Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 05, 2014

Health TechZone Week in Review

Keeping people alive and healthy is no easy feat, but rapid advances in medical technology are helping increase the quality of life for everyone from patients in hospital beds to those who are perfectly healthy and simply trying to stay in shape. The advent of mobile technology is increasingly finding a role in the medical field, keeping people in touch with the medical community at the push of a button. Overall, these technologies are helping people live longer and happier lives, and the past week has seen no shortage of brilliance within the field of medical technology.

One new medical tool that takes advantage of mobile technology is a recently developed iPad application called OPERA, which stands for the Organizational Performance Electronic Reporting App. OPERA was designed by MicroStrategy Incorporated, a trusted provider of enterprise software platforms around the world, and is incorporated into Great Britan's Liverpool Community Health NHS trust which offers community health services to around 100 different health centers and clinics in addition to bringing medical care directly into patient's own homes. OPERA allows medical professionals to access operational and performance data while they are in the field so that they can quickly react to risks, receive alerts and aggregate data in order to improve the practice of the entire organization as a whole.

Meanwhile in Maryland, voice recognition technology is helping to ease overloaded call centers at the nonprofit Doctors Community Hospital (DCH), located in Lanham. According to DCH  telecommunications manager Dale Savoy, “Our operators were frequently overburdened, leading to long hold times and poor service levels for doctors, family members and other callers.” However, the medical center installed the Parlance Operator Assistant automated call handling solution, which is able to transfer callers to the right departments thanks to accurate speech recognition systems. This helps operators at the call center shift their focus to other critical tasks. According to Savoy, “Our operators also act as an answering service for 300 doctor's offices in surrounding communities, and needed more time to serve these revenue generating activities.”

Finally, a subsidiary of cell phone developer Hop-On Inc. going by the name of Re-Medical has announced that they are in the process of researching and developing a surprising new medical product: a transdermal cannabis patch. While the actual health benefits of medicinal marijuana are heavily debated, the company has applied for a medical marijuana license in the state of Washington, and is planning to sell their product in Colorado, where recreational use of marijuana is legalized. The patch comes in two variants that focus on delivering THC or CBD to a patient, both of which are active chemicals in marijuana that many believe have substantial health benefits. The patches will come in doses of either 10mg or 20mg, and deliver the chemicals to the patient without them having to cause damage to their lungs by inhaling smoke.

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