Technology is revolutionizing health care – for better and for worse| Michael Dowling
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Technology is revolutionizing health care – for better and for worse| Michael Dowling

Health care has been at the forefront of technological
development for decades. A lot of the technology has been after you
get sick and you come in. But where we have to be much, much more in
the forefront is how we connect the consumer to the service, to the provider, and how we
take care that was once done in a hospital or out into the community or into the home. So today, telemedicine is huge. Telehealth is huge, telepsych, Telestroke,
Tele-ICU – we have probably close to 100 ICUs all over the place. So we can actually, from one central location,
we can talk to the patient in an ICU bed at any one of our facilities. We can assess the condition of the patient. We can talk to the physician who is at the
bedside. We can provide more assistance to that physician
and those nurses as to what to do with that patient. It actually can reduce cost overall. It actually can reduce the percentage of people
in ICUs. Bioelectronic medicine is another area which
is a huge advance. And that’s the result of research has been
done over the years, most of it being done by physicians in our organization, where an
implantable device can actually moderate the immune system to deal with issues like arthritis,
lupus, Crohn’s, and many others, without the use of traditional medications. So I think, as we go forward, that wearable
devices, implantable devices, will become standard. The analogy I often use is you get into your
car. You turn on the car. A dashboard shows up that shows you the vital
signs of the car. So just imagine – and this technology is
available today in many cases, and it will be more available – that you have an implantable
device in your body. So when you get up in the morning, a dashboard
shows up on a Fitbit type piece of equipment or a watch that shows you all your vital signs. The danger with it, of course, is that you’ll
have an awful lot more people wanting more treatment when that happens. Because they will wake up thinking, oh, my
god, look at this. My blood pressure is higher than it should
be. I’m not one of those people that believes
that all this technology will actually reduce cost. The more that people are able to identify
what’s wrong with them, the more services that will be required to be delivered, which
could, of course, run contrary to what an awful lot of people talk about, which is,
how do we reduce overall cost of health care? I don’t think people make this connection. And these technologies will allow you to self-diagnose
or diagnose more. So therefore, you’ll have more people with
real and perceived problems that they did not know anything about before you had the
technological ability to actually identify it. So there is this vicious cycle, which, in
fact, becomes a big, big part of the discussion around health care costs. Because nothing is static. Everybody says, reduce the costs, but at the
same time we’re identifying more and more things that people can get treated with and
get treated for, which, of course, goes in the opposite direction.

About Bill McCormick

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1 thought on “Technology is revolutionizing health care – for better and for worse| Michael Dowling

  1. Now this is a guy that does not really get it. If you had something that was diagnosing, then that would mean early intervention and not full blown pneumonia of stage 4 cancer which is comparatively much more expensive and much more life threatening than approaching it in its beginning stages. Not to mention savings that would come from the now healthier person than can contribute to society in services and paying taxes, etc.

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