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Innovation

Healthcare is in the midst of rapid innovation that fuels transformation. The seeds of healthcare innovation grow in multiple environments—from academia and hospital innovation centers, to digital health technology organizations.

Datica has always made it a part of our culture to cultivate and celebrate innovation and we are pleased to present this compilation of resources.

The Big Topics in Healthcare Innovation

As technology advances rapidly across every area of business, nearly every area of healthcare technology is also being touched by innovation. From big data to telehealth, here are a few of the hottest innovation topics in healthcare today.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is a method of using algorithms and computer systems that apply deep machine learning techniques to simulate human analysis and decision making. In healthcare, AI has enormous potential to disrupt treatment techniques and patient outcomes with analysis of medical data. Today, cognitive computing, machine learning, and semantic analytics represent major steps toward the goal of AI, however, true artificial intelligence doesn’t actually exist yet. Even so, the healthcare industry is making the pursuit of AI a big driver of innovation.

Connected Health and the Health Internet of Things (Health IOT)

The healthcare industry’s version of the Internet of Things is very often referred to as the Health Internet of Things or, more commonly, connected health. When most people talk about connected health, they’re referring to the devices, wearables, apps, and other tools that track an individual’s activity or aspects of their health. However, connected health is much more than just a set of devices.

There are extreme power and value in combining health IoT data from multiple devices with data from clinical systems, such as EHRs. This existing data is present in troves in the industry today. It’s just locked up behind walls and in silos. But those silos are being pried open through Meaningful Use and innovative patient access initiatives.

As innovation drives connected health forward, a new model of healthcare delivery is evolving that moves care from the hospital or doctor’s office into the day-to-day lives of people.

Precision Medicine and Genomics

Precision medicine basically means matching each patient with the treatment that will work best for them. Also called personalized medicine or individualized medicine, precision medicine takes individual variation into account: variation in our genes, environment, lifestyle, and even in the microscopic organisms that are living inside of us.

Genomics is at the center of precision medicine, as researchers seek to understand how factors from the environment interact with genetic variations to influence health. This research, however, requires enormous computational power, network, and data storage capacity. Sequencing even one human genome generates a huge amount of raw data—about 200 gigabytes.

Precision medicine and genomics are driving innovation not only in the research and medical understanding of genetics, but also in big data sharing, storage, and analysis.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine is simply the remote clinical care of patients by way of telecommunications technology such as webcams and virtual meetings. Many people predict virtual care will transform healthcare, bringing otherwise unavailable advanced medical care into rural and remote locations. Even as reimbursement models struggle to catch up with telemedicine, innovations in improving the quality of virtual care march forward.

Wearables and Sensors

From health or safety monitoring to fitness trackers, efficacy monitoring, and detection, the world of networked wellness is one of the most innovative areas of healthcare. Wearables and sensors enable new levels of continuous, home-based, physiological monitoring with less cost and manhours.

As sensors get smaller and smarter, the wearables market is exploding with new innovations every day in wristbands, watches, socks, shoes—even eyeglasses and hats. The opportunities for use of all of this data are endless, and a related driver of innovation is the quest to bring the relevant data back into the clinical systems to be available at the point of care. Healthcare’s access to this data may very well be the key to proving value-based outcomes and implementing preventive digital health programs.

Big Data and Population Health

As data is aggregated across health systems and entire populations, big data is on the minds of nearly everyone involved in healthcare. Many healthcare leaders are thinking about ways to harness that disparate data, gain better insights from that data, and turn those insights into action that leads to better population health.

Blockchain

Blockchain is the distributed accounting platform best known for being the backbone of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Many headlines today are touting blockchain as the solution for true interoperability. At its essence, blockchain is a tool to keep secure data, like PHI, in a distributed, encrypted virtual ledger with controlled network access to that ledger.

Blockchain has enormous potential to revolutionize healthcare, however, many realists are suggesting that it won’t happen for a very long time due to a lack of common structure, protocols, and terminology as well as lack of a consistent unique personal identifier in patients. Without those foundational pieces, it may just be hype at this point. Yet, it may be the focus of innovation as healthcare plans ahead.

Rapid innovation in technology and data is transforming healthcare before our very eyes; but, in order for those transformational shifts to take hold and scale, there needs to be a high level of security. There also needs to be transparency into the policies and procedures that manage that security. This is essential to provide the assurances needed for both individuals as well as enterprises that will be using these technologies.

This security and transparency is in the DNA of Datica. We take care of the compliance and security layer so vendors, enterprises, and developers can focus on healthcare innovation.

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Healthcare Innovators Podcast on Innovation

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