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Healthcare Technology in the 21st Century

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Is the cloud the cure for what ails you? It could be, if service providers and telehealth device manufacturers have anything to say about it.

Home healthcare monitoring technologies have become big news in the last few years, and are poised to become even bigger. According to a recent Berg Insight report, remote health monitoring of chronic diseases generated €7.6 billion ($10.01 billion USD) globally in 2010, and is growing at 9 percent each year. MarketResearch.com projects the market for telehealth monitoring equipment alone to reach $3.1 billion by 2017.

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Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative

It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time!   One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.

Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.

The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.

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Borderless Healthcare at Cisco Live: The Doctor Will See You Now (Virtually)

July 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm PST

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 »

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Welcome to the New Cisco Healthcare Blog!

Welcome to our Global Cisco Healthcare blog!  As the leader of Cisco’s Healthcare Market Management team and as a Registered Nurse, I have a passion for this industry and am compelled to drive improvement and transformation in how we promote health and wellness, deliver care and enable quality patient experiences!  I hope you will join us and become an active participant and visitor to this community.  Each week, we will explore various topics that are top of mind in healthcare.  I encourage you to share, comment, and ask questions so that we can have genuine discussions about what is happening in this dynamic industry.

The experts on our team, who bring together decades of experience in advanced healthcare technologies and the value they can bring to healthcare will be blogging about the Healthcare Cloud, Health Information Exchange, Mobility and mHealth, Care-at-a-Distance (TeleHealth), Clinical Workflow, Healthcare industry trends, innovations in healthcare and much more!  If you have a topic of interest related to healthcare and technology that you would like to discuss, please comment on this post. We’d love to hear from you!

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Mitigating poor health literacy with telepresence

June 7, 2011 at 6:19 am PST

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.

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