Low Vision Survey Results
Results of WebAIM’s recent survey for those with low vision are now available at http://webaim.org/projects/lowvisionsurvey/. A few highlights are found below. The results of our motor disabilities survey will be available soon.
This data underscores that users with low vision are very diverse. The range of vision loss varies greatly, as do the assistive technologies used. The vast majority of respondents use multiple assistive technologies, ranging from screen readers to simply changing text sizes in browsers. There is very high keyboard use in this population, strengthening arguments for ensuring keyboard accessibility. Read the rest of this entry »
By Arthur Delaney (original on Huffington Post)
ROANOKE, Va. — William McCormick remembers from his working-class upbringing in Covington, Va., that neighbors took care of neighbors.
“Both my parents worked in the mill,” he said. “For people in the neighborhood who were hungry we’d make up two or three bags of groceries, put $5 or $10 in it, set it on the porch, knock on the door and leave. We wouldn’t tell ‘em who did it.”
Now McCormick is 70 years old and living alone in a one-bedroom apartment in a six-story building. Only about 40 of the building’s 144 units are occupied. The parking lots are barren and the hallways are dingy with torn carpets. McCormick considers the building “spooky.”
Some Disturbing Stats:
- There are already 40M seniors 65+ today, with 10,000 more reaching age 65 every day.
- 40% of them are low-income (below 150% of poverty level) and will need public assistance.
- The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,113, and the 2010 average income of the bottom 90% was $26.364.
- People 90+ had a median income of just $14,760 in 2010, about half of it from Social Security. 37.3% of them lived alone and depend on services like Meels on Wheels.
Le Web Paris (see video) explores a future of technology that connects everyday devices all the time, often described as The Internet of Things.
This story and video from Reuters and the Huffington Post form the basis of my own observations and developer recommendations as a 30-year IBM technologist, futurist and Digital Home consultant. Included at the end are four interesting infographics from Cisco, Intel, Casaleggio Associati, and Beecham Research. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are just a few of the statistics:
- Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeat fallers.
- For people aged 65-84 years, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death; for those aged 85 years or older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death.
- Falls account for 87% of all fractures among people over the age of 65 and are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury.
- Half of all elderly adults (over the age of 65) hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently after the fracture.
Elderly people face an increased risk of slips, trips and falls due to diminished mobility, strength and balance that comes naturally with old age. The increased risk of falling is coupled with a higher likelihood of health complications related to the fall. An elderly person faces twice the chance of death due to falls than younger people according to the Centers for Disease Control. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest article by Ray Collins
The FDA has tolerated, regulated, and now seems to favor direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies, apparently as part the the judicial and regulatory trends toward corporate free speech. Susan Schwartz McDonald posts at National Analysts about her company’s view
The very fact that this particular [FDA] survey [of health care professionals] is on the docket speaks volumes about what many FDA-watchers have already concluded: that the agency has morphed from wary and grudging to comfortable and upbeat about the benefit of allowing pharma to converse with patients. After several decades of experience, the FDA seems ready to conclude that direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) can do more than bring relevant therapies to broader awareness.
I encourage you to watch the “Must See” documentary, “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue America’s Healthcare” (trailer below). It won several awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and was described as “An Inconvenient Truth for the healthcare debate” (The Village Voice). Over two million people watched when it aired for free on CNN in March. Now it’s available in theaters and for paid download and will be heading to Capital Hill in Washington later this spring. Join the fight. Read the rest of this entry »
Based almost entirely on an article by Stacy Lu, Freelance Writer and TEDMED.com Blog Editor
Imagine a comprehensive, clinically relevant well-patient checkup using only smartphone-based devices. The data is immediately readable and fully uploadable to an electronic health record. The patient understands — and even participates — in the interaction far beyond faking a cough and gulping a deep breath. For real?
Johns Hopkins medical student and Medgadgeteditor Shiv Gaglani says it is not only possible, but may in fact be the checkup of the future. Gaglani and a team of current and future physicians will do a first-of-its kind demo of a “smartphone physical” for hundreds of attendees at TEDMED 2013 on April 16 to 19 in Washington, D.C.
The checkup will capture quantitative and qualitative data, ranging from simple readings of weight and blood pressure to more complex readings such as heart rhythm strips and optic discs. Measurements and instruments will include: Read the rest of this entry »
Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model in which every test, procedure, office visit has a price. Since it is the predominant model in the US, it has driven and will continue to drive health care costs higher until it is abolished. Since the health care industry favors this payment model, all cost control attempts have failed. This model makes no price distinction between whether your health improves with treatment or not. Payment for outcomes is being attempted not only to control costs but to reward good outcomes for patients, unlike FFS. The legal mechanism for the change to payment for outcomes is the Accountable Care Organization, a creation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Here is an excerpt from Brian Klepper’s post at KevinMD, Hostage to a payment method that puts the interest of patients last. Read the rest of this entry »
Most U.S. Doctors Believe Patients Should Update Electronic Health Record, but Not Have Full Access to It, According to Accenture Eight-Country Survey
March 4, 2013 – A new Accenture survey shows that most U.S. doctors surveyed (82%) want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records. However, only a third of physicians (31%) believe a patient should have full access to his or her own record, 65% believe patients should have limited access and 4 percent say they should have no access (See Figure 1). These findings were consistent among 3,700 doctors surveyed by Accenture in eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.
Patients Access to Records
While nearly half of U.S. doctors (47%) surveyed believe patients should not be able to update their lab test results, the vast majority believe patients should be able to update some or all of the standard information in their health records, including demographics (95%), family medical history (88%), medications (87%) and allergies (85%). And, the majority of doctors (81%) believe patients should even be able to add such clinical updates to their records as new symptoms or self-measured metrics, including blood pressure and glucose levels. Read the rest of this entry »
I added this comment to Innovating Healthcare is Hard, an article on MedCrunch by Eugene Borukhovich.
DISRUPTIVE innovation is especially hard, because entrenched stakeholders stand to lose lots of money if things change. Even though there’s plenty of opportunity in healthcare innovation, resistance to real change is the biggest obstacle developers face.
Our nation wastes well over a trillion dollars each year, because we pretend to have a healthcare system but actually have an insurance-based, fee-for-service Disease Management system with perverse incentives (and a legal requirement) to maximize corporate profits for shareholders rather than serve society.
Follow the money, and you’ll see that our “system” doesn’t want you to die but doesn’t profit when you get well either, or when you are healthy and don’t need care. So, we treat symptoms and view patients as paying customers with the real objective of keeping them paying.
To implement disruptive change in this broken system, we should start with the most important stakeholder, the patient, and get them engaged in (1) managing their own health and (2) pressuring elected representatives to change policies that benefit corporations over individual citizens.
Wayne Caswell, Founder & Senior Editor, Modern Health Talk
Please browse our other articles on the Future of Healthcare and Health Reform and share your own perspectives below. You’ll see byline articles from many different perspectives (doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, public policy experts & pundents, and futurists).