NIH, CDC collaborate on sudden death in young registry; Smartphone-enabled otoscope provides quality images of ear drum;

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> The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are collaborating to create the Sudden Death in the Young Registry to help researchers "work on preventing these type of deaths in the future," GovernmentHealthIT reports. According to NIH officials, data will be entered into a centralized database managed by a data coordinating center at the Michigan Public Health Institute and will not contain personally identifiable information. Article

> A smartphone-enabled otoscope provides clear, transmittable images of the ear drum, or tympanic membrane, which someday "may allow for ear infection diagnosis without a visit to the doctor's office," according to an abstract presented today at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. In the study, "Comparative Assessment of a Smartphone Otoscope for the Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media (AOM)," researchers studied the effectiveness of a smartphone otoscope attachment and app in accurately diagnosing ear infections in children. Researchers found that in 49 children diagnosed with AOM, there was "no difference in the diagnostic quality or confidence ratings" between devices by independent physicians who viewed the images captured by researchers. Announcement

Medical Imaging News

> The use of small group learning methods, rather than large plenary sessions, in the third year is making radiology clerkships more practical and effective for medical students, according to a report in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The redesign of the radiology clerkship has made the program more accessible for medical students through scheduling that better accommodates the busy schedules of third-year students, and made it more effective by instituting a learning structure that focuses on interactive learning of modules in small groups, according to the study, conducted by a team from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Article

Health Payer News

> One of the nation's largest labor unions is influencing Americans to apply for affordable health insurance by phone or on paper to bypass technical problems with the HealthCare.gov website. The Service Employees International Union, which represents 2.1 million workers, launched a massive campaign in 23 communities to support the Affordable Care Act and help uninsured citizens apply for coverage, reported Reuters. SEIU is steering applicants around the troubled website by filling out paper applications or phoning in applications to government call centers. Article

> Although the Obama administration has touted the claim that 95 percent of consumers live in areas with at least two insurers offering plans on the health insurance exchanges, a new analysis shows two insurers might not create enough competition, especially in rural areas. Article

And Finally... You won't believe these outrageous re-written headlines. Article

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