In this week’s platter, we look at how the earth’s most customer-centric company (…Amazon) could disrupt healthcare; we learn how FitBit is enabling providers to better support patients beyond the walls of the clinical environment; we pay attention to an application of blockchain technology that promises to lower drug costs; we consider the importance of cybersecurity given the advent of EHRs; we look at how technology imitates nature; and finally, we pay attention to the application of machine vision for spinal navigation. Enjoy!
It is clear from some of its recent moves that Amazon sees the 18% of U.S. GDP dedicated to health care as fertile ground for expansion. The challenge is formidable. As many critics have noted, employers have banded together before to address health care costs and failed to make much of a dent in health care spending. How will this effort be different? If Amazon succeeds in changing health care, how might it do so? This article presents four key strengths that Amazon will have to exploit to bank this opportunity.
Suffice to say that for existing health care companies, the operative words in their mandates have been “health care”; for Amazon, the operative words likely are “service that needs to be delivered to a customer.” Is this the disruption that the healthcare industry has been waiting for?
On Tuesday, the wearables manufacturer announced plans to purchase Twine Health, a Boston-based company that combines artificial intelligence with personalized coaching to assist patients with diseases like diabetes and hypertension. This is in pursuit of helping healthcare providers to better support patients beyond the walls of the clinical environment, which can lead to better health outcomes and ultimately, lower medical costs.
Development firm Cambridge Consultants has designed an open market trading platform for drug price negotiation that’s based on a public blockchain. The company says it’s an effort to help fix the lack of transparency around how drug prices are set – that by creating a set of so-called smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, it will enable a trust-based mechanism for the trading of drug products as if they were commodities. By moving to an open market that creates price competition and improves access, one can expect that drug prices will taper and could eventually decline.
Decatur County General Hospital, a 40-bed hospital located in Parsons, Tennessee, has informed its patients about a security incident in which is electronic medical record (EMR) system was hacked, impacting 24,000 patients’ records.
As per classic PR, the hospital alleges that, at this time, there is no evidence that patient information was actually acquired or viewed by an unauthorized individual and officials investigating the incident do not believe that patient health information was targeted. Nonetheless, this incident highlights the risk associated with digital EHRs on a network
Scientists are developing a lithium-ion battery shaped like the human spine to power wearable electronics in the future. Researchers from Columbia University in the US were inspired by the suppleness of the human spine, and used the spine model to design a battery with a similar structure as that of the spine. The battery allows remarkable flexibility, high energy density and stable voltage no matter how it is flexed or twisted, researchers said. The solution to some of our problems is found in paying attention to what has already been created…
The 7D Surgical System is an impressive Machine-vision Image Guided Surgery (MvIGS) platform. The system delivers on the promise of image guided surgery (IGS) and allows surgeons to perform fast, cost-effective, radiation-free IGS. Unlike conventional IGS systems that rely on time-consuming intra-operative radiation emitting devices or laborious point matching techniques, MvIGS uses only visible light to easily register patients in less than 20 seconds. Have a look…