COVID-19 has changed the medical world. As the amount of cases continues to rise with more hospitalizations and deaths than ever before, the medical community is scrambling to keep up. How can we protect the health and welfare of our chronically ill patients without putting them at risk for the disease? What about the real possibility of putting ourselves at risk? And then we have to consider mental health patients, who depend on their counselors and group meetings to cope.
Luckily, technology has come to the rescue for many. With the use of telehealth, high tech wearables, and the many applications that patients can now download on their smartphones, we are not completely vulnerable. We just need to think outside-the-box, so to speak. We can provide patients the care that they need and deserve without putting ourselves at undue risk. It’s just going to look way different than the traditional ways we are used to.
This article takes a look at these “high tech” ways of keeping in touch with patients and monitoring their conditions without exposing them or ourselves to COVID-19 or any other highly infectious diseases for that matter.
Response by Kristin Simonini, vice president of product, Applause.
Healthcare has long been looked at as a laggard when it comes to adopting digital services. Part of that is due to the stringent regulations of the industry and the sensitivity surrounding personally identifiable information. Part of the blame, however, falls on healthcare providers themselves. As more and more providers in the industry start to embrace digital innovation, a number of key trends emerged over the past decade including:
The embrace of mobile technology for scheduling appointments and other routine tasks
Telehealth patients accessing doctors for consults, education, and certain outpatient treatments across a variety of fields
The IoT explosion (Fitbits and other wearables) providing customers health information to drive the healthcare they receive
Healthcare’s focus on patient experience means bringing a critical eye to current digital experiences. Ease-of-use and inclusivity must be considered to ensure high-quality digital experiences across all touchpoints, particularly on smartwatches, tablets, and smart speakers
In terms of predictions for 2020, we expect use of voice technology will continue to grow and empower the healthcare industry in new ways, including supporting patients. The benefits that voice brings to healthcare can be seen in medical record transcriptions, chatbots sharing the work, sharing knowledge, voice-user interface, and connecting clinics to customers.
In addition, AI will continue to impact the healthcare industry in numerous ways. As healthcare embraces AI, it will also need to address issues of bias. All types of AI – from virtual assistants learning how different users ask for the same thing, to healthcare apps identifying potential health issues from uploaded photos – have been hampered by the same challenge: sourcing enough data to teach the machine how to interpret and respond, and then testing the output at scale to ensure the results are accurate and human-like when necessary. To mitigate bias concerns, healthcare will need to make AI more representative of patients.
By Ramona Ramadas, Arizona State University graduate student — utilizing the resources provided by the HEALab, she launched New Trails Navigators.
Over the past decade, technology and its applications continue to impact and advance our everyday lives, from things like smartwatch wearables that track our daily activity and wake us up in the morning to 3-D printing of medical models and virtual reality innovations that have the capacity to accurately replicate an automated surgery environment.
Similarly, ASU Online has brought new technology and resources to students like myself pursuing health and health care-related degrees to encourage innovative approaches to coursework and career paths. One of the most impactful resources I’ve seen available to the student community is the Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab (HEALab).
The accelerator, which provides networking, idea-generation support, pitch competitions and proposal prep assistance launched in September 2017 as a health innovation entrepreneurship lab for Arizona State University (ASU) students, faculty – both online and on campus, and the community to cultivate disruptive healthcare solutions. It is a collaborative effort with academic units and the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the goal of educating health-focused leaders to navigate the accelerating disruptions in healthcare and create new solutions to real-world problems.
As a recent Master of Healthcare Innovation (MHI) graduate, I have been able to leverage HEALab to kick start my peer health program, New Trails Navigators. The award-winning care transformation program I’ve created focuses on serving individuals who struggle to get the personalized care they need due to homelessness, incarceration, addiction or lack of insurance. The program connects at-risk individuals with peer health navigators who are uniquely qualified to re-direct them toward sustainable health and wellness.
The peer health navigators can relate in a way that other support service representatives can’t because they have been in an at-risk situation, themselves. This relatability allows the navigators to connect, build trust and positively impact the individual’s situation. Today, the program is supported by a learning management system that delivers our whole-person peer training. This training is unlike any other peer support program in place today, as an app-based platform allows peers and patients to interact in a variety of ways, ensuring that the patient is supported where they live, work, and play. Over time, artificial intelligence will become a part of the program delivery.
Data analytics is the next step in the evolution of healthcare as it uses data-driven findings to predict and address health issues. Healthcare data analytics can also help to keep track of inventory and access methods and treatments faster than conventional systems. Data analytics is often paired with health information exchanges (HIEs) to provide safer and more personalized care based on patients’ medical history, chronic conditions and medications. Healthcare data analytics software extracts, translates and synthesizes vast amounts of data to reduce costs, involve patients more in their own health and wellness and improve patient outcomes.
Opportunities and practical applications of data analytics in healthcare
Data analytics in healthcare relies on big data (vast quantities of digitized information) that gets consolidated and analyzed. The application of data analytics in healthcare has life-saving outcomes as it uses data of a subset or a particular individual to prevent potential epidemics, cure diseases and cut down on healthcare costs. Here are a few of the opportunities and practical applications of data analytics in healthcare.
Predictive analytics for personalized treatments
Predictive data analytics is the process of using historical data in order to make predictions that are personalized to each individual. Typically, analytics tools use information from millions of patients to help doctors make data-driven decisions and improve the delivery of care. Predictive data analytics helps to identify individuals who are at an elevated risk of developing chronic conditions based on lab tests, biometric data and patient-generated health data. Physicians can provide insight on lifestyle changes, wellness activities and enhanced services that can help patients avoid long-term health problems. This is particularly useful for patients with complex medical histories and suffering from multiple conditions,
Data analytics to advance telemedicine
Data analytics and telemedicine go hand in hand as it helps to empower physicians and patients and offers opportunities for remote patient monitoring and remote clinical services. Smart devices are the future of telehealth monitoring as they monitor a patient’s vitals in real-time and communicate with other devices and cloud health information systems based on data analytics to alert physicians about potential problems and provide analysis on possible interventions. Data analytics in telemedicine can help to predict acute medical events – this doctors to alter medication dosages to avert negative outcomes and prevent deterioration of patients’ conditions. Telemedicine also cuts down on costs, reduces the need for hospital visits and allows patients to live healthier and more comfortable lives.
Data analytics for real-time alerting
Hospitals have started employing clinical decision support (CDS) software that analyzes medical data on the spot and provides health care experts with suggestions as they make prescriptive decisions. However, in cases where patients are unable to make frequent hospital visits, doctors recommend wearables that collect patients’ data and send it to the cloud continuously. This data is analyzed continuously so that the system can identify potential problems and send real-time alerts to physicians. Doctors can then contact patients immediately to administer medications to prevent problem escalation.
Modern technology can be seen as a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to the technology used in healthcare. Some of the medical technological advancements seen today are astonishing. They are there to improve our quality of life and to make us live longer, healthier lives, but everything good comes with risks. The technology we deal with today is rapidly developing and as it does, new threats are being presented to both doctors and hospitals. Today, we will be taking a look at six technologies currently being developed that could potentially become hazardous in the field of medical technology.
As we become more and more reliant on electronic medical records, the susceptibility of a hospital suffering a cyberattack or struggling because of a network failure is continuing to increase. To reduce the risk of this happening, all hospitals will need to have an extremely complex network security system that is resistant to hackers. They also need to make sure they have back-up files in case they have to deal with network failure.
Telemedicine is the practice of remote patient care, so the patient and the provider won’t be physically present with each other. This modern technology has been developed to enable consultations with patients over easy and robust telemedicine software. Although this is convenient, it may create challenges when trying to ensure the quality of care. If things go wrong, then a lawsuit could be filed for medical negligence. In these cases, a Miami medical malpractice attorney should be contacted.
Recently, there has been a huge development in medical device technology and there is a wide range of medical devices on the market. These wearable sensors are constantly transmitting a vast amount of health information to doctors. This has already been proven to increase the expectations of patients because they believe doctors are constantly monitoring and will act upon this.
As the U.S. population ages and the percentage of citizens over 65 continues to increase, healthcare consumers are taking advantage of a whole new generation of medical technology. Sociologists and anthropologists have been writing about that fact that millions of oldsters are delaying retirement until well past their seventies. Indeed, it’s not unusual for senior citizens to embark on new careers, sell insurance policies to life settlement companies for cash and basically reposition themselves for a completely new way of living.
The new year will usher in several new medical technologies that will help everyone live longer, healthier, happier lives. Forty might be the new 30, and 50 the new 40, but once 2020 rolls around the catchphrase might become, “70 is the new 50.” Here’s a peek at what senior citizens, and everyone else, will be dealing with next year and beyond:
So-called “wearable technology devices” have been around for a while. They include items like blood-pressure cuffs, blood-sugar monitors and even brain-wave devices. They all have one major concept in common: real-time data is relayed back to medical professionals who can see important changes in the patient’s vital signs and other essential anatomical parameters.
In 2018 and 2019, the use of wearables exploded when cost for many devices came way down. Now, as 2020 approaches, the majority of healthcare consumers are becoming aware of what wearables are and what they can do. For heart patients, a wearable monitor can mean the early detection of trouble. Anyone who has suffered a stroke is a prime candidate for wearable technology. In practical terms, wearables are almost like having a doctor by your side every minute of the day but without the cost.
Voice-activated everything is one of the fastest-growing trends in several fields, medicine included. Heart monitors no longer need to be reset by hand but can simply be commanded to “reset at base level and reset start date.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for seniors, millions of whom reside in care facilities. The beauty of voice activated devices means that oldsters need not know how to interface with keyboards and tablet screens. A simple word or phrase is all that’s needed to turn on lights, open secure doors and inform nurses that everything is okay.
What was once a futuristic dream in 1960s television shows is now full-blown reality. You no longer need to travel to the clinic in order to “see” a doctor. Especially in rural areas, where long-distance drives are a burden for ailing and elderly patients, telemedicine has caught on. A standard Internet connection and a decent camera are all that’s needed for a virtual visit to the doctor. At fist only popular with psychiatrists and psychologists, tele-visits are now commonplace for routine physical checkups. Experts say that medical teleconferencing and tele-checkups will become the norm rather than the exception in 2020, as more health organizations look for ways to eliminate costly in-person patient interactions. The estimated cost of a telemedicine checkup is about one-third the cost of an in-person visit.
Technology has evolved, and it has positively affected all areas of our lives. When it comes to technological advances and innovations in medical technology, it can be said that life has been made easier for us.
With new medical technology, we are assured of longer life span with credits to various medical innovations in medical technology. It would interest you to know that technological advances are basically medical innovations in medical practices which are aimed at giving life a better meaning.
Hence, the basic aim of these evolving technologies in the field of medicine is basically an increase in the lifespan and ensuring our overall state of health is improved.
Below are the most recent technological advances used in medicine:
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, and it is a new medical technology, which is at the highest level of advancement when it comes to gene-editing technology. CRISPR functions by tapping into the natural mechanisms that are found in the immune systems of bacterial cells, and it lacerates the DNA strands that have been infected.
The cutting ability of the CRISPR has the capacity to modify the conventional way of disease treatment. When some genes are modified, some diseases such as HIV and cancer could possibly be totally defeated in few years. Although, when you read most medical essays with an essay plagiarism checker, an essay check or an essay corrector, you will discover that there are still further inquiries into the full capacities of the CRISPR and the unknown benefits to the human race.
This is another new medical technology which fits into this technologically guided world. It basically means a form of promptly evolving technology which enables patients to access medical care via their medical devices, rather than go to the hospital for appointments with their doctor.
Currently, there are some highly-functional personalized applications that are developed for the purpose of allowing patients to interact virtually with medical professionals and get prompt medical advice and diagnosis.
Telehealth makes full provision for all patients to have various access means to healthcare the moment it is needed. It also comes in handy for those who have chronic health problems because it makes health care available at a regular, convenient and affordable means.
3. Virtual reality
Virtual reality has been in existence for quite a while, and there are medical advances that are being integrated into exploring the full capacities of this modern technology. With virtual reality, medical students have been afforded the opportunity of accessing close to real-life experience using this technology.
There are top modernized tools which aid them in gaining the experience needed by memorizing and practicing procedures as well as and producing a visual knowledge of the entire connection of the human anatomy.
If you check legit medical essays with an essay corrector or an essay checker, you will discover that virtual reality devices are a profound help for patients, providing diagnosis help, treatment schedule and making procedures available for them. They are also essential in patients’ rehabilitation recuperation.
Medical technology is advancing, and it becomes more personalized to patients individually. One of the benefits which precision medicine comes with is, it enables physicians to choose therapies and medicines for disease treatment, which includes cancer hinged on the genetic make-up of the patient.
This form of personalized medicine is way more effective than other forms of treatment, as it effectively treats tumors using the specific proteins and genes of the patient as the basis. This then causes gene mutations and makes it more effortlessly annihilated by cancer medicine.
In addition, precision medicine can also be used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. It employs a mechanism of combating the vulnerable genes of the disease, in a bid to weaken it and lessen the symptoms and damage to the joint.
Over the last few years, hospitals and healthcare practices throughout the country have started adopting new technology that helps them provide better care to their patients and make life easier for their employees.
For example, 64 percent of physicians now send electronic messages to their patients via text or email. Meanwhile, 63 percent allow their patients to view their medical records online.
Are you looking for new ways to bring your practice into the 21st Century? Listed below are seven of the top healthcare technology trends you ought to know about and consider implementing in your practice.
Electronic Medical Records
Electronic medical records (or EMR for short) are one of the most popular tech trends in the healthcare world.
Lots of practices have started using EMR to simplify the process of searching for patient records. EMR has also made it easier for patients to access their medical records online.
Even though plenty of practices are making use of EMR, there are still a lot of them that haven’t made the switch yet. The sooner you start making your files available in a digital format, the sooner you’ll start reaping all the benefits of EMR.
For example, EMR provides immediate access to patient records. It also helps physicians make better decisions about their patient’s care.
They can spot patterns more easily when everything is in front of them. This, in turn, allows them to choose the best treatment approach and avoid missing something important.
Blockchain has started to make its way into the healthcare world, and it’s not showing any signs of leaving.
Blockchain technology allows healthcare practices (and other businesses, for that matter) to store digital information without taking up a ton of space. It also allows them to store their information in a more secure way since it cannot be copied.
In the digital age, patient security and privacy protection are of the utmost importance to many healthcare professionals.
Blockchain systems allow practice owners and managers to ensure they’re keeping patient records and information safe. It also helps them to avoid expensive and harmful (on many levels) data breaches.
In 2019, many people are looking for new ways to get things done without leaving their homes. They have groceries delivered to their door, for example, and they communicate with friends and family via video chat.
Lots of healthcare practices are jumping in on this trend and are making it easier for patients to have their medical needs met from the comfort of their own homes as well.
Telemedicine allows patients to talk to doctors, receive medical advice, and even have prescriptions filled, without having to make a special trip to the doctor’s office.
Physicians are also using these same technologies to communicate with each other in more effective ways and come up with better, more comprehensive solutions for their patients.
Artificial intelligence is for way more than gaming. It’s also one of the biggest healthcare trends of 2019.
Physicians and researchers have started or have plans to start using artificial intelligence in a variety of ways.
As artificial intelligence technology becomes more refined, it will be easier for healthcare professionals to monitor their patients and provide better diagnosis and treatment.
It will also likely enhance the telemedicine world as well, as it will make it easier for physicians to see their patients without having to be in the same physical location as them.
Wearable health monitoring devices are not new. However, they’ve become more popular than ever, and they’re also becoming more advanced.
As these devices become more accurate and able to provide more details about the wearer’s health, it’s likely that many physicians will start relying on them to gather information about their patient’s health and daily habits.
Technology advancements are helping many industries thrive in the current Computer Age. One of these is the healthcare industry. The advancement in technology within healthcare is more noticeable today especially since some technology is wearable and can be seen on many different people. Some physicians are even monitoring their patients through their patients wearables. This article takes a look at the different types of wearable technology associated with keeping people healthy and examines how people can benefit from it.
One of the most common and noticeable wearable technologies is a fitness tracker. Since the release of the first Fitbit fitness tracker in 2015, people have incorporated these devices into their everyday lives. And since then, many companies have now invested in creating their own activity monitoring wearable devices. These activity monitoring wearable devices have gotten so big that they have even become a fashion statement. The Fitbit Versa, Garmin Vivoactive series, the Nokia Steel HR, and the Apple Watch are just some of the fitness trackers that can be seen on people no matter the occasion. Fitbit has taken it a step further and plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to help physicians manage their patients remotely.
Eyeglasses for the blind
Fitness trackers are not the only healthcare related wearable technology. Eyeglasses are now being fitted with technology that can help the wearer with their day to day life. Amazon’s Echo Frame glasses feature Alexa. This is revolutionary and you can get prescription lenses for Echo glasses, so no matter what your visual needs are, this is an option for you. In another great leap for tech, Aira has created a pair of glasses to help blind people throughout their day. The Horizon is the first pair of smart glasses designed for remote visual assistance.
The Aira kit comes with a pair of glasses, a phone, and accessories to help with connectivity. The glasses have a built-in camera that is connected to an Aira agent that can help walk the user through any obstacles they need assistance with. With a touch of a button, the user will get real-time assistance as needed. When at home, Aira, can help the user do everyday tasks such as sort mail and medications, read recipes, and separate laundry. When at school, Aira can help the user get around the campus, find a seat, choose food at the cafeteria, and read the whiteboard.
While at work, Aira, can help the user operate office equipment, interpret presentation slides, and sort papers. Aira can also help users explore the world around them. Aira can help users go on a hike, sightsee a park or zoo, and even help find equipment at the gym. The Aira Horizon can help users enjoy everyday tasks with a different sense of freedom.
Breast cancer-detecting bra
The iTBra by Cyrcadia Health is more than a bra, but a piece of wearable technology that can help women detect breast cancer. Doctors advise women to have an annual mammogram, but many patients still fail to detect tumors early. The dual breast patches in the iTBra monitor circadian metabolic changes in heat, which is related to cellular activity found often in breast tumors. This data is sent to the users’ device, which can be easily shared with the users’ doctor. Cyrcadia believes that this method can help detect cancer in dense breast tissue four to six times better than mammograms. Cyrcadia believes that this can lower avoidable breast biopsies by 1.2 million.
Hip airbags for the elderly
Some companies are focusing their efforts on creating wearable technology for the elderly. Helite, the airbag technology expert, has created the Hip’Safe specifically with seniors in mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 300,000 people 65 and older are hospitalized for hip fractures. Helite’s Hip’Safe is a wearable fanny pack looking device that includes houses sensors, an air cartridge, and airbags. When the device detects the user is falling, the airbags on each side will deploy to prevent the user from a serious injury. The Hip’Safe comes at a hefty price tag of about $750, and the unnatural form factor of the product may deter some people from purchasing the product.
By Brooke Faulkner, freelance writer; @faulknercreek.
Up to a fifth of patients with serious conditions are first misdiagnosed, and that leaves tremendous consequences. With the help of healthcare technology, doctors are able to diagnosis patients more effectively and easier. For example, migrating patient data from paper to online, known as electronic health records (EHRs), has greatly aided the medical world. Technology, especially using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, has enabled doctors to make faster, more accurate diagnoses, and thus provide better care.
The volume of big data
Duquesne University estimated there to be 150 exabytes of healthcare data collected in 2011. Four years later, they reported about 83 percent of doctors had transitioned from using paper to electronic records. By now, with the ubiquity of the cloud, these numbers have assuredly gone up.
Massive amounts of data make predictive analytics possible, as trends can be spotted and analyzed. By spotting patterns, diagnosis of a disease becomes easier even for doctors unfamiliar with a specific disease or symptom. Uploading symptoms allows a computer to compare records and identify symptoms comorbid of other problems. This allows even specialized doctors to recognize issues outside of their field. Medical mistakes lead to the death of some 440,000 people each year; while misdiagnosis is only a part of this number, correct diagnosis and treatment will reduce it.
Big data can even be collected in the form of PDFs as part of telemedicine. A doctor can send PDFs to patients as part of a poll or survey or simply to collect symptom information from the patient. From there, data entered in the PDF can be collected and analyzed, generating patient data or feedback for the doctor.
Google flu trends
Google ran what can best be called an experiment from 2008 to 2014. Using artificial intelligence, the search engine recorded flu-related searches in an attempt to predict the severity of an outbreak, as well as the affected geographical area.
It was a flawed model, and tried to use big data as a replacement, rather than a supplement, for traditional data collection and analysis. It completely missed a flu outbreak in 2013, the data off by a massive 140 percent, and Google Flu Trends ended its public version in 2014. The algorithm monitoring flu-related search terms was simply not sophisticated enough to provide accurate results. While new data is no longer available to the public, historical data remains available to the Centers for Disease Control and other research groups. It’s possible that once the algorithm and predictive analysis is capable, the program will continue.