Exciting Aspects of Healthcare Mobile App Development

By Ritesh Patil, co-founder, Mobisoft Infotech.

Ritesh Patil
Ritesh Patil

In the past few years, information technology has developed and now it becomes an integral part of the medical sphere. Currently, the innovation of wireless medicine is increasing rapidly and influencing the present healthcare industry.

In the year 2017, more than 3.5 billion individuals having tablets and mobile phones with access to healthcare applications, because apps are providing the various health-related solution to the patients instantly.

Future mHealth entrepreneurs or startups should consider the concept of multi-platform application development from their initial days if they want to achieve success in this medical sphere. Presently, more than 70 percent of mHealth app publishers pick both the Android platforms and iOS to deliver their app to medical care providers and patients.

The  healthcare mobile app development highlights significant possibilities to both entrepreneurs and startups. A financial specialist is willing to support the growing medical industry and they are ready to invest in this era. Also, numerous private care providers intend to adopt advanced applications on a massive scale to improve their practice workflow.

The Medical App Development Market

mHealth is continuously developing and people prefer to download and utilize mHealth applications frequently. This area is continuously developing at a rapid pace and, many people download and use mHealth apps, the IT industry utilizing these applications to understand more about the user behaviors, popular and unpopular app features, and beyond that. Today, this knowledge is being used to focus on healthcare mobile app development arena to make these apps more popular and user-friendly. Well, let’s check the present state of the healthcare industry, with the professionals and organizations support.

Future Innovations of mHealth

We all know that many companies enter this growing space, so innovations are definitely to be occur. According to the current healthcare market scenario and the ongoing researches highlight some innovative future innovations of mHealth. In this article, we will discuss the future expectations of mHealth. These include:

These innovations will definitely reshape the healthcare industry. It will improve the patient health and also maintain a proper way of doctor and patient communication. As well as coming healthcare application development is increasing efficiency in the sector of healthcare. Undoubtedly, healthcare apps are effective, user-friendly, and profitable it can break all the geographical boundaries. This advanced features will incite the startups and entrepreneurs to enter or invest this his rapidly expanding marketplace.

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Robotic Arms: How They Operate

A robotic arm works more or less like the human arm, the main difference is that this one responds according to specific programming. A robotic arm can be designed to either operate on its own as an independent device or as an integral part of a complex robot. Manipulation of robotic arms movements is made possible by connective joints which allow for various actions such as rotation, horizontal or parallel movements.

Types of Robotic Arms

The classification of robotic arms depends on a robotics’ mechanical structure. Features, such as joints, mode of work and so on, are highly considered. Many distinctive robots are made of seven metallic parts joined together by six joints. A computer through programming that is specific to the particular robotic arm regulates the movement of these joints. There are six main categories of robotic arms. These are:

This robotic arm has three joints which appear more or less like Cartesian axes. These robotic arms are the most ideal for pick and place tasks. They are widely used in assembling industries and arc welding.

As suggested in the name, this is a robotic arm that works by making cylindrical coordinate movements. Normally, cylindrical robotic arms have several joints fixed on one primary rod. These joints make rotational movements. These robotic arms are ideal for assembling firms and spot welding.

These are robotic arms that move in a spherical rotation that is within the designed range. Polar robotic arms are used in gas welding and spot welding.

These are the most common robotic arms, probably the kind the everyone thinks of when they think robots. Scara robotic arms have two parallel rotary joints. The joints enable them to make complete movements along a plane and are ideal for pick and place types of jobs like assembling.

These types of robotic arms are used for welding and drilling. They have an ease of flexibility which allows them easy access to many parts of the work environment. They are used for assembling jobs, gas and arc welding, die-casting and spray painting.

These have two parallel faces that create a prismatic movement. Their movements are made possible by the closely fitted rotational joints.

Robotic Hands

There are robotic arms that require very close simulation of the human hand to achieve the desired task appropriately. Such robotic arms have a robotic hand which is more like the hand of a human being. Robotic hands, also known as end effectors are important for robotic arms that are aimed for more specific tasks such as gripping, picking and placing, and rotation of parts.

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Speed, Security and Superior Quality: Redefining Fax For the Modern Era

By Robert Cichielo, CTO and founder, etherFAX.

Robert Cichielo
Robert Cichielo

Government regulations require that specific industries, such as healthcare and financial services, comply with data privacy regulations. These compliance requirements serve to protect private, confidential, and sensitive information from unwanted intruders that could attempt to intercept files in transit. Though organizations can take measures to ensure that their email solutions are agreeable to these demands, an email message will typically pass through multiple servers before it reaches the final point of delivery. This indirect transmission method leaves mission-critical documents and other unstructured data potentially vulnerable.

Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation implemented a new policy prohibiting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests via email. Now, people requesting public records must use fax machines, standard mail, or the FBI’s online portal to communicate with the agency’s records management division. While many thought it was a step backward for the FBI to use “archaic technologies” such as fax, industry veterans applauded the FBI’s decision to use one of the most trusted document delivery methods available today.

Communicating via email has many severe disadvantages and vulnerabilities including imminent threats of cyber hacking and hard-drive or server crashes which can compromise sensitive and confidential data. Despite its antiquated image, fax can ensure security, compliance and the guaranteed delivery of business-critical information more than email. Fax’s key role in healthcare data security best practices is the reason why the online fax market is projected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2022.

End-to-End Encryption

To guarantee the secure transfer of information between two endpoints, the ideal fax solution must utilize well-defined end-to-end encryption methods such as those defined in the Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES). This hybrid encryption scheme uses Elliptic Curve Cryptography to generate a shared secret between peers to seed the encryption process with unique keying material, while signing and authentication mechanisms assure the validity of the data in transit.

End-to-end encryption not only protects data at each endpoint, it also protects data at rest. Since information is never de-encrypted and re-encrypted, even if a third-party were to snoop on the information in transit, it would be indecipherable. Most importantly, end-to-end encryption schemes allow secure transmissions even over unsecured channels.

Hybrid Cloud Technology

While traditional fax transmissions are hampered by limitations associated with PSTN and telephony infrastructure at “analog modem speeds”, the cloud (a digital network) can offer a different and more effective approach. By leveraging the cloud and delivering all faxes via HTTPS, outdated fax boards, media gateways, and the complex telephony stack are completely eliminated.

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Health IT Startup: Beyond Limits

Beyond Limits is a pioneering AI company with a unique legacy from the US space program. The company is transforming proven technologies from Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab into advanced AI solutions for forward-looking companies on earth. Beyond Limits delivers AI software capable of tackling complex industrial and enterprise challenges for leading global customers to transform their businesses and industrial operations in areas such as healthcare, oil and gas, finance, transportation and logistics.

Elevator pitch

Breakthrough cognitive technology goes beyond conventional AI, blending deep learning and machine learning tools together with symbolic AI that emulates human intuition to produce our cognitive intelligence.

Founders’ story

AJ Abdallat
AJ Abdallat

AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond Limits. AJ Abdallat worked with HP on key NASA/JPL projects. One of the key projects was a collaboration with NASA/JPL Center for Space Microelectronics Technology (CSMT) and Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR). The collaboration which Abdallat managed led to the installation of a 256-processor Exemplar supercomputer with a peak performance of one teraflop (one million computations per second). The Exemplar supercomputer at the time was the fastest supercomputer in the world.

In 1998 Caltech hired Dr. David Baltimore as president. Dr. Baltimore vision was to make technology commercialization at Caltech/JPL the hallmark of his administration. In 1998 AJ Abdallat and Dr. Carl Kukkonen (CSMT Executive Director), left to launch a Caltech/JPL startup to commercialize JPL technologies with the support of Dr. Baltimore. In 1999 Dr. Mark James and other JPL scientists joined Abdallat in the Caltech/JPL startup and efforts to commercialize JPL smart sensors and AI technologies. Between 1998 and 2012, Abdallat founded and launched several spin-off companies from Caltech/JPL in the fields of AI, smart sensors, gas sensing, finance and homeland security.

Since 2012, Abdallat has been focused on AI and cognitive reasoning systems from NASA/JPL. In 2014 Abdallat launched Beyond Limits, a NASA/JPL AI and Cognitive Computing startup. He secured Series A investment in 2014 and in early in 2017 closed Series B funding from British Petroleum (BP). Abdallat is currently working on securing Series C investment to accelerate delivery of Industrial-grade AI.

Marketing/promotion strategy

Beyond Limits delivers AI software capable of tackling complex industrial and enterprise challenges for leading global customers to transform their businesses and industrial operations.

The advanced intelligence solutions developed by Beyond Limits magnify human talent, enabling people to apply their attention, experience, and their passions to solving problems that truly matter. Many pioneering JPL scientists now work at Beyond Limits, building solutions for companies in down-to-earth industries, such as oil and gas, healthcare, finance, transportation and logistics.

Market opportunity

With more than 40 technologies developed for NASA’s famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Beyond Limits offers cognitive AI and reasoning systems available for the first time for commercial use. Beyond Limits delivers cognitive solutions with the resilience, reasoning, and autonomy required by the harsh environment -of space to improve the performance of industrial and enterprise systems on Earth.

Powered by Beyond Limits innovations, the company’s technology is an evolutionary leap beyond conventional AI to a human-like ability to perceive, understand, correlate, learn, teach, reason and solve problems faster than existing AI solutions.

Who are your competitors?

Beyond Limits has no direct competitors developing AI solutions for healthcare. Competitors may include Troops, SparkCognition, Vicarious and Butter.ai; however, Beyond Limits provides advanced intelligence solutions that go far beyond conventional AI. Our cognitive computing technology mimics human thought processes and provides autonomous reasoning to aid human-like decision-making.

How your company differentiates itself from the competition and what differentiates Beyond Limits?

Our breakthrough cognitive technology goes beyond conventional AI, blending deep learning and machine learning tools together with symbolic AI that emulates human intuition to produce our cognitive intelligence. Unlike “black box” machine learning solutions that cannot explain their results, a Beyond Limits system provides clear explanations of its cognitive reasoning in transparent, evidence-based audit trails. Our systems are both educated and trained, which greatly reduces the amount of data that is needed to make them intelligent. This means we can solve problems that deep learning approaches alone cannot do.

Business model

Our goal is to create automated solutions with human-like reasoning powers that magnify the capabilities of people. We pride ourselves as the only AI company that provides solutions for problems that cannot be solved using conventional AI approaches.

Beyond Limits goes beyond conventional AI by delivering advanced intelligence solutions that have been tested and proven in the harshest, most extreme conditions in space and the most demanding conditions here on Earth. We deliver cognitive solutions with the resilience, reasoning, and autonomy required by the massive scale and unimaginable distances of interplanetary space to improve the performance of industrial and enterprise systems on Earth.

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MedTech Breakthrough Awards Announced

One of the most recognized annual awards programs in the world today—the MedTech Breakthrough—has recently announced the results of its 2018 awardees. Evaluated by an independent expert panel, the nominees were carefully examined, and winners were selected based on various considerations. Awards were given according to the following categories: medtech leadership, clinical and health administration, patient engagement, electronic health records, genomics, internet-of-things (IoT) healthcare, medical data, mobile communication and telehealth, healthcare cybersecurity and medical devices.

This award program is a testament to the continuous innovations in the field of medicine brought about by the incorporation of various technological advancements in other fields of science.

The Progress of Medicine

The progress of medical science at present is obviously at its zenith as compared to its level of progress in the past. Medicine, for example has existed for several millennia, and most of it was largely non-scientific, for in earlier times medicine was closely associated with religious and superstitious beliefs.

In our contemporary time, however, every aspect of medicine seems to be innovating at an unprecedented pace, and other technological advancements in fields like physics, genetics, computer programming and engineering, and chemistry seem to be all contributing to the progress of medical science and medical institutions.

By simply looking at the above mentioned awards distributed by MedTech Breakthrough, for example, you would immediately see the inclusions of the internet-of-things, genomics, medical data, mobile communications and electronic records, all of which seem to have a somewhat detached relationship to medical science. Yet, it is obvious that the progress of medical science can no longer be isolated from other technological advancements.

Medical Science and Alternative Medicines

Medical science has slowly detached itself from alternative medicines by strictly subscribing to the scientific method in the diagnostic and treatment of diseases. If a medical practice, therefore, is based only on alternative medicines without the backings of scientific studies, it is presumed to be based on unwarranted assumptions without scientific merit. Scientific medicine, however, does not peremptorily debunk the efficiencies of alternative medicines, for that would be unwise. What it is debunking is the method by which alternative medicines assume the efficacious of their alternative methods of treatments.

A good point of reference would be the practice of chiropractic. Chiropractors for example, start with the premise that diseases are simply indicative of the effects of subluxations. They focus then on the detection and eventual correction of vertebral subluxation to heal maladies. Although there are mixer chiropractors who combine diagnostic and treatment approaches from different osteopathic viewpoints, most of them still solely attribute diseases to subluxation. Yet, subluxation and its relationship to a disease is really hard to prove scientifically.

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A New Wave of Ransomware Is Coming (And You’re Probably Not Prepared)

By Marcus Chung, CEO, BoldCloud.

Marcus J. Chung
Marcus J. Chung

When it comes to cybercrime, online attacks often follow seasonal trends. So as the kids head back to school, it’s safe to assume that cybercriminals have learned and developed some new ransomware tricks that will be coming to a computer near you this fall.

If you are like most healthcare organizations, you’re probably not prepared to deal with this new wave of attacks. Amongst the endless flow of sensationalistic cyberattack headlines, including NotPetya and the Erie County Medical Center, it’s easy to become numb to the threat of ransomware—choosing to believe that your organization is either too small to be a likely target or that your existing cybersecurity measures provide adequate protection. Unfortunately, this optimism has led to the peril of many healthcare providers and in turn the patients they serve.

When a ransomware disaster struck A1Care 12 years ago, CEO Percy Syddall wasn’t sure how hackers evaded his company’s defenses. All he knew was that A1Care’s computers were locked down and the perpetrators who promised to restore the system upon payment kept changing their demands. Each day the problem went unsolved further disrupted the in-home elderly care, facility placements and case management services that A1Care’s clients depended upon and threatened to destroy the business Syddall had worked so hard to build.

The Rise of Ransomware

The biggest cybersecurity concern used to be hackers invading healthcare systems to steal sensitive patient data and then selling it to the highest bidder. But today, one of the easiest assaults on a computer system is ransomware—a debilitating attack through which an anonymous criminal encrypts your files and then forces you to pay them whatever amount they request in order to regain access to your system—and all the important files it may contain.

SonicWall recently reported  there have been 181.5 million ransomware attacks during the first six months of 2018, which marks a 229 percent increase over this same time frame in 2017. Encrypted threats are up 275 percent over last year.

Why has ransomware become the primary cyber threat out there? Most experts point to four primary factors:

  1. Finding a buyer: The key to any successful transaction is finding a buyer that is willing to pay to acquire whatever it is that you are selling. When it comes to selling data on the dark web, searching for a buyer is tricky and comes with many risks. Selling something directly to the person you stole it from improves the odds of getting paid quickly and quietly.
  2. The US government: In 2017, Shadow Brokers compromised government security defenses and delivered to the world the tools the NSA had been using to break into computers of its adversaries. Created at a huge expense to American taxpayers, those cyberweapons have now been picked up by hackers from North Korea to Russia and are being used against businesses and civilians. The WannaCry attack was born from these tools, as was the Petya attack which shut down millions of computers across the globe with demands for payments in order to restore access.
  3. Cryptocurrency: In the old days, collecting a ransom involved suitcases full of cash (containing bills that could be marked) or wire transfers (which could be tracked). The cash then had to be laundered, which meant only large criminal organizations typically had the necessary resources. Today, anyone can sign up for a cryptocurrency wallet in a matter of minutes—some criminals even provide their victims with simple to follow instructions. With cryptocurrency, neither the wallet nor the resulting transactions can be easily connected to any real-world identities.
  4. Ransomware-as-a-Service: Once upon a time, cybercriminals had to develop their own malware, which required coding skills and at least some knowledge of operating systems, networking and hardware. Now, easy-to-use “ransomware as a service” can be purchased cheaply on the darknet. Some vendors even offer customer support for buyers of their malware. And would-be hackers who want customized ransomware can hire black-hat coders for its development.

Healthcare is a favorite target for hackers

Smaller healthcare organizations are an easy target for hackers because most don’t have adequate financial or technical resources to defend themselves against the onslaught attacks. According to Cryptonite, healthcare organizations have reported an 89 percent year-over-year increase in ransomware attacks.

No healthcare provider wants to be a victim of an ransomware attack, but cybersecurity is a complex problem that requires multiple layers of defenses. Many owners of healthcare organizations feel they can’t afford to keep their practice safe because it typically requires deploying sophisticated endpoint technologies such as antivirus, anti-malware software and firewalls to keep intruders out and then hiring resources to keep up with frequent software, data backups and equipment security updates, as well as providing security training for staff.

Industry experts estimate that an organization with 50 employees may have to spend upward of $50,000 to have the best possible protection against cyberthreats and then thousands of dollars each year to keep everything up to date. But even when organizations make this investment in security, they might still have a breach.

Minding the security gap

Hackers are becoming extremely resourceful and have found ways to circumvent even the most advanced antivirus and anti-ransomware solutions. These solutions cannot protect against Fully UnDetectable (FUD) threats that were conceived by cyber criminals to directly evade existing security layers and harm data.

Recent Tenable research reveals, “cybercriminals have a median seven-day window of opportunity during which they can exploit a vulnerability to attack their victims.” Ponemon’s 2017 State of Endpoint Security Risk Report suggests that 69 percent of organizations don’t believe their antivirus can stop the threats they’re now seeing. Even FireEye reports “… in 100 percent of the breaches to which [they] responded … firewalls and antivirus protections were up to date.”

Antivirus software monitors for the signatures of known threats, so it can’t deal in real-time with all of the fresh attacks constantly evolving in dark web incubators. Other behavior-based security approaches use machine learning to identify threats. For example, if an email attachment tries to access a large number of files quickly or an unexpected file starts encrypting files, a behavior-based approach tries to shut it down. Today’s attackers simply avoid detection by changing the predictable characteristics of ransomware—slowing down or randomizing encryption or lying dormant for a period of time before executing the attack.

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Healthcare Information Systems: Future of Information Technology in the Healthcare Sector

By Smita Deshmukh, research analyst, Transparency Market Research.

Smita Deshmukh
Smita Deshmukh

Over the past few decades, healthcare information systems has been occupying an increasingly vital role in clinical and patient care and hospital operations across the globe. Their essential role includes capturing, storing, managing, or transmitting patient data and information related to the activities of healthcare organizations. The market for healthcare information systems is on the path of rapid evolution, essentially riding on the back of rising adoption of modern healthcare IT technologies.

Various systems and the underlying technologies have gained traction in the health sector with end users aiming to leverage their potential to transform patient care and healthcare practices world over. The ambit of healthcare information systems spans wide and the broad elements comprise operational systems, administrative systems, task-based systems, and financial systems. Some of the key applications of the systems include hospital information systems, pharmacy information systems, revenue cycle management, and medical imaging information system.

Trends Underpinning Lucrativeness of Healthcare Information Systems

Several factors drive the demand and influence the uptake of healthcare information systems across the globe.

Marked Impact on Effectiveness of Healthcare 

According to Transparency Market Research, the global market for healthcare information systems is massive and it was worth $227,021.4 Mn in 2017. The market is projected to rise at an impressive CAGR of 9.6 percent from 2018 to 2026.

The application of healthcare information systems assist healthcare providers in improving the quality of patient care and streamline healthcare processes. For instance, the systems may be useful to better medication management, reduce medical errors, optimize healthcare costs, and increase the accuracy of diagnosis. In several developing and developed countries, various hospital information systems have witnessed widespread adoption in the health sector. A few of the key elements of the system are electronic health records (EHRs), patient engagement solutions, pharmacy information systems, and patient engagement solutions.

Robust health information exchange services are becoming crucial to reap the benefits of healthcare information systems. This helps in expanding the access of medical records among doctors and medical technicians and is supported by strategic moves by companies. SacValley MedShare, a nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) based in Northern California, announced in June 2018 that it is merging with another HIE, Connect Healthcare. The combined entity will provide health information exchange services to clinics and hospitals giving them secure access to the medical records of more than 2.6 million patients.

Technological Advancements open Exciting Paradigms

The healthcare information systems is reaping tall benefits from the wave of technological advancement. In recent years, the swift pace of digitization of healthcare data has created new paradigms in remote patient care. Furthermore, the application of wearable technologies is positively influencing the demand for healthcare information system. In this regard, the growing application of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) has helped in reducing the burden of lifestyle and chronic diseases world over. The rising deployment of robots in automating routine healthcare operations is also an encouraging development.

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Healthcare Technology Outsourcing Is On The Rise: Here Are 3 Reasons Why

By Shawn Yates, director of product management, Ontario Systems.

Shawn Yates
Shawn Yates

Impossible projects, crazy deadlines and short staffing present a bigger challenge than their own resolution: They draw focus away from important revenue cycle functions that maintain positive margins. Caring for the patient is, of course, the healthcare provider’s core mission. Healthcare’s financial operations help to achieve that mission.

Those involved in the revenue cycle process grasp the value efficiency and agent productivity can bring to an organization.

Reduced cost, greater performance, and the capacity to work through more patient accounts are the direct benefit, and those goals tie directly to financial performance and the core mission of outstanding patient care. Workflow, data analytics, reporting and performance dashboards are just a few of the tools you use to get to that point.

When working with new technology, having a resource to leverage from an outsourcing perspective can be very beneficial. Providers who outsource do so because they know their health system functions more efficiently when they can focus on what they do best.

What are the specific reasons that make outsourcing a particularly attractive investment right now? Three factors contribute:

  1. It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on today’s technology. Whether it’s a smart phone, a smart appliance, or a smart digital assistant like Alexa, new features critical to your process come and go at a rapid pace. Leveraging technology outsourcing resources helps healthcare providers digest this information easier and implement solutions faster.
  2. Siloed information means common, effective practices are shared less freely. Mergers, acquisitions, and other forms of consolidation make it difficult to reconcile the most effective practices that different parts of a health system use. A good managed services team focused on your technology can bring all that information together, which means more harmonious operation not only within your team, but in concert with others.
  3. Increasing productivity is the key to financial success. Fully-leveraging new technology can be the key to managing talent, setting goals, and ultimately improving productivity, while using expert resources in a technology outsourcing capacity can help you bring in new features quicker. Together, these practices lead to faster returns on investment as providers today are faced with reduced reimbursements.

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Why the Lights Went Out At Lantern, And What We Can Learn From It

By Paddy Padmanabhan, founder and CEO, Damo Consulting, and author of “The Big Unlock

Paddy Padmanabhan
Paddy Padmanabhan

“We’re sad to say goodbye.”

That was the subject line of the message from Lantern, a behavioral health startup whose app and coaching services I had used for a while. Lantern’s letter stated it is shuttering its business on August 1, helpfully offering to continue the coaching services for a limited period and pointing to other resources for those who relied on its services for six years since it started. News reports say Lantern is laying off 25 employees after failing to find a buyer for the company.

Firstly, I want to say this to the folks at Lantern: I’m sad we have to say goodbye. Although I had ceased to use the app a while back, I had developed a relationship with my personal behavioral coach who checked in with me regularly to see how I was doing with my meditation practice, often prodding me with a gentle nudge when I missed reporting on my sessions. I had the benefit of several conversations with my coach who was helpful, understanding and skilled at her work. Despite my short relationship with Lantern, I felt a positive impact on my well-being through regular meditation and mindfulness.

I came to know about Lantern back in December 2016 when I shared a stage as a speaker at an industry event with one of their executives. Back then, behavioral health was getting recognized as a $280 billion problem, which I wrote about after the Senate Health Committee announced the Mental Health Reform Act. Behavioral health is a complicated and expensive issue in U.S healthcare, which consulting firm McKinsey estimated affected 20 percent of the U.S population and was significantly underfunded in terms of treatment infrastructure.

In late 2016, there were more than 200 behavioral health startups, all of whom were responding to a brewing mental health crisis, and a favorable legislative and funding environment. Lantern was one of the highly visible ones, raising $17 million in series A money from marquee names, such as UPMC, Stanford University and Mayfield Ventures. The opioid epidemic and the exacerbation of related mental health issues was about to explode into public consciousness. Health insurance companies, faced with increasing costs for mental health and substance abuse, had started taking an interest in these startups. High profile partnerships were announced, such as the one between Highmark BCBS and Quartet. For a while, behavioral health seemed like a sure shot.

So what went wrong?

I’m sure the folks at Lantern and their VCs are pondering the question hard. However, back when I wrote about it, the signs of trouble were already visible. The Lantern executive I met at the time indicated that the lack of a reimbursement model for behavioral health was a huge challenge for growth. In healthcare, as we know, following the money is a prerequisite for success. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had thrown $44.5 million at the problem, a drop in the ocean relative to the size of the problem.

Even for those who had access to funding, finding and recruiting trained clinicians with experience in behavioral health was a massive challenge.

Many startups, looking to stay outside the purview of regulation, tried to sidestep the FDA and go straight to employers and consumers (an expensive mistake that many failed digital health startups have learned the hard way).

Eventually, these problems had to come to a head. Lantern’s sad demise, brought about by a lack of ability to scale, and a lack of interest from the same insurance companies who were bullish on the sector two years ago, tells us that a business model with no revenue model has limited chances of success.

Is behavioral health dead then? Perhaps not. Many new telehealth companies, such as Teladoc, now offer behavioral health services. The CMS’s new rule to boost telehealth payments could be a shot in the arm that revives the fortunes of struggling behavioral health startups.

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4 Tips To Amplify Your Patient Satisfaction Surveys

By Chris Byers, CEO, Formstack.

Chris Byers
Chris Byers

Patient satisfaction surveys are growing in popularity among healthcare organizations as the United States health system continues its transition to value-based care. A well-designed and distributed survey can help you discover hidden issues or gems in your organization’s care system. It can also provide useful insights on whether you’re meeting patient expectations.

If done right, your patient satisfaction survey can be a key player in building a satisfying and cohesive experience for patients. It can help you identify which aspects of care — facility appearance, provider approachability, cost, convenience, etc. — are most important to patients so you can plan improvements accordingly.

There’s just one catch: convincing patients to complete your surveys can be tough. You’ll need to up your game if you want to gather substantial feedback. To get the most out of your patient satisfaction surveys, follow these four tips:

Provide a Compelling “Why”

Even if your patient satisfaction survey takes only five minutes to complete, you’re still asking busy people to willingly give up their time. If you don’t want to be ignored, you need to give patients a good reason to spare five minutes.

In the communication accompanying your survey, let patients know you care about their experience at your facility and want their journey to be as frictionless as possible. Tell them their feedback plays a vital role in improving quality of care for all patients. Make it clear that you want to provide a best-in-class environment and service.

Keep Surveys Brief

If possible, it’s best to keep your surveys concise and simple. The longer and more complex a survey is, the less likely people are to participate. Also, if the survey is short and easy-to-understand, you’ll typically get better (and more clear) feedback from patients.

A top goal should be to ask patient satisfaction survey questions that elicit useful responses. This means keeping questions short and to the point. If a question is lengthy or focuses on more than one aspect of the patient experience, the patients’ answers may be confusing.

Avoid Paper Surveys

Although the healthcare industry is a bit behind on the digital revolution, patients are not. They expect the ease and convenience of completing surveys and other healthcare paperwork on their mobile devices. Thus, a paper survey will be met with disdain.

An online survey is user-friendly and much easier to manage than a paper survey. Patients can complete the survey whenever it is convenient for them, and all submitted data is housed in an organized database for easy analysis.

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