New online tool enables comparison of genomic data; Researchers examine the role of social networking sites in health information seeking habits;

News From Around the Web

> Researchers at the University of Maryland recently developed a Web-based tool that enables quick comparison of large swaths of genomic information created via high-throughput sequencing experiments. The tool--dubbedd Epiviz--integrates with open-source Bioconductor analysis software widely used by genomic scientists. Announcement

> A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Stanford University School of Medicine examines the role of social networking sites--in particular, Facebook--in the health information seeking habits of Internet users. According to the researchers, public health interventions using Facebook will need to be designed to ensure relevant information is easy to find. Article

Provider News

> Contrary to conventional wisdom, healthcare providers may want to invest in physicians who slack. "It sounds counterintuitive, but carving time to experiment out of employees' schedules" has been shown to increase output, say Roy Rosin, chief innovation officer for Penn Medicine; Evan S. Fieldston, M.D., attending physician of general pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and David A. Asch, M.D., executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Article

Medical Imaging News

> The Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted last week not to recommend approval of a high-focus ultrasound technology designed to treat low-risk prostate cancer. The technology, Ablatherm Integrated Imaging High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), treats prostate cancer by ablating the entire prostate gland with high intensity focused ultrasound. Article

Health Insurance News

> Healthcare talk is confusing enough for consumers who have a long history of coverage. It is even more so for the newly insured, which include the 8 million Americans who purchased coverage during this past enrollment period. So to help educate consumers, hospitals, clinics, insurers and health advocacy groups are stepping up their efforts to help the lower-income and newly insured understand their new coverage. Article

And Finally... Don't mess with Texas. Article