ALBERTON, P.E.I. — In a rural corner of P.E.I., a small hospital is trying a first-in-Canada approach to delivering care that could offer a solution to doctor shortages across the country.Instead of a doctor doing hospital rounds in person, a nurse rolls in a TV cart with the physician on a video screen from an office elsewhere in the province or the country.Western Hospital in Alberton, P.E.I., has undertaken a six-month pilot “tele-rounding” project — doctors treating patients via a secure video conference link. They can check on patients, review their files, order tests and even use a digital, bluetooth-enabled stethoscope applied by a nurse while a doctor listens remotely.“There are no doctors on the floor there, but there are nursing staff and lab technicians. The nurse takes the cart from patient to patient, and we’re essentially doing hospital rounds technologically enabled and we’re providing physician care,” said Dr. Brett Belchetz, an emergency department physician and CEO of Maple — the Toronto company providing the tele-rounding service.Western Hospital approached Maple, which has a tele-medicine app used across Canada that gives people access to a doctor. Hospital officials hoped they could the technology for their patients who didn’t have a family doctor.Now, Maple hopes that if the P.E.I. pilot is successful, they could use it elsewhere.“There are doctors with excess capacity, and we’re allowing them to use that excess capacity to keep a rural hospital open,” Belchetz said.“If you look at the Stats Canada numbers, only about 50 per cent of Canadian doctors work fully all year despite the great need we have for more care.”Some 6.6 per cent of Canadians reported being unable to find a family doctor in 2010, with numbers substantially higher in some provinces.Similar tele-rounding is already done in some parts of the U.S. and the U.K.There are nine physicians participating in the tele-rounding pilot, including three physicians from Prince Edward Island and others from Nova Scotia and Ontario who are licensed to work on the Island.Hospital administrator Paul Young said the pilot project is a stop-gap to help address vacancies with family physicians and avoid having to close the hospital, which is about 50 minutes west of Summerside, P.E.I.He said since the pilot project was started, two new family physicians have been recruited to work at the hospital, starting early in 2019.“Our patients and our communities place their trust in our ability to provide safe, effective, quality care on a consistent basis, regardless of the challenges we may be facing,” Young said.Julie Gaudet recently spent 11 days in hospital in Alberton following surgery on her foot and says she was impressed with the tele-rounding system.“I thought it made a lot of sense, especially being out in the country, and with the shortage of doctors here on the Island. I thought it was an excellent experience,” she said.Gaudet, 67, said the doctors spent lots of time with her and asked lots of questions, and she quickly forgot that the doctor wasn’t actually in the room with her.“They were right there in front of you on the TV screen. I could see them. They could see me. He had all my charts from 20 years ago. He knew all my medications. It was just top notch,” she said.Young said most patients were a bit hesitant at first, but now they have patients asking for the “TV doctors.”Since the pilot project began in August, more than 1,200 tele-rounding consults have been performed on nearly 60 patients over the course of their hospital stay.Belchetz said the pilot project will be cost-neutral for the P.E.I. government — it won’t cost more than the province would have spent on having doctors there.“Nobody is suggesting we run hospitals in the future with no doctors. When they get a full complement of doctors we’ll be happy to step back. But this can be used when doctors are sick or on holidays,” Belchetz said.The pilot project will be reviewed in February.Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
Saraswati Puja was celebrated in West Bengal on February 10 with traditional fervour. Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music, culture and learning, was worshiped across the state and people were seen carrying clay idols of the deity with a crescent moon on the brow, riding a swan or seated on a lotus. Tiny tots and children decked up in traditional bright-yellow attires signifying ‘Basant Panchami’ – heralding the arrival of spring. Women dressed pretty in saris and boys in kurtas and performing the ‘Anjali’ (offering of flowers with prayers). Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis time the rituals started a day before as per the almanac. But the main pomp and celebration were stored for Sunday morning which continued till midday in schools, colleges, community clubs and households, with priests chanting mantras and devotees placing seasonal palash flowers at the deity’s feet to the ringing sounds of cymbals and conch shells. Flowers, fruits and sweets placed as ‘prasad’ (offerings). Families throughout cities, towns and villages shared it among themselves. To receive the goddess’s blessings, students also placed their books, pens and musical instruments beside the idol for the entire day. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt was a day of mirth for children, for whom Saraswati puja is a “no study” day. Too happy to give their textbooks a miss, they participated in cultural functions organised in localities, educational institutes and households. Small marquees came up in almost all localities where neighbours gathered to pay obeisance to the goddess, followed by sumptuous lunch comprising “khichuri” accompanied by eggplant fries, mixed vegetables and dollops of chutney and sweets. Such feasts were held in educational institutions also. “Heartiest greetings to all my brothers and sisters on the occasion of Saraswati Puja,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted on the occasion.
2 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Ridesharing service Lyft will ring in the new year with a new type of taxi light.Come 2017, the company is shaving off its pink Glowstache, replacing it with a less hairy in-car connected device — Amp. “With the introduction of Amp comes the retirement of Lyft’s beloved pink mustache, which has evolved from the fuzzy Carstache on car grilles, to the sleek Glowstache dashboard ornament,” Ethan Eyler, Lyft’s head of ride experience, said in a statement.”Both paved the way for Amp, which will sit on dashboards, illuminating the streets with an iconic glow while better connecting drivers and passengers,” he added.Starting Dec. 31, the in-car connected device will make drivers’ and passengers’ ride-sharing experience “smarter, safer and more fun.”Rolling out first to folks in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City, Amp is expected to hit the road in all of Lyft’s 200-plus markets by mid-2017.The Beats Pill speaker-shaped accessory attaches to the vehicle’s dashboard, making it visible through the windshield; commuters can identify their ride by matching an individual Amp’s color to that displayed in their mobile app.Messages, meanwhile, are pushed through a Bluetooth connection to the hidden screen on the back of the gadget.Lyft also revealed its latest brand campaign: Ride on the Bright Side. Four 30-second TV spots (video above) and outdoor advertising are set to run through the end of 2016, highlighting the company’s experience, driver quality and safety.That safety-first attitude is underscored by a recent partnership with Budweiser: Through Dec. 31, any passenger 21 years or older can get a free ride (valued up to $10) from Lyft on weekends and holidays.The Uber competitor, however, landed in hot water early this month when researchers uncovered a “pattern of racial discrimination by drivers” using the ridesharing apps. This story originally appeared on PCMag November 15, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »