COVID-19 in Children and Young Adults Part 1: Infants and Children

We often talk about the effects that COVID-19 has on adults, since that is the age group that tends to be most affected by the virus. But has doing so created a blind spot in our precautions when it comes to infants and younger children? At the very beginning of the pandemic, little of our worry was focused on children — if any — because there were very few cases of babies and children contracting the virus. However, this may have led to the misconception that we can let our guard down when it comes to kids. Let’s examine. (more…)

The Data Behind Masks and COVID-19

Since nearly the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has identified three primary tactics that ordinary people can employ in their day-to-day lives to help stop the spread of the deadly disease. These are social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask in public. While many Americans seem to be struggling to adopt these lifestyle changes, the recommendation of wearing a mask has been the most controversial. Part of this may be due to the WHO and CDC initially doubting the effectiveness of face masks during the early days of the virus. As more data about the new disease emerged, they quickly reversed this position.

Opponents of the mask mandates argue that being compelled to wear a mask in public infringes on their freedoms, while ignoring the fact that their refusal infringes on others’ right to life. Many falsely believe that they aren’t contagious because they don’t have symptoms, or that the masks aren’t effective. However, all reliable data indicates that this is not the case. (more…)

Social Determinants of Health, COVID-19, and Racism in Healthcare: Smarter Healthcare Podcast Episode 8 Takeaways

Racism has been a major societal issue since the beginning of time, and unfortunately, it’s not a thing of the past. Today especially, it’s speaking just as loud as it was decades ago. But now with COVID-19 in the mix of the current social justice movements, it’s important to talk about how the two intertwine with each other and how racism is very relevant to the healthcare system. In the newest Smarter Healthcare podcast, episode 8, Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH Dean, of Boston University School of Public Health discusses the social determinants of health, as well as COVID-19 and racism in healthcare.

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The Value of Data in COVID-19 Contact Tracing

States across the country are now easing lockdown restrictions, increasing the number of interactions people have on a daily basis. In order to continue to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and prevent new stay-at-home orders, contact tracing will increase in importance.

When it comes to contact tracing, quick action is necessary to quarantine potentially infected people to prevent them from spreading the virus. How can public health officials ensure that they have the most up-to-date data to do this effectively? Let’s take a look.

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The Future of Healthcare: How Telehealth Will Change After COVID-19

After almost three months of quarantine and social distancing measures in the U.S., there’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted most, if not all, industries across the nation. But the industry that has been continuously affected the most by COVID-19 is healthcare. Currently, telehealth and telemedicine are hot topics within the industry, and there are a few changes that telehealth will bring into the healthcare industry even after the disease subsides. In this blog post, we’ll examine a few of those changes, including the benefits and concerns of post-pandemic telehealth. (more…)

Workplace Technology is Being Deployed to Fight COVID-19

With stay-at-home orders being eased, millions of Americans are returning to work for the first time in months. But the workplaces they return to won’t be the same as the ones they left. Social distancing is here to stay, and it’s going to have a profound effect on the dynamics of the average workplace.

Workers can expect new rules and procedures to be in place when they come back. Masks will be required, communal dining areas will be gone, and work spaces will be spread farther apart. These measures are unfortunate, but they will be extremely important for maintaining health and safety for the foreseeable future. But how do you make sure an entire office or workplace full of people follows these rules at all times?

That is where social distancing technology comes in. Several large companies are exploring options for technology that could be integrated into the workplace which would monitor employees to ensure that they maintain the proper distances. But what that technology will look like, and how it will affect workers’ privacy, is still uncertain. (more…)

How Artificial Intelligence is Helping Fight COVID-19

The world is currently experiencing one of its largest pandemics with at least 248 million Americans in at least 29 states advised to stay at home. But modern technology such as artificial intelligence has become a promising tool in the fight against COVID-19. As humans do their own part to protect each other and “flatten the curve,” AI offers a few benefits itself that may help decrease the severity of the coronavirus. Let’s examine. (more…)

Using Data More Effectively to Address the Social Determinants of Health

Healthcare organizations looking to cut costs and improve patient care are increasingly exploring how the conditions in which people live and work contribute to long-term outcomes.

Research now indicates that the social determinants of health (SDOHs), such as housing stability, access to transportation, and psycho-social safety, have an outsized impact on a patient’s ability to engage with the healthcare system and follow treatment plans for chronic and acute conditions.

Yet healthcare systems are still struggling to understand their patients’ challenges and how to connect individuals with the support they need. (more…)

COVID-19 Analytics Toolkit Available for Healthcare Providers

As healthcare providers mobilize in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, their data is an important guide in helping them understand where their resources are being used and what their capacity is as new patients come in.

In order to help healthcare providers as they try to gain insight into their operations and capacity, Dimensional Insight is now offering a COVID-19 analytics toolkit. Here are some of the details. (more…)

The Growth of Telehealth and How Analytics Can Support It

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers don’t want patients to come into the hospital or go to their doctor’s office unless critically necessary. That means telemedicine is quickly soaring in popularity. Healthcare providers are able to see patients remotely and determine whether they need to be seen in person or if they can treat themselves at home with rest and meds.

Use of telehealth has grown rapidly over the last several years, more than doubling in use since 2010, according to the American Hospital Association. (35% of hospitals used telehealth in 2010 vs. 76% in 2017 – the last year for which data is available.) However, that use within hospitals is not necessarily widespread and there are still hurdles to overcome when deploying telehealth. In this blog post, we’ll examine the current telehealth landscape and how healthcare analytics can help providers in their telehealth efforts. (more…)