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Social Media and Health Innovation Lab Blog

Posted:
Jan 13, 2017

Author:
Emily S

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Hospitals Try Giving Patients a Dose of VR

When Deona Duke woke up from a medically-induced coma to begin recovering from burns that covered almost a third of her body, one of her treatments was hurling snowballs at penguins. The 13-year-old was set on fire when a bonfire exploded on her and her friend. To prevent infection, burn victims need their bandages changed and dead skin scraped away. Sometimes, even morphine isn’t enough to make that tolerable.

At the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Duke’s doctors gave her a virtual reality headset. Slipping it on, she was immersed in “SnowWorld,” an icy landscape where she got to lob snow at snowmen and igloos. The Texas hospital is one of the few trying out virtual reality to relieve pain.

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Doctors less satisfied, more burned out with electronic records

Most doctors who use electronic health records and order entry software tend to be less satisfied with how much time they spend on clerical tasks and are at higher risk of burnout than others, according to a new study.

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Posted:
Oct 12, 2016

Author:
Christina

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How Safe Is Safe Enough for a Self-Driving Car?

Don’t look now, but self-driving cars are accelerating rapidly toward an on-ramp near you. To explain why, federal officials point to two facts: (1) some 35,000 people died in crashes on U.S. roads last year, and (2) human error was to blame more than 90 percent of the time. They say one remedy might be to let computers take the wheel.

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Posted:
Oct 7, 2016

Author:
Emily S

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Remedy: A Startup Trying to Solve Your Medical Bill Problems

With 1-in-5 working-age Americans reporting they had trouble paying their medical bills in the past year, according to a Kaiser/Times survey released in January, it’s no wonder some entrepreneurs want to offer solutions. Among them, a Bay Area startup called Remedy launched its website last week in hopes of helping consumers fight medical billing errors and overcharges. In some cases, said chief executive and co-founder Victor Echevarria, the company will even negotiate down balances.

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Posted:
Oct 6, 2016

Author:
Emily S

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UNOS announces technology changes to increase organ donations in U.S.

Richmond-based United Network for Organ Sharing plans to implement several technology and data tools within its network of organizations over the next year to increase the number of organ transplants nationwide.  Under contract with the Health Services and Resources Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UNOS manages the country’s Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

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Posted:
Oct 6, 2016

Author:
Emily S

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Screen Flashes And Pop-Up Reminders: ‘Alert Fatigue’ Spreads Through Medicine

Some people receive constant reminders on their personal smartphones: birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, social engagements. At work, their computers prompt them to meet deadlines, attend meetings and have lunch with the boss. Prodding here and pinging there, these pop-up interruptions can turn into noise to be ignored instead of helpful nudges.

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Why You Should Apply Data To Your Teeth

THANKS TO TECHNOLOGY you’re already aware that you log 10,000 steps a day, get about three hours of REM sleep a night, and rarely exceed your allotted daily 2,200 calories. But how much data are you collecting about your plaque buildup?

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Posted:
Oct 3, 2016

Author:
Emily S

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Video Chat? In Rural Areas Combating Drug Addiction, A New Way To Connect With Help

An older, unemployed man with chronic back pain recently visited Dr. Robert Devereaux, a family physician in this Southwest corner of Virginia.  Devereaux recalled that months earlier, during a routine exam, he found crushed fragments of painkiller pills inside the patient’s nose. Though he refused to prescribe more, Devereaux worries that the man is still getting the drugs and has not recognized his problem or gotten treatment for his addiction.

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Posted:
Oct 3, 2016

Author:
Emily S

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My Coverage Plan, a Madison technology start-up, receives NIH grant

My Coverage Plan Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of public interest law firm ABC for Health, has received a five-year grant of up to $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop software to help train staff at hospitals and other organizations in determining eligibility for public health programs. The software would complement the company's main product: decision-support software that it likens to TurboTax for determining eligibility for Medicaid and other programs.

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‘Digital Health’ Not Just For Well-Heeled Fitness Fiends

When we hear the phrase “digital health,” we might think about our Fitbit, the healthy eating app on our smartphone, or maybe a new way to email our doctor.  But Fitbits aren’t particularly useful if you’re homeless, and the nutrition app won’t mean much to someone who struggles to pay for groceries. Same for emailing your doctor if you don’t have a doctor or reliable internet access.

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The Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation engages interdisciplinary teams to reimagine health care delivery for dramatically better value and patient outcomes.

The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is Penn's center for research, policy analysis, and education in health systems. Its 200 Senior Fellows analyze the medical, economic, and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered across the U.S.

We are passionate about pursuing impactful research and eager to explore opportunities that will enable a culture of social media and health innovation at Penn, Penn Medicine, and beyond.  Have an idea for a project?  Interested in collaboration?  Click here to learn more about how to contact us.