Why tech companies still haven’t fixed our ‘broken’ healthcare system

Silicon Valley has been talking about how “broken” U.S. healthcare is for years. Tech companies haven’t been shy about promising to “transform,” “disrupt,” and “revolutionize” the current system. But so far, they haven’t made much of an impact, despite Americans spending $3.8 trillion, or nearly 18% of our GDP, on healthcare in 2019.

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Social Media Apps

5 Takeaways From Big Tech’s Misinformation Hearing

Big Tech taking questions from Congress is becoming a quarterly event.

The latest edition came Thursday, when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai appeared virtually before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The hearing was centered around misinformation. It was the first time the executives took questions from lawmakers since the riot at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters on Jan. 6 and since the widespread rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine began.

Elder Man Using Tech

11 Ways To Identify The Best Tech Solutions For An Agency

With the volume of technology available, agency leaders face a tough challenge in figuring out what the best solutions for their organizations are. Introducing new technology that doesn’t meet your needs, or adopting tools without properly training the employees who will use them, is a waste of money.

Whenever a company invests in technology, it should bring an immediate benefit to the employees and the business as a whole. Below, 11 leaders from Forbes Agency Council offer their best advice on how to identify the most viable and valuable technological solutions for your agency.

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Elder Man Using Tech

Home Health Tech You Need To Watch in 2021

Some of the most interesting health tech trends at the outset of 2021 point to a future that merges healthcare with consumer electronics, two trends that have barely touched so far. At CES 2021, CNET’s Senior VP of Content & Strategy Lindsey Turrentine asked if they can provide better healthcare than in the doctor’s office when merged. Here are some of the most interesting health tech products that may bring us to that point.

Continuous monitoring

Health tech that knows you’re having an issue is just a tree falling in the forest unless there’s a connection to the healthcare system. Omron has taken an important step in that direction with its VitalSight connected blood-pressure monitoring system. It’s not a slick watch, nor does it take your readings passively, but when you do take a reading it automatically logs it into your electronic medical record and can notify your care provider if you need attention. Vitalsight is being made available through physicians.

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Doctor with vaccine

How Tech Helps Healthcare Providers Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine

With the approval of two COVID-19 vaccines (one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna) for public use, healthcare organizations in December began participating in a massive national inoculation program, the largest in more than half a century. The federal Operation Warp Speed initiative aims to produce and deliver 300 million doses of the approved vaccines. As with nearly every other aspect of the pandemic, the vaccine rollout requires organizations to operate far more quickly than they may be accustomed to. Details regarding every aspect of the program are still being determined, which creates confusion and uncertainty.

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Alzheimers Disease

Health Tech Unveiled at CES: New High-Tech Ways To Monitor Blood Pressure, Detect Alzheimer’s and Crush Germs

Good news, I have a heart. Bad news, it’s beating faster than it should. I know this for two reasons: I can feel it take a battering ram to my ribcage and the new OptiBP smartphone app just told me so.

Swiss startup Biospectal unveiled the beta version of its app at CES last week. The company sent me an Android phone preloaded with the app along with an Omron blood pressure cuff to try it out. Before you take your first reading, you need to calibrate the app with a traditional cuff. Then, you live your life.

To take a reading, I touch the camera lens and the flash lights up, measuring the blood flow in my fingertip. The app uses algorithms to figure out my pulse and blood pressure – in about the same amount of time it takes me to complete two big deep breaths.

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Blurred Hospital

Hospitals’ In-Room Cameras Enable Seamless Visits and Better Safety

As COVID-19 swept across the country last spring, teams at Banner Health quickly acquired more tablets so doctors could conduct virtual rounding and other critical communications from a distance.

The solution, though effective, wasn’t good enough for James Roxburgh, the organization’s CEO of telehealth.

The approach still required a nurse to enter a patient’s room with the tablet to facilitate each telehealth session. “The doctor could remain safely outside, but the nurse was still at risk, which seemed unnecessary,” Roxburgh says.

Convinced that Banner Health could do better, he reached out to his previous employer, VeeMed, a California-based telemedicine solutions company, as well as Intel to convert existing televisions in nearly 1,200 patient rooms into “virtual care endpoints” across the Phoenix-based system, which operates 28 hospitals in six states.

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Covid Vaccine

Health and Tech Giants, Including Microsoft and Oracle, Are Creating ‘Vaccination Passports’ So People Can Prove They’ve Had A Shot Before Boarding Planes or Entering Stores

Major companies, health organizations, and nonprofits announced Thursday morning that they were working together to create a digital vaccination passport, in anticipation of people having to prove their immunization status.

The Vaccination Credential Initiative (VIC), a coalition of organisations including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Cerner, Epic Systems, and the Mayo Clinic, are developing tech standards to verify whether someone has had their vaccine, it said in a statement Thursday.

The tech will help prevent people falsely claiming to be immune to the deadly virus, it said.

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Woman Wearing Fitbit

What’s Next for Senior Tech? 5 Insights From The Thrive Center

Technology adoption among older adults is growing, and there are no signs of slowing down: Those age 50 and older are using smartphones, wearables, voice-powered home assistants and other smart home technologies with almost the same vigor as younger people, according to a recent AARP report.

Three-quarters of this surveyed demographic indicate a desire to age in place. Helping them do so is a host of services and devices designed to support a healthier, safer and more independent lifestyle.

Tools that might once have seemed futuristic or out of reach are increasingly becoming a way of life, says Sheri Rose, executive director of the Thrive Center.

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Medical Network Tech

Lumen Health Tech Company Reveals New Data About Metabolism Training

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lumen, a health technology company at the forefront of metabolic health, has uncovered new data that reveals how training your metabolism is the greatest contributor to sustainable health and weight loss, not crash dieting.

The data analysis is based on 1 million metabolism measurements throughout 2020, as Lumen data scientists have discovered that metabolic flexibility, or the body’s ability to efficiently switch between carbs and fats as an energy source, is the key to optimal health.

By focusing on optimising their metabolism, users were able to increase metabolic flexibility by 33%. Two-thirds also reported losing weight at a rate of 2 pounds per week on a consistent basis.

On the nutrition end, users successfully completed an average of 12 hour fasts and mostly followed their personalised nutrition plan according to what their metabolism measurement prescribed. The top 2% were able to start their day in a state of burning fat for 4 consecutive days. Naturally, users also became more active and completed an average of 1000 more steps a day, and slept at least 7 hours.

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