What did CES 2016 do for Healthcare?

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So why is Intermountain Healthcare among those scoping out the new technologies and ideas at CES 2016?

Intermountain Healthcare aims to transform care through high quality and sustainable costs. There’s a lot that goes into transforming healthcare: Researching the best treatments, improving the care doctors and hospitals provide, helping patients and their families understand care better, and thousands of other things. Technology can definitely play a big part too.

Take, for instance, the myriad virtual reality / augmented reality technologies we saw at CES 2016. There are a lot of applications in healthcare for these – help surgeons operate with more precision, guide patients through procedures beforehand, make rehab easier to do remotely with better outcomes, etc. The sky’s the limit with what we can do as the technology advances.

Transforming healthcare through technology isn’t just about the new gizmo that promises to shift medicine. It’s also about making it easier for the average person to improve their own health, and helping their families do the same. Enter the hundreds of wearables and fitness trackers released at CES. They can inform people about their activity, sleep, and other things pertinent to their overall health.

The thing is, providing new tech to caregivers and lots of health information to patients won’t transform healthcare the way we ultimately need it. That will require patients and healthcare teams to engage with each other like never before. It will mean patients have easy access to meaningful information, that they understand their choices, and that they have accountability and control over their health. Ultimately it’ll mean patients and caregivers alike change their behaviors – a daunting task indeed.

Did CES 2016 reveal anything to help us do that? In short, no. No shiny holy grail, no panacea for the complex problems healthcare faces. But a lot of things we saw at CES 2016 get us closer. Things like retinal scans to make it easier for surgeons to log in to their computer when they’re already scrubbed in; automatic breast pumps to make it easier for moms to pump when they don’t have two hands to handle the machine; connected fridges to promote healthy ingredients and meals.

All these advances can be part of the solution to the puzzle. But ultimately, healthcare will be transformed by caregivers and patients connecting around a common goal – helping people live healthier lives. Check out the new technologies we saw at CES 2016 and how they’ll help us do exactly that: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwyFZgNvicNMZ9E2LxQk48ROrDuakGf6u