Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Healthcare Now At Your Fingertips!

Until a decade ago if you were looking for quality healthcare it meant sitting on the fence. From choosing among the abundant clinics and medical practioners or relying on family and friends for recommendations, finding the right doctor that fits your bill was anything but a cakewalk.

When you visited the clinic, a lot of important questions still remained unanswered. How long do I have to wait for my turn? Is the doctor a reliable and friendly one? (If you were a first timer), what are the consultation fees? Will I get an insurance cover? And the list could go on to unearth many unexplored territories screening for locations, speciality, service offerings and others.In the pursuit for quality Healthcare, time and money eventually were the precious means that were put on the bargain.

Thanks to the fruits of technological advancements in healthcare today, we can fend off the mentioned bottlenecks and hindrances in choosing and availing better Healthcare

According to a 2011 Pew study, 80% of Internet users look for health information online, making medical inquiries the third most popular web-based pursuit, following only email and search engine use.

How AboutClinic has made the difference in healthcare space

AboutClinic is an innovative digital health platform that helps patient’s find, compare and connect with doctors and care providers at the convenience of time and home comfort. With its user friendly interface it offers reliable and quick solutions to your medical queries, from across the globe. Yes! You can now find the best surgeon to get a nose job done at your home at the click of a finger. An Information Technology Company, AboutClinic is equipped with the crucial know-how of health care services and supported with research in clinical processes; it not only brings together patients and caregivers but also equips them to profitably optimize their experience through this assembly.

What AboutClinic offers for Patients- Getting a quick yet detailed first hand information about a doctor or a clinic and making an informed decision without having to leave your home can be a significantly comforting. With AboutClinic you have access to not just a wide range of doctors globally, but also empower yourself  to make the right choice by going through doctor reviews, real time treatment results and compare costs. Key benefits to patients include:
  • Hassle free, seamless registration
  • Find Best Doctors from a wide range of listed MD’s
  • Know your doctors well with up-to- date  ratings and reviews
  • Quick Response from Clinic
  • Book an Appointment
  • Find latest health articles and medical information
 What AboutClinic offers for Doctors/ Health-care providers- Doctors and care providers now have a versatile online platform to reach out to a wider set of patients seeking medical help by registering with AboutClinic at no cost. Additionally, they can prescribe and post the line of treatment after necessary medical evaluation of the patient leading to better time management on both parts. In a world dominated by internet AboutClinic aims to offer an effective digital marketing solution as against the old school traditional and expensive medical marketing techniques. Supported with verified patient testimonials, blogs, social media display and consistent SEO efforts, doctors have a bigger and better visibility of their expertise. Key benefits to doctors include:
  • Simple and Free Registration
  • Post your treatment
  • Improve your Clinic
  • Reach Global audience
  • Market your presence digitally
  • Online Reputation Management
 Making good of all the key features, AboutClinic helps to enhance treatment and outcomes by making them quick, reliable, time and cost effective. With the motto of ‘patients first’, along with ‘care for the caregivers’, AboutClinic pledges to make the world around happier and healthier."

Friday, 21 April 2017

How Hospitals Can Benefit From “Data Lake” Approach In Health Management Systems

Healthcare organizations are constantly dealing with mammoth unstructured data generated everywhere and the limitations of value based health programs and intelligent healthcare infrastructure to manage them effectively and efficiently. This is further pronounced with the rampant increase of patients that need medical care and healthcares struggling to offer quality with stringent budgets and resources. Overcoming the challenges of healthcare indicates the need for the following course of actions when it comes to ingenious Healthcare Data Management:

  • Interoperability (exchange and use)of data between providers and health systems
  • Data access from a variety of source
  • Adapting and scaling data services with flexibility
The above stated health care data management plans would not only weed away invaluable information but also encourage a much needed change in preventive care, wellness, speedy diagnosis and treatment.

Overcoming the challenges of EHR with superior data model- Data Lake Approach
Despite the potential benefits of EHRs (electronic health records) of a digital storage of healthcare information throughout an individual’s lifetime with the purpose of supporting continuity of care, education, and research, the limitations of cost constraints, technical and standardization limitations are inherent barriers. The volume and variety of data needed for an effective PHM (Population health management) require highly structured data which is not available either with EHRs or EDWs. 

In an evolving healthcare industry, where information is integral to the success of any system, the traditional “Data Warehousing” needs to be replaced with “Data Lake”.
In 2010, James Dixon came up a new architecture for data management;he was instrumental in coining the term “Data Lake”with his cutting-edge idea. In simple terms, Data Lake is a storage repository that holds vast amount of data, both structured and unstructured that is easily accessible, scalable and storable. The key differences with data warehousing are:
  • Data Lake can accommodate both structured & unstructured data
  • It can store data in any format, unlike data warehousing that needs modelled data before use
  • Offers easy configuration on the go that is not possible with highly structured data warehousing
  • Costs much less to store data
Data Lake allows an effective PHM model with its flexibility, versatility, scalability and cost effective approach. With the vast amount of unstructured data that is growing at a rate of 48% every year, the future of healthcare looks more promising with the Data Lake approach to drive clinical accuracy, quality and operational efficiency.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Choosing The Right Doctor Can Be Somewhat Tricky! Here’s Why...

The search for the right doctor should be something to be considered on the top priority knowing that you will be putting your life and possibly you’re dear ones’ as well on someone’s skill, experience, qualifications and repute. Be it a primary care physician or a specialist like a dentist or dermatologist, picking the right one is indeed a serious business. It is just not about weeding out the unprofessional ones from the swarm but also about the comfort level and trust that you would like to share.  The bottom line being that you would want to be in the pink of health with your doctor’s association and that would need a little healthy scepticism when you are on the hunt for the right one.

Decide what kind of doctor you would need

We need different kind of doctors at different times in our lives depending upon the kind of care you are looking for.  For special medical needs, you need to see a specialist while a primary care physician is good for all your overall medical needs and your go-to person when you are sick. Having roughly determined the category of doctor you would like to see, the next vital step is knowing the other parameters of choosing the right doctor.

If you are in the market for finding a new doctor, or may be evaluating your current one, here are a few tips that can help you zero down on the right one:

  • Certification Matters! – Your search should begin with this step as the medical world is replete with spurious certifications held by doctors, most of them not known to us. While online resources can claim facts about licences and medical education in a very simple way, it should be kept in mind that a board certification can provide some "quality assurance”.
  • Availability and location: It is important for you to determine, how well located your doctor is and “is he available for you”?  The type of treatment you would have to avail, the frequency of follow-ups, general visiting hours, availability of extended hours and flexibility of appointments are key things to inquire when looking for the right doctor.
  • Keeping an eye on the Experience: When looking for a specialist, you know you are in safe hands if your doctor has performed the procedure for enough number of times. It is quite reasonable to ask your doctor the number of procedures he has performed in the past two years and if there are national benchmarks to compare success rates. It is completely within your rights to understand your doctor’s experience in the related field you seek to get treated, so don’t hesitate to ask for them!
  • The Doctor’s Style and overall experience: The best way to determine if the he is the doctor right for you is to actually see him in person. It is quite fair to reject one who is not going to fit into your personality. Having a quick conversation will help you find out if he understands your need, expectations and fears and would you be able to depend on him on your medical journey under his supervision.
At the end of the day, it is your health and Finding A Good Doctor is going to be a bit of a speculation, but you can at least improve your odds of finding someone you can spend the rest of your life with!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How Can The Powers Of AI Be Harnessed To Shape The Future Of Healthcare?

Robert Wachter, professor and head of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco is a national leader in the area of patient’s safety in the digital age and is well known for his views on pressing healthcare issues every day. Having authored the book “The Digital Doctor” he takes a deep dive to address the chronicles and challenges of AI in medicine. In his book he takes his readers to examine the highs and lows of technology tools and how he trusts AI to eventually amplify even the human side of empathy and compatibility besides his emphasis on accuracy and patient’s safety.

What is the extended role AI is expected to play in healthcare?

In the evolving world of healthcare, Artificial Intelligence’s transformation on treatment and diagnosis has potentially saved billions of lives through the application of complex algorithms and data points. As Watcher admits that it is far safer with the intervention of super computers than a scenario without them, there is however a lot of scope for improvement. Referring to the incident where a teenager received a huge overdose with antibiotics, such disasters of poorly designed computers could have been avoided in a conventional hospital. This leaves us doubtful, yet hopeful about what Artificial Intelligence can hold in store for us.

Much hope placed with AI to redefine Healthcare

The digital tsunami has taken over the healthcare space with the disruptive innovation of AI. Be it in the fields of diagnosis, treatments or bridging geographical barriers, with cloud-based AI technology, the dependency on small practitioners can be practically nullified. The same goes for decoding X-rays and biopsy’s and the lesser subjectivity to human errors. As Watcher is optimistic that radiology, pathology and dermatology are three main medical fields that will see the strongest wave of digital transformation.

AI stands for Augmented Intelligence

Augmented Intelligence is actually what it is all about. Systems are built by humans and are further elevated to assist and scale human expertise to make well informed decisions. Hence the collaboration between human and computers is very important in shaping successful health systems. Unlike artificial intelligence it is relevant and insightful. So, augmented intelligence is the way forward in the Digital Healthcare world.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Artificial Intelligence - a promising future to healthcare

AI is almost everywhere making a huge difference to our lives. The self-driving smart cars, in Google searches, Amazon suggestions, movie suggestions from Netflix and in many other devices you may be using on a daily basis but you hardly know!  Likewise, AI is transforming healthcare organizing patient routes or with better treatment plans, and improving patient outcomes by helping physicians with literally all the information they need to make a good decision. The advanced analytics and bots used in AIhas made scheduling appointments to giving medical reminders possible.

Although IBM’s Watson is the bigwig in cognitive computing for healthcare, more and more companies have been interested and invested in AI in healthcare. To name a few in the race are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Hitachi Data Systems, Luminoso, Alchemy API and Digital Reasoning.

Speed and Accuracy, the biggest blessing of AI

“By 2025, AI systems could be involved in everything from population health management, to digital avatars capable of answering specific patient queries.” — HarpreetSingh Buttar, analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

Against the mammoth database of diseases, these smart devices embedded with cognitive capabilities are efficiently unifying and synthesizing data and delivering accurate diagnosis prescriptions faster than the traditional analytics tools. 

While IBM's Watson is helping save lives in diagnosing cancer, recommending treatment plans that matched human oncologists, Google's DeepMind can recognize sight-threatening eye conditions just with the help of a digital eye scan. 

The promise of speed and accuracy of AI has raised hopes of precision in diagnosis of healthcare in this digital era. It is a great boon for patients living in remote areas where chronic diseases is thehighest and fastest and access to physicians can be many miles ways. Better and best practices with fewer complications and false diagnosis makes AI in healthcare a super cost saving mechanism. 

But are we hoping AI to replace physicians?

Having known all the wonders of a supercomputer’s ability to reproduce the behaviour of human intelligence, there is no reason not to believe that one day the robot may possibly replace physicians. However that definitely has years to count, probably decades to achieve the kind of accuracy. Despite the endless possibilities of technology, human beings are social and aspects of empathy and words that go a long way in healing, is something that the virtual model may not be able to offer. Practicing medicine is an art and the opportunity of AI in healthcare lies in amplifying a doctor's proficiency, not replace it!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Need For Technological Advancement In The Healthcare Industry

Technology has intruded almost every aspect of human lives. If you were planning a holiday at the hills or shop for best brands online, you are quite likely to search for a health care specialist or a healthcare solution using the irrefutable power of internet. From locating where is the closest dental clinic to getting reviews about the cosmetic surgeon you were planning to visit, technology has changed the way we access healthcare.

At a recent digital marketing event, Google’s healthcare business lead Shivalika Singh mentioned that one in 20 searches on Google are healthcare related. This highlights the internet's ubiquitous ability to potentially empower patients.

The challenge remains in finding the right information!

The way we find information is often the challenge. Healthcare brands and organizations need to evaluate the digital expectations and demands of patients. The wealth of information that is disseminated to patients, is often impersonal, irrelevant or invalidated. The reality of online health that is being offered by healthcare brands or organization is still trailing behind, something that they really cannot afford in this digital age.

The need for a positive, radical change in Digital Healthcare
The opportunity for digital healthcare brands is to create services and products that are tailored around the patient. Taking the example of Airbnb's hospitality solutions works perfectly for people wanting to lease or rent short-term lodging enabling simplified transactions and other supports.  Likewise, the need for a simple healthcare solution that offers efficient and streamlined booking systems, patient enquiries and opening the doors to an "interactive healthcare" platform will change the future of online healthcare. Online conversations about health in social networks, participation of doctor's online, all lead to better engagement and open the doors to improved healthcare and well-being. Data needs to be well analysed, real-time with recommendations in moving the way forward for Digital Healthcare.

Integrating the above said is about empowering and inspiring a perfect healthcare and patient equation. Now is the time for technology in healthcare to spell avant-garde!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Marketing Strategies That Can Bring Back Dentists A Big Return

Dentistry is an evolving world, like all medical professions. With more and more dental clinics entering this changing marketplace, as a busy dentist you may well understand the need to protect your turf and stay ahead of competition. Weather it is offering competitive pricing, adding new patients, catering to your existing clientele or promoting your services to them, all of this needs a solid dental marketing plan to build a competitive edge.

While devising a marketing strategy, have you considered which options would be best and return you a positive ROI?As a healthcare marketer old school ways, like hefty TV commercials, tacky newspaper inserts, or other offline promotional policies may prove redundant over the time. Further, they do not help you measure your return on investment or track your advertising efforts if they eventually paid off.

The best way forward is to go to a consultant who will evaluate your brand and help you chart out a comprehensive and modern marketing plan that will meet your business goals within your budgets. In this digital age of information overload all you need is smart andinexpensive ways to market your practice so that the right clients can find you.

How can dentists optimize their marketing plans?

  1. Online Internet Marketing- Establishing and increasing your online presence is the hub of all marketing activities. This includes an attractive, well designed and responsive website that will reflect your brand and capture all your potential patients.Make sure to optimize yourself on mobile while creating your business website. Internet has gone social. Start a blog or social media platforms like a Face book page to post articles, connect with potential clients, advice and inform about your particular specialty. You tube videos are a great way to exhibit your dental practices. Online Internet Marketing is the game changer that no other marketing strategy can replace.
  2. Referral Marketing - Nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to dental practices. Referrals indicate Trust and isvital to building a potential patient base. While this method of tapping business is not new, tracking and managing referrals is a tough task. An electronic referral management system can solve the issues of maintaining accurate information and keeping them up to date at real time. A good referral program that rewards existing patients doesn't cost much but works wonders in this practice.
  3. E-Mail Marketing - No one likes to go to a dentist unless they have to. That suggest as a healthcare marketer if you have to rule out "out of sight, out of mind" you need to stay in touch with your clients by sending monthly newsletters and medical guides and gives them a friendly reminder for their next visit.