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.
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.
Check out this map that shows the average fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) (µg/m³) by county for the year 2011. From the map we can see clusters with a higher average indicated by the darker shading. For instance, we can see a cluster consisting counties within for Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming. It is also apparent there are higher concentrations in many Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern states compared to western states. States such as, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky predominantly have a higher average.
By Julia Watson
Check out this map that shows the number of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites in Tennessee as of 10/6/17 and the number of National Committee for Quality Assurance certified Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) sites in Tennessee as of 1/23/18.
For more information on the Patient Centered Medical Home click here.
By Julia Watson
In recognition of National Birth Defects Prevention month check out this map of Tennessee which shows the rate of chromosomal birth defects by county per 10,000 live births by county for the state of Tennessee for the years 2008 to 2012. From the map we can see counties such as, Williamson, Johnson, Scott and Giles had a higher rate of chromosomal birth defects, ranging from 27.01 to 36.00 per 10,00 live births. Given a mothers age is a significant risk factor for certain types of chromosomal birth defects with older mothers having a higher risk it would be interesting to compare the age demographics of these counties.
By Julia Watson
Check out this map that shows the mortality rate per 100,000 population for cervical cancer by county for the years 2012 to 2016. From the map we can see that the lighter shaded areas had a decrease in mortality while the darker shaded areas had an increase in mortality. Although cervical cancer is not the leading cause of cancer death among women  it is still of concern. To learn more about cervical cancer and what The American Cancer Society recommends click here.
By Julia Watson