By William Rusnak
We are just beginning to see the full potential of the use of sensors in healthcare.
In fact, the day may soon come when acute changes in a patient’s vitals may be sent as an alert to the phone of a primary care physician. Giant fluctuations of glucose levels in the blood of diabetics may be detected without the need to repeatedly prick finger tips. Food diaries, home blood pressures jotted down on notepads, and face-to-face follow-up appointments will likely be a thing of the past.
The typical check-up that we know today may transform into the equivalent of getting your car’s computer inspected when the “check engine” light is on. Sensors will lead to more pertinent data collection, and with the right analytics, will significantly improve outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Kyu Rhee, MD
While emerging economies across the world are exploding, the sad fact is that chronic disease is taking its toll.
As the middle class grows across Africa, Asia and South America, people are living longer and also suffering from obesity and the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle. That translates into growing death rates from chronic disease.
In most African countries, cardiovascular disease is now the second leading cause of death after infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. It has been estimated that between 1990-2020, the burden of heart disease will double. Diabetes across the Middle East and North Africa has jumped 87 percent between 1990-2012, and stroke by 35 percent.
Approximately 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in developing nations, according to the World Health Organization. That number is rising: for example, cancer is expected to increase in Sub-Saharan Africa by 85 percent by 2030. But that figure is only an estimate, since less than 1 percent of the region’s population is covered by cancer registries. Continue Reading »
By Linda Becker
Across the U.S. and around the world, businesses, governments and healthcare leaders realize the need to transform healthcare. New legislation and mandates cannot change the culture of a community or the trajectory of care or cost.
Recently I was invited to participate in a panel discussion as part of IBM’s Economic Development and Vitality Symposium in Washington, D.C., to share the dramatic story of how Rochester, N.Y., was able to transform itself in tough economic times through Smarter Care. It is an inspiring story of how to bring disparate groups together in a community to make a real difference for its citizens, and one that I am privileged to have been able to witness firsthand in my roles as Chairman of the Board of Rochester General Hospital and founder of a healthcare event and continuing education company called NorthStar Network. Continue Reading »
By David Alexander
Healthcare systems across the U.S. are facing the need to reform operations to maintain their financial health. Rising costs, aging populations and government reform mandates are changing how these systems work.
As the nation’s second largest public health care network, Memorial Health System has had to face these issues and more as we’ve expanded operations.
The good news? We’ve grown both organically by adding new facilities and by acquiring other hospitals and health providers.
The challenge? The complexity of our accounts-payable processes increased, transactional volumes skyrocketed, and we had no consistent way to validate vendors. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Timothy G. Buchman, MD, PhD
Remember when airplane cockpits were filled with round gauges, each providing a piece of basic information to the pilot?
In most hospitals today, we essentially operate on that same old-fashioned model for critically ill patients – those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Machines provide separate pieces of data about a patient, say, heart rate, blood pressure or organ function. It’s then up to the doctor to watch all of this data and make decisions.
Take for example my patient, lying in the ICU with tubes of various sizes snaking into her body. Her husband and children look on while she is tended by an experienced critical care nurse. Eight infusers drip powerful drugs into her veins. A microprocessor-controlled ventilator regulates the composition, volume and pressure of each breath she takes. Continue Reading »
By Wes Hunt
At my company, we have been using Big Data and analytics, as permitted by law, to transform the way we serve our customers – to provide deeply personalized services. We study customer behaviors, preferences, and relationships to get a full 360 degree view of our customers.At Nationwide, we put members first.
We’ve always promised to protect the things that are the most important to them: their assets, their peace of mind and even their dreams, no matter how simple or grand they may be. Our brand promise, “Nationwide Is On Your Side,” is built on the core belief of building and enhancing customer relationships. We are committed to knowing and caring about our members, and being easy to do business with. Continue Reading »
By Keith J. Figlioli
According to the federal government, one out of every five Medicare beneficiaries – about two million people annually – are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of discharge. The cost: $26 billion a year, with more than $17 billion considered unplanned and preventable.
Why is this happening? Well, research shows patients are often readmitted due to their lack of understanding about what’s wrong with them and how to care for themselves at home, which medications they’re supposed to take and when, and how and when they should schedule a follow up appointment.
In August, I wrote about the Data Alliance Collaborative (DAC), a group of leading clinical and IT experts who are co-developing and sharing data analytics to meet unmet healthcare needs. Instead of investing in and developing multiple, fragmented solutions that address the same problem, DAC members are pooling resources to develop single solutions all providers can use. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Courtney DiNardo
A few weeks ago, after I started one of my leukemia patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center on a standard course of chemotherapy, my patient developed a potentially life-threatening complication that sometimes occurs during leukemia treatment. It’s called tumor lysis syndrome. If not treated proactively, it can cause kidney failure, a heart attack and even death. A computing system based on IBM’s Watson technology that we’re currently piloting alerted me to the situation. I took action immediately. He’s okay now.
At an advanced cancer treatment center like MD Anderson, we likely would have spotted my patient’s problem early enough to respond in time without the help of a computer. However, in a community hospital, physicians who don’t see as many leukemia patients or have our expertise might not have noticed in time. The technology will definitely save lives. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Walter Stewart
Heart failure remains nearly impossible to detect early.
Although doctors look for physical signs and symptoms, which are commonly known as the Framingham criteria, they can occur with illnesses other than heart failure. So, doctors usually diagnose heart failure after a patient is hospitalized, when the disease has progressed to a very serious stage and caused irreversible organ damage.
Sutter Health, IBM and Geisinger Health Systems have earned a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to improve this diagnosis – to make it faster, more accurate, and more reliable with analytics. As part of this three year project, we will collect data on heart failure symptoms, test multiple approaches for quickly and accurately analyzing the data, and determine how we might structure a potential clinical trial. Continue Reading »