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A New HOPE For Underserved Urban Communities For 21st Century Healthcare

With 21 years of experience working in technology and a decade of experience in technology marketing, Oz Sultan is making it a part of his #HarlemForward mission to help bring 21st-century medicine to the forefront of the medical industry. His background spans the gamut of multi-million dollar and startup tech systems to building, operating, and consulting on such projects as Blockchain, Big Data, and select political ones. Additionally, he is a part of initiatives that focus on building interfaith bridges in NYC, anti-trafficking; job development; entrepreneurship; and developing young leaders in Harlem. Lately, his work has focused on Blockchain risk scenarios and using them to secure both business and governmental systems. His goal in running for New York Senate is to develop policies that serve the community. 

Some of the key issues Oz is tackling in Harlem include improving reasonable access to jobs, healthcare, housing, training, and banking. 

Speaking to Top Doctor Magazine, Oz related his personal concerns and vision for healthcare in urban communities. 

“The institutions around us, from the legislative institutions to the regulators, they’re not prepared for the cybersecurity risks, they’re not prepared for the data risk, and they’re not prepared to provide advanced level services to communities that are less affluent.”

RPM and Telehealth

Healthcare in the United States, particularly in urban and rural areas, has not advanced to the full extent of its utility. According to Oz, the technology available behind Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is 21st-century medicine. Not only does it bring about the best care for patient outcomes, but it is a tremendous overlay of technology and systems that sits upon the surface of Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

According to Oz, there are three specific benefits that RPM provides: 

  • Live engagement
  • Prevention
  • Quality of life

“What if I could give you 21st-century medicine? What if I could give you the technology that would basically give you access to everything you would have if you were full time in the hospital? That’s what [RPM] is,” says Oz. 

Through RPM, it is possible to have 24/7 live engagement between patients and clinicians. This is incredibly important for situations like the one Oz found himself in as he cared for his uncle, who was waiting for a heart valve transplant and recovering from radiological treatments for colon cancer. 

During caregiving, the two biggest issues that Oz recognized were first, interaction and cooperation between various doctors, and second, having efficient data monitoring. The simple fact is both problems could have been resolved through RPM, specifically RPM’s Activities of Daily Life (ADL) tags. 

ADL tags are Bluetooth low-energy monitors that can be easily placed in a patient’s home to monitor key aspects of that person’s life. For example, with a colon cancer patient, an ADL tag can monitor and track frequent restroom visits or lack thereof. This is used to determine a change or deterioration in a current condition and then be relayed to the correct healthcare professional. Also, the data collected by RPM services can be viewed by whatever clinician is needed, cutting out the hassle of passing information between various offices. 

With devices such as ADL tags, blood pressure, and glucose monitors, the continuous data collection for RPM patients makes preventative medicine not only a possibility but a reality. Clinicians can easily establish baselines for each patient and recognize or diagnose potential problems or future illnesses they may not catch otherwise. In many cases, this can be life-saving and certainly improve quality of life. 

Blockchain and Healthcare

“The future of healthcare is intertwined with data privacy, healthcare privacy, and it needs people who understand how this works.” 

As RPM and Telehealth become more established in the medical industry, a common concern is emerging – privacy protection. Consequently, many of the current policies and procedures being used in patient information and privacy protection are being examined with a fine-tooth comb and are found to be lacking. This is where Oz, who has worked for years with Blockchain and Big Data, predicts and advocates for the efficiency and assurance of Blockchains within healthcare. 

A blockchain is a guaranteed immutable public ledger that records transactions and tracks assets, all of which can be distributed. It is drawing the healthcare sector’s attention as this technology is expected to improve systems like medical record management and the insurance claims process. Besides, it is expected to accelerate clinical and biomedical research.

According to Oz and his experience, Blockchains are valuable to the healthcare and medical industry for two specific reasons:

  • Ease of sharing patients’ records
  • Complete privacy and protection of records and data

With the boom of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems being used to share patients’ records among various clinicians or hospitals, there is a challenge arising. It is still a challenge for entities to access patient data that is scattered through multiple EHRs. This is where Blockchain steps in. Acting as a ledger for data, Blockchain technology allows access rules to be assigned for patients’ medical information and permissions for specific clinicians to access parts of the information for a period of time. Through Blockchain technology, the ease of sharing medical data is greatly increased. 

The development of Blockchain comes from the basis of sharing high-value information and data between people who don’t trust each other. As a result, the way it works as an immutable ledger – meaning, what goes in doesn’t come out – secures patient data. 

“We need to eliminate the need for multiple people to pass around paperwork, we need to eliminate the middlemen, and at the same time increase security, increased currently limited patient access, increase cybersecurity, and increase the opportunity for data to be utilized in a more meaning fashion,” said Oz about his vision for Blockchain and healthcare. 

Moving Forward

In his #HarlemForward initiative, Oz has a simple vision: make lasting change in Harlem. One such change is going to be found in healthcare as the current system is outdated and lacking. With men and women like Oz and their combined experience, the medical industry and communities throughout the United States can expect to be ushered into 21st-century medicine and all the benefits it offers. 

Find out more about Oz here

References: 

Yoon H. J. (2019). Blockchain Technology and Healthcare. Healthcare informatics research, 25(2), 59–60. https://doi.org/10.4258/hir.2019.25.2.59

Tith, D., Lee, J. S., Suzuki, H., Wijesundara, W., Taira, N., Obi, T., & Ohyama, N. (2020). Application of Blockchain to Maintaining Patient Records in Electronic Health Record for Enhanced Privacy, Scalability, and Availability. Healthcare informatics research, 26(1), 3–12. https://doi.org/10.4258/hir.2020.26.1.3

Top Doctor Magazine
Top Doctor Magazine

Top Doctor Magazine is a magazine from doctors for doctors and patients. We cover everything from cutting-edge medical techniques and procedures to enterprising doctors, dentists, surgeons, naturopaths, chiropaths, orthodontists, and more who are thought leaders within their own medical practice and changing the way we all experience medicine for the better.

We wish to be your one-stop digest for inspiration by other professionals in your field who are making waves and setting trends. If you, too, are a trend-setter, reach out to us so we can interview you for your own spotlight within an upcoming Top Doctor Magazine issue!

Brianna Connors & Derek Archer Co-Editors