With summer vacation winding down and teachers and students heading back to school, we’re thinking about how much we still have to learn about healthcare and technology. Test your knowledge on some of the popular subjects covered on this week’s HIT List, including 5G networks, remote monitoring and precision medicine.
- High five for 5G. As 5G networks become more widely available, so does the capability for much more extensive device-to-device communication and faster, more powerful data analytics through the IoT. For healthcare, that means next-generation health and fitness wearables, better diagnostics, real-time clinician and patient collaboration, and even critical health tools developing the ability to learn from the technicians who use them. That’s what we call connecting to opportunity!
- Huge savings potential. Using “contact-free” continuous remote monitoring embedded in hospital beds saved as much as $710 per patient when used in a hospital surgical care unit, a new study reports. Over five years, that could save as much as $9 million for the 316-bed hospital in the study. The industry as a whole could save $15 billion annually by using the technology to avoid more than 300,000 patient falls, reduce pressure ulcers by 1.2 million and eliminate more than 259,000 code blue events. Impressive ROI, wouldn’t you agree?
- Next-gen security. The cybersecurity stakes are getting higher as hospitals recognize that the constant stream of cyberattacks not only puts patient data at risk, but could also cause patient harm by compromising critical IT systems. It’s no surprise that Frost and Sullivan expects the cybersecurity technology market to grow 13.6% annually through 2021. However, healthcare organizations are increasingly demanding that all health IT vendors — from those selling security tools to those developing applications — provide innovative solutions with built-in security features that support a proactive, holistic approach to better protection.
- Deep data dives. Stanford Medicine aims to harness the same technologies behind Google Search and Google Maps to tackle disease by enabling clinicians to store, access and share vast volumes of genomic data sets. The goal is to make genome sequencing testing a normal part of patient healthcare and combine those studies with patient health records, MRI and CT images, blood chemistry and wearable monitoring devices to develop a precision medicine approach to better patient care. Bring on the data!
- The expanding IoT. Everyone expects big things from the healthcare IoT, predicted to grow more than 36% annually through 2020. There’s just no consensus on exactly which opportunities will prove most valuable. It could be sci-fi-worthy ingestible or injectable sensors that report from the human bloodstream, interactive wearable real-time monitoring devices, or artificial intelligence and convolutional neural networks that monitor an emergency department, an operating room or seniors living at home. But everyone does agree that the ability to capture tons of data and actually make sense of it has tremendous potential to save lives and improve population health.