Intel Healthcare IT

12 Posts authored by: mnblatt

Below is the latest in a series of guest posts from Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, the commissioner of health for the state of New York. Look for more of his blogs in the Intel Health & Life Sciences Community in the coming months.


Prices. Features. Warranties. For the savvy consumer, shopping for big-ticket items like a car or home appliance often involves some meticulous research. After all, you want assurance that you’re getting a quality product from a reputable dealer -- and the biggest bang for your buck.


If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do the same exhaustive research when you’re having a medical procedure like a knee replacement, cardiac bypass surgery or chemotherapy. Instead, you simply rely on your primary care doctor’s recommendation and hand over your insurance card. Then you hope for the best when the bill arrives weeks later.


But, doesn’t your health care rank as high as your car or dishwasher?


New York State is committed to giving New Yorkers the data and tools they need to help inform their health care decisions. Knowing what you’re getting for your money has multiple advantages, not the least being the creation of a competitive marketplace that will drive down the costs of health care while simultaneously improving the quality of that care.


That’s why New York’s Department of Health released comprehensive patient-level data for all hospital discharges on the Department’s open health data portal, Health Data NY last fall. The department is also working on a redesigned hospital quality website that will enable consumers to compare hospital charges and costs for the treatment of many common conditions as well as information about the quality of care patients receive at each facility.


New York is taking a major step toward helping New Yorkers compare and contrast health services by sponsoring the first-ever Innovation Challenge, a four-month project being held in collaboration with the New York State Health Foundation. The Innovation Challenge, which kicked off last week, is part of Governor Andrew M.  Cuomo’s OPEN NY initiative, which strives to make state government more open, innovative and cost-effective. Judges will review the projects in August, and winning teams will receive cash awards at a ceremony in September.


During the Challenge, multidisciplinary teams of coders and developers will put this valuable health data to good use by creating technology around it that helps consumer assess the quality, cost and efficiency of health care services. Health care data is also valuable to employers and purchasers, as well as state and local governments, who can use the data to better understand the cost and quality of the services being provided. Providers can use the information to better assess where they stand compared to regional and statewide benchmarks. Insurers will find the information useful when building physician and facility networks, and promoting improvement efforts.


The Innovation Challenge is the latest in a series of events around the release of health data, which kicked off in March 2013 with the debut of HealthData NY. In December, the state Health Department, with support from the NYS Health Foundation and Socrata, held its inaugural code-a-thon, where teams of coders created technology to combat diabetes and obesity. A texting app called Vera won top prize for helping people with prediabetes stave off diabetes with regular text message reminders to exercise and eat right.


For those who wonder why health data is so vital to health care, look no farther than these events. Open health data holds the power to transform our health care system.


What questions do you have?

Below is a guest post from Af┼čar Akal, Healthcare Enterprise Solution Sales for Intel in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, on the upcoming GenoFuture’14 event next week in Istanbul.


Let’s face it: the bulk of IT spending related to life-sciences will take place outside the Middle East and Balkans. It is no surprise that unless you ask for it (and pay a decent sum) no country in the region registers on the pivot table radar that breaks down worldwide spending projections. It is simply accounted under the ‘rest of the world’ line. This, however, should not mean the region is fast asleep while the rest of the world has already embraced disruptive innovations in life-sciences such as genomic sequencing and clinical analytics.


Qatar announced three years ago it was going to sequence all of the Qatari population’s human genomes and formed a bio-bank in collaboration with Imperial College (London) while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently announced a similar mapping exercise to the tune of 100,000 genomes in partnership with Life Technologies.


Another spotlight is Turkey, where Izmir, the third largest city located in the West coast, has started the countdown to the opening of the Turkish Genome Institute. Why not locate this facility in the capital city of Ankara or the trade capital of Istanbul? Izmir’s regional development agency, which supports the city’s economic development efforts, explains at IZKA’s web site that healthcare is a strategic sector for attracting local and overseas investment. This covers a vast array of industry and services that include pharmaceutical production, research and development in new drug discoveries, biomedical sciences, clinical trial outsourcing, medical equipment, and on and on. So why not set a Genomic Institute in the same locale to lead the way?


The Institute’s interim director, Dr Mehmet Ozturk, welcomed Intel’s invitation to speak at the GenoFuture’14 event, an inaugural international forum to discuss Innovations in life sciences by bringing clinical geneticists and IT industry from the Middle East and Balkans together.


Intel’s Worldwide Medical Director, Dr. Mark Blatt, and Director of Life Sciences Research Ketan Paranjape, will also take center stage to explain why Big Data in genomics and clinical analytics matters for Intel and how we strive to bring full computational, storage, networking and latest software technologies from behind cold roomed data centers to the bench-top where consumers (that is patients) can benefit.


I recommend that you keep an eye on the Middle East and the region’s role in genomic and life-science research and its application to personalized medicine. The region is energized thanks to high oil prices and thankfully the governments are putting these funds to good use.


What questions do you have?

Mobile World Congress starts this week. Below is a guest post from Intel's Mel Remington, who will be at the show representing the Intel Health & Life Sciences Group.


Mobile World Congress ’14 is set to have even more visitors than last year from business, government and consumer arenas. A major theme, which has been evolving over the past few years, is mHealth. We’ll again see examples across the show floor with a variety of usage models centred on the smartphone opening up new service channels for consumer health.


But there is a bigger picture and reality where the compute model matters: to enable healthcare systems to improve care coordination and collaboration across the actors within the healthcare system and patient inclusion and empowerment. This is where industry analysts such as IDC define a higher level category--Centre stage – Mobile Health –which opens up so many possibilities to transform healthcare delivery.


  • If you are thinking ahead you may be asking some or all of these questions.
  • Is mobile health a reality at a scale level? 
  • What are the true benefits to the healthcare system?
  • Are there viable business models for solution & service providers?
  • Where can we see examples at the show?


To the first question, yes, mobile health is a reality at scale. Keep in mind, mobile health also includes security and manageability and crucial components to secure patient data, so too is the design of the software solution and selecting the right device for the right task.


To the second question, mobile health offers many benefits to healthcare systems such as helping to improve capacity of healthcare workers that help in turn increase access to care or result in helping to improve the quality of healthcare services. The net results can improve efficiencies, drive up quality, whilst meeting the increasing demands on healthcare systems at the same or lower costs. 


And to the third question, for solution and service providers, there are many possibilities from rich media content delivery, provisioning for mobile solution apps, devices with security and manageability, data centre, cloud, big data and analytics services.


Finally, to hear about examples at the show, come and check out the Intel stand in Hall 3 at Mobile World on Wednesday 26th at 4:00 p.m. and Thursday 27th Feb. at 12:30 p.m., where Intel will be hosting a Mobile Health presentation showing examples around from Spain and Brazil with Telefonica and a major Healthcare Provider, so we can address these questions and others in more detail.


Nurses are vital to the implementation and adoption of healthcare technology. In the above video conversation, Intel expert Joan Hankin, MSN, RN, sits down with Elizabeth "Betty" T. Jordan, DNSc, RNC, FAAN and Associate Professor University of South Florida College of Nursing, to discuss healthcare technology, how IT impacts patient care, and how generational attitudes shape health IT adoption.


Give a listen and hear what these two nurses have to say about healthcare IT. What questions to you have?


Watch this sneak peek video clip with Dr. C. Martin Harris of the Cleveland Clinic and register for the Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series on Oct. 23 to hear more.


Mobile technology is exploding in the healthcare field, and fostering new innovation. We recently caught up with Dr. Bettina Experton, founder and CEO of Humetrix, who talked about the company’s new product that allows sharing of online health records between patients and physicians and gives doctors the vital information they need at the point of care.


Watch the above video and let us know what questions you have about mobile technology in health IT.

Below is a guest blog from Narayan Sundararajan, global healthcare program manager at Intel, who attended last month’s Global Midwifery Symposium.


Think about this: pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, post-partum hemorrhage and prolonged and obstructed labor together account for more than 50 percent of all maternal deaths in developing countries. That’s why the Second Global Midwifery Symposium in Kuala Lumpur last month was so important for introducing strategies to strengthen healthcare in developing regions.


One of the biggest strategies is introducing technology to the process.


A workshop that Intel participated in with UNFPA, WHO and JHPIEGO launched three key e-learning modules for training frontline healthcare workers and midwives on life-saving skills. The energy, passion and vibe from the participants during the training and workshop was tremendous; they all really want to make a positive difference in the world.


During the session, around 70 midwives, frontline health workers and others from more than 25 countries were trained on how to use the skoool™ healthcare education platform. The open access, no charge license e-learning application can be used both offline and online, and can house various types of content formats including the three modules on pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, post-partum hemorrhage and prolonged and obstructed labor with associated quizzes.


Each participant’s laptop was loaded with the platform and modules to take back to their respective countries. The sponsoring organizations challenged each of them to see how they could incorporate such a platform and modules in their own country’s health system to bridge the gap between lack of facilities and trainers and critical shortage of health workers.


In addition to the workshop, I gave an overview presentation on innovations as strategies and made the following key points:


• Innovation is defined as something new, fresh or improved but that creates value. And, it is important to understand where your innovation falls in the spectrum of incremental, modular, architectural or radical innovation and what the value it creates is.


• Doing that is not just a theoretical exercise but allows self-introspection on its novelty, the potential impact it will have and most importantly, the obstacles or roadblocks that will be faced and need to be overcome for its successful implementation and scaling.


• Traditionally, governments and development agencies are more comfortable with incremental innovations whereas more examples of radical innovations are found in the private sector. Hence, public private collaboration is a key to encouraging radical innovations that have tremendous impact.


A four-way collaboration between Intel, UNFPA, JHPIEGO and WHO is an example of a radical innovation that has the power to transform healthcare access, quality and cost as it exists now and in particular, revamp healthcare education and training as it is delivered today. That’s why innovation is no longer a choice, and applying technologically innovative solutions to address big problems in maternal and child health is an imperative.


What do you think?

Below is a guest blog from Mathew Taylor, ICT Solutions Strategist & Architect at Intel Corporation, who will be speaking at next week’s Hospital Cloud Forum in New York City.


We live in a mobile world, and healthcare technology is moving in that direction as well. Access to laptops, tablets, smart phones, and electronic medical devices, can play a key role in enabling better care with improved efficiency.


Virtual collaborative services, chronic disease management, and patient education are just three examples of how mobility shifts the healthcare delivery model towards higher quality care at lower cost.


The ability for health professionals to have remote access from anywhere to health data and to be able to share that data securely with patients AND other providers has great value. The latest personal mHealth app may inspire, but the ability for patients and health workers of varying skill levels to collaborate to achieve coordinated care is needed to support long-term improved outcomes, reducing office visits, admissions, and readmissions.


However, mobility requires you to think carefully about your target usage scenarios, like being able to view medical records and imaging data while securely sharing screens. Ensuring devices have the needed performance, security, and manageability to deliver a productive and secure user experience is critical. The 2012 Ponemon Institute survey on Patient Privacy & Data Security shows that the average organization in its study has lost $2.4 million over the last two years due to data breaches, so look for the latest encryption and anti-theft features.


So, as you continue to explore the best uses of mobility, educate yourself to understand what devices can best meet your needs. I encourage you to learn how to choose the right mobile point of care device, protect hand-held devices, and protect data on stolen laptops with anti-theft technology.


Next week on April 16, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion about mobility. If you are in the New York area, come be a part of the Hospital Cloud Forum at the Union League Club in New York City and sit in on the panel, mHealth: Balancing the Benefits and Risks.


What questions do you have about mobility in healthcare IT?

Healthcare has become too expensive for most entities to afford (state and federal governments, private industry, and private citizens). So, how do you dramatically lower (50% or more) the cost of “producing” an encounter?  We clearly need to think and act differently than we are now. There has to be an admission that the current workflow is broken and simply automating it will not help.


One mechanism might be more closely matching the healthcare issue with venue and resources spent on the encounter. Currently our default is seeing patients in the clinic or sending them to the hospital via the emergency room.


In many cases, if a simple communications tool, along with streaming medical data, were available in real time it might be more convenient and less costly to treat the patient in place. This concept, while not new, has never been widely deployed as currently the most likely way a provider or system is paid is by face-to-face encounters. Treating patients with remote, non-face-to-face technology is often not reimbursable. However, with the advent of payment reform and pay for outcomes (vs. volume), I believe it will be increasingly likely that treating patients in the lowest cost setting consistent with their illness needs to become standard practice. In many cases the best option will be home-based care and not facility-based care.


We need to begin a national discussion about when it is both safe and effective to treat patients (not just give advice, but diagnose and treat) in non-face-to-face settings. “Virtual” care is a technical reality and very disruptive to the current face-to-face, facility-based care delivery model.  “Virtual” care holds out the promise of more convenient and timely care (immediate care when you need it, without having to travel).


Furthermore, because the overhead of producing a “virtual” visit is much less (maybe as much as 50%) than a face-to-face visit, we need to consider this alternative for care delivery as we run out of funds to deliver care to our citizens. The alternative might be drastic rationing/queuing and service delivery cutbacks due to lack of adequate funding.


The time has come for providers, government officials and citizens to consider this next “evolutionary” step in service delivery reform for routine ambulatory care services.


What do you think?

As HIMSS13 approaches, we continue our pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts. Below is a guest contribution from Bettina Experton, MD, MPH, founder and CEO of Humetrix, an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, and a permanent member of the Faculty of the School of Medicine of Paris.


The federal Institute of Medicine has issued a call to reduce the annual toll of 100,000 preventable deaths and $750 billion in wasteful spending within the American healthcare system, caused largely by a lack of up-to-date patient information at the point of care.


While billions of dollars have been invested in establishing public and private health information exchanges (HIEs) to help solve these problems, studies have shown they are falling short of the vision of having an integrated patient record that can facilitate care as patients move between providers and different care settings.


In response to this failure, many healthcare industry CIOs are looking for alternative solutions, including using mobile apps to help patients coordinate and engage in their own care. In addition to offering a viable work-around for the industry’s interoperability issues, apps can help address the critical issues of preventable deaths, injuries and wasteful spending. So many people believe in the power of mobility to help drive and strengthen patient engagement and care coordination that the healthcare mobile applications market is expected to grow by over 70 percent in the next five years.


Among the latest mobile health apps to reach the market is iBlueButton®, which allows physicians and consumers to securely exchange health records and other clinical information at the point of care. The cross-platform data exchange solution seamlessly and securely transfers data between any enabled devices (iOS or Intel-powered Android® smartphones and tablets) and makes the health information actionable by presenting it to consumers and their providers in a usable and actionable format.


Other applications effectively engaging consumers in their care include iTriage® and ZocDoc®. These apps guide consumers through the healthcare process, from helping them check symptoms to choosing a provider available at a given time. The apps pride themselves on helping people find more cost effective care.


Much like HIEs, mobile apps can be a powerful care coordination tool, helping prevent costly adverse events like preventable hospital readmissions, while improving the overall quality of care delivered. The difference is that by putting the power of care in the palms of the patients’ hands, many of the technical and economic barriers that plague other HIE and care coordination solutions can be avoided, thus advancing the objectives of healthcare and health payment reform more quickly.


What do you think?


The Future of Healthcare Apps

Posted by mnblatt Jan 24, 2013

At the mHealth Summit in December, I had the opportunity to speak with Aetna Vice President Martha Wofford about the future of consumer healthcare apps, access to care and using big data to improve outcomes.

Watch the conversation below and let me know what questions you have about healthcare apps and how they impact health IT going forward.

Mobile technologies help clinicians work more efficiently and enable the care continuum outside of traditional care settings. Increasingly, healthcare workers are expecting to use their own personal mobile device-of-choice within the enterprise setting. This creates issues for IT around device support and serious concerns about data security.


To take a closer look at how personal devices impact health IT management, Intel and Microsoft are teaming up for a presentation next Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 9 a.m. Central Time, during the HIMSS Virtual Briefing “Mobile Health IT: A Glimpse into the Technologies at Work Today in Healthcare.” At this session, you will learn techniques for dealing with these mobile issues. Your goal is to allow data to be available when and where needed while providing your end-users with maximum flexibility consistent with good security practices. We’ll help you get there.


Here’s what on the agenda:

•    How to select the Right Device for Right Workflow
•    Review which Mobile Devices are better for selected workflows
•    Explore how to maximize compute flexibility with good security measures


I’ll be joined by Gareth Hall, Industry Solution Manager, Microsoft, for the discussion and we’ll show you how to get the most out of going mobile. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect to hear:

One size does not fit all
Different tasks (e.g., consumption, creation, sharing, collaboration) require different mobile tools. Find the right device for the right task.

Collaborative workflows
Collaborative teams treating patients in the lowest-cost setting consistent with quality care can change the care delivery paradigm. For example, they can decrease readmissions, unneeded trips to the emergency department, and delay and rework within the hospital.

Secure, flexible compute models
How you deliver information to mobile devices can maximize the IT investment, data security, and flexibility. Secure computing is an imperative—no breaches allowed!

What questions do you have about mobile?

Filter Blog

By author: By date:
By tag: