Improving health care with connected analytics technology

By and Naveen Noel | 2 minute read | September 6, 2018

healthcare worker using tablet

At ZSL, a global technology integrator and solution provider with 20 years of experience, we’ve observed two trends that are transforming healthcare today: data analytics and connected health.

Most healthcare firms have collected volumes of data from varied sources. We often help them with data integration, transmission, security and analysis to make sense of it. AI-powered analytics have helped our clients generate insights into prescription drug side effects and patients who are at risk for cardiac disease and diabetic retinopathy.

Connected health arises from the transformation occurring across the healthcare technology stack. With advances in interconnected medical devices, mobility, cloud computing and the IoT, connected health delivers instant access to patient information at the point of care.

Mobilizing patients’ vital signs

Connected health and analytics came together in a solution we recently developed for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. It aims to streamline the tedious process of nurses having to enter patients’ vital signs into medical charts and electronic health record (EHR) systems. Manual data entry is slow and error prone. And because the data is current only when it is entered, it isn’t useful for doctors who need real-time data to understand a patient’s condition.

Our solution first collects vital sign readings from connected medical devices such as pulse monitors, glucose monitors, thermometers and blood pressure monitors. It then transmits those readings wirelessly to tablets carried by nurses and physicians, and into the EHR system through the cloud. It takes just a couple of seconds to post the vital signs on a patient dashboard, which can be refreshed whenever required.

By freeing nurses from manual entry, the solution gives them more time with patients, while doctors gain accurate and timely information. The solution can also analyze the data to alert doctors when vital signs reach critical levels. This feature served a nursing home patient well when his blood pressure suddenly spiked. The solution alerted the doctor, who sent the patient for tests. After cardiac surgery, he is recovering well.

Working with IBM

With digital transformation rapidly penetrating all industries, a few years back we were talking about social, mobile, analytics and cloud.  Now, we’re seeing rapid transformation to mobile, AI, analytics and cloud, and we believe IBM is the right partner for us in this endeavor.

The IBM Cloud helps ensure our solution’s scalability, and IBM Security solutions assist in protecting patients’ information. We use IBM Mobile Foundation for mobile app management and security, and IBM MaaS360 with IBM Watson Insight provide device security and control.

The next step for us is integrating the predictive capabilities of IBM Watson. Watson has the intelligence to absorb vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, including patient demographics, health histories, doctors’ notes, patient lifestyle information, genetic profiles and more. Analyzing such data along with the vital signs could offer insights to help doctors improve the patient’s overall health.

Watch ZSL executives Balagopal Ramdurai and Naveen Noel discuss healthcare transformation today: