The Power of Conversation

Transforming Digital Healthcare through the Power of Voice Assistants, Chat Bots, and Conversational Experiences.

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HIMSS17 - The Latest In Digital Healthcare Technology

It’s hard to sum up HIMSS17 – the healthcare IT conference held last month in Orlando – in just one blogpost, but (thanks to the articles linked here), we’ll give it a try.

The wrap-up from Mobile Health News noted a number of new product announcements, including the virtual home care system that we’ve partnered with Lenovo Health on. It combines Lenovo’s Smart Assistant (a voice-controlled speaker) and Orbita’s Voice “a voice experience manager for healthcare that builds on other voice-assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa to enable intuitive, patient-centric home care experiences designed to improve patient engagement, care coordination and outcomes.”

The Mobile Health News article also focused on the Digital and Personal Connected Health event they partnered on. The event featured a number providers talking about the exciting digital health projects they’re working on. Among other initiatives, the Cleveland Clinic has introduced an informative physician review system. Walgreens has come out with an innovative approach to improving medication adherence. Carolinas Healthcare System uses remote patient monitoring for a number of conditions. Among their findings: for those recovering from a Whipple Procedure experienced fewer post-surgery complications if they used a Fitbit device, which was found to motivate patients to get up and moving. Cedars-Sinai has experimented with virtual reality as a means of pain alleviation.  These were just a few of the innovative ideas that healthcare systems have come up with that tap digital health technologies.

The Mobile Health News article also noted a number of new product announcements, including the virtual home care system that we’ve partnered with Lenovo Health on. It combines Lenovo’s Smart Assistant (a voice-controlled speaker) and Orbita’s Voice “a voice experience manager for healthcare that builds on other voice-assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa to enable intuitive, patient-centric home care experiences designed to improve patient engagement, care coordination and outcomes.”

Healthcare IT News has a number of interesting articles that you can start paging through here. A number of them deal with the political front (what will or won’t happen with repeal and replace of Obamacare), and others are product announcements. But some of the articles that caught my eye included one on IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who keynoted the event. Rometty said that:

…cognitive computing technologies could usher in a golden era for personalized and precision medicine.

“We’re in a moment when we can actually transform pieces of healthcare. It’s within our power,” Rometty said here during the HIMSS17 keynote. “This era that will play out in front of us can change the world for the better…This is out there, it is moving, and it’s hitting tipping points,” Rometty said. “This will be our next moonshot.”

Needless to say, we find it pretty exciting to think about the work we’re engaged in as being akin to the moonshot!

(If you’d like to see the conference in pictures, Healthcare IT News also has a slide show, with links on some of the slides to the story behind the picture.)

AJMC has a nice and concise listing of HIMSS 2017 takeaways. Their top topics?

  • Patient engagement is coming to the fore, with a number of HIMSS sessions on “how health IT can engage with at-risk populations, motivate patients create new behaviors, and remotely monitor patients to better engage them.” (A favorite topic for those of us at Orbita.)
  • AI is being harnessed to “relieve some of the administrative burden for physicians, highlight opportunities for a more personalized treatment plan, and improve patient experience.” Intelligent voice assistants in healthcare is one example of AI that is improving user experiences.
  • Health IT remains an important part of the overall US economy.
  • Cybersecurity is top of mind given that “patient health information is incredibly valuable to hackers because the data is richer and can be more exploited.”
  • With a focus on cybersecurity, there are new methods of data protection coming to market.

HealthcareDIVE’s report talked a lot about the increasing patient-centricity of healthcare technology.  

Ten years ago, patient data information hoarding could be seen as more acceptable as the fee-for-service model allowed for it to be acceptable. Now, with a push toward value-based care and networked and engaged patients as well as providers, the rules have widely changed to put the patient toward the center of conversations.

Many of those conversations are virtual, as telemedicine becomes more widespread.

Finally, I’ll end by noting that our President Nate Treloar held a very well-received session, “Can You Heal Me Now? Voice Agents for Home Health.” In his presentation talked about how connected, digital health devices – especially voice assistant devices - hold tremendous promise in terms of making home health-care more effective and efficient.

 

Bill Cava