Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 16, 2014

Health TechZone Week in Review

One of the reasons healthcare technology is evolving so rapidly is due to the fact that more devices are able to provide medical information, granting wider rates of accessibility. Tablets, Smartphones and even wearable devices can all monitor and report a wearer's state of well being, able to record metrics including resting heart rate, diet and exercise. Such a density of healthcare technology is ripe for innovation, and this list of the top headlines from the past week alone are evidence enough of how quickly medical technology is growing as a result.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems are one of the most effective ways that hospitals keep track of patient information. Now it appears that Cerner, one of the largest providers of EMR services, is looking to purchase Siemen's health IT business unit. The sale will ultimately expand cerner's reach to a much broader selection of hospitals, while also increasing the company's employee count to provide more manpower for a much larger overall system.

GE Healthcare is also looking to incorporate the Internet of Things into modern hospitals, using real-time M2M communications to allow larger medical instruments to have stronger digital connections. This week, GE Healthcare chose the RTI Connext Platform to efficiently communicate with connected devices in hospitals. This platform boast many features, including support for low-power CPUs and an easily scalable control panel, meaning that devices that don't have the processing power to make complicated decisions can instead communicate their findings to another processor, which will interpret that information and choose the correct action to be taken.

One of the most exciting features of the upcoming iPhone 6 is expected to be Apple's HealthKit. Although the program has run into a few regulatory speed bumps, the program seems well placed to successfully allow users to view and monitor large amounts of their own healthcare data. The amount of data is so comprehensive that some critics are noting the difficulty of ensuring that all that information is protected by the HIPAA.

With so many devices in the hands of consumers that can keep track of such complicated health scenarios seems like it would be very expensive to arm them all, but it appears that doing so could actually help save billions in the healthcare industry with preventative medicine. When the general populace has their metaphorical finger on the pulse, they are more likely to take action to prevent illness before it strikes. Tools like telemedicine also help doctors communicate with patients without either one having to take time out of their busy schedules.

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