Four Ways to Keep Up With Connected Healthcare

EdwardKeiperChallenges Presented by the Reality of  Connected Healthcare

By Edward Keiper, President and CEO of Velocity

The world of healthcare continues to evolve into greater connectivity, catching up with other industries. And that means that many practitioners are facing the challenges presented by the reality of connected health care. Here are four items that are top of mind for today’s medical practices: how to share medical imagery; how to get patients more involved; the new mobility, and the automation of data transmission from patient to provider.

  1. Image Sharing. Consider that at just one healthcare network, Penn Medicine, 7.2 million diagnostic imaging studies are done annually in radiology and cardiology. Now multiply that number by all the providers and networks in the USA and you get the picture, literally. Right now healthcare IT professionals are working to solve the challenge of sharing diagnostic images, which are huge files, as easily as documents are shared. In the future, pictures will be vendor-agnostic as well as part and parcel of a patient’s record.
  2. Patient-Centered Care. As connectivity advances, the link between patients and caregivers grows stronger and more direct. Patients in need of primary care, chronic disease management, mental health consultations or dermatology will be able to communicate with healthcare providers via laptop, iPad, smartphone or kiosk 24 hours a day. This means that dispensing care and advice is no longer restricted to the doctor’s office. It’s far more convenient for patients, and it is an opportunity to advance quality of care and encourage care coordination.
  3. Mobile Medicine. Just as patients are less and less tied to office visits, medical practices are going mobile as well. With the advent of Big Data, cloud computing and apps that make information available on smartphones and tablets, a provider can be anywhere and everywhere and still enjoy complete connectivity. It’s a new era of improved care, management and research.
  4. Automatic reporting. The new connectivity means that patient management can undergo dramatic improvements. For example, a Bluetooth enabled home blood pressure monitor can automatically send readings to the doctor without any patient effort. In recent studies of older adults with hypertension, those who had difficulty keeping their blood pressures under control achieved reductions in the range of 5 to 10 mmHg with a connected health approach. That’s sufficient to lower the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, and ultimately represents a time and cost savings for all.

This article was originally published in the Velocity blog and is republished here with permission.