I was excited to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference (HIMSS) for the first time with Cisco. It was exciting to be among the health industry’s brightest innovators. They educated and inspired attendees with fresh ideas and creative solutions to some of the most prevalent and persistent challenges in modern health. As I was getting ready to go to the conference, my husband said, “Healthcare is a very complex industry, but your ability to educate people by focusing on the moments that matter, and how technology can make them happen, will help your clients be successful.” He is so right. #donttellhimisaidthat

I want to share two #MomentsThatMatter examples where Cisco’s collaboration technology can impact a patient’s outcome.

Telemedicine… Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

Tele behavioral Health. In a recent report by Frost and Sullivan, 25% of American adults suffer from mental illness. The principal reasons mental health goes untreated are lack of access to mental health care, a negative stigma around mental health, and the cost of psychiatric care including lost work hours, childcare, or transportation. The need to increase access to mental healthcare is at an all-time high. Telemedicine is a quick, accessible, and private option for adults of all income brackets. In a recent study Cisco conducted, 74% of patients are comfortable communicating with doctors via technology. There has never been a better time to use telemedicine as a bridge for people to get the treatment they need. #dialingformentalhealth

Telemedicine in school. Kids need to be in the classroom in order to learn, but illness can prevent students from being in class. A girl in second-grade had trouble breathing during recess. When the school nurse examined the girl, she heard wheezing in her chest and determined the child was having an asthma attack. The nurse’s normal course of action would have been to administer relieving medication. In this case, the girl’s parents hadn’t yet signed a permission form or delivered their daughter’s medicine to the school. The girl’s father, the only parent available, was at work at least an hour away. There was not time to wait for him to come get his daughter. In the past, the nurse would have had to call an ambulance to take the child to the emergency room. Instead, by utilizing an online video and audio link to an emergency room pediatrician, a doctor examined her with a digital stethoscope, confirmed the nurse’s diagnosis, and directed her to administer the necessary medicine. Within 10 minutes, the child was breathing normally and back in her classroom. Telemedicine is a game changer for children, parents, and schools.  #nursegetsanAplus

Connected Ecosystem impacts a Moments that Matter

200,000 deaths can be eliminated with better collaboration between patient care teams. This scary statistic has interoperability top of mind.

Interoperability is the cornerstone of healthcare strategy. FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is largely seen as an enabler of health data exchange, but executives at IBM, Google, Cisco, and Microsoft said it will also lay the foundation for artificial intelligence and machine learning.  Several large companies have pledged to remove interoperability barriers including cloud computing, FHIR, and open APIs.

As interoperability advances and healthcare systems begin sharing volumes of data regularly, it sets the stage for the real magic to happen, including population health, personalized medicine, and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Healthcare interoperability solutions are real and can saves lives. The opioid crisis has passed a catastrophic milestone in the United States, taking the lives of over 100 Americans every day. Interoperability is a promising strategy for addressing the prescription opioid epidemic as it improves the use of prescription drug monitoring programs, which can help with:

  • Supporting access for patients with valid medical needs
  • Helping to identify, deter, or prevent drug abuse and diversion
  • Helping to decrease fraud and abuse

I left the HIMMS conference feeling energized and passionate about how technology continues to play an important role in the solution for businesses and consumers. I hope you feel the same way. #technologymatters #ciscocares

See more about Telehealth and Collaboration Solutions 


Anne Stayer

Technology Adoption Expert

Collaboration Technology Group