Data Management in the Healthcare Industry

May 02, 2022
Data Management

Innovations hold promise for better outcomes for more people

Credit: Shutterstock/Daniel_González

Information Technology continues to create opportunities to improve healthcare, but only when used effectively. Whether it’s medical devices, electronic healthcare records, high-bandwidth networks, medical imaging, or insurance, there are few corners of the healthcare field that are not deeply penetrated by IT. But where are things headed from here? Can AI help with more accurate diagnoses? Can the likelihood of successful outcomes be increased? Can technology improve the patient experience?

To answer those questions, IT practitioners, consultants, and influencers joined in an #IDGTechTalk Twitter chat on April 21, 2022, sponsored by @GlobalNTT. The hour-long session was moderated by Isaac Sacolick @nyike, president of StarCIO. As participant Clare Brown @ClareBrownIDG put it, “We are all patients and all of us will be impacted by healthcare tech.”

Among the exciting possibilities to cure illness and save lives are artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and telemedicine. Said Jason James @itlinchpin:

The evolution of #AI within healthcare has immense potential. Everything from early warning detection to be used in cancer prevention to wound care can benefit from AI-driven pattern recognition.

AI could fuel the development of personalized medicine, in which treatments are closely matched to the needs of individual patients, according to Elitsa Krumova @Eli_Krimova

We can expect to see a rise in the development of personalized #drugs and the wider adoption of #PersonalizedMedecine.

Even so, AI will need to be governed well to assure positive outcomes, said Arsalan Khan @ArsalanAKhan.

I am excited about the use of #ArtificialIntelligence in healthcare. I am also concerned about the use of #AI in healthcare if wrong/incomplete data and bad algorithms are used. #idgtechtalk

But AI is not the only technology that could have a profound impact on wellness. Blockchain, because of its ability to immutably preserve transaction records, could accurately manage the distribution of pharmaceuticals, said Steven M Prentice @StevenPrentice.

The use of blockchain-enabled smart Rx to manage controlled substances better while making them more accessible.

Further afield, novel technologies such as drones also can deliver benefits, according to Prentice. 

Drones that can fly defibrillators and other lifesaving devices directly where they are needed @StevenPrentice.

And Virtual reality (VR) can help patients overcome physical challenges, asserted moderator Isaac Sacolick @nyike:

There are some incredible #VR apps for the handicapped, disabled, or people needing physical therapy.

Given the uneven availability of quality healthcare globally, satellite technology has an important role to play.  

I am looking forward to “Starlink-type” solutions, said Steven Prentice @StevenPrentice, referring to the low-orbit satellite network that can deliver high bandwidth Internet connectivity to remote areas.

Not to be overlooked are telemedicine and basic improvements to current practices, offered Clare Brown @ClareBrownIDG.

These might be small but the ease of making appointments online, getting digital reminders, and telemedicine is a huge area that I am excited for.

Ben Rothke @benrothke agreed. Remote medical care, which is part of telemedicine services, has shown that constant patient monitoring can have significant preventive benefits. Also, patients like most aspects of #telemedicine, as it avoids travel, & longs stays in boring waiting rooms. #IDGTECHtalk

Said Chris Petersen @CPetersen_CS, I’m with @ClareBrownIDG about removing all forms of friction from the system. Easier appointments? Reminders? Chatbots? Wearables? Anything that makes living health the easier path.