“Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long since left its science fiction roots behind and has become immersed in manufacturing, supply chain, retail, and business. However, one space where it is set to really make a tangible, life-saving impact is in healthcare. Already there are applications in place that are providing essential care to people in underserved or developing areas, improving patient data care and management, and transforming diagnoses and patient care.”
In the UK, the National Healthcare Institute has started the Digitalhealth.London. This is an accelerator program designed to initiate faster technology adoption by utilizing the lastes in startup and SME invention.
“One of the most recent additions to the accelerator program is Trustedoctor, a global digital healthcare platform that makes it easier for cancer patients to access specialist care. DigitalHealth.London will be supporting Trustedoctor in deploying a solution that could help alleviate the complexities that surround ongoing cancer care and support.”
“Using the accelerator, Trustedoctor will connect with NHS stakeholders, industry investors, patients and other healthtech innovators so it can continually adapt its offering to suit what the NHS actually needs. The AI-powered solution opens up a world of oncology specialists to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment and who need medical support that they can trust while mitigating some of the biggest challenges facing the NHS when it comes to patient care.”
Health technology has the potential to enhance our public health system. Tech companies can improve how we monitor disease and potential health risks. Apple has stepped into the health tech field with the introduction of its new product the Apple Watch Series 4. The watch is equipped with features that measure abnormal heart activity and a built-in emergency response contact system. Not only can the user have a constant heart monitoring system, but also the stored information can be shared with the user’s physician. This is one of the first FDA approved consumer devices used for medical purposes.
This opens the gateway for technology companies to partner with the healthcare system to develop healthcare interventions using consumer devices. These partnerships could potentially lead to increases in public awareness of health outcomes, improve medical data collection, and expand patients access to health information. Is this the beginning of how we connect our healthcare system and improve public health?
Click the following link to know more about Apple’s venture into health tech:
The goal of health technology is to assist in more efficient data collection, increase connectivity, and foresee market changes. A push for a more healthy lifestyle across the United States has lead to an increasing need for innovative ideas that can lead to healthy behavior changes. Even with governmental efforts, life expectancy in the United States has decreased, inequities in healthcare persist in rural communities and healthcare costs are still at an all time high. Developing partnerships between healthcare communities and business technology firms has the possibility to strengthen the development of evidence-based research and HIPAA-compliant clinical resources that can contribute to an improved population health in the United States. Using these firms can also establish more reputable platforms, health analytics, and marketing expertise that could serve beneficial to the current healthcare issues.
Implementing technology into exercise devices has lead to success stories surrounding smart technology abound. Exercise using smart technology has been shown to increase physical activity compared to traditional healthcare models. Access to healthcare is also an issue due to the US healthcare industry structure. This can be improved through the use of online applications geared towards connecting clinicians with patients. Through businesses engagement, assistance in the development of technology services that increases access to low-cost care for patients in need is possible.
Innovative inventions in data collection would assist with patients having access to their own health information. This gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions about their own health. It also reduces redundant testing resulting in patients and clinicians saving time and money. Collaborating with businesses and technology firms on healthcare issues and projects could improve population health overall.
- Stey A, Kanzaria H, Brook R. How disruptive innovation by business and technology firms could improve population health [published online August 16, 2018]. JAMA.doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10782
America’s healthcare industry is a mess: from confusing regulations to perverse incentives. Meanwhile, Mario Schlosser, the CEO of Oscar Health, has moved from academia and created a company, called Oscar, with Joshua Kushner (brother of Jared Kushner) to try to solve these problems. “The goal of Oscar is to do to health care what Uber did to the taxi industry: use smart digital technology to make everything faster and easier for customers, and then use the data gathered to build radically new services, which can collect more data that leads to new services.” said Schlosser. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has committed roughly $375 million in investments to this digital relief.
I created the above map using the tutorials in ESRI website for ArcGIS & the content from GIS Tutorial for Health. The map explores the Mammography clinics in relations to counties in Pennsylvania. The pattern of high concentration around cities of Pittsburg and Philadelphia is evident from the maps.
Few other observations from the map are:
Potter and Sullivan counties have fewer women aged 40-74, but still, there are no clinics. They are obvious areas of the state where clinics are needed.
Monroe, Clearfield, Jefferson counties have higher women aged 40-74, but a relatively
small number of clinics.
Philadelphia & Pittsburg surrounding areas have enough clinics, but remote northwestern and northeastern counties need more clinics.
The power of GIS can be further explored to look into the cities that sound to have more mammography clinics, in the map below :
This map shows that though Allegheny county hosts Pittsburg, there is a pattern of concentration of clinics in the south relatively more urban part of the city. The pattern correlates with other healthcare facilities in the county that counts towards health equities in this county.
Granulation to the smallest unit possible brings in more refined data on what seems to be different in small scale.
In the midst of newsworthy Hepatitis A outbreaks in Kentucky, San Diego, and Michigan, this map depicts the number of Hepatitis A incidents across the United States from 2017-2018. The number fluctuations in each state over the last year is alarming considering that there are few national regulations being put into place in the realm of food safety. Catherine Huddle from Food Safety News explains that although the CDC recommends that all children should be vaccinated at the ages of 1 and 2, ” the CDC has not recommended Hepatitis A vaccinations for food service workers” (Huddle, 2018). We can only hope that more information and awareness of Hepatitis A outbreaks can help force a decline in it’s prevalence. For more information of state reported Hepatitis A incidents you can visit the Food Safety News web page.
Preventive oral health care is essential for one’s overall health. For children, it is important to address oral health needs earlier in life to prevent oral health issues from forming and progressing into adulthood. Below is a map of the percentage of children in Georgia with financial access to preventive dental care. This map comes from an article written by Cao, Gentili, Griffin, Griffin & Serban (2017) titled, “Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia.”
The authors of the article state that financial access is, “the percentage of children who either are eligible for public insurance or have the ability to afford dental care through commercial insurance or ability to pay out-of-pocket,” (Cao et al., 2017). Although there are plenty of children who are eligible to receive public funding for preventive dental care in GA, only 27.9% of the 4,123 dentists in GA who offer preventive dental services to children accept public insurance, (Cao et al., 2017).
What are your thoughts? What does financial access to preventive dental care mean to you? Is this an accurate representation of financial access? I invite you to read more of the article on the CDC’s website, here.
Source: Cao S, Gentili M, Griffin PM, Griffin SO, Serban N. Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia. Prev Chronic Dis 2017;14:170176. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd14.170176.