By Bernard Tyson
Since shortly after Kaiser Permanente’s launch in 1945, this organization has been at the forefront of using technology to improve patient care. We started collecting large amounts of data about patients and treatment outcomes long before electronic medical records and “big data” became hot topics. And, today, we remain one of the early adopters of cutting-edge technology in the healthcare industry.
Like other healthcare organizations, we take advantage of technology to make our operations more efficient and to help deliver superior care. But I believe that information technology can play an even more important role in this industry: It can help us transform from focusing on healthcare to focusing on health.
What do I mean by that? To me, the term healthcare connotes being reactive to problems. That’s not enough. An organization that focuses more broadly on health itself can help people extend their lives and live healthier lives. Continue Reading »
By Lynda Chin
New technologies have their upsides and downsides.
High speed computing has allowed for rapid gene sequencing and a tremendous acceleration in scientific discovery. The parallel developments of handheld computers and high-speed wireless networks have led to an amazing point in human history; one where several libraries worth of information can immediately be accessed from devices we carry in our pockets. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Guillermo Cecchi
More than 63 million psychiatric interviews are conducted every year. But none of them are analyzed in a quantitative codified manner. Surprising? Not really. Doctors don’t have time to find patterns in the pages of notes they keep per patient. Those pages, though, keep “big data” on psychiatric issues that analytics can help unlock and predict before episodes occur.
Now, after a multi-year study and accompanying development of text analysis algorithms, we may finally be able to quantify patterns in these interviews, and help doctors treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions. Continue Reading »
By Scott Megill
The demand for healthcare to go mobile is on the rise.
More and more physicians and patients are using an increasing number of mobile healthcare apps, healthcare apps which enable an almost unlimited range of health-related functions, from an individual patient controlling their diabetes, to monitoring diet & exercise and even, to tracking medical treatments and progress.
By 2017, half of the world’s more than 3.4 billion smart phone users will have downloaded health-related apps.
The rapid increase in mobile health app use is generating an enormous amount of patient data. Simultaneously, a plethora of data is being generated through individual patient’s medical records, which can easily cross multiple departments, physicians, and clinicians.
How can healthcare providers manage this influx of data and tap into the mobile opportunity to draw key insights and improve customer care? Continue Reading »
By Martin Cooper
After decades of existence, the mobile phone is finally beginning to hint at its potential to address some of society’s most important challenges.
As the mobile industry grows out of its vapid obsession with pixels, apps, and bling, recognition of one of the mobile phone’s higher callings is getting attention. This emerging focus on the phone as a device for transferring personalized health information to and from an individual sets society up for revolutionary improvements in healthcare.
Just imagine a society in which diseases, and the pain and suffering they cause, simply do not exist—in which people are healthy until end-of-life. Such a society is within the realm of scientific possibilities, but only if we change our approaches to healthcare. Smarter use of data, enabled by mobile phones, can help as we switch from curing diseases that have already struck to anticipating and preventing the diseases before they strike. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Michael Weiner
It’s been 53 years since IBM created the first electronic health record (EHR) for Akron Children’s Hospital, built on IBM’s Ramac 305. In those days, we could never have dreamed of the advances that would soon unfold for the modern EHR. From the amount of data they collect and store to the ability to access them remotely on mobile devices, EHRs have truly transformed medicine over the past few decades.
EHRs have also begun to transform our healthcare ecosystem. As a physician, I can attest to the value of an EHR to help improve the quality of care we deliver to our patients.
EHR’s can also facilitate care coordination between clinicians and help achieve greater administrative efficiencies.But as we look to the future of EHRs and to the requirements of Stage 3 meaningful use in the U.S., we continue to ask ourselves how to integrate structured and unstructured clinical data. Many of us have often wondered: When will the technology be able to read our notes? Continue Reading »
By Michael Karasick
When Thomas J. Watson Sr. joined IBM in 1914 as its president, the firm didn’t have a single engineer on its payroll, so he quickly hired engineers and set up a product development group in a brownstone near New York’s Penn Station. He created a patent development department in 1932 and, in 1945, he established the first corporate scientific research laboratory. Today, IBM Research has grown to become the largest corporate research organization in the world, with 3000 professionals at 12 labs in 10 countries.
The point is that the nature of innovation keeps evolving and organizations have to change with it.
That’s why IBM is adopting a new approach to innovation for our newly formed IBM Watson Group, which will be headquartered in New York’s Silicon Alley. In the group, we are melding research, product development, experience design and collaboration with business partners and clients—all with the goal of accelerating the development of cognitive computing solutions for many of the world’s most vexing problems. This new era of computing requires a new approach to innovation.
Our Watson initiative builds on top of IBM’s long tradition of innovation, which placed IBM as the No. 1 recipient of US patents in 2013 for the 21st year in a row. We received 6,809 patents, easily outdistancing Samsung, the No. 2 finisher, with 4,676. The next US company on the top 10 list, Microsoft, ranked No. 5.
By Jay Katzen
For our customers in the medical field, great research can enable great outcomes – from avoiding errors to ensuring patients feel comfortable and informed.
I know first hand how frustrating and anxiety-provoking a hospital visit can be. Not too long ago, I rushed to a hospital emergency room to seek treatment and was disturbed when my medical history wasn’t captured, tests weren’t explained, and no one helped me understand my diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, the consequences weren’t grave. Still, I see my experience as a symptom of a healthcare system where it’s difficult for doctors to easily research the clinical information needed to make decisions, given the time constraints they face. Continue Reading »
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 »