Archive for the ‘Health IT’ Category

Infographic: Using Technology To Drive Patient Engagement

November 16th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Technology is one of the best tools healthcare organizations have for engaging and empowering patients, according to a new infographic by athenahealth, Inc.

The infographic examines four ways healthcare organizations can engage patients through technology.

Patient-centric interventions like population health management, health coaching, home visits and telephonic outreach are designed to engage individuals in health self-management—contributing to healthier clinical and financial results in healthcare’s value-based reimbursement climate.

But when organizations consistently rank patient engagement as their most critical care challenge, as hundreds have in response to HIN benchmark surveys, which strategies will help to bring about the desired health behavior change in high-risk populations?

9 Protocols to Promote Patient Engagement in High-Risk, High-Cost Populations presents a collection of tactics that are successfully activating the most resistant, hard-to-engage patients and health plan members in chronic condition management. Whether an organization refers to this population segment as high-risk, high-cost, clinically complex, high-utilizer or simply top-of-the-pyramid ‘VIPs,’ the touch points and technologies in this resource will recharge their care coordination approach.

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Infographic: Healthcare Secure Text Messaging

November 14th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Hospitals and health systems around the U.S. continue to wrestle with whether staff are allowed to use their personal mobile devices for work, according to a new infographic by Spok Inc.

The infographic examines bring your own device (BYOD) use, drivers, trends and challenges.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics.

Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

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Infographic: High-Assurance Encryption for Healthcare Network Data

November 7th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The high-speed networks used by healthcare organizations are becoming increasingly complex. Multiple devices are linked across a variety of network technologies, protocols and topologies. With this complexity comes risk, according to a new infographic by Senetas.

The infographic examines the healthcare data breach landscape and the cost of a data breach.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical OutcomesAs healthcare moves out of the brick-and-mortar traditional setting into patients’ homes and their workplaces, and becomes much more proactive, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been expanding its remote patient monitoring program. The remote patient monitoring program at UPMC has its roots in the heart failure program but has since expanded to additional disease states across the integrated delivery system’s continuum of care.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical Outcomes delves into the evolution of UPMC’s remote patient monitoring program from its initial focus on heart failure to how the program was scaled vertically and horizontally. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: Five Key Trends in Healthcare Artificial Intelligence

November 2nd, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare could be a game changer that could allow for reductions in healthcare costs as well as workload reduction for physicians, which can result in clinical trial optimization and better early diagnostics, according to a new infographic by Arithmos.

The infographic examines five key AI trends in healthcare that have the potential to revolutionize healthcare.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics.

Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: Clinicians and Developers Take Healthcare to New Heights Through Virtual Reality Technology

October 25th, 2018 by Laura Reagen

Hospitals and medical centers are using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to assist in a variety of clinical applications.


What does a theme park game complete with roller coasters and thrill rides have to do with identifying cardiovascular birth defects in the womb? Both are the latest in virtual reality (VR), and among the many innovative experiences designed by some of today’s leading tech companies. What started out as fun and games has turned into a serious business for many VR developers, as well as the healthcare organizations they serve. In fact, all of healthcare is going virtual in a big way, as hospitals and medical centers use VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies to assist in a variety of clinical applications.

Using VR To Distract Patients From Pain

Prominent names in healthcare like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are among these organizations. St. Jude is exploring the use of VR as a way to distract children and teens from the intense pain that accompanies sickle cell disease. People with sickle cell disease have abnormally-shaped blood cells, which makes it difficult for these cells to navigate through tiny blood vessels throughout the body in order to deliver oxygen. When this blood flow is disrupted, it can be incredibly painful. Unfortunately, the IV medications used to manage this pain may not immediately ease the suffering of many patients.

To address that issue, the hospital is hoping to bring relief to these young people through an innovative study that will use virtual reality as a distraction technique while this IV medication is administered. Patients will be able to dive into the ocean, experience marine wildlife and navigate through sunken ruins through an innovative VR app, which clinicians hope will divert their attention away from their intense discomfort.

This particular application may not come as a surprise for anyone who has tried the real deal in VR—not just cardboard phone-enabled headsets but instead the sophisticated gaming systems like the Oculus Rift or HTC Hive. The idea of managing pain through this immersive experience isn’t far-fetched once you’re strapped inside a headset that controls your entire visual field and allows you to “virtually” walk inside of spectacular landscapes. It can distract you from all kinds of stimuli, both within your body and outside of it. This concept of distraction from pain and discomfort is one that is just beginning to find its way into the halls of many hospitals and prominent healthcare institutions.

Reducing the Reliance on Pain Meds During Labor and Delivery

At the forefront of this shift is Phoenix-based Banner Health. Physicians and researchers there are exploring the use of VR in the delivery room, in an effort to understand whether this intervention could help patients deal with labor pain and reduce the need for narcotic medications. Banner had already tried out virtual reality as a mechanism for training healthcare professionals. Then Dr. Mike Foley heard from other clinicians about the value of VR following surgery. Some felt using this technology in the recovery room could reduce the need for post-surgery pain medication and even drive earlier discharge from same-day surgery. Given the current opioid epidemic, Dr. Foley wanted to use this idea to help women deal with labor pain while receiving less opioids. This, in turn, could lead to safer deliveries and easier transitions home for both moms and babies. Dr. Foley and his team at Banner just completed a small randomized study of 20, which showed promising results in this area.

Pioneering the Use of VR in Managing Phobias and Pain

The origins of using VR in the area of pain management date back to some of the earliest days of this technology. Dr. Hunter Hoffman first heard about the potential for VR through a prominent researcher who was using it to help patients overcome a fear of heights. He decided to try a similar technique to assist a psychologist treating individuals with arachnophobia. Out of this very specific need, “Spider World” was born. The application was a means of exposure therapy, allowing individuals to gradually increase their interactions with fear-inducing scenarios.

This effort took place in the 1990s—when VR hardware and software were just emerging but were still cumbersome and costly. In fact, the hardware Dr. Hoffman used in these early efforts included a 75-lb supercomputer and helmets that weighed nearly eight pounds. But from this early iteration, Dr. Hoffman expanded his use of VR, ultimately developing a “Snow World” designed to help burn victims manage the pain associated with their injuries. Dr. Hoffman collaborated closely with Dr. Dave Patterson of the Harborview Burn Center on the effort, and is still using this same technique (albeit with much more affordable and lighter systems in place!) 20 years later. He is also at the forefront of using VR to help treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder many of whom are veterans.

Pairing Clinical Best Practices With VR Expertise

For developers that specialize in creating virtual experiences, the future looks especially bright. As healthcare embraces this new technology as a natural extension of the clinical setting, VR could become more synonymous with treating patients than entertaining gamers. Those at the forefront of this trend, like St. Jude and Banner Health, will continue to publish their results and may inspire others to enter this “new world” of care delivery.

Laura Reagen

Laura Reagen

About the Author: Laura Reagen is the Creative Director of Activate Health, a Phoenix and Nashville-based marketing firm. Activate Health specializes in providing marketing, advertising and public relations support to entities across the healthcare industry including health technology firms, hospitals, health plans and health systems. Laura is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Arizona State University.

Infographic: 7 Healthcare Social Media Numbers To Know

October 24th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The idea of blending healthcare, with its many restrictions on privacy, with social media, where nothing seems private anymore, can be tricky for many providers. But the numbers show that it is a wilderness that you can’t ignore. However, rather than going into the social media landscape unprepared, or not at all, physician practices should consider how the proper approach can benefit both their practice and their patients, through increased sharing of educational materials, greater awareness of healthy habits, and increased brand awareness, according to a new infographic by JONES PR.

The infographic provides seven healthcare social media numbers for healthcare providers to know.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results Between Medicare’s aggressive migration to value-based payment models and MACRA’s 2017 Quality Payment Program rollout, healthcare providers must accept the inevitability of participation in fee-for-quality reimbursement design—as well as cultivating a grounding in health data analytics to enhance success.

As an early adopter of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the largest sponsor of MSSP accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is uniquely positioned to advise providers on the benefits of data analytics and technology, which CHS views as a major driver in its achievements in the MSSP arena. In performance year 2014, nine of CHS’s 24 MSSP ACOs generated savings and received payments of almost $27 million.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results documents the accomplishments of CHS’s 24 ACOs under the MSSP program, the crucial role of data analytics in CHS operations, and the many lessons learned as an early trailblazer in value-based care delivery.

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Infographic: Digital Healthcare Technology 2018 Vision

October 19th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare enterprises are increasingly unleashing the power of intelligent technologies, using them to deliver personalized, efficient and informed care, according to a new infographic by Accenture.

The infographic examines five trends that demonstrate the potential for healthcare to apply emerging technologies to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with healthcare consumers.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical OutcomesAs healthcare moves out of the brick-and-mortar traditional setting into patients’ homes and their workplaces, and becomes much more proactive, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been expanding its remote patient monitoring program. The remote patient monitoring program at UPMC has its roots in the heart failure program but has since expanded to additional disease states across the integrated delivery system’s continuum of care.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical Outcomes delves into the evolution of UPMC’s remote patient monitoring program from its initial focus on heart failure to how the program was scaled vertically and horizontally. Click here for more information.

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Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: How Conversational AI Will Improve the Standard of Healthcare

October 9th, 2018 by Ram Menon

Conversational AI will be the crucial part in improving what is known as “retail” healthcare as well as the bulk of interactions patients have with the healthcare system.

In the past year, there have been countless stories on how artificial intelligence (AI) will change the healthcare system. Some of the headlines from the past few months include AI that can detect skin cancers as accurately as trained physicians; AI that allows for more precise X-ray readings and AI systems that can scan for signs of diabetic retinopathy. A brave new world of healthcare is developing each day; recent reports indicate that the AI health market could be worth more than $34 billion by 2025.

Conversational AI—a system that allows computers to speak to humans in lifelike ways—is an integral part of the changes in the healthcare industry that isn’t discussed as often. Nonetheless, it will be the crucial part in improving what is known as “retail” healthcare as well as the bulk of interactions patients have with the healthcare system.

Conversational AI offers a standard of personalized care unavailable now with existing resources. In the coming years, it will help reduce the number of visits to doctors and ensure patients only need to visit emergency rooms during an actual emergency, and provide a universal standard of personalized care now available to very few patients.

Here are the ways conversational AI is improving healthcare as we speak and what we can expect soon.

Conversation AI Remakes Provider Access:

Here’s what happened in the past when you had a non-emergency medical issue: you left a message for your doctor and waited days for them to call back. With conversational AI you can reach your provider at any point, perhaps to send them a message or a photo of a condition or side effect you want to be checked. You can also book an appointment based on a doctor’s name and expertise. Virtual medical assistants will soon be available on channels like Google Home, Alexa, and elsewhere.

Conversational AI offers access that isn’t intrusive to a provider and yet gives patients ease of mind that their concerns will be answered in a timely fashion. In the future, virtual assistants will take that a step further by confidentiality tracking conversations between doctors and patients, possibly even using that to create a patient chart.

Conversational AI Will Help Medication Management, Claims Processing:

If you suffer from a chronic condition like diabetes or arthritis it’s easy to get bewildered by complicated instructions on how and when to take medications or when to follow up on troublesome symptoms. With conversational AI, a virtual assistant can offer reminders about taking medication, answer basic questions about conditions even direct patients to advice on how to improve their wellness and information on lifestyle changes.

Healthcare maintenance is often about the small things that people overlook because they can’t get a simple answer. That could mean finding out if they should take antibiotics with a meal or on an empty stomach or simple resources on getting active. Providing a better way to quickly but accurately follow healthcare plans can reduce an enormous burden on both the patient and the system.

Keeping on top of health insurance claims is also a challenge. Using a virtual assistant, healthcare members can check their existing coverage, file for claims, and track the status of their claims. In many cases, they can do it when they are still visiting the doctor or getting help.

In The Future— Virtual Urgent Care:

Many healthcare providers and HMOs have software in place that allows nurses to meet “virtually” with a patient using a video system that works much like Skype. Technology is in the works that will allow a virtual assistant to diagnose certain conditions and provide limited care. For example, a patient reporting symptoms of a urinary tract infection—a common illness in women—could describe symptoms to the virtual assistant. The assistant could prescribe antibiotics you could pick up at your local pharmacy. This is much easier than an in-person visit, which is often unnecessary for routine conditions.

Ram Menon

Ram Menon

About the Author: Ram Menon is the CEO and co-founder of Avaamo. Previously, he was president of social computing at TIBCO. He founded the division and built the business from scratch into a leader in social business software with nine million paid users in just two years. Prior to joining TIBCO, Ram was with Accenture, a global consulting firm, where he specialized in supply chain and e-commerce strategy consulting with Global 500 companies.

Infographic: How Is Artificial Intelligence Working for Healthcare?

October 5th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Artificial intelligence (AI) has left behind its sci-fi legacy to become a transformative technology in a modern digital age. A range of possibilities exists for AI in healthcare, according to a new infographic by Optum, Inc.

The infographic defines AI and then examines the value of AI in healthcare as well as planning for healthcare AI.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics.

Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: Rethinking Healthcare Cybersecurity by Focusing on the Attacker, not the Attack

October 4th, 2018 by Ofer Israeli

Why are healthcare systems so challenging to secure? What is driving this complexity. How might we rethink our approach?

Healthcare systems, like all digital networks today are increasingly inter-connected and consumer-driven. The digital transformation necessary to make them agile, also renders them easy targets for data and identity theft, insurance fraud, and other forms of cybercrime. As the recent spate of ransomware has shown, cyberattacks on healthcare institutions also disrupt vital services and risk patient safety.

Beyond the health organization’s core staff, a wide variety of guests, students, visitors, patients, maintenance workers and others have direct physical access to healthcare systems and devices. Temporary workers and contractors require access to sensitive systems while employed. External interconnection of these systems with universities, research partners, and other remote services further mitigates the effectiveness of perimeter and access security controls. Higher and thicker security walls will not support the organization’s need to break down barriers, share information, and increase patient access.

Clearly, a new approach is required. If we cannot stop attacks, then we must stop the attackers. This is not a semantic nuance. The key to protecting healthcare systems in the future will be to transform our thinking—from a focus on defending ourselves from an infinitely expanding phalanx of attacks and attack vectors, to instead focus on disrupting the attack process itself regardless of attack style or source. We must stop the attackers.

As difficult as that might sound at first blush, there is, in fact, a silver bullet that will disrupt the vast majority of attacks. Malicious actors targeting healthcare systems all share a common trait that makes them vulnerable to disruption and detection. Regardless of how they enter a healthcare network, or what their intent, attackers must move laterally across the healthcare network to access their target applications, devices, systems, and data. To move undetected, they must gather intelligence about the environment and make careful decisions regarding their attack path.

The key then, quite simply, is to disrupt the attacker’s decision-making process—to blind and befuddle them so that they cannot progress their attack. Done well, cyber deception technology disrupts the attacker’s intelligence gathering process, and destroys their ability to make accurate decisions, by flooding the attack plane with false and misleading data. Similar in effect to evasive maneuvers used in aerial combat such as disgorging flak, disrupting radar, and disorienting GPS signals, these new technologies destroy the attacker’s ability to navigate, and ensure they are detected by any movement they do decide to make.

The challenges of securing healthcare systems will continue to grow as attackers, and their tools, methods, and infrastructure, become more sophisticated and diverse. Just as digital transformation is improving efficiency and patient outcomes, the traditional security mindset must be transformed to a modern security mindset. To protect these new system architectures, we must refocus our efforts from defending against attacks to disrupting the attack process itself. Deception offers a promising path forward in this direction.

Ofer Israeli

Ofer Israeli

About the Author: Ofer Israeli, founder and CEO of Illusive Networks, pioneered deception-based cybersecurity. He leads the company at the forefront of the next evolution of cyber defense. Prior to establishing Illusive Networks, Mr. Israeli managed development teams based around the globe at Israel’s seminal cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies and was a research assistant in the Atom Chip Lab focusing on theoretical Quantum Mechanics.