The rapid transformation of healthcare
From research to record keeping, healthcare is changing faster than ever. We've seen a loosening of regulatory processes, for example, and changes in societal behavior that have forced the industry to adapt. The reason, of course, is the pandemic.
Healthcare isn't an industry used to abrupt change. In most cases, healthcare changes at a measured pace. But that's not because practitioners are stuck in their ways or that healthcare IT workers don't want to change. It's a combination of factors, including regulatory and financial concerns, that tends to make the process for approval of new technologies cumbersome.
Here are some must-read stories that offer a glimpse into the factors that have prompted and permitted recent changes in healthcare.
Israel has proved to be the world standard in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign with more than 60 percent of the country's population already inoculated. By leveraging the information found in its HMOs' standardized EHR systems, Israel has demonstrated the effectiveness of EHR systems and what they can be used to accomplish when they are well designed and, most important, standards based, in a standard format.
Edge computing and AI promise to make healthcare delivery cheaper, easier, and better for everyone. It couldn't happen at a better time. Changes to the delivery models and mechanisms that address how quickly and efficiently healthcare and the latest technologies make it to the treatment of people will lead to a better world.
Electronic health records in the cloud, provided as a service, can be the cure for the digital ills providers and patients suffer. It also brings new opportunities. Without a reliable, accessible, and universal way for medical records to move between providers and patients, there will be consistent roadblocks to the equitable and effective delivery of healthcare.
A lack of investment in security technologies has put healthcare organizations at the mercy of criminals. There's not much more to say: Healthcare IT spending has rarely focused on securing IT infrastructure, and when it has, the focus is most often on regulatory compliance issues. Hardening the healthcare target is critical in the era of ransomware.
Searching 30 terabytes of medical data and more than 150 billion records takes seconds for a high-end supercomputer. Nothing makes technology more relatable to the average person than showing its direct impact on their lives, and there is little question that the pandemic demonstrated the value of supercomputers in finding, developing, and getting vaccines out to the public in an emergency situation.
The pandemic has accelerated the move to telehealth consultations. What was once a fringe practice for remote and rural patients, telehealth has moved straight to mainstream use as social distancing, contact, and gathering requirements forced practitioners to limit in-person patient visits. At the same time, it is motivating patients to be more proactive in addressing their health concerns.
Telehealth use has skyrocketed, paving the way for greater acceptance of technology in healthcare delivery. Needs must, as the saying goes, but the acceptance of telehealth on the part of both providers and patients has made newer healthcare technologies a more palatable option all around. This episode of The Element looks at how the shift will drive better, safer, more efficient care.
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