Before COVID-19, clinical research was a little-known part of health care. Despite this process being responsible for determining the safety and efficacy of all the drugs, medical devices, vaccines, and other medical therapies available, less than 5 percent of the U.S. population actually participates in clinical research. One reason why clinical research has little awareness and even lower participation is that, unlike other major industries, the pharmaceutical industry and many regulatory ...

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Being an internist, the day is filled with problem-solving.  The problems are often not straightforward and require thinking, rethinking, reevaluating, and reading up and researching before the problem can be solved.  However, when a sixth sense, an intuition kicks in that warns us that something needs to be addressed urgently even when we cannot specify or articulate why. Once I had a patient come in for shortness of breath that is ...

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In 2016, I was at an angel investor’s conference in Las Vegas when I met a certain individual pursuing their MBA at Stanford University. We got to talking about angel investing, and the term “blockchain” was mentioned. I asked, “the blockchain: that’s Bitcoin, isn’t it?” “Oh no,” was their reply, "Bitcoin is only the beginning of what is to come.” They further added, “the blockchain is going to change the world in ways you ...

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven of value in the COVID-19 pandemic and shows promise for mitigating future health care crises. During the pandemic’s first wave in New York, for example, Mount Sinai Health System used an algorithm to help identify patients ready for discharge. Such systems can help overburdened hospitals manage personnel and the flow of supplies in a medical crisis so they can continue to ...

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As we’ve listened to providers describe their reactions to this pandemic, telehealth continues to be a pervasive theme at the foundation of their response. They refer to this as a “watershed” event that will permanently change healthcare delivery. In that context, many expressed concern that the current relaxation of regulations, and as importantly, the parity payments for telehealth services will be retracted as the crisis eases. While most agree that ...

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The administrative burden of medicine significantly contributes to physician and clinician burnout, electronic health systems, or EHR system design and workflow as a lead culprit. As such, recent EHR technology innovation tactics have focused on automating components of data entry and documentation. These technology innovations could significantly reduce the amount of time we spend crafting our SOAP notes ...

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An excerpt from Man’s 4th Best Hospital, Now available in paperback from Penguin/Berkley. And in the Fat Man Clinic, what about billing? We would do it ourselves on our screens. Using HEAL, the EHR or Electronic ‘Health’ Record system that BUDDIES had installed in Man’s 4th Best and its ...

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If you're not intricately involved daily with SEO, let me explain what happened in May 2020 and why it will be a huge boost for content created by physicians. First, what is SEO? In short, it is the process of optimizing content found online in order to help it be seen by those searching for the information found in that content. It used to be that people would just stuff their ...

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I have written, or more accurately ranted, about electronic medical records (EMR) systems throughout this blog. While the systems have clearly improved since their mandatory introduction into the medical universe, they have still not delivered on many of their promises. Of course, EMR has brought tremendous advantages to the medical profession, and we are all grateful for the technology. But this progress has exacted a cost. Many of them are clumsy ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in at least 25 million cases worldwide with a continued spread in the United States, causing global disruption in every sector of society and forcing adaptation to a new normal relying increasingly on technology. Even in the medical field, where there is a pervasive and persistent traditionalist approach to technology adoption, many of the barriers have been overcome. When we reflect back on this life-changing ...

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