Health Technology for the Ages: Different Patient Demographics Are Embracing New Options

By Mike Braham, CEO, Trapollo.

Mike Braham

Delivery of care options have evolved quickly over the last decade, as more patients have become comfortable with remote care and connected health services. And while it’s often assumed that younger generations are more eager to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape, services enabled by technology are being adopted by all generations – but often for different reasons.

The Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers

It’s estimated that by 2020, roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population will be over 50.

Those in the older generations are typically associated with an aversion to technology, assumed to value in-office engagements with medical providers and clinging to antiquated methods of treatment.

Although older generations grew up in a face-to-face generation where doctors regularly made house calls, that doesn’t mean they balk at connected health services. In fact, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation (those that grew up in the Depression era) are more digitally connected than ever and benefit from remote visits too. Many don’t realize that Boomers have been using technology since PCs were introduced in the workplace the early 1990’s, long before the launch of today’s iPhones and Androids. And while modern technology may be relatively new to the Greatest Generation, the group has shown to be the fastest-growing adopters of smart phones.

While neither group is digitally native, many welcome alternative care options such as connected health. For one, a large portion of the nation’s $2.7 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures are related to chronic disease, which afflicts older patients more than younger ones. Plus, connected health options are less expensive than in-office visits. However, cost isn’t the only factor they consider.

Most Boomers are still in the workforce and looking to balance the end of their careers with caring of aging parents. Connected health can save money and time associated with office visits. And those in the 75-85 age group – the Greatest Generation – prefer not to travel to see a doctor post-surgery if they could use two-way video or a phone call. This is coupled with the fact that transportation is the biggest impediment to seeing doctors or following up post-surgery for extended care for chronic illness.

Transportation challenges or disrupted routines are just a few of the barriers to getting a patient proper care – and it’s costly. Of roughly 1.3 million hospital transfers from nursing homes each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate that 45 percent are unnecessary. The introduction of remote care could be paramount, offering patients a minimally disruptive alternative to receive necessary care that would decrease long term issues.

Millennials and Generation Zers

Millennials currently make up a quarter of the country, and Gen Zers are coming up quickly behind them. While the younger set may be less dependent on the healthcare system now than their Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation precedents, it’s becoming more apparent just how much influence they have on the industry.

Having spent their lives plugged into technology, millennials and Gen Zers are widely referred to as the on-demand generations. They want immediate results in all aspects of life and are driving huge strides in technological healthcare advancements, including self-service options and remote delivery.

So, it should be no surprise that they often prefer quick service retail clinics and acute care facilities and are largely interested in connected health alternatives. For these generations, it’s all about online access, immediate results and keeping costs low. Many of them prefer urgent cares to primarily care physicians and see doctors most often for acute issues or maternity care. In fact, a majority of millennial respondents in a recent Patient-Provider Relationship Study cited that making a visit to the doctor’s office is a last resort.

Consumers of all ages increasingly embrace technology-enabled healthcare options

In short, today’s patient, regardless of age, is more engaged in their health care and not just relying on their doctors’ orders. Nearly everyone takes to the internet to try and figure out their ailments via search engine before heading to a doctor’s office.

And while millennial and Gen Z patients may be leading the charge as connected health patients, it’s possible that elder generations aren’t – and shouldn’t – be too far behind. Based on their vast adoption of modern technologies, remote care can be a useful tool in reducing unnecessary visits to a physician’s office and may curb an emergency trip to the hospital as well. While it is still important for patients to have some face time with their doctors, technology is creating easily accessible and positive alternatives for all ages.

Better Prior Authorization Outcomes Through “Augmented Intelligence”

By Navaneeth Nair, vice president of product, Infinx.

Navaneeth Nair

Recently, major U.S. health insurance companies have begun implementing prior authorization processes. These insurers do not possess the specialized knowledge needed to determine medical necessity, so they have to shift the responsibility to providers in order to minimize instances of fraud and abuse.

However, shifting prior authorization responsibility back to the practitioners can be troublesome. Many providers do not have the necessary staff headcount needed to handle the seemingly endless number of phone calls needed to obtain manual insurance verifications.

That may lead providers to seek completely automated solutions as a solution, but—despite all the advances in artificial intelligence (AI)—machines simply cannot do everything. The true purpose of AI is to help people make better decisions rather than completely automate tasks and remove the human element.

Decision-making in the healthcare industry absolutely requires the intelligence and empathy that can only come from people and not machines. As a result, it is more accurate for providers to look to “augmented intelligence,” which is the enhanced capabilities of human clinical decision-making coupled with AI’s computational methods and systems as defined by the American Medical Association.

Make no mistake—AI is absolutely necessary in healthcare because the industry is either swimming or drowning in data, depending upon whom you ask. As a result, the value proposition with the most potential is to implement a tool that can input the data, make sense of it, and present it back to the provider in a way that allows people to use their knowledge and empathy to make the best possible decisions.

The AI component is designed to continuously learn and improve from all data and interactions to provide prescriptive insights for decision making while providing an increasing transparency into the process. Ultimately, the AI’s job is to enable intelligent decisions by applying machine learning, natural language processing and understanding. When decision making is more deductive based on a learning system, it improves outcomes.

Predictive models are inherently simple to build, but difficult to maintain, because none of our healthcare processes remain stable enough to utilize the data and patterns that are produced. Those aspects are always changing, so practices need a solution that seamlessly integrates the process and constantly accesses the latest and most relevant data.

AI should be prescriptive and not just predictive since predicting the outcome without explain ability (black box AI) is limiting, particularly in healthcare where we need to better understand machine rationale before applying it.

Lastly, the human component is required to make the decisions that robotic automation and AI cannot. Only people with empathy and knowledge of each unique situation can tailor the patient experience to their individual context and needs.

Simply put, prior authorization needs to be a product of human determination with as much assistance as AI can provide. The best possible outcomes are the result of good intelligence and great execution.

The most significant value proposition for AI is the ability to take mundane administrative processes like prior authorization or revenue cycle management off the task list of staff members who have more important things to focus on without letting machines make critical healthcare decisions. The most valuable automation systems will continuously learn from the data gathered from previous experiences in order to help people make better decisions.

This “digital workforce” will not replace human workers, but instead will accelerate employee expertise, augment decision making, reduce manual processing costs and risk, increase consistency of output, and develop continuous self-learning processes. These best-in-class platforms will allow providers to manage prior authorization, coding, and billing needs through a combination of AI and specialists.

Providers should avoid completely automated solutions for prior authorizations and instead look to a solution that does not remove the deep knowledge and expertise factor gained from specialists. Many general-purpose AI solutions are nothing more than spot analytics solutions branded as AI, which require significant investments and deliver uncertain results.

While AI may one day evolve to the point of completely automating the prior authorization process, providers today should remain committed to incorporating the human factor for better decision making and outcomes.

Healthcare Information Technology Leader, Vyne, Acquired by The Jordan Company

Vyne, a market leader in secure health information exchange and electronic healthcare communication management, announced today it has been acquired by The Jordan Company, L.P., a middle-market-focused private equity firm with original capital commitments in excess of $11 billion. This new investment supports Vyne’s commitment of providing market-leading healthcare technology and support to thousands of dental practices, hospitals and major health systems across the United States.

The acquisition of Vyne from private equity firm Accel-KKR, comes after five years of consistent top and bottom-line growth as well as a strategic acquisition to expand its product offerings.  With the backing of The Jordan Company, Vyne will further expand upon its already robust technology platforms that facilitate the electronic capture, storage and submission of healthcare data in any form – voice, document, image, data, fax or electronic interface — to provide business intelligence throughout any care organization. Vyne’s proven solutions connect disconnected data to close gaps in documentation,delivering improved financial strength, operational performance and patient experience for medical and dental providers, partners and payers.

Lindy Benton

“This acquisition provides Vyne with an amazing opportunity to serve more healthcare organizations and we’re looking forward to working with The Jordan Company to continue expanding our capabilities for serving the medical and dental markets,” said Lindy Benton, Vyne President and CEO. “Vyne clients and partners will benefit from this strategic move as we grow our portfolio of solutions that help position their healthcare organizations for the future.”

“Vyne has a long and successful track record of providing software products that deliver true value to healthcare organizations.,” said Dan Williams, Partner of The Jordan Company. “We are excited to partner with Lindy Benton and the Vyne management team to use our resources to support their mission of connecting disconnected data.”

Vyne serves the dental market through its NEA Powered by Vyne business, which continues to lead the dental market with its FastAttach® solution for compliant electronic attachments, serving more than 73,000 dental practice offices nationwide.

Vyne Medical servesthe healthcare industry with the robust healthcare content management capabilities of Trace™ and secure electronic information exchange solutions in use by more than 800 hospital and health system clients nationwide.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The “What If”: The Downside of Not Using A Communication Platform for Patient Engagement

By Lee Horner, CEO, Synzi.

Lee Horner

Clinician-to-patient communications are typically anchored by in-person, at-home visits. Home health agencies may struggle with understanding the benefits of technology adoption and how it will “work with” traditional check-ins. The downside of not implementing a communication platform unfortunately weakens an agency’s positioning and performance amongst patients, family caregivers, and referral sources. Without being able to safely communicate with patients via HIPAA-compliant messaging, home health agencies may negatively impact their ability to:

Introducing technology into the communications between home health agency staff and patients may be seen as a potential interference to building and sustaining meaningful clinician-patient relationships. However, the use of technology – specifically a communications platform – allows nurses to more effectively perform their clinical responsibilities and more efficiently keep patients engaged in their own care.  The benefits of using technology to strengthen communications are many.

  1. Engaged patients are more invested in their outcomes:  Patients who are engaged in their care are more aware of their day-to-day changes in their condition and more likely to ask their clinician questions if there are emerging concerns and issues. Using a communication platform to reach out to a home health clinician can mitigate trips to the ER and keep a patient on track with the appropriate steps in their care.

A communication platform can help optimize the experience for the patient and the home health agency as all stakeholders can stay in better and more frequent communication during the episode of care. Administrators can schedule and send out timely messages suited to the patient’s condition and care. Ongoing communications include appointment reminders, adherence triggers, and diet/exercise recommendations.

Patients can also safely use the platform’s HIPAA-compliant email, text, SMS, and secure message to reach their home health clinicians regarding questions or issues. The essence of the in-person clinician-patient relationship remains intact during the video-based virtual check-ins. The patient’s family members can also be included in the virtual visits to drive better understanding of the patient’s progress and next steps.  

Data is key to allowing administrator the ability to assess each patient’s level of interaction with each communication and the cadence of touchpoints. As needed, the administrator has the flexibility to adjust the compliance messaging to better engage (or re-engage) the patient. If there are concerns about non-compliance, the home health agency can decide if a more immediate intervention (e.g., call, in-home visit, or transfer to the ED is necessary.

Using a combination of messaging and video touchpoints, a communication platform can help a home health agency increase satisfaction and outcomes for the patient while actively reducing the number, length, and related costs/penalties of hospital stays. The coordinated plan to engage patients throughout the episode of care helps agencies minimize any “what if” scenario for the future of their agency, their reputation, their staff and most importantly, the agency’s impact in their region and community.  

INTEGRIS Health Selects Trace Platform by Vyne Medical to Support Consumer Financial Engagement

Vyne Medical announces an agreement with INTEGRIS Health for implementation of its Trace communication management platform. Oklahoma’s largest not-for-profit health system will implement Trace solutions across the system’s eight acute care hospitals and centralized access center.

The Trace platform encompasses voice recording, electronic faxing and image capture to automate and manage communication surrounding patient care. Data is digitized, indexed to the patient record and centralized for enterprise access and exchange. INTEGRIS will use Trace solutions to standardize and monitor key patient communication events and support its consumer financial engagement strategy.

“Trace solutions will help ensure the quality of our patient interactions prior to admission, while capturing valuable consumer insights contained in phone calls, emails, faxes and other revenue cycle communications,” said Susan Garcia, vice president of revenue cycle at INTEGRIS. “A digital audit trail of these interactions will support our goal of providing seamless service across all INTEGRIS facilities. It provides the objective data we were missing to better manage the entire patient encounter.”

Patient access team members will use Trace software to support daily activities at INTEGRIS hospitals and its centralized access center. Associates will record scheduling, preregistration and patient financial counseling phone calls with patients. Face-to-face recording will be implemented to record in-person patient encounters in registration, financial counseling and discharge planning. The Trace Quality Assurance solution will be used to review and score recordings.

Lindy Benton

“Forward-thinking health systems are investing to optimize patient encounters and identify new opportunities to improve consumer engagement,” said Lindy Benton, Vyne CEO and president. “We are excited to partner with INTEGRIS to reduce the cost of operations and improve KPIs by automating and leveraging data from these exchanges.”

With admitting physicians, INTEGRIS plans to automate delivery of faxed physician orders to eliminate paper and manual processes involved with faxing. Trace voice solutions will also be used to record pre-admission phone calls with physician offices. To improve communication with payers, INTEGRIS will document pre-authorization inquiries via payer portals and record payer voicemails granting approval for services. Medical records faxed to health plans will also be captured, along with the date and time stamp of delivery. Proof of these exchanges will help INTEGRIS reduce claim denials and improve reimbursement.

How Mobile Apps Can Help Improve Healthcare

Twitter, Facebook, TogetherIt is evident that the use of mobile apps is making a lot of changes in the current industry. The medical industry is just one of the industries that are being affected by technology and the changing times. There are some mobile apps now that can be used to ensure that patients will get the type of care and attention that they deserve.

It is always different for patients when the things that they need can be available whenever they need to do so. Access to real-time information is very helpful right now. Can you imagine if you would not have the ability to provide the care that patients need right now? This can worsen their condition or it can even be fatal.

View status reports

A lot of patients would like to be updated with their current health. There are some mobile applications that they can download wherein details about their health will be listed. They can track if there are some things that improved. They can also check their current lab results, and so much more.

The application can also have information about when they should take their medications. Some will even give them the option to check if they have already taken their medications as some people may forget if they have already done it. This can encourage patients to become more active in improving their health. The fact that they can check how their small actions can improve their health may inspire them to do more.

Mobile applications will also allow patients to make appointments with their doctors especially if in case of emergency. All of these things can be done through the smartphone of the patient.

Access and create patient charts easily

Gone are the days when people would have to wait for a long time before they can check their charts. This time, their charts can become available through their own phones. You can create their chart and share it with them so that they can view their health details too.

The best thing about this is that you can spend more time getting to know your patient and discussing with your patient all of the important things. There is no need to discuss the chart any further or if it would be brought up, only an overview will be necessary. Doctors will have more time to be engaging and to answer all of the questions that patients may have.

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Remote Cardiac Monitor Data and Artificial Intelligence: Transforming Clinical Applications for Heart Patients

Cardiovascular diseases remain the number one killer of people in the world, resulting in 31 percent of all global deaths (17.9 million per year), and are the most expensive condition to treat. However, AI and machine learning technologies are being developed to make care pathways, treatment and real-time visualization of cardiac anomalies and subsequent therapy more effective. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities may provide numerous advantages over traditional analytics and clinical decision-making techniques, and cardiology is likely to benefit tremendously from these advancements as they mature.

Stuart Long

“As machine learning-based algorithms become more precise and accurate by interacting with data and programmed information, these technologies will allow care teams to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability and patient outcomes, especially in regard to cardiac care,” said Stuart Long, CEO of InfoBionic, the leading digital health company that created the MoMe Kardia remote cardiac monitoring platform.

“AI algorithm-based cardiac devices can procure tremendous amounts of data, providing for the ability to match up what physicians are seeing to long-term patterns and possibly detect subtle improvements that can impact care,” noted Long.

Leveraging AI for clinical decision support, risk scoring and early alerting is one of the most promising areas of development for this revolutionary approach to data analysis. Powering new tools and systems can help make clinicians more aware of nuances, more efficient when delivering care, and more likely to curb a patient’s developing health problems.[1]

AI is ushering in new clinical quality and breakthroughs in patient care. For example, at the Cleveland Clinic[2], a customized algorithm developed by clinicians analyzes data, including blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation levels, to flag the patients that are at highest risk of deterioration. The ultimate goal is to provide front-line clinicians notice of serious cardiac events before they happen. Moreover, the precision now possible with cardiovascular imaging, combined with “big data” from the electronic health record and pathology, is likely to lead to tremendous cases of cardiac disease management and personalized therapy[3].

Healthcare consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, projects a 40 percent growth rate[4] for AI in healthcare between 2016 and 2021, and said AI has the potential to improve outcomes by as much as 40 percent, while reducing the costs of treatment by as much as 50 percent.

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Do You Know If Your MRI Is Secure From Hackers?

By Leon Lerman, CEO and founder, Cynerio.

Leon Lerman

Data driven medical care with connected devices is now the norm. Patient monitors, IV pumps, MRI machines, and infusions pumps all behave like computers with the ability to monitor patient conditions in real time, share data and even automatically adjust dosages. Although all of these innovations are improving in-patient care, their ability to communicate over internal computer networks has introduced new vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.

The health risks are high. Hackers can infiltrate devices and tamper with doses or even make devices show false data, leading doctors to the wrong diagnosis. Attackers can also hold electronic medical records ransom, causing delays in procedures required to treat patients.

The invisible threat

The biggest obstacle to securing medical devices is the simple fact that many of them are hidden. Hospitals often don’t have full visibility into which medical devices they have, so they aren’t aware of all the vulnerabilities. You can’t tell if your MRI is insecure if you don’t keep a full inventory of all the medical devices and all information necessary to assess the relative security risk.

Some hospitals rely on manual methods such as Excel spreadsheets to maintain an inventory of medical equipment. However, electronic files maintained by humans can’t keep pace with the growing number of the devices, and all the changes and updates that occur on an ongoing basis.

Often medical devices are added to the network without notifying security professionals and going through the necessary cautionary procedures. Many departments add equipment with the noble aim of improving patient care without notifying IT, since they are simply following the doctor’s orders and doctors are king. Something as simple as browsing for a local restaurant at a nurse’s station can put the hospital at risk if the computer isn’t adequately secured.

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Innovaccer to Host Webinar on Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Webinar with Panelists Dr. Peter Lee and Dr. Stephen K. Klasko

The world of healthcare is changing and those changes impact how we deliver care, our approach to engaging patients and the relationships between stakeholders across the healthcare value chain. Each day, we witness advances in genomics, imaging and pharmacology, and learn about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to drive these advances. Indeed, healthcare is in the midst of a major revolution and AI  seems to be at the very core of this transformation. How much of the AI story is hype and how much is real?

Innovaccer Inc., a San Francisco-based healthcare data activation company, is hosting a breakthrough AI webinar on June 20 with guest speakers Dr. Peter Lee, corporate vice president, Microsoft Healthcare, and Stephen K. Klasko MD, MBA, president and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, who will be discussing the new healthcare domains of AI, and it’s  “never imagined” impact. They will be joined by webinar moderator, David Nace MD, chief medical officer at Innovaccer.

The use of AI in healthcare has lagged behind other industries, in large part because of the lack of comprehensive, pristine data. The webinar, titled “Beyond Interoperability: Data Activation and Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare,” will focus on the recent AI hype, tease fact from fiction,  and explain how advances in data activation can solve the accuracy and interoperability problems in the space.

Dr. Lee has extensive experience in managing the process of going from basic research to commercial impact. Past illustrative examples include the deep neural networks for simultaneous language translation in Skype, next-generation IoT technologies, and innovative silicon and post-silicon computer architectures for Microsoft’s cloud. He also has a history of advancing more “out of the box” technical efforts, such as experimental under-sea data centers, augmented-reality experiences for HoloLens and VR devices, digital storage in DNA, and social chatbots such as XiaoIce and Tay.

Lee is a member of the board of directors for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. He served on President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. And, previously, as an office director at DARPA, he led efforts that created operational capabilities in advanced machine learning, crowdsourcing, and big-data analytics, such as the DARPA Network Challenge and Nexus 7.

Under Dr. Klasko’s leadership, Jefferson Health has grown from three hospitals in 2015 to 14 hospitals today. His 2017 merger of Thomas Jefferson University with Philadelphia University created a pre-eminent professional university that includes top-20 programs in fashion, design and health professions, coupled with the first design-thinking curriculum in a medical school, conducting the nation’s leading research on empathy, an essential component of medicinal practice that is often overlooked in the academic setting. As a disruptive leader in the academic ecosystem, Dr. Klasko brings a valuable point of view to the Innovaccer Strategic Advisory Council.

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Supplements For Work Easement In IT

Pill, Gel Capsule, Medicine, HealthOne of the rapidly growing industries at the global level is the information technology or IT industry. With more and more people qualifying in the field and joining every day, the IT sector has become a team of many from all over the world.

When you think of the IT sector, what comes in your mind? A computer, a table, a chair and a person working on the screen for hours on some software. Well, you are right, but there is more to it. We will be elaborating on that in this article. What this also contains is the requirement to concentrate for long hours. It sometimes becomes very difficult to focus when you are stressed or feeling tired. However, you cannot compromise work because of your mental and physical state. Therefore, we are here to explain to you the right manner to keep your mind and body fresh without the need of taking breaks from work.

If you are a part of the IT industry then this article is just right for you.

What is IT?

To the ones who are not sure what IT is, it is the utilization of any storage, networking, computers and other infrastructure, physical devices and processes to produce, process, store, protect and exchange all types of electronic data. The commercial use of IT includes both telephony and computer technology. It uses virtualization, operating systems, management tools, hardware and software.

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