Even with a holiday thrown in, it's hard to stop the rush of news in the healthcare technology market segment. That was certainly the case this week, even with New Year's Day thrown into the mix, but the news proved stronger than even a day off as plenty emerged, so settle in and let's run down some of the biggest events to happen this week with our Week in Review coverage!
First out of the gates were predictions for 2013, specifically in the field of medical device connectivity. With the needs of physicians to be in more places at once battling against the demands of regulators, the need for medical devices to be better, and more securely, connected to information will increase steadily. Managing the resulting complexity that gets involved from many connections all at once will also prove difficult, but be very important to 2013 overall.
Sarasota, Florida healthcare professionals brought in the next piece of news, as the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System looked to join up with local agencies to bring in a new information sharing system. The system, when fully installed over the course of the next year, will allow the various operations involved—the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, the Sarasota County Health Department and the Senior Friendship Centers—to share information more readily, reducing wait times, make eligibility processes easier to understand, and in general streamline operations, making them more efficient overall.
Next came a look at the Lifebot, the telemedicine system that connected ambulances to hospitals in a bid to not only provide better care on scene, but perform better stabilization measures. Including access to patient data when available and live video feeds, the new Lifebot 5 system uses a variety of connection measures available to not only provide information about patient status en route to the hospital, but also to receive information from the hospital to be used in helping the patient before the ambulance even reaches the hospital.
Breast cancer is a major problem all over, but 3D technology is looking to not only improve the capability to detect breast cancer early, but with early detection, provide better chances at improved treatment of the disease. The technology in question, known as Tomosynthesis, involves capturing multiple images of the breast to create a three-dimensional model of same, which in turn allows for a better diagnosis than a standard X-ray image. Particularly valuable for women whose breasts are particularly dense, the technology manages to find a lot of cancers that other technologies miss.
Finally, we had a look at an unusual development in cardiac care: a pacemaker powered by a human heartbeat. Pacemakers formerly needed batteries to operate, until the University of Michigan managed to develop a pacemaker that could run on the beat of the heart itself. Pacemakers are used to regulate a human heartbeat, not replace it, so a heart is still beating in a situation where a pacemaker is required. The irregular beat, while dangerous to humans, is more than sufficient to power the piezoelectric systems that power the U of M pacemaker.
That was the week that was in healthcare technology: from cancer care to cardiac care and the power and promise of information technology in healthcare, it was clear that there was a lot to cover. Our global online community was more than up to the task, however, as they are every week. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the biggest news in healthcare technology, as well as every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!