Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 28, 2012

HealthTechZone Week in Review

A wide array of news landed in the healthcare technology field this week, and as such, there is plenty to go over. Our Week in Review coverage looks to help cover some of the high points in the field so settle in and let's run down the week that was!

First came some exciting news in the treatment of hepatitis C, thanks to the approval of two new drugs from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. The two new drugs in question, Incivek and Victrelis, look to spur some significant growth in the hepatitis C market, which is expected to reach $15 billion by the end of 2018, up from $2.6 billion in 2011. However, the actual number of people infected with hepatitis C is expected to fall from 7.6 million in 2004 to under seven million total by 2018 thanks to a combination of better treatments and increased awareness.

Next came a report on spending on cloud technologies in the healthcare market, which, not surprisingly, is poised for substantial upward gains. The market is expected to account for fully $5.4 billion in spending by 2017, up from $1.8 billion in 2011. That's a big gain, and driving that big gain is rapidly increasing market penetration, as current levels are down around four percent. But as more physicians—and hospitals—discover the benefits of cloud technology, they're likely to get much more market penetration to reach the projected levels.

Then came an unexpected report from ADP AdvancedMD, which revealed that a large majority—74 percent—of physicians responding to a study didn't feel “in control” of their finances. Given that the study was conducted among over 125,000 physicians in a wide variety of fields, that kind of response suggests some very distressing phenomena at work in the industry. While technology is proving to be a big help, the increasingly difficult regulatory environment is often found to be more of an impediment than a help.

Next, we took a closer look at a common phenomenon of technology in children's bedrooms and the effects it has on their growth and development. The survey, conducted over 3,400 10-11 year old students, revealed a correlation between electronic devices in a child's bedroom and difficulty sleeping, as well as obesity. Children with electronic devices often got less sleep, preferring to engage in their platforms of choice, be it television, smartphone chatting, video games or the like, and the reduced sleep raised their chances of being overweight as well.

Finally, a new tool emerged for those wanting to get more engaged in being healthy and moving with the new MusicalHeart app for smartphones. A combination heart-rate monitor and music-recommendation engine, it actually offers choices in music based on the user's heart rate level. The app can determine the heart rate level by listening to the noise generated by blood flow in the ear with a set of headphones, and respond accordingly, offering songs that are geared to either increase or decrease blood flow to reach a desired target.

Technology and healthcare go together like exercise and a proper diet, and it's easy to see that much through the sheer array of news we've covered this week. Our global online community is always in the hunt for more, so be sure to join us back here next week for plenty more news, and of course, every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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