Better Health Care, Technically Speaking

A few weeks ago, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase announced they were forming their own health care company, one that would use technology to lower costs. In China, tech giants Alibaba and Tencent are already changing health care, most recently with artificial intelligence that helps doctors interpret medical scans.

I believe we have barely begun to tap technology’s tremendous power to better serve our patients while reducing costs. That’s why, in 2014, my office launched Insight, a publication highlighting innovative health care technologies at our institution and at others.

We teamed up with physicians, faculty, students and colleagues in Information Technology to gather and report on the latest within Hopkins and also within other healthcare institutions. The latter section was called: Tech Envy!

Clinicians are often the ones who come up with great ideas for improving care. Johns Hopkins leadership provides the resources and collaboration that are needed to turn those ideas into technologies.

With telemedicine, we are able to care for patients who can’t easily travel to us. With our precision medicine initiative, we are using large data pools to help us understand how each patient is different, so our treatments are more likely to succeed.

Young people use apps all the time, and the rest of us are catching on. Our Technology Innovation Center (TIC) connects scientists and clinicians with software designers and engineers to develop apps that help people manage their chronic diseases.

TIC has launched more than 50 products since 2012, including EpiWatch, an Apple Watch app that helps individuals manage their epilepsy by tracking seizures and their triggers, as well as medication side effects.  This means better health for our patients; fewer readmissions; and easier, faster processes for our providers and educators.

I’m excited to see what’s next.

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