Shortly after Thanksgiving last year, Ron Cobbley woke up with a stiff neck. Ibuprofen did nothing to help the South Jordan, Utah, resident. Soon the pain became so intense that Cobbley headed for the emergency room at Intermountain Healthcare’s Riverton Hospital.
Several MRIs and CT scans later, Cobbley’s doctors noticed a staph infection nestled where his collarbone meets his sternum. The doctors ordered surgery. While recovering, Cobbley, 74, turned on his hospital room’s high-definition television, outfitted with a zoom camera, speakers and microphones, to meet with Dr. Todd Vento, Intermountain’s medical director of infectious diseases telehealth services.
Vento conducted the post-operative evaluation from his office at the system’s Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, its flagship campus. He examined Cobbley’s incisions and spoke with the local care team to discuss medications.
If you believe that digital health and orthopedics seem mutually exclusive, then you are sadly out of step with the times.
At a panel presentation about alternative payment models and bundled care at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Diego on Tuesday, speakers clearly signaled that virtual therapy would be used more and more in the future. Especially now when bundled care programs like the CMS-mandated Comprehensive Care of Joint Replacement (CJR) is in place in 67 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.
That should be good news for digital health startups in the field who are eager to prove the clinical validity of their products, as well as help hospitals to lower the overall cost of joint replacement procedures.
Illustration Credit: MedCity News
The Silicon chip and the stethoscope have long gone hand in hand. Indeed, Moore’s Law, a widely used forecast of rising computing power, can often seem to be nudging healthcare into the realm of science fiction, with life-saving high-tech innovations coming at a rapid rate today — and plenty more in the pipeline. That is surely good news for investors, and not only those with a medical focus.
“The potential for growth extends beyond the traditional healthcare sector,” says Sarbjit Nahal, head of Thematic Investing at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. With the provision that rising chip speeds can render a promising technology obsolete all too quickly (DVD, say hello to cloud streaming), here are the top five innovations Nahal and fellow “futurologist” Joseph Quinlan, head of Market & Thematic Strategy at U.S. Trust, think may offer investment opportunities in the years ahead.
Illustration Credit: Merrill Lynch
One of the most common misconceptions is that Virtual Reality is just for entertainment.
However, researchers, doctors and scientists from across the world have been exploring the use of VR in military and healthcare for decades. This accumulation of data has since exploded with the universal funding and adoption Virtual Reality is receiving from giants in the industry.
In turn this makes VR more affordable and accessible to the mass market, once a very big factor holding the technology back holding it back. We’re going to explore Virtual Reality in the healthcare industry and how it’s shaping the future for people across the world.
By VR BOUND
Illustration Credit: VR BOUND
Virtual reality is creating a safe space for patients and care providers in the healthcare sector. Not only can it help surgeons in training prepare for new operations, but it can also ease the minds of patients who may have had prior negative experiences. By offering more education to patients and providers alike, virtual reality is making for a kinder, more experienced health care service that has everyone’s best interest at heart.
These ten virtual reality companies are making strides in the healthcare sector by offering training opportunities, haptic feedback, and more considerate patient relationships.
Image Credit: Disruptor Daily
Spend enough time with Larry Smarr and, chances are, he’ll invite you to step inside his colon.
Like more than a million Americans, Smarr has inflammatory bowel disease. Unlike most, he also runs a cutting-edge institute replete with reams of ultrafast computers, crack graphics programmers, a towering wall of digital screens and a pitch-black virtual reality cave — all the better to summon up a digital 3-D version of himself that he calls “Transparent Larry.” Among its features is a larger-than-life replica of his colon that includes every nook, cranny, and section of inflamed tissue.
Smarr, 69, is a physicist widely recognized for his work on creating the national network of campus supercomputers that evolved into today’s internet. Now, he runs a futuristic institute called Calit2, housed on the University of California campuses in San Diego and Irvine, that works to advance a host of fields, including medicine. For the last decade, he’s been turning technology on to himself to quantify his body’s most intimate workings, with no clear idea where the experiment might lead.
Image Credit: Jurgen Schulze, UC San Diego
People who turn to WebMD in their quest for health information can now do so without lifting a finger – they can use their voice, through a new integration with Amazon Alexa.
As of today, people who use the voice-assistant service can launch the WebMD skill on any Alexa-enabled device (such as the Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV) and ask a question about a range of health-related topics including conditions, medication, tests and treatments. Alexa will respond with WebMD-sourced answers in easy-to-understand language.
“Every month, nearly one-third of the total online U.S. population turns to WebMD’s websites and apps in search of answers to their health-related questions, but now they have another option – and it’s as simple as asking Alexa,” WebMD Vice President Ben Greenberg, whose product team developed the new voice capabilities, said in a statement. “There are a number of reasons that voice-enabled interfaces are growing in popularity – they are generally hands-free, people can talk faster than they type, and when done right, they make it easier for consumers to quickly and easily get to the information they need.”
Image Credit: Amazon