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 »
By Paul Papas
Earlier this week, IBM and Boston Children’s Hospital offered a glimpse into the transformative potential of social networking technologies with the unveiling of OPENPediatrics, the world’s first social learning platform designed to connect clinicians from around the world to share knowledge and best practices in the care of critically ill children – all supported on the cloud.
It was a single phone call to Dr. Jeffrey Burns that became the genesis for OPENPediatrics. After helping a pediatrician in Guatemala successfully treat a young girl with a life-threatening blood disorder, all by using a video link, he aspired to bring world-class critical care to other pediatricians and their patients in every corner of the world. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Martin Kohn
With our country aging and the medical profession feeling the pressure to keep up, encouraging innovation in the United States to help ease this transition is critical. If we can seize the opportunity, the Big Data revolution can make medical practice, hospital care and every other aspect of healthcare more effective and efficient.
Today, September 17, I’ll be on Capitol Hill to participate in a discussion hosted by the Health IT Now! coalition about the need for continued innovation in healthcare. We’ll discuss the role of health IT in helping physicians address the challenges that stand in the way of using Big Data to its full potential. Continue Reading »
By Martin Fleming
In a recent New York Times article, reporter James Glanz asks: “Is Big Data an Economic Dud?” Mr. Glanz seems to answer his own question skeptically. The “data era,” he suggests, will not match the earlier revolutions in manufacturing, domestic life and transportation.
In addition, the Wall Street Journal posted a blog discussing that Big Data is at, or near the peak of the Gartner “hype cycle” and “big data technologies are now soon to be due for a fall into the ‘trough of disillusionment.’” Continue Reading »
By Keith J. Figlioli
From banking to air travel, the evolution of technology has made connecting information seamless and almost limitless for many people and industries today. But not in healthcare. At least, not yet.
Healthcare is rapidly moving to become more connected and accountable, but its technology isn’t keeping pace. Though they’re an important piece of the puzzle, legacy technology platforms such as electronic medical records (EMRs), address today’s challenges, not tomorrow’s requirements. The majority can’t integrate clinical, financial and operational data across individual hospitals, let alone across health systems or the continuum of care. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Katharine Frase
The urbanization age is upon us. While the estimates vary of what percentage of population will live in cities by 2020, 2050, or even 2015 for that matter, what remains constant is the undeniable pace of change cities are already facing – change that will only accelerate.
Cities around the world, whether big, mid-size or small, are reaching their limits from growing and aging populations, strained infrastructures and a constant need to do more with less.
To reinvent themselves for the 21st century – “the New Era of Smart” – cities are turning to data. Using and analyzing information in new ways is enabling them to anticipate problems in real time, or better yet, before they happen. In addition, the knowledge and insight is crucial for city officials to make better decisions and swiftly resolve the issues that are most pressing for citizens. Continue Reading »
By Jörg Sprengel, Ph.D.
Each year, tremendous resources are invested in research and development (R&D) to help eradicate or mitigate the devastating effects of rare or incurable illnesses, and inoculate us against the health threats of tomorrow.
Researchers estimate that it takes an average investment of $1.3 billion and more than a decade of work to bring a new pharmaceutical product to market. Yet 60 percent of R&D projects fail to bring a new products and treatments to fruition for a variety of reasons. Some fail to meet specific safety criteria, while others are proven ineffective. In other cases, study results are contradictory, making it difficult to verify or replicate findings. And let’s not forget the need for critical regulatory safeguards to test new products for safety and efficacy. In fact, regulation poses a steep threshold for market entry that can sometimes hold investors back from exploring new frontiers and products.
But what if the process could be faster, cheaper, and more efficient? Continue Reading »