Tag Archives: Medical Technology

Telemedicine: Growth Rate Peaked In April 2020, Stabilized During 2021

A year ago, we estimated that up to $250 billion of US healthcare spend could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Approaching this potential level of virtual health is not a foregone conclusion. It would likely require sustained consumer and clinician adoption and accelerated redesign of care pathways to incorporate virtual modalities.

  • Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. After an initial spike to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, utilization levels have largely stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties.2 This utilization reflects more than two-thirds of what we anticipated as visits that could be virtualized.3
  • Similarly, consumer and provider attitudes toward telehealth have improved since the pre-COVID-19 era. Perceptions and usage have dropped slightly since the peak in spring 2020. Some barriers—such as perceptions of technology security—remain to be addressed to sustain consumer and provider virtual health adoption, and models are likely to evolve to optimize hybrid virtual and in-person care delivery.
  • Some regulatory changes that facilitated expanded use of telehealth have been made permanent, for example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ expansion of reimbursable telehealth codes for the 2021 physician fee schedule. But uncertainty still exists as to the fate of other services that may lose their waiver status when the public health emergency ends.
  • Investment in virtual care and digital health more broadly has skyrocketed, fueling further innovation, with 3X the level of venture capitalist digital health investment in 2020 than it had in 2017.4
  • Virtual healthcare models and business models are evolving and proliferating, moving from purely “virtual urgent care” to a range of services enabling longitudinal virtual care, integration of telehealth with other virtual health solutions, and hybrid virtual/in-person care models, with the potential to improve consumer experience/convenience, access, outcomes, and affordability.

Read more at McKinsey & Company

Health: Hip Replacement Surgery Success Rates

The mission of COMPASS is to provide patients with access to comprehensive quality and safety data across a variety of Massachusetts General Hospital surgical specialties. In this video, learn about performance data for Mass General hip replacement surgery including its success rate and recovery and rehabilitation.

Medicine: ‘AI’ Can Predict Rheumatoid Arthritis

Medicine: The Future Of ‘MR Technology’ (Video)

We’re already integrating Adaptive Intelligence-powered applications into our MR systems, improving workflow and patient comfort, increasing diagnostic confidence, and increasing speed.

We’re already integrating Adaptive Intelligence-powered applications into our MR systems, improving workflow and patient comfort, increasing diagnostic confidence, and increasing speed.

Our Ingenia digital MR portfolio integrates Adaptive Intelligence-driven SmartExam analytics for automatic planning, scanning and processing of exams, helping improve the entire MR workflow, from image acquisition to reading preference.

Medicine: Robotically Assisted Heart Surgery

Robotically assisted heart surgery is a minimally invasive option most often used for mitral valve repair. Cleveland Clinic cardiothoracic surgeons explain how it works and what to expect.

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Medical Technology: The ‘3D-Printed Heart’ (Video)

Imagine having the option to get a 3D-printed organ. Well, a team of biomedical engineers from Carnegie Mellon University has just developed the first flexible, full-size, 3D-print of a human heart, bringing us one step closer to that reality.

Additive manufacturing printers are popular, but are typically known to build hard objects using materials like plastic or metal. But rigid plastic organs aren’t very practical. These printers could be used with softer materials, like biological hydrogels — you know, to make a heart — but those tend to collapse mid-print. But this new method can change the game.

The 3D-printing technique is called Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels or FRESH. It can print biological structures with soft squishy materials like alginate, a biomaterial made from seaweed, which feels like human tissue. AND it cleverly solves that collapsing problem during print by suspending flexible materials inside a container of gelatin.

For this team of researchers it all starts with a MRI scan from a real heart. The scan gets “chopped-up” digitally into horizontal slices by a program which then translates them into code that a printer will understand. A needle-like nozzle moves through the gelatin support bath, extruding thin layers of alginate. The layers stack on top of each other to build the shape. When the print is complete, it’s put in an incubator overnight, where the temperature is raised to 37°C to gently melt away the gelatin support structure, leaving only the 3D-printed heart.

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Health: ‘Risks & Benefits Of AI Revolution In Medicine’

It has taken time — some say far too long — but medicine stands on the brink of an AI revolution. In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Isaac Kohane, head of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, and his co-authors say that AI will indeed make it possible to bring all medical knowledge to bear in service of any case.

Properly designed AI also has the potential to make our health care system more efficient and less expensive, ease the paperwork burden that has more and more doctors considering new careers, fill the gaping holes in access to quality care in the world’s poorest places, and, among many other things, serve as an unblinking watchdog on the lookout for the medical errors that kill an estimated 200,000 people and cost $1.9 billion annually.

“I’m convinced that the implementation of AI in medicine will be one of the things that change the way care is delivered going forward,” said David Bates, chief of internal medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s clear that clinicians don’t make as good decisions as they could. If they had support to make better decisions, they could do a better job.”

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