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The Year Ahead in Healthcare

The Year Ahead in Healthcare

We are anticipating quite a year in the world of health care. Reenita Davis writes in Forbes, “technology will continue to flourish and will have unprecedented impact on healthcare in terms of building some of the foundation blocks towards a connected home and healthcare ecosystem.”

What can we expect in the coming months?

A New King: The Consumer

Technology will thrive as it continues to impact the foundation blocks. A more connected home and tech ecosystem must address the needs of the people using this technology; the consumer. After all, consumers are the ones who are being treated in the health care industry.

Venture Capital

The economic downturn and recession tightened regulatory oversight over the past five years.  Early-stage companies in the healthcare industry anticipate new streams in funding for healthcare technologies as the global economy improves.

Blockchain Technologies

Blockchain technology is a permanent record of online transactions or exchanges. It emerged in 2009 as the foundation for trading the digital currency bitcoin. The resources have serious potential to tackle some of the most difficult battles in healthcare information management.

Artificial Intelligence

AI-enabled support tools help make clinical decisions support all over the health care world. In 2017, AI will participate in diagnostic imaging by assisting radiologists with advanced interpretation and imaging informatics supports.

Transparency
Pressure from around the globe on the control of surging drug prices will influence health authorities to increase transparency. From both public voices and political entities suggest transparency around drugs pricing where more low-cost generic competition is gaining market acceptance.

Mobile

Christine Kern writes in Health IT Outcomes, “91 percent of respondents say they take advantage of mobile apps when offered, and 80 percent actually prefers mobile to a traditional office visit.”  Healthcare organizations must have an agile operating model to keep pace with today’s technological needs.

If you look at the retail and banking industries, consumers eagerly use their phones and are eager to use technology. When it comes to change, health care would greatly benefit from learning how to adapt to these new technologies.

Jiea Rutland Simpson lives in Harlingen, Texas with experience in the hospital system and developed her interest in the use of electronic medical records within the healthcare industry. Follow Jiea Rutland Simpson on Twitter, @jiearutlandsimp and on Tumblr, @jiearutlandsimpson

A New Approach To Knee Pain

A New Approach To Knee Pain

Moximed, a California and Zurich-based company, has recently been awarded the European CE Mark to introduce its Atlas Knee System. The device is a knee joint unloader, which helps to lower pressure applied to knee joints and possibly delay costly and inevitable knee replacement surgeries. The technology is similar to the shock absorbers found on vehicles.

The knee system will also be extremely beneficial to patients suffering from knee injuries to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle while reducing pain and minimizing repeat surgeries.

The company believes that they will be able to help lessen damage to the knee cartilage, allowing it to last longer than it naturally would. However, the device will require surgery to fix the implant correctly in your knee and it will need a period of rehabilitation to allow patients to regain strength and flexibility.

The device has the capacity to unload up to 13 kg; it is clinically proven to provide pain relief and preserve knee joints.

According to the website, the system is made from “advanced biomaterials and has passed durability and biocompatibility testing.” The device is perfect for anyone who suffers from pain on the inner side of the knee (particularly during activity), wants to improve physical activity, wants to regain full range of motion, or suffers from medial compartment knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Although it was not designed to provide a cure, the device does have the potential to provide relief. Regardless of whether or not the device is used as a preventive measure or to address certain knee conditions, it should be able to restore the join to normal loading conditions and alleviate a great deal of pain.

From the announcement:

The Atlas System design was evaluated in a 40 patient, prospective, multi-center clinical study. One of the study investigators, Konrad Slynarski, MD, of Lekmed Szpital in Warsaw, Poland commented, “My practice treats many young, active patients with mild osteoarthritis. I was amazed at the overwhelming patient interest in receiving joint unloading therapy, and I was very happy with my patients’ consistently rapid recovery and return to daily activities. I have already shifted my practice patterns to offer the Atlas System to patients.”

Another of the investigators in the study was Willem van der Merwe, MD, FCS (SA) of the Sports Science Orthopaedic Clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, who noted, “I enrolled my full allotment into the study and could have enrolled additional subjects. I believe the Atlas System could be a pre-arthroplasty treatment solution for people who are too young or not ready for joint replacement, and I look forward to adding the service as a regular part of my practice.”

AT&T makes a big move in the healthcare industry

Recently, AT&T has announced a huge move in the healthcare industry. Next month, AT&T Foundry of Connected Health will be opening at the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute in Houston. This is also the largest medical center in the world, so this is truly big deal for the healthcare industry. According to Vice President of Ecosystem & Innovation at AT&T the whole idea of AT&T Foundry is to bring ideas from concept to commercialization faster than previously possible, and nowhere is that mission more important than in healthcare. This foundry innovation center will solely be focusing on the healthcare sector, as AT&T has six other foundry’s around the world focused on different sectors. These other foundry’s have enjoyed numerous success over the years and they hope this one will too.  This particular one will help provide companies ways to enhance digital innovations that the connect caregivers and patients via wireless monitoring. How awesome is that?

This is not AT&T’s first gig in the healthcare industry. Back in 2012, they launched a remote patient monitoring system. This unique system gave bluetooth enabled devices the ability to measure weight, blood pressure and blood oxygen. Once this is was completed, all the information was then shared to doctors in the facility to examine after a hospital visit. Over the past few years, this new and innovative technology has monitored over a 1,000 patients. Impressive, right?

Chris Penrose, who is  a senior vice president, Internet of Things Organization at AT&T Mobility is very confident healthcare sector will continue to enjoy success. He said “We really do believe that health care has a ton of opportunity to be transformed,” “The ability to deliver remote care involves connectivity, and that’s a great tangential area where AT&T can add great value.”

Holograms and Nanobots. Yes, Really.

Holograms and Nanobots. Yes, Really.

Healthcare and technology are perfect compliments. As technological engineering propels us further into the future, the healthcare industry can incorporate them to keep us healthier than ever before.

So, with all many lists of the best music and books and movies of the year dominating our reading list, I’m going to introduce you to the best healthcare tech developments of 2015. Referralmd gets really in depth, so I encourage you to check it out! Meanwhile, here are two that really jumped out at me.

Holographic Imaging

When Tupac appeared at Coachella a couple years ago, the public began to wonder about all the practical uses holographic images could have in our daily lives. We had always imagined it as a staple of future technologies, but suddenly it just felt closer than ever. And it delivered, in the form of… keyboards?

Yes, it seems like a trivial upgrade. But take a step back and consider just how unsanitary keyboards are. In hospitals, where many of the sick are already dealing with weakened immune systems, there are a reported 2 million hospital-originating infections each year. Of those, 100,00 people die in the place they hope to get well. Holographic keyboards reduce contact and transmission of germs when a healthcare worker is dealing with a patient and data entry. Pretty smart move.

Nanobot Technology

Unlike holographic imaging, nanobot tech is still a ways off. But it’s not at all a vague future— science is just working to get there. Ideally, they would be able to function as white blood cells to eradicate infections. The bots would also be scaled to their full size counterparts and complete complicated tasks. For instance, nanobot tech could allow us to deliver chemotherapy to cancer patients in a much more efficient— and less physically demanding— way than current radiation therapy.