Global eHealth Executive Council Cheat Sheets: Digital Health System Series

Quick overviews of the new and emerging technologies for today’s digital health systems

Download our cheat sheets to brush up on new and emerging technologies in today's digital world.

Digital Health Systems | Artificial Intelligence | Augmented Reality | Blockchain |Business Intelligence and Analytics | Big Data | Cloud Computing | Cybersecurity | EMR Optimisation | Interoperability | Internet of Things | Natural Language Processing | Open Standards and Open Source | Patient-Generated Health Data | Social Determinants of Health Data | Systemness | Virtual Reality | 3D Printing

Digital Health Systems

Provider organisations must now view IT as an operational optimiser, a strategy enabler, and potential industry disrupter. They must also track the fast-changing technologies and IT-related capabilities, and capitalise upon opportunities for IT-powered incremental, sustaining, or disruptive innovation.

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Systemness requires organisations to evolve into a ‘connected care community’ instead of operating in a hospital-centric model. This transition is necessary to successfully implement new models of care, such as value-based care and population health management, and will ultimately drive the formation of a more agile, virtually integrated enterprise.

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Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances across several industries and task types have focused new attention on the field of AI. Relative to human decision making, AI systems can provide advantages in speed, capacity, quality, and consistency. Several areas of opportunity for AI exist in health care.

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Augmented Reality

Our digital and physical realities have started to merge as technological innovations continue to proliferate, blurring the lines between computers, humans, and the environment. Augmented reality allows digital information to naturally enter our physical reality as an active part of our environment.

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Blockchain is a digital ledger that enables parties with no history of trusting one another to securely commit to contracts and record transactions, without the need for an intermediary such as a bank. The technology has the potential to provide value to health care.

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Business Intelligence and Analytics

Many questions remain regarding the details of health care reform today. There is broad recognition that BI and analytics are necessary for helping health care organisations adjust to the exponential rise in the availability of data, along with new financial and quality imperatives driven by value-based payment models.

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Big Data

The health care industry has seen the rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), the rise of consumer mobile devices, and increasing use of clinical biometric sensors are generating floods of new data. New "big data" technologies manage and drive value from this new flood of data.

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Cloud Computing

Cloud technology offers hospitals and health systems several potential benefits, such as lowering capital costs, enabling flexible, on-demand addition of computing resources, boosting scalability, and improving reliability (e.g., data backup and recovery).

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Cybersecurity is now a board and C-suite level issue in light of the many significant recent cyber events across industries. Cyber resiliency extends beyond technical controls and is built holistically through effective governance, policy, process, and education as well as technology and services.

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EMR Optimisation

EMR implementations are never a seamless process. EMR optimisation provides a link between system functionality, process changes, and expected future benefits that gives health care organisations an opportunity to achieve measurable outcomes and long-term business value.

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In health care, interoperability is the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, to exchange data accurately, effectively and consistently, and to use the information that has been exchanged. The rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) coupled with rising clinical and business needs for cross-continuum data are driving a renewed focus on interoperability technologies.

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Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the addition of intelligence and connectivity to everyday objects through recent advances in low-cost, low-power computing, communications, and sensor technologies.

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Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows computers to analyse, understand, and derive meaning from text and speech similar to humans. A subset of AI, NLP can help organisations take advantage of unstructured data found in clinical notes, sensors in wearables, patient-reported data, and genomics.

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Open Standards and Open Source

Open standards and open source are two distinct, but complementary, terms that help increase interoperability, prevent vendor lock-in, and improve security. Within health care, both play an increasingly important role in data sharing, data analytics, and population health management.

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Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD)

The rapid development and consumer adoption of wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and mHealth apps provide a broad window into patients’ health across the continuum of care. As providers consider strategies to accommodate PGHD into care delivery models, they must make key decisions about how to operationalise the capture, management, and use of PGHD.

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Social Determinants of Health Data (SDH)

As health care systems shift toward value-based care, leading provider organisations are studying non-clinical risk factors (e.g., social circumstances, individual behaviour, physical environment) and building new models for social care delivery in partnership with owned and community resources in an effort to improve patient outcomes.

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Virtual Reality

Historically, the high cost of virtual reality systems has been a primary barrier for adoption. However, increasing computing power and the ubiquity of personal computers (PCs) and smartphones has brought a rapid decline in cost, which has made this technology accessible to a greater number of health care organisations.

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3D Printing

3D printing already has some footholds in the health care industry, but expectations for this technology have recently grown. The technology has the potential to streamline manufacturing, allowing health care organisations (and eventually patients) to design and produce products on demand, cheaply and efficiently.

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