Baseball is back – along with the burning question, “Can the Chicago Cubs win it all again?” Sure, it’s a long season, but we’re rooting for a repeat for our hometown champs. In the meantime, we’re scouting contenders in healthcare technology who look likely to “HIT” it out of the park. Our latest HIT List fields some promising power players such as smartphone apps, telemedicine and wearables.

  1. Mobility rules. Nearly 80% of healthcare providers now use tablets to access the information they need to provide and coordinate care, reports a new HIMSS Analytics study. In addition, more than three-quarters use smartphone apps to access clinical information and nearly 71% use smartphones to access EHRs. However, researchers cautions that continued innovation in mobile technology is critical to improving care quality and workflow efficiencies.
  2. Wake up to the possibilities. Sixty percent of U.S. adults are willing to use live video technology to interact with health care professionals, says a recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Willingness to embrace telemedicine even higher among millennials, college grads and those with annual incomes above $75,000. Responding to growing demand for telemedicine options, the AASM became the first professional society to develop a telemedicine platform designed for specific medical needs, enabling patients to conveniently access care from sleep specialists.
  3. The digital generation. A report from Healthcare Without Borders found that over the past year, nearly half of millennials have looked up health information online, 27% use a health or fitness app, 23% looked up online reviews for care providers or hospitals, 20% used a website to schedule an appointment, check lab results or manage prescriptions and more than 11% communicated electronically with their healthcare provider. Take a look at other telling stats about the importance of digital technology to millennial patients.
  4. High-tech senior wellness. Senior living providers seeking to nurture resident wellness are increasingly turning to technologies such as wearable fitness and activity trackers, voice-activated devices and virtual guided “field trips.” The technologies help residents engage more and better manage their health, while enabling providers to proactively tailor services to resident needs. Sounds like a win-win!
  5. Size matters. Large teaching hospitals are at higher risk for data breaches, a new study concludes. Fifty-two of the 141 acute care hospitals that reported breaches to HHS were major academic medical centers, and two academic medical centers top the list of hospitals breached at least twice. Given that another report released late last year gave the healthcare industry a “D” for cybersecurity performance, hospitals might want to take to heart the researchers’ advice to focus on identifying evidence-based effective data security practices.
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