High blood pressure: Treatment and prevention

| May 18, 2016

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is very common: it affects nearly 80 million adults in the United States. Hypertension has been labeled the 'silent killer' due to the absence of symptoms linked to this life-shortening condition. However, this label is unfortunate because many, though not all, individuals with hypertension have symptoms linked to their elevated blood pressure, including fatigue, headaches and chest pain...

Spotlight

Deaconess Health System

Deaconess Health System is the premier provider of health care services to 26 counties in three states (IN, IL, and KY). The system consists of seven hospitals located in southern Indiana: Deaconess Midtown Hospital, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, The Women’s Hospital, The Heart Hospital, The Orthopedic and Neuroscience Hospital, Deaconess Cross Pointe, and HealthSouth Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital.

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Technologies in the Healthcare Industry: Advancements Fueled by the Pandemic

Article | December 9, 2020

The pandemic-fueled technology adoption has enabled the healthcare industry to address the challenges, including cybersecurity, telehealth, invoicing and payment processing, patient experience, effective payment model, and big data. The responses to the unusual COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of new digital technologies in the industry. It has also fueled advancements in health technology. From the start of 2020, these advancements transformed the healthcare industry into a next-gen one by accelerating digitization of their internal and external operations by two to three years. This surprising impact of technology in the healthcare industry has brought out unexpected competition between the key players in the B2B healthcare market. Whatever the field, adapting yourself to modern changes is the best strategy to thrive. Get yourself updated according to the changes or get yourself outdated is the new norm in the healthcare industry. The following trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic in 2020 show that healthcare providers are always searching for new ways to improve their productivity, performance, and efficiency. These were the need of the hour during the pandemic, for them to surge ahead of their competitors. • Telemedicine • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare • The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) • Supply chain management technology • Privacy issues • AR/VR/MR in Healthcare • Blockchain • Digital marketing trends in healthcare This article looks into the major innovations, advancements, and trends brought out by the global pandemic in 2020 in the healthcare industry. Pandemic-fueled Advancements One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry in the US today is its digital capacity to effectively engage consumers and make them stay healthy. This can include helping people to prevent getting infected by various diseases such as COVID-19 and effectively managing various other chronic conditions. This is where technology in the healthcare industry has a major role to play. Due to the latest advancements in technology, the healthcare industry was already evolving but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation dramatically. McKinsey reports that US$250 billion was spent on technology in the US healthcare industry to shift the industry into a virtual care model in the wake of the pandemic. Also, a study by FAIR Health, a non-profit group, says the increase in telehealth claims in the US is 4,000% in 2020. Here’s a detailed look into the above-mentioned advancements, innovations or trends brought out by the pandemic in the industry. Telemedicine Had the world ever thought that it would be possible one day for doctors to remotely examine the health of patients via a smartphone or a computer? Telemedicine, a new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, addresses many challenges in the industry. Improved technology in the industry has made telemedicine easier, even for people, who are not computer savvy. Telehealth services are now provided through different telemedicine apps. In the light of the pandemic, rather than in-person visits, 43.5% of primary medical visits were done using telehealth methods in April 2020 in the US. The major benefit of telemedicine is that it reduces contact between healthcare workers, patients, and other patients. This reduces the chances of the spread of infectious diseases. Reports say that 71% of Americans considered telemedicine useful at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years too. With the pandemic, telemedicine saw an immediate boom compared to previous years. This boom in telehealth is projected to break US$185.6 billion by 2026. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare Artificial intelligence, a new trend and advancement in technology in the healthcare industry, had a critical role in fighting the pandemic. AI played a major role in areas such as pandemic detection, vaccine development, facial recognition with masks, thermal screening, and analyzing CT scans. AI is becoming the new operating technology in the healthcare industry. Major AI healthcare applications Healthcare providers will benefit a lot from AI-driven tools as AI technology in the healthcare industry has become a transformational force. Machine learning algorithms and software in AI will revolutionize the use of technology in the healthcare industry and the science of healthcare in the coming years too. AI will unify machines and humans through the brain. Some of the AI technologies in the healthcare industry, which are very relevant, are machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), rule-based expert systems, physical robots, diagnostic and treatment, patient engagement and adherence, and administrative applications. Benefits of AI in healthcare and statistics AI addresses many challenges that present technology in the healthcare industry cannot tackle. Better data-driven decisions, increased disease diagnosis efficiency, reduced treatment time, easy integration of information, reduced costs, increased patient satisfaction, fewer errors, and easier payment options are some of the benefits AI-assisted technology in the healthcare industry can provide. According to an analysis by Accenture, by 2026, clinical AI health applications are expected to create approximately US$150 billion for the US healthcare economy as annual savings. Also, the US AI health market is expected to reach around US$6.6 billion by 2021. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Nowadays, medical interactions involve some sort of equipment or device; it can be a glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, or even an MRI scanner. It may not be a surprise now that, according to a 2020 Deloitte report, the available number of medical technologies are around 50,000. The internet-connected devices, which are known as IoMT tools, are transforming the healthcare and technology in the healthcare industry. What Is IoMT? The connected infrastructure of software applications, medical devices, and health systems and services are the IoMT. This has emerged by combining IoT development with telehealth technologies and telemedicine. Potential of IoMT in healthcare and statistics Lower costs for care, fewer mistakes, and more accurate diagnosis are the potential capabilities of IoMT. IoMT paired with various smartphone applications allows patients to send information regarding their health to doctors and get treated for diseases. This type of technology-driven healthcare not only improves patient experiences but also reduces the cost. IoMT, the new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, also has a positive effect on drug management. According to Goldman Sachs, IoMT will save US$300 billion annually in the healthcare industry. AllTheResearch expects that the global IoMT market value will reach US$254.2 billion from US$44.5 billion in 2018. Supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry Utilizing advanced supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry enables healthcare providers to reach the right patients with the right product at the right time. Digitalized supply chain management also makes healthcare organizations improve provider-patient connectedness, data flow and analytics, regulatory compliance, and asset tracking. A range of challenges faced by healthcare providers prompts you to digitalize supply chain networks, using the latest technologies in the healthcare industry. Advanced supply chain management technology will help you optimize costs, reduce unnecessary variation due to error and variability, enhance patient care, engagement, and delivery, and address new value-creation priorities. According to reports from market researchers, global healthcare supply chain management technology is expected to reach US$3.3 billion in 2025 from US$2.2 billion in 2020. Privacy issues Privacy is a serious concern in technology in the healthcare industry, especially because of HIPAA compliance in 2020. Although data and information of patients can be efficiently stored and retrieved through cloud computing, complying with the strict electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is difficult. While electronic health records and sensor networks, and advancements in other technologies in the healthcare industry will surely improve the quality of healthcare by reducing medical errors and costs, associated security and privacy are challenges to be addressed. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association estimated that stolen or lost PHI may cost the US healthcare industry approximately US$7 billion annually. To solve these issues, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have to stop using outdated technology and adopt state-of-the-art technologies without violating HIPAA. Encryption technology in the healthcare industry is the best option and healthcare providers should start using it to ensure the privacy of patients. AR, VR, and MR in Healthcare Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are important technologies in the healthcare industry to enhance and ensure the quality of telemedicine, especially during the period of the pandemic. The pandemic has made these technologies more popular and the trend is expected to continue in the future too. Both of these technologies in the healthcare industry are used to enhance patient and provider visits and even to educate medical students. AR and VR also have the potential to help stroke victims overcome deficiencies, assist in robotic surgeries, educate patients before surgeries, facilitate easy surgical planning, help patients with PTSD, and reduce anxiety in children during a painful procedure or blood tests. Mixed reality (MR) is the mixed use of both VR and MR in a patient’s healthcare process and is also gaining popularity. Blockchain Blockchain is a trend which is expected to revolutionize technology in the healthcare industry. Using blockchain or digital ledgers will enable you to securely distribute transaction records to patients with improved data security. Along with other trends such as cloud computing and IoMT, blockchain also offers portability, accessibility, and high security. One of the greatest benefits of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is interoperability. As blockchain provides full visibility through a digital ledger, it improves integrity and transparency. Blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is beneficial to handle clinical study information, patient wearable data, and patient records. Scope of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry Various statistics on blockchain technology in the healthcare industry expect a wide scope for this technology. The global blockchain technology market in the healthcare industry is projected to cross US500 million by 2022. Digital marketing trends in healthcare Digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry has been revolutionized as new trends were set by the pandemic in 2020. As the world shrunk to online mode during the pandemic period, the following healthcare digital marketing trends emerged. Content marketing The smartest way to attract new patients to your service is content marketing and educational content. 2020 is the time where the content truly emerged as king. Educational content is vital in the healthcare space because everyone always tries to learn new things. It can be a trick or tips about the latest technological advancements, general industry news, or new diagnostic options. Mobile responsive websites Another important digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry is making an attractive website, which also must be mobile responsive. In this modern world of technology, everyone wants to access every facility at their fingertips. So, if your website is not mobile responsive, you won’t get traffic to your website easily. Along with these two trending digital marketing technologies in the healthcare industry, some of the other trends are: • Video marketing • Multichannel initiatives and customer touchpoints • Online reputation • Powerful presence on social media channels • Location-based SEO The essential trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry depicting the future of healthcare are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science along with a focus on effective healthcare digital marketing technology and strategy. The pandemic fueled B2B healthcare technology will make the industry evolve every year and go on resolving new challenges that arise. Frequently Asked Questions Why is technology important to the healthcare industry? Integrating technology with healthcare industry will improve quality of life. Also, the use of digital technology in the healthcare industry will increase efficiency, quality, and patient experience. What is new technology in healthcare? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many trending technologies are used in healthcare. The new technologies in the healthcare industries are AI, blockchain, chatbots, voice search, and virtual reality. What are the negative impacts of medical technology? Medical technology can have some negative impacts on patients such as impersonal or minimized care, negative health effects, increased patient costs, inappropriate use, and invasion of privacy.

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Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Transforming the Future of Healthcare

Article | December 29, 2020

Virtual reality (VR), the new technological advancement, is set to transform practices in the healthcare industry. According to Statista, it is estimated that, by 2022, the second largest market share of VR will be from the healthcare industry. Virtual reality in healthcare operates in various divisions to offer a greater quality of patient care and performance of medical professionals. For the health and healthcare industry, from the clinical process to the user, VR has a multitude of applications such as tutoring future doctors, generating new life-saving routines, etc. Virtual reality in healthcare can confront the challenges in the industry, including efficiently handling huge healthcare databases, training and development of medical professionals, patient engagement, disease awareness, medical marketing, patient treatment, etc. Virtual reality in the healthcare market, according to a report from Reports and Data, is expected to reach USD 8.03 billion by 2027 from USD 2.06 billion in 2019. This article discusses how virtual reality in healthcare is going to transform the industry by applying it in various divisions such as medical training, patient treatment, patient engagement, disease awareness, and medical marketing. Virtual Reality in Healthcare Training VR in healthcare can transport you to areas, inside of the human body, that otherwise would be impossible to access and view. Medical students currently use cadavers to learn, but cadavers do not react the same way live patients do. Also, cadavers are very difficult to get hold of. When VR is used in healthcare training, students can view even minute detail of all parts of the body. This view is possible in stunning 360° CGI reconstruction and creates training scenarios, which would replicate real surgical procedures. Virtual Reality in healthcare can be used to deliver high-quality surgical training. Using virtual reality, 4K 360° video of real-life surgery is filmed from multiple angles. Then it is combined with CGI models of the anatomy, which is being operated. This advanced use of virtual reality in healthcare provides medical students with an interactive and immersive training experience. Treatment Patient Education The ability of virtual reality in healthcare to see inside of the human body is useful for both doctors and patients. With the help of VR, doctors can take patients through their surgical plan. This is made possible by a virtual view of the anatomy and pathology of patients through a patient-specific 360° VR reconstruction. The result of this is an enhanced understanding of the treatment for patients and higher patient satisfaction. Robotic Surgery Robotic surgery is a recent innovation. A robotic device, such as a robotic arm, is used in a robotic surgery while being controlled by a human surgeon. This utilization of virtual reality in healthcare makes sure of fewer or no risk of complications in surgeries. This also makes the surgeon finish the surgery procedure faster with greater accuracy. The robotic devices are accurate with reduced blood loss, smaller incisions, and faster recovery. Mental Health and Psychological Therapy The unique ability of virtual reality technology to take you anywhere virtually can be utilized to create a powerful virtual reality simulation in healthcare of various scenarios in which psychological issues occur. This eliminates the necessity of a therapist accompanying patients to various scenarios such as a tall building or a crowded shopping center to provide proper counseling. These scenarios can be easily created with virtual reality technology in healthcare. Virtual reality in healthcare market has also been used to help autistic children in the classroom, curb memory loss, and gather data for dementia research. Pain Management and Physical Therapy Apart from psychological issues, the healing capabilities of VR are also used in pain management and physical treatment. According to a study by the UW Harborview Burn Centre and the University of Washington Seattle, a full VR immersion acted as a distraction for patients, who were undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft. This distraction subsequently reduced their feeling of pain. Virtual reality in healthcare is also found to be effective in reducing recovery time in physical therapy. Patients performing their daily exercises in a virtual environment, find the task to be more fun than usual. It also keeps the patients focused and helps them keep their spirits up and recover sooner. Patient Engagement With the help of virtual reality in healthcare, patients can experience a virtual tour of the inside of their bodies before surgeries. This is a 360-degree, three-dimensional (3D) tour. This enables patients to know their body, anatomy, and pathology, before the surgical procedures. Virtual Reality Medical Visualization platform is developed for the tour. These advancements with virtual reality in healthcare engage patients thoroughly, which reduces tension and lead to a speedy recovery. Medical Marketing The most popular and initial application of Virtual reality was marketing. Still, it continues to be one of the most effective and powerful marketing tools. The ability to use VR to project the future of healthcare is the most powerful tactic in healthcare marketing. With Virtual reality in healthcare, one of the most powerful tactics that you can have to market in the industry is to show people what changes they can expect when they start or stop exercising, lose or gain weight, the progress they make through cancer treatments, etc. As the possibilities of virtual reality in healthcare are endless, healthcare professionals and providers can attract more patients, doctors with high caliber, and nursing staff to your facilities. When those are in short supply, virtual reality in healthcare can be used as an excellent healthcare marketing tool to ensure expected results. Disease Awareness AbbVie, a pharmaceutical research & development company, created an experience to educate medical professionals and raise awareness among them regarding the daily struggle Parkinson’s disease patients undergo. The experience was demonstrated at a pharmaceutical industry trade show. People put on a headset and experienced how Parkinson’s sufferers navigate a virtual supermarket, meeting with difficult moments when they come in contact with other people. Such experiences with virtual reality in healthcare help raise awareness for various diseases among professionals and patients. Virtual reality presentations can be conducted to raise awareness of certain diseases. The Future of Virtual Reality in Healthcare A lot of applications of virtual reality in healthcare are in their nascent stage. In the coming years, virtual reality will be used more in healthcare, which will improve the effectiveness and accuracy of present procedures. It will also enhance the various human capabilities, for both patients and medical professionals. Virtual reality in healthcare has huge potential, but only limited by the ingenuity and creativity of people who create and apply the technology. VR will surely transform medical training, physical and psychological therapies, rehabilitation, mental health treatments, and patient engagement, among others. Virtual reality in healthcare holds the power to transform the way doctors are trained and treatment is provided to patients. According to reports from various market research companies, especially research done by Grand View Research, predict that, by 2025, virtual reality in the healthcare market will grow to a whopping US$5.1 billion. The major driving forces behind this growth are Rapid technological advancements in the healthcare industry and driving demand for rehabilitation and simulation training. Frequently asked questions How is virtual reality used in healthcare? In healthcare, virtual reality is used in treatment, training, and to raise awareness among medical professionals and patients regarding various diseases. Patients and doctors are made to view the inside of the human body using virtual reality. Where is virtual reality used in healthcare? Virtual reality is used in various sectors of healthcare to deliver high quality patient care. Treatment with the assistance of virtual reality also increases the efficiency of medical professionals. Virtual treating is applied in all aspects of medical treatment. What are the benefits of virtual reality? Virtual reality in healthcare saves both, the time and money of healthcare providers. It also makes the work of medical professionals more convenient. It eliminates unnecessary travel for treatments by making appropriate decisions. How virtual reality is changing healthcare? Virtual reality is changing the healthcare by providing different advanced ways of treatments, especially for physical and psychological therapy, surgeries, pain management, and stress management and by assisting the rehabilitation process effectively.

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COVID-19 predictions, Dunning-Kruger Effect and the Hippocratic Oath of a Data Scientist

Article | March 29, 2020

COVID-19 related data sources are fairly easy to find. Libraries in R and Python make it super easy to come up with pretty visualizations, models, forecasts, insights and recommendations. I have seen recommendations in areas like economics, public policy, and healthcare policy from individuals who apparently have no background in any of these fields. All of us have seen these 'data driven' insights. Some close friends have asked if I have been analyzing the COVID-19 datasets. Yes, I have been looking at these datasets. However, my analysis has been just out of curiosity and not with the intent of publishing my forecast or recommendations. I am not planning to make any of my analyses on COVID-19 dataset public because I sincerely believe that I am not qualified to do so.

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Artificial intelligence and healthcare

Article | March 10, 2020

When we imagine the future, we think about "The Jetsons" or "Back to the Future." Although we are not flying our cars or transporting instantly to any location at the push of a button, Artificial Intelligence (AI) permeates our lives. Think about the last time Netflix picked out your last binge marathon, Gmail finished your sentence or Siri created your grocery list. These are all examples of AI. Companies use Al to predict actions customers will take based on their habits. Al is also shaping the healthcare industry. In fact, according to Becker's Healthcare, Al will save healthcare $52 billion by 2021. Al bots track consumer health, enabling doctors to more easily access patients' health information. Apps and chat bots bridge the communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. Patients receive advice from their bedside and save time by using Al. Al takes a patient's health information and creates recommendations that can prevent further illnesses from occurring. A recent article provides insights on Al and data as a "what is next" for the communication industry.

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Spotlight

Deaconess Health System

Deaconess Health System is the premier provider of health care services to 26 counties in three states (IN, IL, and KY). The system consists of seven hospitals located in southern Indiana: Deaconess Midtown Hospital, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, The Women’s Hospital, The Heart Hospital, The Orthopedic and Neuroscience Hospital, Deaconess Cross Pointe, and HealthSouth Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital.

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