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Were you at HIMSS 2017 this past week? I was, and the word buzzing all over the Orange County Convention Center was cloud. As I walked the show floor and perused different sessions, the most prominent themes included cloud-first, artificial intelligence mobile apps, machine learning, wearables, and real-time in memory computing systems that allow physicians and researchers to turn patient data from EMRs into actionable insights.

Connected Health

One major trend apparent at the event was the gap in the way payers, providers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and patients/consumers interact.

I spoke with many people over the course of the event—healthcare experts from many different backgrounds (academic professors, oncologists, IT specialists, economists), that all agreed—too many disparate players in the healthcare industry hinder the ability to streamline the patient experience and move to value-based care.

In a connected healthcare model, all of the different stakeholders in the industry are able to share data seamlessly across systems—patients can communicate more easily with physicians; physicians can electronically procure payment from the insurance companies; employers can easily interact with the payer organizations; research institutions can leverage EMR data to make strides in treatment therapies.

Dr. David Delaney, Chief Medical Officer SAP, noted that 70% of the data in EMRs is unstructured. In order to turn this unstructured data into predictive capabilities, it must be funneled through a solution like SAP Connected Health that can speed time it takes to bring EMR data to the point of care by 85%.

SAP Connected Health runs on the SAP HANA Platform, and includes a growing ecosystem of partners that influence every aspect of the cycle of care, from payers to providers to researchers to life science companies.

Technology as it Relates to Caregivers

A Dell EMC tweet chat that I attended brought up an interesting point.  The conversation stressed that knowledge is power for patients, a point that I’ve brought up in a previous blog. The patient who is its own self advocate will be the patient who receives better treatment.

A question that I raised was around the patients that are too incapacitated to advocate for themselves. What happens to those that lack a strong care-giver or a family member to advocate on their behalf? What do we do for those patients who can’t own their own care from beginning to end and manage all doctors who touch their case?

My grandmother lived until she was 93, but in her final years, my mother and aunt managed her care.  They coordinated conversations between her cardiologist and primary care physician, her pharmaceuticals and issues dealing with Medicare.  They were her advocates.

$22M in care is given for free by caregivers or family members each year. Therefore, the panelists in the tweet chat stressed the importance of including care-givers in the creation of new technology used to help patients in the future.

For more hot topics at HIMSS 2017, stay tuned for my next blog on the leading European cancer center, Gustave Roussy and their advances in cancer treatments.

Follow me on Twitter, @CMDonato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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