"There, there; at least you've got your health." It is the saying our elders turn to as comfort when times are bleak. Its widespread use is indicative of the value we place for healthcare in general, even as the Fourth Industrial Revolution blurs the lines between the physical and the virtual. We may all go along with the digital tune, but we have not entirely abandoned age-old priorities. And there are stark indicators that we are not averse to letting the digital realm play a central role in the maintenance of our health, especially when it comes to robotics and artificial intelligence.
As hospitals and health systems leverage information technology, healthcare executives must advocate for caregivers to improve provider satisfaction, be prepared for a telehealth explosion, embrace machine learning and artificial intelligence, incorporate the Internet of Things, and prepare for more cyber-attacks, said Thomas Zenty, CEO of University Hospitals of Cleveland. Zenty delivered today's keynote address at Allscripts Client Experience, the EHR vendor's user conference here. The wellness of providers, the degree to which they are satisfied with their jobs, is key to operating a hospital or health system. "Physician satisfaction is at an all-time low," Zenty said. "The things we now have to do with our EHRs.
From cloud platforms for medical data and hospital smart rooms to artificial intelligence and patient-engagement technologies, the giants of the digital world are threatening to disrupt healthcare. Leading the pack is IBM and its centerpiece offering Watson Health. In just the last six months, the company has announced major initiatives into healthcare including a partnership with clinical consultation provider Best Doctors to add Watson's cancer suite to employee benefits packages, a population health management alliance with Siemens Healthineers and an effort linking IBM's PowerAI deep learning software toolkit with NVIDIA's NVLink interconnect technology. The PowerAI is already being used improve diagnoses and care plans by sifting through patient data. In October, Big Blue announced a $200 million investment in its Watson Internet of Things global headquarters in Munich, Germany.