Healthcare is a hotbed of innovation these days, with advances in areas like pharmaceuticals, surgical robotics and 3-D printing helping to cure diseases, improve patient care and extend lives. One technology you might not expect doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to be thinking about is middleware, but healthcare industry analyst ECRI says middleware is one of 10 key technologies that healthcare CIOs need to be watching.
Why? Between the digitization of patient records, ubiquity of mobile devices and increasing number of medical devices being linked as part of the Internet of Things, more and more time-sensitive information is being shared across hospitals and insurance companies. Middleware makes sure it’s all in the right hands at the right time so caregivers can provide the best possible care.
The report highlights how middleware can help hospitals satisfy the requirements of a 2013 National Patient Safety Goal by routing clinical alarms and alerts to healthcare information systems and personal communications devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). It describes several functions such as automating the routing and escalation of alarms, generating reports that help hospitals identify problems with their alarm management, and enabling complex event processing that correlates data from multiple sources to rapidly identify developing problems before any single symptom or alarm brings them to light.
It’s interesting to note how applicable these challenges and opportunities are to other industries, even if lives might not always be in the line.