Blog archive - September 2017

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IoT & Future of Healthcare Automation

by Siddharth Shah 10 Sep 2017 | Add Comment

Internet of Medical Things is a space we recently covered and has led to several other areas that we are now looking at - smart hospitals, smart healthcare in smart cities and more. Part of the Visionary Healthcare program's job is to not only look at how emerging technologies are impacting the industry today, but also to look at how they will evolve in the future. So here's Frost & Sullivan's take on how the future of healthcare automation in the home setting, enabled by Healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) will look like. A fitting analogy would be of self-driving cars, which is the inspiration for this infographic. The tech advances in autonomous driving can be said to run in parallel with our depiction. Automation We believe we are at the first level of automation today. While most would argue, that we are beyond this stage already, bear in mind that we intend to point to maturity levels. When the entire (or at least most of) industry matures to achieve the conditions, we may consider attainment of that level. Consider the example of IoT home healthcare (attached infographic). How to read this infographic: We believe that automation in healthcare can be divided in to 5 distinct levels. As we attain higher levels (top part of the image), human involvement would reduce and would be taken over by tech such as big data analytics and artificial intelligence. The sensors, would behave less in silos, and more as a part of a larger ecosystem. The five depicted levels (boxes) provide a description of the level and examples from home health, and the lower part of the image depicts the timelines to attain these maturities. The below explanation will help better understand the image. The Home Health IoT Scenario: At the first Level of Assistance, most sensors a.k.a. wearables aim at assisting the collection of vitals and other fitness related data. Not all such devices may necessarily log collected data into a storage system automatically - there will still be a human component necessary. When the systems mature enough to have all (clinical or medical grade) data not only synced automatically, but shared (via cloud or other formats) with care providers (the entire care team!), we will have attained Level 2 - partial autonomy. We believe we are already in this transition, and we should be at this level in the coming 4-5 years. At Level 3, conditional autonomy will be attained when caregivers have all patient data at their disposal, but the appropriate care team member is alerted when specific vitals fall outside of pre-specified ranges. For example, only the endocrinologist / diabetologist is alerted for a patient's rising blood glucose levels, and other physicians on the care team are only provided an FYI notification! We imagine that we would have such systems in 6-8 years from now. In 9-15 years, when the system begins to provide automatic feedback to the patient, until a caregiver can respond, we would have attained Level 4, high autonomy. To continue with the diabetes example, a patient may be advised to have a small piece of chocolate when blood glucose levels display a downward trend (note - not when levels are low - that is too late). The diabetologist can then provide course correction recommendations, as necessary. Finally, we will be at Level 5, full autonomy when systems realize the patient may be in need of immediate medical assistance BEFORE the patient feels the need. The system can then immediately order a cab / ambulance, alert relevant caregivers and provide all the information to the receiving hospital in advance, eliminating any delays in treatment. This however, is a long-term scenario, probably attainable after 15 years form now. Note - Frost & Sullivan does not believe that AI will replace doctors. Hope you enjoyed viewing this infographic. Please feel free to reach out to discuss on the topic at or on Twitter - @Sid_Healthcare! Also, our recent report on the topic on Internet of Medical Things might also interest you -

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Yorktel Introduces Univago HE™

by Victor Camlek 05 Sep 2017 | Add Comment

Yorktel Introduces Univago HE™ Yorktel today introduced Univago HE described as the first and only all-inclusive telemedicine video services platform that delivers the versatility, reliability and security vital to affecting widespread telemedicine adoption. Yorktel indicated that it designed the product from the ground up explicitly for telemedicine applications. Univago HE™ has patent-pending technologies that ensure reliability and quality in every critical connection between patient and clinician, all with “touch-of-a-button” simplicity. Analyst View: Univago HE represents an important breakthrough in the challenge to make Telemedicine a routine component of the provider workflow. It creates the foundation to build out a growing array of Telemedicine services that will serve the needs of providers to improve the outcomes for patients regardless of the current staffing levels and in-house capabilities. Yorktel has presented important highlights about the produce. Univago HE is a fully managed subscription-based service comprised of everything needed to connect patients by video with remote clinicians, healthcare experts and family members. For each workflow/use-case, deployments include any hardware, software, licensing, analytics, reporting, support and on-site spares required to execute service. The initial release of Univago HE offers subscription-based workflows specific to ICU and Acute care, but future iterations will include compatibility for emergency, stroke assessment, behavioral health, patient surveillance, and general patient assessments – and care that extends beyond the walls of the hospital (e.g. home healthcare). With this rollout, Yorktel is now the only independently verified, HIPAA-certified service provider offering cloud-based telemedicine-as-a-service workflow subscriptions that are fully inclusive, featuring purpose built, healthcare specific video units. Over the past few years, Yorktel’s healthcare practice has grown exponentially. The company, which works with more than 30 health systems and 250 hospitals, has deployed more than 4,000 telehealth wall units and 400 cart systems. Security and Privacy Every aspect of Univago HE is private, secure and adheres to the highest standards. Univago HE™ is HIPAA-compliant (independently verified by Pivot Point Security), ISO 27001-certified, and hosted in hardened, SOC2-certified data centers to provide total patient privacy and security critical to any telemedicine application. Wall systems blend with the hospital environment to provide a non-intrusive window into patients’ wellbeing. When patients are being observed remotely, a notification and an audible bell alerts patients that a session has been initiated. Interoperability & Integration Univago HE includes a library of APIs and SDKs that allow for broad interoperability between Skype for Business clients, WebRTC browsers and traditional video conferencing systems, as well as integration into many different EHR/EMR platforms and clinical applications. Support for open standards and the inclusion of APIs and SDKs extend the value of the platform. Unlike the many closed, single-use systems in the marketplace, Univago HE can support multiple inpatient workflows such as patient monitoring in intensive care units (ICU), virtual rounding in acute units, stroke assessment, behavioral health, virtual sitter, interpreter services, and more. User (doctor/nurse) experience/ ease-of-use User experience at every touchpoint is paramount, and Univago HE empowers clinicians, administrators, patients and technicians with resources that are intuitive, devoid of complexity, reliable, and always available. Doctors must be able to respond to a request for a call from any device, at any time and at a moment’s notice; quality and timeliness of care depends on their ability to asses and communicate without technology being intrusive. The process of acknowledging, joining and consulting with a patient has been streamlined to match specific workflows. Included in Univago HE’s clinician-specific toolset are a number of additional assets that support ongoing activities and enhance the ability to provide care. The ICU Patient System boasts a precision camera with HD-quality picture and 20x optical zoom, fast and quiet PTZ operation, and a 24” touch-display with hardened Linux OS and embedded video client. Adjustable settings and controls, such as night vision, enable patient assessment in low light conditions, and camera bookmarks quickly recall saved camera positions. Physicians are provided full control over the patients far end audio and video, and with ‘Snapshot’ functionality, they can easily capture room and patient information. A clinician icon bar, with up-to-date notifications and alerts, ensures that the patient’s status is accurately monitored in a timely manner. Performance, Serviceability, Uptime and Reliability Software, services and equipment, which are delivered across highly resilient Yorktel data centers, are proactively monitored by the company’s 24/7/365 Video Network Operations Centers to ensure operational readiness and reliability. The focus on improving the serviceability of patient room enclosures is among the major considerations reflected in Univago HE’s design. The ICU patient wall system is modular, and QR code provisioning simplifies troubleshooting, reconfiguration and installation which, in most cases, can be completed by a single technician within one hour. Using the foundation of streamlined design, Yorktel Univago HE allows for quick response and resolution to any service issue, minimizing the impact on patients while maintaining higher levels of reliability. Any software or hardware faults that arise are managed remotely, resolving issues quickly. Spares of each module are held on site to enable swap out and return to operational readiness within a targeted time of 15 minutes. For healthcare providers, this alleviates concerns of unexpected expenses relating to labor costs to manage failure rates, maintenance for hardware and infrastructure, as well as mitigates risk of productivity and revenue loss from “down rooms” and “work arounds.”

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