Health Care IT Cheat Sheets: Digital Health Systems

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.

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

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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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 organizations 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 health records (EHRs), 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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Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital ledger that enables parties with no history of trusting one another to secure 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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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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New: Cybersecurity

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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Digital Health Systems

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

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EMR Optimization

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

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Interoperability

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 health records (EHRs) 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

NLP allows computers to analyze, understand, and derive meaning from text and speech similar to humans. A subset of AI, NLP can help organizations take advantage of unstructured data found in clinical notes, sensors in wearables, patient-reported data, and genomics.

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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 operationalize the capture, management, and use of PGHD.

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Social Determinants of Health Data (SDH)

The US health care system has historically overemphasized the importance of medical care in efforts to improve health outcomes. The result of this disproportionate spend is that Americans fare worse than other peer countries across many measures of health, including maternal mortality, life expectancy, low birth weight, and infant mortality. As our health caresystem shifts toward value-based care, leading provider organizations are studying non-clinical risk factors (e.g., social circumstances, individual behavior, 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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Systemness in Health Care

Systemness helps health care organizations better serve and support the broader goals of patients and the health care system, integrate their owned and operated components, and extend IT capabilities to the wider community of care. This transition to a ‘connected care community’ is necessary to successfully implement new care delivery models and drive the formation of a more agile, virtually integrated enterprise.

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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 organizations.

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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 organizations (and eventually patients) to design and produce products on demand, cheaply and efficiently.

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