Thursday, August 04, 2016

Some Are Actually Making An Effort To Make Practical Improvements In The Technology Supporting Healthcare!

This appeared a little while ago.

Taking Bids on the Hospital of the Future

In Silicon Valley, Kaiser is testing new hardware and software.

July 22, 2016 — 9:00 PM AEST
Leo, a 68-year-old retiree, is out shopping when his heart rate becomes irregular. He doesn’t notice, but his wrist monitor does, and it notifies a distant team of doctors. They dispatch a driverless car packed with sensors and medical gear to get a closer look at him and, if necessary, bring him to the pharmacy or emergency room.
This is the future as imagined by Kaiser Permanente, which has built a mock-up of Leo’s home in a test facility not far from its Oakland, Calif., headquarters, and is looking for equipment makers who can help fill the rooms’ empty spaces. As Silicon Valley’s principal hospital system and insurer, Kaiser has a history of focusing on advances rooted in technology, but in the past few years, instead of forcing its 10.6 million patients to use the systems on offer, it’s begun pushing hardware and software makers to respond to patient demands, and supply what it thinks they’ll want in 10 years. “It frees us up so we don’t get so stuck on the realities of today,” says Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Tyson.
The auditions take place in a spartan 37,000-square-foot warehouse in the Oakland suburb of San Leandro. There, the model apartment for Leo—with spots marked out for motion detectors, sleep trackers, and a smart fridge—abuts mock hospital rooms, an operating room, and a neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors and nurses test equipment and practice new procedures.
Other staffers and patients try out some of the less exotic equipment, too, including telehealth software and a TV entertainment system that lets patients lying in hospital beds review their treatment plans, order food, call a janitor, or adjust the blinds on their windows using a remote, a keyboard, or their smartphone. Kaiser physicians now handle more patients via telehealth (59 million a year) than they do in person (50 million). Jennifer Liebermann, who runs the test facility, says patient feedback guided development of the TV remote system rolling out to a handful of hospitals and helped fine-tune it over the course of two years to make sure it was easy to use. Kaiser rejected at least one system interface, she says, after elderly patients deemed it too confusing.
Lots more (with pictures) here:
Compare and contrast how those who actually deliver care and politicians envision the future. I think I much prefer the former!

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