June's top stories: China to deploy Africa's first container hospital
This month China announced plans to deploy Africa's first container hospital, either in Cameroon or Namibia, by the end of June 2013, while the Australian state of Queensland earkmarked $12bn in health funding in the 2013-14 budget.
Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare in Texas, US, have agreed on a merger of their businesses to form a new organisation that will combine the strengths of each health system.
The proposed entity Baylor Scott & White Health organisation is expected to possess a total of $7.7bn assets with 43 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 affiliated physicians, 34,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan.
Subject to customary regulatory review processes, the transaction is expected to close in 2013.
Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, has opted for Sonitor Technologies' Sonitor Sense real time locating systems (RTLS) technology for its operations research (OR) department.
The existing operational intelligence platform from Intelligent InSites will now be integrated with the advanced, open architecture RTLS platform, which is said to offer operational visibility in healthcare.
Partially supported by Innovation Norway funds, the project will focus on tracking high-value equipment in the first phase to improve utilisation and steer efficiency.
The state government of Queensland, Australia, has announced $12bn in health funding in the 2013-14 budget, to go to hospitals across the region.
An extra $532m was set aside for health for the 2013-14 financial year, with an increase of 4.5% on the previous year's record budget.
Highlights of the 2013-14 operational health budget include $147m over four years, as part of a total $327m programme to deal with the backlog of maintenance, $80.8m over four years to enable better access to healthcare services for Queenslanders in regional, rural and remote communities, and $5.8m to tackle the current waiting list for adults, adolescents and children requiring cochlear implants.
The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) in the Netherlands has deployed Mitel's private cloud technology to optimise communication among more than 11,000 doctors, nurses and healthcare employees.
The new system integrates desk-based telephony, mobile data, messaging and medical alarm applications.
Furthermore, in the future employees will be able to connect to other healthcare applications by means of their smartphone.
The European Commission (EC) Decipher PCP project that started in February 2013 will enable UK medtech, software and telecom companies to allow patients access to healthcare records from overseas through mobile phones.
Aiming to create a mobile information system, the three-year project will allow primary and emergency care doctors to access medical records of patients from other EU countries using mobile technology.
The system even allows patients to access details of their prescriptions, allergies and other information to help manage long-term chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
General Dynamics Information Technology has delivered a new quality of care system, Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS), for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
Developed and launched in partnership with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the system is designed to assess the achievement of quality outcomes for general practitioners (GP) against nationally and locally defined criteria.
CQRS, which will replace the Quality Management and Analysis System (QMAS) nationally, will enable automatic data extraction from clinical systems for use in various formats for commissioners and service providers.
The People's Republic of China (PRC) is planning to set up, what it claims, is Africa's first container hospital either in Cameroon or Namibia, by the end of June 2013.
Developed by Chinese scientists, the hospital includes ten containers with rooms for general clinics, waiting patients, treatments, a pharmacy and back-up power supply, according to Scidev Net.
Container hospitals, which can be configured into different shapes, are designed for long-term service and will last for decades if properly maintained.
US-based Chindex International, a provider of healthcare services in China through United Family Healthcare (UFH) operations, has opened the first foreign-operated rehabilitation speciality hospital, the Beijing United Family Rehabilitation Hospital (BJU Rehab Hospital).
Major rehabilitation services offered at the facility cover neurological, orthopaedic, cardiopulmonary, women's postnatal and paediatric departments.
Additional services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, prosthetics and orthotics services, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and traditional Chinese medicine are also offered at the hospital.
A new European project is turning brain pattern data into music to help spot the anomalies that could lead to an epileptic seizure.