016, revenue from premiums rose by CHF865 million to CHF6.6 billion, whereas health cost reimbursements to clients rose only CHF353 million to CHF4.7 billion, the survey found. The sector therefore made a healthy profit.

Basic health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland. Private companies must all offer the same basic coverage and are not allowed to make a profit on it. Their profits come from the supplementary schemes.

+Read more about health insurance in Switzerland

Economist Pius Gyger, the author of the Comparis report, says the needs of the population go well beyond basic health care coverage, and a high number of Swiss are prepared to pay for supplementary schemes.

But Comparis health insurance expert Felix Schneuwly says insurers need to be innovative, otherwise they may start to lose this lucrative market.

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Making your home safe for a loved one with Alzheimer’s

Making your home safe for a loved one with Alzheimer’s
By Lydia Chan

 lydia@alzheimerscaregiver.net

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, home safety takes on a whole new meaning. You may go for years satisfied that you’ve made your home environment safe by keeping sharp objects put away and cabinet doors closed.

Alzheimer’s changes the game radically: almost overnight you’re forced to see your home through very different eyes. Objects that may have occupied the same space for decades suddenly pose a lethal threat. It can be very easy to overlook something if you’re not very careful. For instance, if you’re not used to keeping your doors locked 24 hours a day, an Alzheimer’s patient can easily slip out and wander away.

Keeping a loved one with Alzheimer’s safe is a round-the-clock responsibility. It can be stressful and frustrating, forcing you to call on reserves of patience you didn’t know you had. You need to continually assess their capabilities and acuity, making any adaptations that a sudden change in their condition may require.


Keep a checklist

Making a checklist can help you maintain a safe environment. It should cover every room in your home, include instructions if there’s an emergency, and be revised or added to depending on your loved one’s situation. If you feel the need, request a home safety evaluation to make sure you’ve accounted for everything. Many healthcare professionals and social workers are fully qualified to help you with this important task.


Safe and secure

About 60 percent of the Alzheimer’s population wander off and get lost; one-third of those who aren’t found within 24 hours don’t survive. The first thing you should do is make certain that there are solid, reliable locks on all exterior doors and windows. If possible, put in an alarm system so you’re alerted the instant a window or door is unlocked. And conceal a house key somewhere in your yard in case you’re inadvertently locked out of the house.


Safe stairways

Falls are another major safety concern if your loved one has Alzheimer’s. That makes your stairways very dangerous. Each should have a handrail running from the top all the way to the bottom step. Install safety strips on each stair to improve traction and help prevent slippage. If your family member needs help getting up and down stairs, make sure there’s a safety gate blocking the top and bottom (if your gates are worn or hand-me-downs, consider buying new ones).


Clear the clutter

Clutter is a big problem for people who suffer from dementia. Studies have shown that scattered objects only add to their confusion, and impair their ability to make sense of their surroundings. Clutter is a major cause of falls. An Alzheimer’s patient may have trouble navigating even familiar surroundings, so it’s important to keep everything picked up and off the floor. Avoid using extension cords if at all possible, and make sure that the grates on all floor vents are secure and even with the floor.


Medication, alcohol and more

A person who’s cognitively impaired can confuse a dangerous substance for something that’s perfectly harmless. Alcohol and cleaning fluids should be securely locked away in a cabinet and all medication should be kept in a safe place. Your loved one’s prescriptions should be clearly marked. Request a child-proof top if necessary.


A tense situation

Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5.4 million Americans, about 5.2 million of which are 65 and older. It can be your grandparent, your cousin, your sibling or even your parent who faces the diagnosis. Eventually, those with Alzheimer’s require round-the-clock care, and for many families, that means taking the loved one into their own home. Following a home safety checklist can help you control what can be a tense and frustrating situation.

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An EHR optimization that actually wins over physicians?

EHR optimization – Baystate Health takes aim at click fatigue with mobile-optimized workflow tool.

Like all healthcare CIOs, Joel Vengco, chief information officer at Springfield, Massachusetts-based Baystate Health, has no shortage of pressing projects competing for his attention for EHR optimization.

Whether it’s working to drive operational efficiencies across the $2.5 billion health system, improving the usability of an array of applications for clinical end users, spearheading community engagement and patient outreach for population health management or working on analytics and “knowledge management,” it all make for a busy workday.

That’s all in addition to the imperative of constant innovation: Beyond just being Baystate’s CIO, Vengco is the founder of TechSpring, an innovation center based at the health system where IT vendors are given secure access to real patient data to speed the development of new technologies.

“So there are lots of things to focus on as a CIO – notwithstanding all the security issues we’ve got to focus on too,” he said.

But even with so much going across Baystate – five hospitals, an academic medical center, 90 medical groups, a health plan with about 250,000 members, “a Next Gen ACO that we manage, and we’re getting into a Medicaid ACO” – Vengco has generally felt pretty on top of things.

Except, until recently, with one important initiative.

“The big project we’ve still yet to quite crack the nut on is: How do you optimize the EHR? How do you optimize the workflow for a clinician?” he said.

Work for providers, on a day-to-day basis, just gets more burdensome, said Vengco. “They’ve got to document, they’ve got to bill – and then they have to see the patient at some point. And then that 15-minute visit becomes a 20- or 30-minute visit because you’re doing all this other work.”

So Vengco posed a tall task to his IT team: Optimize the electronic health record and improve workflow for Baystate’s clinicians. But do it, crucially, in a way where the clinicians take to the new approach voluntarily, because it works better for them, rather than having to be told to do so.

“That was the challenge,” he said. “To leverage our current legacy EHR, Cerner, but then really enhance it without ripping and replacing it.”

For help, he turned to Palo Alto, California-based Praxify, whose recently unveiled MIRA app can augment existing EHRs, integrating with legacy systems to improve workflow.

Touted as being designed by and for physicians, the app offers capabilities such as “glanceable” interfaces that can surface key patient data for faster documentation and review, and dictation tools that enable voice-activated order entry.

The app gives clinicians the “data and the functionality they need within one or two touches or clicks,” said Vengco. “In our case, it’s more of a mobile design, using the heuristics of swiping and all the mobile capabilities you’re using in your day to day life.”

To Praxify, he also had some clear instructions: “We can’t spend two years doing this, we can’t spend millions of dollars putting you guys on top of Cerner. That doesn’t create value. What creates value is doing it in three to five months and actually getting adoption by the providers without me mandating use,” said Vengco.

“That challenge, happy to say, has been met,” he said.

Praxify connects with Cerner, using APIs, in just two or three months, he said. “Now we’re going full force with a production deployment to our health system. And some of the preliminary feedback is that providers, who are some of the hardest customers, are saying they definitely want to use this,” he said.

“We had a hospitalist, probably one of the most vocal critics of our EHR, initially said she wasn’t going to use Praxify,” said Vengco. “She said it was just another technology burden.”

Not long after trying it, she returned to the CIO with glowing reviews. “She said, ‘This is amazing. It’s incredible.'”

Across Baystate, “we’ve seen efficiencies of, on average, 40 percent if you compare it to the way the EHR was previously being used,” said Vengco. “They love the fact that they can get it on any mobile device. They love that, instead of taking five or seven or 10 clicks, it’s a swipe, or a touch. It’s efficient and fast. They love the design of it. They love that they can dictate.”

Because it connects directly to the EHR, there’s no concern about a loss of data. “And the design is intuitive enough that we don’t have to do five or seven hours of training  – it’s a 20-minute discussion and they’re off and running,” he said.

The point, said Vengo, is that “I want them to adopt it themselves. If I give it to them and it goes viral, and they take to it, that means it’s intuitive, it’s optimized, and that makes me happy because the providers are happy.”

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Happy New Year 2017!

Each moment in a day has its own value.
Morning brings HOPE,
Afternoon brings FAITH,
Evening brings LOVE,
Night brings REST,
Hope you will have all of them everyday.

May your days be as glittery as Diamonds;
May your companions be as good as Gold;
May your heart stay as green as Emerald;
Ánd may your soul remain as pure as Pearl.
Happy New Year 2017!

-eMEDICS.org team

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google harvard symptom patient monitoring

Monitoring Device Market Worth US$ 1,502.9 Mn by 2024

Global remote patient monitoring device market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.7% and is estimated to reach US$ 1,502.9 Mn by 2024, creating incremental opportunity of US$ 657.1 Mn between 2016 and 2024. Persistence Market Research analyzes the overall performance of the global remote patient monitoring device market and provides key insights on the factors and trends likely to influence the market during this eight-year period.

Rising prevalence of cardio vascular diseases, respiratory disorders, and diabetes in the general population are major factors driving the growth of the global remote patient monitoring device market. Increasing healthcare expenditure and increasing availability of effective treatment solutions for chronic diseases is also projected to boost revenue growth of the global remote patient monitoring device market. Other factors boosting market growth include an increasing awareness among people to self-monitor before disease advancement and government reimbursement issued on homecare settings facilities.

Lack of trained professionals to help with remote patient monitoring devices is expected to hinder market growth of the global remote patient monitoring device market. Insufficiency in maintaining the privacy and security of the stored data, lack of uniformity in device functionality, and lack of general awareness on patient monitoring devices are the key restraints challenging the market.

Global remote patient monitoring device market is segmented on the basis of Product Type (Cardiac Monitors, Respiratory Monitors, Hematological Monitors), Application (Cardiac Arrhythmia, Diabetes, Ischemic diseases, Hypertension, Sleep apnea, Chronic respiratory diseases, Hyperlipidemia), End User (Hospitals, Homecare Settings, Long-term Care Centers, Others), and Region (North America, Latin America, Europe, APEJ, and MEA).

By product type, the cardiac monitors segment is expected to remain the largest segment and is anticipated to reach US$ 765.4 Mn by the end of 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 6.9% over the forecast period. By the end of 2024, the respiratory monitors segment is projected to reach US$ 435.0 Mn, expanding at a CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period. By application, the cardiac arrhythmia segment is estimated to reach US$ 307.7 Mn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 6.8% over the forecast period. The diabetes segment is projected to reach US$ 196.8 Mn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 5.6% over the forecast period. By end user, the hospitals segment is anticipated to reach US$ 690.1 Mn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period. The homecare settings segment is anticipated to reach US$ 347.3 Mn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period.

Among regions, North America is estimated to dominate the global remote patient monitoring device market with 31.4% revenue share of the overall market by the end of 2016. The Europe remote patient monitoring device market is anticipated to reach US$ 341.1 Mn by 2024. By 2024, North America and Europe markets are expected to account for over four-fifth share of the global remote patient monitoring device market revenue.

Some key companies covered in the report include Boston Scientific Corporation, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Abbott Laboratories, Nihon Kohden Corporation, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., LifeWatch AG, Medtronic, and St. Jude Medical. These companies are primarily focused on enhancing their product portfolio through research and development initiatives and through the introduction of innovative technologies in order to gain higher market share and to strengthen their respective positions in the global market.

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Machine Learning – MIT professor’s quick primer on 2 types

By Mike Miliard

Machine learning – There are two main approaches – supervised and unsupervised – and each has specific applications in the context of healthcare.

And even though machine learning tools impact has not yet sent shockwaves through the industry, the potential of each is enormous, according to John Guttag, head of the Data Driven Inference Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

At its basic level, machine learning involves looking at data, and from that data finding information that is not readily visible. Example: Applying machine learning to data about patients infected with Zika or another virus and using what we can learn about what happens to those people to inform care decisions regarding the best ways to treat people who get infected in the future.

“Typically we use machine learning to build inference tools, where we find patterns in existing data that allow us – when presented with new data – to infer something interesting about that data,” said Guttag. “Machine learning is driven entirely by the data, rather than by, say, human intuition.”

Here’s a look at the two main types of machine learning and why they matter to healthcare.

Supervised machine learning
“In supervised machine learning, we’re given the data and some outcome associated with the data,” Guttag explained. “We’re given all the people who have Zika infections and then we know which of the women have children with birth defects and which don’t. And maybe from that we could build a model saying that if the woman is pregnant and has Zika, what’s the probability that her baby has a birth defect. And it might be different for 30 year old women than for 40 year old women. Who knows what the factors would be. But there we have a label – all sorts of details about the woman, and was the baby healthy or not. So that would be supervised learning: We have a label about the outcome of interest.”

Unsupervised machine learning
Unsupervised learning, on the other hand “means we wouldn’t have a label,” he said. “We just get data, and from that data we try to infer some hidden structure in the data. So for example you get a bunch of healthcare data and you find patients who look ‘similar.’ Typically the nice thing about unsupervised learning is you find things you weren’t even looking for. It’s also useful for when, for one reason or another, the data is impossible to label.”

The case for using emerging tech today
Guttag added that machine learning is among the fastest growing parts of computer science right now in the world. As healthcare entities continually ramp up their analytics and big data efforts and gird for precision medicine and population health, machine learning as well as artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are poised to become even more valuable.

While vendors such as IBM Watson, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants are bringing new technologies to market, most of the progress made in machine learning is happening in financial services, retail and other industries, and has been for about a decade.

Healthcare, true to its reputation for slowly embracing new technologies, is a bit late to the party.

One of the challenges unique to healthcare is the long gap between when new knowledge is obtained and when clinicians and doctors can put it to use treating patients, which is among the reasons Guttag urged major healthcare providers to more aggressively integrate today’s machine learning tools into their workflows now.

“People should be using today’s technology to do things today,” Guttag said. “Machine learning is a huge deal. And we’re going to see some pretty dramatic changes over the next few years.”

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telehealth, mobile,cloud

Continuous monitoring tools and Telehealth could save hospitals significant cost

Harvard researchers predict that contact-free continuous monitoring platforms have the potential to save the healthcare industry as much as $15 billion.  By Jeff Lagasse, August 04, 2016

Contact-free continuous monitoring, a platform that taps into sensors to measure patients vital signs and other metrics, hold the promise to save health systems $15 billion a year.

That’s according to a new peer-reviewed paper published in Critical Care Medicine.

CFCM is used to monitor heartbeat, respiratory rate, ulcers and patient motion. The technology’s components include sensors placed under a patient’s mattress or in a chair, bedside monitor, central display station and in handheld devices.

The sensors measure vibration and calculate motion, heartbeats per minute and breaths per minute, which detect any changes from regular patterns. If a patient’s status changes, the platform alerts nurses through large screens set up in conspicuous locations, as well as handheld devices.

Researchers from Harvard School of Medicine in a new Frost and Sullivan report entitled “Finding Top-Line Opportunities in a Bottom-Line Healthcare Market” claimed each hospital bed monitored with the EarlySense CFCM approach enables hospitals to achieve a cost savings nearing $20,000.

The cost savings are attributed to clinical outcome improvements published by hospitals implementing CFCM. Evidence suggests the technology can assist clinicians in earlier detection of patient deterioration, helping to reduce patient length of stay, minimize use of intensive care units, reduce falls and pressure ulcers and avoid cardiac and respiratory arrests.

The $15 billion figure was arrived at by extending the savings to all 750,000 relevant beds in the U.S. hospital system. The estimate does not take into account those patients in beds outside the hospital setting.

Clinical data also estimates that use of EarlySense has the annual potential to reduce patient falls by 301,809; reduce pressure ulcers by over 1 million; slash ICU days by about 1.7 million; eliminate more than 259,000 “Code Blue” events; and avoid close to 208,000 deaths.

“The healthcare industry is constantly working to improve efficiency,” said Charlie Whelan, Frost and Sullivan’s Transformational Health North America consulting director, in a statement. “These studies show that continuous monitoring presents a unique opportunity to create both top and bottom line benefits, while simultaneously improving quality of care.”

CEO Spotlight: American Well’s Roy Schoenberg on the U.S. coming out of a 10-year telehealth war zone

By Bill Siwicki, August 05, 2016

As providers, payers and patients align in what Schoenberg calls a national play for delivering real-time care anywhere patients and providers can connect, telemedicine stands ready to revolutionize healthcare the way Amazon has rewritten retail.

After a long decade of struggle, the stars have aligned for telemedicine, according to Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO and co-founder of telehealth technology and services vendor American Well. And the understanding and acceptance of providers, payers and patients have united to the point where the electronic delivery of healthcare is poised to become part of the norm.

“First, medical authorities, policymakers, and healthcare’s movers and shakers have acknowledged that delivering healthcare through technology can be valuable and safe; that has been the war zone for the last 10 years of telehealth,” Schoenberg said. “Medical boards and medical associations were hesitant about embracing telehealth; physicians were concerned about diminishing the relationship they have with patients. But the experiences with telehealth during the last couple of years have been reassuring, and telehealth increasingly has become one of the ways physicians interact with patients.”

Second, insurance companies that while label American Well technology including Anthem, United Health Group and several of the big Blues have finally begun to take the stance that, like in any other industry, digital mechanisms are here to stay and will be a major part of the industry’s future; as a result, payers are getting on top of telehealth and discovering how to conduct such care safely, Schoenberg said.

“Payers are understanding that the efficiencies and even the humanitarian value of allowing healthcare to be delivered in this manner are overwhelming,” he added. “If you can shift healthcare via the internet to more private home care settings, for example, you not only are saving costs of emergency room visits and inpatient stays, you are changing how and when appropriate healthcare can be rendered. Telehealth, for instance, can have a very deep impact on how chronic patients are managed.”

And third, enough time has passed that telemedicine technology vendors have gained the experience – and learned lessons from mistakes – so that the vendors are completely capable of providing safe and comprehensive care via technology, Schoenberg said.

“Vendors have made corrections to the patient experience and physician usability, for example, and have learned how to foster intimacy in these kinds of healthcare encounters,” he explained. “Between the adoption of electronic delivery as a valid way of doing medicine, the payment structure, and all of the factors that affect the physician-patient experience, the stars have aligned to cause what we see today, which is a booming market.”

What’s more, telemedicine tools and practices are becoming more embedded into the routine delivery of care among providers that also white label American Well services such as Cleveland Clinic, Community Health System,  Intermountain, Miami Children’s Hospital, Providence Health System and others — even employers are getting into the act, such as clients Oracle and Honeywell.

So what are the next steps? Schoenberg points in two directions.

“From the patient standpoint, we will see very quickly the transition of telehealth from just the myopic quick urgent care example of finding a physician to prescribe antibiotics to something that envelops all of healthcare, especially patients who need serious longitudinal care and frequent interaction with physicians, which increasingly is tied into things like accountable care organizations,” Schoenberg said. “We will see telehealth serving as a part of the overall relationship with patients.”

Schoenberg said American Well today is seeing provider organization clients developing telehealth programs around things like heart disease and autism, and that this sort of care will become the prevailing way healthcare executives and providers think of telehealth.

“No longer just the mother with a child in a stormy night who needs to see a physician kind of stuff,” he added. “Telehealth for ongoing clinical relationships will become the avalanche of this technology.”

On the other end of the spectrum, at the national level, Schoenberg said another next step in the evolution of telemedicine will be the realization of benefits derived from the notion that healthcare can be extended through technology so that patients are no longer married to a facility.

“If we bring together organizations that represent demand for healthcare and allow them to electronically interact with care delivery organizations, then that will not be unlike what online retail has done to the retail industry – we will be able to expand on how healthcare is being rendered and where it is being made available,” Schoenberg concluded. “This is a national play for the delivery of real-time healthcare that is embraced by the provider and the payer brands that will be available wherever the internet goes. That is how Amazon has rewritten the retail industry.”

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Paper free Mobile forms help businesses

Paper free mobile forms – Businesses that modernize paper-based processes by adopting mobile forms see an uptick in efficiency and cost savings. But IT must ensure that form data is secure. By Ramin Edmond

Organizations can save time and money by automating everyday business processes with mobile forms that users access and fill out on smartphones and tablets and stop wasting any unnecessary paper.

Paper documents are a necessity for human resources, operations and other departments, but they require a big time commitment, are tough to organize and may not consistently gather data in case of user error. It can also be inefficient for organizations with remote workers who must send paper forms back to central offices. Software can digitize these documents and address these issues through automatic data entry and processing capabilities.

“Businesses that buy into these processes benefit, but businesses with old-school processes get left behind,” said Jeff Peel, COO of Pesado Energy Services, a pipeline construction company in Mize, Miss. The company uses a mobile forms app for its human resources department.

Before adopting mobile forms, Pesado Energy Services’ HR department would receive expense reports from remote workers in the mail, and then return them if they were filled out incorrectly — adding days to the process. By digitizing these documents, employees can complete their reports on an iPhone or iPad and attach all necessary receipt images. Mobile forms also have an option for required fields, so users can’t leave certain sections of a form blank. (Incomplete paper forms commonly caused problems for Pesado.) After completing all required fields of a form, employees can then upload expense reports to HR via the cloud. Mobile forms save the department about five or six hours of work a week, Peel said. Savings came from fixing an archaic process.

“Savings came from fixing an archaic process,” he said. “I don’t have to get back to employees to find out what each expense was for. Now, that’s all automated.”

With eMEDICS.org solution, users can ask us to build their own mobile forms for free — timesheets, invoices, inspection documents and more — to run on their smartphones and tablets. By mobilizing these types of documents, it is easier for the business to track and aggregate important data regarding inventory, productivity and more. The numbers can sync to a spreadsheet to give executives an easy-to-read visual of these metrics.

“Paper-based processes are moving from paper to digital input into some kind of system,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy in Austin, Texas.

When making a paper process digital, it is important to include proper security measures, said Michael Finneran, president and mobile analyst at dBrn Associates in Hewlett Neck, N.Y.

Pesado Energy Services syncs data it accumulates, such as credit card information from employee expense reports, from mobile forms into Google Sheets. When Pesado Energy Services’ employees enter credit card information into the form, the data automatically feeds into a Google Sheets spreadsheet, which the company makes sure to secure, Peel said. It uses Sookasa, a software-as-a-service security offering, to encrypt all Google Sheets data. Authorized users have access to this data and can share it with other authorized users.

Pesado could also take advantage of offline feature that lets users fill out mobile forms without Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. Once an employee’s device comes back online, any saved offline forms automatically sync back to the cloud. That’s an important capability for Pesado’s pipeline workers in remote areas, who fill out assessments, expense reports, inventory documents and other forms on a daily basis, Peel said.

“We’ve used it in just about every corner of our business,” he said.

There are many use cases for mobile forms in other industries, too. Operations directors can use digital forms to perform inspections of restaurants on location, using checklists on their mobile devices to go through sanitation checks, inventory logs and more. Automobile roadside assistance companies can enter information about drivers faster on mobile devices, letting them handle more service calls per day. When filling out forms outside, documents won’t be damaged by weather.

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China event – ChinaBio® Forum, May 2016 in Suzhou

China – Global Partnering in China™

ChinaBio® Partnering Forum is the premier life science partnering event in China. Held on May 18–19, 2016, in Suzhou, the event will attract biotech and pharma leaders from around the world along with hundreds of China-based developers of novel technologies for two days of productive partnering.

ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2015 had more than 858 delegates from 435 companies and 22 countries, making it the largest partnering conference in China. The 2016 edition promises to be even better with top notch attendance from pharma and biotech companies as well as leading researchers from China’s top universities and institutes.

The conference also features partneringONE®, enabling delegates to efficiently identify, meet and network with companies from across the life science value chain.

Who will you meet?

  • Senior executives of leading China-based pharma and biotech companies
  • Senior management and business development executives from global biotech and pharma companies
  • Venture capitalists and other investors active in life science

With over one-third of the attendees being C-level decision makers, ChinaBio® Partnering Forum is the event to get partnerships started in China.

Profile of participants at ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2015

China - ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2015
For more information, please follow this link

Application to Present

Innovative companies, organizations or researchers interested in partnering their technologies or products, initiating strategic alliances, or tapping into the financing network are welcome to apply to present at the ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2016.

A panel of industry experts will select the presenting companies. The panel will make each decision based on the company profile submitted in the partnering system, on the interests of the biotech industry, and the licensability of products or technology.

Presenting companies will be selected based on the corporate profile they have submitted.

Delegates of a presenting company other than the presenter will need to register separately and will be invoiced for the registration fee.

Your registration fee covers

  • Submission of up to 150 requests per company for one-to-one meetings during the conference
  • Access to all workshops, presentations, panel discussions and the exhibition area
  • Publication of your company and personal profiles on partneringONE®
  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages in the conference center
  • Evening networking events

Multiple attendee discount

Companies with three full-paying delegates will receive one complimentary ticket for the fourth attendee from that company.

Company profile

Your company profile will be published in the password-protected Partnering section of the ChinaBio® Partnering Forum website.

Payment

Companies selected for a presentation will receive an invoice shortly after they have been notified of their assigned presentation slot. Payment must be made in advance of the event.

Cancellation policy

Please email Philipp Dormeier at pdormeier@ebdgroup.com if you are registered and will not be able to attend the conference so that your partnering account can be deactivated.

We are sorry, but we do not allow refunds of paid registration/presentation fees for this conference. However, a paid registration is transferable to a replacement from your company.

Please note that no-shows will be billed for the full registration fee and, if applicable, the full presentation fee.

ChinaBio® Partnering Forum Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Hanmi
Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Gala Reception Sponsor

Roche

Gold Sponsors

Ascentage
BioBay
Covance
Covington
Dechert
Medidata
Morrison Foerster
MSD
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April 26, 2016 / Posted by / China event – ChinaBio® Forum, May 2016 in Suzhou