A general healthcare technology trend I have seen used more, especially since Covid 19 is telehealth technology. If the patient knows how to navigate using a computer or smartphone, they can communicate with their primary or secondary provider without being in a clinical setting. I work for home care, and we serve some Veteran clients. The Veterans Administration (VA) will send the rurally located veterans a small tabletop computer to communicate face-to-face with the provider. The VA uses weight scales, blood pressure cuff monitors, and glucose monitoring systems with equipment sent to the veteran’s home that transmits information to the VA in real-time or weekly (U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2021).
The challenge to telehealth is broadband services, especially in remote areas. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report states, “America’s broadband builders are now trenching conduit, pulling fiber, and installing new high-speed cell sites at an unprecedented clip.” The FCC further reports “on March 31, 2020; the commission adopted a Report and Order establishing a three-year, $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program to help defray the cost of bringing telehealth services directly to low-income patients and veterans” (2020 Broadband Deployment Report, 2020). A potential telehealth risk is data safety. Any communications over the internet are at risk for interception and a target for cybercriminals. To protect oneself from the potential for protected health information (PHI) getting into the wrong hands, “healthcare providers should educate patients about cybersecurity and the steps they should take to improve the overall safety of their interactions online by” Pennic (2020)
● Educating patients about the telehealth security threats
● Using a VPN both during telehealth services and for general device usage
● Frequently updating all apps and operating systems, not just telehealth platforms
● Enabling anti-malware and virus scans to run all the time
● Restricting app permissions to what is necessary for app functionality only
● Recognizing social engineering and other types of cyber-attacks (Pennic, 2020).
I think the next big technological healthcare trend will be artificial intelligence (AI). Like using robots for specific surgical procedures. Health Tech reports using robots to decontaminate hospital or clinical rooms between patients by emitting ultraviolet lights to kill germs. Thermal cameras to detect temperatures of humans entering the building, and RDIF technology to track employee handwashing. Virtual reality to train healthcare staff (Joy, 2020) AI algorithms will save time, alleviate nursing shortages, and be more cost-effective in the future of nursing.
2020 Broadband Deployment Report. (2020, April 24). Retrieved 2021, from Federal Communications Commission: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-50A1.pdf
Joy, K. (2020, December 22). Healthcare Tech Trends for 2021: New Tools to Watch From robots to home-based care models, the past year’s wave of innovation is poised to continue. Retrieved 2021, from Health Tech: https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2020/12/healthcare-tech-trends-2021-new-tools-watch
Pennic, J. (2020, July 22). Telehealth and Cybersecurity: What You Should Know. Retrieved 2021, from HIT Consultant: https://hitconsultant.net/2020/07/22/telehealth-cybersecurity-what-you-should-know/#.YOYwvExOnSE
S.2197 – A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to increase the Federal medical assistance percentage for States that provide Medicaid coverage for telehealth services. (2021). Retrieved 2021, from Congress.gov: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2197?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22telehealth%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=2
U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2021). Retrieved 2021, from Welcome to VA Telehealth Services: https://telehealth.va.gov/
Discussion: Healthcare Information Technology Trends
Throughout history, technological advancements have appeared for one purpose before finding applications elsewhere that lead to spikes in its usage and development. The internet, for example, was originally developed to share research before becoming a staple of work and entertainment. But technology—new and repurposed—will undoubtedly continue to be a driver of healthcare information. Informaticists often stay tuned to trends to monitor what the next new technology will be or how the next new idea for applying existing technology can benefit outcomes.
In this Discussion, you will reflect on your healthcare organization’s use of technology and offer a technology trend you observe in your environment.
Reflect on the Resources related to digital information tools and technologies.
Consider your healthcare organization’s use of healthcare technologies to manage and distribute information.
Reflect on current and potential future trends, such as use of social media and mobile applications/telehealth, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled asset tracking, or expert systems/artificial intelligence, and how they may impact nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
By Day 3 of Week 6
Post a brief description of general healthcare technology trends, particularly related to data/information you have observed in use in your healthcare organization or nursing practice. Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described. Then, describe at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies you described. Next, explain which healthcare technology trends you believe are most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice and explain why. Describe whether this promise will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management. Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 6 of Week 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, offering additional/alternative ideas regarding opportunities and risks related to the observations shared.
I saw Telehealth become a big trend in the SNF I worked at during the beginning of the COVID outbreak. One of our providers traveled to multiple sites and was exposed to COVID; thankfully, she still saw the patients in our SNF via Telehealth. Telemedicine played an essential role in keeping providers and patients safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic (Monaghesh & Hajizadeh, 2020).
I just recently learned about the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system that tracks employee handwashing. After reading your post, I looked into it and learned that other hand hygiene tracking programs exist, such as Harmony, a program that works with a smartwatch, and an I-scrub smartphone app (Shiva Sagar & Krishnan, 2020). I think you are right about AI becoming the next big healthcare trend.
Monaghesh, E., & Hajizadeh, A. (2020, August). The role of telehealth during COVID-19 outbreak: a systematic review based on current evidence. BMC Public Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395209/.
Shiva Sagar, P. R., & Krishnan, R. H. (2020). RFID Based Smart Hand Hygiene Monitoring System for Health Care Institutions. 2020 International Conference on System, Computation, Automation and Networking (ICSCAN), System, Computation, Automation and Networking (ICSCAN), 2020 International Conference On, 1–6. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1109/ICSCAN49426.2020.9262326
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