John Patrick on healthcare for children

This week, I spent a day at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children  in Bayside, Queens, New York. I had never been to Bayside, so I learned some new geography. The more important learning was about the great work the 97-bed healthcare provider is doing to help children. Children at St. Mary’s are not there with the flu. Most have been transferred from another hospital after treatment for a highly acute condition. The children at St. Mary’s  are the sickest of the sick. I saw a lot of nurturing smiles on the faces of nurses caring for the kids.

Dr. Edwin Simpser is the CEO of St. Mary’s. He had read an article I wrote for childrenshospitals Today magazine about new healthcare technology. Eddie, his preferred name and title, contacted me and asked if I could spend a day brainstorming with him and his senior leadership team on the future of healthcare. I discussed a number of mHealth devices which may be useful for children. We talked about telehealth and how it is evolving from interactive voice systems to holoportation. We also discussed the skunkworks, a technique for innovation I wrote about in Net Attitude.

St. Mary’s is very progressive with technology. For example, they use WiFi connected pulse oximitry to measure a child’s oxygenation. If an alert is created by the device, it reports it to a Vocera pendant communications device worn by the appropriate nurse. They essentially have an IoT (Internet of Things). They are just steps away from everything and everybody connected to everything and everybody. We discussed the possibility of using technology to track instances of asthma attacks and other ideas. There are so many opportunities to apply new technologies to healthcare. Hospitals like St. Mary’s, which aggressively reaches out to find new ideas, will create healthcare that is safer, more effective, and more affordable.

John Patrick will be at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 1 presenting "Healthcare in the Cloud Era" Buy Tickets 


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