NSF’s Connected Health Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) through their Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) have issued solicitation (13-543) for their “Smart and Connected Health” (SCH) program. SCH’s goal is to support the much needed transformation of healthcare from reactive and hospital-centered care to preventive, proactive, evidence-based, person-centered, and focused on well-being rather than disease.

The purpose of the program is to develop next generation healthcare solutions and encourage existing and new research communities to focus on breakthrough ideas in a variety of areas of value to health. These areas may include sensor technology, networking, information and machine learning technology, decision support systems, modeling of behavioral and cognitive processes, as well as system and process modeling. (more…)

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Update on Rural Healthcare

Today, numerous challenges are hindering providers in rural areas from delivering the best care possible. Rural populations are generally older, poorer, and sicker than their urban counterparts, and providers are more dependent on Medicare reimbursement, and susceptible to shifts and changes to the program.

In addition, rural hospitals which are often the primary providers of care are facing declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels making it a challenge to serve rural residents.

To help alleviate some of the problems, Representative Arron Schock (R-IL) recently introduced the bipartisan “Rural Health Clinic Fairness Act” (H.R. 986). This bill would help rural healthcare affordable and allow seniors to continue to receive high quality care from Rural Health Clinics (RHC) (more…)

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Smartphones to Save Lives

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) is developing a cellphone-based device to use for pathogen detection. Researchers are developing the technology to collect a sample, analyze the results, geotag the location of the sample, and then send the results to a laboratory for further review which will all be accomplished using a smartphone.

Scientists at ECBC worked with a team at UCLA to adapt the prototype of a plastic clip-on microscope so it will fit on an android phone commonly used by the Army. The device clips directly over the smartphone camera and operates just like a microscope. (more…)

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N.Y and Utah Actions

Legislation (S4023-2013) was recently introduced in the New York Senate to develop and provide telehealth and telemedicine services in the state and to provide funds for telehealth and telemedicine development research grants. The purpose of this bill is to serve as catalyst to expand and improve telehealth and telemedicine programs in communities across the state and develop an integrated telecommunications system. (more…)

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mCARE in Bangladesh

The Fogarty International Center’s newsletter “Global Health Matters”, reports that women’s lives are often threatened during pregnancy and childbirth by complications such as hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, and obstructed labor in Bangladesh.

Researcher Shegufta Sikder working with a team from Johns Hopkins University is developing a mobile health system to reduce these risks and improve emergency obstetric care for Bangladeshi mothers.

The mobile phone-based platform called “mCARE” is a pregnancy and neonatal health information system to connect rural health workers and facilities with pregnant women and their newborns. (more…)

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NIH Issues RFI

On March 13th, NIH issued a Request for Information (RFI) looking for suggestions or ideas related to the NIH FY 2012-2018 Strategic Plan for the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP). NIH is making plans to improve the prevention research portfolio.

The ODP wants to have input from researchers in academia, industry, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and from other people in the public. Organizations are encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their group and the group’s membership as a whole. (more…)

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The Department of Veterans Affairs within the Office of R&D funds the “Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence” (CREATE) initiative. The objective for CREATE is to encourage research on high priority issues affecting the healthcare of veterans, perform critical research on PTSD, develop teams to deliver more efficient care, manage pain more effectively, work with veterans with substance use disorders, develop teamwork to specifically help the health needs of women veterans, and study how to best treat veterans with mental disorders. (more…)

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