Informatics Technologies to Keep on Your Radar
One of the most exciting things about working in healthcare informatics is the rapid pace of constant change and innovation. If you are currently working towards your health informatics degree, here are three of the industry’s newest advancements to keep your eye on in the years to come:
Near-field communication (NFC) allows devices to sync up when in close proximity. It is the technology that makes it possible for people to pay for goods and services using their smart phones in conjunction with a data reader of some kind. The technology is now finding its way into the healthcare realm as an affordable and accessible way to gather patient data.
For example, a patient wearing a wireless diagnostic sensor equipped with NFC technology would be able to automatically and privately transmit data to their provider’s device. Data would be fully encrypted, just like it is for other NFC uses, and could only be shared with devices within a few centimeters range. Future expectations for near-field communication technology include applications for disease management, as well as for public health informatics.
Web-Based Research Informatics
It is often a challenge for researchers to share real-time data with their academic and laboratory colleagues. Having a collaborative web-based platform can be extremely beneficial in helping research teams streamline workflows, standardize data collection, identify patterns, and better define their discovery efforts.
Web-based research informatics is especially helpful for organizations conducting cross-disease studies that depend on consolidated data. This is particularly true if researchers are located at multiple sites, collecting data from patients in geographically diverse areas. Evidence-based discoveries become more achievable when all parties can have access to essential informatics via a single, easily available database.
Universal Image Viewing
Today’s most innovative imaging professionals are moving beyond traditional picture archive and communications system (PACS) applications. Instead, they are finding better ways to integrate an increased amount of visual data within their EMR systems. They are doing this with a “vendor neutral archive” architecture that allows for easier image viewing by more providers.
This type of universal viewing – or community viewing – allows for all images to be stored on a single, robust platform. Speed of access is key to success in sharing images and diagnostic reports across a wide population of caregivers. The global industry for vendor neutral archiving is growing at a rapid pace, and is expected to grow to $335.4 million by 2018 according to the research firm MarketsandMarkets.