A nurse checks villager Wang Funi at home in Jiaozuo, Henan province, with an all-in-one diagnostic device in March.  LI JIANAN/XINHUA ZHENGZHOU - Suffering from coronary heart disease, 79-year-old Wang Funi was amazed to find out that she can have routine medical tests done at her rural home. In the past, it would take 50 minutes to travel by electric tricycle to visit the nearest county hospital, and her husband or children would have to take a break from work on the farm to accompany her. It's time-consuming. Now there's no need for the trip. All the basic tests can be done free at home, she said. With the help of a new portable all-in-one diagnostic device, Zhang Xiaozhan, a doctor in Erpuying village, Henan province, where Wang lives, conducted eight tests on her in about 20 minutes, ranging from measuring the electrical activity of her heart to checking her blood pressure. The device offers the biggest benefits for the elderly and patients with chronic diseases, reducing their need to travel long distances to hospitals and wait in long lines, Zhang said. At the start of this year, the city of Jiaozuo purchased around 600 all-in-one diagnostic devices and offered them to teams of local family doctors. Weighing just five kilograms, one of the devices can run multiple routine tests, from measuring blood pressure to urine and blood analysis. Li Zhenhui, sales manager at mobile healthcare company Garea, which provided the devices, said that the machines can do more tests if auxiliary medical equipment is connected. The company usually sends experts to train village doctors. Test results are stored as electronic files on the city's family doctor service platform as a reference for further diagnosis and treatment. Wang's team of doctors has six members. Liu Yingying, a general practitioner at the health center in Jiayingguan township, is one of them. Liu said the team has signed contracts with more than 4,000 local residents, including a priority group of more than 500 patients. Some have chronic diseases, while others are rehabilitating and need special attention, Liu said. The team needs to visit each patient in the priority group at least four times a year. It's a formidable task. The all-in-one diagnostic device can improve the quality and efficiency of our service, Liu said. Tian Qingfeng, a health management researcher at Zhengzhou University, said there is an uneven distribution of healthcare resources in China, with advanced diagnostic and treatment equipment, and the best doctors, concentrated in big cities. Technology can improve rural access to quality healthcare, Tian said. Xinhua 24hr wristband
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Doctors examine a patient's CT images at a hospital in Beijing. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY China will intensify efforts to ensure the health privacy of patients while encouraging the integration of healthcare services with internet technologies to provide better services, China's top health authority said. Health authorities have strict and specific regulations for hospitals over the maintenance and use of patients' paper records and other information, and we are researching how to ensure the security of their electronic data, Jiao Yahui, deputy chief for medical administration and supervision at the National Health Commission, said at a news conference on Thursday. The commission is also working with experts in legal affairs, information and hospital management to decide the proprietorship of patients' electronics records, so it would be clear who will be able to use such data and in what way, she said. Hospitals must set up special technical departments to build and operate information systems concerning patients' electronics data, and such data must be preserved for at least 15 years for outpatients and at least 30 years for inpatients, according to a national regulation adopted by the National Health Commission on April 1. Electronic records are widely used in Chinese hospitals, but such data are generally not shared between hospitals. Hospitals and health authorities should improve protection mechanisms regarding patients' data, said Liu Yuhong, director of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital's information department. Protection of patients' privacy and data privacy should also be the key consideration for software developers, he said. Sun Yang, president of China-Japan Friendship Hospital, which has more than half of its outpatients come from outside Beijing, said the hospital has been linked with nearly 3,000 medical institutions across China to provide them with guidance in diagnosis and treatment. This saves patients time and money and they do not have to come to the hospital for high quality treatment, he said.
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