A new device promises docs instant medical information.
Topics: Life News
A new hand-held computer loaded with medical information is helping several family-practice physicians in Michigan do their jobs better and faster. By the end of the summer, your doctor may have one too.
The doctors installed software called “InfoRetriever” on the Hewlett Packard Jornada, a palm-sized unit that weighs about one pound. The software manages and retrieves a range of medical information including summaries of the latest published papers, drug reports and treatment guidelines. The computers, which have been used with InfoRetriever software for only two months, can even tell a doctor which medications are covered by local insurance companies.
The InfoRetriever software was developed by Dr. Mark Ebell, an associate professor of family practice at Michigan State University, along with several colleagues around the country. “When doctors are caring for patients, they have a lot of questions,” Ebell says. “All too often we don’t have time for the necessary research. We’re trying to bring the best information to the point of care.”
The new software includes practice guidelines developed by groups of physicians who have carefully reviewed the medical literature to develop a suggested approach to common medical problems. These guidelines help physicians quickly identify the appropriate tests and treatments for a given malady.
For example, if a patient comes in with a sore throat, the doctor has to determine whether the patient has a streptococcus infection. Administering a throat culture takes three days, and the strep tests are inappropriate for patients with a very low or very high risk of strep. The physician can feed all of the pertinent information into the computer and quickly get a determination of the patient’s risk level.
Ebell calls that kind of information POEM — Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters. “The idea is to help doctors answer questions more quickly and with better evidence,” he says. “We tried to focus on high-quality research,” so doctors don’t have to wade through an ocean of unhelpful information to find pertinent data.
Using a grant from the state of Michigan funneled through MSU’s Institute for Managed Care, the university has purchased 100 of the computers. In addition to using them in clinical practice, Ebell and colleagues will use the computers as teaching tools and conduct a research project to determine the feasibility of using similar technologies in the future.
When a doctor is responding to a patient, Ebell says, “Not all answers are good answers. Many rely on opinion or anecdote. But if doctors have access to recent studies, they’re better equipped to answer questions and provide better health care.”
Ebell and his colleagues are hoping to make the software package available for mass release sometime this summer.
More Related Stories
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- Cicada mating, by the numbers
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Greek yogurt, toxic waste hazard?
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Pope Francis: Atheists are all right!
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11