COVID-19 drives innovation in healthcare, and the focus is on better services for patients


No other industry has been more at the center of the global COVID-19 pandemic than healthcare. In addition to the endless work to fight the disease, it was necessary to innovate to use data and virtual monitoring to care for all patients while hospitals treated those with the virus.

This technology transformation is shaping the new post-COVID-19 environment, which will no longer revolve around doctors and care centers to focus on patients and offer much richer services to them, according to Ian McCrae (pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Orion Health.

Ian McCrae

“Before COVID, a lot of focus [was] on automating hospitals … primary care, etc.,” he said. “Now all the focus is on putting medical records together, digital front doors giving patients access to their medical records … much of the same way you have access to your bank records.”

McCrae spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, Silicon ANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the AWS Public Sector Summit Online event. They discussed recent innovations in healthcare, how the cloud allows for these movements, and how these changes will translate into value for patients and the healthcare industry. (* Disclosure below.)

AI will allow insights from medical records

The “new” healthcare industry will make medical records much more accessible, as well as much more complete than before, according to McCrae.

Historically, records often include laboratory and radiology tests, medications and some other procedures performed by patients. “But what we’re getting now is genomic data getting added to social determinants, where do you live, where do you work, behavioral [elements]. A lot of other things are getting entered onto the medical record, and it is going to get big,” he explained.

With this growing amount of data available, artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a special role in enabling insights that can be turned into warnings, alerts or suggestions for patients themselves, their doctors and their family.

Technology and health professionals are now working to address some of the challenges. “The big problem we have is, first of all, marshaling, getting all the data together, wrangling the data, so … there’s a fun part where [we] run the algorithms,” McCrae said. “The next big problem is getting the results back into the clinical workflow.”

Remote care is a requirement

The healthcare industry will also focus on improving remote care, as patients increasingly want online access to their doctors to prevent exposure to disease in clinics and hospitals.

“When they’re not feeling well, they want to go online, probably [do] symptom checking, [and] if they need to have a consult, they would like to do it there and not two or three days later,” McCrae stated. “There are definitely some things that can be done remotely, and that’s what people want.”

The idea is that all this innovation translates into benefits for patients, but also value for businesses. “I think the first thing is that if you can treat patients earlier more accurately, you can ultimately keep them healthier and using less health resources,” McCrae concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Public Sector Summit Online event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AWS Public Sector Summit Online event. Neither AWS, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)


Posted on behalf of Orion Health



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Anna Arrol

Administration Assistant

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