HealthTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en HIMSS20 <p>Follow our coverage of the HIMSS20 Global Health Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.</p> What Makes IoMT Devices So Difficult to Secure? <p>It wasn’t long ago when healthcare technology — and protecting it from harm — was relatively straightforward. In most cases, landlines and desktops reigned supreme; networks existed inside an organization’s own walls.</p> <p>Times have changed: Technological advancements and a growing number of use cases for mobility are easing clinical workflows and transforming care. One area of development, <a href="">the Internet of Medical Things</a>, is key to that evolution.</p> <p>IoMT devices are poised to save the healthcare industry $300 billion annually, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Goldman Sachs</a>, primarily through remote patient monitoring and improved medication adherence that can curb readmissions and positively affect reimbursements.</p> <p>With progress, however, comes new challenges. IoMT devices can be more difficult to monitor and protect than other wireless tools — and many find their way onto a given network without an IT department’s blessing. More than 60 percent of all medical devices are exposed to some degree of risk, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a recent report</a> from healthcare cybersecurity company CyberMDX.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Deloitte predicts</a> the market for these connected medical devices will grow from $14.9 billion in 2017 to $52.2 billion in 2022. It’s crucial, then, for healthcare systems to understand the vulnerabilities of IoMT tools and how to protect them — both today and in the future. </p> <ul></ul> Andrew Steger HIMSS Go Inside a Smart House Made for Adaptive Living [#Infographic] <p>When <a href="" target="_blank">Easterseals Southern California</a> set out to update a four-bedroom ranch house in Orange County, the nonprofit organization knew that implementing smart technologies could make life safer and easier for adult residents with disabilities.</p> <p>“Our goal was to look at what we could design for their unique needs, so they could take ownership of their home,” says Lupe Trevizo-Reinoso, vice president of living options at Easterseals Southern California, <a href="">in a recent <em>HealthTech</em> article</a> about the project.</p> <p>The makeover, though seamless, wasn’t extreme: Familiar tools such as tablets, <a href="">smart speakers</a> and Wi-Fi-enabled sensors were thoughtfully integrated to aid functions such as answering the door, adjusting the thermostat and turning on the shower. Caretakers remain on site 24/7 to provide assistance.</p> <p>Take a look to see what’s inside:</p> Kevin Joy 5 Ways Healthcare Tech Is Helping Tackle Coronavirus <p>Healthcare technologies are aiding in the fight to curb the transmission of coronavirus. As of Thursday, the illness — officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization — has infected more than 75,000, with a global death toll exceeding 2,100.</p> <p>Tools that already enable clinicians to streamline and expedite care delivery in a range of settings are helping some doctors more quickly diagnose (or rule out) coronavirus cases, provide virtual care and prevent the virus’s spread among populations.</p> <p>Many tools have been developed and deployed where the outbreak has hit hardest, says Dr. Jennifer Bouey, a RAND senior policy researcher.</p> <p>“China has already been leading some of the healthcare technology innovations because of the fast-growing demand of the healthcare sectors,” says Bouey, who also holds the Tang Chair in China Policy Studies at RAND.</p> <p>By testing more people and sharing more information faster during an epidemic, officials are more likely to slow a contagious disease, regardless of its origin or severity, says Dr. Ray Costantini, co-founder and CEO of, a virtual care platform.</p> <p>“Years ago, it would take months to identify an epidemic; we’re now doing that in days because of tech and the ability to do data analytics,” Costantini says.</p> <p>Here’s how several tools are helping the worldwide fight against coronavirus:</p> Craig Guillot Consumer Tech Makes Breakthroughs in Heart Health <p>Cardiovascular disease continues to be <a href="" target="_blank">the No. 1 cause of death</a> worldwide. So it’s no surprise <a href="" target="_blank">a 2018 consumer survey on wearables</a> found that blood pressure and heart health rank among the top biometrics users want to track. </p> <p>To do that, they’ll spend more than $10 billion this year on health and fitness technology, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a new report</a> released in January by the Consumer Technology Association and the Heart Rhythm Society. </p> <p>Many of those devices — such as smartwatches, smartphones and virtual reality headsets — offer plenty of nonhealth applications such as texting and gaming, but the underlying technology also lays the foundation for monitoring and improving heart health. Some functions can even facilitate tests and tracking that once required office visits and specialized equipment. </p> <p>A simple example is the smartphone camera, which measures heart rate through a process known <a href="" target="_blank">photoplethysmography</a>. The <a href="" target="_blank">Apple</a> Watch Series 4 and 5 can also carry out that process <a href="" target="_blank">to take electrocardiogram (ECG)</a> readings by using <a href="" target="_blank">light sensitive photodiodes</a> and infrared light. </p> <p>Consumer interest in personal ECG readings after the 2018 debut of the <a href="" target="_blank">Apple Watch Series 4</a> “is quite encouraging,” says Roeen Roashan, a senior analyst in healthcare technology at IHS Markit. “Most consumer tech companies, including Samsung and Fitbit, have since verged into this area.” </p> <p>And more developments are ahead: “Just a few weeks ago, [biometric sensor company] <a href="" target="_blank">Valencell</a> released very promising data on their photoplethysmogram sensor and its performance in measuring noninvasive continuous blood pressure,” Roashan says. “It outperformed gold-standard upper-arm cuffs.”</p> Tim Kridel What to Expect from 5G in Healthcare <p>The arrival of 5G has the potential to transform healthcare delivery by boosting speed and capacity while reducing latency. Although still in its infancy, this powerful network has big potential for healthcare. </p> <p>Among the possibilities: transmitting large medical images, facilitating telehealth initiatives and supporting remote patient monitoring tools — as well as enabling more complex uses of artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality. </p> <p>5G also will facilitate faster downloads and communication on mobile devices and tablets used in healthcare settings, and it’s likely to be <a href="">a fitting complement to Wi-Fi 6</a>.</p> <p>“We need an underlying network that can power the speed of connection with the breadth of data,” Robin Braun, Global Storage CIO for Healthcare at <a href="" target="_blank">Dell EMC</a>, recently <a href="">told <em>HealthTech</em></a>. “5G promises to provide that infrastructure and push smart devices and decisions from the core to the edge, creating secure, smarter data streams and enabling greater personalization.”</p> <p>Still, many questions remain, which is why healthcare leaders must understand the evolving 5G landscape and related challenges of the transition. </p> Adam Oldenburg Spring 2020 Make the Most of Your IT Strategy <p>In these busy times, who couldn’t use a little simplicity? That’s the wish for many in the healthcare IT world as mergers, federal mandates and <a href="">cyberthreats pose challenges</a> for administrators.</p> <p>For <a href="" target="_blank">Luminis Health</a> — which <a href="">recently deployed a software-defined enterprise cloud solution</a> that marries storage, compute, virtualization and networking capabilities in a centrally managed hyperconverged infrastructure — big improvements have resulted.</p> <p>Consolidating to fewer IT systems has allowed the Maryland-based health system to redirect staff resources, reduce system downtime, and save money by cutting vendor, licensing and even utility costs. Taken together, the fruits of this effort provide “the ability to do more with less,” says Ronald Nolte, associate CIO of Anne Arundel Medical Center, which became part of the Luminis network last year.</p> <p>One-quarter of healthcare leaders view industry consolidation as the most significant trend, marking the largest share of responses in a 2019 Definitive Healthcare survey. It’s why leveraging resources and streamlining systems for efficiency and safety across all facilities are critical. </p> Ryan Petersen How Easterseals Outfitted a Smart Home for Residents with Disabilities <p>After living most of their lives in state institutions, four adults with developmental disabilities gained greater freedom a year ago when they moved into a residential home in Southern California. Now, newly installed smart home technology makes it possible for them to live more independently and safely.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Easterseals Southern California</a>, which owns and operates the ranch-style, four-bedroom house, recently furnished it with smart devices throughout. Each resident has a <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Breezie</a> tablet and a voice-activated <a href="" target="_blank">Google Home</a> smart speaker, and can use them to control lights, the thermostat, the living room TV — even the garage and sprinkler system.</p> <p>The devices also allow users to open and close window blinds, turn on the bathroom shower with preset temperatures or unlock the front door to welcome guests.</p> <p>“We have Easterseals staff in the home supporting them 24/7, but our goal is to help them feel independent so they don’t have to ask somebody else, ‘Hey, can you do this for me?’” says Stacie DePeau, the organization’s CIO.</p> Wylie Wong