Category Archives for "Artificial Intelligence"

Dec 11

Spine & Health Info Platter (11 Dec ’17)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Disruptive Innovation , Spine Care , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare , Wearable Tech

This week we look at Sophia: the first robot declared a citizen by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the evolution of training of spine surgeons with the introduction of 3D printed spines; what the CVS-Aetna deal means for delivery of healthcare; Bill George discusses solutions to our most pressing health-care problems; and, finally, the 12 most over-hyped technologies in healthcare. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Meet Sophia: The first robot declared a citizen by Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia says it has become the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a robot.
The female robot’s name is Sophia, and she is presented as an example of how robot technology and artificial intelligence will make machines more human-like in the future.
Sophia was built by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics. The company’s founder, David Hanson, says his goal is to create robots that look and act very much like humans.
Artificial intelligence is advancing. 15 years ago – this was the substance of sci-fi series and today it is fast becoming a reality

‘Lifelike’ 3D printed spine to help train spinal surgeons

Simulations for training in critical situations are apparent in various industries – military, aviation, event management etc.
Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing – simulations have also entered the spine care domain and promises a step change in the performance of trainee surgeons and in the reduction of errors. A project led by Nottingham Trent University aims to give trainee surgeons the “tactic knowledge” of how it feels to partly remove or drill into vertebrae before undertaking procedures on patients. The models – which are created using powder printing technology to help achieve a lifelike porosity of real bone – feature hard outer layers and a softer centre. When dealing with the spine, we all acknowledge that one error can lead to catastrophic, life-changing consequences for a patient, so it’s imperative that surgeons can prepare themselves thoroughly. This research will enable clinicians to experience how performing spinal surgery feels both physically and mentally, but in a safe training environment.

Innovation key to solving America’s health-care problems

In this video, Bill George, former Medtronic Chairman & CEO, Harvard Business School Professor, says innovation can solve many of our most pressing health-care problems by making the delivery system more efficient. He posits that delivery systems will be moving from downstream to upstream (focusing on wellness to prevent people getting sick) and will see it moving out of the hospitals and clinics into pharmacies, and ultimately that self-care will become primary care.

What if an app could replace a pill?

What if an app could replace a pill? That’s the big question behind an emerging trend known as “digital therapeutics.” The idea: software that can improve a person’s health as much as a drug can, but without the same cost and side-effects. We’ve seen how the popular consumer apps such as Headspace and MyFitnessPal, help us do things like meditate or manage our calorie consumption. Well, Digital Therapeutics are an evolution of these types of tools, which focus specifically on the prevention and management of chronic diseases, like diabetes (type 2), hypertension, and others.
The ultimate intention is to keep people off medication and out of the hospital, living healthier and happier for longer.
But is it really without side-effects (ever heard of internet/digital addiction or hypochondria)? Let us know what you in think about this.

The CVS-Aetna Marriage – the signal to migrate to fee-for-value

The CVS’s $69 billion acquisition of Athena made front page headlines in the last week (it is the marriage of the financing and the delivery of healthcare). But what exactly does it mean for the delivery of healthcare? According to this article from the Havard Business review, the ramifications of such a deal for traditional care providers typically dominated by hospitals is going to be big and may happen fast.
Their intent appears to be to create the financial incentive to get upstream of the major cost driver in health care: hospitalization. By focusing physician and ancillary resources on preventing unnecessary hospital care, which drives 70% or more of medical cost, the total cost of care and therefore premium cost can be lowered. This cost and service improvement then differentiates the insurers, pharmacies, and other disruptive newcomers in the market. Traditional care providers must understand where the world of incentives is going and jump to an incentive system that rewards value, not volume (This means moving aggressively away from fee-for service payment fee-for-value).

The Most Over-Hyped Technologies in Healthcare

With all the talk about digital disruption in healthcare, it would be useful to inject some sanity and talk about the most over-hyped technologies in healthcare. I must admit that there is a streak of overambition by the party who thought about 3D printed organs

Dec 05

Spine & Health Info Platter (5 Dec ’17)

By Kanwal Sood | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Disruptive Innovation , Low Back Pain , Spine Care , Spine Cloud Platter , Spine Related Disorders , Value-Based Healthcare

This week’s health & spine platter covers AI’s challenges & how it can make you a better doctor, disruption and behavioral economics in healthcare & back medical technology through the ages. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Six Challenges To Tackle Before Artificial Intelligence Redesigns Healthcare

“Artificial Intelligence will not replace physicians. Yet, medical professionals who use A.I. will replace those who don’t.” Food for thought

10 Ways Artificial Intelligence Could Make Me a Better Doctor

Many fear that algorithms and artificial intelligence will take the jobs of medical professionals in the future. Instead of replacing doctors, AI could augment them and make them better at their jobs. Without the day-to-day treadmill of administrative and repetitive tasks, the medical community could again turn to its most important task with full attention: healing.

How Disruption Can Finally Revolutionize Healthcare

Unlike other industries, healthcare has been largely resistant to the forces of disruptive innovation. Despite advances in technology, the U.S. healthcare sector keeps getting costlier, and is now by far the world’s most expensive system per capita, about 2X higher than the U.K., Canada, and Australia,
Part I of this article focuses on why disruption has not taken hold in the delivery practices of hospitals and physicians groups. They argue that the profound disconnect between what patients need and what patients get from the system – as typified by the fee-for-value reimbursement system – is what lies at the root of the healthcare crisis.
But all is not lost. Part II of the article focuses in on how disruptive solutions have begun to improve health while lowering costs for significant populations, and concludes with key recommendations to each player in the care value chain.

How Behavioral Economics Can Produce Better Health Care

The Royal Swedish Academy’s award of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics to Richard Thaler marks the growing influence of the science of behavioral economics, not only in academia, but in popular culture and industry.
Traditional economics is rooted in the assumption that people make rational, self-interested decisions based on a strict cost/benefit analysis of their options. By contrast, the sub-field of behavioral economics acknowledges that human decision-making departs frequently, significantly and predictably from what would be expected if we acted in purely “rational” ways. This articles depicts how the science of behavioral economics could be used to design choice environments that promote healthy lifestyle decisions. It also presents how a start-up seeks to improve patient adherence to mediation by incentivising healthy habit formation for medical adherence.

The inconvenient truth about behavioral economics in healthcare

In contrast to the article above, this author is more cautious about the immediate benefits of the application of behavorial economics in tackling the colossal problem of medication non-adherence. The author warns against discounting the inconvenient truth that people and their lives are complex, so too are their barriers to healthy behavior are. Hence nonadherence and other unhealthy behaviors may be completely rational. And the assumption that they are not can lead innovators to misdiagnose their cause, thus misjudge potential solutions. This article here shares the same sentiment.
The author presents how the use of “Jobs Theory” (as explained here) can help providers gain a thorough understanding of patients’ circumstances, and hence help eliminating both practical and psychological barriers to healthy behavior in a tough set of circumstances.

The back story – Neck and back medical technology through the ages

And finally, for those who were not around when the Titanic sank – this infographic, courtesy of LDR Spine, covers advancements in cervical spine care from 1500 BCE through today. These advancements include meat stabilization techniques used by the ancient Egyptians (yep, that’s right), medieval era inversion chairs (best be glad that you weren’t there) and present day artificial disc replacements. This is a spine platform after-all, so I had to include something specific to spine.

Nov 30

Spine & Health Info Platter (30 Nov ’17)

By admin | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Clinical Pathways , Spine Pathway , Value-Based Healthcare

This week’s health & spine platter covers a review of AI for healthcare professionals, AI in medical invoicing / coding analysis to improve healthcare quality delivery, climate change and health & the future of clinical pathways. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Artificial intelligence is coming and is here – Are you ready?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has an unimaginable potential. A local Dutch company is harnessing the power of AI and big data to – through analysis of invoices – tell if a doctor, clinic or hospital are guilty of making mistakes repetitively in treating a certain type of condition. Utilized ethically, these should help the providers improve and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations of patients.
This article takes a peek into the future and postulates how AI and big data will specifically impact the healthcare profession within the next couple of years. It also provides insight in preparations needed to avoid the pitfalls of the utilization of AI.

For a longer discussion on how AI will Impact, click here.

AI and machine learning demystified

Eddie Obeng reminds us that if our rate of learning is inferior to the rate of change – then we spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists! The rate of adoption of AI in healthcare can easily become intimidating and simply overwhelming. For medical professionals, acquiring a basic knowledge about how AI and machine learning works will soon become indispensable. This slidepack presents a treatise of AI and machine learning for lay people (ok, for people who are not data scientists ☺)

Is there a link between climate change and patient health

Today, doctors are already reporting visible effects of climate change in their patients. The effects we see today are just the beginning. The breadth of climate’s impacts on health is immense.
Can you provide your thoughts on how climate change could manifest in your profession and in your clients?

The Future of Clinical Pathways

Utilization of clinical pathways, in which an individual’s treatment follows a defined protocol, can help ensure patients receive the best possible care based on the most recent scientific data. However, clinical pathways can institutionalize a “cookie cutter” approach instead of personalized medicine, as well as limit treatment options in order to cut costs. So, which of these will be the future for clinical pathways?

Nov 20

Spine & Health Info Platter (20 Nov ’17)

By admin | Artificial Intelligence , Big Data in Healthcare , Blockchain , Internet of Things , Low Back Pain , Spine Publications , Wearable Tech

This week’s health & spine platter covers space travel & spine health, the role of blockchain, big data in healthcare & the Internet of Things (IoT) in clinical trials.   Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Blockchain in Health Care: Decoding the Hype (Massachusetts Medical Society)

The excitement around using blockchain technology in health care is growing. Proponents point to blockchain’s potential to liberate data from entrenched silos, empowering patients to securely “own” their data. Critics argue that it is all hype — a technological hammer looking for a nail — and that the complexities of health information prevent practical use of blockchain technology. So, is it all hype?

What does space travel have to do with spine health? (NASA)

So space travel has always been fascinating for physicists, astronauts (of course), physiologists, biologists and many other scientific disciplines (ask anyone about the shape of the candle flame is space and you are bound to have even the most timid persons talking). But what interest do primary spine providers have with space travel? Well, observations on NASA crewmembers reveal lumbar spine paraspinal muscle atrophy after long-duration spaceflight. This observation will surely play a critical role in the promotion of spine health and prevent spinal injury during space missions… and ultimately here on earth.

Internet of (Medical) Things in clinical trails – what are the issues?

We’ve seen the Internet of Things applications in healthcare. Connected devices increase access to providers, improve the quality of care thanks to more accurate patient information, and allow patients to take more control over their overall health. Yet, in clinical trials, we see limited application of IoT. What are the issues?

Big data – whose data is it anyway? (Massachusetts Medical Society)

Traditionally, doctors collected and protected patients’ health information. As health care has become more complex and information has been shared between doctors and other health care workers, among institutions, and sometimes between countries, the legal and ethical framework securing that information has also grown increasingly complex. Add into that mix patient privacy and things become even more interesting. Who then should have ownership of the patient’s data – the patient themselves, the doctor, the government?

Big data in healthcare – the pain and the gain (Procedia Computer Science)

Limitless opportunities are offered for big data to drive health research, knowledge discovery, clinical care, and personal health management. However, there are a number of obstacles and challenges that impede its true potential in the healthcare field, including privacy and data security issues. Medical records have proven to be vulnerable to cyber attacks, and these are set to increase as data sharing increases. The healthcare industry will have to think long and hard about how to protect patient data. This paper discusses some existing approaches and techniques for achieving security and privacy in which healthcare organizations are likely to find highly beneficial.


Nov 10

Spine & Health Info Platter (10 Nov ’17)

By admin | Artificial Intelligence , Blockchain , Spine Cloud Platter , Value-Based Healthcare

You need to be ready for the impact of artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and wearable technologies on spine care.  To aid you in this journey, enjoy part 1 of our weekly curated platter.  Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:

Artificial intelligence in healthcare: 10 leaders describe the future (Becker’s Spine Review)

Artificial intelligence is already playing a role in healthcare delivery, on the clinical and statistical analysis side. Here, 10 leaders of healthcare and IT companies describe what the future could look like when artificial intelligence is more fully integrated. The anticipated effects range from shifting from periodic consultation to continuous consultation through wearable and implantable devices which are constantly monitoring data and flagging conditions that the provider needs to see, to improved diagnostic insights via AI cognitive systems.

Digital platform enables patients to physically, mentally and emotionally navigate certain surgeries.

Many healthcare providers have developed digital platforms geared to improve the engagement between the patient and the health care delivery team. This company has developed their platform with the science of behaviour change where the patient’s care path can be customised to their physical and emotional needs – which is critical for post-surgery recovery.

Blockchain-driven platform to reduce the risk of chronic conditions

The fight against chronic disease is not won with antibiotics or vaccines, but with behavorial conditions that move patients from passive to empowered and proactive – and this requires giving patients access to data. MintHealth has launched a block-chain based health record platform that enables data liquidity between ecosystem participants, and which features a specialised digital currency as an incentive for preferred patient behaviours. The solution will ultimately enable providers to monitor the care of their patients, and therefore help patients reduce their risk of suffering from chronic conditions.  Goodbye EHR?

Behaviour is the key component to achieving value-based health-care

Value-based healthcare is a promising model for the reorganization of care. It has the potential to deliver substantially improved health outcomes at significantly lower cost than health systems are currently able to achieve. But that is just that – it is promising and it has great potential. Given its potential impact, why then is it not proverbial in all healthcare settings? That is because it requires significant changes in the most difficult part of the healthcare system – the behavior on the part of stakeholders. In this paper, BCG (The Boston Consulting Group) show how behaviour has a marked impact on health outcomes, and they present how their “smart simplicity” approach can influence behaviour and encourage the cooperation necessary to make value-based healthcare a reality.