I was chatting with a friend the other day about how to get people’s attention in this information-overload age, and we decided that the use of buzz words was a critical component of success. So I decided to test this catchy title and see if it leads to any more reader traffic than I usually get.
Really, I’m not messing with you. There is something to the idea of buzz word use in our search engine optimized world, but as I reflected on these three technology trends, I thought it worth pausing for a moment to reflect on just how game-changing each is for those of us in the connected health space.
Of all the top-of-the-hype-cycle buzz words in health care right now, mobile tops the list. And while we probably can’t cure cancer, reverse aging and find the true meaning of life with mobile technology, it really has revolutionized the world of healthcare.
The key features that are so exciting are the miniaturized computing capabilities in mobile devices combined with their always on, always connected state. Those of us who grew up espousing the vision of telehealth now have no excuse (from a technology perspective anyway). We can videoconference from our iPads over 4G networks, or use our smartphones as data-collection hubs for remotely monitored sensor data about our patients. We can message our patients in the moment when it’s most needed. With mobile technology, we have the infrastructure to deliver on the promise of connected health: using objective information derived from patients to provide insights that lead to improved self-care, as well as the opportunity to deliver care in the moment or continuously. Both of these strategies have been shown to improve quality and lower costs, particularly when applied to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure.
This is the newest of our buzz words, but the healthcare implications are huge and exciting. The term Big Data is a colloquialism referring to the power of collecting and analyzing large data sets. The companies that provide storage and super-computing services are salivating at the opportunities to bring this technology to healthcare.
Three trends suggest that they are sniffing at a real opportunity: