Long Island Experts Dissect Next-gen Medicine

Dr. Purna Prasad. (Photo by Matthew Kropp)
Dr. Purna Prasad, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Information Technology at Northwell Health, was the keynote speaker at the Health Tech 2.0 Summit in Hauppauge on July 12, 2018. (Photo by Matthew Kropp).

Experts are testing small drones that automatically fly medical supplies to victims that first responders can’t immediately reach, allowing medics to offer first aid via two-way camera before help arrives in person.

It was advanced, next-generation technology such as this and many other exciting emerging healthcare technology developments that industry leaders shared with nearly 200 attendees at Thursday morning’s Health Tech 2.0 Summit at Simplay in Hauppauge.

“We recently very successfully tested a drone delivery simulation,” said Dr. Purna Prasad, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Information Technology at Northwell Health, leader in healthcare and health technology across New York State. “The whole thing was a completely unmanned, automatic drone picking up a micro-package and delivering it from Point A to Point B … with absolutely no human connection.”

Dr. Prasad delivered this exciting and innovative news while serving as the keynote speaker at the Summit, which included a panel discussion featuring more than a dozen senior executives from prominent hospitals, health networks, and technology corporations on Long Island, as well as leaders from the private and public sectors. The discussion was moderated by Joe Marchese, Managing Director at SVAM International Inc., who included and engaged the audience in the conversations.

In addition to discussions about first aid drones, the Summit touched on topics ranging from how to best harness abundant digitized medical data and the glut of consumer health devices on the market, to using technological advancements to help reign in the ever-increasing cost of healthcare. For example, the use of medical providers that see patients remotely, commonly known as telehealth, has become an increasingly popular way to reduce costs. Debate topics also included virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printers and new life-saving sensors.

“We’re working very quickly to address the prevention of rehospitalization,” said Kim Gavin, Senior Business Partner at Boston Scientific, the Massachusetts-based medical device manufacturer. “It’s a huge issue for hospitals, for patients and for industry. We’re looking to design sensors that can predict [organ failure].”

Marchese, the moderator, posed questions to the panel.

“How are technology providers creating the infrastructure and the management framework to deal with all this?” he asked. “Security keeps making the news and not just elevating awareness but apprehension and downright fear. What’s being done to keep data safe and manage the risks that will only keep growing?”

Sagi Brody, Chief Technical Officer at Webair, the Garden City-based internet solutions company, warned that companies need to do a better job of being prepared for a data breach by outsourcing firms that can keep data accessible and platforms operational in the face of a disruption.

“Copying data is essentially simple,” he said, adding that people have “a lot of assumptions that platforms are resilient, but accountability is on the provider.”

Despite fears of patients’ electronic medical records (EMRs) being compromised, Dr. Joel Shu, Vice President of Clinical Transformation and Population Health for Catholic Health Services, said “EMRs are a necessity” because if providers reverted back to paper records, they couldn’t track patient data as well.

Among the panelists was Dr. Prasad’s wife, Veena Vijayendra, a Public Health Advocate and Healthcare administrator, who noted that providers will need patient buy in for preventative healthcare technology to be effective.

“What is lacking in technology is the personal touch,” she said.

Rounding out the panel of speakers were Ken Ambos, Senior VP at Arthur J. Gallagher, Allan Cohen, Partner at Nixon Peabody, Brendan Goodwin, Regional Cyber Director at Arthur J. Gallagher, Chanté Jordan, Vice President of Marketing at Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, Dr. Hak Kim, Chairperson and Associate Professor for the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics at Hofstra University, Dr. Walter Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Health Professions at Hofstra University, and Scott Mastellon, IT Commissioner of Suffolk County.

The event, hosted by the Long Island Press, was sponsored by Northwell Health, SVAM International, Inc., Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, Nixon Peabody, Powerlink, Hofstra University, Custom Computer Specialists, Raich Ende & Malter Co. LLP, Webair, Catholic Health Services, Long Island Women in Tech, LISTnet, HKM & Associates, Sandwire, and HippocraticRx.