In my last post, I talked about the future potential for fixed wireless broadband to stimulate economic activity in developing regions. But there’s an even more powerful way that mobile operators and infrastructure are helping to improve the lives of everyday people in developing economies right now: mobile financial services (MFS).
The PPACA known as Healthcare Reform Act in the United States is driving major change in our industry around accountability for the quality outcome of our care. It is making providers accountable for the care that is delivered with measures that will be reported by patients. As I monitor these major changes, it makes me wonder how we can really implement the critically needed change. I wonder, why is the US dead last compared to 6 other leading free world nations” in healthcare quality measures and we spend almost double per capita for healthcare than other countries according to the Commonwealth Fund (June, 2010). Many believe the concepts that have been embraced by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) under the direction of Dr. Don Berwick, (appointed on July 7, 2010 by President Barack Obama to serve as the Administrator of the CMS) can drive change. As CMS is the largest healthcare payer in the US, (over half), they can lead a major change of this nature and have adopted the “Triple-Aim” model of evidenced based care and wellness. The aspiration goals, or the Triple Aim, is a phrase coined by Dr. Berwick and it is all about focusing on how to drive improvement so that our populations are healthier, our patients receive better care and instead of working within a volume based business model, move to one of quality and value that rewards prevention, wellness and a positive patient experience.
How can Cisco influence and enable this within our Healthcare Ecosystem?
Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with a panel comprised of the following folks here at Cisco Live! First off, my thanks to Friea Berg (@friea) for creating this opportunity. Events like Cisco Live are a great venue, but pulling together a group of industry peers to have a meaningful dialog around the challenges our mutual customers face, and how we can better serve them is something that magnifies the impact of these events. So, yesterday I was lucky to join the following folks: Read More »
At Cisco Live today, we turned our attention away from the slot machines and Elvis impersonators, and sat in on the Healthcare Video Architectures session where we learned that 30% of the brain is visual and 60-90% of communication is non-verbal.
While human architecture hasn’t changed over thousands of years, computer architectures certainly have transformed in just a few years (the equivalent of thousands of years in technology time).
When it comes to healthcare--more so than in a lot of other industries--patients need to see doctors, and doctors need to see patients. And thanks to advances in technology, like Cisco HealthPresence, increases in networking speeds, and overall architectural improvements, doctors’ offices can be outfitted with all sorts of telemedicine apparatuses, allowing patients to be seen by the doctor without leaving home.
When outfitting a customer with a solution, there are four major areas for partners to think about: Quality, ease of use, bandwidth, and cost. While cost is usually the top consideration for a customer, in the session we learned that it shouldn’t drive the solution (that’s because a customer could end up buying something that doesn’t meet their clinical needs).
What’s driving the need for video in healthcare? Read More »
I’ve talked on the telepresence blog about how telepresence can help bring healthcare to those who would otherwise go without. But the technology can also play an important role with those people who do receive treatment: it can help teach them to manage their care at home and prevent return trips to the hospital.
According to a recent Washington Post article, the U.S. Department of Education conducted a study that revealed that 36 percent of adults have only rudimentary literacy skills for understanding health material. An estimated 14 percent of these adults struggle with complete illiteracy. Another 52 percent of the total adult population has intermediate skills, meaning they can interpret and follow basic drug administration directions, while only 12 percent of the population has attained proficiency in reading, understanding, and following what the doctor or pharmacist says.
The nation’s limited health literacy costs us as much as $238 billion each year in hospital re-admissions and treating avoidable complications, the article said. To remedy these problems, hospitals and health plans have begun to implement technology to help identify and simplify confusing medical jargon that finds its way into written patient instructions.
But what about the 14 percent who can’t read at all? The Post noted that some healthcare providers have started giving patients instructional videos or picture-filled handouts. While these are great tools for patients to have, telepresence provides even more: the visual of the videos, the detail of the pictures, and the human connection.
With telepresence a patient can talk to a provider in real time, ask personal questions, demonstrate for the doctor how they plan to take their medicine … the list goes on. I have to think catching up with patients here and there via telepresence would cost less—in dollars and hours—than readmitting, retesting, retreating, and re-instructing someone in the emergency room. Not to mention the decrease in anxiety for doctors and patients that would come with knowing people are properly managing their care.
Increased knowledge for patients, less frustration and repeat care for providers—sounds like a win-win to me.