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Consumers think that innovation will lead to better diagnosis and treatment

Consumers think that innovation will lead to better diagnosis and treatment | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Innovation in the field of mobile technology has glued consumers to their devices as they can regularly track their health and know about symptoms on the go. On the physician side, there has been some resistance to the adoption of technology. A recent survey by Klick Health revealed that consumers believe that innovation in healthcare would lead to better diagnosis and treatment.

 

The survey in which 1,012 adults participated also found that patient-physician experience would also improve with innovation. Particularly, almost 50 percent of the participants said that innovation would bring improvement in diagnosis and treatment, while 20 percent said that it would help patients better manage their health and 19 percent thought that it would help in prevention of diseases.

 

Consumers are also positive about the impact of technology in their health and 90 percent believe that it would have a huge impact on their healthcare. In fact, 70 percent of the respondents believe that technology will help them manage their personal health.

 

At present, only 50 percent of the participants indicated about the positive impact on health due to innovative technology. Moreover, merely 41 percent confirmed that they have used new technology for their health. The survey results point to the definite gap in consumer expectations and what is being offered to them. If patients are offered innovative technological solutions, there is a high probability that they would utilize those resources to better manage their health.

 

Neuropsychologist Rex Jung from the University of New Mexico pointed, “This survey highlights consumers’ adoption of technology as the main healthcare interface. The findings really reflect a shift in the consumer mindset from being passive recipients of healthcare to more active and autonomous individuals who appear eager to try more creative and innovative approaches to managing their health.”

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How Remote Monitoring Tools, Smartwatch Track Patient Health

How Remote Monitoring Tools, Smartwatch Track Patient Health | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The medical sphere is constantly changing as new technologies continue to expand the opportunities within patient care. Remote monitoring tools, for example, are making a huge impact on the overall quality of patient care and health outcomes among those with chronic medical conditions. Mobile health devices like the smartwatch or smart glasses could also revolutionize patient care.

 

As previously reported by mHealthIntelligence.com, mobile health applications and mobile devices like the smartwatch can actually expand patient engagement. As the federal government continues to push the importance of patient engagement through meaningful use requirements under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, healthcare providers are scrambling to ensure that the right patient engagement protocols are in place to keep consumers accessing their medical data.

 

With the help of mobile health apps, patient portals can be accessed and providers would meet the meaningful use requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Additionally, the smartwatch can be used to boost patient engagement with their health and wellness.

 

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the satisfaction of our patients,” Michael Ash, M.D., Chief Transformation Officer at Nebraska Medicine, said in a public statement. “We recognize that as more of our patients use devices like the Apple Watch, we not only have to be able to use that technology to initially provide convenience for them, but we also have to envision how we can improve patient outcomes via use of the device in the future.”

 

In a new infographic, experts outlined how the smartwatch could benefit the health of consumers over the coming years. Within the next five years, the smartwatch will be able to track vital signs including heart rate and blood pressure, detect blood oxygen levels, monitor stress levels via electrodermal activity, and keep an eye on your sleep patterns.

 

Additionally, wearables like the smartwatch could let the consumer know their blood sugar levels, provide alerts regarding their risk of an oncoming heart attack or stroke, and offer reminders about medical appointments.

 

Additionally, wearable devices could be connected to a hospital monitoring system and, thereby, offer more guidance to physicians with regard to a patient’s health and lifestyle choices. This could offer more information during diagnosis of a medical condition.

 

Along with the benefits of the smartwatch, mHealthIntelligence.com previously reported that remote monitoring tools are a system for ensuring the Triple Aim of Healthcare is met. This means that medical costs are lowered through the use of remote monitoring technology, patient health outcomes are enhanced, and the quality of overall care is improved.

 

Patients could reside at home instead of at the hospital with the help of remote monitoring tools, which can track vital signs including heart rate, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. Dr. Raj Khandwalla of Cedars Sinai Medical Center spoke with mHealthIntelligence.com to offer his perspective on the use of remote monitoring tools within the healthcare industry.

 

“I personally think that mobile health technology and remote monitoring tools are going to be widespread in the future,” Khandwalla stated. “I think that when you look at the implementation of mobile technology, you have biosensor technology rapidly evolving. You have clinical decision support tools that are being integrated into the electronic health record that help guide decision-making among physicians.”

 

Additionally, Khandwalla spoke about the significant benefits of biosensors and remote monitoring technology for the healthcare field. In particular, biosensors and other devices could be a “game changer” within the medical space, Khandwalla mentioned.

 

“We’ll see changes in outcomes that are – instead of evolutionary – almost revolutionary when we apply data analytics to the output of the biosensors,” he explained.

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Why mHealth and Patient Engagement are Critical to the Future of Healthcare

Why mHealth and Patient Engagement are Critical to the Future of Healthcare | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

In the health IT industry, a lot of the focus on mobile health (mHealth) lies on the provider side—specifically how digital health tools are helping clinicians be more “mobile” within their workflows. In fact, this was precisely what HCI Senior Contributing Editor David Raths wrote about in this year’s Top Ten Tech Trends. This perspective is undoubtedly exciting and fascinating, and worth a read if you haven’t seen it already. But there’s another angle to mobile computing that has perked my interest lately—that being the care management side to mobile health tools, and how patients, in addition to providers, are using these technologies to improve their care.


Indeed, for the May/June issue of Healthcare Informatics, I wrote a fairly lengthy feature (now online!) on how mHealth tools are paving the way for better chronic care management. While doing my research for the story, I quickly noticed three important trends: First, the level of significance that provider organizations are putting on patient engagement shows how they are increasingly willing to adapt to the way healthcare is changing; Second, much of this engagement is starting to be done via mobile technologies; and Third, while the era of patient-generated health data (PGHD) is upon us, plenty of work is still needed for this type of data to be integrated into electronic health records (EHRs).


Regarding the first point,  as I wrote in the feature, according to findings of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, sponsored by the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and released at the annual HIMSS conference this past April, “patient satisfaction, patient engagement, and quality of care improvement have raced to the top of healthcare CIOs’ and senior IT executives’ agendas in the past year, a stark change from previous years which found that health IT leaders were more focused on business and financial goals. Nonetheless, it’s been a struggle for physicians to truly engage their patients, especially the 45 percent of U.S. adults with at least one chronic condition, and particularly in underserved populations.”…As such, “another recent survey from HIMSS found that more than 90 percent of survey respondents are utilizing mobile devices within their organizations to engage patients in their care.”


Certainly, healthcare delivery is no longer limited to face-to-face encounters between patients and providers, a concept that has been pushed by the federal government when you consider their recent meaningful use Stage 3 proposals. In practice, there is clear evidence that mHealth tools can be effective for chronic disease management—a HIMSScase study gives an example of how this can happen in the real word. In Sacramento, Calif., a mother posts the results of her son’s latest round of treatment for neuroblastoma on a protected social network website. More than 2,500 miles away in North Carolina, a man who has been struggling to control his diabetes receives a text message from a health coach about a recent spike in his blood sugar level and asks what he ate for breakfast. Every day, from every corner of the United States, people are turning to mobile technologies to help them understand, manage and cope with chronic illness. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 72 percent of Internet users look online for health information and one in three cell phone owners have used their phone to access health information.


Leading provider organizations such as Duke Medicine and Stanford Health Care are following this trend, using mobile tools to improve care, both of which I wrote about in the feature. Another innovative patient care organization, the New York City-based Mount Sinai Hospital and LifeMap Solutions, also in New York, recently announced the launch of a large-scale medical research study that uses Apple’s  ResearchKit to help individuals who suffer from asthma to participate in studies right from their iPhone.  The Asthma Health app is designed to facilitate asthma patient education and self-monitoring, promote positive behavioral changes, and reinforce adherence to treatment plans according to current asthma guidelines. The study tracks symptom patterns in an individual and potential triggers for these exacerbations so that researchers can learn new ways to personalize asthma treatment, officials say.


While Duke and Stanford have been slowly progressing with integrating this data into EHRs, in a recent interview, Yvonne Chan, M.D., Ph.D., director of personalized medicine and digital health at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai, told me that the Asthma Health app is in the research phase now and that when it comes to care management, it’s important to take baby steps. “This is the very first step. We are essentially collecting information, developing algorithms, and the next phase is further validated before you can start providing actual medical management feedback,” she said. “Integrating this into the EHR is something we definitely want to do down the road.”


Even the organizations that are incorporating patient-generated data into EHRs are doing it slowly, with plenty of challenges. Still, the market for wearable technologies continues to grow with a seemingly limitless future— market researcher Visiongain recently assessed that the value of the global wearables technology market will reach $16.1 billion by the end of this year. Other analysts predict that the wearables market will grow tenfold to $50 billion over the next three to five years.

And for certain healthcare organizations, the opportunities to leverage the wearable data go beyond just tracking. Nick Reddy, senior vice president of information system investments at the Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health, touches on this point in an interview featured in this year’s Top Ten Tech Trends on consumer-generated data. “The prevention side of healthcare is where the clinically-relevant things are happening, compared to just the 10 steps that are tracked by a wearable device. “We want to spin business intelligence and analytics on it,” Reddy said. “If you’re a diabetic and you haven’t been walking your steps or taking your [metmorfin], let’s flag you so your case manager can intervene. That’s where our roadmap is taking us,” Reddy said, referring to the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance (BSWQA), a 3,700 physician-strong network that is one of the largest accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the country.


At the core of all of this—patient engagement, mHealth tools, and EHR integration—is one very important factor: the patient, or as some now call us, the “consumer.” Are we ready for this type of engagement and activeness in our own care to be able to lower costs and improve health outcomes through the use of mobile tools? I think we’re certainly on the way there—and if you look at how the federal government wants to shape the healthcare industry—we better be.

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HIMSS mHealth Study, Technology in Healthcare | EHRintelligence.com

HIMSS mHealth Study, Technology in Healthcare | EHRintelligence.com | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it
Use of mHealth within the healthcare industry on the rise.

The use of mHealth within the healthcare industry is on the rise according to a study published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The findings within the study showed that smartphone and tablet use within hospitals is increasing

According to the data, tablet computers and smartphones appear to be starting to replace the use of desktop or laptop computers to access information. Approximately 28 percent of polled hospitals indicated that their organization used smartphones and 24 percent indicated that their organization utilized tablet computers. Data indicates that an average of 169 devices are deployed per hospital.

Practitioners polled also reported that the use of these updated technologies improved their ability to communicate with other healthcare providers and that the use of these devices gave them a more positive overall work experience.

Another benefit of physicians using mobile devices could improve patient care. One-third of providers reported that using smartphones and table computers could have a positive impact on quality of care and care coordination, as well as improve care efficiencies.

Though the practitioners that currently utilize these updated technologies seemed optimistic about the use of these devices, the data revealed room for improvement. Only 33 percent of providers polled indicated that they are confident in their ability to access the clinical technologies they required through smartphones or tablet computers.

“It’s one thing to state that mobile technology is cool” said David Collins, Senior Director, Health Information Systems for HIMSS North America. “it’s another to determine what value it brings to the healthcare equation.”



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Wearable Thermometer, mHealth App Predict Flu Outbreaks

Wearable Thermometer, mHealth App Predict Flu Outbreaks | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

When equipped with both a wearable thermometer and an app, healthcare experts can use mHealth monitoring to quickly predict flu outbreaks.

 

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that a wearable thermometer integrated with an online educational tool can predict influenza outbreaks.

 

When developers from Boston Children’s Hospital integrated iThermometer with a digital app called Thermia and provided these tools to children in China, they were able to predict seasonal flu outbreaks a month before the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of the People's Republic of China.

 

"Delays in clinically reported data and lack of data availability contribute to the challenges of identifying outbreaks rapidly," says John Brownstein, PhD, chief innovation officer at Boston Children's and director of the Computational Epidemiology Lab and the Boston Children's Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA). “As a result, we have more and more opportunities to use real-time, low-cost digital solutions like Thermia to improve disease surveillance."

 

Officials said this was the first time that an mHealth wearable in addition to an online tool preemptively identified an outbreak.

 

Thermia receives a child's temperature reading directly through the iThermonitor, an FDA-approved, patch-like wearable thermometer that is worn under the arm. When iThermonitor detects a fever, parents can access Thermia via the web or a mobile app and answer online questions about the child's current symptoms and medical history.

 

The team analyzed 45,000 data points from China's Thermia users between 2014 and 2016. They discovered outbreaks of "influenza-like illnesses” and detected them in real-time.

 

"The fact that we were able to predict influenza outbreaks faster than China's national surveillance programs really shows the capacity for everyday, wearable digital health devices to track the spread of disease at the population level," said the study's lead author, Yulin Hswen, a research fellow at  Boston Children's Computational Epidemiology Group and a Doctoral candidate at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

 

While the results are a promising development for mHealth and preventative care, the team believes the next step is taking this data and using it to expand usage and policy.

 

"Collectively we are still coming to terms with the data deluge from wearable devices, but it is imperative that we begin to generate value from this data," says the study's senior author, Jared Hawkins, PhD, director of informatics at IDHA. "From a public health perspective -- as we have shown with this latest study -- there is enormous potential for tapping this data for research, surveillance and influencing policy.”

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Doctors, Not Patients, May Be Holding Back mHealth Adoption

Doctors, Not Patients, May Be Holding Back mHealth Adoption | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Clearly, mHealth technology has achieved impressive momentum among a certain breed of health-conscious, self-monitoring consumer. Still, aside from wearable health bands, few mHealth technologies or apps have achieved a critical level of adoption.


The reason for this, according to a new survey, may lie in doctors’ attitudes toward these tools. According to the study, by market research firm MedPanel, only 15% of physicians are suggesting wearables or health apps as approaches for growing healthier.


It’s not that the tools themselves aren’t useful. According to a separate study by Research Now summarized by HealthData

Management, 86% of 500 medical professionals said mHealth apps gave them a better understanding of a patient’s medical condition, and 76% said that they felt that apps were helping patients manage chronic illnesses. Also, HDM reported that 46% believed that apps could make patient transitions from hospital to home care simpler.


While doctors could do more to promote the use of mHealth technology — and patients might benefit if they did — the onus is not completely on doctors. MedPanel president Jason LaBonte told HDM that vendors are positioning wearables and apps as “a fad” by seeing them as solely consumer-driven markets. (Not only does this turn doctors off, it also makes it less likely that consumers would think of asking their doctor about mHealth tool usage, I’d submit.)


But doctors aren’t just concerned about mHealth’s image. They also aren’t satisfied with current products, though that would change rapidly if there were a way to integrate mobile health data into EMR platforms directly. Sure, platforms like HealthKit exist, but it seems like doctors want something more immediate and simple.


Doctors also told MedPanel that mHealth devices need to be easier to use and generate data that has greater use in clinical practice.  Moreover, physicians wanted to see these products generate data that could help them meet practice manager and payer requirements, something that few if any of the current roster of mHealth tools can do (to my knowledge).


When it comes to physician awareness of specific products, only a few seem to have stood out from the crowd. MedPanel found that while 82% of doctors surveyed were aware of the Apple Watch, even more were familiar with Fitbit.


Meanwhile, the Microsoft Band scored highest of all wearables for satisfaction with ease of use and generating useful data. Given the fluid state of physicians’ loyalties in this area, Microsoft may not be able to maintain its lead, but it is interesting that it won out this time over usability champ Apple.

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Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Happy New Year to my HealthBlog readers around the world. I’m back in the saddle after a 3 week hiatus for the holidays. I must say I’m feeling fully rested and looking forward to all that 2015 will deliver.

Like you, I’m getting tired of reading prognostications about what’s hot and not for tech in the year ahead. However, I did enjoy a piece I came across today by my blogosphere colleague and Forbes contributor, Dr. John Nosta. Actually, I believe Dr. Nosta published the post not this week, but rather a full year ago. The post, Digital Heath In 2014: The Imperative of Connectivity, might as well have been written this week as it is just as true today as it was in January of 2014. In it, tech pundits from John Sculley to Steve Wozniak are quoted in musings about the tech revolution in health and healthcare and how everything you know is about to change. As has been true for the past several years, people are predicting massive disruption and transformation of health and healthcare delivery fueled by technology. And, as has been the case during the vast majority of my 14-year career at Microsoft and many years before that as a physician, tech and healthcare industry executive, I feel like I’m still waiting for the big bang.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have certainly seen transformation (albeit slow) of healthcare, and technology is definitely driving a lot of that change. Policy is also driving change, perhaps more so than technology. And, at least in America, no policy is causing more disruption right now than that of the Affordable Care Act. However, all of this begs the question--are things getting better or worse? People are paying more than ever before for the services they receive. Many of us are seeing our health insurance premiums rise while being asked to fork over more and more of our money toward copays and high deductibles (often $5000 to $12,000 per year per family). And even though I love technology, thus far I think it is failing to deliver on its promises or potential. Let me ask you, is it getting easier or harder to pay for and manage healthcare for your family? And if you are a healthcare provider, is it getting easier or harder to take care of your patients the way you’d like to care for them?

Technology should be making all of his easier and less expensive, but is it? Healthcare policy should be doing the same. Instead, we seem to be getting ever more complicated rules, regulations and business practices that confound both consumers and providers alike. Health insurance is more complicated than ever before, and don’t even get me started on Medicare.

If there is a theme I’d like policy makers, tech industry leaders, insurance chiefs, healthcare executives, and clinicians to focus on more on in 2015 it would quite simply be……. simplicity. We are making everything way too complicated. Without greater focus on technology that actually makes things more simple through seamless integration of services and information exchange, improved modalities for synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration in clinical workflow, and business models that truly support innovation and lower costs in healthcare, all the fancy new wearable smart devices, labs on a chip and augmented reality headsets won’t do much to save us from our misery.

I believe there are but a few global companies with the breadth, depth, and scale to really deliver on the kinds of information technology advances our health industry needs. Even then, it will take a carefully choreographed dance of enlightened public policy and innovation to deliver the goods. Otherwise, a year from now, and for many years yet to come, we’ll simply be singing more of Auld Lang Syne.


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