Good4patients: The Futurist Issue

This week in Good4Patients, we bring you predictions of the future: visions of what may be on the horizon in healthcare, science and medicine.



Hospital System Turns Humans into Data-Streaming Devices

Christiana Care Health System in Delaware, one of the AHA’s Most Wired Hospital designees, is working on new kind of digital technology strategy: one that “wraps around” the patient, capturing data from EMRs, pharmacies, devices in the home, wearables, and the patient themselves, and enables the deployment of personalized, precision interventions when necessary. But we think the most important shift comes from technology opening doors to more patient engagement and collaboration in their own care.

Health and Medicine is. . . Information Technology?

Futurist, computer scientist, inventor and author Ray Kurzweil spoke to Forbes about his thoughts on digital health and the evolution of medicine, which go far beyond mere information collection. From reprogramming our own DNA “software” to applying the IT law of accelerating returns to healthcare innovation’s price-performance and capability, Kurzweil’s view opens our eyes to the potential of harnessing today’s technology for tomorrow’s patient.

 Software Principles Applied to Health Literacy

“Doctor as Designer” Joy C. Lee (@joyclee on Twitter), applies the principles of software design, computer literacy, and user experience to healthcare, and finds up coming up woefully short—in fact, contributing to a deep social divide between those who have the skills and knowledge to navigate an obtuse, complicated system and those who don’t. Rather than labeling people with “low health literacy” as the problem, perhaps we should focus on redesigning the systems and interface so that “any user could be successful at achieving health.”

 Ten Disruptive Technologies and the Regulatory Implications

As innovation speeds up exponentially (see Kurzweil article, above), regulatory and ethical frameworks must also adapt rapidly, keeping up with the pace of progress in order to protect patient safety and privacy while still conveying the benefits of healthcare innovation advances to people in need.