As serious global health issues arise, both private and governmental organizations are taking initiatives to assist and inform both the public and health care professionals.
As crises often highlight knowledge and programmatic gaps in organizations, health crises certainly prove what’s needed to help both groups of people in a trying time.
We’ve compiled three pieces of technology that we believe are necessary for health orgs in 2020 and beyond.
As more local and federal governments are advising people to take precautions, for their own and others’ health, those with other existing health issues may wonder how they will receive their necessary care.
Digital health care and consultation, defined as telehealth by the Health Resources and Services Administration, is being largely recommended and utilized across health systems. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced its network of independent companies will increase access to telehealth services, along with prescription drugs and other clinical support.
On the subject of using telecommunications providing patients care over distances or under other instructions, AI-powered virtual nurses are helping busy hospitals handle an influx of patients with a variety of health concerns.
In an interview with Becker’s Hospital Review, Beth Cloyd, RN, the Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Clinical Services at Banyan Health Services, talks about the benefits of virtual nurses when employed in conjunction with other real-life nurses.
The introduction of virtual nurses has had a tremendous impact on hospital staff, mainly in terms of satisfaction and safety. The quality of care continues to go up and readmission are decreasing because of virtual nurses. If you talk to nurses in the hospital, they will all agree that they can’t leave patients at the bedside, but they also have added responsibilities. Virtual nurses help bedside nurses stay with patients.“How clinicians, bedside nurses are adapting to virtual nurses,” Mackenzie Garrity, Becker’s Hospital Review
As hospitals have fewer and fewer physical beds available, virtual nurses offer another avenue of care for those with non-life-threatening concerns.
In recent years, such platforms been popularized Dr. Lisa Sanders’ New York Times column “Diagnosis” (which has since been adapted into a Netflix program), which collected personal experiences to help frame professional insight on medical mysteries.
The same concept has been applied to the recent health crisis, with a number of startups and individual working to provide scientists and members of the public data and testing.
Seattle’s SoundBio Lab is one such initiative at forefront of crowdsourcing health data in an effort to produce affordable, accessible tests. Co-founder Zach Mueller describes the benefits of crowdsourcing mechanisms—and, in some ways, all three of these pieces of health tech—as such:
‘Even the fact that we’re [talking about] this and they’re starting a public discussion and a public awareness that you can do this is in itself a victory of this community project[.] Seriously contemplating on these things… creates a good and safe opportunity to lower the chaos and empower citizens with more ownership and knowledge.’“Crowdsourcing against coronavirus: Seattle biologists work on DIY test kit,” Hannah Weinberger, Crosscut