Boston Children's Hospital's ambitious programs to integrate 3D printing technology into medical care with the aim of avoiding surgical complications, reducing the length of operations, and ultimately cutting costs.
As things currently stands, tablet computers are more than a novelty but are not as yet a necessity. Tablets are useful for data retrieval during ward rounds but their use as a tool to engage patients in the care process remains limited. Individual health professionals or organisations contemplating the introduction of mHealth are advised to speak to their IT department prior to purchasing tablet computers to understand their local clinical information systems requirements (e.g., operating system compatibility) and any limitations associated with translating the systems to smaller devices. Such considerations are critical if tablet computers are to deliver on their full potential.
Without addressing issues such as access, effectiveness and health literacy, implementing health and health care strategies that depend on digital technologies run a significant risk of increasing health disparities
Whilst 54% of clinicians polled in a recent survey believed that provider resistance to changing how they practiced medicine would be a major obstacle for telemedicine, a mere 22 percent said the same thing about patients, indicating an awareness that consumer demand for increased care access and a more connected ecosystem is significantly higher than provider willingness to commit.
"We are all dissatisfied with an unhealthy health care system in a rapidly changing world. Empowering patients and doctors ensures they can work together. New technologies and tests are not solutions, they’re just tools. If patients and doctors don’t stand up for themselves, other stakeholders (e.g. hospitals, insurers, industry)may unwittingly make things worse.
Thoughtful, vocal patients, caregivers and doctors should stand together. Even when we disagree, we can respect our differences while working toward solutions, both in clinic and for the health care system.
We both have a lot to bring to the table. Empowered patients are better able to collaborate. Empowered doctors are more able to adapt to each patients needs and communicate well to build trust. We need each other. And if we support each other, the entire health care system will be the better for it."
Andrew Spong's insight:
The best thing I've read this year, for sure. Nicely done, Matthew.
A new electrophysiological sensor developed at North Carolina State University is as accurate as the 'wet electrode' sensors used in hospitals for EKGs and EMGs, but can be used for long-term monitoring and is more accurate than existing sensors when a patient is moving.
3D printing will have a transformative and revolutionary impact on the medical industry. We have already witnessed huge leaps in prosthetics and bioprinting, but the next few years will reveal the true power of 3D printing.
Patients increasingly are using technology to share their health information with family or friends, and access to information is causing them to pay better attention to their care, according to a recent study.
Published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the research looked at patient use of OpenNotes, initially a one-year program that gave patients electronic access to medical notes written by their doctors.
Technological developments in the health care sector hold great promise for delivering a better standard of care in the United States. But just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Doctors, that is.
Andrew Spong's insight:
Healthcare professional reticence can have as much to do with concerns about patient safety as it can with personal skepticism.
Let's remember that the personalised medicine agenda extends to doctors, too. Many doctors do an outstanding job in terms of delivering exceptional care and supporting optimal patient outcomes without a battery of gizmos and gadgets.
Push through the legions of techno-zombies and wild-eyed advocates, and find the solution that works for you, in whatever combination of digital and analog forms, in tandem with your care team.
Some industry stakeholders from providers to investors to consumer device makers think something like Apple’s HealthKit could be the catalyst that finally brings the patient — and patient-generated data — into the healthcare ecosystem in a way that electronic medical records have persistently failed to do.
Andrew Spong's insight:
Whilst I think the general theme delineated here -- consumer-collated, interoperable, personalised health data redefining what the 'electronic health record' is, and toppling legacy providers -- is germane, from what we know of HealthKit so far it seems unlikely to be the sort of epoch-defining release that the article's title suggests.
However, if Google were to acquire a company like Withings and integrate its products into Android...
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