As is the case every week in healthcare information technology news….the past week yielded some exciting updates with some interesting implications for IT as a whole. From AI to corporate expansion, we saw a little bit of everything this week. Below are the highlights that we found to be the most interesting.

Major Strides in AI Cardiac Imaging
Northwestern Medicine is a known proponent for the integration of AI with standard IT in healthcare. This week, they took their dedication to the technology even further with some remarkable discoveries and commitments. More specifically, the establishment is looking to pair their first patient with AI-controlled cardiology tech. This development is first for the field in a number of areas.  Physical exams are becoming less relevant as time goes on. AI stands to further this rapid decline for in-person consultations. Northwestern Medicine hopes this new endeavor will add validity to the concept of allowing AI —in the form of a deep neural network—to handle the bulk of condition monitoring.

 

European and American IT Priorities Align
The US and EU have stood opposed to one another on many pressing IT related issues for years now. This week, that seems to have changed, as officials from both countries have made statements that point to their long-term goals coinciding with one another. With the two IT powerhouses working together, the potential for new developments increases exponentially.

Research from HIMSS shows that the two nations (well, nation and assembly of nations) both have a significant interest in pursuing patient-based data. That’s not all—they share an interest in interoperability as well. These two facts paired with the renewed interest in cybersecurity spending means that some exciting developments are on the horizon in both areas.

 

Infosec Looks to Improve Organization
Cybersecurity is among the most pressing threats to IT security in Healthcare since the concept’s inception. For too long, hospitals have shrugged off the need to pursue further developments in the area. It isn’t difficult to understand why—cybersecurity and software engineering are enormously expensive areas of study to pursue. They require the need for thousands highly trained—and highly paid—employees to spend years working towards what can appear to be incremental developments at first glance.  Highly respected CSIO Anahi Santigo has come out urging hospitals and research centers to bare the initial cost of development. According to Santiago, the results will not only be worthwhile, but imperative to the long-term security of patients and their data.

 

HIMSS Partners with Harvard for High-Level Education Program
As the technologies needed to power IT in healthcare expand at blinding speeds, the industry will require equally skilled individuals to power the push forward. Experts agree—if healthcare is going to keep pace with computer engineering, the field needs to go to great lengths to ensure that the next generation is filled with properly trained, and highly skilled, individuals to lead the charge.  Harvard has taken the lead in this endeavor, it seems. This week, the prestigious university has announced a partnership with HIMSS, one where they hope to create an IT-oriented program that will produce thousands of brilliant minds to lead healthcare into the future.

 

Interactive Radiology Looks to AI
Communication is a more vital aspect of healthcare information technology than most people give it credit for—if physicians, IT specialists, and general workers aren’t able to communicate complex ideas and breaking developments with one another smoothly, then the entire process is impeded before it begins. As is the case with so many other aspects of the field, many experts believe AI to be a crucial part of rectifying this shortcoming. Radiology is one of the most complex areas of healthcare and stands to benefit the most from the above developments. Recognizing this, the University of Virginia Health System has created a series of interactive multimedia reports, each extremely useful in displaying complex ideas to even both professionals and the uninitiated.

 

News Reports Show Amazon Provides Resources for HIPAA Machine Learning Programs
Amazon is the latest of a string of mega-corporations to dip their toes into healthcare IT.  This week, Jeff Bezos’ peerless online storefront has dumped an astounding amount of resources into assisting HIPAA with research into machine learning. The concept is similar to AI, only differing in a few ways. If AI is technology devoted to minimizing human error and removing busywork from professional’s workday, then machine learning is the study of allowing AI to perform those duties more effectively and efficiently.  Healthcare in particular stands to benefit from machine learning, as mistakes—no matter how small—can’t be tolerated in many circumstances. With machine learning, when an AI does make a mistake, they will learn from it in a similar way a human worker would.