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Technology Is Leading a Healthcare Revolution

Technology Is Leading a Healthcare Revolution | Healthcare and Technology news |

If you’re thinking fruit, you’re way off. If you’re thinking device or computer, then you’re on the right track!

Healthcare is in a state of metamorphosis, with a full-on medical revolution unfolding before our eyes. According to global entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, this revolution is being driven by exponential technologies: artificial intelligence, sensors, robotics, 3D printing, big data, genomics and stem cells. What does this mean? Well, in the next 10 years, some mind-boggling feats of human innovation are going to completely transform the medical field. They include:

  1. Artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous health scans that provide the best diagnostics equally to the poorest people in Kenya and the wealthiest people in East Hampton.
  2. Large-scale genome sequencing that allows us to understand the root causes of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases—and what to do about it.
  3. Robotic surgeons that carry out a perfect operation (every time) for pennies on the dollar.
  4. Growing major organs like a heart, liver, lung or kidney instead of waiting for a donor to die.

Diamandis is so committed to this revolution that he has expanded his global XPRIZE competition to the healthcare industry. His competition will encourage the brightest minds in the medical field to develop a Tricorder device that will accurately diagnose 13 health conditions and capture five real-time health vital signs, independent of a healthcare worker or facility and in a way that provides a compelling human experience. This will be made possible through talking to the device, coughing on it or doing a skin prick and the results will be more accurate than if done by a board-certified doctor!

How will this impact the way healthcare providers market themselves? Patients—who are now responsible for an expanded share of medical costs—are searching online for valuable and relevant information. Those medical providers who can quickly and effectively market, promote and publicize these innovative technologies will be that much ahead of the game than their competitors.

It’s amazing to think that the same device that will be promoting these new technologies is the same device that might one day save your life.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

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4 Things Health IT Leaders “Would Be” Thankful For

4 Things Health IT Leaders “Would Be” Thankful For | Healthcare and Technology news |

Like many of you, every year at Thanksgiving dinner, my family, friends and I gather around the table and say one thing that we are thankful for before we begin to dig into the delicious food in front of us. Some are thankful for the meal in front of them, some for the company around them, and others for the roofs over their heads.

In the world of health IT, appreciation comes a little differently, and right now, it’s hard to imagine that CIOs are grateful for much in their professional lives. Simply stated, CIOs are overworked and burnt out in an era when the pressure is on them now more than ever. In fact, statistics say that a CIO’s responsibilities have increased, in terms of both scope and complexity, by 25 percent to 50 percent since the passage of HITECH. As such,  I can’t imagine there are too many things that CIOs are thankful for, as the burden seemingly increases by the day. So as we approach Thanksgiving 2014, here is a list of four things that healthcare IT leaders “would be” thankful for if they had them.

Some more meaningful use flexibility. Just recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the deadline for hospitals to attest to meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year back one month, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31. While this can be seen as another little bone the federal agency has thrown provider organizations, I see it as small potatoes in the big picture. Clearly, the industry wants—and needs—more substantial change. As of Nov. 1, only 840 hospitals have attested to meaningful use Stage 2 within the 2014 calendar timeframe, out of the 2,300-plus hospitals that had attested to Stage 1; and 11,478 physicians have attested to Stage 2 within the 2014 calendar timeframe. A shortened, 90-day reporting period rather than  the current 365-day reporting period for 2015 would be something the industry would be very thankful for. Heck, some IT leaders have even suggested that’s time to “declare MU a victory and move on.”

More money and more manpower. Technology adoption is expensive, and some healthcare organizations simply don’t have the resources. What’s more, there are not a ton of qualified IT professionals, as the pool of experts seems shallow. A Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society  (HIMSS) survey from last year found that 31 percent of healthcare organizations had to place IT initiatives on hold due to staffing shortages, while 43 percent cited the lack of a qualified talent pool as a challenge to appropriately meeting their staffing needs. And the year before that, a College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) CIO survey found that 67 percent of healthcare CIOs were reporting IT staff shortages. Consultant development programs such as this one could help solve the problem.

More clarity and guidance from the federal government. This is a general one, but it really applies to the plethora of federal mandates that are hitting the industry all at once. Earlier this month, HCI Editor-in-Chief wrote a great, in-depth blog highlighting the mass departures among top leadership at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Specifically, the decision to move National Coordinator for Health IT, Karen DeSalvo, M.D., to the Ebola response team when the industry needs leadership and vision now, perhaps more than ever, was a highly questionable one.  Will DeSalvo come back to her post at ONC when she is done helping out with Ebola? Couldn’t you argue that the Ebola crisis in the U.S. is already past us? CHIME and HIMSS were two industry organizations that expressed similar concerns about this move. In a joint letter to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Sylvia Mathews Burwell , they wrote that, “If Dr. DeSalvo is going to remain as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health with part-time duties in health IT, we emphasize the need to appoint new ONC leadership immediately that can lead the agency on the host of critical issues that must be addressed.”

No more ICD-10 delays. Just recently, the Coalition for ICD-10, a broad-based healthcare industry advocacy group, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them not to delay the ICD-10 implementation date again. In the letter, they said, “nearly three quarters of the hospitals and health systems surveyed just before the current delay were confident in their ability to successfully implement ICD-10. Retraining personnel and reconfiguring systems multiple times in anticipation of the implementation of ICD-10 is unnecessarily driving up the cost of healthcare.” Many providers that you talk to actually challenge the notion that the switch to the new coding set carries any value. But at the very least, stick to the date!

While this above list might seem unrealistic right now, perhaps health IT leaders can take solace in the fact that we are feeling your pain. So for the time being, sit back and enjoy all the things in life that you really are  thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Most Patients Willing To Have Online Video Doctor Visits, Survey Finds

Most Patients Willing To Have Online Video Doctor Visits, Survey Finds | Healthcare and Technology news |

A majority of U.S. residents are willing to use an online video for a physician visit, according to a Harris Poll survey, MobiHealthNews reports.

The survey, which was commissioned by telehealth company American Well, collected responses from 2,019 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in December 2014.

Survey Findings

Overall, the survey found about 64% respondents were willing see a doctor via an online video consult.

Of those, 61% listed convenience as a factor.

The survey found respondents' willingness to switch to an online physician visit varied by age and the number of years they had seen their doctors (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 1/21). The survey showed:

  • 6% of respondents who had seen their physician for at least 10 years said they would switch;
  • 8% of respondents who had seen their physician for five to nine years said they would switch;
  • 10% of respondents who had seen their physician for two to four years said they would switch;
  • 7% of respondents who had seen their physician for less than one year said they would switch (Harris Poll survey, December 2014);
  • 11% of patients ages 18 to 34 said they would switch;
  • 8% of patients ages 35 to 44 said would switch (MobiHealthNews, 1/21);
  • 5% of patient ages 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 said they would switch; and
  • 4% of patients age 65 and older said they would switch (Harris Poll survey, December 2014).

However, about 88% of respondents said they would like to select the physician for a video visit rather than be randomly assigned one (Gold, "Morning eHealth," Politico, 1/22).

When asked how they would prefer to respond if a loved one needed medical attention in the middle of the night:

  • 44% of respondents said they would go to the emergency department;
  • 21% said they would use a video visit;
  • 17% said they would call a 24-hour nurse line; and
  • 5% said they would consult an online symptom checker.

The survey also asked consumers about their willingness to receive a prescription through a video visit. The survey showed:

  • 70% of respondents said receiving a prescription via an online video visit was preferable to receiving a prescription via an in-person visit;
  • 60% said they would be comfortable using an online video visit to get a prescription for a refill;
  • 42% of women ages 18 to 32 would be comfortable getting a prescription for birth control through an online video visit; and
  • 41% reported interest in getting antibiotics through an online video visit.

When asked about the costs of an online physician visit:

  • 62% said online video visits should cost less than an in-person visit;
  • 22% said both types of visits should cost the same amount; and
  • 5% said video visits should cost more (MobiHealthNews, 1/21).

10 Wearables Totally Changing the Medical Industry

10 Wearables Totally Changing the Medical Industry | Healthcare and Technology news |
These 10 medical wearables are about to significantly impact the future of breast cancer, smoking and more.
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