Healthcare industry on cutting edge of technology - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/24/09

Healthcare industry on cutting edge of technology

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - One industry that has stayed strong during the recession is healthcare.  In fact, Kaiser-Permanente is opening up a massive technology-proving ground to show what they think will be the hospital of the future. 

The system will include instant facial recognition software for doctors to log-in, laser-generated keyboards that can be set up quickly anywhere in the facility, and Tele-Presence technology which allows patients to be in conference with doctors far away. 

"Let's say if I'm a specialist who is 100 miles away, you no longer have to drive to that Kaiser facility.  You and I can continue to communicate, and more importantly, if you speak a different language, we can also project another person into this conversation, an interpreter," said Sean Chai of the Kaiser-Permanente Garfield Innovation Center. 

Here on the South Plains, Texas Tech has been providing teleconferencing for a long time, so that patients in remote areas have access to doctors and research at the Health Science Center.

There's more on the horizon for hospitals everywhere.  Instead of charts, all doctors will carry a USB, which is basically a tiny key that lets you take electronic medical records with you, allergies, x-rays, even EKG's will all be portable. This will allow for hospitals and clinics to seem bigger and less cluttered because massive amounts of data will shrink down to a simple digital file.

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