Healthcare

For some, a power outage is a reminder of our dependence on aging infrastructure. For others, it can be life-threatening. Continuity in daily utilities can be absolutely critical when the public’s health is at stake, which is why medical centers are always looking for ways to increase their resiliency.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee on Tuesday held a hearing looking into ways to improve cybersecurity across the healthcare sector. In recent years, cybersecurity has been a growing concern in healthcare, with high profile cyber-attacks and vulnerabilities causing disruptions for insurers, hospitals and medical device makers.

While the air transportation and energy sectors are undergoing dramatic shifts, it's healthcare that will experience the most sweeping changes from the IoT revolution. With connected things continuously exchanging and analyzing data in real time, healthcare will shift from a reactive to a proactive field.

State and local government agencies saw the number of bids and RFPs for improved medical equipment grow 21 percent in 2016, more than any other contracting area, fueled by high health care costs and an aging boomer population.

Think about how urban transportation strategy would change if citizens could travel by laptop or mobile device to a doctor visit.

Research firm Markets and Markets reports that the telehealth market is expected to reach  $9.35 billion by 2021, from $2.78 billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 27.5 percent. This parallels the growth in the population health technology segment, which will rise from $21 billion in 2016 to near $90 billion in 2025, according to Grand View Research.

Current health IT systems aren't equipped to adequately manage population health, prompting researchers to call on health leaders to close those gaps by expanding data collection efforts. To do this, healthcare leaders must embrace new data sources that integrate behavioral and social factors with existing clinical data, according to a commentary published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Nadia Morris, head of innovation at the AT&T Connected Health Foundry in Houston, Texas gave a session titled "Connecting smart hospitals with care at home," at this year's TMForum Innovation InFocus conference. She highlighted problems in the healthcare industry, spoke of how new technologies can alleviate these problems, and detailed roadblocks when implementing IoT technologies for smart hospitals.

The health care industry is a prime target for innovation, and improvements are being made in a wide range of areas.  There are new payment models, disease management programs, flexible care models and technology-driven cost reductions. One particularly interesting trend worth noting involves community paramedicine programs that reduce costly visits to emergency rooms (ERs).

On Thursday, the White House announced more than $300 million in funding, through partnerships, for tech innovations that will help Americans live in smart cities, improve healthcare, and even make it to Mars-while also addressing what increased automation could mean for job security.

From the initial 911 call to the emergency response that follows, emergency dispatching is a well-choreographed process designed to ensure that each incident has the attention and equipment needed for saving lives. But even with constant practice and training, emergency response amounts to an educated guess - in which lives are on the line.

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