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Cardiology assessments dropped dramatically during COVID

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Heart failure, heart health ( film x-ray chest PA upright : show cardiomegaly and interstitial infiltrate both lung ) Image credit: Puwadol Jaturawutthichai / 123rf. Cardiology assessments illustration.
Image credit: Puwadol Jaturawutthichai / 123rf

The pandemic witnessed a steep drop in the number of cardiology assessments, according to the recently-published results of a survey. 

Of particular concern throughout the COVID-19 has been the disruption to routine health services, ranging from routine immunisation to screening for and treatment of other diseases. In the case of cardiology, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that between March and April of 2020 alone, cardiology assessments such as diagnostic procedures dropped by 64 percent compared to the corresponding timeframe in 2019.

The IAEA’s survey’s results, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), received responses from 909 institutions spanning 108 countries. The JACC study citing the survey by the IAEA found “procedure volumes decreased 42 percent from March 2019 to March 2020, and 64 percent from March 2019 to April 2020….significantly greater reduction in procedures occurred for centers in countries with lower gross domestic product.

“Location in a low-income and lower–middle-income country was associated with an additional 22 percent reduction in cardiac procedures and less availability of personal protective equipment and telehealth. COVID-19 was associated with a significant and abrupt reduction in cardiovascular diagnostic testing across the globe, especially affecting the world’s economically challenged. Further study of cardiovascular outcomes and COVID-19–related changes in care delivery is warranted.”

In a press release, the IAEA outlined the study’s findings that “procedures most impacted included lengthier ones and those where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 infections could increase. Exercise stress tests, for example, where droplets of sweat and saliva are likely to be released in the air, was the most disrupted. This widespread method for determining heart fitness was reduced by 78 percent overall, while invasive procedures that include the insertion of tubes to obtain ultrasound images, such as transesophageal echocardiography, declined by 76 percent. 

“More routine transthoracic echocardiograms – common heart ultrasound using electrodes placed on the chest – declined by 59 percent, and more complex procedures such as coronary angiography decreased by 55 percent.” Fear of contracting COVID-19 deterred many patients, it added, with other contributing factors including fewer appointment slots and avoiding certain tests involving aerosolisation. 

“The data showed most facilities across the world responded to COVID-19 with practices such as physical distancing, use of face masks, robust screening and temperature checks,” Paez added. “Nevertheless, compared to the previous year, around 718,000 cardiac diagnostic procedures were not performed in March-April 2020 in the participating centres due to COVID-19.”

Delayed or avoided screening for heart disease and accompanying procedures are a major concern for India, whose heart disease burden accounts for its biggest killer. The pandemic overwhelmed an already-overburdened and underresourced health system – and the cracks showed almost immediately with the abrupt change in focus from India’s myriad health concerns to COVID-19 leaving many in the cold. 

As a study published in December last year put it, “reorienting the already overburdened health system to the exclusive needs of coronavirus treatment created severe disruptions and uncertainties with regard to the delivery of routine chronic care. These disruptions include potential blockages in supplies of essential medicines and technologies, screening and diagnosis procedures, limited access to resource availability including health workers and support services that are critical for ongoing management of NCDs [noncommunicable diseases].” 

The need for cardiology assessments and maintaining continuity of care is patent. This is true in the context of COVID-19, where there can be lasting damage to heart health due to the novel coronavirus and where comorbidities such as various heart conditions increase the vulnerability of those who contract COVID-19 to serious illness. It is true also in the broader context of a country where heart disease accounts for more than 28 percent of deaths as of 2016 – and where the burden is sharply rising. 

Source: https://www.healthissuesindia.com/2021/01/20/cardiology-assessments-dropped-dramatically-during-covid/

Covid19

Israeli Health Officials To Government: Vaccinate All Palestinians

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Palestinian elementary school students wearing protective face masks take their seats in their classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic on the first day of class in September at a United Nations-run school in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

An outgoing high official told NPR that Israel has a public health imperative to protect all Palestinians from COVID-19, plus a humanitarian obligation.

(Image credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP)

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/01/972573521/israeli-health-officials-to-government-vaccinate-all-palestinians

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Covid19

Israel’s Supreme Court Ends Spy Agency Cellphone Tracking Of COVID-19 Infections

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A man speaks on his mobile phone in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem in December. In the early days of the pandemic, Israel began using a mass surveillance tool on its own people, tracking civilians

About a year ago the country’s domestic intelligence agency began monitoring Israelis’ movements through cellular phone location data, leading critics to say it was spying on its own citizens.

(Image credit: Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/03/01/972560038/israels-supreme-court-ends-spy-agency-cellphone-tracking-of-covid-19-infections

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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Rollout Begins In U.S. As COVID-19 Cases Tick Up

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The first box of Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has started shipping its first vaccine doses across the U.S., adding a third vaccine to the country’s arsenal as public health officials warn of an uptick in cases.

(Image credit: Timothy D. Easley/Getty Images)

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/03/01/972538146/johnson-johnson-vaccine-rollout-begins-in-u-s-as-covid-19-cases-tick-up

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AR/VR

Remote Assistance: How Augmented Reality is Helping Businesses During the Pandemic

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In recent years, the way businesses operate and how consumers buy and consume has faced many changes. The current reality has made thousands of offices unnecessary by replacing them with work from home, at the same time the development of the so-called work remotely has undergone drastic development. Of course, when embracing remote work there are many tools and technologies that have made it easier to adopt in this new reality.

As is a quite evident day by day, the current market environment forces businesses to continue to find and use innovative solutions to cope with these difficult conditions. Now, more than ever, Remote Assistance and Augmented Reality /AR are the key to business continuity and are playing an important role in fostering future business growth. Given that the transformation that has taken place has centered on technology, then many businesses have also focused on AR technology as a way to increase productivity and create an interconnected interaction between the workforce.

Already accepting AR technology many businesses have at their disposal many tools and platforms to continue remote service operations. We can mention here VSight Remote, which despite the impact the pandemic has had, continues to provide sustainable solutions by turning remote assistance into an essential tool for avoiding operational outages on the ground.

The following points highlight how businesses can use AR Remote Assistance to continue operations, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also further, considering the positive and long-term impact that this technology makes possible.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Ways to Get Your Business into VR

2. How Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) can transform Education

3. 2021 — the year of AR glasses?

4. How Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are Revolutionizing Healthcare

1. An unexpected problem requires an immediate solution.

Many businesses not only produce and sell but at the same time have to maintain specialized equipment belonging to the industrial sector where they operate. As the distribution of workforce varies in locations around the world, there is a need to reduce site visits — including pre-installation visits. To reduce reliance on site visits, businesses through AR Remote Assistance enable the headquarter workforce to interact at a distance with site workers and improve efficiency by being able to solve problems encountered quickly — without the need to make a trip towards the location of the problem. In this way businesses do not waste time but continue to work normally, finding the right solutions thanks to Remote Assistance.

2. Distribution of knowledge at a distance but with the same efficiency.

Another goal that businesses aim to keep in check at all times is the quality of service they provide. Not only in the expert-site worker connection but also in the one between the expert and the customers, it is important that the distance support is provided at the right time and in high quality. Now through Remote Assistance site workers especially gain from the extraordinary benefits by receiving the guidance of headquarter experts who make it possible to disseminate knowledge in real-time. Businesses using Remote Assistance make it possible for their experienced experts to be anywhere, right away. This means a greater engagement on the part of site workers. In addition, integrating remote assistance into their wearable devices, such as smart glasses facilitate the freedom of action during the performance of various tasks. Remote Assistance solution is seen as a valuable way not only for knowledge transfer but also for faster and more efficient employee training.

3. Fast cooperation worldwide.

The Remote Assistance solution offers ease of use by connecting the workforce worldwide. As mentioned above, site employees can now take advantage of the opportunity to successfully perform their tasks hands-free. Experts can now interact in real-time with site workers and at the same time interact in the same documents or images, using AR annotations and even adding 3D models to the live video streaming environment. With the help of remote collaboration, the time to perform all these operations is faster and does not require numerous manuals that are often quite distracting.

4. Create long-term and efficient solutions for the future of the business.

Successfully adopting AR-based Remote Assistance is a step towards ensuring business continuity not only during this global pandemic. The wide potential of this Remote Assistance is quite favorable to be used further by businesses for a longer period. All of this may be feasible given the fact that this technology makes it possible for businesses to reap the benefits that are quite valuable. Some of these benefits, as touched on above, are to facilitate remote maintenance inspections, improve remote collaboration, reduce the number of technicians deployed on the site, and facilitate the way the workforce performs its tasks.

Businesses that have adopted Remote Assistance and Augmented Reality prove how they can benefit from them by facilitating the operating processes between the trio of actors expert-technician and customer. This AR Remote Assistance has long-term benefits that enable significant business growth and the need to ensure business continuity is seen as a much-needed reason to start utilizing it.

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Remote Assistance: How Augmented Reality is Helping Businesses During the Pandemic was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/remote-assistance-how-augmented-reality-is-helping-businesses-during-the-pandemic-88cdf610a77f?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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