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Medical Professionals, Small Business Testify to Emerging Tech’s Potential for Medical Workforce

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of experts on new and emerging technologies used to train medical professionals.

“Health care is a constantly changing field, with new technologies emerging every day.  The advanced technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and Telehealth or Telemedicine are trending now.  Each of these areas present new solutions to old problems but do not come without costs,” said Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH).  “Larger companies seem to dominate the emerging technologies of AI and Telehealth.  We need to understand how small businesses can fit into this picture and what we can do to support the small firms already in these fields.”

Experts Testify on High Tech, Medical Instrument Solutions

“Sepsis kills more Americans than breast cancer, lung cancer, and opioid overdoses combined.  At $27 billion annually, it is the leading cost of hospitalization, however 80 percent of sepsis deaths may be averted with rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment.  Rapid diagnosis starts with proper collection of blood cultures…  Current blood culture collection techniques are highly flawed, leading to delayed or misdiagnosis.  Nearly 40 percent of all positive blood cultures are considered false positives,” said Michael Hopkins, RN; CEO & Founder, True Concepts Medical, in Centerville, OH.  “Our solution is the patented [dual] syringe technology… [it] isolates the initial 3 ml of blood and the rest of the sample within a single syringe, ensuring contaminant-free blood culture collection.”

“In the field of orthopaedics, simulation has been particularly successful when used to recreate arthroscopy and minimally invasive surgery, two of the most modern surgical techniques residents are learning.  Simulation can be done repeatedly, on-demand, and without patient risk – potentially lowering complication rates and costs to the health care system in the long run,” said Matthew Conti, MD; Orthopaedic Surgery Resident, Hospital for Special Surgery, in New York, NY.  Dr. Conti testified on behalf of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Telemedicine can benefit institutions, health care systems, and providers by expanding access to care and improving quality of care in both rural and urban settings.  The challenges and burdens on patients from rural areas to access care include transportation and time required for travel which can be significantly alleviated with virtual care,” said Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, MD; Associate Professor of Opthamology, Founding Clinical Director of the Office of Telemedicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, MD.  Dr. Zimmer-Galler testified on behalf of the American Academy of Opthamology.

“Through [entrepreneurship laboratories or innovation classes], students have the hands-on experience of making decisions about patient care as if it were real, while also allowing faculty to remediate, debrief, and educate students on best practices,” said Nancy Fahrenwald, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN; Dean and Professor, Texas A&M University, College of Nursing, in Bryan, TX.  Dr. Fahrenwald testified on behalf of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

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