Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
Definition: An ISO/ITU standard for compressing still images. Pronounced "jay-peg," the JPEG format is very popular due to its variable compression range.
JPEGs are saved on a sliding resolution scale based on the quality desired. For example, an image can be saved in high quality for photo printing, in medium quality for the Web and in low quality for attaching to e-mails, the latter providing the smallest file size for fastest transmission over dial-up connections.
Not Great for Text
JPEGs are not suitable for graphs, charts and explanatory illustrations because the text appears fuzzy, especially at low resolutions.
Compressing images in the GIF format is much better for such material.
JPEGs Are Lossy
Using discrete cosine transform, JPEG is a lossy compression method, wherein some data from the original image is lost. It depends on the image, but ratios of 10:1 to 20:1 may provide little noticeable loss.
The more the loss can be tolerated, the more the image can be compressed.
Compression is achieved by dividing the picture into tiny pixel blocks, which are halved over and over until the desired amount of compression is achieved.
JPEGs can be created in software or hardware, the latter providing sufficient speed for real-time, on-the-fly compression. C-Cube Microsystems introduced the first JPEG chip.
JPEGs use the JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF), and file extensions are .JPG or .JFF. M-JPEG and MPEG are variations of JPEG used for full-motion digital video.
Definition: Method by which the sender of data is provided with proof of delivery and the recipient is assured of the sender's identity, so that neither can later deny having processed the data.
According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, a number of barriers could slow down the momentum of Telehealth in our country, even as the demand for remote patient monitoring on mobile phones, tablets and computers grows.
The report notes that some of these barriers - archaic in practice, process and principle - are stymying the adoption of new technologies and processes that could actually lead to a reduction in the cost of providing health care and help the medical community enhance the quality of their services.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, there is a lack of standardization and regulatory policies (both domestic and global) governing the use of innovative technologies. And much of it comes down to who will pay for what.
Basically, the huge binders that all insurance companies send to doctors, hospitals, etc., have charts with codes listing services they will reimburse - something called Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes. Problem is, in all the books and associated systems, there are no codes assigned to telehealth or mHealth.
Add to that the need for education among patients, and the medical community in general, on the availability of secure technologies and the wait continues.
The Frost & Sullivan report noted that Robert Bosch Healthcare is stepping up to the task by introducing its Health Buddy system. The system focuses both on measuring vital signs and fostering patient self-management through questions and feedback on patient health behavior.
It connects patients in their homes to their care providers and has the ability not only to communicate historical patient information for patients with chronic conditions, but also to facilitate patient education and encourage medication and lifestyle compliance.
The company is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a demonstration project that is expected to heighten awareness levels while reducing health care costs to adopters.
Inhibitors to adoption of new processes and programs abound throughout the health care ecosystem and these can cause delays in overall reform to the system.
The old adage, "out with the old in with the new," is something everyone in health care, including insurers, should follow to provide a cure for health care in our country.
Have a safe and healthy weekend.Follow me on Twitter: @TechnicalJones
CPT (Current Procedural Terminology)
Definition: Are code numbers assigned to every task and service a medical practitioner may provide to a patient including medical, surgical and diagnostic services.
They are then used by insurers to determine the amount of reimbursement that a practitioner will receive by an insurer. Since everyone uses the same codes to mean the same thing, they ensure uniformity.