May the Fourth be With You...and Healthcare IT Innovation

By Jennifer Dennard
08:18 AM

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, healthcare seemed effortless – no red tape, co-pays or personal health records. The nearest physician was just a medical bay away - or in emergency cases, a simple kick into hyperdrive. As times got tough and evil Empire forces got in the way, the Rebel Alliance drew upon innovation and sheer determination to make a difference.
This blog may be a day late and a galactic credit short, but yesterday’s international celebration of Star Wars Day provides a fun excuse to compare “yesterday’s” healthcare with the current state of things, especially with regard to healthcare IT.
Innovation seems to be a key concept in any type of reform – whether it be rebellious response to empirical enforcements or federally incentivized healthcare IT guidelines. Without innovation, advancements in patient care would be slow in getting to the bedside. That’s why it’s heartening in this time of much-debated healthcare reform, to see innovation being encouraged by a number or organizations. As Gadget Guru reported on the Smart Phone Health Care blog last month, researchers at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences have “developed a new type of holographic telepresence that allows the projection of a three-dimensional, moving image without the need for special eyewear such as 3D glasses or other auxiliary devices. The technology is likely to take applications ranging from telemedicine, advertising, updatable 3D maps and entertainment to a new level.”
Perhaps when we see a hologram in the near future we’ll no longer immediately think of Princess Leia pleading with Obi wan Kenobi, but of our primary care physician “beaming in” for a quick consult via his practice’s new telemedicine solution. Innovation seems to be the “new hope” healthcare is looking for.
What healthcare IT innovations will make the biggest impact to the future of patient care? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Jennifer Dennard is Social Marketing Director for Atlanta-based Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research.