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Key Articles in Health IT from 2017 (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on January 4, 2018 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O’Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space.

Andy also writes often for O’Reilly’s Radar site (http://oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

The first part of this article set a general context for health IT in 2017 and started through the year with a review of interesting articles and studies. We’ll finish the review here.

A thoughtful article suggests a positive approach toward health care quality. The author stresses the value of organic change, although using data for accountability has value too.

An article extolling digital payments actually said more about the out-of-control complexity of the US reimbursement system. It may or not be coincidental that her article appeared one day after the CommonWell Health Alliance announced an API whose main purpose seems to be to facilitate payment and other data exchanges related to law and regulation.

A survey by KLAS asked health care providers what they want in connected apps. Most apps currently just display data from a health record.

A controlled study revived the concept of Health Information Exchanges as stand-alone institutions, examining the effects of emergency departments using one HIE in New York State.

In contrast to many leaders in the new Administration, Dr. Donald Rucker received positive comments upon acceding to the position of National Coordinator. More alarm was raised about the appointment of Scott Gottlieb as head of the FDA, but a later assessment gave him high marks for his first few months.

Before Dr. Gottlieb got there, the FDA was already loosening up. The 21st Century Cures Act instructed it to keep its hands off many health-related digital technologies. After kneecapping consumer access to genetic testing and then allowing it back into the ring in 2015, the FDA advanced consumer genetics another step this year with approval for 23andMe tests about risks for seven diseases. A close look at another DNA site’s privacy policy, meanwhile, warns that their use of data exploits loopholes in the laws and could end up hurting consumers. Another critique of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act has been written by Dr. Deborah Peel of Patient Privacy Rights.

Little noticed was a bill authorizing the FDA to be more flexible in its regulation of digital apps. Shortly after, the FDA announced its principles for approving digital apps, stressing good software development practices over clinical trials.

No improvement has been seen in the regard clinicians have for electronic records. Subjective reports condemned the notorious number of clicks required. A study showed they spend as much time on computer work as they do seeing patients. Another study found the ratio to be even worse. Shoving the job onto scribes may introduce inaccuracies.

The time spent might actually pay off if the resulting data could generate new treatments, increase personalized care, and lower costs. But the analytics that are critical to these advances have stumbled in health care institutions, in large part because of the perennial barrier of interoperability. But analytics are showing scattered successes, being used to:

Deloitte published a guide to implementing health care analytics. And finally, a clarion signal that analytics in health care has arrived: WIRED covers it.

A government cybersecurity report warns that health technology will likely soon contribute to the stream of breaches in health care.

Dr. Joseph Kvedar identified fruitful areas for applying digital technology to clinical research.

The Government Accountability Office, terror of many US bureaucracies, cam out with a report criticizing the sloppiness of quality measures at the VA.

A report by leaders of the SMART platform listed barriers to interoperability and the use of analytics to change health care.

To improve the lower outcomes seen by marginalized communities, the NIH is recruiting people from those populations to trust the government with their health data. A policy analyst calls on digital health companies to diversify their staff as well. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is also getting into the act.

Specific technologies

Digital apps are part of most modern health efforts, of course. A few articles focused on the apps themselves. One study found that digital apps can improve depression. Another found that an app can improve ADHD.

Lots of intriguing devices are being developed:

Remote monitoring and telehealth have also been in the news.

Natural language processing and voice interfaces are becoming a critical part of spreading health care:

Facial recognition is another potentially useful technology. It can replace passwords or devices to enable quick access to medical records.

Virtual reality and augmented reality seem to have some limited applications to health care. They are useful foremost in education, but also for pain management, physical therapy, and relaxation.

A number of articles hold out the tantalizing promise that interoperability headaches can be cured through blockchain, the newest hot application of cryptography. But one analysis warned that blockchain will be difficult and expensive to adopt.

3D printing can be used to produce models for training purposes as well as surgical tools and implants customized to the patient.

A number of other interesting companies in digital health can be found in a Fortune article.

We’ll end the year with a news item similar to one that began the article: serious good news about the ability of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to save money. I would also like to mention three major articles of my own:

I hope this review of the year’s articles and studies in health IT has helped you recall key advances or challenges, and perhaps flagged some valuable topics for you to follow. 2018 will continue to be a year of adjustment to new reimbursement realities touched off by the tax bill, so health IT may once again languish somewhat.

Learning More About Samsung’s Work in Healthcare and #HIMSS16

Posted on February 29, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As we head into the 2016 HIMSS Annual conference, Healthcare Scene sat down with David Rhew, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness at Samsung. In our discussion we talk about Samsung’s role in healthcare and the HIMSS16 conference. We also talk about a wide variety of topics including: the digital hospital, the connected home, BYOD, mobile device security, and wearables to name a few. No doubt Samsung is playing a bigger and bigger role in healthcare. Learn more in this video conversation embedded below:

After talking about Samsung Healthcare’s plans and expectations for the HIMSS16 conference, David Rhew, M.D. and Healthcare Scene opened up the floor for other live viewers to join the conversation in what we call the “After Party.”

In this discussion we talk about the challenge of standards and mobile device interoperability and then we were joined by Dr. James Legan and Dr. Charles Webster who share some first hand experiences and insights into how the right medical devices can dramatically change the physician and the patient healthcare experience along with Dr. Rhew sharing his experiences. Find out all the details in the video embedded below:

For more content like this, follow Samsung on Insights, Twitter, LinkedIn , YouTube and SlideShare

mHealth and Where It’s Heading with Alan Portela

Posted on May 22, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was excited to sit down with Alan Portela, CEO of AirStrip, in our latest installment of Google Plus Hangouts with top healthcare IT leaders. Along with telling a little bit about the AirStrip story, we talk a lot about what differentiates AirStrip as a mobile health company over the tens of thousands of mobile health applications out there. We also dive into the current EHR market and where it’s headed. Plus, we talk about FDA regulation and its impact on mobile health and what its impact on mobile health and EHR will be in the future.

About Alan Portela
Alan Portela has more than 25 years of experience in bringing groundbreaking medical technology solutions to market. Alan Portela became CEO at AirStrip in 2011. Prior to joining AirStrip, Alan Portela was CEO and principal of Hybrid Clinical Transformation, LLC, where he developed successful EHR adoption strategies for the U.S. Military Health System and much of the Veterans Health Administration. He also served as President and Chief Strategist at CliniComp, Intl., and in senior executive roles in several innovative healthcare technology and service organizations.

The Future of Healthcare Mobility

Posted on August 21, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Dr. Joseph Kim, healthcare mobility expert, discusses how physicians’ are using Windows 8 and cloud technology to enhance workflow and interact with data on the go. Enjoy the video embedded below.

How to you use DocBookMD Messaging for iPhone and iPad

Posted on December 22, 2011 I Written By

How to you use DocBookMD Messaging for iPhone and iPad. DocBookMD is a mobile, secure HIPAA-compliant smartphone platform that enables you to connect, communicate and collaborate with your medical society colleagues.

 

 

Watch the video here.

MyCrisisRecords EMS Webapp Demo Video

Posted on August 29, 2011 I Written By

I recently wrote about the MyCrisisRecords system for providing critical personal health information during an emergency on our other blog, Smart Phone Health Care.  The following video is a demonstration of their EMS Webapp.  EMS is one area of healthcare that seems to be getting somewhat overlooked, but that could benefit greatly from recent improvements in technology.

In an emergency situation seconds can mean the difference between life and death, and new technological advances could save critical seconds for people who need it.

 

 

Watch the video here.