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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jan 15 2012   6:00PM GMT

The CES 2012 products and what they can do to healthcare

Posted by: RedaChouffani
CES 2012, healthcare, mhealth, mHealth devices, mobile health, tablets, telehealth, ultrabooks

When looking at the myriad of products available and introduced during CES 2012, there were several neat gadgets that were also truly innovative. Many of these items will eventually make their way to the healthcare space, aiding in care delivery and expanding the care continuum.

Overall, there were a few categories of products worth highlighting that are of interest to technology enthusiasts:

Ultrabooks:  After watching the success of the MacBook Air, many notebook manufacturers clearly recognized that thinner, lighter machines that had longer battery life were critical to spurring market interest in their products. During CES 2012, many vendors captured the attention of bloggers and attendees with their ultrathin notebooks. HP was one of those manufacturers with their HP Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook. In terms of healthcare, the business value that these devices would bring is longer battery life and the fact that they are much lighter, thus attracting more healthcare professionals.

New apps and software: There were two products that I found very interesting featured at the show, one being OnLive, which is bringing cloud-based gaming to Android based devices as well as other platforms. Another product, the BlueStacks App Player, allows mobile apps to run on any Windows based desktop, keeping all of the apps on the different platforms completely in sync. From a healthcare perspective these products shows the potential of having a completely hosted application platform (EHR, RIS, registration, ERP, LIS) in the cloud, with access to any of them being OnDemand. IT departments will create and manage one application repository where staff can then have access to the different apps, on the device of their choice, without needing to involve IT in the process, significantly reducing costs. Essentially, you could pick up an iPad or ultrabook from the store, connect to the network and you are ready to roll.

Smart TVs: I wrote about the value of smart TVs for the first time last year, as I see this as as area of technology poised for growth in healthcare. Experimenting with Google TV, Apple TV and XBMC in recent months, I was able to learn a lot about what smarter TV offers and the potential capabilities in the future. While CES 2012 did not offer that much in terms of smarter TVs, most of the focus was on some of the newest TV sets utilizing Google TV or having their own built-in apps.

Tablets and e-readers: Samsung, Asus, Acer and others showed a demo of their tablets with the latest version of Android (Ice Cream) and Windows 8. While it was hard to see any real incredible differentiators amongst these products, these devices will most likely increase the popularity of Android tablets. From a healthcare perspective, we will likely begin to see these devices in the waiting room of medical practices while filling up medical history forms (eDocForms) as well as in the hands of home health nurses and patients in infusion centers to replace paper forms and magazines.

Wireless medical devices: A wireless blood sugar meter was another healthcare specific product worth noting at CES 2012. It was a wireless medical gadget that can read the glucose levels from a drop of blood and sends the results to an online data service using its internal wireless connectivity. These results can be shared with a patient’s physicians and ensures that both the patient and physicians have the data available to them without relying on paper based forms for tracking the information.

CES is an exciting event for all gadget and technology lovers. It introduces us to many of the latest and greatest innovations and also gives us indicators as to what some of the trends are from a consumer perspective. Healthcare professionals and executives must keep an eye on these products and seek to integrate and adopt the ones that not only can bring significant cost savings and increase efficiency, but ones that also work to expand the care delivery continuum and improve patient care.

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