Archive for 2011

Social Media in Clinical Trials

October 28, 2011

Today I presented on a panel at Case Medical School on clinical trial recruitment. My notes and references are contained in these slides.
This is a topic that needs more discussion in the online community:

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Health Barometer – Youth Lead the Way

October 7, 2011

In an excellent presentation on the Health Barometer, international survey results, exploreing “how social interaction and technology can spread good health. One of the findings is that the Activitist in online health who use the internet for health information at least weekly, are predominantly 18-30 year olds. This is consistent with other observations, such as, the Forrester Research Case study: Radboud Hospital Supports Young Cancer Patients With An Online Community. Also, the experience of Crohnology.com, founded by a young Crohn’s survivor who wanted to share his experience with others.

Here is the slide deck:

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Social Media Can Change HealthCare – Medicine 2.0 Conference Takeaway

September 25, 2011

I have a new blog post on HealthWorks Collective which is a report on some major themes I observed at the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Stanford this month.

  • behavior change is possible through social medial and mobile apps
  • Social media can change how healthcare is delivered in a patient-centric, participatory medicine approach.
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Guest Blog Post on e-Patients.net

September 10, 2011

I was invited to write a guest post on the ONC Query Health initiate for e-Patients.net.

You can read it here.

Thanks to @ePateintDave for the enthusiastic invitation.

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Government Health IT Gets Boost with Two New Websites

September 8, 2011

HealthIT.gov redesign was rolled out this week with seperate paths for providers and patients. It makes a great case for EHRs on the provider side including examples of successful implementations in small practices. On the Patient/Family side it explains the value of health IT in lay language and has great videos by some well known ePatients – ePatient Dave and Regina Holiday.

The other announcement is the new Query Health project from ONC which “aims to define and deliver the standards and services for distributed population health queries from certified EHRs and community records, originating in the routine course of patient care.” Excellent goal with some tough technical challenges ahead. Includes implementation, clinical, technical and business. Already many companies and institutions have joined. This has great potential in research for chronic disease and epidemics.

It is a great week for government efforts to enhance healthcare through information technology.

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Quality and EHRs – What Works

September 6, 2011

A groundbreaking article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Electronic Health Records and Quality of Diabetes Care, by my colleagues in Cleveland, demonstrates several points:

  • Healthcare quality can be effectively measured using EHR data
  • Quality of diabetes care can be improved through the use of EHRs
  • This can be done on a regional basis, beyond the scope of one hospital or health system
  • EHRs are superior to paper records in improving quality care, demonstrating the Meaningful Use Concept
  • This is true over different insurance types.

More background on the initiative, Better Health Greater Cleveland is available Brian Ahier’s blog and on the BHGC website. It is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Conclusion: Why shouldn’t this be done more broadly, even nationally. Perhaps through Meaningful Use it will permeate more broadly.

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Book Review: The Googlization of Everything

August 27, 2011

The Googlization of EverythingThis book by Siva Vaidhyanathan has the provocative subtitle “And why we should worry”, which defines the subtext of the book questioning whether the “Do no evil” search engine company has become something else as a result of its efforts to monetize everything. The book covers the broad domains that Google impacts modern life and discusses the predominant thinking driving the company – “faith in aptitude and technology” and infrastructure imperialism.”

The two pivotal chapters are “The Googlization of Knowledge” and “The Googlization of Memory”.  The former deals primarily with the Google Book project and makes a point about the importance of preserving knowledge in the digital age, particularly preserving out-of-print books. But, the author cautions, should a for profit company hold such a public trust that has traditionally been held by public libraries. Similarly, in the latter, the author questions whether “Google is making use stupid” or not. Does consuming snippets of knowledge limit our ability to read for extended periods and reflect?And what impact does it have on education, particularly higher education? Both are valid questions and it may be that the way we think and consume information is changing. However, not all of this is due to Google as much as it is to social media and Wikipedia. Consumption of knowledge is becoming the ability to think critically about the volume of available information and not be controlled by the filters and overload of information. Understanding knowledge algorithms rather than being subservient to them is the key.

In conclusion, the author proposes a bold new project, The Human Knowledge Project, which appeals to the need to have more public control over knowledge through libraries and democratic processes rather than commercial interests. One might agree with him since the recent demise of Google Health. If Google Books are not profitable in 5-10 years, will this project also be abandoned leaving the legacy of digitalized books behind? Yet much of the books skepticism about Google and fears are overdrawn. Perhaps Google’s service to higher education through Gmail and other services will help it keep a commitment to educational and knowledge resources in the future.

This book by Siva Vaidhyanathan has the provocative subtitle “And why we should worry”, which defines the subtext of the book questioning whether the “Do no evil” search engine company has become something else as a result of its efforts to monetize everything. The book covers the broad domains that Google impacts modern life and discusses the predominant thinking driving the company – “faith in aptitude and technology” and infrastructure imperialism.”

The two pivotal chapters are “The Googlization of Knowledge” and “The Googlization of Memory”.  The former deals primarily with the Google Book project and makes a point about the importance of preserving knowledge in the digital age, particularly preserving out-of-print books. But, the author cautions, should a for profit company hold such a public trust that has traditionally been held by public libraries. Similarly, in the latter, the author questions whether “Google is making use stupid” or not. Does consuming snippets of knowledge limit our ability to read for extended periods and reflect?And what impact does it have on education, particularly higher education? Both are valid questions and it may be that the way we think and consume information is changing. However, not all of this is due to Google as much as it is to social media and Wikipedia. Consumption of knowledge is becoming the ability to think critically about the volume of available information and not be controlled by the filters and overload of information. Understanding knowledge algorithms rather than being subservient to them is the key.

In conclusion, the author proposes a bold new project, The Human Knowledge Project, which appeals to the need to have more public control over knowledge through libraries and democratic processes rather than commercial interests. One might agree with him since the recent demise of Google Health. If Google Books are not profitable in 5-10 years, will this project also be abandoned leaving the legacy of digitalized books behind? Yet much of the books skepticism about Google and fears are overdrawn. Perhaps Google’s service to higher education through Gmail and other services will help it keep a commitment to educational and knowledge resources in the future.

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More on Health Apps

August 18, 2011

The Mobile Health LaunchPad will be announce winners who will pitch their products on September 19. They want apps that are more than content, in an early stage and ones that can actualize utilize capital.

The Blue Button initiative from the VA  will award $50,000 for a non’government provider to add the Blue Button on a PHR website or create a PHR with one. The blue button is a function to allow patients to download their medical records. Submissions open until Oct. 19th.

The Cleveland Clinic announced a incubator for Health Care Apps. This according to according to Scott Linabarger, the Clinic’s director of Internet marketing, speaking at the World Congress Leadership Summit on mHealth.

Jen McCabe is making news with combine HealthMonth and Contagion Health to make a new company, Habit Labs. She even got attention on TechCrunch for funding from Y Combinator.

Health apps are popping up everywhere. Hoping that the market will sort out or create aggregators to manage our health with multiple tools. Health apps are eclipsing PHRs. The future looks promising.

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Rock Health Report on the State of Digital Health

August 1, 2011

Rock Health has a great slideshare on their survey of health tech startups including the status of funding for Health 2.0 companies.

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Health Apps Blog post on HealthWorks Collective

July 28, 2011

HealthWorks CollectiveCheck out my blog post “A Garden of HealthCare Phone Apps – Watch it Grow“. It is a featured blog post on HealthWorks Collective, also, currently on the home page.

I also post on WikEhealth, a European site.

Check out my photo on the REshape Conference website – spoke in Nijmegen in 2009.

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