Healthcare Informatics Insider

Dear Healthcare Informatics Insider,

Apulia, a region bordering the Adriatic Sea that's best identified as the heel of the "boot" of Italy, is well-known for its breathtaking coastline, unique architecture, and architectural antiquities, as well as the wine, olive oil, and tomatoes it produces. Less well-known is Apulia's telecardiology service that may serve as a model for Europe and beyond.

Apulia's telecardiology service, which has been in operation for eight years, provides every resident experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular distress who calls the region's 118 emergency medical service with an onsite electrocardiogram (ECG). Test results are sent by telephone to a central hub location staffed with cardiologists. You can read about this impressive example of providing better patient care, at potentially lower cost, thanks to telecommunications and healthcare IT.

Italian medical schools also are sharing resources. A radiology e-learning initiative shows how to link faculty and students together, maximizing an experience through IT technology.

What are current top trends for healthcare IT in Europe? Industry analysts Theo Ahadome and Carly Reed discuss the market and make predictions in an article you can access by clicking here.

One thing that's already happening is Denmark's focus on telemedicine. The government's Action Plan for Telemedicine to create connected healthcare strategies, particularly for its citizens with chronic health conditions, is explained by associate editor Frances Rylands-Monk. She attended a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society presentation and reports about it here.

Also of interest to members of the Healthcare Informatics Digital Community is a look back at the beginnings of teleradiology by columnist Dr. Adrian Thomas. The technology was commercialized by inventor Glen Southworth of Colorado Video in the U.S., whose products are featured in the article's photos, which you can access here. He was the first to recognize that "pictures by telephone" could change the world.

What are you doing to change the world? Please tell us.

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