Technology’s Role in Reducing Healthcare Costs
Medical technology is a huge growth sector that will consume vast amounts of A/V and IT integration.

Article


October 27, 2011 By Dan Daley

During 2010, healthcare costs in the U.S. were estimated to be about 16 percent of the country’s $14.8 trillion GDP, more than double what healthcare as a percentage of GDP was in 1970.

What to do about the cost of healthcare is a hot-button issue in politics, but integrators can be sure of one thing: The answer is inevitably going to have to rely to a significant extent on A/V systems technology for solutions.

Already, HD video conferencing systems are being used for doctor-patient consultations, for remote diagnosis, for medical training and other applications. Digital signage is being used to link local and regional medical centers, as are data server/storage systems that can maintain voluminous amounts of patient data and still be compliant with the mandates of the HIPAA Act to assure patient confidentiality and data security.

New configurations of healthcare delivery, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), that seek to improve the quality of care while simultaneously reducing costs through coordination and collaboration among providers will rely heavily on these kinds of technologies for successful implementation.

According to the American Hospital Association, the costs associated with developing these capabilities, including A/V and IT systems, range from $5.3 to $12 million per facility and are expected to increase.

John Laughlin, president of Conference Technologies, says that changes in medical practices are also driving A/V in those spaces.

“We see a trend that with the aid of nurse practitioners, doctors have more of an opportunity to assist in multiple locations utilizing audio-visual technology,” he says. “High-definition video conferencing along with increased data feedback options from medical equipment are giving medical professionals an entirely new set of tools to use. This allows doctors real-time feedback with very sharp and clear images that standard definition never allowed. Many times it’s referred to as the spoke and hub: one doctor supports, for instance, five offices, with nurse practitioners located in every office.”

Rich Mullen, a CTS at Vistacom, is the de facto health care systems specialist at an integrator that specializes in medical systems environments. “Our first inroads into the healthcare industry began 20 years ago with basic nurse call systems,” Mullen recalls. “But in the 1990s we saw many healthcare institutions migrating quickly to remote diagnostics and telemedicine, specifically with orthopedic and neurological departments.

“The hot trend now is in early stroke detection using remote diagnostics. A lot of hospitals are trying to implement as much remote diagnostics as possible. The problem is, though, they’re looking at the end nodes on the system rather than starting with the network, the information infrastructure to handle all these asset management and data transmissions. That’s where we saw our opportunity to really create custom solutions around medical systems clients.”

Mullen cites Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., as an example of a hospital that figured out that it had to put the network horse before the cart - literally, as the hospital prepared to deploy wireless Computer On Wheels (COW) carts that bring diagnosis and treatment options to the bedside.

About the author
Veteran reporter Dan Daley is based in New York City and Nashville, Tenn.
View all posts by Dan Daley
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Almo Professional A/V E4 AV Tour Rolls Into Boston and Dallas this Fall

Coming to Boston September 23 and Dallas October 18, the E4 AV Tour will provide a day of training sessions worth InfoComm Renewal Units (RUs), hands-on workshops, product and service launches and new manufacturing partners.

3 Ways Hosted Video Surveillance Can Be a Champion for Dealers
The Commercial Integrator’s Dilemma: Do I Sell or Do I Grow?
Is Your Clients Space Ideal for Productive Work?
Roland Introduces New Applications for XS-Series Matrix Switchers
View more news
This Never-Been-Done-Before LED Installation Is Transforming Shoppers’ Experiences

With help from Daktronics, IICG's investment of 5 billion RMB for their three shopping center developments in China paid off as Daktronics delivers unique LED storyboard displays, creating an experience shoppers could only get at IICG's China locations.

12 of Forbes’ 100 Richest Tech Billionaires Who Have Ties to AV
40 CI Influencers Under 40: Class of 2016
Jaguar: The Art of Projection Mapping
Casino M8trix Dealt a Winning Hand with Atlona In-Wall Switcher
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
Your #1 Source for Expanding Your Recurring-Revenue Practice

Adding to your service offering is challenging. We get it. ConnectWise has helped countless technology solution providers reconfigure their business for the future by adding new practice areas and building monthly recurring revenue.

Webcast: Discover the Secrets of Leveraging Third-Party Labor
Webcast: How to Build Your Broadcast Technology Capabilities
White Paper: Ignorance, Defiance on ADA Compliance Among Regulatory Nightmares
White Paper: Secrets to Installing Outdoor Audio-Video Safely
White Paper: New Standard Revs Up Networking Game
White Paper: 7 Tips for Rolling Out University Digital Signage
White Paper: From Chaos to Control - Your Guide to Business Efficiency
View more papers or webcasts


Recent comments

Excellent summary Mike.. in particular that the size and prominent placement of video walls and tiled displays…

Posted by LyleBunn on 2016 08 22 · commented on
'Q & A: Mvix Explains Why You Should Choose Video Walls Over Digital Signage'.

IMS Technology Services has the privilege of making the list for the 5th year in a row.  This year #4532. …

Posted by Michael Shinn on 2016 08 21 · commented on
'Herman Integration Services Named No. 110 on the Inc. 5000 2016 List'.

Congrats to the entire 40 Under 40 Class of 2016.

Posted by Christopher Neto on 2016 08 17 · commented on
'40 CI Influencers Under 40: Class of 2016'.

Thank YOU. It was a lot of fun. And congrats on having the most brightly colored beer.

Posted by Tom LeBlanc on 2016 08 16 · commented on
'The Evolution of Media: Why It Matters to the Industry'.