Archive for October, 2006
October 13, 2006
CNN reports on Wednesday how home monitoring can significantly impact medical costs. The give examples of home dialysis and Health Buddy and note in the latter that adult children can use it to monitor their elderly parents. Health 3.0 as the next generation include genetic testing services, retail therapy/clinics, second opinion for medical bills and more entrepreneurs like Steve Case and his Revolution Health.
While the mimicking of Web 2.0 can get old, certainly home treatment and monitoring and new health delivery models are becoming more prevalent. However, it is hard to predict the adoption rate of these new services – much will depend on reimbursement/business models and the consumer’s trust in these delivery systems.Share this:
October 13, 2006
In an article on the eHealth News blog, the authors cite a report called eHealth Impact, which showed significant return on investment for eHealth projects. The authors interpret this with some caution, however. “During the research, the team discovered that ineffective eHealth services are often caused by poor service implementation. They
therefore analysed the ten evaluated sites to identify lessons to be learned for successful implementation of effective eHealth solutions.” The eHealth Impact project ” focused on the three stages in the lifecycle of eHealth investments – planning and development, implementation, and routine operation. The project team developed a set of tools to collect relevant information on each stage.” They note that it is difficult to create a standardized way of studying economic impact when the eHealth projects are so diverse. A big factor is stakeholders: “The more stakeholders and the earlier they are brought in, the greater the chances of success.”Share this:
October 9, 2006
An article from Minneapolis indicates that two insurance companies in Minnesota are planning to cover evisits. This means a $35 fee for each email to a patient. The article notes that physicians have been slow to adopt (in some cases complete avoid) email as a form of communication with patients due to lack of reimbursement. The Minnesota experience shows a slow rate of adopting (100 patients in 5 months for HealthPartners) which is similar to the gradual adoption rates of personal health records. Patients who are early adopters or those with chronic illness and significant travel time may be the initial users in this technology especially in areas where internet usage and higher bandwidth is still growing. But many parents and family caregivers are using the internet at home and work and will begin to adopt this if they get a timely response from the physician.
The article did not discuss secure email or how users may feel about privacy.Share this:
October 6, 2006
In an editorial by Henry Potts of London, he raises the question, “Is E-health Progressing Faster Than E-health Researchers?” Some of the quotable answer includes: “Traditional healthcare, given its safety critical context, utilises an evidence base and a process of risk management that generally involves some sort of governance. These are conflicting trends: the great value of the Internet is how easy it is to make material available, but the strictures of safety and proof of efficacy run counter to that. How do we garner the benefits of the Internet – the democratization of production and distribution that has produced so much content – while maintaining safe and good practice?”
And in an acknowledgment to social networking, “Beyond healthcare, there are many more innovations that draw on user-generated content and the Internet’s democratization of production and distribution. The “killer application” in e-health will perhaps be something that can marry the democratized nature of MySpace or Wikipedia with the safety critical nature of healthcare.”
These conflicting values of control and freedom are particularly acute in web-based consumer directed healthcare. Web 2.0 values need a way to take root within healthcare.Share this:
October 3, 2006
This article appearing in the Journal of Medical Internet Research by a Canadian group of authors is a study looking at how physicians deal with a common phenomenon of the Internet Age: patients bringing Internet health information to their appointments.Themes include: “(1) perceived reactions of patients, (2) physician burden, and (3) physician interpretation and contextualization of information.” Generally, physicians found this information problematic and enough of it misinformation that it could cause distress and confusion.
- physician awareness leading to acceptance of this information in the exam room as the norm
- physician training in redirecting patients to recommended web resources
- rewarding the time-pressed physician for competence in information technology (incentives)
- patient education on how to search for information and the appropriate use of that information within patient-physician communication.
The need for strategies to address this challenge in physician-patient communication is essential. Prescribing health information is one tested approach. By physician approaches need testing as well.Share this:
October 2, 2006
This time from USA Today including citations of Carepages and others. “Mehring’s non-profit service is called
CaringBridge and is supported largely through donations, plus some hospital sponsors. The Langshurs’ for-profit service is called CarePages and has licensing agreements with about 500 health care facilities, including top-tier hospitals such as the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. The participating hospitals add their logos to patients’ pages and get other benefits — including exposure to potential donors. Another service is theStatus.com.
“Though details differ, all the services allow anyone with computer access — in or outside a hospital — to quickly, at
no charge, set up a Web page to post updates and receive messages.
“One important feature: These highly personal sites aren’t detectable by search engines. Users can restrict who sees
them — or broadcast access information as widely as they like.”
Again, security and privacy in the context of social networking is key to the success and boarder adoption of these tools.Share this:
October 2, 2006
In a report on transparency on privacy issues by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on iHealthbeat discusses the AMIA report on secondary use of health data, the author cites the constructive uses of such data for medical research. Educating consumers about this use is essential. “We cannot expect consumers to engage in the brave new world of consumer-driven health care without their expecting – and getting – privacy protections that stick.” Tying consumer-driven healthcare and these secondary uses of data is important in empowering the consumer to take ownership of their data including allowing its use for research.Share this: