Big Changes in Health Care: ACOs, Mobile Apps, and Nanotechnology

Competition in the market is giving us new technologies to monitor ECG data and fight MRSA, as well as big paydays for ACO consultants.

Competition in the market is giving us new technologies to monitor ECG data and fight MRSA, as well as big paydays for ACO consultants.

In his Health Policy and Communications Blog recently, Dr. Michael Miller elaborated on an undercurrent of change as health care systems make plans to become Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. While health care costs for most of us feel out of control, Miller argues that this is the provision of the health care reform law that will positively affect our pocketbooks. His opinion is based on the assumption that will be a natural result of an increase in competition, and depending on your economic bent, you may buy into it or not… however, any light in the proverbial tunnel is a welcome one at this juncture.

For iPad and iPhone aficionados, there’s a new app available that allows you to monitor patients’ ECG data which is tracked and stored in GE’s Muse Cardiology Information System. Called Airstrip Cardiology, the app doesn’t provide real-time data, but very close to it. If you’re interested, the demo is posted on YouTube.

No worries if you’re not using an iPhone; according to eWeek, an Android app is on its way.

Business Week published an article detailing IBM’s attempt to develop nanotechnology that can treat drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. The research constitutes a collaborative effort between IBM and Singapore’s Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and preliminary findings are published in the current issue of Nature Chemistry (abstract only, unless you have a subscription). IBM is looking to partner with a pharmaceutical company for the next step in testing. Given the number of resistant infections cropping up, this is exciting stuff.

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