The world of healthcare today is a wellspring of technological innovation.
The telehealth industry is spanning gaps in physician-patient communication. Cutting-edge AI technology is improving the accuracy of diagnoses. More than ever before, innovators are changing the landscape of healthcare.
Yet with all this progress comes a new set of challenges. Practitioners are struggling to fund, evaluate and integrate new technologies into clinical practices.
The ACC has an answer. Following the association’s first annual Healthcare Innovation Statement in 2016, members created the 2017 Roadmap for Innovation in November, a health policy statement addressing the challenges facing the current field of health innovation. The statement seeks to establish a consensus among healthcare stakeholders in various fields in order to foster collaboration and efficiency going forward.
The statement identifies three primary fields of focus: Digital Health, Big Data, and Precision Health. Within these categories, the ACC aims to resolve the problems that practices often face in integrating new innovations into the workplace. It also outlines the founding of an “Innovation Collaborative” between the ACC and government-sponsored agencies, such as the FDA and NIH.
In addition, the ACC proposes the “Compact for Human-Centered Design”, a framework for innovation research and development that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of new healthcare initiatives. According to Michael Mi, a part time hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, “The Compact does help focus the attention of innovators. Rather than develop a technology because it’s cool and new, [it helps us] figure out what will benefit patients the most.”
The article identifies an increase in patient-doctor communication via telehealth strategies as a primary goal in the field of Digital Health. With the recent functionality of tools like wearables and smartphone-connected devices, practitioners are becoming better able to monitor a patient’s status out of the office.
The potential of practitioners being able to effectively monitor a patient’s status out of office is growing. In developing this communication, the importance of including patients from typically underserved or rural communities has grown
The statement emphasizes the importance of the patient as a collaborator rather than a “receiver” in their medical journey. In a world in which anyone can access clinical information simply by browsing the web, the ACC seeks to foster professional communication between physician and patient.
The ACC identifies the concept of “Big Data,” specifically the strategic aggregation of it, as another essential consideration in physician-patient communication.
The 2017 Roadmap advocates for open access to medical databases in order to allow patients access their Electronic Health Records freely. “The experience with movements like OpenNotes has been positive so far,” Mi writes. “I think patients like the openness and knowing that they are not missing any information about their health.”
Combining data from a diverse array of sources, such as wearables, EHRs, and genomic-sequencing technology, and analyzing it in a useful way will be an essential goal for the healthcare technology field moving forward. “I think it’s really great that the ACC is recognizing the potential impact that ‘big data’ may have on healthcare and embracing new innovations,” writes Mi. “I think up until now, most of the promises of “big data” has been unrealized, so it’s important to work on bridging the gap between hype and reality.”
Emily NcNeiece, a sophomore Publishing major at Emerson College, brings to MedTech a lifelong passion for the written word. As a current editor for Emerson’s Generic and Atlas magazines, and a reader for The Emerson Review, Emily loves engaging through text with the world around her. In her spare time, she enjoys cross-country running, short story writing, and watching just a bit too much TV.
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