Cloud solutions are offered in multiple areas like telemedicine, electronic medical records, medical imaging and patient management, which could be integrated by healthcare providers, payers and customers
By Sumanth Tarigopula, VP, Apps Global Delivery India, Enterprise Services, HP
Healthcare is a capital-intensive industry where the cost of healthcare is increasing more rapidly than the reimbursements resulting in cost economics driving the industry. The industry is highly fragmented resulting in inefficiency in the revenue cycle. Due to these reasons, historically, the US healthcare industry has been a laggard in adopting latest technologies.
Lately, the healthcare industry is undergoing a paradigm shift for technology adoption with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA) Act and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) being implemented. The provisions in the Acts provide massive funding for the adoption of latest technologies in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and the consumer-based services.
One of the major areas where the industry is seeing traction inÂ the transformationÂ of service delivery is through cloud services. This trend represents the convergence and synergy of cloud computing, mobility, and social media.
The cloud offers multiple advantages to the healthcare industry by reducing the capital expenditure and leveraging the existing assets, increasing the speed and flexibility of developing new applications.
Cloud solutions are offered in multiple areas like telemedicine, electronic medical records, medical imaging and patient management, which could be integrated by healthcare providers, payers and customers.
These solutions are offered on cost per transaction model, transforming the industry from capital intensive to cost-optimised model, providing limitless scalability and enabling the business to grow by offering additional services.
Health information exchanges
An EHR is systematic collection of electronic health information about individual patients or populations. Patientsâ treatment often happen at multiple locations like initial investigation with a primary care provider, lab tests with a lab provider and pharmacy intake with the pharma providers.
Due to this distributed care the care records are stored in multiple systems or as paper records resulting in limited access to the records when a provider has to review past records to provide treatment.
Health Information Exchange is a digital platform where electronic health records of the patients can be accessed by healthcare professionals from multiple facilities. The technology building blocks for HIEs are already available, and the impediment until now has been putting together all the disconnected systems with incompatible formats.
Earlier providers have to coordinate with multiple vendors for infrastructure, applications, security, etc and thereby overwhelming the healthcare IT departments and stretching their budgets then.
The cloud solutions are integrated, end-to-end, standards based solution with automated and streamlined workflows that enables collaborative care coordination for the patients.
By implementing the Health Information Exchanges, the healthcare industry is eliminating multiple impediments such as limited access to clinical patient information, increasing the cost of healthcare, increasing inefficiency and decreasing quality of healthcare delivery.
HPâs mobility based diabetes management solution
HP has mobility based Diabetes Management solution that would be a component of telemedicine solutions. As per the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) the diabetics epidemic is sweeping the USA and by end of 2020, an estimated 52 percent of the general population will be having either diabetes or pre-diabetes from 40 percent today and a leading factor in escalating the out-of-control healthcare costs. The cost of treating diabetes and related illness is going to reach USD 500 billion by 2020.
Given the heavy cost of diabetes, patient self-management is a critical element of treatment for diabetes. PatientsÂ with diabetes are encouraged to receive education and counseling about diabetes self-care from a certified diabetes educator and nutritional counseling from a registered dietitian.
Patients are instructed to self-monitor their blood glucose using a handheld glucometer, meter strips and lancets. Patient self-management may also require additional healthcare visits to review these activities and to adjust medications accordingly. Patients are also advised to pursue screening exams for high blood pressure and cholesterol, kidney tests, eye tests and foot exams.
HPâs Diabetes Management Solution is a mobility based solution that directly fits in to the tools that enable the patient self-management as part of the diabetes disease management programme.
The key trackers for patient in a self-management pro- Landing Screen BloodGlucoseLevel With Keypad Home gramme are controlling the glucose level and the calorific intake of the food for each meal.
Though there are multiple solutions available in the market to cater to the tracking glucoselevel or food intake, there is noÂ single solution that would combine the two trackers as unified solution. In addition, HP solution will provide the ability for health plans to post the reading materials and videos about diabetes management directly to the userâs devices through analytics.
The application is platform independent and majorly targeted for iOS and Android platform.
The application covers three major functionalities like tracking the blood glucose level, calorie intake and weight tracker in the personal profile. Blood glucose level monitor is integrated with the standard FDA approved solutions to get the real time data from the measuringÂ equipmentÂ to help avoid the data entry errors made by the users in a traditional setup. The process is more user-friendly helping the users to adhere to the programme tracking requirements.
The calorific intake counter is a more user-friendly solution that would help user to evaluate the food intake needs. The user will have the ability to reevaluate the food calorie intake by increasing or decreasing the food portions. Additionally, the analytics behind the solution will help the users to get the recommended food calorie intake for the members based on his history of glucose levels and the food intake in the past.
Technology adoption has been slower when compared to other industries in the past, with lot of incentives have pushed the industry to adopt latest technologies like cloud, mobility and social media in multiple areas like health information exchange, telemedicine, etc.
The adoption will transform the industry in to a more efficient one in controlling the cost and quality of care.