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Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas – Healthcare Learning from Other Industries

Posted on January 22, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In my recent post about the Presidential Inauguration and Healthcare, I commented how many times healthcare stays in its closed environment and doesn’t learn from the other industries. This is true in many parts of healthcare IT and that needs to change. While healthcare certainly has special needs and requirements, the attitude that healthcare can’t learn from other industries needs to be corrected if we want to improve healthcare as we know it.

I saw an example of this when I watched this video that talks about the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. Look at some of the amazing digital signage technology they show in this video and think about how often you’ve seen them in healthcare.

The sad thing is that many people in healthcare have ignored these technologies with the excuse that they’ve been distracted by ICD-10, meaningful use, ACOs, etc. Certainly each of these items are big priorities, but many of the digital signage technologies mentioned in the video above could help a hospital or healthcare organization achieve their goals.

For example, one of the crazy ACO changes we’re going to see has to do with patient satisfaction. Yes, I know it’s crazy, but it’s coming. The more satisfied your patients are, the more you’re going to get paid. Could a virtual assistant video wall help to increase patient satisfaction? Could an interactive video wall that recognizes gestures provide the wow factor for the patients that visit your hospital? I think it could, but too many people in healthcare don’t get out of their office to learn about these technologies.

Near the end of the above video they say, “mobile is the action, the signage is the call to action.”

Think about this concept in healthcare. Imagine a video wall in your hospital that takes your hospital’s healthcare data and illustrates the challenges and costs of obesity to your health system. Then, alongside that digital illustration you have a call for patients to sign up for your weight loss program. Of course, this same concept could be applied to all of the healthcare initiatives your hospital is working on already.

There are a number of ways digital signage can be used in healthcare. Take a look at Leveraging Digital Signage in Hospitals for a number of examples and a post by Shahid Shah about using digital signage to create real service improvement. It would just be unfortunate if those in healthcare were “too busy” to take advantage of the technology options that are available out there.

I hope that many in healthcare will take part in the Digital Signage Expo (click image below for more details) so we can get some good cross pollination of ideas from what’s being done in other industries in healthcare.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I would walk up to a booth that I thought had no relation to healthcare. They’d see the words healthcare on my badge and almost every single time they’d say, “Oh, you’re in healthcare, this is how our technology applies to healthcare.” I expect the same thing will be true at the Digital Signage Expo.

I look forward to the day when healthcare is filled with amazing digital signage that engages patients and healthcare staff well beyond a static ad on the wall. The beautiful part is that the technology is already there. We just need to apply what’s being done in other industries to healthcare.

HealthSpot Full Patient Visit Kiosk at CES

Posted on January 8, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

For those of you who also read EMR and HIPAA, you know that this week I’ll be attending CES and the Digital Health Summit.

Today I stopped by the convention center and got an early look at the incredible setup that’s going on to make the CES show happen. By all accounts, I expect this to be as big and crazy as any CES show I’ve attended. Plus, I got an early look at the Health Spot kiosk which is stationed in the lobby between the central and north halls of CES. I’m glad I went today, because I’m sure that kiosk is going to be crazy the next 3 days.

With that said, I’d suggest that anyone in healthcare take the chance to stop by the HealthSpot kiosk. HealthSpot is taking on an enormous challenge. They’ve created a kiosk that provides a whole suite of medical tools and an online connection to a remote doctor. It’s a fascinating mix of medical technology to try and make the patient visit a much smoother experience for the patient.
HealthSpot Station
One use case that I found really fascinating is having a HealthSpot kiosk located in a hospital ED. In many cases one hospital ED might have a long line of patients waiting to be seen while their other hospital ED or quick care center across town might be sitting empty. Instead of making the patient wait or get sent across town to be seen, the patients can use the HealthSpot kiosk to be seen by an available doctor in the other hospital’s ED across town. It’s a fascinating use of technology to try and utilize the available medical resources across a health system.

There are a number of other use cases with one of the biggest being in retail pharmacies. Many have already started going to their local pharmacy for shots. It’s not hard to see retail pharmacies supporting some sort of office visit as well. If the price is right and the access to the doctor is more streamlined than your regular office visit, then this could become a common option. Plus, you can imagine that the price will be good since it’s a way for the retail pharmacy to get you as a customer. Once your HealthSpot visit is done, the pharmacy will have your prescription waiting for you before you leave. At least that’s what HealthSpot envisions happening.

Although, that’s really only the beginning of what HealthSpot hopes to achieve. HealthSpot isn’t selling these devices to other organizations. Instead, they still own the HealthSpot kiosks and plan to have a network of HealthSpot kiosks across the nation that are available to patients. In fact, they showed me a mobile app they’re developing that will allow someone to book an appointment with a doctor at a HealthSpot kiosk right from their mobile phone. In many ways it reminded me of how I reserve a RedBox movie from my mobile phone. I choose the movie and then find the nearest RedBox that has that movie. Replace movie with doctor visit and RedBox with HealthSpot and you get the basic idea.

Yes, they do have protocols in the mobile app and the kiosk that are defined by the providers to ensure that the HealthSpot kiosk visits are ones that can be treated through the kiosk interface. For example, I couldn’t book a HealthSpot kiosk visit for chest pain.

It seemed to me that HealthSpot still needed to work on the workflow for office visits that didn’t fit into a HealthSpot kiosk visit. They didn’t have the chest pain option. If I’m really experiencing chest pain, I’m likely to just choose another option if chest pain is not available and just wait until the visit to tell the doctor my real reason for the visit. This seems like an accident waiting to happen. Instead, I think HealthSpot should offer chest pain as an option. Then, if a patient selects it, they get a message to call 911 immediately (or some similar clinical protocol). I expect these types of issues will be worked out as HealthSpot refines the clinical workflows with their beta customers.

One part of HealthSpot that’s hard to describe in a blog post is how the patient kiosk handles the medical devices. First, a medical attendant (similar to an MA or front desk staff I’d assume) is their to assist a patient through the visit as needed. The kiosk has doors that fall open to present various medical devices such as a: Blood Pressure Cuff, Dermascope, Otoscope, Pulse Oximeter, Stethoscope, and Thermometer. Each of the devices is made available to the patient as needed by the doctor who is doing the visit remotely via video for the visit.

This video will also help to demonstrate how the HealthSpot kiosk works:

I’m sure that many are wondering about the cleaning and sanitizing that is provided for the kiosk. After the visit, the medical attendant is provided a check list of items that need to be cleaned, replaced and sanitized. Plus, the kiosk has a UV light that can clean and sanitize the kiosk similar to what is used in surgeries to clean instruments.

Like I said, it’s an experience that’s hard to explain in words. So, stop by the HealthSpot kiosk at CES to see what I mean. I also believe they’ll be at HIMSS in March where you can see it as well.

I’d of course be remiss if I didn’t talk about its connection with EHR software. They don’t plan on having HealthSpot be the full EHR. Instead they plan to integrate HealthSpot data with outside EHR software. Considering how casually they talked about integrating the HealthSpot data into an EHR, I’m pretty sure they haven’t started down that road. Maybe they have some in house expertise that has dealt with the challenge of this before, but I think they’re in for a big surprise as they try to get their HealthSpot data into EHR software. It should be academic, but it certainly is not.

Obviously, there is a lot that goes into the HealthSpot kiosk experience and I’ve only covered a few pieces of it. Like I said, they’ve chosen to take on an enormous challenge. I’ll just point out one other challenge: reimbursement for the visit. I was assured that HealthSpot has talked with all the payers and the payers are looking at the HealthSpot patient visit experience much more like an office visit than a telemedicine visit. We’ll see how that works over time and how the new e-visit laws effect this, but I expect that any changes to e-visit laws will benefit someone like HealthSpot.

Digital Health Summit at CES and Stop SOPA

Posted on January 12, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As most of you know, I’m attending the Digital Health Summit at CES this year. As happens at most conferences, it’s hard to blog about the happenings at the conference while attending the conference. Particularly with all the CES traffic issues (it’s a literal zoo) and the packed CES Press Room. Although, I must admit that I haven’t found too many things all that impressive. More on that later.

For today, I thought I’d give you a little picture view of what I call the Garden of Eden booth that United Health Group has at CES (click twice to see full size image):

They seriously have grass on the ground and a wood path through their booth. Plus, they have some of the only benches at CES (many really enjoyed those including myself). They’re also doing the pedometer promotion they did last year at CES and that they did at mHealth Summit, but this time you record your findings through the OptumizeMe app. I better win the iPad for all the walking I’m doing at CES. At least this time we’re not up against the exercise demo lady in the booth across from United Health Group. That was totally unfair (No, I’m not bitter).

Also, I’m surprised how few people know about SOPA. So I thought I’d do my small part to get the word out to more people. SOPA is an abomination that they’re trying to push through Congress. Here’s the tweet I sent out recently about it:

As you can see I’ve put the STOP SOPA badge on my Twitter icon and will be doing it on some other places, likely including the blog logo above. I’m good with legislation that actually works to stop copyright infringement, but SOPA does nothing to stop it and does a lot to really screw up the internet as we know it today. I hope others will join me in helping to stop SOPA. This weekend I’ll see if I can do a full post on why SOPA is bad if people are interested.

Health Care IT at CES

Posted on January 4, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the advantages of living in Las Vegas, is that there are a ton of interesting conferences that are held in Las Vegas. In fact, the next MGMA and HIMSS (after Orlando) are both going to be in Las Vegas, which is nice for me since it’s where I live.

On that note, I’ve always loved to go to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as well. Usually, I’m just going to check out all the new toys and technology. It’s just a fun thing to do and not necessarily that work related.

This year however, they have the Digital Health Summit that’s being held in conjunction with CES. I’m interested to see how that works. They have a ton of sponsors for the event, but not the usual list of sponsors that you might see at an event like this.

I already have one meeting set up with the Executive Director of the Continua Health Alliance. I’ve heard about this alliance a few different places and so I’m excited to learn more about what they’re doing and the progress they’ve made.

If there are other companies at CES that might be of interest to me, let me know and we can have a chance to meet in person. I’ll be sure to blog about my experience at the Digital Health Summit.