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ECRI: tecnologías superiores del cuidado médico de las C-habitaciones a mirar en 2012

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | January 05, 2012

One notable difficulty will be the likely need to better integrate medical device data into a patient's medical record. What this means is getting the clinical engineering department and IT staff to work together to make sure the EHR draws its data from the life-saving devices. This, however, could present a "cultural challenge," ECRI notes. "(Clinical engineering) often doesn't understand IT's project management processes, and IT often doesn't understand CE's critical role," ECRI said in the report.

Minimally invasive bariatric surgery

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Currently, one-third of Americans are obese, according to the CDC. And our heftier public is investing in fat-fighting treatments, close to $150 billion worth every year, according to ECRI. Many are going the surgical route, opting for gastric bypass surgeries.

Hospitals hoping to capitalize on the upswings in patient demand will need specialized staff, as well as specialized equipment -- bariatric-grade beds and other devices. But the field is changing. Right now, the gold standard procedure, open gastric bypass, is giving way to laparoscopic ones, ECRI said, which have shorter hospital stays. Also, a reversible technique, using lap-band technologies, has proliferated since its introduction almost a decade ago.

But more experimental techniques are in the offing, including "gastric plication" (potentially reversible stomach folding, now being studied at Cleveland Clinic), as well as a new implant that can block certain nerve signals. Some new technologies could also shift patient load from inpatient to outpatient facilities, ECRI said, particularly devices that can be inserted endoscopically through the mouth, such as the EndoBarrier liner and an in-the-works saline-filled balloon.

Dose-reducing CT technologies

For computed tomography, radiation dose worries have dominated the headlines (just check out the cover story for the January 2012 issue of DOTmed Business News, hitting your mailbox soon). In fact, medical radiation made a list put out by ECRI a few months ago, on the top technology hazards for the year. But ECRI said a technology is making an impact in the field: iterative reconstruction techniques. These are processes that reduce noise so images can be taken at much lower doses.

Most of the big OEMs make equipment with this technology, and ECRI said independent testing has shown that the "overall effectiveness of the techniques is similar." But oftentimes, getting this technology means upgrading to more expensive, newer equipment. ECRI said the Food and Drug Administration has been slow at clearing the technology for cheaper scanners (64-slice and under).

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