Monday, December 11, 2017

Healthcare – Technology – HIM

So, on my lunch breaks, I pull up You Tube videos on topics such as the future of healthcare and healthcare technology. (Feel free to insert nerd face emoji here – I take no offense.)  I find it both fascinating and encouraging that we WILL be in control of our own health and wellness.  It’s just a matter of time.

How is this possible you ask?  Through technology such as wearables, smart devices, and geo-typing,

Wearables which are currently in the form of wrist bands collecting our heart rate, calories burned and steps taken that day will advance towards smart clothing and adhesive bandages. The more data that can be obtained the better predictions can be made and preventative actions taken.  This data will be obtained through monitoring our excretions (yes, I am going there) – by analyzing data gathered from our number 1’s, number 2’s, sweat, and saliva, physicians will be able to see what we’ve been up to the other 99% of the time we are not in front of them.  This data will then be synced to our EHR. Epic (of course!) and Apple (of course!) have already partnered up to develop a tool for just this topic.

Some of this future awesomeness is already here with devices such as smart infusion machines monitoring the rate fluids are being delivered, programmable insulin and pain pumps, and robotic pharmacy dispensaries. The future tech on the horizon is bandages with sensors monitoring the moisture of the wound thereby alerting the healthcare professional it’s time for a change. Breath sensors that can detect illness, even certain types of cancer, before it occurs.  Hand-held breast exam devices will allow women all over the world access to early breast cancer detection.  There are devices that are being developed to track the rate of impact on the head in sports to assist with early detection of concussions.

Geo-typing or geonomics are being used to analyze why each of us respond differently to diet plans and fitness routines; thereby, in a sense, allowing a prescription of exactly what we need to eat and do to achieve optimal health.  As the saying goes – your genes load the gun and your lifestyle pulls the trigger.

So let’s stop here a moment and consider what we’ve just read.  With all of this data being collected when we are healthy; a personalized baseline can be achieved. Then when things go awry we can proactively take action to correct the situation.  Thereby, making it less likely for us to grace the doors of a healthcare facility.  This will save time and money – a win, win for everyone! I like knowing I’ll be the one driving the bus when it comes to my health and wellness.

So here’s where the plug for HIMer’s comes in because among all this amazingness are HIMer’s!  This is BIG DATA!  We have a seat at the table through data analytics and informatics, we just have to pull the chair out and sit down.

I can honestly say at this point in my career, I have seen our profession move up from the basement dungeons of hospitals with no sunlight to the beauty of the home office.  The future is so exciting and we’ve come a long way, baby!!


About the Author

Dee Mandley, RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P is the president and owner of D.Mandley and Associates, LLC.  She currently serves as as the OHIMA 2017-18 Board President.   

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