“The healthcare industry (also called the medical industry or health economy) is an aggregation and integration of sectors within the economic system that provides goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and palliative care. It includes the generation and commercialization of goods and services lending themselves to maintaining and re-establishing health.” The modern healthcare industry is divided into many sectors and depends on interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and paraprofessionals to meet health needs of individuals and populations.
The healthcare industry is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. Consuming over 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of most developed nations, health care can form an enormous part of a country’s economy.
For the purpose of finance and management, the healthcare industry is divided into several areas. The United Nations International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) categorizes the healthcare industry as generally consisting of:
Medical and dental practice activities;
This third class involves activities of, or under “the supervision of, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, scientific or diagnostic laboratories, pathology clinics, residential health facilities, or other allied health professions, e.
g. in the field of optometry, hydrotherapy, medical massage, yoga therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropody, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.”
The Global Industry Classification Standard and the Industry Classification Benchmark further distinguish the industry as two main groups:
The healthcare equipment and services group consists of “companies and entities that provide medical equipment, medical supplies, and healthcare services, such as hospitals, home healthcare providers, and nursing homes.
The latter listed industry group includes companies that produce biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and miscellaneous scientific services.”
Medicine has not emerged as a science, as it is known today. History of healthcare before 1960 is a fragmented collection of unrelated events, and don’t represent a rationalized effort. Much of history is embedded in day-to-day medical and surgical practice and QIA, that it is considered as such. For to understand and appreciate how this events improve healthcare quality, broad categories have been developed to identify global innovations in Europe, Asia and The United States (U.S.). So here are history of inventions which had a big impact in healthcare industry:
“In 1895 Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen accidently discovered X-rays in Germany by producing a fast stream of electrons that come to a sudden stop at a metal plate. His discovery revolutionized the ability to diagnose and musculo-skeletal disorders and injuries (Assmus, 1995). Advances in radiology primarily in France eventually led to the treatment of cancerous tumors and he won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901 (Nobel Prize Organization, 2013a).”
“Another three time Nobel Prize nominee was, Dr. Peter Safar, known as the architect of Intensive Care. Developed an A-B-C technique (which stood for airway/breathing/circulation) for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation in 1956 at Baltimore City Hospital, noting that the best results were achieved by tilting the head back and pulling the jaw forward. His research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1958 (Srikameswaran, 2003).”
“The evidence provided by his research helped CPR gain world-wide acceptance. He approached a Norwegian toymaker; Asmund Laerdal to develop a realistic mannequin for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, the resulting prototype became the life-size Resusci-Anne doll. This prototype was the basis for much of the emergency simulation training that is now a standard part of healthcare education (Srikameswaran, 2003).”
“In the late 1950s Dr. Safar revolutionized the quality of pre-hospital care by convincing the Baltimore City Fire Department to improve the transport of patients to hospitals utilizing fully equipped ambulances staffed with emergency medical technicians rather than the ordinary station wagons or hearses that were being used. He is also credited for establishing the first 24-hour Intensive Care Unit in the United States and is considered a giant in the field of resuscitation research (Sullivan, 2003).”
In recent years, technological advances have helped physicians provide the latest and most accurate tools to save lives, but also empower patients with their own health status through various applications and devices that monitor essential medical parameters. Three modern technologies such as mobility, cloud and big data have transformed the information & technology in healthcare. Many companies and startups have been focusing on the innovations to contribute in the healthcare industry and building health IT solutions.
“In 2016, which is considered as the biggest year of healthcare technology innovations, there were many innovations including medical devices, software and gadgets. 2017 could witness many innovations and health care solutions in the fields of technology infrastructure, payment models, care models and disease management applications. Experts in the healthcare believe that by 2018, more than 70% of healthcare organizations would invest in consumer-facing mobile apps, wearable health gadgets, remote health monitoring tools and virtual care. By 2020, health data will travel through the cloud, the mobility solutions to touch $83 million from $65 in 2015.”
A change that has brought many benefits has been the digitization of health records (EHR). Replacing paper records has been a “game changer” for many allied healthcare professionals. This new implementation impacted medical assistants, medical records and health information technicians, medical billing and coding professionals, and also registered nurses. Nurses and technicians are now responsible for inputting patient data into a central, digitized system. Medical billers and coders use EHR for scheduling appointments, updating patient records with diagnostic codes, and submitting medical claims.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) helps to improve public health care, enhanced patient care, EHR are accessed in almost all medical facilities, and it are very useful for doctors. EHR automatically alert treating physician about potential issues (allergies, intolerances to certain medicines). Also EHR made more ease of workflow and reduces the cost of outpatient care by 3% (these researchers estimated this as $5.14 in savings per patient each month).
“Big Data” is the buzzword of the digital age. The term “big data” refers to the enormous amounts of data collected from a variety of sources that are then processed and used for analytics. Healthcare is an industry which work with public, this mean that daily healthcare collects and stores huge amount of data. This information has multiple benefits, such as:
With the transition to the EHR, and taking into account the amount of data collected by health institutions, they are required to have cost-effective and safe expansion solutions. This is where The Cloud comes in. This is perhaps one of the most innovative products in healthcare technology today. The Cloud uses hardware and software to deliver services via the internet. Cloud-based computing is on the rise in the healthcare and it has the advantages like cost efficiency, access to information and security. Spending on cloud could touch to $9.5 billion by 2020. It will improve analysis and information tracking and enable on-demand access to computing and large storage facilities. Cloud have many benefits:
“In a survey of 105 healthcare industry IT professionals, 59% said they were using/planning to use the cloud for data analysis, and more than 75% for health information exchange. This new ability to share big data easily has helped lead to the development of life-saving drugs.”
“The terms ‘telemedicine’ and ‘telehealth’ can be used to refer to two-way video consultations, or the transmission of healthcare data like electrocardiograms (ECGs). Telemedicine can be used in many fields, such as cardiovascular healthcare.” Is considered that telemonitoring technology can monitor vital signs and symptoms remotely. Is clear that in future remote ultrasound technology will be developed.
The main benefit of telemedicine is improving allied healthcare jobs, including some of the top-paying roles in the field, such as medical assistants. Telemedicine means less crowded waiting rooms and easing the pressure on front desk teams. If to speak about other benefits that telemedicine include:
“Mobile health, or ‘mhealth’ is the term used to refer to healthcare and medical information supported by mobile technology.” Now days approximately 80% of physicians use mobile devices and medical apps, while 25% use them to provide patient care. Mobile health using have many pros but, and cons.
Mobile health apps are very popular today. There are approximately 100,000 available apps, and 300 thousand paid apps are downloaded every day. One of the fastest-growing markets in mobile app development, represent healthcare applications. Kelly White, London general manager of WWT Asynchrony Labs, says, “Virtual” visits from doctors, delivered via portable video devices, can save lives . His company’s connected kits come with sensitive two-way cameras for patients to talk to medical staff, along with health monitors for blood pressure and blood oxygenation.”
“For those older people who live alone,” Mr White says, “having a doctor regularly checking in helps to avoid the tragic instances of people suffering strokes, heart attacks or falls, and lying unnoticed at home.”
Mobile health apps represent a cheaper way for patients to get high-quality service, and is also an inexpensive to provide this services. Apps gives for professionals, administrators, and patients greater flexibility. Here are some of the areas that ‘mhealth’ apps can assist with:
Undoubtedly technology is impacting many aspects of our lives as breakthroughs in data collection, research and treatments allow medical providers to use new tools and find fresh and innovative ways to practice medicine into the future. As healthcare technology continue to rapidly advance, it is important for executives to be aware of those that will make running a healthcare organization more efficient and impactful. Though many technology advances have bells and whistles, those that can make patient satisfaction and cost savings a priority are the most important to the future of an organization.
“Today, healthcare is at that point. The emergence of big data, cloud technologies, smartphone adoption and an explosion of data capture suddenly enable data to be linked together and processed for new insights.”
“Five of the most promising healthcare technologies that will make your healthcare organization in step with the future are:
Using blockchain technology to solve interoperability problems between healthcare organizations seems like the solution that the industry has dreamed of for years. Blockchain can create decentralized record systems with multiple locations that can be shared with multiple stakeholders in the healthcare system. Instead of a single, client-server database, healthcare data including both clinical and financial data would be available in an independent, transparent database.
An analysis by Deloitte Consulting LLP states, “though blockchain technology could share data in a secure system, while centering patients’ communications needs, the healthcare industry is at least a decade away from implementing blockchain in a widespread, meaningful way.”
“This will be most effective if a specific set of standardized data were to be stored directly on the blockchain for immediate, permissioned access, supplemented by off-chain data links when necessary, the Deloitte team states, identifying demographics (gender, date of birth, other data), medical history (immunizations, procedures), and services rendered (vital signs, services performed, and other data) as preliminary data that could be on a blockchain.”
Related: Reduce Hospital Readmissions with Virtual Care Technology
As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) precision oncology program, which primarily supports stage 4 cancer patients who have exhausted other treatment options, the VA is applying AI to help interpret cancer data in the treatment of veteran patients.
The VA treats 3.5% of the nation’s cancer patients the largest group of cancer patients within any one healthcare group with many veterans from rural areas where it has traditionally been difficult to deliver cutting-edge medical breakthroughs.
Using IBM Watson for Genomics, VA oncologists use this technology to support precision oncology care for more than 3,000 veterans with cancer.
Imagine a comprehensive, interactive, digital command center where clinicians can get real-time multiple source data through an entire hospital. This year, GE Healthcare piloted a 4,500-square foot command center in Humber River Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Similar to an air traffic control center, the command center can communicate with cross-functional staff within the hospital, and can outperform delivery activities, such as patient discharges. The hospital estimates that the command center’s efficiencies will save the organization 40% in efficiencies and double benefits to patients. GE Healthcare aimed to deploy 20 additional command centers in 2018, with a goal to make them globally available in 2020.
Healthcare technology companies are thinking in novel ways to enhance patient engagement and satisfaction. Technology that gives patients the ability to determine compression and positioning during mammography received satisfaction scores near 80%, according to researchers at GE Healthcare who created the Senographe Pristina, a 3D mammography device. Using a handheld remote, Senographe Pristina allows the patient and clinician work together in determining the positioning and pressure to ensure that the patient is comfortable while the imaging is accurate. The device was designed with other sensory features, including softer armrests and surfaces, and visual and sound elements to help patients relax, with the goal of decreasing pain and anxiety for patients.
Lack of easy interoperability between systems continue to be healthcare’s biggest technology problem. Vendor neutral solutions that can “intelligently” sift through tens of millions of crowd-sourced patient data to match it to the right record in milliseconds is the foundation of 4medica’s Big Data MPI, says Gregg Church, president of medica.”
Church says. “By enabling the rapid matching of patient data to the right patient record as it comes in, this technology will drive clean, complete transfers of patient medical records between any system the core definition of interoperability.”
The Risk of Medical Records Hacking. The sheer amount of data available to medical professionals – and to patients – will require both doctors and patients to think carefully about how this data is shared and protected. Although it does not happen often, there have been more attacks in recent years. No patient data was leaked in the attacks, and affected computers were back online within days. But the attacks highlighted the very real risks faced by hospitals.
“In an age in which the combination of data and technology can help predict with increasing accuracy the chances of developing a serious disease, how would you feel about the prospect of that information falling into the hands of a third party, perhaps an insurer or your employer? Would you even want to know yourself?”
In conclusion I can say that, even if there are obvious dangers, the impact of technology on healthcare is overall positive, and the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. This is because new technologies help both doctors and patients. Hospitals continue to invest in new technologies, thereby enhancing access to patient information and access to health professionals who, in turn, with the help of new inventions enhance the quality of patient care. We can be assured that health information technology improves patient safety by reducing certain risks such as: reducing adverse drug reactions and improving practice rules. Although information technology in the field of health is undoubtedly an imported tool, organizations need to be selective in which technologies invest. Research shows that some technologies have limited evidence to improve patient safety outcomes.