University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
In such a short period of time we have seen the healthcare industry go from paper tracking to technological tracking. We continue to see healthcare care drastically each year. The article I am reviewing is an article put out by Forbes in the beginning of 2013. Even though we have seen the many transformations when it comes to technology and healthcare, this article touches on five, which I will talk about more here shortly. It is an amazing idea that potentially five years from now that we could be totally paperless in the healthcare world. Four years ago the IT departments of healthcare had a mere $343 million invested considering the potential of what was to come (Forbes, Lee 2013). Since then venture capitalists have tripled their investments into the health care IT and sunk $955 million (Forbes, Lee 2013). The article expresses that the federal government is even going to be sinking some major money into hospitals and medical offices to digitize health care. It all comes to a very good point mentioned in the article. “All of these VCs are now starting to put money into the space. And as we start getting some big wins, we’re going to see this accelerate,” said Aza Raskin, cofounder of Massive Health — a startup developing a mobile app to encourage healthier eating and other health-related tools — in an interview with Fast Company. “The smartest minds of our generation shouldn’t be working on getting us more addicted to Facebook or Twitter; they should be working on helping us get — and stay — healthy” (Forbes, Lee 2013).
What would people think when they are told that a machine helped their doctor figure out their diagnosis and the best possible treatment for them? Most will think it is absolute craziness, right? Funny that is brought up because researchers with the IBM corporation are currently developing a state of the art computer system that will take a doctors data and come up with the best possible outcome of a diagnosis would be for the patient. They are calling this major technological advancement Watson, and known to the medical field as Dr. Watson (Forbes, Lee 2013). This machine will be able to not only help assess the projected diagnosis of a patient, but also to keep tabs on a patients history, and allow the doctors to keep up with the latest and greatest abilities to treat patients. How often have we all been at work and have had to deal with someone that spoke a language we were unable to understand or speak for that matter? In the medical field it is hard to track down one person in a hospital that can speak Cantonese, Russian, German, Japanese, or many other languages that are less frequented in our day to day lives. Well, welcome Omnifluent Health! This product was developed by the Science Applications International Corporation, or the SAIC, to help with translation process in the healthcare field (Forbes, Lee 2013). This is a huge step considering doctors could just whip out there cell phones and ask a question into the microphone and get a quick translation. We would be able to break the language barrier between patients and healthcare workers. We have so many social media sites on the web now a days. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, G Plus, and many others. That is how we stay connected to friends and family.
Now physicians have a “physicians only” media site that will allow them to contact one another in regards to taking better care of their patients. It is called Doximity (Forbes, Lee 2013). The funding for the project is at $27 million currently (Forbes, Lee 2013). I hate to have to sit in an ER for hours on end in the middle of the night to be seen for a rapid asthma onset, or with a child running a high fever and vomiting just to be told that there are over the counter remedies available at the 24 hour big box retail giant less than 10 miles away. It would be nice to be able to pop into a chat, or call where I can talk to a healthcare professional about what is going on and have a response without having to get out of a comforting place, like home, and sit for hours in a cold ER waiting room. There is now a system that gives patients the opportunity to have a medical consultation via phone or online. It is a startup company out of New York City called Sherpaa (Forbes, Lee 2013). If you were to type in “diet apps” in your Google Play Store tons of apps would pop up that are there to help you count calories, track weight loss, track exercise time and calories burned, and so on and so forth. One that the article talks about it Fitbit. It is a pedometer that tracks the sleeping patterns and activities of a person (Forbes, Lee 2013). Another one it talks about is Lark. Lark is a silent alarm clock and sleep monitor that tracks and analyzes the quality of sleep a person gets over time (Forbes, Lee 2013). In this day of technological advances there is no surprise at the countless ones that are in place in regards to the health care industry. With the amount of change from paper charting to digitized charting methods, egg timers on when med pass is compared to computer pop ups, from easy access to patients meds to secured sign in procedures to acquire the meds, and from sitting in a waiting room for countless hours on end to picking up your phone and making a quick call is all proof that it has been time for a change in medical technology for a long time now. We are entering a new time for health care and to some, it is the era of Health 2.0 (Forbes, Lee 2013)
Lee, Ellen (2013). 5 Ways Technology Is Transforming Health Care.