The United States has embraced the technological revolution in health care and driven innovation across the industry. The creativity and vision shown in the following three cities have helped create some of the biggest developments in health IT today.
San Francisco: Tech Hub’s Pioneer of Digestible Sensors
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In February 2015, CNN declared that San Francisco had stolen Silicon Valley’s crown as America’s hippest tech scene. However, the city has long been a center for innovation. One of its most important health innovations concerns digestible sensors, created by Proteus Digital Health.
Initially, developers created these sensors to tell physicians whether their patients were taking medications as prescribed. However, these inventions can tell health care professionals much about the human body and how drug treatments affect its systems, giving the devices a range of potential uses. For example, according to Nature.com, digestible sensors could help doctors create personalized health care plans and even serve the functions of regular physicals, allowing patients to receive their yearly examinations without coming into a physical office.
The Rock Health venture fund is helping to drive new health care innovations in San Francisco.
Philadelphia: Hub of Health Care Innovation
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According to Independence Blue Cross president and CEO Dan Hilferty, Philadelphia is poised to become the Silicon Valley of health IT. Pennsylvania’s largest city has a long history of health care innovation.
Philadelphia is the home of Theranos, which pioneered a new blood test that can test 70 factors with one finger prick. The results are also almost instantaneous. The city also nurtured 1 Doc Way, which uses video chat to connect people with mental illness in rural areas to health professionals during times of crisis. Even something as simple as GlowCap, an illuminated medicine cap that reminds seniors to take their medications, began in Philadelphia.
Kansas City: Home of Cerner Corp. and Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator
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Kansas City is many miles from Silicon Valley, but the innovative health information technology organization Cerner Corp. has helped put Missouri’s most populous city on the health informatics map. Cerner Corp. is the brains behind CareMobile, a portable device which allows physicians to immediately enter and access real-time digital information about patients’ prescriptions, vital signs, and treatment.
“It’s faster and safer,” Dallas Fulton, a registered nurse in Hospital Hill’s intensive care unit, told The Kansas City Star. “It used to be that physicians scratched orders on paper, which went to the pharmacy and then to us. Now, the order goes to the pharmacy electronically, and as soon as it’s validated, it shows up in CareMobile.”
Cerner also developed one of the most widely used electronic health records systems in the United States, so the company is a name that would be familiar to graduates of Master of Science in Health Informatics.
Local firms Sprint and Techstars are also nurturing innovation through their Spring Mobile Health Accelerator, an initiative which has given rise to the Ovatemp Bluetooth-enabled fertility thermometer, Triomi’s handheld EKG tool, and the Melon Health mobile health platform.
If not for these cities, we may not have many of the high-tech innovations used in the health care sector at home and around the world today. All eyes are on these cities as people await what the next big health tech developments might be.
Madison: Home of Epic Systems
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Epic Systems, a top electronic health records provider, has put Madison, Wisconsin on the tech-savvy map. According to Xconomy, Epic is one of the largest private employers in Wisconsin; Becker’s Hospital Review lists Epic as one of the 150 great places to work in healthcare in 2015, with perks that have drawn more than 6,000 employees to its Madison-area campus. The company has also been a boon to the local economy and has contributed to the overall growth of health tech companies in the region.
Another result of Epic’s hard work has been the transformation of healthcare throughout the state. In fact, Wisconsin was named the “third-best state for health care efficiency” in a study by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
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