At Dell Technologies, we continuously think about the future of healthcare, and how our solutions can help organizations put digital technologies to work while making a positive impact on patients, care providers and the community as a whole. To that end, we partner with healthcare organizations on how they can best apply next-generation technology to drive innovation for high-value clinical workloads like the electronic medical record (EMR), medical imaging and digital pathology, while enabling secure patient care. All of the data from these applications represents the next frontier in digital health.
This journey to the future of healthcare spans the continuum of care, starting at the patient’s home, moving through the ambulatory or acute care setting, proceeding through clinical admission to discharge, and covering everything that happens after the patient returns to the home.
This blog provides a condensed version of this complex journey, to show how healthcare providers can reimagine smarter and safer patient care delivery — for both today and tomorrow. The systems and technologies described here all exist today. The futuristic element lies in bringing them all together into a tightly integrated and highly efficient approach to patient care.
The patient/constituent lifecycle begins at the home with a preventative health focus, in which the patient is provided with ongoing wellness education, lifestyle management recommendations, and behavioral counseling support or information mapped to their individual needs.
When the patient feels ill or experiences an injury, the journey begins with remote triage supported by digital technology, including things like EKG, heart rate, pulse oximetry, otoscope exams, dermatological exams, oral exams, fetal sounds (for expecting mothers), belly sounds, and electronic thermometer and other modalities. All relevant information is collected either during a video visit or gathered directly by the patient prior to triage. Clinicians can then use this information to help put the patient on the path to recovery.
On-site ambulatory physical visit
Patients who require in-person care and are unable to get to the hospital on their own are remotely provided with a transportation service. For patients who have their own transportation options, a wayfinding and parking application is initiated to preselect an appropriate parking location or arrange valet parking.
Upon arrival, the patient is recognized via mobile devices and or identity management capabilities, such as an in-motion retinal scan. Care teams and facilities are then alerted, and rooming capabilities are initiated.
Wayfinding in the facility is delivered to the patient’s mobile device or family to track, direct and guide the patient to the right location. During wayfinding, patient records are delivered to the clinical team, along with information gathered during remote triage. As the clinician enters the room, passive identity management logs in the caregiver to the applications required to support the patient.
As the treatment process continues and diagnosis occurs, data collected throughout the session is automatically entered into the hospital’s EMR system through a natural language processing (NLP) application designed for healthcare. In the background, artificial intelligence (AI) analytics suggest possible treatment options. As the clinician treats the patient and additional data is gathered, the clinician drives the next steps in the patient treatment process, supported by inferences provided by the AI engines.
Acute care admission
In the event the ambulatory visit results in an acute care admission, additional functions fall into place. A rooming application is launched in coordination with environmental management to establish the appropriate room space for the patient and the patient’s family, and patient transport is alerted to prepare to move the patient in a timely fashion.
The patient room
In the patient room, technology helps care providers, patients and their families tremendously. For example, NLP interaction in the patient room can become the interface for a wide range of devices and capabilities.
Here are some examples of technology at work in the patient room:
- Intelligent displays show the images chosen by the patient through a multifunction bedside device capable of supporting a myriad of capabilities.
- Controls are activated for temperature, fan settings, window shades, lighting and audio, along with intelligent displays for video conferencing, view replacement, clinician interactions, gaming and more.
- From the clinician perspective, automated identity recognition and contextual record management are engaged upon room entry.
- Video conferencing and AR/VR capabilities enable the patient to engage with family members and participate in social activities while enabling patient-centric education about their illness or the procedure in their treatment plan.
- Computer vision monitors the patient in a private and HIPAA-compliant fashion for fall risk, pain assessment, family care delivery and other functions.
Nurse station and virtual care center
Technology advancements in the nurse station streamline the time required by care teams to input critical information into EMRs and other applications while enabling care providers to work remotely and still interact with those who always need to be close to the patient.
Meanwhile, the virtual care center serves as the central point for monitoring of patient vitals, needs and progress. In this environment, care teams capitalize on their specialties by leveraging all data points collected from the patient and by using AI models to help coordinate care for the patient. In this manner, the virtual care center becomes the center of a patient-focused health and wellness program.
All of the collected data, whether genomic, pathological, microbiome or traditional vitals, etc., is brought together to form a clear picture of the patient’s needs. Additionally, data on near-real-time responses to medication administration provides insights into diagnostics. AI inferencing is used to help guide physicians and clinicians toward a best diagnosis while leaving the final clinical decisions in the hands of the staff.
The procedure and trauma bay
Should the patient require a procedural treatment, the treatment plan begins with patient education. Children, for example, gain from gamification through AR/VR methodologies that help explain the treatment procedure in simple ways. In the case of an adult patient, 3D renderings help ease concerns and explain proposed treatment methodologies.
Drawing on these same technologies, care teams enter the trauma bay with a clear plan of action and all the data they need to tackle the procedure most effectively. The trauma bay is equipped with technology that, in real time, informs care team members in the trauma bay and specialists working remotely with insights from data analytic engines.
In aftercare, sensors and technology collect information on a patient 24/7 and relay that information to a centralized virtual care center. Sensors and technology also offer predictive inferencing on such things as when a patient is reawakening from anesthesia to enable the more efficient use of staffing resources.
Convalescence begins within the nursing station with a defined rapid pathway to convalescence at home. Intelligent medical devices are used both in the hospital and upon discharge.
Discharge for on-site ambulatory physical visit
As the in-person visit ends, automated standardized documentation based upon diagnosis is populated to the EMR along with any final recommendations from the clinician. As a part of discharge, electronic discharge information and patient education and therapy are prescribed.
Upon discharge, the parking application will once again be engaged to bring the patient back to the…
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