Monthly Archives: January 2015

Design vs. Disruption in 2015

The healthcare industry is experiencing a mighty wave of technology that is inevitably changing its landscape. Last year, we saw the telehealth market booming, and a wide-scale adoption of telemedicine and remote monitoring took place. Those changes indicate the coming of a bigger and more divisive force that could change the face of healthcare sector completely. Many are wondering if the approach is best suited for the healthcare industry, or if a more sustainable and design-oriented approach is more appropriate. A recent article featured in MedCity.com discusses the Disruption vs. Design conundrum in the context of the healthcare industry.

The article cites the views of Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, senior manager for clinical design for San Francisco-based Castlight Health, who has questioned the viability of the disruptive model of innovation in her review of “Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.” The book, written by the three founding members of Mayo’s Center for Innovation, Nicholas LaRusso, Barbara Spurrier and Gianrico Farrugia, talks about a more subtle approach to innovation in healthcare: sustaining or “transformational” innovation, which is “an evolutionary form of innovation built on an undivided focus on the customer and customer experience,” they write.

Design is an important factor for these authors and they assert that, when applied properly and practiced over time, it can eliminate the need for disruption. Kellerman has observed that the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation is “implicitly skeptical” of the disruptive theory:

“The authors of ‘Think Big’ are quick to acknowledge the relatively modest ambitions of their brand of innovation. ‘Is our Pediatric Phlebotomy Chair a disruptive innovation? … Probably not,’ they write.” Although it did transform the patient experience, it’s hardly a game changer —and really, that’s by design. Tearing down everything and starting over is not an option in health care.” According to Kellerman, supporting design-oriented innovation is not meant to reject the disruptive approach, but rather to promote “non-disruptive innovation—not because the theory of disruption is bankrupt, but because sustaining innovation is a necessary and valid endeavor in its own right.”

With the promise of new technologies starting to transform the healthcare industry, the coming years will witness industry evolution in new ways. We’ll have to wait and watch if the changes that occur disrupt or take on a more design-oriented approach.

We would love for you to share your thoughts about the pros and cons of the Disruption vs. Design approach in the healthcare industry. Which way do you think we are headed?

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

sim lab

Getting Real: How Simulation Improves Medical Training

The captain peers out of the cockpit window at the runway below.  Suddenly, an emergency light blinks on the flight panel.  The controls seem stiff, unresponsive and one of the engines just conked out.  This is his first flight, and he’s not sure what to do.  Thankfully, the pilot in question was taking a training session in a flight simulator.  He’ll walk away from his mistakes and learn from hours of virtual experience.  When it comes time to fly a real plane, he’ll be prepared.

Simulation is improving how doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are being trained too.   In fact, the rapid advances in computer modeling and AV technology have made medical simulation one of the most effective ways to educate healthcare providers.  For example, the advantages of simulated learning systems include:

  • Simulated Instruction: According to the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, virtual learning bridges the gap between the classroom and real-life experience. Lessons delivered via streaming video, desk-top simulators and mannequins with computerized sensors are just a few of the high-tech ways medical students are getting a more hands-on approach to their studies than they’d find in the traditional classroom. Simulated instruction provides students with a very realistic experience, but without putting patients at risk.
  • Student Assessment: Conventional educational methods emphasize multiple choice tests, oral exams and written assignments. However, these methods are surrogates for competency not demonstrations of it. Simulation can replicate medical scenarios and tasks to a degree that is remarkably life-like. Therefore, medical simulators allow a more accurate assessment of student proficiency under conditions that are more realistic.
  • Simulation-Based Research: Simulation is very useful when it comes to testing healthcare devices, procedures and even evaluating the effectiveness of training regimens. For instance, novel medical techniques or new ways of administering drugs can be tried out under simulated conditions.
  • Organizational Evaluations: Simulation can help organizations and medical teams assess procedures and readiness. From disaster response to EMT training, simulated scenarios help institutions and health care professionals improve their programs.

Virtual learning offers numerous advantages over traditional methods.  Thanks to AV technology and computer modeling, virtually any clinical situation can be simulated.  As noted, medical students can make mistakes in such environment without putting patients at risk.  Furthermore, simulated sessions can be recorded so that trainees can be assessed and debriefed.

Medical simulation can take many forms from low-tech (mannequins) to high-tech (3-D virtual reality simulators).  The level of immersive experience necessary to train students will vary, but screen-based simulation offers a cost-efficient and educationally-effective way to help prepare the next generation of doctors, nurses and care providers.  For example, streaming video lessons, the capacity to record and archive simulated sessions, and the ability of students to learn at their own pace are just a few of the benefits AV technology provides.

Simulation also offers students the chance to experience a wide range of medical scenarios, procedures and equipment.  It can be used for basic education – Adobe Flash animations to teach students the fundamentals of physiology, for instance.  Or it can be used as part of complex emergency and war game scenarios.  No wonder, institutions like Johns Hopkins now see virtual training as the gold standard in medical education.

Resources:

http://www.ssih.org/About-Simulation

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1765792/pdf/v013p000i2.pdf

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

The Present and the Future of the Global Telehealth Market: An Overview

With the adoption of telemedicine growing phenomenally in 2014, it has been a banner year for telehealth. Will this trend continue to grow? What lies ahead for the telemedicine industry?  A recent article published on FierceHealthIT.com discusses the trends and forecasts put forth by a new report by TechNavio called the Global Telehealth Market 2015-2019. Exploring both articles should give us a clearer vision for the telehealth outlook.

According to the TechNavio report, the global telemedicine market is expected to double in growth over the next 5 years, and this growth will be fueled by the increasing focus on health IT and mobile healthcare. ReportsnReports.com has released a press release on the report that states, “mobile connectivity is expected to emerge as one of the main advantages in telehealth, to be deployed for remote monitoring, medicine compliance, and assisted living facilities for connected patients. With an ever-increasing demand for telehealth services, leading vendors like GE Healthcare, McKesson, Philips Healthcare, and Siemens Healthcare are stressing innovation as the way forward in the healthcare IT infrastructure segment.” Mobile connectivity will prove indispensable.

The report talks about the current practices and challenges in the industry wherein “all the major players in the market are focusing on R&D to launch innovative products and services, there is also a sense of urgency among vendors regarding the need to improve bandwidth and enhance the reach of mobile health.” The report pinpoints the major roadblocks in the way of market growth for telemedicine as reimbursement for services, and licensing. However, the report has found that the major market players are emphasizing the cost pressures and are focusing on developing guidelines for their services.

According to the article, telehealth is also enjoying government support as many government officials are voicing their opinions in the favour of telehealth and its benefits. The Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn has pointed that telehealth is gradually becoming a promising medium for delivering better healthcare services to the rural population, especially in states like Mississippi. Other state officials are also trying to introduce telemedicine in their states. So we are sure to see it become more widespread in coming years.

Have we reached the tipping point for telemedicine, or do you think the growth will continue? We would love to hear what you think.   

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

operating room of the future

Looking at What 2015 Will Bring for Telemedicine

2014 was an exciting year for the global telemedicine industry, with a growing number of medical service providers turning to it to provide immediate and cost-effective healthcare to patients worldwide. We have seen the coming of telemedicine robots (by Dignity health), Google launching its video platform for remote medical consultation, and retail giants such as Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and CVS throwing their hats into the telehealth ring.

 

While this boom in telemedicine healthcare could be attributed to the increasing use of wearable devices and the rise of video as a viable method to provide remote monitoring and care, there has been an obvious shift in attitude towards telemedicine and remote healthcare that has leveraged its adoption in a big way. As we step into a brand new year, everyone is anxious to know how telemedicine will fare in 2015. In a recent article published in VentureBeat.com, Managing Director of New York-based incubator, Highnote Foundry, Chirag Patel has shed light on what we can expect from telemedicine this year.

 

Mr. Patel pointed out that telemedicine is taking center stage in nearly all predictive discussions related to healthcare, and most of those discussions conclude that 2015 will be the year of telemedicine. Here are some stats that we think are worth noting:

 

  • BBC Research and Towers Watson estimated the Global Telemedicine market will reach $27 billion by 2016, with Virtual Health Services contributing to $16 billion of that amount.

 

  • According to IDC, by 2018, 65% of interactions with healthcare organizations will be done via mobile devices and 70% of them will have apps, offer wearables, conduct remote health monitoring, and even offer virtual care.

 

  • In 2014, more than one-third of the Google Ventures investment went to healthcare and life-sciences companies.

 

Telemedicine definitely holds the great promise of faster, better, and more cost-effective healthcare for patients; however, for the industry to stay true to its anticipated growth in 2015, the following needs to be ensured:

 

  • Virtual diagnosis and on-the-spot treatment must fuse so that the patients get the benefits of prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment.

 

  • The best in connected devices must be used for the purpose of tracking and maintaining patient and care data.

 

  • Post-treatment care and compliance should be offered to patients to evaluate whether or not their treatment has been effective.

 

With those assurances in place, telemedicine is poised to exceed our expectations for the coming year.

 

Do you think 2015 will be the year of adopting telemedicine? 

 

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Telemedicine to the Rescue in Emergency Care

dr on video conferenceTechnology is an ever-changing thing! Like new cars depreciating the minute they enter the highway from the car dealership’s driveway, my phone was obsolete less than 60 days after purchasing it. So buckle up and get ready for the next wave of technological advances, like seeing your doctor, heading to the hospital or getting your prescription filled from a kiosk! The times they are-a changing.

That’s right, medicine from a kiosk. A few weeks ago, one of my horses stepped on my foot. I know, it hurt! Not only did I break my foot, but a trip to the emergency room was in order. After seeing the doctor, getting a myriad of x-rays and taking a wonderful pain killer, I had to leave the ER for the trip home. They discharged me and sent me to a kiosk, where my 15 pill pain killer prescription was filled with my ID number and major credit or debit card. No line, no driving, just swipe, accept the terms, grab the bottle and go. It was truly awesome to see the technology in action.

The next wave is here, like a virtual attendant checking you into the doctor office, following you with monitor by monitor directions and dispensing medicine…even having a consult in the privacy of my own home. Sit back and enjoy as technology is set to make our life a little easier (and techie-er) to see the doctor or pharmacist or get directions or…

Increasingly, telemedicine is becoming integrated into mainstream medicine.  Video consultations, mobile medical vans and remote surgery are just a few of the ways digital technology is transforming the practice of medicine and improving the lives of patients.  Presently, telemedicine is not widely utilized in emergency settings.  However, that is likely to change over the coming decades.  Here are several ways telemedicine is being used and will be employed for acute and emergency care in the future:

Battlefield Care:  The U.S. armed forces are early adopters when it comes to telemedicine.  For example, digital telecommunication linkages between frontline outposts and base hospitals have been standard practice among the services for many years.  In fact, military doctors routinely perform endoscopic procedures via videoconference.  In the future, cameras and data sensors embedded in soldiers’ uniforms will transmit vital physiological data to base hospitals, which will allow remotely located physicians to collaborate and consult in real-time on emergency battlefield care.

NASA:  The space program is also a pioneer in telemedicine.  NASA has used remote sensing, videoconferencing and digital communications to track, diagnose and treat astronauts in orbit.  In the future, NASA physicians may use a combination of virtual reality peripherals (helmets and gloves) and robotic devices that will allow remotely located surgeons to perform intricate surgical procedures on patients thousands of miles away.

Telepharmacy:  Telepharmacy is the use of video and digital communications to supervise and deliver pharmaceutical care to remote environments where no pharmacist is present.  For instance, many rural areas have difficulty recruiting and retaining pharmacists to serve in their towns and communities.  As a result, many isolated residents do not receive the care and medicines they need.  Telepharmacies help address this issue, allowing licensed pharmacists to monitor and consult with both remotely located care providers and patients.  Today, thanks to telepharmacies, rural patients can get prescriptions, refills and medicinal questions answered by digital means.

Emergency Mobile Telemedicine:  Telemedicine used to be synonymous with video but now it is much more than that.  Today, handheld and small portable units can be used by EMS personnel and first responders to monitor and transmit critical patient data to hospitals.  These devices include built-in smart-medicine algorithms that can help paramedics quickly evaluate and respond to medical scenarios.

The use of telemedicine in emergency situations helps paramedics and remotely located providers to collaborate on patient care more seamlessly and expeditiously than ever before.  In situations where each second counts, and snap decisions are a matter of life and death, telemedicine is helping to set a new standard in emergency care.

Medical Kiosks:  Technology is ever changing; and it is changing everything.  For example, now you can see your doctor and receive medical treatment at a kiosk.  The story of Brian Tagney is a case in point.  Brian broke his foot when his horse stepped on it.  He visited the ER for x-rays, but after being discharged his physicians sent him to a medical kiosk where he got his prescription for pain-killers filled.  As Tagney relates, there was “no line, no driving, I just had to enter my patient ID number, swipe my credit or debit card, accept the terms, grab the bottle and go. It was truly awesome to see the technology in action.”

The next wave in medicine is virtually here.  Speaking of which, today a virtual attendant can check you in at the doctor office.  They can even accompany you around medical facilities with monitor by monitor directions and instructions.  And when you are ready to leave, virtual attendants can dispense your medication.   The times they are indeed a-changing

Telemedicine is still in its earliest stages.  In the future, digital forms of treatment are certain to expand.  In all likelihood, psychiatric diagnosis and counseling will be done routinely by videoconferencing; telemedicine will be used to identify viral outbreaks on international flights; and a worldwide network of specialists on call for virtual consultations and collaborations will be a part of our healthcare future.  Surgery and emergency care by remotely located health providers used to be a fancy in the imagination of sci-fi authors.  Today, reality is beginning to exceed even their wildest dreams.

 

Resources:

#1: http://www.telehealthresourcecenter.org/toolbox-module/online-prescribing-and-telepharmacy

#2: http://www.ems1.com/ems-products/cameras-video/articles/1437503-Telemedicine-and-EMS-The-future-is-now/

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com