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Intel Healthcare IT

22 Posts authored by: CHRISTOPHER TACKETT


Security breaches can be costly for healthcare organizations and put vital patient data at risk. As the role of cloud computing becomes more prevalent, the need for security remains a hot topic for healthcare CIOs.


In the above video, Brian CoskerSwerske, a senior security architect at HyTrust, talks about why healthcare CIOs should have more cloud security in place than they think they need in order to avoid disastrous data breaches.


Take a look and let me know what questions you have about cloud security. Have you implemented a cloud solution?


In the above video, Stanley Crane, Chief Innovation Officer at Allscripts, talks about opening development platforms for EHRs, improving manageability for CIOs in a BYOD world, and boosting synchronicity among devices and server components.

Take a look and let us know what questions you have about health IT synchronicity.


Interoperability was a big topic at HIMSS last month. That’s why we connected with Jon Zimmerman, Vice President and General Manager, Clinical Business Solutions at GE, who talked about connecting new innovations and various points of care in healthcare and making them work together.


Watch the above video to learn why GE is focusing on interoperability and putting an analytics framework around solutions to drive insights for patient care plans, and let me know what questions about interoperability you have.


Security was a top-of-mind topic at HIMSS14 last week. In the above video, Kim Singletary, Director of Technical and Vertical Solution Marketing at McAfee, talks about the changing role of technology security and what CIOs need to be thinking about when it comes to health IT data breaches.


Watch and let me know what questions you have about health IT security challenges.


As HIMSS approaches next week, mobility is sure to be a hot topic among attendees. In the above video, Simon Eastwick from the global business unit for mobility at HP, talks about the growing prevalence of mobile devices and the expectations for tablets in the healthcare environment. He explains how mobile health technology can improve clinician workflow and impact patient care, and how CIOs can best manage these devices.


What questions do you have about mobility in health IT?

As HIMSS14 approaches next week, we are sharing a pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts on trends you can expect to hear about at the event. Below is a guest contribution from Joe DeSantis, Vice President of HealthShare Platforms for InterSystems.


All across the world, healthcare organizations are on a journey to improve health outcomes, lower costs, and deliver more patient-centered care. From a technology standpoint, the typical approach has been to bring in a series of software solutions, each targeted at a specific problem. Over time, you end up with more and more “siloed” applications that don’t talk to each other.


You begin to drown in complexity.  Costs escalate.  And clinicians and patients don't have access to all the information they need in a comprehensive patient record – data is scattered among disparate systems.


It’s as if you were building a house one room at a time  – instead of starting with a solid foundation that will accommodate current and future needs. This is why today’s health IT challenges require a health informatics platform, connecting data, systems and people. With this approach, solving problems becomes easier over time.


From Tactical Integration to Strategic Interoperability


In recent years, a common approach to medical record sharing was to take an existing application, such as a doctor’s office EMR, and add enough rudimentary communications capability to perform basic record sharing.


This type of basic integration can only go so far. Strategic interoperability is about the kinds of things you can do after you have a true health informatics platform in place. For example, if you show up in the Emergency Room at Albany Medical Center in New York, with your permission, they can bring up a summary of your medical record. It draws from a number systems that house your medical records across the community – especially your primary care physician’s – and includes current medications, allergies, and other vital information. This kind of information can literally save your life.


Another example is smart notification. If you are discharged from the hospital and run into problems, such as discomfort or pain, the first thing you do is call your doctor. Without current information, your doctor may be forced to advise you to go back to the emergency room. If your doctor is part of a health information exchange powered by a health informatics platform, then he or she already received an alert that you have been to the hospital and can bring up your complete record, as well as the discharge summary containing the plan of care. In many cases this is enough information to address your problem – say, by adjusting a prescription. This can help lower readmission rates for the hospital, reduce costs overall, and create a better experience for the patient.


What questions do you have?

As HIMSS14 approaches, we are sharing a pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts on trends you can expect to hear about at the event. Below is a guest contribution from August Calhoun, Ph.D., vice president and general manager, Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences.


I’ve been using the term “connected security” a lot lately when talking about the need for better data protection, and it’s a term that has special significance to the healthcare community. That’s because much of the security found in healthcare is disconnected.


Healthcare has more security breaches than any other industry (though it seems lately that retail is trying to catch up). That’s true for two reasons. The first is that healthcare records contain personal data that can be used to gain credit and steal identities, which makes those records a high-value target.


The other reason is the organic nature of healthcare IT growth over the past three decades, which has resulted in lots and lots of silos, protected by a patchwork of security tools. The recent trend toward hospital mergers and the acquisition of free-standing ambulatory care centers have created even more silos and complexity, also increasing workloads and competition for IT resources. Add in hundreds of doctors who all want to use their own devices to access the network, and you have a situation in which there is intense pressure, urgent timelines and a high risk for human error. Security gaps are bound to occur.


Clearly, something needs to change. That’s why the idea of connected security is important.


It’s a systematic approach to securing data at all access points, automating and simplifying security maintenance tasks to reduce human error, monitoring the network for intruders and adapting to defend against future attacks.


Keep data behind the firewall

Connected security starts with housing all your data and applications in a secure data center, creating virtual desktops for all users and eliminating storage of data from all devices not housed in the data center. This creates a layer of security around the web of older applications and data silos that exist in many hospitals, instantly reducing their vulnerability.


But users still need easy access to those applications, so you have to build a security system that is good at recognizing and escorting the good guys through the firewall, while identifying the bad guys and keeping them out. Some useful tools include:


• Hardware with embedded encryption capability and other security features.

• USB and drop box encryption.

• Next generation firewalls that can do deep packet inspection to identify malware hidden in seemingly innocent access requests.

• Identity and access control tools that allow you to manage access based on each user’s role within the organization and to efficiently audit the system to ensure that users only access applications and data they are entitled to use.

• Proactive surveillance, to identify new threats, predict future threats, adapt to changing tactics and to tag malware for easy future identification.

• Data center management tools to make security patches and other security updates easy.


Equally important is the ability of these tools to work together.


Encryption and device security are critical

But your security system doesn’t end at the firewall. You need to ensure that data is encrypted during transmission and that the devices used to access your network are secure.


Thin clients that don’t store data and that have built-in security and encryption capabilities can provide safe access points. Especially useful are devices that require at least two forms of authentication, such as the combination of a password and a swipe card, or a password and fingerprint scan. You need to ensure that lost or stolen devices can’t be used to access your network.


The BYOD phenomenon of users accessing your network with their own devices can make this task tricky, unless you limit access to devices that have built-in security and encryption features. The last thing you need is a doctor losing a tablet or smartphone that can be used by anyone to access your network.


Access top security talent by outsourcing

Probably the most difficult part of creating a fully connected security system for most hospitals will be the proactive surveillance and threat prediction. This takes special skills, and not many organizations have the depth of talent to do this effectively. But this is also a task that can be outsourced to a service that employs security experts and monitors traffic for multiple clients. These are folks who see a wide variety of security threats daily, and that experience can help you identify threats in real time, before they do damage, and also help you predict where threats will come from in the future.


While creating an effective, connected security system isn’t cheap or easy, it is an investment that is necessary and long overdue in healthcare. Considering the cost of a single data breach, in terms of fines and damage to your organization’s reputation, the cost of upgrading security is comparatively cheap.


I’ll be at HIMSS, Feb. 23-27 in Orlando, and I hope to have a chance to talk with a lot of healthcare CIOs. Given their concerns about the gaps in data security, I look forward to discussing the idea of connected security and hearing their thoughts on the topic.

As HIMSS14 approaches, we are rolling out a pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts on trends you can expect to hear about at the event. Below is a guest contribution from Alan Portela, chief executive officer at AirStrip.


The demand for patient-centric tools to mobilize EMR and medical device data in a single viewer is obvious. Many major providers have either begun to go mobile or have a plan ready to do so, but it’s important to implement practical elements in the strategy to make it successful.


The best way to go mobile is to support all form factors. In parallel with mHealth implementation, providers should bring the look and feel (i.e. touchscreens) of mobile technologies to physicians’ desktops and laptops. After all, that’s what they are still primarily using when they are not on the go.


Compatibility with any mobile device is critical for a mobile strategy, especially given the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) demand we’re seeing from physicians. But what a lot of technology vendors are forgetting is that the same experience needs to occur on desktops and laptops. As physicians become accustomed to mobile capabilities that seamlessly aggregate clinically-relevant systems into one single view, they need to have the same interaction on their desktops. They shouldn’t have to face frustrations when logging in on their computers or learn to navigate different applications across desktops and devices.


Achieving the full value of mobility requires that physicians have one unique, seamless view of data no matter where they are – which means making sure they have an extended version of that same view on their computer screens.


In the not-too-distant-future, physicians will be viewing data from any source in a single format, just like they would on their mobile device. They’ll be using a touchscreen desktop at home, in the office, by the bedside or on large, sharable screens as they discuss cases with the care coordination team. One dashboard will show medical device data in near real-time and fully-integrated EMR data with video conference capabilities – and all the other values offered by mobility will be present.


The availability of mobile capabilities on the desktop is going to drive sales of mobile applications, but more importantly, it’s going to enhance mobile utilization. The more applications become seamless, the more physicians will get used to utilizing those applications. By increasing adoption of mobility, physicians will provide higher quality, more efficient care and be able to meet the increasing industry demands put on them by the expanding care continuum.


What questions do you have?

Dr. Andrew Watson is a leader in applying telemedicine and other health information technology to the improvement of patient care. A fourth-generation surgeon who specializes in colorectal and inflammatory bowel disease, he plays a key role in integrating health information technologies, such as telemedicine, mobile applications and voice recognition, into clinical practice across the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).


Dr. Watson is also medical director of the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM). Founded by UPMC and other leading technology and healthcare partners, the CCM promotes a new model of health care that seamlessly integrates information technologies to put patients at the center of care. We recently caught up with Dr. Watson to ask him about the impact of healthcare technology, and specifically about the benefits of mobility for both clinicians and patients.


What does mobility mean to you?


Watson: When I started in medicine, mobility was dragging around a patient or an intern or a resident. But now we’re seeing several forces that have cropped up. Number one is that the providers are more mobile. We were mobile beforehand because we had pagers. Then with electronic health records we had be near a desktop or a wall-based computer. But we’re seeing the providers, nurses and doctors being released into the open air again with mobility. More importantly, the consumer electronics market is making our patients mobile and empowered and this is the force behind mobility. From my perspective, we’re seeing the uncoupling of healthcare from the urban environment and taking it back to the patients where it started and it’s very exciting.


Does mobility improve patient care?


Watson: The effect of mobility on the patients is tremendous. This is a very powerful positive driving force because 95 percent of the time our patients are at home or work and we can now offer healthcare at home or work, which we have not been able to do. So the value to patients is so hard to quantify. I’ll also tell you I don’t how far we can go with this. I would say that 40-50 even 60 percent of my office visits can be done at home.



What’s the future for mobility?


Watson: For the providers, mobility is very powerful because when we leave the hospital we turn into a different person. In the era of pagers or handwritten charts, when we left the hospital, we were only available to be contacted, not make decisions. Maybe you could find me on a pager or a rotary phone at home. Now we have uncoupled, cloud-based providers who can walk around with a device and make very fast coordinated decisions that will very quickly turn into team based decisions in the cloud. We’re just beginning to see it. The future of our quality healthcare success is mobility.


What’s your view of the healthcare landscape today?


Watson: Healthcare as an industry is currently fragmented across the United States. What this is about is enabling patients to move to different levels of care, different care team members and simultaneously access multiple care team members with intelligence. That’s what it is. You can solve one transitional care piece, the discharge, but that’s actually a very small part of it. UPMC is an integrated delivery finance system. We have a health plan and we have providers and hospitals. We have both. So we’re integrated and the heart of making our patients better in western Pennsylvania is taking better care of them.


How has technology impacted your practice and clinician workflows?


Watson: There’s been a tremendous focus on technology in the past five years or so. The providers now understand it’s a necessary part of our lives in the workplace. More importantly, it’s part of our lives outside of work. For both clinicians and patients. I honestly think that the consumer electronics market has thrown healthcare a giant life buoy as we’ve floundered to some degree in the storm of healthcare. The consumer electronics market is teaching us and our patients how to use a piece of glass you can touch and talk to. They’re developing apps, they’re giving us data, they’re teaching all of us about big data. So the cultural change is not an industry specific process, it’s a societal evolution and the timing could not have been better. It’s no longer an IT shop; it’s life as we know it.

Below is a guest blog from Terri Kennedy, Director of Product Management at Allscripts.


In his keynote address at the Allscripts Client Experience (see video below), Dr. Rasu Shrestha from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said, “He who tames the data wins.”


As healthcare organizations manage evolving delivery and payment models, an analytics strategy is top of mind for many. Big Data is the next frontier for analytics and offers them access to rich data they can use for population health, research and consumer marketing and satisfaction.


Quickly emerging Big Data technologies augment traditional business intelligence technologies by efficiently and affordably acquiring and storing enormous amounts of data. Providers can query and re-query information without retooling the data model every time. This capability is particularly important with the mountains of data we have access to today.


3 opportunities to get value from Big Data


With so much data coming from so many different places, how can healthcare providers tame Big Data? There are different opportunities, depending on the type of information:


1. Join the conversations happening on the Internet – Patients are posting status updates in Facebook, Twitter and other social media that give valuable information about their own health. They’re also talking about their experience with their hospitals and clinics.


Monitor these status updates to find out if patients are unhappy with wait times, how they were treated by staff, or overall condition of facilities. Chances are good that patients are “hash-tagging” your organization. Do you know what they are saying?


2. Mine clinical documentation for critical nuggets of information – Even with the heavy adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology, a significant amount of clinical documentation is still unstructured. Clinical notes and reports hold valuable information that providers can use to better measure quality, support research and feed predictive models.


Use Big Data technology to manage volumes of unstructured documentation in various formats. If you apply text mining techniques, you can drive near real-time clinical decision support. You can also use predictive algorithms to help understand what might indicate an adverse event before it occurs.


3. Harness and analyze device data – Medical devices and smartphone applications are capturing a wealth of healthcare data that could easily become overwhelming. But think about the possibilities of capturing this data and applying analytics improve clinical interventions.


What if monitoring streaming device data in the hospital such as heart rate and respirations could feed predictive models for detecting sepsis? Or caregivers could monitor populations of diabetics using smartphone apps to report weight, glucose levels and blood pressure so that care teams can easily identify patients that may be trending out of control?


Health care is not lacking for data. But we must tame it to recognize its true value. Big Data technology and our partnership with Intel can help transform enormous amounts of data into insight that can ultimately result in better quality of care and more rapid interventions.


What do you think about health IT Big Data?


The 2013 mHealth Summit is coming up next week and will feature a tremendous lineup of sessions and exhibitors all focused on mobile health IT. Below is a guest blog from Ken Jarvis, Director, Health & Life Sciences Industries, Americas Region at HP.


In the lead up to the fifth annual mHealth Summit next week, HP is working with Intel to highlight how clinician mobility is transforming patient care and access to data capturing. As the vision of mobility in healthcare becomes reality, we are seeing a transformational shift in the way health is managed and care is delivered. Mobile health technology gives healthcare providers the power to offer care at the right time and place.


The use of mobile devices has the potential to save time, enhance accuracy and improve bedside attention. Tablet PCs, notebook PCs, mobile workstations and mobile thin clients give hospitals the option to choose the product, or combination of products, that best suit their needs. Companies like HP aren’t just offering options in devices, but rather an opportunity for change, which can help providers create better experiences for patients during their medical stay.


For example, physicians use tablet PCs like the HP ElitePad 900 to be more efficient and accurate in their day-to-day activities. With remote access to medical records, the physician is able to have productive face-to-face interactions with patients by providing them with personalized healthcare information in real-time. The physician can also use the tablet to capture patient information digitally in the moment so detailed information can be created and retained faster and more efficiently. For practices that want to streamline processes, windows-based tablet PCs are a smart choice as they can run the same programs available on their existing desktop PCs.


Next week, we’ll be on the mHealth show floor at Intel’s booth #1311. HP’s mobile portfolio will be on display including the HP ElitePad 900, HP EliteBook Revolve and HP EliteBook Folio. For more on what you can do to improve your mobile strategy, HP’s Ken Jarvis will be speaking in his session on the general stage on Monday December 9 at 2:45 p.m. about Creating a Secure, Effective and Popular BYOD Policy.


Learning objectives in this session will include:

• Enablers and inhibitors to an effective BYOD policy

• Current and future landscape of BYOD

• Tips from practitioner experiences on how to develop an IT strategy and foundation for an expected surge in clinicians’ adoption of BYOD


What questions do you have? If you will be at the event stop by the Intel booth #1311 and say hello.


Apps, or applications, are changing the face of mobile point-of-care technology. In the above video, go behind-the-scenes to learn why Allscripts developed its Windows 8 electronic medical record app for the Windows 8 platform. Hear how key elements of the app came together and how one prominent customer plans to use the app for better patient outcomes.


What apps are you seeing in the marketplace that are making a difference?


Register for the 2013 Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series on Oct. 23-24. In this podcast, hear from Dr. August Calhoun, vice president and general manager at Dell, about the future of life sciences and big data in healthcare.

The third annual Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series is coming up next week on Oct. 23-24. These online sessions will feature panel discussions with experts on the next wave of healthcare technology and personalized medicine, plus live Q&A so you can ask questions to those who are on the forefront of healthcare transformation. Register for the webcast series here and reserve your spot for these hour long broadcasts.


Leading up to the online webcasts, we have asked industry leaders to share some of their thoughts on the future of healthcare technology. Below is a guest blog from Stanley Crane, chief innovation officer at Allscripts, on accessing healthcare data. Let us know what you think and remember to sign up for the webcasts.


There’s a different aspect of Allscripts Open initiative that occurred to me while I was watching a TED talk by Intel’s Eric Dishman.


That idea is Care Anywhere. Previously, I had limited my thinking about Open as being a data-sharing, innovation, collaboration initiative.


But Open is about more than breaking down the silos around information. It’s about helping to transform care by making it easier for patients and providers to escape physical limitations around care delivery.


Overcoming physical barriers to detect heart trouble


Spaulding International has an electrocardiogram (ECG) device that patients can use anywhere, with the result saved in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The patient no longer has to go to the physical hospital for an ECG.


Compare that with wearing a Holter monitor, a technology that has been in clinical use since the 1960s. You go to the doctor’s office, and they attach leads. You walk around with it for 24 hours. Then you bring it back. A few days later, you get a report.


When do the doctor and patient make a decision based on that report? A week after the fact? It’s inefficient because the doctor and patient have to be in the same place at the same time – a doctor’s office or hospital. And what if the results warranted a quick response?


We can use Open to help overcome that physical limitation, as we did for ECGs with Spaulding. And there are other technologies, too – a continuous glucose monitor, scales, various pedometers – with lots more coming from our diverse developer base.


Care Anywhere means that no matter where the patient is, he or she can contribute to the corpus of knowledge that may help the physician make a better, faster decision. Open technology, and our partnership with Intel, will help get the information to the right place at the right time.


Mobile devices usher in a new era in healthcare


In my career, I’ve seen three major transitions. From 80 column cards to terminals (yes, I started that long ago), from terminals to PC’s, and from character-based to a graphical user interface.


Today, we’re in the midst of another, maybe the largest transformation of them all – from primarily a keyboard and mouse interaction model, to a touch and gesture method of navigating through systems.


And at the same time, we’re moving away from being tied to a physical location for information. (As a 3-year-old recently asked his mom, “Does your phone know everything?”). Windows 8 devices (and others) enable change in how we practice healthcare today.


These new interfaces challenge healthcare IT organizations to build new ways – both provider and patient-centric ways – of navigating the growing data we have available about the patient. Previously we’d build a system by saying, “Here are the fields in the database; make a form to help us fill them out.” Those days are long gone.


Today, we try to anticipate what the doctor wants to see, and bubble those things to the top. We want them to have exactly the information they need so they can plan the best care for the patient.


Our Windows 8-based mobile EHR will automatically make charts and graphs to help the doctor educate the patient and show the effect of their medications. We’re optimizing screens and touches to “make things easy” not just “make all things possible.”


We live in revolutionary times. With the confluence of the pervasive Internet, the next generation of devices, new operating systems, wearable devices, and Open toolkits – we’re on the verge of realizing this idea of Care Anywhere and making healthcare into a team sport.


Isn’t that what you want for your family?

The four finalists for the 2013 Intel Innovation Award have been announced and they represent a wide range of innovation that is occurring in healthcare technology.


Congratulations to Bioscape Digital, Greenway Medical Technologies, IPG, and Velocity Medical Solutions for advancing to the finals. Read more about each company and their submissions for the award.


From here, each company will present at the 2013 Health IT Leadership Summit on Nov. 12 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. One will be named as the top innovator.


You can see the past winners and finalist here and see some of their innovative products and services


The daylong The Health IT Leadership Summit features panels and presentations on the issues most affecting industry growth, including the Affordable Care Act, health information exchanges, payer programs and disruptive technologies. The Summit was founded by three organizations:  Georgia Department of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber and Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Health. Additional information and registration: www.healthITLeadershipSummit.org.


What type of innovation are you seeing in healthcare? Let me know, and be sure to stay tuned as the winner of the Intel Innovation Award is announced next month.

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