Hospitals and health systems are deploying a variety of tech and digital tools to help transform care delivery and mitigate staffing challenges.
What’s one technology that stands out for transforming care delivery at your organization in recent years?
Arun Jayaraman: A big one in rehab is the use of wearable sensors and computer vision technology. They’re critical in helping to determine when to increase therapeutic care or when to decrease it. When do you introduce a new intervention? When do patients become a fall risk? … Automating clinical measures with these sensors speeds up the process, providing higher resolution on whether somebody is improving in their condition.
Dr. Scott Rissmiller: We really have relied on our virtual care platform. Virtual care was something we started investing in over a decade ago. So when the pandemic hit, it allowed us to quickly pivot our patients to virtual services right from the start. It also spurred a lot of innovation—especially “hospital at home,” treating hospital level-acuity patients, but in the comfort of their own homes.
Can you share another example of a technology that shows great promise?
Jayaraman: Robotics has moved from big rigid robots to lightweight, soft or modular robots you can just strap on and control with your smartphone. They can be used for therapy, to self-monitor for improvement or to guide a clinician as to when a patient can be weaned off the robot. And also to provide personal mobility for patients who are paralyzed or just need assistance after a procedure.
Rissmiller: There are some exciting things in the ambulatory setting—tools that allow our clinicians and nurses to work much more efficiently, such as virtual scribes. That’s a technology that can write the clinician’s notes for them while they’re just speaking to the patient, using artificial intelligence to pick up on key terms. Such tools save our clinicians significant time.
What are some partnerships or collaborations you’re involved in related to advancing technology in healthcare?
Jayaraman: One of the main jobs of the Technology and Innovation Hub is to work with industry partners, investigators and scientists around the world on the latest cutting edge technologies. … These partners have great ideas, but they don’t always know how to bring them to a clinical market. We work closely with U.S. and international universities, as well as with companies like Samsung and Honda.
Rissmiller: We’re in lots of different conversations with industry and tech companies. One thing we’re incredibly excited about is an innovation district we’re building in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the help of significant philanthropy. We have partnerships with industry organizations and tech companies that will be coming to help us create care models of the future in an innovative and collaborative way.