We are all working hard on implementing digital solutions in healthcare and everyday practices, create new solutions to access medical records online and with mobile technologies. Sometimes futurists come up with quite brave ideas about making future technologies available, but when technological advances are just faster than our imagination, I start to smile.
Accessing patient data at the right time with a secure system is a real challenge. Some doctors use tablets, patients use wearable technologies, therefore developing a solution that suits everyone’s needs is complicated.
But what if you can just project a touchscreen wherever you want to? It could truly revolutionize the way we access and create electronic medical information and data.
Instead of being tethered to your hardware, WorldKit is designed to make access to computing instant and mobile by making the world your touchscreen. Right now, the system involves a ceiling-mounted camera and projector that record hand movements and then project onto the surface of your choice. Some potential uses include TV remote controls, which can be accessed by rubbing the arm of a sofa, or calendars that can be swiped onto doors.
Just like last year, now it’s time to publish my predictions for the new year regarding healthcare, medical technology and innovation. It seems year by year many of these predictions prove to be right which makes me glad. I hope the same thing will happen to these predictions.
- Flexible mobile phones will be released: Flexible glass makes such developments possible. Medical professionals will love these as they are literally unbreakable. The PC era is clearly over.
- Fewer health-related mobile app downloads: Last year a decline in the number of downloaded smartphone apps was reported, but don’t worry, that’s a positive step. Now instead of downloading every medical app just to show them to our peers, we will use them with strategy and will make the right choices.
- Google Glasses will hit the world market and healthcare: By bringing digital information and data in front of your eyes, it can have a bright future in everyday medicine either in the OR or during a regular examination.
- Google+ communities will prove to be better than Facebook groups: Google+ Communities are relatively new, but I discovered more news items and posts which are relevant to my topics in the last few weeks than on Facebook during the last few years.
- Robotic Exoskeletons will become widely used: It’s time to use all those military and robotic developments to help the everyday lives of paralyzed people in many ways.
- First humanoid robots to be “born”: I’m not saying such humanoid robots would play any kind of a role in our lives now, but this certainly is going to be a very important step. Be prepared to see them in hospitals in the coming years.
- FDA does not publish a clear guide about using social media by pharma: A year ago we published our crowdsourced and open-access guide for pharma but we do need the FDA to come out with a clear set of guidelines. Well, they won’t do that in 2013.
- Windows tablets on the rise: I have an Android tablet, my friends use iPad and iPad Mini so I pretty much know all the pros and cons for these two systems, but when I tried Microsoft Surface, I was amazed. It definitely has a future in healthcare. Elder members in our family can learn how to use a tablet in days, even if they couldn’t learn how to use a computer for years.
- Cost of whole genome sequencing goes under $1000: It is possible in many laboratories from Oxford to China to sequence a total human genome for less than $1000 in less than a few hours, but it should be widely available in 2013 as an affordable service.
- Some smartphone apps get evidence based background: There are more and more studies focusing on whether certain smartphone apps and concepts can be used in medicine and healthcare, therefore as the amount of evidence grows, doctors should be able to prescribe mobile apps for their patients besides drugs and therapies.
- Robotic telepresence in rural hospitals: When geographical distances cause a serious limitation, we need to turn to digital technologies, but using Skype cannot always be a solution. Robotic telemedical systems should appear in such areas in 2013.
- LinkedIn gets close to Facebook and Google+: Regarding the professional use of social networks, LinkedIn is far more useful and efficient than Facebook and maybe better than Google+. Following the right moves and steps, I expect LinkedIn to become the most respected social network.
- No hospital can live without social media accounts: This has been a clear trend for years, and now it’s time for every hospital manager to accept the challenge and the importance of using social networks to keep in touch with (future) patients.
- IBM’s Watson in the medical practice. IBM’s supercomputer is being tested now at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and it should become an integrated part of medical decision making this year.
- Health/medical businesses focus more on Twitter than on Facebook: This comes from my own experience. While Facebook ads can help you get your message to a lot of people, Twitter is more precise in communication. While it requires a different strategy, it can be more successful in conversion.
As usual, please feel free to add your tips in the comment section!
Have you seen the latest innovation of Microsoft? To be honest, I’ve been using Microsoft OS since the first time I used a computer so I watch their developments closely. Now they came up with a solution for improving clinical workflow. I haven’t given Windows 8 a try yet, but it seems it’s going to happen soon.
To help you understand the tools being used by the most progressive healthcare organizations today, we’ve prepared a short video. I think it effectively demonstrates why there’s more to contemporary clinical workflow and patient care than having an electronic medical record at your fingertips. Take a look at the video and then continue reading.
Home health nurses are using it to check on clients remotely and lessen the frequency of travel.
This is one of the best marketing ideas ever, certainly the best regarding breast cancer self-check. An iPad ad teaches people how to perform a proper self-check even without they would know they are learning it.
Salvatora Laconesi is an Italian man who recently found out he has brain cancer. Being a good coder, he cracked the code of his medical records and made the data open source so then anyone can analyze it (researchers, medical professionals, artists, etc.). This is the approach ePatient Dave regularly talks about: Let Patients Help!
Here is what happened to him:
- I have a brain cancer.
- I went to get my digital medical records.
- Sadly they were in a closed, proprietary format.
- I cracked them.
- Shared them with everyone.
- 2 of them already replied.
- Grab the information about my disease, if you want, and give me a CURE: create a video, an artwork, a map, a text, a poem, a game, or try to find a solution for my health problem.
- This is a CURE. This is my OPEN SOURCE CURE.
A German senior centre implemented the idea of using fake bus stops to prevent Alzheimer’s disease patients from wandering off (their short term memory is not intact, while the long term memory works fine, therefore they know what the signs mean). As it is a huge success, now they bring the idea to several clinics in Germany.
The idea was first tried at Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, which pitched an exact replica of a standard stop outside, with one small difference: buses do not use it.
The centre had been forced to rely on police to retrieve patients who wanted to return to their often non-existent homes and families.
Then Benrath teamed up with a local care association called the “Old Lions”. They went to the Rheinbahn transport network which supplied the bus stop.
“It sounds funny but it helps,” said Franz-Josef Goebel, the chairman of the “Old Lions” association.
Google Now plans to answer the questions we haven’t even asked yet. It it works, it will be a crucial platform in medicine and healthcare by facilitating the workflow of doctors and the way patients search for information.
Yesterday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced the launch of Project Glass which should be commercially available in 2013 for $1500.
Brin noted that Project Glass is what Google believes could be the next form factor of computing. As it stands now, many of us are willingly beholden to our smartphones with all the web browsing, twittering, pathing, instagramming and whatever else consuming most of our time. Human interaction has all but faded away. The fact that people play the “stacking game” is comical and cute but a sign of how infatuated we are with technology. Glass has the potential to buck that trend by “keeping people in the moment,” said Steve Lee, Product Manager for Glass. Brin also mentioned that Glass shouldn’t be used to fill idle time or to browse the web and that your phone or tablet perfectly fits those needs.
Let’s imagine in what areas it could help in medicine and healthcare.
- Immediate cross check regarding medical decisions (drug interactions, checklists): when a doctor makes a decision, he/she could look up and see the potential problems through the glasses.
- Live operations recorded from the surgeon’s point of view.
- Immediate consultation with other doctors worldwide.
- Better time management through the constant suggestions and tips through the glasses
What about your ideas?
A great initiative coming from Mayo Clinic again:
Being in the hospital after major surgery is no fun. On top of dealing with pain, patients have uncertainty. They also have to worry about getting all the information they need to support their recovery. That’s not always easy in the hospital; things happen quickly and doctors and hospital staff are often really busy. Doctors at Mayo Clinic may have a solution to this issue. They’re giving iPads to heart surgery patients to see if a new iPad app can make hospital stays easier and more satisfying.
This video has been circulating in many of my social media networks in the past couple of days. It shows how glasses could include augmented reality and Google’s online services mashed up:
Imagine this in the OR when doctors can “see through” patients by mixing the picture they see and radiology images. Then imagine adding additional information and accessing those through eye movements.