RSNA2023 Leading Through Change
Daily Bulletin

Transforming Health Care By Empowering Patients With Insights Into Their Health

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023

By Nick Klenske

In his Tuesday plenary lecture, Vin Gupta, MD highlighted how two companies are transforming everyday household items—in this case, a mirror and a toilet seat—into high-tech diagnostic tools.


"Device-centric health care is a potential vision for how we can deliver patient care in the future," said Dr. Gupta, a practicing pulmonologist who currently serves as chief medical officer of Amazon Pharmacy.

Whereas the mirror uses remote photoplethysmography and the toilet seat uses sensor and EKG technology, both devices can accurately monitor vitals, such as blood pressure.

"These devices demonstrate how we can seamlessly integrate vital sign checkups into a patient's routine activities," Dr. Gupta said.

Improving Patient Engagement Starts at Home

To add some perspective on why such integration is important, consider that one in two American adults lack access to same-day care.

"Moving some diagnostics into the home setting could help reduce the gap between testing and treatment," Dr. Gupta explained.

Furthermore, by integrating vital sign testing into everyday activities like brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom, patients will be more likely to use the technology.

"The bottom line is patients don't like our current diagnostic tools," explained Dr. Gupta, who noted that only one in 10 people diagnosed with high blood pressure actually use a blood pressure cuff to monitor their condition. "The other nine don't like the experience," he added.

Dr. Gupta went on to say that this poor patient engagement is a big reason why we aren't seeing improvements in such health risk factors as hypertension, diabetes, obesity or cholesterol.

"This is why we are talking about contactless mirrors for vital sign detection and tech-forward toilet seats for blood pressure," he said.

Moving the Needle on Patient Care

This lack of engagement is also why physicians need to talk about how they treat patients.

"Patients want to access home health care before they need to go to the hospital, not just after being discharged," Dr. Gupta said.

Here, non-traditional resources are helping to move the needle on patient care. For example, one asynchronous, telemedicine platform allows other telehealth providers to easily access as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible—in some cases under 30 minutes—and as cheaply as possible.

"I think virtual telemedicine can help address today's shortage in health care workers while also meeting patients where they want to receive care," Dr. Gupta remarked.

Delivering the Future of Medicine

Even in the ICU and clinical setting, technology is working to shrink the "time to treatment" gap. For instance, generative AI tools are streamlining the clinical workflow, not only by transforming medical documentation, but also by providing physicians with real-time differential diagnosis and even clinical plans.

"Time to treatment is what matters, but it's generally something we haven't gotten right," Dr. Gupta concluded. "By digitizing every step of the process—from diagnosis to prescriptions, triage to treatment —we have a real opportunity to increase engagement, improve outcomes, lower costs and deliver the future of medicine."

Access the plenary, "The Future of Healthcare Delivery: Considerations for Patients and Providers," (T4-PL04) on demand at t