The Most Exciting New Technology: 3 CIOs Reflect

New products are continually pouring into the health IT market, and the influx will not let up anytime soon — accelerator Rock Health just announced another record-setting quarter for capital investment in health IT companies.

Which new products and technologies are healthcare leaders most excited about? Below, three CIOs share their thoughts.

Geoff Brown. Senior Vice President and CIO of Inova Health System (Falls Church, Va.).
I'm extremely excited about new data analytic and enabling the integration of mobile health capability to patients, families and providers. Essentially, moving toward real-time trending and analysis and easier access and functionality options for those that need to participate in healthcare, whether that be patient, family, support or provider. 

Marcy Dunn. Senior Vice President and CIO of Catholic Health Services of Long Island (Rockville Centre, N.Y.).
I am most excited about the new and emerging tools for patient engagement. New technology is putting health information in the hands of the patient as soon as the information becomes available. This helps the patient to better understand their condition and become more proactively involved with their care. A well-informed and involved patient can better contribute to positive outcomes. 

At Catholic Health Services of Long Island, we currently deploy the Epic patient portal, MyChart, to all hospital and physician practice patients. We use this tool currently for some of the basic functions: We let the patient view their clinical results, exchange messages with their provider, view discharge instructions and clinical content relevant to their conditions, request appointments and prescriptions. 

However, as a result [of] the inspiration given to the industry by meaningful use and population health, I do think this technology will grow well beyond its current state…Already we are seeing partnerships between the [electronic medical record] vendors and fitness and health apps available for smartphones (like the Epic/Apple partnership) and other user devices. Letting patients and providers know blood pressure, blood sugar and other health indicators on a real-time basis allows for critical alerts and fills in the clinical picture of the patient with information obtained not just during the visit to the hospital or office.    

The 'big data' collected will add to what is available in the current EMR and contribute to treatment of the patient, and also be useful for research. Patients are also able to engage with other patients in internet-based communities such as 'patients like me' to learn of best ways to cope with conditions on all levels — clinical, social, economic — as an addition to what they learn from their provider.

Spencer Hamons, CHCIO. CIO and COO of Taos (N.M.) Health System.
I believe most of the innovative products coming to the market now or in the near future are medical devices that can be used at home, yet connect back to healthcare providers to provide insights into patient's health and behaviors at home. We all know that in this industry, more often than not, self-provided patient histories are tainted by half-truths, embellishment or omission. As home medical devices become more prolific and provide objective data to physicians and care providers, I believe we will see improvements in health outcomes, and faster recognition of health problems, allowing us to begin addressing those problems more proactively.

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