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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Dec 11 2011   8:08PM GMT

Google TV and what it means to healthcare

Posted by: RedaChouffani
Apple TV, google tv, IP TV, iTV, Patient engagement

With the significant increase in smartphone and mobile device adoption in the health care setting in recent years, 2012 will definitely add more emphasis on mobility integration at the organizational and enterprise strategy level, as well when looking at an organization’s technology budget. The new capital commitment needed to support mobile device management, security assurance and security updates, as well as the evaluation of different mobile apps that can help with patient care must be top of mind considerations as an organization continues to map its strategy in the coming years.

In this same vein, another area that may require some additional consideration is in terms of planning for upgrades to a hospital or health system’s interactive television system.Similar to how consumers, patients and clinicians continue to drive the adoption of smartphones in the arena, a similar trend may be on the horizon with interactive TV in the health care setting. Except, this time, the device in question is in a majority of living rooms across the nation.

Television has seen some drastic changes and great technological advancements over the past decade.Projection TV, plasma, LCD, and 3D TV have all been part of the evolution of television technology. But it does not stop there; TVs are now turning to mobile platforms to become smarter, more interactive units.

While traditionally you can connect a PC or gaming console to your TV to take advantage of the integrated, advanced capabilities, Apple and Google took different approaches. Sony and Logitech partnered with Google to implement Google TV in some of their devices.Sony was the first to embed the actual Android based platform in its televisions, with Android being the platform of choice for many smartphone users in the market. Google TV also provides the ability to develop and deploy apps (native, HTML5, or a mix) and make them available for use on any Google-capable TV.

The integration of mobile platforms and interactive programming with television technology seems to hold great potential for the health care industry. Personally I have been using Google TV for about a month now and the feedback I’ve gathered from both colleagues and family, as well as the many potential uses I’ve considered, support the incredible promise this technology has for health care and the future of patients who will use and interact with programs and content at the bedside.

For hospitals who currently have interactive TVs in their patient rooms, there are many possibilities for Google TV:

  • Interactive patient education
  • Customized hospital content feeds (news, community based events)
  • Online and interactive dining services
  • Interactive patient charts or health records (integration with PHR or hospital EHR)
  • Patient surveys
  • Teleconferencing with family, friends and care givers (Medical home can contact patients and do conference calls regardless of TV hardware used)
  • Social media services (Facebook, Twitter and other social sites accessibility).
  • Access to commonly used apps
  • Remote control from any smart phone device (iPhone, Android based remote control)
  • Health & fitness tracking, interactive/reward based capabilities
  • Interactive schedules
  • Access to clinicians for hospital based and health apps used in the enterprise from anywhere in the network
  • Interactive entertainment and on demand (watch your own movies from your own Netflix subscription
  • Gain access to work related items without the need of a laptop on hand
  • Cost effective
  •  Integration capability with IP-based TVs and other online TV providers

While not all TV stations are available via the internet, many are considering moving in this direction. And should this trend continue to take off, this would one day mean that all TV programming will be IP (internet protocol) based, significantly justifying the use of a smart TV.And with the use of Android and iOS platforms, this add more content availability and other possible uses for the larger displays.

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