‘We are seeing discoveries that should continue to reshape health care’
SAN DIEGO – Dr. Evan Muse is an enthusiastic supporter of technology in health care and believes we’re only seeing the beginning of transformative developments. He is an assistant professor at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, which creates major programs in both research and education that bridge science with medicine and academia with industry. Muse is an expert on digital and mobile health.
HHTN: How will technology impact the delivery of health care in the next five years?
MUSE: Innovations in medical technology are happening at all levels. From bedside and remote diagnostics, patient-doctor communications and, of course, electronic health records, we are seeing discoveries that are already changing and should continue to reshape healthcare moving forward.
HHTN: What is digital medicine, and how does it differ from traditional health care delivery?
MUSE: Digital medicine is a term that is used to loosely bring together medical technologies and devices. Many of these technologies are sensor-based and integrate with smartphones, computers and the Internet of Things. It should not be looked at as an alternative, or flip-side, to traditional care, in the same way that a provider communicating with a patient via secure EHR messaging would not be considered outside of traditional care. It does, however, espouse many tools for patients to be more connected to monitoring their health and evaluating outcomes alongside their traditional care providers.
HHTN: How can we get providers to embrace home health technology?
MUSE: Any tools and technologies that help a provider deliver better care, at improved cost and with increased satisfaction for the patient and the provider should not be ignored. The promise of digital medicine, however, needs to be translated into high-quality studies illustrating proof of their success, just as a provider would not recommend a therapeutic that had no data to back it up. Alternatively, complex care systems need to be flexible and provide support for the integration of new technologies into clinical practice without undue burden on individual providers.
HHTN: What are some of the most important technologies on the home health horizon?
MUSE: Seamless integration of passive sensors for vital signs, gait and position; medication compliance and home safety with real-time monitoring; and communication to care providers with red flag for abnormal events.