The Adoption of New Technologies in Health Management Essay




1.  What do you think is the main reason CIOs are becoming a bigger part of the strategic mission of healthcare organizations?  Be sure that you justify your answer using content from the “CIOs and the Future of IT” article this week. I’ll also be looking to see if you can make connections between this article and our other healthcare readings, especially the interview with a healthcare CIO in “How Digital Transformation Is Making Health Care Safer, Faster and Cheaper”.  This answer should not just be your opinions, but should be justified by the reading.

2. Discuss any connections you see between the issues addressed in the Putting Humans at the Center of Healthcare Innovation article and the recommendations of Nick Carr in IT Doesn’t Matter.   Would Carr be surprised by the findings related to what works around technology in healthcare?  How would his “New Rules for IT” help predict or explain the findings of the authors of Putting Humans at the Center of Healthcare Innovation?  Be sure you’re using the content in the article to justify your opinions and ideas.

3. Read about the “SmartWatch project” article in the WSJ readings section on Moodle. First, evaluate this project based on Carr’s “new rules for IT”.  Do you feel the project respects these rules or breaks them?  Do you think this project qualifies as Human-Centered Healthcare innovation?  Why or why not.  In justifying your answer, be sure to use evidence from the Putting Humans at the Center of Healthcare Innovation article.  Finally, discuss where would you place this project within the digital strategy initiatives in the Digital Transformation in Healthcare article?

4. In discussing his firm’s digital strategies in “How Digital Transformation Is Making Health Care Safer, Faster and Cheaper”, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. John Halamka, provides a nice overview of many topics we will touch on in the coming weeks.  Choose ONE of these strategies and expand on what is mentioned in the article with your own research.

Specifically, you might address questions such as: how is this strategy being implemented across the healthcare industry?  Who are the main companies offering these solutions, and what are the main challenges.  Mention the regulatory factors driving these changes and anything else you think relevant.  (Note: I don’t want you to go down the rabbit hole and write 10 pages about this.  Three or four good paragraphs should be sufficient.) 

1. Smartwatch Project Cuts Health Costs

Kaiser Permanente is expanding a program in which patients recovering from a cardiac event wear smartwatches to track whether they are exercising and taking their medication.

The hospital and health-insurance company, based in Oakland, Calif., said the rehab program, in which patients participate remotely, is showing promising results. Kaiser is betting on remote monitoring via wearables to cut costs in areas such as hospital readmissions.

More than 2,300 patients recovering from a cardiac event enrolled in the remote eight-week rehab program between June 2018 and June 2019, according to a paper published in NEJM Catalyst. More than 87% of the patients completed it, compared with less than 50% on average for Kaiser’s in-clinic rehab programs, the company said.

Readmission rates based on cardiac-related conditions in the remote program were less than 2% through June 2019, compared with 10% to 15% on average for in-clinic programs. The program, which started in Southern California, has continued since June 2019 and is expanding to more states.

The patients have been wearing Samsung Electronics Co. smartwatches supplied by Kaiser for the duration of the program.

Users receive reminders on the smartwatch to do things such as work out or take medication. A mobile app accessible through the smartwatch includes a questionnaire where patients provide details including the type and duration of exercise and whether they experienced any symptoms. The watch collects additional data such as steps and pulse.

The program supplied around 4,000 Samsung smartwatches to patients by the end of 2019. In 2020, the company expects to add about 5,000 patients who suffered cardiac events, which include heart attacks, bypass surgery and heart failure.

Kaiser Permanente also is talking to companies such as Apple Inc., whose Apple Watch has apps to monitor and notify patients of irregular heart rhythm.

“We see that as an opportunity and an area that we need to continue to monitor and determine which devices have the right efficacy so that we can rely on the data,” said Dick Daniels, chief information officer at Kaiser Permanente.

Pilot projects involving health-care wearables for remote monitoring have been deployed by a third of 100 health-care providers surveyed by Spyglass Consulting Group, according to a study released in October.

Technology companies, meanwhile, are looking to expand in the health-care market. Google recently acquired Fitbit Inc., which has a wearables program for health providers. The Food and Drug Administration is working with sellers of wearables, including Apple and Samsung, to streamline approval of mobile medical apps.

Concerns about the accuracy and security of data collected by wearables has led to resistance from some health-care providers in using the devices. A study by Stanford University published in March found that the pulse sensor in the Apple Watch helped detect a heart-rhythm disorder in some users but may have caused false alarms for others.

In Kaiser’s virtual-rehab program, data collected by wearable sensors play a supporting role to the app the patients use. Kaiser and Samsung worked together to customize a version of Samsung’s HeartWise app to remind patients of program goals and deliver their responses to physicians.

The program includes exercise regimens, counseling and other steps to improve a patient’s health and lifestyle.

“This one is not continuous monitoring. But it’s almost as though somebody’s calling you every day, all the time, to see what’s going on,” said Tad Funahashi, Kaiser’s chief innovation and transformation officer for Southern California, who led the program’s development.

If a patient isn’t meeting obligations, such as failing to exercise for a specific amount of time, health-care providers can follow up with phone calls or during in-clinic sessions. The alerts are triggered by information provided by the user. Data including step counts and heart rate to check exertion are available to doctors or nurses through a dashboard on Kaiser’s system so they can review and adjust the rehabilitation program.


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