Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 13, 2012

HealthTechZone Week in Review

Healthcare may very well be one of the most vital issues society faces. Who gets it? How much do they get? What about payment? There are many questions seeking solutions, and from that, plenty of solutions being unveiled – especially in the form of technology.

That's why we've got so much news in the sector to cover, and as such, why we've also got a Week in Review to help better manage it all. So settle in and let's take a look at what was big this week in health technology!

First was a report about the role of wireless devices in remote patient monitoring. The use of wireless devices allows patients to not only receive care under a physician's watch almost continuously, but it doesn't specifically require that the patient be in a hospital bed – or even in a hospital – to receive that monitoring. It requires many changes – high-speed wireless access in rural areas becomes a must to implement such technology – but it may very well represent significant savings in healthcare costs with its activation.

Next, we looked at how smartphones may be making people healthier. Fitness and health-related apps are steadily on the rise, and improvements in GPS are giving users more of an opportunity to get outside and walk with less risk of getting lost, making walking trips more pleasant. Plenty of other apps related to nutrition and other health topics are emerging as well, and it all adds up to a whole new way to improve one's life with better behavior.

Then, we examined the role two scientists are playing in the field of cellular reprogramming, a role that won them a Noble Prize in medicine. The ability to change the functions of cells opens up a series of opportunities for the human body to repair itself, reducing the demand for healthcare entirely and making humans healthier overall. The human body can already heal itself from many common injuries and ailments, but improving that ability could lead to unprecedented ability to heal.

Next, a partnership between Cerner and Nuance Communications brought a new level of mobile technology into play as Cerner's line of mobile Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology would get a boost from Nuance's medical voice recognition systems. The addition of Nuance systems provides physicians with an easier way to interact with medical records, allowing them to both search records and create new ones all just by voice control.

Improving efficiency generally has beneficial effects on the bottom line, and all without sacrificing quality.

Finally, we took a closer look at what was called the "consumerization of UC," or Unified Communications, and whether this would have significant impact on medical contact centers. The answer, naturally, was that it would, but in a direction that seems positive for patients and hospitals alike. The increase in total offerings provides hospitals with a lot more in the way of choice, and lower costs overall as firms compete for business. New services like Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus to streamline patient test responses and the like offer new choices for hospitals and a better experience for patients.

There are always plenty of issues when it comes to healthcare technology. That's why our global online community is out constantly in the hunt for more. So be sure to join us back here next week for more healthcare technology coverage.

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