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Colbert lampoons Proteus digital pill

Last week, I was the first to have the story that Proteus Digital Health, formerly known as Proteus Biomedical, got de novo FDA 510(k) clearance for its ingestible “chip on a pill,” intended to promote medication adherence. National media have since picked up on the groundbreaking news.

Last night, the product became the subject of parody, courtesy of Stephen Colbert.

 

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Cheating Death – Sensor-Enabled Pills & Facelift Bungee Cords
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

At least Colbert’s version featured a wireless tablet computer.

August 9, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Proof EHRs have taken hold

How do you know EHRs have taken hold? This week’s Internet meme includes this:

February 16, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

A little humor at ONC

While many of us take time off or catch up on work (I’m in the latter category) during this traditionally slow week, people in Washington are putting in long hours to get a definition of “meaningful use” out before the end of the year. I now hear that weary staffers are saying ONC stands for the Office of No Christmas.

December 29, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Extormity throws down

I just received the following e-mail from Extormity:

Electronic health records vendor Extormity, dismayed at the ambitious scope of ARRA meaningful use criteria, is challenging National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal to a “rumble.”

“This call for physical confrontation is an extension of our ‘Whine into Water’ lobbying initiative, where we have joined with other large and inflexible EMR vendors to raise concerns about the difficulty of achieving meaningful use as currently defined,” said Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington. “If enough of us bellyache about these aggressive criteria, we are hoping they will be watered down such that meaningful use is effectively rendered meaningless.”

“However, in the event our campaign is unsuccessful, I would like to engage David Blumenthal in hand-to-hand combat at an upcoming HIT conference,” added Whittington. “Can you imagine what a mano y mano cage match would do for HIMSS attendance? I’m not proposing actual fisticuffs, rather, I suggest we thumb wrestle — best two out of three and the victor gets to set final meaningful use criteria.”

While other EMR vendors are refraining from public comment, an officer at another large HIT organization expressed tacit approval. Speaking on condition of anonymity, this executive was supportive of Extormity’s efforts. “Current criteria will reward nimble, flexible, innovative vendors who are focused on affordable, interoperable, web-based solutions designed to improve patient care. We question the audacity of the government in setting criteria designed to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs — this callous irresponsibility will punish those of us with expensive client-server solutions that require physicians to abandon established workflows as they implement our hard-to-use applications. The trickle down effect would have a disastrous impact on our economy — if our profits fall, our lavish executive bonuses will be eviscerated and we will have less to spend in the Hamptons.”

Asked if Mr. Blumenthal should be concerned about a potential threat to his physical safety, Whittington was nonplussed. “Since Extormity is a fictional organization developed as a parody of lumbering, expensive and ineffective EHR vendors, and I don’t actually exist, there is no actual hazard. With that said, I know jujitsu.”

I’m not aware of a response by Blumenthal.

December 15, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Video from Sebelius on ‘The Daily Show’

As promised, here’s the video from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” Wednesday night. Yeah, she and other pols have been all over the airwaves of late, but I find that a “fake” news anchor like Jon Stewart often keeps people more honest than the average TV talking head.

In the first segment, Sebelius discusses the “public option” for health insurance and touches on quality of care and outcomes, to which Stewart says it would be cheaper for society if smokers died by age 60. In Part 2, which focuses on competing health reform bills in Congress, Sebelius mentions prevention, wellness and quality. It’s not very revelatory for those of us in the know, but it’s entertaining.

Part 1

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Kathleen Sebelius Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day

Part 2

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Kathleen Sebelius Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day

On the much lighter side, earlier segments of last night’s show parodied national health systems in Canada and the UK and the uninsured situation in the U.S.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Drag Me to Health
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day

and

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Drag Me to Health – Universal Health Care
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day
July 16, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

More from the BNET blog

My latest post on the BNET Healthcare Blog went up yesterday. Perhaps I should be posting there more than once or twice a month, since that actually comes with a small payment?

In any case, the piece is about health IT consultant Dr. Sam Bierstock of Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Blues Band fame, and his latest brainchild, the “electronic musical record,” a biting parody of electronic medical records.

May 27, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Online support groups

Here’s another story I had published not too long ago: The January cover story in Oncology Net Guide about online support groups for cancer patients and their effect on the practice of oncology.

Those of you who attended either the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco or the more academic Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto last fall will recognize some of the names in the story. My family might recognize another name, Dr. Michael Nissenblatt, a cousin on my dad’s side. Hey, if you’ve got a good source, you’d might as well use it.

Among the other familiar names in the story are Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, whose Wellsphere otherwise a useful consumer information site, had not yet been widely exposed as a marketing scam when I wrote the story, and Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., who offers the Best Commentary Ever about Wikipedia:

Stand up and say it with me: The revolution will not be verified!

March 10, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Behind the times?

OJAI, Calif.—I’ve just learned of the Society for Exorbitantly Expensive and Difficult to Implement EHR’s (SEEDIE), which describes itself as ” healthcare IT standards organization that is completely funded and operated by a select group of proprietary electronic health record vendors.”

According to this beautifully designed site, “Unlike independent, objective, professional organizations created to help medical professionals select and implement interoperable EHR solutions, SEEDIE promotes healthcare IT systems that play well in the sandbox if, and only if, it is in the best interests of a particular vendor.” A picture of a smiling young girl has nothing to do with EHRs, “but it does register a 10 on the warm and fuzzy meter.”

A fictional vendor called Extormity (“Expensive, Exasperating, Exhausting”) already has earned SEEDIE certification. The company’s logo depicts two intersecting highways with exit ramps that don’t actually connect to anything. I’m guessing there aren’t too many people laughing in executive suites of software companies in, say, Kansas City or Madison, or perhaps Alpharetta, Ga., Malvern, Pa., or Waukesha, Wis. Just throwing some town names out there.

This apparently is not new; the Extormity site has a 2003 copyright and SEEDIE has 2007. But I just found out about it from EHI Europe. A Google search on “seedie” turned up 11,200 results, including links to several other HIT blogs that have written about it. Where have I been?

July 17, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Tasteless joke, but kind of on the mark

Since it’s Thanksgiving here in the states, you’d rather laugh than work, right? In case anyone was wondering if the Wal-Mart retail clinic idea is getting any traction, here’s a joke from an e-mail recently forwarded to me. (File this under clinical decision support.):

One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, “My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I’d better see a doctor.”

“Listen, you don’t have to spend that kind of money,” Mike replies.

“There’s a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what’s wrong and what to do about it.

It takes 10 seconds and costs $10 — A lot cheaper than a doctor.”

So, Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart. He deposits $10, and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.

Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

“You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.”

That evening, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled.

He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample for good measure.

Joe hurries back to Wal-Mart, eager to check the results. He deposits $10, pours in his concoction, and awaits the results.

The computer prints the following:
1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don’t stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!
Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.

November 21, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Friday funny

This isn’t exactly about health IT, but I’ll blog it because we’re talking about prevention and access to care. Here’s Stephen Colbert from last night’s “Colbert Report,” talking about the SCHIP legislation that President Bush has threatened to veto.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

September 28, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.