Archive for April, 2007

More on Google Health from Neil Versel

April 30, 2007

Neil starts off with an imaginative title, “Google then Gargle: American’s Sorry Performance on Personal Health Records could soon change. “  He reports on the slow adoption rate of PHRs but then cites the speculation that Google will soon get in the game.  Adam Bosworth is appearing on more national stages talking about his passion for the Health URL (Neil refers us to Medcommons, a Web 2.0 PHR which is already doing this). He goes on to talk about Dossia which will aggregate claims and provider data plus have the ability to allow the patient to enter their own data. This model seems to be the most robust to gather the largest percentage of one’s scatter medical data.  Will Google move in and provide a similar tool and beat Dossia and others to rolling out a real product?  Could be since Google’s approach to everything being beta.

There is also an interview with Eric Schmidt on more general Google plans in the current issue of Wired magazine.

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Google Health – Adam Bosworth at World Health Care Congress

April 28, 2007

In a report from the Congress held this week, Adam Bosworth of Google, talked about the rights patients should have and gave more hints about what Google Health might look like. Particularly, he noted having the power of privacy, to decide who would see what in one’s health records. He also noted “Google wants to include in their PHR transaction data between physicians and health plans, physicians and PBMs, labs and physicians and so on. They are not planning to rely on feeds from physician EHRs to do this.”

More hints, no announcements yet.

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One Frustrated Governor

April 27, 2007

According to Digital Healthcare and Productivity, Tennessee Gov. Bredesen is frustrated with the lack of progress in healthcare IT. He is concerned that without establishing some basic standards, that the field will “flop around.” He sees real value in electronic prescribing because the technology is there, it just needs to be implemented to reap the potential value in terms of safety and efficiency. He spoke at the World Health Care Congress where another speaker echoed his sentiments expressed at HIMSS’07 – keep it simple and implement what you can first. Don’t get entangled in the multiple standards which are out there.

Quite a line-up at the congress including Dr. Cosgrove of the Cleveland  Clinic.

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Health 2.0 Conference

April 26, 2007

Does a trend become a reality when there is a conference on it? If so, Health 2.0 is now offical. A conference is being planned by Matthew Holt in San Francisco in September, subtitled, “User-generated Healthcare.” Not much information yet, but a solid advisory board is working on it and there is a growing list of featured companies and organizations. Will watch this as it develops.

Health 2.0 is now a tag on Technorati and del.icio.us

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Medical Wikis Proliferate

April 24, 2007

A posting on Clinical Cases and Images points to David Rothman’s list of Medical Wikis. I agree that there are enough to annotate and categorize.  Not sure how since they are a wide variety – prehaps to distiguish at least general reference wikis from those which are specific to one disease.

Some of the wikis are oriented toward patients, such as,  wikicancer. I am frustrated when I cannot easily find the sponsor of a  wiki although I realize that there are many contributors, albiet relatively annonymous.

How long before there is a medical wiki aggregator, a master wiki?

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Curing the Trust Crisis in Health Care

April 20, 2007

Daniel A. Shore from the Harvard School of Public Health speaks on this topic at the Cato Institute tomorrow (4/20/2007). He has editted a new book on the topic as well, The Trust Crisis in Health Care. Here are some of the main points:
“- systemic conditions that lead to medical errors, and remedies for promoting quality of care.
- outdated modes of doctor-patient communication that hinder compliance.
- novel modes of interaction to improve satisfaction. – patient-centered care and metrics to evaluate its presence or absence.
- media communication and miscommunication, and new standards for medical reporting.
- clinical insights applied to the use of human subjects in biomedical research.
- recommendations for revising medical school curricula and strengthening the peer-review process in medical journals.
- practical strategies for decreasing the lingering discord between patients, providers, and health plans.”

While not directly related to Heath IT, the implications are there – EMRs and PHRs cannot succeed as long as their is an atmosphere of distrust between physician and patient.

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Are PHRs Unprotected?

April 19, 2007

In Modern Health Care, Deborah Peel,  founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, states that PHRs are “not protected by any laws and will be held in databases owned by corporations not subject to laws or medical ethics that guarantee privacy.” She opposes the concept of promoting PHRs as is done by the AHIMA and  American Medical Informatics Association. Their joint statement states that consumers do have rights, although it should be noted that HIPAA only covers providers and payors.  There is a lack of any overarching policy and consumers are not always aware of how their records might be secured or used unless they read site agreements carefully.

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Blue Tooth Medical Wrist Watch

April 18, 2007

Microsoft’s Channel 10 has a short video on Exmocare which has produced this device which can monitor pulse and temperature and send it to a smart phone and then a server.  It is also supposed to monitor emotions. Interesting concept for remote monitoring of chronic conditions.

A longer post explaining the device on The Health Care Blog.

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Health care 2.0

April 17, 2007

This article in Government HealthIT is a cautious review of Web 2.0 in health care. Brian Robinson poses the question, “New Web tools promise to tear down barriers to health care information sharing, but will they pass the test for privacy and accuracy?” He notes from various sources that while Web 2.0 may have great potential in health care, practitioners and consumers a just getting their first taste of it. He quotes Eric Dishman from Intel that Web 2.0 as a concept may be unfamiliar but when you show someone what it can do, they get it.

He also quotes Anil Jain, MD, of the eCleveland Clinic eResearch initiative who sees opportunity to use RSS and other technologies to enable information about clinical  trials to be more quickly distributed.

Google and wikis are noted as tools which are beginning to be used for diagnosis search and medical reference, respectively.

Overall the article is positive while noting privacy and security issues which are yet to be completely addressed.

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Revolution Health Launch

April 16, 2007

A story in the NY Times today reports on the official launch of Revolution Health. Titled “AOL Founder Hopes to Build New Giant Among a Bevy of Health Care Web Sites”, the article details the competition, WebMD, NIH, MayoClinic and others who already have a large market share and appropriately wonders where this venture will end up. As a new brand, Revolution Health will need to establish itself over time but with unique offerings in terms of interactive features (rating articles, providers, hospitals), personal blogs and comments, it may easily gain traction. The article notes that, “Google is also reportedly at work on various links to consumer health information that users will be able to personalize to their own specifications.” But indicates that Steve Case’s response is unimpressed, “not particularly helpful.”

The report quotes a Gartner analyst about the insignificant market for Personal Health records and predicting that the PHR within Revolution Health will have little affect on its success.

My perspective is that this skepticism about PHRs is overstated and the technology will begin to reach a tipping point in the next year.

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