The U.S. ranked 6th out of 13 countries in connected digital health systems in a recent study. In other words, there is a lot of room for change in America's hospitals, said Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America (PHG) . 'We are in the middle of the pack partially because of the way our health system has evolved, it's more oriented to acute care and in-hospital care,' said Shafer. 'And what this points out is that care goes beyond the hospital walls and into the home.' Shafer said the technology has been already developed to move care outside the hospital. He said Philips has a cloud-based platform that enables a hospital to connect to the patient's home, but making sure it is secure to protect confidentiality. Dr. Brian Donley, chief of staff for the Cleveland Clinic, added that such technological breakthroughs drive down the cost of care and actually increase the quality. Some of that is tele-health, where the hospitals connect to the patient and care for the patient virtually through telemedicine. Then there are 'wearables' which Donley said will evolve into coaching support, empowering people to avoid larger health issues.
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