How the healthcare service is getting smarter

How the healthcare service is getting smarter
Patients are creating a trove of data that could contribute to their healthcare provider’s overall assessment. However, packaging all that data—and figuring out how to make use of it—is still a challenge, says a report published by Future Today Institute (FTI).
 
From Fitbits, Apple Watches to smart scales we use at home, there are now hundreds of devices able to collect and monitor our health.
 
New software from companies like Validic allow doctors to collect this data and incorporate into their medical records—as long as patients give their consent. GE Healthcare, Meditech, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks and Cerner are all building products to make better use of our data.
 
Insurers are interested in our data too. In the U.S., John Hancock (part of Manulife Financial) launched a program that rewards customers for engaging in a healthy lifestyle. Points are earned for exercise, meditation and other healthy activities. After enough points are earned, they can be used for online shopping.
 
There is something in it for the insurers too. Getting access to huge amounts of activity and lifestyle data in real time will allow them to predict and adjust their pricing models down the road.
 
We also generate data at the doctor’s office, and under federal law in the U.S., that data must be filed and stored electronically. The medical community and public health sector are now trying to find ways to make good use of what we’re creating.

Need to ensure security

Healthcare systems and providers will need to shore up security fast. On a near-weekly basis, hackers are targeting hospitals and doctors, holding patient data for ransom.
 
It was reported that hackers used the WannaCry malware to break into the UK’s National Health Service, crippling the nation’s hospitals and clinics.
 
In another security breach, hackers used the remote access portal to break into a rural Indiana hospital. They demanded 4 bitcoin to release the data. The timing was awful. There had just been a serious ice storm, which caused a spike in emergency room visits, and there was a local flu outbreak.

Better preventive care

Not all future scenarios are bleak. Our health data, combined with artificial intelligence, could soon allow doctors to provide better preventative care, says FTI
 
Global tech giants Amazon, Google, IBM, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook in the US, along with Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China, are leading various health initiatives.
 
Google is making big investments in genomics, healthcare application research and HIPAA compliance in the cloud. Its Calico, DeepMind and Verily divisions are each on a mission to develop new technology and to advance AI to improve human health.
 
Amazon partnered with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan to reimagine insurance and healthcare; it acquired internet pharmacy PillPack; it is actively building at-home medical diagnostic kits; Alexa will soon be able to tell whether you’ve got a cold; and it has built a product to mine patient health records.
 
Amazon and Apple both have started building independent health clinics. In some way, all of the tech giants have ambitious health strategies that we will see unfold in the coming years.


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