5 Game-Changing Healthcare Technologies

Five key technologies are changing the healthcare experience for patients, providers, pharmaceutical companies, and payers.

Healthcare IT is on the rise, with a University of Chicago analysis projecting that there will be 21% more employees in the field by the end of the decade. Throughout the industry, the need to solve complex problems is leading health organizations to test and deploy solutions using informatics, hacking, wearables, and digital diagnostics – with the healthcare cloud increasingly serving as the infrastructural.

1. Wearables

This technology has trendy written all over it, especially given the rise of smart watches and fitness trackers (now a $1 billion market, according to the Consumer Electronics Association). The use of wearable tech goes far beyond athletic monitoring, though – as indicated by a Parkinson’s disease research project by the Michael J. Fox Foundation that gathers patient-generated health data and runs it through analytic models to learn more about the disease.

2. Hackathons

Hacking is being embraced more broadly as a way to approach social issues, one of which is healthcare, explains http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-technologies-changing-the-future-of-healthcare/ tech writer Lindsey Gilpin. “Health care, which usually evolves slowly, is being revitalized with software developments, hardware inventions, cloud systems, apps, and wearables,” she says, “and many of these ideas are born out of hackathons.” For instance, more than 400 people attended a hackathon at MIT in early 2015, building on ideas to better address diabetes, hospital tech, and international healthcare.

3. Informatics

Although the majority of American hospitals have adopted ePHI environments, University of Michigan researchers found that just 6% are completely aligned with the federal guidelines. Shockingly, 50 cents out of every healthcare dollar is lost due to lack of record-keeping sophistication, says the University of Chicago. The savings on EHRs for large hospitals has been estimated at $37-$59 million.

4. Digital Diagnostics

Accessibility is a major problem for American healthcare. Out of 11 Western industrialized countries assessed in 2014, the United States received the lowest rating in terms of cost-related access problems.

“People in the U.S. have the hardest time affording the health care they need,” explains http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/press-releases/2014/jun/us-health-system-ranks-last the Commonwealth Fund. “More than one-third (37%) of U.S. adults reported forgoing a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care because of cost.”

Access is greatly enhanced through digital means. For instance, Neurotrack is a new technology that checks the way that the eyes move to determine potential problems with the hippocampus, the section of the brain that is first impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Another example is the field of telemedicine, allowing patient-doctor communication via videoconferencing.

5. Cloud Computing

The cloud model of computing is incredibly exciting. It offers unprecedented efficiency, affordability, speed, and agility – allowing companies to tap resources on-demand through virtual servers powered by many physical machines. However, one study found that fully 90% of cloud systems adopted by healthcare organizations are either medium-risk (77%) or high-risk (13%).

Every healthcare organization out there wants to leverage the cloud while remaining secure and compliant. The key is to use ClearDATA, the only healthcare-exclusive cloud in the world. 

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