Health IT News for the First Weeks of January

Predictions for Health IT in 2019 

Experts in the field of health information technology named several existing and future technologies to watch out for in 2019. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation are expected to make bigger healthcare technology news in the year. AI like predictive analysis is seen to play a significant role in improving the delivery of healthcare services. It is particularly seen to be big in uses like drug therapy and prevention of opioid abuse. Robotic process automation, on the other hand, is expected to benefit processes like insurance pre-authorization. The health information technology sector is also expecting big changes brought about by the entry of companies like Amazon and Apple. Additionally, experts claim potential surrounding the advent of customer relationship management (CRM) for healthcare.

Risks Faced by Managed Care Experts on Securing Data and Entering Contracts 

Complexity surrounding the entry of some healthcare systems into risk-based and value-based contracting is expected to be a new normal in 2019 healthcare technology news. Experts claim that increased risk are expected among organizations working with data to ensure contracting success. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published guidelines on entering such contracts but it was published only two months ahead of the deadline. The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACO) called to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to allow accountable care organizations (ACO) more time to understand risks associated with this move. Robb Barras of CTG Consulting Firm said that ACO can better take advantage of the changes by taking advantages of their existing technologies like the tools from their electronic health records (EHR) vendors.

Mobile and Connected Technologies Key to Improving Healthcare: Cisco 

Consumers in the 21st century demand the same level of customer experience delivered by consumer brands from their healthcare providers. Cisco’s Barbara Casey said that mobile technologies are essential tools in improving patient experience and streamlining the clinical experience. She added that mobile technologies play an important role in communication and workflow coordination among healthcare teams. Hence, these technologies can help practitioners to be effective and efficient in improving clinical productivity. Cloud computing and the Internet of Things are those seen potential by health IT experts. However, the huge influx of data is expected to be the biggest challenge accompanying this breakthrough. Casey advised healthcare organizations to be realistic in adopting mobile technologies. She added that they should be on watch on managing, storing, and analyzing these data.

Artificial Intelligence – How It is Changing Healthcare 

The role played by artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare always clashes with that of the physician. An expert in health IT believes that adopting a new, positive view on the integration of AI can help in improving the level of healthcare services. He called for a balanced outlook on the benefits and risks brought by the integration of artificial intelligence into healthcare. Additionally, he believes machine learning can further benefit the industry. The technology has proven its effectiveness in helping analyze the massive amount of data available in the 21st century. Together with AI, machine learning can help in improving processes like the consistent reading of images in radiology departments, and faster and earlier identification of sepsis cases that needs immediate attention.

5G Mobile Technology Seen to Improve Healthcare 

Rush Medical Center said that it intends to adopt the 5G broadband communication technology once it becomes available. Telecommunications provider AT&T will support the healthcare facility once it becomes the first hospital in the United States to implement the mobile technology. The new broadband technology brings with it a promise of faster gigabit-speed connection. Both companies claimed that they already have plans to use this technology but are not ready to disclose it yet to healthcare technology news outlets. Industry insiders see telemedicine as one of the biggest beneficiary of this new technology. Mo Kabiteh of AT&T Business said 5G can help realize intelligent patient scheduling, improved patient care with artificial intelligence, and the use of augmented reality in training medical students.

Artificial Intelligence Successful in Diagnosing Cervical Cancer 

National Cancer Institute researchers were able to identify pre-cancerous changes in the cervix with the use of an algorithm. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and disclosed that machine learning algorithm made a breakthrough in cancer diagnosis. The technology learned from complex visual impacts to successful identify patterns of changes that leads to cervical cancer. Mark Schiffman, senior author of the study, said that their study proves that deep learning technology can help in preventive medicine related to cervical cancer. Visualization of changes in the cervix among patients with high risk for cancer is one of the challenges faced by medical professionals in the 21st century. The use of the technology in the NCI study can help them in accurate identification of cervical changes even with minimal training.