Health IT Roundup—New Apple Watch redesign features focus on health options

The Apple Watch includes new features including the ability to monitor its wearer for heart rhythms or falls. (Apple)

Apple releases new fourth-generation Apple Watch

The new Apple Watch Series 4 design released Wednesday features multiple hardware and software upgrades to allow for new health applications such as an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram and the ability to monitor for hard falls.

The watch will allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers and also includes automatic workout detection to provide an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit. In a statement, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said the watch has become "an intelligent guardian for your health.” The watch, which goes on sale on Sept. 14, will be available for order in 26 countries and will be in stores on Sept. 21. (Release

AI helps University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics cut surgical site infections

Machine learning has helped lead to a 74% reduction in surgical site infections over a three-year period—a potential savings of $1.2 million, according to a report from Healthcare IT News. 

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How does it work? The health system worked with a vendor called DASH Analytics to create the DASH Analytics High-Definition Care Platform, a system that uses machine learning to provide data, metrics and decision support at critical moments during the point-of-care timeline. For instance, the surgical site infection reduction module activates the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist that virtually all hospitals use during surgery while the circulating nurse is going through his or her routine closing checks. (Healthcare IT News)

Shulkin takes on new innovation job

The former secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is taking on a new role: Chief Innovation Officer at Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system Sanford Health.

David Shulkin, M.D., will be leading initiatives to advance the health system's work in research, as well as its precision medicine initiative called Imagenetics and the Sanford Chip, Profile and World Clinic. He will serve as a strategic adviser on Sanford's national growth strategy. 

Sanford Health is the largest rural not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation, with 45 hospitals and 289 clinics in nine states and three countries. It has more than 28,000 employees including more than 1,300 physicians and is the largest employer in the Dakotas.

"After completing my work in the public sector, Sanford Health was an obvious choice to continue my healthcare career,” Shulkin said in a statement. “Sanford’s unique brand of innovation and clinical integration is bringing precision medicine to the bedside which is rapidly improving patient care in unprecedented ways." (Release)