NVTC’s latest guest blog post is by Stefano Migliorisi, CEO and founder of swyMed, a provider of patented technology that expands telemedicine care to places where it was previously unavailable, powering truly mobile exceptional-quality live video encounters, even at the lowest bandwidths. Migliorisi participated on the Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring Panel at the Capital Health Tech Summit on June 15.


swymedlogoTelemedicine allows patients and doctors to connect over a distance. The industry has been growing tremendously, with the U.S. market valued at $4.9 billion in 2015 and projected to reach $6.7 billion in 2020. Others estimate the sector is significantly larger, depending on which technologies are included and how much of the infrastructure and staffing/services are included in the definition of telehealth, but the one constant is the trend of explosive growth.

In many rural and underserved areas, specialists are in short supply; just getting to the doctor’s office, which is far away in a larger city, and back home again can take an entire day. Instead, telemedicine allows a patient to remain at a local clinic for a virtual visit with the same physician, which is considerably less time consuming and more economical both for patients and healthcare providers.

Telemedicine enables specialists to “beam” themselves into underserved communities via a broadband internet connection, and can have a transformative impact on reducing cost, improving patient compliance and improving outcomes. However, many regions across the country still lack broadband Internet connections sufficient to deliver quality care virtually.

Regardless of whether patients are logging in on their home computers, data-enabled smartphones, or wireless tablet devices, one thing is generally needed: a reliable high-speed Internet connection. We typically think of this as a challenge in rural areas, but a similar dynamic plays out in urban environments, where networks can become congested.

Telemedicine Uses

Telemedicine has been effective in helping patients to better manage chronic conditions. Advances in home health care have made it possible for patients to connect with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their living rooms, improving rates for follow-up visits and treatment regimen compliance. Digital devices such as pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and scales can automatically send data from a patient’s home to a care manager’s desktop, where he or she can monitor the patient’s status, prioritize interventions and initiate an audio-video call where follow-up is warranted. This technology has proven particularly successful for treating chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Similar data has emerged from skilled nursing facilities (SNF) where it has been demonstrated that patient well-being and outcomes are improved, transports to the emergency room (ER) reduced and total system costs lowered  dramatically by establishing a telemedicine link between the SNF and the ER. This is particularly valuable during nights and weekends, when the SNF is less likely to have a staff doctor available. Having click to call access to a local ER, allows the patient to receive a consultation, the SNF staff to have confidence that the patient is getting the appropriate level of care, and more often than not avoids a transfer to the ER which has significant cost and staffing implications for the SNF, the ER and the health care system as a whole.

Connectivity Remains a Challenge to Telemedicine

It has been estimated that 70% of face-to-face medical encounters COULD be delivered as telemedicine encounters. As more and more potential applications of the technology are piloted and evaluated, connectivity and reliability are emerging as critical factors to overcome before virtual video care can be relied upon as a primary channel to deliver care.

* Connectivity – Telemedicine relies on Internet connectivity to function, but the same rural regions tend to have the largest physician shortages and the most barriers to Internet access. The lack of broadband infrastructure impedes both real-time services such as video visits and store-and-forward technologies, leaving a gap in coverage for patients in these areas.

* Reliability – Telemedicine requires uninterrupted connections to prevent missed instructions or possible patient mismanagement. If systems are not reliable, or need to be restarted several times in the course of a patient encounter, trust in the system on the part of providers, patients and healthcare workers will be diminished.  When telemedicine is used for acute diagnoses such as telestroke diagnosis and treatment, every minute of delay can negatively impact patient outcomes with significant long term consequences.

Numerous approaches, both from established video communication companies as well as newer market entrants have arisen to address the emerging connectivity and reliability challenges. These approaches include everything from reducing the size and quality of image transmission, to new compression algorithms, and enhancing broadband signal availability with mobile communications hotspots, to development of data transport mechanisms that can operate over low bandwidth while still delivering high quality imagery.

Click here to learn more about swyMed.

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Final Logo Capital Health Tech Summit NVTC (2)On June 15, NVTC hosted the inaugural Capital Health Tech Summit at the Inova Center for Personalized Health. With over 200 attendees, the Summit featured keynote remarks by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Don Rucker and University of Virginia Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Richard Shannon. Panel sessions included experts from world leading health systems, universities and firms developing the latest health technologies. The Capital Health Tech Summit showcased the intersection of commercial, government and academic assets that makes Greater Washington the epicenter for innovation in the health technology sector.

Click here for a full recap of the event.

View the full gallery here and stayed tuned on the blog for more Capital Health Tech Summit content, video and photos!

Keynote Shannon

Keynote Kaine

Keynote Rucker

1706_Health Tech Summit 201

Check out this recent coverage of the Summit in the media:

DC Inno: 7 D.C. Area Health Tech Projects To Watch

HIT Leaders & News: Cybercrime in healthcare is the new normal. How can we reduce the number of attacks on the industry?

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Final Logo Capital Health Tech Summit NVTC (2)The inaugural NVTC Capital Health Tech Summit on Thursday, June 15, 2017 is only days away!

For the first time at one of our Summits, NVTC is including a special Health Tech Innovation Spotlight session at the Capital Health Tech Summit. Innovative companies from the region’s health technology sector will present 5-minute flash briefings highlighting groundbreaking or unique innovations that could ultimately be game changers in health. Attendees will get to hear about the unique innovations that have the potential to impact the future of health.

We’re excited to announce the following companies selected to give briefings:

10Pearls

Aperiomics

Avanade

CGI

INF Robotics Inc.

Perthera

Protenus

View the latest Summit agenda here and register today!

Check out our Summit preview video:

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Did you know nearly 90% of all successful ransomware attacks were on hospitals in 2016? In his guest blog, Ostendio CEO and Co-Founder Grant Elliott sheds light on the cybersecurity implications of healthcare today and the importance of engaging healthcare employees in cybersecurity. Elliott will be speaking on the Cybersecurity Panel at the Capital Health Tech Summit taking place on June 15, 2017 at the Inova Center for Personalized Health.


Ostendio Logo-01Why is healthcare so heavily and successfully targeted by cybercrime? After a record number of breaches last year – nearly 90% of all successful ransomware attacks were on hospitals – it’s one that needs to be asked.

Cybercriminals target healthcare data because hospitals need immediate access to up-to-date patient information in order to provide critical care. When malware enters the system, it prohibits access to data, and in turn, prevents hospital staff from efficiently and effectively treating a patient. The cybercriminals then demand a ransom, usually in the form of Bitcoins. Ransomware is growing in popularity because it works. In 2014 alone, the FBI estimates that the minds behind the CryptoLocker strain of ransomware received nearly $27 million in six months out of data taken hostage.

When MedStar Health, a health system serving the Baltimore/Washington region, was hit by a cyberattack in 2016, they choose not to pay the Bitcoin ransom, instead choosing to shut every aspect of MedStar Health’s electronic medical record systems off.

Hospitals are also a prime target because employees aren’t always trained on security awareness. While HIPAA aims to ensures that patient privacy is protected, in general, hospitals do not place a big enough emphasis on the importance of cybersecurity. Protecting data has always been a challenge, but an aware and invested workforce can become your company’s first line of defense.

So, what can be done to try and reduce the number of data breaches?

Look to your employees. Employees are an organization’s greatest asset, and they need to be treated as such. It takes just one click on a malicious link to bring a whole system down. Make sure that each and every employee understands their role in a cybersecurity program. They need to know where data is, when they should access it, how it should be used and how it’s being protected. Only then can they can become your front line of cyber defense.

Learn more about Ostendio here and check out the latest Capital Health Tech Summit agenda!

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The inaugural Capital Health Tech Summit on June 15, 2017 is less than a month away! You’ve come to the right place for the latest updates on the Summit.


Final Logo Capital Health Tech Summit NVTC (2)NVTC is excited to announce a new keynote for the Capital Health Tech Summit: Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Don Rucker. Dr. Rucker joins Senator Tim Kaine and University of Virginia Executive Vice President, Health Affairs Dr. Richard Shannon in the keynote lineup.

Dr. Rucker comes to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) from the Ohio State University where he was clinical professor of Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and Premise Health, a worksite clinic provider, where he served as chief medical officer.

Donald W. Rucker, MDDr. Rucker started his informatics career at Datamedic Corporation where he co-developed the world’s first Microsoft Windows based electronic medical record. He then served as chief medical officer at Siemens Healthcare USA. Dr. Rucker led the team that designed the computerized provider order entry workflow that, as installed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, won the 2003 HIMSS Nicholas Davies Award for the best hospital computer system in the US. Dr. Rucker has served on the Board of Commissioners of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology and Medicare’s Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) and has extensive policy experience representing healthcare innovations before Congress, MedPAC and HHS.

He has practiced emergency medicine for a variety of organizations including at Kaiser in California; at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he was the first full-time Emergency Department attending; at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Presbyterian and Pennsylvania Hospitals; and most recently at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Dr. Rucker is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with board certifications in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics. He holds an M.S. in medical computer science and an MBA, both from Stanford.

Click here to learn more about the other keynotes and speakers headlining the Capital Health Tech Summit.

Check out the Summit preview video!

 

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Final Logo Capital Health Tech Summit NVTC (2)Explore how technology is transforming and disrupting the delivery of health at the inaugural Capital Health Tech Summit on June 15, 2017 at the Inova Center for Personalized Health.

The Capital Health Tech Summit will showcase how the intersection of commercial, government and academic assets makes Greater Washington the epicenter for innovation and opportunity in the health technology sector. Keynote speakers include Senator Tim Kaine, ONC National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Don Rucker and University of Virginia Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Richard Shannon.

The Summit will cover such exciting health tech topics as data analytics in the continuum of health, cybersecurity, pharmacogenomics, telehealth and remote patient monitoring.

Just this week new speakers from Carilion Clinic, FDA, HHS and Translational Software have joined the Summit lineup. We’re adding new speakers everyday so check the Capital Health Tech Summit agenda often!

Learn more about the Summit in our new preview video!

 

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