7 truly innovative technologies in healthcare!
In 2000, Harvard Business Review ran an article about the threats to existing business models and entrenchment that often prevented innovation and disruption in healthcare. In it Clayton Christensen, et al described real disruptive technologies being those that “enable less expensive professionals to do progressively more sophisticated things in less expensive settings.” Since then, the Accountable Care Act was passed and it may one day prove to be the enabler of insurers, regulators, hospitals and health professionals working together to facilitate disruption instead of uniting to prevent it.
The shift in business models is opening up opportunities for the adoption of disruptive technologies that improve the quality of healthcare and improve access. The following 7 innovative technologies reflect some of the fruits of today’s emerging market forces.
Big data is taking evidence-based medicine to a whole new, and faster, level. Way back in 2000, researchers were still conducting clinical trials that would lead to the practice of medicine according to protocols established and backed up by years of research. Today, leveraging and analyzing data already available across information systems is making medicine even more precise and leading to more effective treatments sooner and eliminating the waste of ineffective therapies, medications and practices.
Visual search is being applied in dermatology, pathology and psychology to enhance accuracy by rapidly scanning and analyzing a picture and then searching and matching cases with those in large digital libraries of knowledge. One example is Visualdx, installed in over 1300 locations and in 15% of all ER departments in the U. S. This visual search technology can capture even the most subtle variation; helping providers develop a differential diagnosis for patients presenting with rashes, lesions or other skin conditions.
Integrated advanced diagnostic imaging with telemedicine technologies are facilitating faster and more widespread access. iSchemaView’s RAPID is an example, helping teleneurologists instantly identify how fast a stroke is growing, what can be salvaged and brain that is irreversibility damaged. The integration with InTouch’s telemedicine network will facilitate an even faster diagnosis and lead to a reduction in post-stroke damage and disability.
Project io is using image processing and 3D printing to build more affordable and better fitting prosthetics. It involves patients using an app to scan residual and opposite limb for a more complimentary prosthetic.
Medwand is a device that facilitates diagnostic testing where availability of licensed providers is limited, such as in rural or remote communities. It allows providers to hear heart and lungs, look at ears, eyes, noses or throat and take pulse and temperature from home or other environments. In addition to documenting the clinical data captured, it can also facilitate trending and analysis.
Patientricti, a cloud-based, adaptive engagement platform enables targeted patient outreach using demographics, clinical and behavioral data for improved outcomes. It enables personalized communications and care coordination via the mode and language preferred by the patient and leverages gamification and social incentives to sustain behavior changes for those with chronic conditions.
A wide range of sensors for the environment and on the person are helping improve home and self-care. Google and Dexcomrecent partnership produces glucose sensing patches that are smaller and more attractive to the 10% of the US population closely monitoring their blood sugar levels. In addition, the sensors provide for continuous, rather than periodic measures, for more proactive management of the patient’s chronic condition.
Innovation starts with recognizing the challenges and then asking the right questions to uncover the business needs. Only then can the process of defining technical requirements, design and development of disruptive applications begin. It helps to have capable partners!
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Director of Development · Vicert