Posts Tagged ‘eHealth’

What’s New with PHRs – evidence and interoperability

July 16, 2010

A new study from Kaiser documents some clear clinical benefits for the use of PHRs.  The study, which was published in the July issue of Health Affairs, observed 35,423 patients with diabetes, hypertension, or both. Researchers found that the use of secure patient-physician messaging in any two-month period was associated with statistically significant improvements in HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) care measurements. Results included 2 to 6.5 percentage point improvements in glycemic, cholesterol and blood pressure screening and control.

Also, there is a good video on PHR/eHealth application interoperability which also promotes the Health 2.0 Accelerator. The future of patient centric care must be interoperable. Watch the video.

Part of the video is a demo of  SurveyorHealth for managing medications which includes an interesting tool Simulate Alternatives. Check out one of the demo patients.

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Technology and the Future of Chronic Care

May 24, 2010

Accenture has published a report on “Connected How Technology Will Transform the Future of Chronic Care.” From the Accenture Innovation Center for Health, a good source for research white papers. The paper reports that “a broad range of consumer health electronics at home, a two-way, direct-to-consumer infrastructure” and smart devices which set the stage for health care connectivity. Analytics and predictive modeling provide a second layer and visualization, decision support and collaboration provide the third. Connect health examples include the HealthVault and Cleveland Clinic home monitoring pilot and a remote monitoring trial by the VA system.

There is no doubt that the convergence of technologies have the potential for revolutionizing chronic care, however, we must go past the pilot stage and initial startups to broader change. Partnerships between consumer electronics, startups, providers and insurers need to come together with government support. Perhaps after the first wave of meaningful use EHRs, this new level of innovation can flourish.

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The Quantified Self in Healthcare – Part 2

May 10, 2010

More evidence of this movement continues to emerge. For instance, I came across the Philips DirectLife device today which can record a number of activity parameters to quantify one’s life. In an article in the Linux Journal, of all places, there is an article title, Now Data Gets. Personal. The author cites Alexandra Carmichael of CureTogether and the Quantified Self Community as a prime example. The article points back to an earlier one in the same journal called The Patient as the Platform. The author proposes that through the use of PHRs controlled by patients, such as, Google Health, the patient could be center of health information rather than the provider or payer. This article from 2008 essentially proposes a solution for health information exchange without costly state or national initiatives.

The combination of the quantified self and the patient as the platform can potentially create a future where rich information is controlled by the patient and shared with providers to enhance personal wellness and treat conditions. Adding social networking with like patients creates a powerful trio of technology for the e-patient.

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Trends in Social Media in Health Care

May 7, 2010

Yesterday I had two content successes. My article Social Media in Health Care: Barriers and Future Trends was published in the Perspectives section of this online newsletter. In it I propose 3 trends to watch for:

  • Managing a conversation;
  • Engaging e-patients;
  • Convergence with personal health records; and
  • Social media for providers

I will be interested in your comments on this blog or via Twitter (@JohnSharp).

Yesterday I also spoke at the J. Boye Conference in Philadelphia on Social Media in Health Care: Humble Beginnings to Patient Engagement. This conference is more intimate and interactive than most with specific tracks for each day. I spent the first day in the Higher Education track and found many similarities with the struggles we in health care experience. The second day had an eHealth track that included Jane Sarasohn-Kahn who had just returned from a Senate Hearing on Mobile Health.

Check out my slides below.

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Social Media for Canadian Health Care

May 2, 2010

On Friday, April 30, I had the opportunity to speak at the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network Education Day for Healthcare Communicators or TAHSN. This well organized meeting provided some great interaction with health care communicators from Toronto hospitals and got me thinking about the use of social media in a country with socialized medicine. While the focus of much of US hospitals in social media is to attract new patients, in Canada, the purposes would be different. However, one common interest is fund raising. Canadian hospitals have Foundations as a fund raising arm of the hospital and social media provides a useful outreach to potential donors. Following the success of fund raising via text messaging and social media for Haiti, there may be an opportunity for Canadian hospitals to focus their energies here. As with US hospitals, there are opportunities for using social media, such as blogs and private social networks with personal profiles to enhance service and productivity. Engaging with patients, such as, the example of the Bloom Blog from Bloorview Children’s Rehab Hospital in Toronto is a great example engaging parents of children with disabilities.

More soon the the exiting New York Times magazine article on the Quantified Self which is the next trend in health and social media.

Below are my slides from the presentation. I follow Lee Aase from Mayo Clinic who joined the conference via webex.

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New PHR Report from California Healthcare Foundation

April 13, 2010

Titled “Consumers and Health Information Technology: A National Survey“, the survey shows some promising progress:

  • users cite taking steps to improve their own health, knowing more about their health care, and asking their doctors questions
  • lower-income adults, those with chronic conditions, and those without a college degree are more likely to experience positive effects of having their information accessible online
  • Two-thirds remain concerned about the privacy and security
  • should not let privacy concerns stop us from learning how health IT can improve health care
  • almost half are interested in medical devices that can be connected to the Internet.
  • Of those who do not have a PHR, 40% express interest in using one.

Also just released is a major report from Price Waterhouse Coopers, The customization of diagnosis, care and cure. A key part of this report is patient touchpoints inlcuding:

  • coordinated care teams
  • fluent navigators
  • patient experience benchmarks
  • medical proving grounds
  • care anywhere networks (aka, mHealth).

The common theme here is participatory medicine, which as it turns out, appeared in a post by Roni Zeiger of Google Health in Huffinton Post. His key quote is, “Data on its own is useless. It’s all about conversations.” Health data whether in personal health records or social networking sites or other tools is essential in creating a conversation about how to improve and maintain health.

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Hospital as Software Service Providers

April 3, 2010

In an article on HealthLeaders, how health systems can provide an EMR via Software as a Service (SaaS) is presented. Five requirements are noted:

  • Make HIT a priority
  • Be up-front about the risks
  • Establish a dedicated team focused on outreach
  • Decide what services you are truly capable of providing with this model
  • Offer advice on infrastructure
  • Cleveland Clinic is noted as an example. Dr. C. Martin Harris says, “”Success to me is that we are not just installing technology in an office to replace paper, but we are putting in technology that enables interoperability,”

    Of course, Cleveland Clinic provides other software to help hospitals and providers:

    • explorys to utilize EMRs for research and discovery
    • Intellis - business intelligence
    • A PHR which connects to Google Health
    • Home Monitoring which utilizes Microsoft HealthVault to connect with the PHR and EMR
    • Risk calculators for Prostate Cancer and heart surgery

    What are other hospitals doing? How about an award program for the hospital or health system which produces the most useful software?

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    Upcoming Conferences/Speaking

    March 29, 2010

    I will be speaking at the TAHSN Education Day for Healthcare Communicators – April 30, 2010 (Toronto Academic Health Science Network). Looking forward to visiting Toronto again and having time to learn more about the Innovation Cell as well.

    There is a nice video on a conference I am presenting at in May in Philadelphia. The J. Boye Conference – see the embedded  video. Some great keynoters, Eric Karjaluoto, Mary Jo Foley and Peter Kim and the promise of a pitch-free presentations.

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    eHealth Conference in May in Philadelphia

    March 17, 2010

    I feel fortunate to be participating in the J. Boye conference in Philadelphia this May. Unlike the Health 2.0 conferences which focus on startups, this conference covers  Higher educationIntranetOnline communicationOnline healthOnline strategyUser experienceWeb content managementWeb project management.

    My session will be on “Social media in health care – humble beginnings to patient engagement.” Here is a blog post introducing the talk. How to get to true patient engagement, participatory medicine? It takes more than a strategy. My hope is that the conference will help to get at some answers.

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    PHRs, EHRs and Social Media – Where are We Headed?

    February 2, 2010

    Two coincidental articles were published today. First, in iHealthBeat, John Moore and Matthew Holt talk about why “Consumers Not Ready for Do-It-Yourself PHRs.” In response to the decision by Revolution Health to discontinue their PHR, the experts comment that “the direct-to-consumer market for PHRs just doesn’t work.” But they say that populated records are the future, those tethered to EHRs, like Kaiser’s and how Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault enable this kind of population of data from other sources. In the future, as it is now for some, the PHR will not be separate from the EHR, just the interface on the front of patient data. But this will mean patient entered data, like diaries of their conditions, and from home monitoring devices.

    The second article appeared in JAMA, from the Centre for eHealth Innovation in Toronto, titled, “Electronic Health Records in the Age of Social Networks and Global Telecommunications.” Here the authors talk about the intersection of social media and EHRs. Specifically, the authors envision the future with open standards which can enhance interoperability and “natural language enrich by audio or video…Rich media has the potential to reduce ambiguity and enhance performance in complex tasks.”

    So while the concept of PHRs may be on the decline, the future of patient empowerment through information has only begun. The convergence of personal health information, provider-based information and social and rich media will provide a basis for future health decisions on a very individual, personal level.

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