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Another day, another social media platform? It certainly can seem that way. The latest one that’s creating major buzz is Periscope, a video-streaming platform owned by Twitter that allows users to broadcast live from anywhere with a mobile device. Early adopters include “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon and musician Ringo Starr, but also — perhaps surprisingly — some in the medical field.Read More

Small or large, medical practices must take extraordinary measures to protect the confidentiality of patients. In a landscape defined by greater mobile access to information and increasing legal requirements for health care providers, implementing measures to help protect patient health information is a necessity. Department of Health and Human Services data shows that since 2009, medical information for more than 120 million people has been compromised in more than 1,100 individual breaches at organizations handling protected health data. Those breaches are not only dangerous for patients, but costly to practices. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that health care breaches are the most expensive of any type, with the average cost in the U.S. of $398 per exposed personally identifiable record. If you have 500 patients, that’s almost $200,000.Read More

While health care has been slow to adopt electronic medical records and other new technologies, it has been quick to embrace 3D printing, and with good reason — this revolutionary technology is improving patient care, cutting costs, and in some cases even saving lives. The 3D printing market for health care will generate more than $4 billion by 2018, according to a report by Visiongain.

Here’s a look at how 3D printing works, and some of its most promising applications in health care.

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Just two years ago, surveys showed that most doctors used three screens in their daily activities: a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop or desktop. They used smartphones to check email or look something up on an app, tablets for journal reading, CME, video, and desktops or laptops primarily for EHRs. Smartphones have typically been physician-facing, with tablets and laptops being used for patient education.

But that may be changing, thanks to a new device that’s a combination of a smartphone and a tablet computer — dubbed a “phablet.” These include Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, with a screen size of 5.5,” and the Nokia Lumia 1520, which runs on Windows and has a 6″ screen. (In comparison, a typical tablet screen ranges from 7″ to 10″.) This year, total phablet volume is predicted to top 318 million, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship in 2015.

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It’s an exciting time in health care and medicine. Innovations that sound like science fiction — such as 3D-printed prosthetics, “bionic eyes” that restore sight to the blind, and eye exams conducted remotely across the world via smartphones — already exist.

Patients are increasingly comfortable with electronic interfaces in health care, as well. A recent survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that 27 percent of consumers are “very comfortable” and 35 percent are “somewhat comfortable” using a video, computer program, or app to learn more about or choose between treatment options.Read More

The marketplace for medical and health apps is booming. Right now, more than 125,000 health- and medicine-related apps are available in iOS and Android’s app stores, and the industry is slated to become a $26 billion business by 2017. Yet not all health apps are high-quality, useful, or even safe. And while the FDA has begun regulating certain categories of medical apps, it’s a slow process.Read More