- “help detect small variations within patients’ health data and comparing variations among similar patients
- identify potential pandemics early and tracking the incidence of diseases to help prevent and contain their spread
- enhance imaging diagnostics in radiology and pathology.”– (Brian Williams, 2017)
Understand the problemThis seems very simple but is often harder than you think. For example, when healthcare providers would like the system of patient recording to change from let’s say paper to electronic. It might seem like you have fixed the problem by implementing the newest electronic system that enhances access, with lots of different options and shining innovative attributes. However, when asking why they want the system changed and what the specific problems are with the current system, you might find out that for care givers a simple system, with fewer options and a user friendly interface is key to perform their jobs effective and efficiently. In that case, your beautiful new system would be far from desired. “It’s about finding the pain points and determining how that translates to the needs of caregivers or patients.” – (Travis Good, 2017)
Make the technology fit into the workflowsAfter you have a clear understanding of the problem it is key to gain insight into how the technology will fit into the workflow of the healthcare provider. Try looking at the work as an operation project rather than an IT project. This ensures that the technology will be aligned with the strategic initiatives and objectives of the overall department. An example, a project around operating procedures replacing hips and knees. Having an IT perspective we might focus on gathering the data from the electronic health records to improve the inventory levels of replacement joints which boosts the return on investment by sterilizing fewer equipment, reduction in employee costs and other efficiencies. This of course would already help a lot. However, taking an operation project perspective and while speaking with operational people, the director of the OR for example, you might find out that there are additional department goals which could be well implemented in this system. Think about accurate and timely data to help with budgeting or supply chain management.
Standardize your Digital Health TransformationHealthcare systems are often highly complex and interlinked with various systems and processes. Therefore, to successfully implement digital health, standardization is key. The technology tool itself but also the processes and support systems around it, such as training and compliance need to be interlinked and standardized. This can reduce complexity each time another application is added to the ecosystem and therewith creates system sustainability. When deciding whether or not to add a new technology, standardization should be applied as well. A piece of technology can be highly innovative and change the way care is provided, however the new IT might not be suitable to be built into the existing system. There should be a process in place to understand whether it is a smart long-term investment. The digital health conversation is dominated by technology but most people working outside IT do not know what is possible in this field. This makes that for doctors for example it is hard to formulate what exactly the technology should do. Using the technology such as documentation tools for people to type into, costs them time away with patients. Especially since IT people build the systems without a clear value proposition, healthcare professionals complain since they have all the data but are not using it. For this reason discussions needs to change. More non-technological and subject related experts need to sit around the table. Information need to be gained from the people technology is serving, patients, doctors and nurses. What are they experiencing, what would truly benefit them and how would it fit their needs, desires and ways of working. “In the short term, having more voices around the table won’t necessarily make the process of transformation more efficient. But, in the long-term, broadening beyond a technology discussion will be necessary.”– (Travis Good, 2017) If we truly want successful digital health transformation and receive the benefits from such systems, we need to go back to the before the time of the tower of babel and try to speak the same language, understanding each other. Click here to view the article this post is based upon.
Virtual Reality in HealthcareVirtual reality is already improving the healthcare industry and is fast becoming the hottest industry, bringing together tech and the health sector and dramatically changing lives. Here are just a few examples of how virtual reality is revolutionizing the healthcare industry:
Exposure TherapySurvivors of hostilities who now live with post-traumatic stress syndrome may benefit from immersion therapy and virtual reality. The patient is immersed in simulation that allows them to work through their trauma by having them face it, Also referred to as virtual reality immersion therapy (VRIT), it is the use of virtual reality technology for psychological or occupational therapy. Patients receiving VRIT navigate through digitally created environments and complete specially designed tasks tailored to treat their specific ailment. Through the interaction with harmless virtual representations of traumatic stimuli, their fear responses are reduced. It has proven to be very effective in the treatment of PTSD and has also been applied to stroke patients regain muscle control and in the treatment of disorders such as body dysmorphia.
Phobia TreatmentVirtual reality exposure therapy places the patient in a computer-generated world where they experience stimuli linked to their phobia. After skill building sessions to prepare the patient on how to manage automatic responses to anxiety-provoking situations, the therapist and patient work together to create a scale of anxiety-inducing situations. In controlled stages, the patient is exposed to these virtual experiences that evoke increasingly higher levels of anxiety. Each stage will be repeated until the client is comfortable with the experience and satisfied with their response. At every level, the therapist will observe what the client is experiencing in the virtual world. If the degree of anxiety becomes overpowering, the patient can revert to the less stressful stage of treatment or immediately exit the virtual world.
Surgery Training and Robotic SurgeryVirtual reality technology allows trainee surgeons to obtain valuable experience but in a harmless environment. They learn skills and techniques without causing injury to patients and receive continuous feedback. Robotic surgery is performed utilizing a robotic device such as a robotic arm which is controlled by a human surgeon. This results in faster procedures and fewer risks of complications during surgery. Because the robotic device is accurate, it means smaller incisions, less blood loss, and speedy recoveries. The use of Virtual reality in healthcare allows the surgeon to control the movements of the robotic arm through delicate movements which would be challenging to perform by a human surgeon. Another use of virtual reality in surgery is by “remote telesurgery.” In this case, the patient is operated on by a surgeon who is in an entirely different location, completely separate from the patient. This would be a life-saving procedure particularly if the surgeon is too far to get to the patient in time due to a long travel.
Big Data, Digital Health, Events, Fitness, Healthcare, Innovation, Internet Of Things IoT, mHealth, Partnerships, WearablesIt is with pride that we would like to announce the 2nd anniversary of Digital Salutem!! November 2 years ago we started with a mission to change digital healthcare innovation whilst having a positive impact on businesses and society. Our multidisciplinary group of digital health experts worked hard and we achieved a lot. We connected and collaborated with some amazing clients including a few of the most innovative health insurers in Europe and Nokia Health, a recognised world class innovator in digital health. But that is far from all. It was an exciting year and as always we attended a variety of industry events including;
- London Health Show – London – January 2016
- eHealth Week – Amsterdam – June 2016
- Internet of Healthcare Conference – London – September 2016
- HIMSS Europe – WoHIT – Barcelona – November 2016
- Wearable Technology Show – London- March 2017
- Up Rise Festival – Amsterdam – April 2017
- TechXLR8/London Tech Week – London – June 2017
- Insurance IoT Europe Summit – London – June 2017
- MedFIT – MedTech Innovation – Grenoble, France – June 2017
- IoT Smart Summit – London – September 2017
- WHINN – Week of Health – Odense, Denmark – October 2017