You can't see it or hear it, but the information cloud is here and it's changing every aspect of healthcare. As connected devices and digital health become a growing standard in healthcare, patients and consumers can expect device makers to take advantage of the cloud for everything from activity tracking, data collection, and electronic health records to patient diagnosis, predictive measures, and even supplier-side management.
Numerous surveys have confirmed that patients across all age groups would prefer the convenience of being able to access their medical records and device data remotely, and companies are leveraging the cloud to connect patients with doctors for remote consultations. The cloud promises not only easy access to health information but also an ever-expanding database of trends and conditions to assist doctors with diagnoses and device makers with implementing product solutions.
AliveCor, for example, is using its smartphone-based heart monitor to collect ECG data from patients all over the world to build a database that the company hopes will help provide predictive analysis of various heart conditions. And IBM has made no secret of its plans to leverage cloud-based technology against its Watson supercomputer to assist in patient diagnosis.
While the cloud is currently plagued by interoperability issues as well as concerns over privacy and security, a healthcare data system that can safely and effectively escape the silos built by individual organizations holds untold promise for patient outcomes.
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|Meet more agents of change in medtech at the MD&M East tradeshow and conference in New York City June 9–12, 2014.|
[image courtesy of ANTPKR/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]