AHIMA launch new EU collaboration in AI and Telehealth.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Frontiers Health, along with  the Healthware Group, recently agreed to a content collaboration that will serve health care professionals in both Europe and the United States.

It comes just prior to the launch of the annual AHIMA Conference, this time Virtual, in just 10 days time. (We will be talking with Michael Bittner, AHIMA Media Director, early next week, on  the key notes to be covered)  In meantime – What they say is this:

“Frontiers Health is recognized across Europe as a transformative organization with a long history of promoting innovation in health care,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “Like AHIMA, they see the human behind health information and health policy, making our collaboration a natural fit.”

Frontiers Health, in cooperation with Healthware Group, is hosting two education sessions, focusing on telehealth and artificial intelligence in health care, at the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference taking place October 14-17. The sessions will feature speakers from companies like CarePredict, Intouch Group, Kaia Health, Vitality, and Wysa, as well as other global players from the digital health space.

In addition, both organizations will collaborate on sessions at the Frontiers Health Hybrid Conference this November. AHIMA’s international team will host several sessions within an overarching theme of “Data Driving the Future of Health.” AHIMA experts will discuss data consent, privacy, interoperability, patient access to their health information, and more.

“This collaboration serves AHIMA members and health care professionals in Europe, as both groups will have access to new content and resources with a global perspective,” Harris said. “It will also help AHIMA increase its international footprint and reach health care audiences around the world.”

“I am pleased to expand our collaboration with AHIMA and look forward to hosting two dedicated Frontiers Health sessions at the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference,” said Roberto Ascione, conference chairman of Frontiers Health and CEO & founder at Healthware Group. “Frontiers Health will share its extensive knowledge and first-hand experience in strategic spaces like telehealth and artificial intelligence. Through its cooperation with AHIMA, Frontiers Health will promote and contribute to the pivotal role of digital health innovation in the new normal.”

EUROVISION ON STEROIDS. WELCOME TO THE HIMSS 2020 EUROPEAN DIGITAL CONFERENCE.

With decision-makers from healthcare in some 98 Countries – including Russia, Israel etc – booked to attend; and around 172 Speakers, including 45+ keynote Speakers, including the WHO, the US ONC, and of course the key Partners from Finland (whose are supporting this Conference) – this five day event is as good as it gets in terms of bringing together where healthcare is going and needs to go.

It is an interesting comparison. This Conference is just a week or two after the Nordic more local VITALIS event in Goteborg, but whilst VITALIS is essentially inward looking, a focus for its local market – HIMSS Europe has always been an outreach for its Nordic contingent. Nothing has changed here.

When I spoke a few days ago with Sean Roberts, the VP EMEA of HIMSS, he told me that the clear focus of this year’s HIMSS Europe – is Innovation; the bringing together of the smaller and new vendors alongside their bigger and more established sponsor brothers, and taking new ways of doing things, into healthcare management.

Sean has decamped with his wife and his dog, from California to the leafy environment of Berkshire, just a 30 minute train ride into the UK capital. He is an anglophile who knows the restaurants of Chelsea even better than I. Despite the Finland original focus, the bedrock of this virtual event is a TV Studio in West London, and the biggest beneficiaries of this event may well be the domestic UK NHS. It is a journey for both of them.

What HIMSS says about itself is you can expect a “Powerful 5-day virtual experience facilitating partnerships and collaborations for digital healthcare transformation; a Unique combination of live, and “simulive” and on-demand sessions, with the opportunity to participate in live polling and Q&A throughout. Plus an Interactive, robust chat and networking capabilities that will allow you to connect with your peers and solution providers, with an unrivalled opportunity to pitch, profile and connect with key industry stakeholders”.

If there is a major and standout difference from earlier years or indeed other events organisations – it is the 3D Exhibit floor; the Lobby (see our image above) – and the virtual networking. HIMSS has been preparing for this sort of virtual reality for some years, even since the days of Steve Lieber – and you can say that COVID has been a wake up call – but looking back, it has been obvious that this is a way of interfacing that makes sense if done properly. The TV and “games” look and feel of the Lobby equals anything redolent of PS2 entertainment.

We are looking forward to the mix of protagonists as much as the Speaker advice. No doubt see you there.

GDPR. Seven essential data protection measures for Startups and Companies

The Uniscon company in Munich has sent us this timely and important warning note that – sure, our office is our home, is our kitchen, is our bedroom – but it is also the least secure of any aspect of our company data.  In the same way as Wifi based home appliances are a gateway into our personal data – so our corporate laptop on the kitchen table is the same, into our company. They set out what you need to look for;

Digital transformation of the economy has opened up many new doors for cybercriminals. Companies must take appropriate measures to protect themselves and the data of their employees, customers and partners. But what do they need to consider?

Most of the provisions of the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) boil down to a simple requirement: those responsible must guarantee the security of sensitive data. Violations can quickly become expensive: In the case of particularly serious data protection violations, the GDPR provides for fines of up to €20 million or up to 4% of the total annual turnover achieved worldwide (see Art. 83 GDPR). Following we present seven essential data protection measures for companies.

1. Compliance assessment
Compliance—this is, the observance of laws and regulatory requirements—affects all companies, but to different degrees. Depending on the industry, additional guidelines may apply in addition to GDPR and BDSG, for example, in the field of competition or financial law.

2. Risk assessment
As a next step, companies should carry out a risk assessment. After all, the more sensitive the data that is to be collected and/or processed, the more elaborated the measures to protect it must be. Assessments of this kind often require the support of a data protection officer.

3. Encryption
It goes without saying that sensitive data must be encrypted both during transmission and storage[1]. Sufficiently encrypted data is considered secure per se; even if data is lost, it cannot be read or recovered by attackers without the appropriate key.

4. Pseudonymization
All information that would help identify the user is removed. For example, the names of persons are replaced by randomly generated character strings. This way, the useful data remains but it no longer contains sensitive information.

5. Access controls
Introducing access controls into your company’s workflow is also an efficient method of minimizing the risk. The fewer people have access to the data, the lower the risk of accidental or deliberate data damage or loss.

6. Backups
Backups can help to prevent data loss due to user error or technical failure. They should be created and updated regularly. While regular backups add costs to your business, potential business disruptions are usually far more costly.

7. Deletion
Under the GDPR, companies are obliged to delete the data that they do not need (see art. 5 and art. 17). Consequently, companies need to draw up an appropriate deletion concept. Depending on the type of data, this concept should also specify deletion periods and durations.

“Ultimately, companies must decide, whether they take appropriate measures themselves or use the services of third-party providers specializing in data protection and data security”, says Ulrich Ganz, Director Software Engineering at TÜV SÜD’s subsidiary uniscon. “Depending on the industry, the size of the company and the type of data collected and/or processed, this can save costs and simplify processes. For example, if companies use certified services, they can prove that they already fulfill their control and due diligence obligations as required by law”. This allows companies to concentrate on their core business—and leave data protection to the experts.

Do Virtual Conferences Work?

We review the latest CX Conference from the team at IQPC London, and ask; who needs hotels when you can join in from your own bedroom?

It’s not quite what it  seems. And it may not be a case of “either/OR”…. Angela Johnson, Speaker at past Data conferences, messaged us to say that “she likes to do both, as  both have relevance”. So that’s clear then; you get a lot from just listening to Speakers and delegate questions online, from the sanctity off your office desk or home study; and you get the benefit of impromptu conversations and competitor information, from the essential face/face conference format that we all know.

But life is different now. The Virtual Conference by necessity, will become the de rigeur essential format for any conference company from, now on, for two reasons. First, conference companies have to survive, and there remains an appetite from interested corporates in accessing experience and information, even if remotely. And second – this is too good an opportunity for additional revenues, at a time when all of us are increasingly habitualised into doing everything from our homes. Why travel to a conference, when we don’t even travel any more to our own office? Ha!

The trick, is to bring together the same expert elements, regardless. And this Telco CX, Customer Experience, event, – does not disappoint.

Speakers from some of the world’s most well known corporates, including BT, T-Mobile, and delegates from equally visible brands, exchange questions and answers.

At a time when my home WIFI is intermittent at best, I found the technology to bring people together, was seamless; I had easy access from my MacBook to the presentation screens, I could hear the speakers responses. And if I popped out to walk my dog, or make a cup of tea – well, I could always go online tomorrow and revisit the whole thing.

This conference, despite its apparent customers focus – was designed around the technology to deliver benefit, or the corporate process for delivering a consumer success. It differed from earlier events, which tended to be more HR oriented.

But unlike the more conventional personal conferences, I found that there are no distractions. You log onto a Virtual conference for a reason, and I found myself listening intently to each speaker.

I missed the opportunity to chat to vendors – but I saw this as a work in progress. There are substantial avenues for Content delivery and vendor outreach and I am sure that IQPC will be developing that in due course. I have already registered for the next one in May.

Welcome to our Annual Himss Orlando 2020 Survey

The cancellation of this year’s HIMSS – has left a hole for many vendors, as to how to reach out to their necessary market, and the reverse, how can hospitals and clinicians follow what is going on?

Every year we receive about one hundred or so requests for interviews and editorials, from PR companies and their healthcare clients. We take here what we feel are the most interesting of these and most relevant, and simply tell it like it is. We publish what they themselves have to say. And we invite you to make direct contact with the vendors concerned. Access to our report will cost you around $2.00, which gos towards our costs of putting the data together for you. And you can use our search bar on our site, to find any topic that might not be immediately visible that we might have spoken about here or earlier.

So.. here we go!

WorkJam: fancy a 20-minute chat with Mark Sagurdesky, co-founder and chief product officer at WorkJam, a workforce management platform used by health providers? Mark will be at HIMSS20 in March. 

Long hours, overnight shifts and stressful work environments have long made healthcare a demanding profession – often resulting in burnout among workers, meaning increased staff turnover and decreased productivity. And while in recent years, hospitals, health systems and advocacy groups have tried to curb the problem, high rates of burnout still persist among the medical community.

With this in mind, healthcare providers must be prepared to reduce additional stress put on associates, or risk losing some of their most valuable team members. Here are a few topics Mark can discuss:

* Ways to prep and communicate with staff during an epidemic, such as the flu or coronavirus
* How to prevent and combat burnout among nurses and other associates
* Strategies healthcare providers can use to support nurses during busy seasons
* Workforce management strategies for retaining healthcare associates.

Addison, the Virtual Caregiver™, will be presented for the first time at HIMSS20. Developed by Electronic Caregiver, a 24/7 virtual care and health technology company, Addison is the game-changing solution to America’s caregiver crisis.

As the caregiver gap continues to widen, an alarming number of people will not be able to rely on loved ones to care for them in old age. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the population aged 45 to 64, the peak caregiving age group, is expected to increase by just 1 percent by 2030, while the population aged 80 and older will rise by a substantial 79 percent.

Not only will there be less caregivers, but an AARP study, Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs, showed that  unpaid family caregivers spend, on average, nearly 20 percent of their personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to caring for a loved one.

Addison, a state-of-the-art, 3D animated caregiver, is designed to help fill in the gaps when a caregiver can’t be there, trimming health-related expenses and offering support for seniors and those living with chronic conditions.

CredSimple is a New York-based health-tech software company focused on credentialing, provider data, and compliance for healthcare organizations. CredSimple announced last month its acquisition of Glenridge Health, a premier technology-enabled provider network management solutions company – which now makes the company a complete end to end solution for network management for some of the biggest health care providers like Oscar and Clover. CredSimple has experienced explosive growth with 2x revenue growth each year for the past three years— and with this acquisition they are well situated to corner the marketplace.

The Macadamian company has written to us about Voice and AI. What they say is this….AI in Medical Imaging and in combination with technology such as Voice Assistants will transform healthcare workflows to the benefit of patients and clinicians alike, whilst reducing costs.

They say you can learn more at these sessions at HIMSS20:

1.Transforming Medical Imaging with Artificial Intelligence March 10th, 1:30 PM | Leadership Theater, Intelligent Health Pavillon Booth 7273
Timon LeDain, Director of Emerging Technologies, Macadamian, and Mads Jarner Brevadt, CEO Radiobotics

Commercializing AI-enabled digital health tools is a complex process. Referencing a recent solution Macadamian developed with Danish consortium partners Radiobotics and the Bispebjerg Hospital, the considerations, and lessons learned in designing, developing and undergoing clinical validation of an AI-enabled clinical decision support system will be discussed.

2. Why Great Voice AI Means Putting AI Last;
March 11th, 11:30 AM | Innovation Theater, Intelligent Health Pavillon Booth 7273 | Scott Plewes, VP User Experience & Analytics

Voice Assistant-enabled digital health solutions have already proven to benefit healthcare and evolving AI capabilities will only make them better. Still, solutions can have “great” AI and bad results. We’ll share overlooked considerations and common mistakes you need to take into account before you develop your voice AI solution.

There has been a lot of hype around the transformative nature of AI in healthcare, yet both providers and vendors are still in the midst of determining both practical use cases and how to assess and test AI algorithms to ensure the safety and efficacy of the solutions they are being integrated into.

Live demos in the Intelligent Health Pavillion
The following demos will be showcased in a guided tour that will take place throughout the day.
Chronic Disease Patient Management Platform – MiCare allows patients with managing chronic disease to track their symptoms over time with the aim to help them identify behaviors that improve or mitigate their symptoms. Clinicians on the platform can get an overview of their patients’ progress to help them identify what to focus on next in their treatment plan.

Alexa-Enabled Virtual Coaching for Diabetes Management – Macadamian’s My Diabetes Coach is a voice-first diabetes management solution that leverages a breadth of patient data to deliver automated coaching that helps a patient with diabetes better manage their condition. It also connects them with their care team and can support escalation to a diabetes educator via secure messaging.

Cloud-Based Medical Imaging Collaboration Tool – The Clini-Share portal provides a streamlined approach to diagnose patients with rare diseases. Clini-Share assembles de-identified patient MRIs, genetic information and pathology images to improve diagnosis and provide objective imaging biomarkers of disease progression and response to treatment.

Alexa Voice Control in the Operating Room: Improving Efficiency – During surgery, surgeons sometimes have requirements for additional equipment, or other items to be brought into the OR, and rely on the circulating nurse to gather these items. Being able to communicate with the circulating nurse after they have left the OR would be beneficial. The OR Alexa voice skill enables a user to speak a free form request that would be converted from speech to text and then sent to a mobile device carried by the circulating nurse.

Macadamian will be demoing their new Macadamian HealthConnect Platform as a Service that helps enable MedTech and Pharma digital innovation product development teams to accelerate the development of secure and scalable digital therapeutics, digital health applications and software-as-a-medical-device products.

We were very interested to read the following news from Annika Haberland talking about wearable remote data devices. This fits a growth in devices for such areas as clinical ECG monitoring etc. Expect to see more. What she says is;

BioIntelliSense, Inc., a continuous health monitoring and clinical intelligence company, today announces the U.S. commercial launch of its medical grade Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform and FDA 510(k) clearance of the BioSticker™ on-body sensor for scalable remote care. BioIntelliSense offers a new standard for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) by combining an effortless patient experience with medical grade clinical accuracy and cost-effective data services.

The BioSticker is an advanced on-body sensor that allows for effortless continuous monitoring of vital signs and actionable insights, delivered to clinicians from patients in the home setting, thereby creating unique opportunities for early detection of potentially avoidable complications. Through the platform’s data sets and analytics, highly-efficient care is now possible at a fraction of the cost of traditional remote patient monitoring.

“We are at the inception of a remarkable new era in healthcare that will employ medical grade sensor technologies to effortlessly capture remote patient data and generate personalized clinical intelligence,” said James Mault, MD, FACS, CEO of BioIntelliSense.

BioIntelliSense is built on the foundation of a sophisticated team of engineers and data scientists with decades of expertise in wearable sensor development. With these distinctive capabilities and proprietary technologies, the company is poised to help transform care delivery under the leadership of Dr. Mault, an industry veteran who has an accomplished business and clinical career that has culminated in a number of successful connected health ventures.

BioIntelliSense has established a strategic collaboration with UCHealth and its CARE Innovation Center to demonstrate the value and clinical applications of the BioSticker device and medical-grade services. This alliance is committed to developing and validating new models of data-driven care that are patient-centered and built for scale.

“The future of healthcare will see the lines blurred between the hospital, clinic and home,” said Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer and Chair of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The use of the BioSticker device for continuous health monitoring enables us to monitor a patient in their home and recognize when a patient may have an exacerbation of illness even before they manifest symptoms. This may reduce hospitalizations, emergency department visits and shorten hospital stays, creating cost efficiencies for health systems.”

—————————

And Axel Wirth of the Medcrypt company, is leading a session Cybersecurity: To be Proactive or Reactive, that is the Question, on. 1:15pm – 2:00pm Thursday, March 12, at Hall A – Booth 400 – Cybersecurity Theater A. What he will discuss is:

“Building a capable security organization and infrastructure is often driven by trade-off decisions and compromise. How does one achieve optimal security by balancing investment into technology vs. process? “ Using the industry’s current approach to securing medical devices as an example, this session will analyze current capabilities and examine evidence on whether we are on the right track or if an adjustment of our strategy is required.
The aim is to discuss the current approach to securing our medical device ecosystem identify, based on subjective evidence, the strength and weaknesses of the current industry strategy, and describe how to differentiate the advantages and disadvantages of the respective elements used.

 

ends.

As said generally, we at ProfoMedia make no endorsement of any of the above – but we recognise the need for any vendor to have airtime and visibility. We are pleased to help where we can.

Is AI finally getting traction in Healthcare?

Ahead of Rare Disease Day (Feb 29), Ashley Yum has written to us,  to offer us the opportunity to speak with Steve Costalas, CEO, HVH Precision Analytics, about how AI and machine learning are being used to help diagnose rare diseases faster and more accurately.

HVH Precision Analytics is a joint venture between the world’s largest health and wellness network Havas Health & You , and Vencore,  and specializes in AI and machine learning data analytics.

At a time when take up of AI in healthcare is surprisingly low, this collaboration is looking at  how AI/big data can identify symptoms of disease 3-5 years before diagnosis, – and using RWD and RWE to find undiagnosed patients in healthcare databases – and finally, – · leveraging data to support the rare disease community beyond diagnosis.

And they have some interesting side announcements, if you will…

95% of rare diseases do not have an FDA-approved treatment, significantly limiting treatment options for the 400 million people living with a rare disease.

7,000 rare diseases have been identified, but only 5% have FDA-approved treatments.

The total number of Americans living with a rare disease is estimated at between 25-30 million.

The average time it takes for rare disease patients to receive an accurate diagnosis is 4.8 years.

However, they are  excited about the progress that’s been made in recent years thanks to AI, and  they would love to share  what they  think is in store for the future.

Ashley can be contacted at; ashley.yum@HVHprecision.com

WHY ARE BIG COMPANIES, BIG? IS IT BECAUSE THEY LOOK AFTER THEIR CUSTOMERS?

We look at the recent CX Network Conference in Stockholm and ask, maybe it’s more than that?

The next question, which I haven’t raised – is; well, if you are a small company, but you want to get bigger – well, is it just a matter of customer focus? Sorry to say, but the answer is alas No. But I think you knew that already, although some of the answers about attitude etc, might surprise you. I will come back to that one.

If you’re going to talk about Customer experience, then there is no better place to sit down at Fika time and chat with friends, – than anywhere in Sweden. Communal consensus and discussion in Scandinavia is a religion and disturbing any colleague as they break for lunch is like interrupting someone at Communion. But this is 10.30 in the morning.

So here we are; drinking our glass of milk and nibbling on our cake, and we are looking out across the water towards Gamla Stan. Pretty much all the big names are there; Vattenfall, Danskebank, Sweco, and I could go on. Each one looking at the alchemy of – how do you translate the act of dealing with a customer, into an actual repeatable experience that transforms your business to “stand out in a sea of sameness”.

And what the delegates and speakers say is that – customer experience does not start with the customer. It starts with the employee. The problems of employee engagement are bigger than the simple act by comparison, of reaching out to the guy whose payments to you, contribute towards your personal mortgage. If you cannot communicate your corporate focus and reason for existence, within your organisation, there is precious little chance of spreading your gospel beyond that.

In the past, this message has not been understood by management. It has translated into an act of self-harm called “Managed HR”, where numbers and individual performance, ie, measurable stats, have taken prime position.

The message here at this Conference, is that life has moved on. Engage with your own employee – and by default you will engage with your customer. You could say this is a triumph of human values over corporate monotony, but the key message from Stockholm and this CX Network event, is that if you can motivate and create an employee experience, then that individuality will take you beyond the “me too” of everyone else in your vertical market.

After launch we talked in small groups about the mechanics of this process, we talk about innovation, of being brave, of making mistakes in the way you communicate. The best presentations were those who were Ok to admit that “guys, we did not know where this would take us”.

And sure, this is not going to reach the heights of an away day at Disney. There will not be the emotion of a roller coaster ride. But there will be for sure the light-bulb moment.

But the bigger surprise is that this is a pan-market discussion; the usual vertical market focus of a typical CX Network event, has been surpassed by bringing everybody together from wherever they come from, from banking thru Energy, thru Retail, thru data and analytics – to HR. And perhaps that is the secret sauce of this meeting of minds. Ultimately, people are people, and human nature is human nature. Reach out to the individual – and you grow as a business. That’s how you do it.

IS THE UK NHS THE VICTIM OF ITS OWN STANDARDISATION?

We all agree that having healthcare standards is a great idea. But what if those standards no longer reflect society? We give a four-point RoadMap that every hospital and surgery should follow.

It’s a truth universally accepted that hospitals, and healthcare in general – are not keeping pace with the demands put upon it. The common excuse, equally universally trotted out – is that – well, – there are just too many people, too little funds. We all live too long, and there is less porridge for the three bears. Goldilocks will have to wait for the second sitting.

It’s a lovely story, if only it were true.

The unfortunate facts are that there are plenty of new advances in clinical improvements. Dozens of brilliant apps that monitor and send your health data wherever it needs to go. And more than enough new ways of managing yours and my health processes, better than we have ever done it before.

So what’s the problem?

What it comes down to is – unless you are one of the very persistent few – almost equally universally, none of these advances will ever get taken up. They get squashed and quashed under the mountain of fear of making change. As they used to say in the sixties, nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM. Or not adopting anything else.

And the excuses are many and varied, and they range from – “well, let’s wait until the hospital down the road does it, and we can see how they get on” – to (and this is my favourite – ) “we only ever procure when there are two of anything”. Which means that, by definition, advances that are ground breaking – and that may well be fully tested elsewhere – will never see the light of day because of their very uniqueness.

Somehow, the reliance on rules that might have worked once, has metamorphosed into a protection for the hospital, and an obstacle for the patient. And its a funny thing.

Fear of making change is manifested in various ways. The obvious and simple one, is the routine adherence to protocol, to frameworks, to rigid pathways. It is what I call the “Baby P’ scenario. What if the patient could have been saved? Not our fault. We were following the rules, mate!

I totally “get” the need for a fixed process. Any large institution – and there are non larger than the UK NHS – need a clear process, that guarantees basic universal care. But this attitude, of either passively putting up a barrier – or increasingly alas often, proactively putting up barriers – and that we see so often in this sector, far from leads the way into better healthcare. It guarantees that we stay stuck in ways of behaviour, of technology that simply does not work any more, and that puts lives at risk.

This is most prevalent in areas such as Diabetes, or in theatre management. And now more recently, in telephony and call handling. Hands up the last time you got through to anyone in less than five minutes?

We are not talking about small numbers here. Whole regions are seeing exponential rises in costs, because of a simple refusal to adopt new proven practices. The growth in personal health data, smart watches, means that you and I and the rest of the civilised humanity, have already invested personally in devices that can save us. We just want our hospitals and clinics, to do the same. After all, they are actually paid to do so.

If I asked earlier – what is the problem – then what is the answer?

First – throw away the reliance on frameworks. They are our of date. In the modern world of open metadata access and speed of data delivery, hospitals can make instant judgements on any mix of criteria.

Second – ensure you have a process for adopting new technology, particularly mobile based. Look for the solution to a clinical problem, not wait until you are forced to make a choice.

Third – ditch the protocols of management behaviour. Look at each individual scenario.

And Fourth – recognise that society itself has moved on, and demands better from its professionals, – and that it is right to demand better. There is no value for a hospital of surgery in only defending it’s interests. We pay these institutions to defend our interests, not theirs.

The fact is – as we have described earlier in these pages – healthcare has moved into a Community setting, where prevention and early diagnosis can be identified so much earlier and faster. This has meant a sea-change in attitudes as to where to spend money, and a battle between the various silos of the whole healthcare process, to protect their own individual pots of money.

So where do we go now?

First, we need to recognise that this article is simplistic – that the divisions of primary care and secondary care – of CCG and Hospital, are ingrained. And whilst this article puts the onus firmly on hospitals to change management attitude – it may well be the outreach of a proactive CCG that determines where our healthcare is going.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite the issues of the above reflections, there remain plenty of hospitals and clinics that do indeed follow these mantra, who each month have a clear day where they review technology, who engage with non-NHS organisations in order to get a wider and more critical view. As my colleagues in Edinburgh NHS tell me – “if you always do what you always you did – then you will always get what you always got”.

At a time when there is pressure and PR to invest more financially – the need right now is be brave, in our view – and redefine the structures.

Because without this – patients will increasingly vote with their feet and go into some sort of private scenario, and slowly but surely, the management attitudes and strictures that drive the NHS at all levels, will bring itself down. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

DOES AI WORK IN HEALTHCARE?

 

We take a look at a recent Study from across the Pond by the guys at Black Book Research, and ask – why are we not having the same results in Europe?

If there is ever a case for not believing what you hear, or putting your finger to your face and pulling your eyelid down – “you’re kidding, right?” – it is in the happy figures that are quoted by Hospitals about their impending use of AI.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, AI is frequently confused with “let’s do a bit more work on our EHR”, or more simply – “AI is a technical solution so we give it to the CIO to solve.”

When handled correctly, AI is none of those things; rather, it is a clinical evaluation of what we need in clinical management, and work backwards from that.

We see frequently, in the Uk as our base, hospitals having little or no plans or concept as to what actual benefit can be achieved – and in some cases, actually throwing out the AI project they had started in the first place. One Consultant told us he had moved back to pencil and paper.

And yet, the concrete figures from across the Atlantic from colleague Doug Brown at Black Book Research, are compelling and convincing. What they say is; some “44% of healthcare organizations already report using AI in one form or another, and 88% of surveyed C Suite officers expect widespread implementation in next 5 years.”

Practical benefits include, in the USA at least, significant reductions in payments claims being refused, because there is a faster, more accurate process for matching data from all relevant parties.

Whilst the Study spends a lot of time talking about Coding and IT issues – it also goes on to pick out those vendors who have best succeeded in giving a practical advantage to all sides. Doug goes on to say; “Overall, 89% of all hospitals surveyed report cutting transcription costs in half or more while improving the transparency of dictation and transcription processes within one year of implementing end-to-end coding, CDI and transcription software tools. 94 % of providers realized operational efficiencies without impacting clinician workflows. “

What is becoming apparent is that in healthcare, despite the need for enhanced platforms and IT speak etc – the key driver is the identification of what actual benefits you are trying to achieve – and then let the tech do the rest.

Do Lawyers need AI? Good question…

We look back at the recent IQPC Conference on the need for AI, within the legal profession, and ask – who needs this anyway?

It’s a stupid and naive question. Lawyers are the byword for heavy and voluminous documents and the search for precedence.  You can argue  that if anybody needs some sort of automated way to find the data that will  get you  out of jail – it is your lawyer.  And whether this is criminal or private or commercial – the economics are clear; understanding  and devising new ways to handle a legal process – and then automating it – can save billable hours.

And that is the question, and why this intriguing and intensive and experience lead two day event,  was so critical – and explains why of all industries, the legal profession is the last to seriously take a peek under the hood, of the benefits of an AI process.  In a market that so depends on its billable hours – why would you want to reduce your billable hours anyway?

It took a day of separate speeches and discussions and coffee networking – before on Day One, we reached this nadir. It was worth waiting for.

Key speakers and delegates from some of Europe’s leading brands, had flown in from across Europe and taken the DLR  from across the road, to meet at Canary Wharf, and listen and contribute. A key strategy and benefit of an IQPC event is the informal inclusion. Nobody is afraid to say what they mean, and everybody understands that the more they contribute, the more they benefit, from everybody else.

In many ways, the informality belies it’s importance as a means of sharing important best practice. And this allows the delegates to ask the difficult questions. Day One, where we were present, allowed all parties to go beyond their earlier preconceptions that billable hours are the key essential, set that aside, and say :”well, there are other ways of doing this now”. 

What is clear is that – unlike say financial services or Chief Data environments, the legal profession does not come to the table with a problem  that it has to fix. People don’t use lawyers because they want to – it is because they have to. This has allowed the profession to do its own thing, in its own way. Up to a point.

Sure, this Conference was friendly, supportive.  Key corporate legal decision makers rubbed shoulders with public sector movers and shakers. Networking around the water cooler on steroids if you will.

But what is clear, now, is that internal competition from one lawyer to the next – and also the growth and competence of Inside Counsel, has woken up the need to be more commercial. The need indeed for survival, in a real world, has finally kicked in.