AI needs a new digital workforce

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be embedded in everything we know in the healthcare system: it is going to help surgeries, will make patient recovery easier, it will help in our decisions regarding finances, administration, HR in the healthcare system. AI will allow us to focus on the high-value items. The low-value items will be taken care of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

To this future become a reality we need a digital workforce in the healthcare system too. This digital workforce will need to have a workforce skillset suitable for the era of AI. According to Sam Hanna, associate dean of graduate and professional studies and program director in healthcare management at American University, Washington D.C. people good at strategical thinking have a chance of succeeding in this new workforce. They, of course, will need to understand a little bit of source code, but more important, they need to ask the question why I am doing what I’m doing, they need to understand the tactics. So, it is no longer suitable for a graduate from a master program to only use a specific tool, because that tool would be obsolete in two years. A valuable member of the digital workforce needs to learn about processes, systems, requires strategical thinking, tactical knowledge.

When we talk about all different technologies all comes down to how we train people, what kind of tools, techniques, languages they are learning so they can analyze the right data and come up with the right solution. This is just the knowledge component. Healthcare professionals also need to know why they are analyzing patient data. It’s a big mistake to jump right into the how phase, to shoot into the dark and take whatever solution emerges. You need to define a hypothesis, gather the right data, analyze them and then draw your personalized conclusion. The amount of data available is also overwhelming, and you, as a healthcare professional must discern the right data, in the right amount. This data allows us to have a much better holistic view of our patient, to create targeted therapies.

We fully understand those healthcare professionals who received their training 40 years are not skilled in this area. Health technology companies like us play a crucial role: we need to translate this knowledge to them in a way that is not scary. It may sound easy, but it is not, I assure you. It is a complicated process, that takes a long time. Moreover, do not forget, healthcare clinicians only make up about 20% of the workforce in the healthcare system, and in the remaining 80% – in administration, finance, HR – AI also plays a significant role. A whole new field to tackle with, entire new challenges to take on.

NETIS, as a Microsoft Silver Partner, recommends Microsoft’s Azure AI services.

Author: Zoltan Gelencser

Stay young, play games!

A whole new industry is emerging: gamification is promising us younger brains and dementia prevention. We tested gamification in the ICT4life project, where NETIS is a proud member.

My retired father is an avid lover of crosswords, but since I gave him my old iPad, he discovered a new way of keeping his 74 years old brain entertained: online card games. He plays one or two hours a day, aside from his usual walk and his part-time job as a driver. So, I can honestly say, he does everything in his power to keep himself young.

He is not the only one to use games to keep his brain young, and a whole new industry called gamification knows this. Apps and games for our mental health and well-being are popping up daily: some offer brain exercises for free, others require a subscription to keep the entertainment alive. Not only computer or tablet games but also smart TV-s offer us little puzzles, brain trainers and games. So, there is no excuse: we need to play to stay young.

There is a plethora of scientific data, that backs up this common belief and experience, that crosswords, puzzles, games can keep our mind fit and young, and also significantly lowers the risk of dementia. The latest study in this field was conducted by Dr. Karlene Ball, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Dr. Dan Roenker, of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, and result were recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.

In this study – that followed more than 2800 older adults for a decade – a brain training method known as the speed of process training reduced participants’ dementia by 29 percent. This kind of training involves a task that aims to improve the user’s visual attention – the speed and accuracy a person can identify and remember objects in front of them. In this particular study, researchers developed a game where the user is asked to spot an object, such a house, in center of their gaze while also identifying an object in their peripheral vision, such a dog. As the game advances user has less and less time to spot each object and more distractors are added to the screen. We use one speed of process training game in our innovation award nominated EU project, ICT4Life, a memory game, Find the Pairs, which is accessed via a SMART TV. The preliminary results suggest that this computer application can be used to assess the different areas of cognitive functions. You can read more about these result on the official ICT4Life website.

So please play, stay young, and prevent dementia!

Author: Eva Lajko

How blockchain technology can transform the healthcare sector?

Blockchain technology is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions efficiently, permanently, and in a verifiable manner. This technology is used across many industries, mainly the financial sector, food safety, logistics, but also in healthcare.

Blockchain technology reduces complexity, enables easy collaboration, and creates secure and immutable information. This technology has the potential to transform health care, placing the patient at the center of the health care system, and increasing the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data.

But how blockchain technology works?

The technology works on three major principles that are not new at all.

  • Private key cryptography – Data is secured, but transactions are open on the network.
  • Distributed ledgers – Usually, members of the chain maintain copies of the ledgers. Moreover, all changes made in the ledgers are reflected within minutes, and with the advance of the technology, this timeframe will drop to seconds. Public ledgers are available to the members of the chain, no matter if they maintain copies of the ledgers or merely initiate transactions.
  • Authentication – First each new transaction is authenticated, and then ledgers are added to the chain. Algorithms evaluate and verify all the proposed transactions. The information would be encrypted, digitally signed and stored, thereby sealing its authenticity.

What could this technology provide?

Blockchain could provide a new model for health information exchanges by making electronic medical records more efficient and secure. Since records are spread across a network of replicated databases, blockchain provides security benefits for the massive amounts of data that health-care organizations are responsible for managing. Enhanced medical research and simplified financial management are one of the technology’s opportunities.

Blockchain technology can change how healthcare functions and remove frauds from the system. It can also cut operational costs, optimize how data storage, and even eliminate duplicate work. One more thing that blockchain can help with is improving transparency. All this is possible precisely because how this technology is designed to enable anyone to validate data and preserve it for others use.

For further information, please check our infographic, or contact one of our representatives.

Author: Laszlo Varga

Biggest trends revolutionizing healthcare

Personalized healthcare, big data, and artificial intelligence are the most significant trends shaping the future of healthcare – according to Netis Informatics Ltd., the expert solution provider of health IT solutions.

According to the American Medical Association, personalized healthcare is formed by each person’s unique clinical, genetic and environmental information. Unfortunately, traditional health care doesn’t help every patient. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that prescription drugs work for only 50% of the people they’re prescribed to, cancer drugs are only useful for just 25% of the patients, depression medications offer relief to around six out of ten patients. Approximately 66% (or two third) of the people would prefer to follow a personalized healthcare regime which considers their genetic or biological profile. Healthcare can benefit from personalization by providing the right drug to the right patient at the right time.

Thanks to low price sensors, fitness trackers more health data is being generated than ever in human history, some estimate that healthcare processes 50 Petabytes of data. Humanity created 90% of its data in the last two years. Big data can transform healthcare by supporting the development of data-driven solutions, that leads to better diagnostic tools and treatment methods. Life science, public health sector, health insurers, and healthcare professionals stand to gain from big data-driven new solutions.

Artificial intelligence is overtaking the conservative healthcare industry with tools for patient data optimization, for early and precise diagnosis or data analyses for custom design medication. If you would like to know how your practice can benefit from these trends shaping healthcare, Netis can help you to overcome these disruptions.

Author: Laszlo Varga

Mobile healthcare apps in the UK

A myriad of healthcare apps helps patients to live a comfortable and quality life through their chronic illnesses. Our infographic compiled by Netis Informatics Ltd. reveals all relevant data about mobile healthcare apps in the UK.

Nearly 75% of people in the UK go online for health information and advice, and 66% use a mobile health app. These are only two relevant numbers from the data compiled in comprehensive infographics by Netis.

Patients want consistent information on symptoms or medical conditions, need help communicate with their doctor or nurse and would like access to their health records and medical tests online. Everybody wants information about their health.

Many myths surrender and blur the digital healthcare industry, but more profound insights reveal a surprisingly broad acceptance of health IT services and solutions across all generations. The key difference between younger and older generations is how they consume information: patients over 50 generally prefer website and email, and younger generations are more comfortable using newer channels such as apps or social media. With the growing use of smartphone and tablets amongst the older generation this trend may soon shift.

As the public becomes increasingly used to everyday services seamlessly flowing from the analog to the digital, they will come to expect more from health services. Digital health services come in many forms: telehealthcare presents services that monitor patient activities in their own home, mHealth devices and apps provide data and useful information about health, health analytics allows deeper understanding of processes and digitized health systems builds the infrastructure for medical services (e.g., patient or provider held digitized records).

There are 72 apps recommended to the public by the NHS. Both healthcare providers and patients know these apps translate into a long list of benefits, such as monitoring of accurate health data, patient empowerment and education, data analytics with AI, ML and big data methods, information on symptoms and medical conditions.

For more data, please check our infographic below.

Author: Laszlo Varga