NEWS

27 February 2018

This week our weekly news looks at Google’s move into Electronic Health Records (EHR). a new device to treat tumours in head and neck cancer, ADHB receives the Rainbow Tick, and the reporting of problems for women surgeons continues.

Google patent indicates plans to develop Electronic Health Record to predict patients' clinical outcomes

Google appears to have plans to develop its own electronic health record (EHR) for clinicians that gathers patients’ medical records and then leverages machine learning to predict clinical outcomes, according to a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week.

First reported by Politico today, the patent application was filed back in August 2017. Among the inventors on the application are more than 20 Google employees, particularly from the Google Brain team, or its artificial intelligence division, including AI head Jeffrey Dean.

The 40-page application describes a new computer system, with a healthcare provider-facing interface, that predicts and summarizes medical events from EHRs.

The application describes a system consisting of three parts: a computer memory storing aggregated health records from millions of patients, a computer system executing deep learning models on patients’ health records converted into single standardized data structure format, and an interface, displayed on a computer terminal, tablet or smartphone, that displays predictions for future clinical events and pertinent past medical events for patients. Read more…

A New Device in the War Against Cancer

The device with the fancy name, Elekta Unity MR-linac, addresses a decades-old problem in cancer care: the fact that treatments are not targeted precisely enough to avoid destroying many healthy cells along with the tumor cells.

One of the reasons doctors have been at a disadvantage fighting cancer is that tumors move anywhere from 1 to 2 centimeters when patients breathe. They shift, too, when a patient’s bladder fills. As a result, previous treatments — which involved static images of the tumor taken a week or more before radiation — ran the risk of missing parts of the tumor and hitting healthy cells.

By using magnetic resonance imaging, radiation oncologists can now use a precise image of the tumor to direct the radiation beams.

The device should improve treatment of many different cancers including those of the head and neck, the esophagus, pancreas, prostate, cervix and breast, according to Christopher Schultz, chairman of the department of radiation oncology at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He said the device should also help researchers by providing a clearer picture of how tumors shrink, grow or move during treatment, and which therapies are most effective.

Read more...

ADHB achieves the Rainbow Tick and the Accessibility Tick

Auckland DHB has achieved Rainbow Tick accreditation for inclusivity and diversity, making it the first District Health Board in New Zealand to reach this milestone.

Last December, Auckland DHB also became the first DHB to receive the Accessibility Tick for their efforts to make the work place more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.

Auckland DHB Chief Executive Ailsa Claire says the two ‘tick’ programmes are the right thing to do for staff, patients and whānau.

“We serve a diverse community and we want Auckland DHB to be inclusive for our patients, whānau and employees. We want our hospitals and clinics to be a place where everyone is accepted for who they are and where our people are supported to do their life’s best work.

Read more...

'Kill myself or leave': female surgeons reveal horrifying conditions

Sexual harassment, bullying and a contempt for motherhood are driving aspiring female surgeons out of operating theatres.

Women training to become surgeons have seriously contemplated suicide, been invited to fondle the nipples of a male colleague and dismissed as childbearers undeserving of medical training, a series of in-depth interviews reveals.

Read more....

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Diana Ayling

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