KLAS etech Insight Blogs
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KLAS etech Insight Blogs
  • eTech Insight – Augmented Intelligence = AI for Healthcare
    AI Must Supplement and Not Drive Patient Care Decisions At the recently concluded 2021 KLAS Digital Health Investment Symposium, Dr. Robert Bart, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer of UPMC stated that AI should be referred to as augmented intelligence versus artificial intelligence in healthcare. His reasoning is that no physician should trust or rely entirely on the output of an AI solution to dictate their course of treatment for a patient. Rather, AI should be used to augment the phys...
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  • eTech Insight - Kill the Password
    Security Environments Using Passwords Are Obsolete All provider organizations face password-management problems as no providers have a single vendor enterprise application portfolio. Key challenges for password management are the following: The absence of systemized password management. (This should be rare as the occurrence of ransomware and other security attacks has prioritized security in the executive suite. Most healthcare organizations have implemented single-sign-on so...
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  • eTech Insight - Voice and AI Advances Improve Elder Care
    Resources to Monitor the Elderly are Expensive and Serial If you have an elderly relative or friend, you are likely concerned about how well their health is being monitored to ensure the highest quality of life. In some cases, a care provider service may be hired to look in on the person several times a week and to assist with cleaning, meals, and healthcare activities (e.g., medication refills and attending scheduled physician visits). The challenge with elder care home services is that, ...
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  • eTech Insight – Is the EHR Dead?
    Poor EHR Implementations Drive Provider Frustrations  A recent article in Forbes suggests the EHR is dead. At this time, approximately 90% of hospitals and clinics have EHRs installed to support patient care. The quick adoption of EHRs by providers to receive ACA money for implementing these solutions resulted in negative impacts to the providers. Very few provider organizations took the time to design or redesign EHR clinical workflows or to implement clinical personalizati...
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  • eTech Insight - MIT Digital Transformation Insights
    The Problem: Digital Transformation Adoption May Create Provider Disruption Challenges COVID-19 drove provider organizations to adopt new care delivery strategies based on digital technologies. Telehealth became a core environment for providing care services to patients. Organizations also realized that front-door mobile applications that connected to the organization’s web portal were becoming a critical feature to improving patient satisfaction. Remote patient monitoring strategies...
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  • eTech Insight – Smartphones and AI Transforming Dermatology
    The Problem: People Postpone Getting Suspicious Skin Lesions Examined Skin cancer is a serious disease, especially for those of us who live in high-altitude western states. Our sunny days expose us to more intense UV for longer. This results in an increasing rate of skin cancers. Here are some Skin Cancer Foundation statistics: One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. More than two people die of skin cancer in the US every hour. Having five or more ...
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  • eTech Insight - Big Technology Vendors Create New Healthcare Data Solutions
    The Problem: Efficiently Capturing Healthcare Data from Disparate Sources US healthcare has been plagued by the inability to efficiently capture data from disparate sources. Having this ability could provide a more complete medical record for patients, and it could also support analytics and emerging artificial intelligence (AI) programs. The industry initially used HL7 2.X standards to format data sharing between disparate systems. These standards provided a framework but not the d...
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  • eTech Insight - How AI and Robot Caregivers May Change Homecare
    The Problem: Homecare Requires “At-The-Elbow” Healthcare Support COVID-19 brought both new capabilities and new challenges for delivering healthcare services to patients’ homes. Digital technology advances are delivering effective and efficient solutions that engage patients in their care while also providing real-time clinical results from remote patient monitoring solutions. Telehealth allows virtual care encounters that have proven to be not only effective but satisfactor...
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  • eTech Insight – Portable Smart Speaker Advances Oncology
    The Problem: Easily Accessing Useful Oncology Treatment Information Oncology treatment information may reside in many disparate cancer registries. Cancer registries collect information on patient demographics, types of cancer, screen mechanisms used, medication regime approaches, and treatment outcomes. Once a year, most state central cancer registries send information to CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR). Therefore, cancer registry data may be at least a year old and s...
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  • eTech Insight – Solutions for Data Cleaning
    The Problem: Bad Data Equals Garbage In and Poor Analytics Results According to surveys conducted by Anaconda and Figure Eight, data scientists spend 45% of their time preparing data, and data cleaning can take a quarter of that time. Data cleaning fixes or discards anomalous or wrong numbers and/or data and otherwise ensures that the data is an accurate representation of the analytics model it is meant to measure. Automating the task is challenging because different data sets requi...
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  • eTech Insight - Transformer Neural Networks for Advancing NLP
    The Problem: Current Neural Network Models are Confining and Expensive What is a neural network or deep learning? Simply put, these are networks that can support machine learning and natural language processing. MIT’s definition of neural networks is the following: “Neural nets are a means of doing machine learning, in which a computer learns to perform some task by analyzing training examples. Usually, the examples have been hand-labeled in advance. An object rec...
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  • eTech Insight – Advantages of Smartphones and Multimodal RPM Devices
    The Problem: Remote Patient Monitoring Needs Fewer Devices to Improve Care COVID-19 exposed the need to provide a new level of remote patient monitoring (RPM). The ability to continually monitor patients with chronic or acute care needs in their homes became a front-and-center requirement for healthcare providers. As providers dived into telehealth programs to create virtual care encounters with their patients, a key component of many encounters was missing—the ability to capture accura...
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  • eTech Insight - Will Social Audio Drive Better Patient Interactions Than Chatbots?
    The Problem: Improving AI Chatbot Interactions AI chatbots can be helpful or discouraging to patients. Some people are used to chatbot interactions from web portals and have no problem interacting with these services. Other people would like to have a real person interacting with them during a health portal session and are annoyed when chatbots pop up. Chatbots can also be annoying if the person moderating the chat is trying to accommodate too many conversations at one time or the response...
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  • eTech Insight–Smart Speakers Becoming Healthcare Monitors
    The Problem: A Multitude of Remote Patient Monitoring Devices May Impact Compliance Remote patient monitoring (RPM) may require patients to acquire various medical monitoring devices that can be attached to provide clinical data or that are worn to provide continuous patient monitoring. Patients might be required to have monitoring devices for blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, temperature, weight, or cardiac rhythms. Patients with multiple chronic disease issues or comorbidities ...
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  • eTech Insight – Synthetic Data Advances Clinical Research
    Personal Health Information Regulations Can Slow Clinical Research The U.S. government enacted the Privacy Rule* to protect individually identifiable health information, known as Protected Health Information (PHI). The protected information consists of “the individual’s past, present, or future physical or mental health condition, the provision of health care to the individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual, [and] any inf...
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  • eTech Insight – Healthcare Chatbots Will Enable Better Care
    Healthcare Resources Are Being Strained to Support Care Delivery COVID-19 exacerbated the impact that the lack of healthcare resources has on providers’ ability to deliver low-cost, high-quality, safe patient care. A recent article on emerging chatbots for supporting healthcare delivery services identified the following issues that need to be addressed to improve care delivery: According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, we’ll face a shortage of ...
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  • eTech Insight – The Potential of Kubernetes in Healthcare Services
    Big Data Environments Using Hadoop Have Peaked Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. It provides massive storage for any kind of data (e.g., structured and unstructured), enormous processing power, and the ability to handle virtually limitless concurrent tasks or jobs. Hadoop automatically creates data backups, so you lose nothing in the case of a cloud failure. Much of the cloud environment fo...
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  • eTech Insight – Using Video-Based Vital Signs Monitoring in RPM
    Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions Can Be Costly, Confusing, and Data-Quality Challenged Several challenges exist for broader, fuller use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) to support telehealth and in-home and acute care at-home services. An initial challenge is to convince providers that RPM  data is high-quality data, especially if some of the data is patient entered. Another challenge is if the RPM devices have intuitive designs for easy use. Finally, if patients are contr...
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  • eTech Insight – Connected Home Over IP May Drive Improved Home Health Care
    Emerging Digital Appliances Often Lack Standards for Interoperability Many emerging technology environments end up with disjointed capabilities for connections with IT environments or other devices. This results in tremendous waste for consumers as these solutions may be more prone to technical obsolescence and replacement costs. In many cases, the rush to get a digital appliance to market with a minimum viable market design results in early versions of solutions that may not support future u...
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  • eTech Insight – Real-Time Pharmacy Benefits Solutions Improve Patient Care
    Pharmacy Prescriptions Influenced by Drug Company Payments to Physicians Medication prices for consumers continue to increase with little justification from the manufacturers. Medication costs can result in patients becoming noncompliant with their therapies. This in turn creates healthcare issues, such as driving more emergency department visits, or worse, higher mortality. Medication costs are associated with financial incentives for the physicians to prescribe medications from manufacturer...
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  • eTech Insight – AI Predicting Health Outcomes May Lower Costs
    Timely Identification of High-Risk Patients to Minimize Healthcare Costs As the healthcare reimbursement model moves to value-based reimbursement, it is imperative that healthcare organizations identify high-risk patients for appropriate care services. CMS has implemented a star rating system to drive Hospital Compare, which focuses on the provider’s ability to deliver on outcomes, benchmarks, and quality indicators for reported services. These ratings are provided to consumers to ...
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  • eTech Insight – Will Skin-Printable Monitors Become the Next Health Monitoring Devices?
    Ensuring Patient Satisfaction and Compliance with Virtual Care and Telemedicine Before the COVID-19 crisis, consumers wearing digital monitors such as watches, or fitness trackers was a declining trend. The Accenture 2020 Digital Health Consumer Survey identified a drop in wearable technologies from 2018–2020. In 2018, using wearables to monitor the health status of a patient was at 33%. By 2020, it had dropped to 18%. The pandemic exposed the need for remote patient monitorin...
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  • eTech Insight – Voice Biomarkers Become a Key Disease Detection Solution
    Inexpensive, Readily Available Biomarkers for Disease Identification COVID-19 became a catalyst for providing virtual healthcare delivery services. As the pandemic raged across the country, providers began to immediately implement the use of telemedicine solutions to connect with patients who needed care but were also at high risk for virus infections. One challenge for the early telemedicine sessions is that providers were, in most cases, not able to have the most recent patient vital signs ...
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  • eTech Insight – Patient Care Decision Support
    Clinician Burden and Alert Fatigue Minimize Usefulness of CDS Clinical decision support (CDS) systems have been around for decades as a component of medication ordering across many EHRs. Solutions such as First Data Bank, Medi-Span, and Multum were designed with the intended purpose of making medication ordering safer for patients by providing alerts to physicians for medication conflicts related to other medications, laboratory orders, or dietary orders. While the intent was good, the implem...
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  • eTech Insight – Evaluating the Risks of Emerging Technology in Healthcare
    Balancing Emerging Technology Solution Innovations Against Risk CIOs and CMIOs are bombarded daily with emails and texts from emerging technology vendors that are desperate to find healthcare provider clients that are more likely to take on higher risk levels for new technologies that address critical healthcare delivery needs. Healthcare organizations may consider new innovative technology products if the associated risk factors are within the benchmarks set by executive management. Risk fac...
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  • eTech Insight – Wearable Technology is Emerging as a Key RPM Strategy
    Improving Healthcare Quality for Episodes of Virtual Care As healthcare reimbursement moves toward a higher adoption of value-based care (VBC), the ability to effectively monitor and manage high-risk patients becomes a critical factor for organization viability. The fee for service (FFS) reimbursement model focuses on managing patients that optimize the care delivery environments of the provider. In most cases, patients must travel to primary care clinics or to specialty clinics to receive ca...
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  • eTech Insight – March of the Killer Robots: The Good Kind
    Reliable and Safe Robotic Disinfection Processes for Healthcare Facilities Hospital-acquired infections and patients with highly infectious diseases have always been a challenge for healthcare systems to manage. COVID-19 elevated the need to develop a higher level of cleaning and sanitization processes to protect staff and patients. Healthcare executives acquired a new awareness of the needs for different housecleaning approaches that would be needed to provide safer, faster, and less costly ...
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  • Potential in Patient Engagement
    We all know that with the move to value-based care (VBC), patient engagement is a hot topic, and patient engagement platforms are getting a lot of love. There are a lot of companies trying to make the perfect platform. Patient engagement has been important not only with telehealth and VBC but also with the COVID-19 crisis. As we point out in two of our latest eTech Spotlights, PROCLE Healthworks and Force Therapeutics are two patient engagement vendors that are demonstrating ...
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  • eTech Insight – Telehealth Continues to Advance in High-Risk Market
    Telehealth Version 1.0–Lots of Players, Little Differentiation COVID-19 has forever changed primary healthcare delivery. To survive financially, physicians have had to quickly learn and implement telehealth solutions to deliver virtual care. The catalyst for implementing telehealth services was the Medicare 1135 waiver that reimbursed telehealth visits at the same rate as office visits[1]. This waiver was created to ensure patients would not be needlessly exposed to COVID-19 during an o...
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  • Navigating the Telehealth Frontier
    Back in January, when most of the world was still traveling regularly, we were privileged to attend a telehealth conference in Dubai. The conference was initiated by MWAN Events, a fantastic company with over 15 years of international experience that creates a variety of memorable and innovative conferences and webinars for the Middle East and Africa. At the Dubai conference, MWAN and KLAS struck up a conversation. We decided to keep in touch. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic reared its u...
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  • Pandemic Performance Part I – Vendors Stepping Up
    Now more than ever, the partnerships between healthcare providers and vendors are crucial to the success of the industry and patient well-being. Now months into the COVID-19 crisis, we have been able to reach out to our provider friends to see how well their vendor partners have supported them throughout the pandemic. We are excited to share these findings with you in our Vendor Performance in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis report. There’s so much to share on this topic...
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  • eTech First Look: Uber Health
    When we think about what is broken in the healthcare industry, it doesn’t take long to realize that the healthcare experience for patients is often subpar. Costs are also going through the roof, and outcomes have not improved with the increased spending. These reasons, among others, are why patient engagement has become an increasing focus in this industry—we have to find ways to improve patients’ health and reduce costs. Patient engagement becomes even more vital when we co...
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  • SDOH Framework 2020
    As healthcare providers, the social determinants of health (SDOH) can feel unwieldy and frustrating. How can you make sure your patient has a friend, enough food, and the counselling services they need? There are so many questions surrounding SDOH, but what many providers don’t know is that there is a growing number of technology solutions they could potentially rely on to help them with these problems. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in SDOH, and a lot of prov...
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  • eTech Insight – The Transformation of Primary Care and the Digital Technology Catalyst
    COVID-19 Exposes Gaps in Primary Care Systems The US healthcare system is one of the highest-cost environments in the world. But the high cost does not translate to better outcomes or healthcare quality. In 2019 the US ranked in 30th place out of 89 countries measured by factors that contribute to overall health[1]. US healthcare spending was $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per person in 2018[2]. Healthcare represented 17.7% of the US GDP in 2018.
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  • Building Up Steam: Colburn Hill Group eTech Spotlight
    Robotic process automation (RPA) has been around for quite a while, but now, amidst growing economic pressures, its adoption in healthcare is starting to heat up. RPA solutions have been showing a strong ROI and cost reduction for providers recently, and there are now many more providers who want to know which vendors can help them access these benefits. In KLAS’ new report, we take a look at a vendor that has been garnering high marks and attracting a lot of attention in this market: Colburn...
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  • No-code Mobile App Builders: Better, Cheaper, Faster?
    Commercial vs. Self-Developed Considerations for Mobile Apps Mobile applications are the foundation of digital solutions. As the healthcare industry transforms to a digitally focused healthcare delivery system, the ability to design and develop mobile solutions that support operational interactions will be critical for driving organizational efficiency. Community hospitals are unlikely to have the technical programming resources to design and develop mobile applications specific to their oper...
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  • How Doctors Are Helping the Poor and Saving Money
    Let’s say that you are experiencing heartburn. You go to the doctor, who prescribes medication and a healthy diet. The problem is that the co-pay for the medication is expensive, and you can’t afford the diet the doctor ordered.
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  • eTech Insight – In-Home Care - Complementing Remote Patient Monitoring
    Supporting the Last Mile of Patient Focused Care Some chronically ill patients may not have the ability or resources to trek to an urgent care center or a medical clinic to receive more advanced care that can be provided via telehealth. The US also has a reimbursement issue relative to in-home care reimbursement,[1] but this could be eliminated as the COVID-19 service/outcomes analysis identifies benefits of the approach. Being able to treat people in their homes is a key foundation for pati...
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  • eTech Insight – Data Aggregation Solutions Drive Big Data Accessibility
    Creating a Big Data Environment for Improved Analytics and AI Healthcare providers are keenly aware of the need to allow their data to be used by cohort organizations and technology companies to establish big data repositories that provide more accurate analyses and more sophisticated AI algorithms. Organizations such as Mayo Clinic sell their data to technology companies to facilitate advancements in AI[1]. Patient advocates are concerned that the data may not be deidentified to the extent n...
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  • eTech Insight – IoT Gateways Can Improve Telehealth Services
    The Problem: Teleheath Visits without Supporting Patient Vital Signs I’ve conducted two telehealth visits with my care providers over the last month. My annual physical visit started with a nurse validating my medications and any current health challenges. The PCP then reviewed my health status with me to determine whether I had any issues. I didn’t, so the next step was to complete my lab orders by visiting a reference lab. Once lab tests were completed, I received email notifications of...
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  • eTech Insights – Adaptive eLearning to Support Telehealth Services
    The Problem: Managing a Learning and Training Environment for Fast Paced Telehealth Provider organizations have been using eLearning environments for several years. In many cases, the organizations have not fully supported these environments or the education staff that supports and maintains these systems. COVID-19 will force healthcare organizations to focus their attention on expanding virtual and digital healthcare services. Telehealth will become a much more prominent and robust service o...
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  • eTech Insights – Smart Home Assistant Products Emerge as Consumer Healthcare Managers
    The Problem: Looking for Healthcare Support in Many Places Consumers looking for healthcare information and guidance generally have to access several different sources to find what they are looking for in order to manage and maintain their health or the health of their family. Many of these sources may not be trustworthy. COVID-19 misinformation has been spread on several social media sites, even with close inspection of site content by the social media vendors.
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  • eTech Insights – Digital Application Collaboration Drives Plug and Play
    The Problem: Legacy Architectures and Proprietary Data Sets Can Impede Innovation Those of us who have been in the healthcare IT business for several decades can attest to the fierce competitive environment that exists between vendors in the same market segment. Historically, Epic and Cerner are the most recognized competitors in the enterprise healthcare IT market. These two vendors have disparate architectures and data sets that drive two different approaches for data interoperability. The ...
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  • eTech Insights – The Digital IT Impact for Virtual Healthcare Delivery Post-COVID-19
    The Problem: COVID-19 Demonstrates Care Delivery Gaps in Current Model COVID-19 as a threat to the US population has demonstrated clear weaknesses and gaps in the current care delivery model. State and federal regulations that limited the ability to use telehealth for evaluating patients in their homes or in rural areas of the country have been exposed as indefensible in most cases, and those uses are now being reimbursed by CMS.
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  • eTech Insights – Democratization of Software Programming: Moving in the Right Direction
    The Problem: Software Programming is Expensive and Slow to Deliver Needed Solutions Just 2% of the worldwide population knows how to code, and the need for software developers is estimated to grow by 24% over the next seven years.[1] Software programming is expensive and, in many cases, delivered later than needed. Because of a lack of women and racially diverse people currently working in the space, the knowledge transfer between what users of those groups need and what software developers d...
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