Big Data and the Future of Healthcare

Accessible introduction transcript…

  • Every day technology makes new things possible, and some predict that it’s just a matter of time until technology completely revolutionizes healthcare.
  • Some believe that medical diagnosis, general patient care, and medical practices are more expensive and inferior than they need to be.
  • The problem with health care is that it’s often the practice of medicine, rather than the science of medicine, as most medical decisions are simply based on tradition, a doctor’s limited medical knowledge, and the patient’s known symptoms and medical history.
  • The result? Three doctors could diagnose a problem three different ways. This can be a serious issue.
  • Over 40,000 patients die in the ICU in the U.S. each year due to misdiagnosis.
  • The solution? Big Data. Some believe medicine can become more of a science, rather than practice, by relying on technology.

INFOGRAPHIC follows…  Read More …

Health & Medicine Outlook 2013

Click on the magazine cover to see more forecasts collected in the World Future Society’s annual Outlook reports.“Human actions could become more accurately predictable, thanks to neuroscience. Nano-sized robots will deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to their targets. And though many recently lost jobs may never come back, people will find plenty to do (and get paid for) in the future,” according to forecasts you’ll find in this roundup of the most thought-provoking possibilities and ideas published in The Futurist magazine over the past year.

I’ve extracted the following Health & Medicine forecasts from the World Future Society’s special report, Outlook 2013. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist.

  • Better health, but fewer doctors.
    A projected shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020 will drive technological innovations such as low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics—i.e., Lab-on-a-Chip technologies. A cell-phone-sized device could analyze your blood or sputum while you talk to a health provider from the comfort of your home. —Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, “The Abundance Builders,” July-Aug 2012,p. 17
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Senior Living Options & Costs Infographic

As seniors age, they may need help with daily tasks. Helping them decide on appropriate living arrangements is critical to staying safe and healthy. Investing in home modifications and some sort of medical alert system is a cost effective way for seniors to feel safe and secure while living an independent lifestyle, as this infographic suggests. Read More …

Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPABy Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

[Original post, “Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?” published on The Huffington Post on 7/23/12 in the Healthy Living/Health News Section.]

The Wild West of mobile health (mHealth) is taking the health care industry by storm, but “there are no rules to the game,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., founder and director at the Center for Connected Health in a recent interview. Mobile health is a “game changer,” he added, but there is a lot of hype because there are a lot of people developing health apps just to “get rich quick.”

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Five Reasons Why mHealth is Not Going Away

Click for larger image of Basic Telehealth System, connecting patients, sensor devices, caregivers, and healthcare services

Five Reasons Why mHealth is Not Going Away
(despite the Hype-haters)

By David Lee Scher, MD

One feels almost assaulted by financial projections of the mHealth market every day.  Extrapolations from the increasing use of smartphones, the use of iPads by physicians, the adoption of patient portals by insurers, and research of the Internet for medical purposes are commonplace.  Occasionally there will be a welcomed “Let’s bring it back to Earth” post, but  I can almost predict verbatim the final paragraphs of some of these predictions.

Mobile health is part of the overall movement of the digitization of healthcare.  While adoption of these technologies will take a while to occur for a variety of reasons, (many of which have been the subject of other posts by this author), it would not be fair to let the hype become the face of the industry and an easy target of critics.

These technologies WILL become a major part of healthcare for the following reasons: Read More …

10 Forecasts for the Future of Healthcare

World Future Society's special report on 20 Forecasts for the Next 25 YearsFORESIGHT may be the single most critical skill for the 21st Century. Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to anticipate and navigate change, make good decisions, and take action to create a better future.

That’s why I’ve been a member of the Central Texas chapter of the World Future Society for years, where I meet interesting people with widely varied perspectives of the future. It’s also why I participate in so many Linkedin discussion groups on emerging healthcare issues.

The following ten forecasts came from the World Future Society’s special report, Forecasts for the Next 25 Years. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist magazine.

Forecast #3. Nanotechnology offers hope for restoring eyesight.

Flower-shaped electrodes topped with photodiodes, implanted in blind patients’ eyes, may restore their sight. The “nanoflowers” mimic the geometry of neurons, making them a better medium than traditional computer chips for carrying photodiodes and transmitting the collected light signals to the brain. Read More …

Wireless Health as Cure for U.S. Healthcare Business

The Battle for Wireless Health May Help Cure an Ailing US Healthcare Business

U.S. Business School War Game Predicts Mergers and New Services to Gain Affluent Boomer Market ShareWar Games and the Battle for Wireless Healthcare

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Healthcare technology companies – ranging from large such as GE to startups like Independa – will need to find partners and cater to the affluent Baby Boomer generation and their caregivers if they are to take the lead in wireless health, an industry that promises to help reduce much of the estimated $2.5 trillion of wasted resources in the global healthcare system. This was among the predictions of a national war gaming contest held between four top business schools and run by Fuld & Company last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read More …

Physician use of Social Media

doctorAs I wrote earlier, Social Media Growth is Fastest among Boomers, but how are physicians and patients using social media?

That’s the topic of an article by Stephanie Baum at MedCityNews.com and a infographic created by oBizMedia.com for Mesotheliomapage.com. As it turns out, 90% of physicians are jumping on the social media bandwagon, but most use specialized physician communities more than more general purpose networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. And while they’re starting to refer patients to online patient groups, few will interact with them directly online, largely due to concerns about liability and patient privacy. The infographic below details results from several surveys.

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Telehealth cuts patient deaths by 45%

Industry leaders welcome telehealth planAccording to this article in Fierce Mobile Health, results from a large telehealth study that monitored 6,200 remote patients show that telehealth can dramatically improve the care people receive while helping to reduce costs. The study took place over three years and covered patients in three cities suffering from one of three primary conditions: diabetes, heart failure or COPD.

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Qualcomm Life connects Wireless Medical Devices & Cloud

Qualcomm announced this week that Qualcomm Wireless Health is now Qualcomm Life,  a wholly-owned subsidiary whose mission is to define and connect the global wireless health network and bring medical devices to life by securely connecting them to cloud-based services. The encrypted and HIPAA compliant bimetric data is then remotely accessible by device users, their health care providers and caregivers. (video & illustration below)

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eCaring: a Home Care Management & Monitoring System

From Press Release…

eCaring™ Develops Breakthrough Home Health Care Management System

eCaring Creates Easy To Use Web-Based Home Care Management And Monitoring
Systems For Families, Home Health Care Workers, And Doctors

Contact: Robert Herzog, (917)-743-4347 or (347)-946-0080; info@ecaring.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 7th 2011 – eCaring™ LLC today announced the launch of its new home health care management and monitoring system that enables home care recipients to live at home longer, with better quality of care, at lower cost.  eCaring’s breakthrough web-based system enables everyone involved with home health care—from family members to home care providers to doctors—to receive up-to-date, useful information on the care, conditions, activities and status of home health care patients.  eCaring also announced today that it will offer a 75% discount for life to those families accepted into its beta test.

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Forecasts for the Future of Healthcare

World Future Society's special report on 20 Forecasts for 2011-2025FORESIGHT may be the single most critical skill for the 21st Century.

Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to anticipate and navigate change, make good decisions, and take action to create a better future. It’s why I’ve been a member of the Central Texas chapter of the World Future Society for years, where I meet interesting people with widely varied perspectives of the future. It’s also why I participate in so many Linkedin discussion groups on emerging healthcare issues.

9 Forecasts for the Future of Healthcare

The following nine forecasts came from the World Future Society’s special report, 20 Forecasts for 2011-2025. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist magazine.

Forecast #1: The Race for Genetic Enhancements Will Be What the Space Race Was in the 20th Century. Genetic therapies and biomedical enhancements will be a multibillion-dollar industry. New techniques will enable doctors to change your DNA to revitalize old or diseased organs, enhance your appearance, increase your athletic ability, or boost your intelligence.

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Lessons from Healthcare Innovation in India

image of the Taj Mahal in India (from Microsoft PowerPoint)

By Wayne Caswell

The Innovation Sandbox, by C.K. Prahalad, is an excellent article published in 2006. But because it’s a bit long for my audience and requires user registration for access, I’m presenting my summary below.

To create an impossibly low-cost, high-quality new business model, start by cultivating constraints.

Once the “sandbox” of constraints is defined, unconventional thinking can occur in many directions at once. The result is often breakthrough innovation that doesn’t just change processes; it changes lives. For example, indiOne found a way to offer modern and well-equipped hotel rooms for $20USD per night while Western-style hotel rooms typically cost $250-$300. And indiOne does this while making 65% gross profit, compared to 30-40% for the luxury chains. They did it through innovation.

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Wireless devices to change medicine

Wireless devices will dramatically change how medicine is practiced

Stephen C Schimpff, MDBy Stephen C. Schimpff, MD (originally published at KevinMD.com)

I interviewed about 150 medical leaders just a few years ago for my book The Future of Medicine – Megatrends in Healthcare. Not one mentioned wireless devices as a coming megatrend. How fast the world changes! Nowadays everyone has a cell phone and we rarely stop to think that just two decades ago almost no one had them. We have a laptop or tablet computer that can access information from the web at very high rates of speed; again it is hard to remember when this wasn’t so. And those with smart phones have numerous “apps” – to check traffic conditions, find the nearest Starbucks, or play games. But these and other devices that use wireless technology will lead to major changes in the delivery of health care in the coming years. This is another of those coming medical megatrends.

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Are we Bringing Health Care Home or Sending it Overseas?

Doctors at We Care Health Services, IndiaGet ready for outsourced health care. Last week I wrote TeleHealth: The Doctor Will See You Now, Remotely, but what if Remotely means someplace in India or China?

As Dr. David Lee Scher notes, interest in mHealth is driven by several factors, including:

  1. The rising costs of health care;
  2. The worsening shortage of primary care physicians, and an even greater shortage of specialists;
  3. The shift away from diagnosis-related fee for service management of diseases to reimbursement based on wellness & measured outcomes; and
  4. The advent of more widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs).

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TeleHealth: The Doctor Will See You Now, Remotely

Basic Telehealth System, connecting patients, sensor devices, caregivers, and healthcare services

Derived from a paper by Iboun Taimiya Sylla, Texas Instruments

There’s a fairly new option for after-hours medical care that connects you with practitioners anytime, anywhere.  It’s called Telehealth or Telemedicine, and it’s offered by companies like American WellMyNowClinic, and OptumHealth.

Hospitals already use high-speed Internet connections to share medical information among specialists within the facility or in different locations. And they can even put a rural patient in front of a big city specialist miles away. But as Internet use permeates people’s everyday lives, health care professionals are able to connect with patients in real time over any distance without traveling or scheduling an office visit. Previously when you were sick, you had to go to the doctor. Now she can come to you, electronically 24/7. Some services also provide in-home visits by physician assistants to supplement telehealth.

“While having access to a doctor outside of normal office hours is a popular telehealth service, it isn’t the only one. Doctors can also Read More …

Bridging The Digital Divide

Transforming Rural Economies: Bridging The Digital Divide (excerpt)
by Maine State Representative Diane Russell

Growing up in Bryant Pond, about as rural as it gets in Maine, taught me a little something about being at the tail end of innovation. The last crank phone operator station in the country was located right down the street from our home. While the celebrity status is great, the educational piece was the vigorous debate over whether or not our town should upgrade to that fancy new technology — the dial tone.

Read the rest of her article

Wayne Caswell (Modern Health Talk) posted the following comment:

We all know that technology and the Internet are keys to telemedici­ne, telework (jobs), distance learning, e-commerce­, and e-governme­nt, but the latest FCC report to Congress says a full one-third of U.S. households lack broadband access. That’s either because they have no access to it or because it’s too expensive or they lack the skills or perceived need.

So, are we willing to write-off entire sectors of our population and give them inferior healthcare and access to jobs, commerce and government because they’re poor, black, Hispanic, elderly, live in rural communitie­s, and don’t have broadband Internet access? Or are we going to fund computer literacy and universal access to broadband? Which is cheaper or better? We can’t always rely on Market Forces. Sometimes public funding is warranted – like NOW (or actually 20 years ago).

Need More Wireless Spectrum for Telehealth Innovation

 

To improve cellular signal strength, put your phone high up, but don't hold it or put it near your head.The lack of good cellular connections threatens the future of mobile healthcare solutions. I once got 5 bars on a regular basis, but the wireless signal in my neighborhood has diminished to the point that I’m lucky to get one bar or any connection at all. I took my problem to the AT&T store and showed them a picture of me outside, outside in my PJs standing under an umbrella in the rain to get enough signal to make a call. The headphones I wore prevented my head from blocking the signals, and the phone itself was dangling from a tree branch so my hands weren’t touching the phone.  AT&T finally relented and gave me a micro-cell device to connect to my broadband connection and act like a mini cell tower for my home. Now I get 5 bars again. Do you still get 5 bars? Consistently?

Rising demand for wireless broadband Internet access has created a spectrum crisis that jeopardizes economic productivity, job growth, innovation, and societal gains. Cellular networks once dedicated to voice calls are now used for streaming music, downloading apps, and sharing photos and videos. Mobile data access is consuming much more bandwidth than voice calls and taxing network capacity. We need a national imperative to allocate additional spectrum for wireless broadband, because it will produce numerous economic and societal benefits. Failure to do that could result in wireless data gridlock.

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Nearly 80 Million Wearable Wireless Devices by 2016

Fitness and Wellbeing Devices Will Lead Healthcare-Related
Wearable Wireless Uptake to Nearly 80 Million Devices in 2016

Texas Instruments eZ430-Chronos sports watch reference platform that can be paired wirelessly with heart rate monitors, pedometers or other devices.LONDON – June 13, 2011 – Much is made of the enormous potential for wearable wireless sensors to deliver remote healthcare, and for good reason. But over the next five years, adoption of wireless healthcare sensors will lag well behind uptake of consumer-driven sports, fitness and wellness devices.

A range of factors – from wireless protocol standardization and new device availability to changing social patterns related to participation in activities – will see consumers increasingly turn to wearable wireless sensors to monitor (and often share) their performance results. A combination of M2M [machine-to-machine] and short range wireless connectivity will be embedded in a range of consumer wellness and professional healthcare devices that will connect data collection to cloud applications.

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