Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

154 V I EWPO I NT waiting weeks for your treatment, while your prescription gets faxed around. In contrast, RxLightning’s technology simplifies this cumbersome process by giving healthcare providers a way to easily submit speciality drug enrolment and patient assistance applications through a single digital source. RxLightning has digitised forms for over 1,200 speciality medications to quickly get patients started on the therapies they need. RxLightning reduces the administrative burden, streamlines communication with the speciality pharmacy and hubs, and ultimately accelerates speed to therapy for patients. Additionally, the platform safely and securely captures patient information to allow for future enrolments and applications to be submitted without delay. Designed with clinicians in mind, the RxLightning solution is free for physicians, making it both affordable and transformational for them and their patients. Recently, American Oncology Network (AON) and RxLightning partnered to provide AON’s community oncology practices with a digital approach to financial assistance enrolment for speciality medications. This partnership simplifies speciality medication enrolment for AON’s healthcare providers and gives patients quicker access to life-saving medications. Another interesting innovation comes from Vidatak, a company dedicated to giving a voice to patients who cannot speak at all or do not speak the language of their provider. Its enterprise application VidaTalk is designed to help patients and caregivers overcome speech and language barriers to communicate effectively. According to Vidatak, 70 per cent of nonEnglish-speaking patients have insufficient verbal interactions with staff, leaving them vulnerable to missed pain, crucial changes in symptoms, and delayed treatment. VidaTalk changes this by placing control of language access and speech ability in the hands of the patient. VidaTalk has 40 language profiles built in with validated pre-set communications for routine care. Often, nurses avoid using interpreters because they’re too difficult to access and they find it disruptive to their workflow. Interpreter services that take place by phone or video have increasing wait times, while designated interpreter computers can be hard to track down. To combat this, VidaTalk is installed on existing bedside tablets and providers’ phones, dramatically increasing the accessibility of human interpreters for every healthcare conversation. VidaTalk features a touch-to-talk interface, enabling intubated patients or those with a tracheotomy to communicate with staff via the app, instead of resorting to pointing and hand gestures. It includes the most common healthcare statements, with big, easy buttons that require very little dexterity. As we look ahead, it’s imperative that all of us – innovators, implementers and users alike – are ready for the next wave of technologies to improve operational efficiency. This means using technology to make data interoperable and usable; creating a culture that fosters digital transformation; focusing on the needs of patients, clinicians and staff, especially in relation to workflows; and ensuring security isn’t sacrificed in the rush to innovate. Sally Ann Frank is worldwide lead for health and life sciences at Microsoft for Startups and Tim Gray is a healthcare industry advisor at Microsoft and former health system chief information officer “VidaTalk is designed to help patients and caregivers overcome speech and language barriers to communicate effectively”