"Change agent" Mike Biselli on reimagining healthcare

With the Denver skyline in the background, Mike Biselli pushes the digital health vision forward at the March 2015 Prime Health Meetup at Taxi.

With the Denver skyline in the background, Mike Biselli pushes the digital health vision forward at the March 2015 Prime Health Meetup at Taxi.

Recently interviewed by Innovation News, Mike Biselli on Colorado’s digital health ecosystem and reimaging healthcare:

I firmly believe the “dam is about to break” and with that will be incredible transformation for the healthcare industry! I’m continually humbled and inspired to be recognized across the country as a “change agent” for healthcare; we desperately need to reignite this ailing industry, and I have no trepidation with challenging the status quo! That’s what keeps me so interested and excited!

Read the interview at Innovation News.
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Casetabs: Transforming Case Communication in the Ambulatory Surgery Center

Anyone who has worked in an ambulatory surgery center knows the flow of information is crucial to success. Phone calls, faxes, and person-to-person conversations have traditionally been the tools of case coordination. But with so many people in the loop – including administrators, materials managers, clinical staff, device reps and physicians – the “flow” of information may be fragmented and lead to case delays or cancellations.

Digital healthcare company MedPassage recently announced the preliminary launch of case tabs, a digital health service that unifies case communication. Currently in use at seven ambulatory surgery centers nationwide, this desktop/mobile app network coordinates information flow among key personnel.

The key features of casetabs include:

  • Real-Time Case Updates
  • Support Requests Simplified
  • Helpful Alerts Minimize Errors
  • Easy to set up. Hard to mess up.

As reported on The Street, Gavin Fabian, CEO of casetabs notes:

The ‘telephone’ game just doesn’t belong in surgery centers,” “Our vision has been to build an app that would centralize case communication. Casetabs provides real-time, helpful updates to the case team, with the ultimate goal of saving time, reducing case delays, and improving job satisfaction.

To learn more, visit casetabs.com

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Future Medicine: Mercy to build 120,000-square-foot Virtual Care Center

Image credit: Mercy

Image credit: Mercy

Catholic health system Mercy has announced plans to build a 120,000-square-foot Virtual Care Center to care for patients in multiple states in the central US.

According to their fundraising document, Mercy is the “nation’s number one integrated health system, providing a coordinated continuum of services” and consists of “more than 4,000 physicians and approximately 30,000 health care professionals.”

Mercy's goal is to reach all their members -

Whether you live in an urban or rural community, our health care staff will bring a consistent, high degree of advanced capabilities to all communities near and far, deliver exceptional care and dramatically improve turnaround times.
Image credit: Mercy

Image credit: Mercy

The Virtual Care Center will care for patients at multiple sites through a staff of cardiologists, intensivists, neurologists, pathologist, radiologist, pharmacists, and nurses. The clinician team will include case managers, disease management, and nurse-on-call services.

To my knowledge this will be the largest virtual care center in the US and will likely spearhead the development of other multispecialty virtual care centers. 

John Oró, MD

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2015 DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT, Denver, Colorado

2015 DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT, Denver, Colorado

The Prime Health 2015 Digital Health Summit: The Next Steps was held at the McNichols Civic Center in Denver, Colorado on May 7, 2015. Attended by over 500 professionals from the technology, healthcare, investment, and other industries, this milestone event will further stimulate the digital transformation of healthcare. 

I hope these photos convey a sense of the enlivening contributions by the keynote speakers, moderators and panelists and the vibrant nature of Colorado’s digital health community.

Trans Fats Reduce Memory in Adult Males

Image:  Glane23

Image: Glane23

By John Micheal

Potato chips, French fries, onion rings, ice cream, pancakes… Wait, what are we talking about? A study commissioned by the American Heart Association has found that men who eat more trans fats than their peers may experience a decrease in the performance of their memory.

In the study, 690 adult males completed a survey about their dietary habits, from which researchers estimated their level of trans fat consumption. Then participants were shown a series of cards, each containing a single word. To assess their memory, researchers asked participants whether each word was new, or whether it had already been shown to them.

The study found that men who ate more trans fats on average remembered 10% fewer words than their peers. This correlation remained even after the researchers factored in age, education, ethnicity, and depression.

Generally used to increase the shelf life of foods, trans fats can go for months without rotting. Yet since the 1990s scientific research has demonstrated that trans fats have a negative effect on human health, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. 

The recent American Heart Association study further confirms the dangers of trans fat consumption.

“Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years,” said Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego. “From a health standpoint, transfat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease. As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.”

To avoid trans fats, always check the nutritional information on any item that you purchase. Trans fats also go by the name “partially hydrogenated oils,” so make sure to avoid them as well. Products that generally contain trans fats include store-bought baked goods, deep-fried foods, and non-dairy creamer.

The American Heart Association recommends avoiding trans fats by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and nuts. Given that trans fats are only found in processed foods, your best bet would be to embrace an all-natural diet like what our Paleolithic ancestors enjoyed.

So the next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the cookies and fried food, and pick up some fresh berries and lean meat.

It’ll be the best decision you’ll remember having made in a long time.

Giant indoor lettuce farm runs on custom LED lighting

"The statistics for this incredibly successful indoor farming endeavor in Japan are staggering: 25,000 square feet producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day (100 times more per square foot than traditional methods) with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields. But the freshest news from the farm: a new facility using the same technologies has been announced and is now under construction in Hong Kong, with Mongolia, Russia and mainland China on the agenda for subsequent near-future builds."

Read more at WebUrbanist

Study Suggests A Simple Method for Regulating Depression, ADHD, and Other Disorders

By John Michael

A new study proposes an easy and inexpensive way to regulate conditions like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia. In the study’s abstract, Dr. Rhonda P. Patrick and Dr. Bruce N. Ames note that at least seventy percent of Americans suffer from a lack of this readily available treatment.

Their simple solution?

Get more sunshine. Eat more fish.

 In their study, Vitamin D and the Omega 3 Fatty Acids Control Serotonin Synthesis and Action, the doctors link the neurotransmitter serotonin to the regulation of executive function in the brain. Then they suggest that vitamin D and the two marine omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) encourage our brains to produce serotonin, thereby improving executive function in most people.

We propose a model whereby insufficient levels of vitamin D, EPA, or DHA, in combination with genetic factors and at key periods during development, would lead to dysfunctional serotonin activation and function and may be one underlying mechanism that contributes to neuropsychiatric disorders and depression.

The doctors conclude that increasing the intake of vitamin D, EPA, and DHA can enhance serotonin synthesis and reduce the severity of conditions in which poor executive function is characteristic, like ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

Whether or not you’re affected by these disorders, the fact that two-thirds of Americans suffer from a lack of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids suggests we might all benefit from taking this study’s advice. EPA and DHA are generally found in fish like salmon, sardines, cod, roe, mackerel and herring. Vitamin D is best obtained from sunlight.

So get outside and enjoy the sun! And if you live by the beach, take a fishing pole with you.

Celiac disease, or is it gluten toxicity?

Celiac disease, or is it gluten toxicity?

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a disease as:

a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury

For this discussion, the key point is “a disorder of structure or function.”

Simple Paleo: Chinois Chicken Salad

Chinois Chicken.jpg

By Suzanne 

Dinning out is often challenging to persons adhering to Paleolithic nutrition.  I was delighted to order a Chinois Chicken Salad (pictured above) at a local burger joint, Lil H Burger in Denver, Colorado.  If you have an opportunity to visit this restaurant simply request the wontons be held from your salad and order the dressing on the side.  The salad was so tasty I omitted the dressing completely. 

Following is my attempt to recreate this gem at home beginning with the grilled boneless chicken breast. 

The chicken breast is the centerpiece of this simple salad and careful selection and preparation of the meat is essential to serving a delicious meal.  Cook's Illustrated reports that the typical American consumes approximately 84 pounds of chicken per year and the majority of sales in stores are for boneless chicken breasts.  In taste-tests Cook's Illustrated (2012) recommends the Bell & Evan's air chilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts for overall quality, taste, and texture.  I purchased the local Whole Foods organic skinless chicken breasts with an animal welfare rating of 2.  When purchasing prepackaged chicken breasts check the ingredient list and be aware that "injected" or "enhanced" chicken breasts may dilute the taste of the chicken with sodium, broth, and water. 

The breasts for this salad are lightly salted and peppered prior to cooking.  I use a Panini pan to grill chicken breasts; however, the chicken breasts may also be gently sautéed in olive oil in a conventional pan or prepared on the grill with internal temperature of the breasts reaching 160 degrees.  I encourage you to use your favored method of preparation.  After cooking allow the breasts to rest 10 minutes after cooking and prior to serving on the salad.  

Salad-serves 4

  • 1 5 ounce container organic baby romaine greens, rinsed
  • 1 cup organic green cabbage- shredded coarsely
  • 2 organic granny smith apples thinly sliced (16 slices per apple)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 4 grilled chicken breasts sliced with a diagonal cut (this technique is called “fanning”)

Mustard vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 turn of celtic sea salt from salt mill (large pinch)
  • 1 tsp. organic french thyme (dried)

Combine ingredients for vinaigrette in mini food processor and mix for 15 seconds.  Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to serving.  I served this dressing on the side to allow for individual choice and preference regarding the amount of dressing per salad.  The remaining dressing may be refrigerated for up to one week.

In a large mixing bowl combine romaine and shredded cabbage mixing gently, refrigerate prior to serving.  Slice apples approximately 10 minutes prior to assembling the salad to prevent browning of fruit.  Set cranberries and sesame seeds to the side en mise. 

Prepare four plates.  Distribute salad greens evenly on plates into four servings.  Sprinkle cranberries and sesame seeds (optional) evenly over salad.  Apply apple slices in circular pattern.  Complete the salad with individual sliced chicken breasts placed on the greens.  Serve and Enjoy with mustard vinaigrette served on the side.

I received positive comments from my family about this salad- most especially the chicken breast reaffirming my philosophy that product quality is crucial to successful cooking.  One possible substitution is kiwi and walnuts for the apples and sesame seeds.  The basic recipe is a simple palette for your special touch. Enjoy!

Initially published 9/5/12

Sunday Image: “Fantasy-like landscape” of the Carina Nebula

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope peers into the central region of the Carina Nebula where birthing stars create overlapping bubbles of hot gas. This 50-light-year-wide view is among the largest panoramic images taken by Hubble. As described on HubbleSite:

“The fantasy-like landscape of the nebula is sculpted by the action of outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this inferno.”

The 2015 Corporate Leaders in Renewable Energy

Corporate interest in utility-scale renewable energy is heating up. According to CleanTechnica, six Fortune 500 companies reached purchase agreements for solar and wind power in 2015. Hopefully we are witnessing a race for renewable energy megawatts. The results so far -

These six companies ordered a total 710 megawatts of renewable energy this year, which by a current average of 164 homes/MW is enough to power approximately 116,000 homes.  Three of the companies are in the technology industry, one in the auto industry, and one in healthcare.  The current leader, Dow Chemical, is in the chemical industry.

Hearty congratulations to these companies for leading the way!

The year is still young. It’s time to hear from other Fortune 500 companies. 

The grandeur of North America’s Great Sand Dunes

Among the Earth’s many fascinating nooks and crannies, Great Sands Dunes National Park & Preserve stands apart for its rugged grandeur. Hugging the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in southern Colorado, this 330 square-mile dune field contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. Protected as a national monument in 1932, this wondrous landscape became the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in 2004.

The extensive volume of sand comprising this park is believed to have originated in a vast lake, which was formed from glacial runoff at the end of the last ice age. As this lake dried, forceful winds picked up the sand that was left behind and deposited it along the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where it accumulated over thousands of years.

These days drivers entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve along its southern access are regularly astonished by the vista that greets them. Among its hundreds of dunes, five stand over 700 feet tall and more than thirty tower upwards of 600 feet. Hiking the Great Sand Dunes, either the smaller dunes at the edge of the park or one of the taller dunes, is an activity not to be missed. A round trip hike from the Dunes Parking Lot to the giant High Dune should last no more than two hours. And a 6-mile round trip hike to the colossal Star Dune will generally take around five hours.

Epic, almost surreal in their grandeur, the Great Sand Dunes stand as a testament to the mighty forces of nature, showing us how over time wind and water can build breath-taking mountains from the tiniest of stones. We’re fortunate to possess such a reminder of the power of nature and the fragility of its works, the appreciation of which may reveal to us anew the delicate beauty of this world in which we live.

John Oró, MD

Donny’s advice on Paleo dinning with friends

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

Donny, an undergraduate student at Ohio State University, lost 40 lbs after 6 months on the Paleo diet. She experienced many other benefits as well, including, “unblemished skin, healthier hair and nails, endless energy… and a great night’s sleep every single night.” Like most college students, she enjoys a good dinner party or a night out. However, she found it hard to adhere to the Paleo diet when dining with friends. Her advice as reported in PaleoNonPaleo:

1. Don’t let your new choices affect your social life. Don’t decline dinner party invitations, just offer to bring something to the party that you know you’ll be able to eat.

2. My friends and I used to spend an exorbitant amount of money going out for nights on the town including dinner and drinks. Now, at my suggestion, we spend a lot more of those nights cooking dinner together at one of our apartments and then watching a movie or sitting around a table playing a board game. It’s really brought us closer, and we all agree that we have a lot more fun now.

3. If you’re dining out, outline the basics for your waiter. Most restaurants are a lot more accommodating than you think that they are, and will happily cook your food in olive oil and avoid feeding you gluten. On that same note, a lot of restaurants have gluten-free menus that aren’t advertised. I can usually find lots of paleo options (or options that can be made paleo) on those.

Read about Donny at PaleoNonPaleo.

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