Health 2.0: Glimpsing the Future of Health Technology

Health2.0.jpgAmplion enjoyed participating in Health 2.0 Fall Conference, which wrapped up in Santa Clara, California last week. Along with demonstrating how our Amplion Alert next-generation nurse call technology is helping hospitals make the shift to value-based care, we got to see many of the latest digital health technologies in action, from innovations advancing interoperability and artificial intelligence (AI) to analytics improving population health and the patient experience. It was fascinating to see the breakthroughs on the horizon and the potential these emerging technologies hold for solving some of the biggest challenges for hospitals as well as healthcare overall. We spoke with our President, Frank Grant, about his conference experience and what he learned from the demos and discussions. Here are some of his takeaways.

Amplion: What was the highlight of the Health 2.0 Conference for you?

Grant: I think just seeing how quickly things are moving in healthcare. The explosive growth and innovation in healthcare over the next few years are going be unprecedented. For example, Microsoft demonstrated virtual reality glasses with an artificial intelligence (AI) overlay that Case Western Reserve University is using to teach anatomy. Instead of cadavers, students will be able to work with virtual 3D models of the human body. The audience could see the view from the goggles and how the human body was overlaid on the model. Pretty Star Trek-like!

Amplion: What were other exciting disruptive technologies you saw and their potential for healthcare and hospitals in particular?

Grant: It was fascinating to see how companies are pulling from multiple databases for better and clearer views of different situations they were trying to address, whether it was chronic disease management or population health. Healthcare systems today have a much broader and deeper view of what's going on; whereas in the past, it’s been more cursory. Patients will be big winners in all of this innovation. Given the advances I witnessed at Health 2.0, it won’t be long before patients can log into their personal health record and from there access their records across different databases. As a patient, you won’t have to log off and back on—you can just stay in the EMR and go wherever you need to go. It’s not seamless yet, but it’s exciting. Overall, all the companies at the conference did a great job of showing technology that is relevant and solving problems instead of just demonstrating cool technology with cool linkage. One of the things many in the industry are still struggling with is how to present information that’s useful without overwhelming people. Some of the new technologies introduced are also taking a more holistic view of patients—tracking them from the time they check into a hospital to their release and recovery at home.

Amplion: Along with demonstrating the clinical, financial and operational advantages of Amplion Alert, you participated in a panel on “Solutions Driving Value-Based Care.” What did you learn from other innovators on the panel? Why is technology so important for helping hospitals drive value-based care?

Grant: CEOs of hospitals delivering value-based care have to be able to show that their costs are the same as or below other hospitals—and that their outcomes are just as good or better than everyone else. If they don’t have visibility into what’s happening right now in their hospitals, how can they show and prove that? Most of them know what their supplies cost and their outcomes are, but they have no real-time view of what is happening in their hospital. For hospitals to deliver value-based care, they have to know how their operating model works in real time, so they can make adjustments when problems arise. Technology can help hosptials do that, but everyone on the panel seemed to be struggling with the same customer issues: long sales cycles and hospitals feeling overwhelmed by all of the technology offered to them. Everyone had interesting technology that could impact healthcare in different ways. The question is: Which technologies are hospitals going to want to pick up and move forward with?

Amplion: Which health technology discussions at the conference resonated with you the most?

Grant: Artificial intelligence was more applicable than I would have guessed, with analytics that can help hospitals identify issues they never noticed before. There are a lot of smart Silicon Valley folks who are taking new approaches to solving problems in healthcare; sometimes it's harder for those in healthcare to be able to look at these issues with a fresh eye. Part of it is the fact that healthcare systems don’t have the time to do this or as much exposure to other industries. Several companies were developing innovations around making sure patients receive consistent care across healthcare systems—whether that comes from a clinic, an emergency room, a hospital or a rehab center—and not asking them for the same information multiple times.

Amplion: What were the biggest takeaways for Amplion and the hospitals you serve?

Grant: The more you can bring in multiple databases across multiple sources to view information that affects a hospital, the more data you can mine and problems you can solve. Innovations around optimizing and running hospitals more effectively and efficiently were a big focus. I remember a hospital executive telling me once that he had access to 7 billion pieces of information. That’s a mind-boggling number! People couldn’t do that 10 years ago because we didn't have the computing power or a way to integrate the databases. In the future, healthcare systems are going to have a lot of new information at their fingertips that they have never seen before.

Amplion: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities right now for hospitals trying to integrate digital health innovations into their day-to-day operations?

Grant: The biggest opportunity on the table right now is for hospitals to have a strategic viewpoint on the use of technology and data-driven solutions in their hospital. In my opinion, the industry is suffering from too much of a good thing. Many have rushed out to purchase technology to solve individual problems versus looking across the continuum of care they want to provide and asking the question, “Will this technology help us treat patients more effectively and efficiently, and will it work with the other technology in our hospitals to deliver that care? Hospitals need to break free from vendor lock and find partners who understand their workflow and can help optimize what they have. That’s a much better strategy than inviting a vendor in who doesn’t understand the system you use and expecting them to figure it out, or just applying technology for technology’s sake. We founded our company on a mission to improve the quality and consistency of care, but we know that technology alone will not solve the problem. Success depends on strategic vision and collaborative partnership. We are never more excited than when we get to work with hospital leadership who understand that.

Learn more about how Amplion is advancing innovation and enhancing patient care and satisfaction in hospitals with our data-driven care assurance platform that transforms what nurse call can and should do. Schedule a free consultation with us to see how our technology in action!

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