5 Stories That Examine the Highs and Lows of Health Tech

Virtual care, innovation versus implementation, and the new Apple Watch all carry big implications for healthcare.

Healthcare’s digital transformation, despite its many positives, is not without hiccups. So, the challenge for healthcare leaders is to distill valuable, actionable insights from the hype. To do that, decision makers must look at what’s happening, the successes and the failures.

That’s where Healthcare Analytics News™ comes in. Every week, we examine the fascinating and frightening frontiers of medicine — facts, flaws and merits alike. And every week, readers vote on what matters most to them with their clicks.

>> LISTEN: Implementing AI Is Simpler Than You Think

This past week’s most-read stories reflect the need to consider the positives and negatives of advances in healthcare technology. From the excitement surrounding the new Apple Watch to the tension between innovation and implementation, our top five analyses approached each subject with scrutiny but not cynicism. Here’s what our audience members enjoyed the most.

But before you dig in, remember that this is very much a social publication. Did something you consider profound not make this list? Or did we miss an angle that you want us to explore? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

1. Video Counseling Can “Upskill” PCPs, Bringing Specialty Knowledge to Rural Patients

No primary care physician is equipped to handle the intricacies of a case that requires a specialist, but the constraints of the healthcare system sometimes require them to go it alone. Thanks to tech, that problem could be one of the past. A study has found that peer-to-peer videoconferencing might have helped survival rates among a cohort of more than 62,000 patients with liver disease. It’s not exactly telemedicine, but it’s promising nonetheless.

2. PX: Balancing AI and the Human Element in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence is producing measurable results in medicine. Clinicians, of course, continue to do the same — and much more — for patients. But tension tends to taint how healthcare professionals view algorithms. It’s up to healthcare leaders to make these two significant forces work together, in service of the patient.

3. Apple Unveils Health-Heavy Smartwatch with EKG Reader

The Apple Watch Series 4 was unveiled this week with a great emphasis on its health features. The device can detect when a user falls, alerting emergency services when appropriate, and it can monitor a person’s heart rate. It’s a step forward for Apple and the wearables market. But where these advances will take healthcare remains in question.

4. PX: Why Is Healthcare Innovation Lagging? Because Incentives are Lacking

Without the right incentives, medicine won’t get the right innovation, and clinicians won’t bother to use new technologies. Our panel of experts explores the carrot-on-the-stick problem and how healthcare leaders should respond.

5. In the U.S., Healthcare Data Access Is a Scavenger Hunt

Gathering data is key. Now that healthcare understands that idea, it’s time to pave better paths to information that can improve care, research and outcomes. But it won’t be easy, and every healthcare stakeholder must do their part.

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