Health IT Roundup—Novant offers physician searches through Google Assistant; Smart healthcare products to reach $66.7B

Novant Health's doctor search app is now available through Google Assistant, allowing users with Google Home or other Android devices to use their voice to locate the nearest physician, urgent care facility or emergency room. (John Tekeridis/Pexels)

Novant Health's physician search is now available through Google Assistant

Novant patients with an Android device or a Google Home product can now use them to find their nearest physician.

The popular voice assistant will understand requests to find the nearest physician clinic, urgent care facility or emergency room. The compatibility adds to Novant's existing availability on Amazon Alexa devices.

“With Google Assistant, Novant Health is making health care more accessible for our patients,” said Angela Yochem, Novant Health executive vice president and chief digital and tech officer, in a release. “Enabling access to information through smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home is one of many ways we use technology to help our patients get the information they need and the care they deserve.” (Release)

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Market for smart healthcare products to reach $66.7B by 2024

Smart healthcare products, such as smart syringes, electronic health records, RFID systems and smart pills, are quickly gaining popularity.

The market, which in 2017 was valued at $35.6 billion, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% until it reaches $66.7 billion in 2024, Zion Market Research wrote in a new report.

While EHRs are a well-documented challenge for providers, many of these products are simple fixes. Smart syringes, for instance, simply prevent the reuse of the syringe, while RFID tags are used to automatically identify and track objects in a healthcare facility. Smart pills, meanwhile, are ingestible IoT devices that monitor a patient's pH, temperature and pressure through the gastrointestinal tract. (Release)

Geisinger recognized with HIMSS Analytics validation—first health system in Pennsylvania to gain it

Geisinger Health System became the fourth in the world last Thursday—and the first in Pennsylvania—to gain HIMSS recognition for its data integration systems. The health system earned the HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity validation.

"Geisinger is proud to join a handful of healthcare organizations in the world to reach this level of analytics maturity. We strive to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes through innovative technologies and progressive use of data-driven decisions," said Geisinger Chief Information Officer John Kravitz in a release. "Geisinger’s clinically integrated environment ensures data flows seamlessly from one department to another, prioritizing patient care." 

The next step for Geisinger will be reaching Stage 7, which currently has only been attained by two health systems: Duke Health and University of North Carolina Health. Rush Health in Chicago and King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre in Saudi Arabia are the other two Stage 6 achievers. (Release)

Accenture announces 4 finalists for HealthTech Innovation Challenge

Accenture is holding its third annual HealthTech Innovation Challenge this year, and on New Year's it announced the North America-based finalists for the competition: California-based Ayasdi, Baltimore-based b.well Connected Health, New York-based Newtopia and Chicago-based NowPow.

Worldwide, the competition has 10 finalists.

The HealthTech Innovation Challenge tests the ability of startups and other healthcare organizations to tackle big healthcare issues. The three categories Accenture is looking at this year include: keeping populations health through wellness and prevention, using digital solutions to improve patient outcomes and improving healthcare delivery for patients. (Release)

HL7 releases FHIR version 4.0 to enhance interoperability

HL7 International announced Wednesday that after 18 months, it has completed FHIR Release 4, which should allow healthcare organizations to make new strides in data interoperability.

"The most significant change in FHIR Release 4 is that the base platform of the standard has passed a normative ballot, and will be submitted to ANSI as a normative standard. This means that future changes should be backward compatible, so that applications that implement the normative parts of R4 no longer risk being non-conformant to the standard," HL7 said in a blog post announcing the release.

The new release also includes thousands of other updates. (HL7 blog)

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