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Precision Medicine: The Future Of Health

Precision Medicine: The Future Of Health | Healthcare and Technology news |

As science and technologies advance and demand continues to grow, healthcare systems have to evolve into a more sustainable model that maintains people’s wellness rather than just treating illness once it has occurred. Through a combination of proactive human interventions and decisions – supported and enabled by rich data and intelligence – that model will be more effective by being much more precisely directed at the individual.

Precision Medicine is based on four key pillars of care: Predictive, Preventive, Personalised and Participatory. A good illustration of how these four pillars work is the story of Dr Martinez, based on The Case for Personalized Medicine, Personalised Medicine Coalition, 3rd edition.


  • Dr Martinez is sitting down with his laptop. On the website that he uses to manage his practice, an alert pops up warning him that several new mutations found in 10 percent of people have been discovered to be associated with the likelihood that they might convert to type 2 diabetes. All of his patients have had their entire genome sequenced and entered into their electronic medical record. He conducts a quick search of this 2,000-patient database and finds about 80 who are at risk (Predictive care).
  • To half of those patients, he sends a strong reminder and advice on diet and lifestyle choices they can take to avoid the disease (Preventive care).
  • For the other half, whose medical records reveal pre-diabetic symptoms, he sets up appointments to consider more proactive treatment with drugs that can prevent the onset of the disease (Personalised care).
  • Patients can download an app certified by the healthcare system that will allow Dr Martinez to remotely monitor their glucose blood levels (Participatory care).


As that example shows, Precision Medicine depends on clinicians and citizens being proactive and working together to look after health and wellbeing. The success of that partnership relies on the healthcare system’s ability to transfer breakthroughs in data analysis across into healthcare settings – ‘from the bench to the bedside’. Massive volumes of raw, complex and heterogeneous data have to be acquired, validated, stored, processed and analysed using high performance computing systems. They then need to be interpreted and presented (through dashboards and reports) in meaningful ways to clinicians. Individual citizens can become more proactive in starting specific preventive treatments, or make lifestyle changes that prevent the onset of the disease or minimise its impact.


In this democratisation of medicine, genomic testing plays a very relevant role. DNA sequencing technologies are being adopted as part of routine practice as a powerful tool for early diagnosis and for personalised treatment. Getting access to the molecular profile of patients and correlating this data with phenotypic information (the expression of specific traits, such as stature or blood type, based on genetic and environmental influences) is an enormous cultural shift. This fast-evolving, immensely powerful new diagnostic tool is revolutionising healthcare and supporting clinicians, citizens, carers and society to work together in new ways to make predictive, preventive, personalised, participatory health and social care a reality for all.

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Vendors lagging with patient engagement technology

Vendors lagging with patient engagement technology | Healthcare and Technology news |

Despite conditions across the healthcare industry that should be driving big changes in between-visit and post-discharge communications, most providers are still doing the "bare minimum" with regard to patient engagement, according to a new report from Chilmark Research.

Advances in mobile and cloud technologies, consumerization of care delivery, meaningful use incentive payments and a broader move toward value-based reimbursement would seem to be creating ripe conditions for more fruitful engagment initiatives. But Chilmark's 2014/2015 Clinical Patient Engagement Market Trends Report shows a healthcare industry "still struggling to catch up with basic consumer expectations set by banking, airline and other major consumer industries."

Part of the fault for that lies with vendors, the study shows, since many healthcare organzations lean heavily on their technology providers to help drive their patient outreach projects.

"The majority of today's market is operating at a kind of standoff: provider organizations are relying on their existing vendors to lead the way on new engagement tools, while those companies have been reactive, not proactive, with their customers' engagement needs," said Naveen Rao, author of the report, in a press statement.

[See also: Patient engagement: Are docs doing it all wrong?]

"The more innovative products – the mobile apps, cloud-based care plans, remote-monitoring plays – are coming from outside traditional legacy vendors' purview. While some of the bigger vendors are showing signs of updating their products, we expect to see most legacy vendors follow a buy rather than build strategy to address market needs more rapidly."

Vendors profiled in the Chilmark report include: Aetna/iTriage, Allscripts, Axial Exchange, Cerner, Dossia, Emmi Solutions, Get Real Health, GetWellNetwork, Influence Health (MedSeek), McKesson/RelayHealth, MedFusion, Microsoft HealthVault, NoMoreClipboard and WebMD.

In his report, Rao found that basic patient portals, usually tethered to electronic health records, are still the basic tool for most patient-provider interactions.

Chilmark found a mixed market for new approaches to clinical patient engagement, where some provider organizations have yet to adopt even these basic patient portals, others have begun piloting advanced, "smart" tools.

Still, it seems clear that patient engagement remains a lower priority for most providers as they work toward building analytics capabilities, mastering risk-based contracting and other projects aimed at laying the groundwork for better population-based health management, according to Chilmark.

For those organizations looking for better engagement tools, Chilmark points to several vendors – including some with backgrounds in information exchange or customer relationship management – that are finding footholds with products untethered from EHRs.

Still, even with this group, most offer limited or no mobile-friendly technologies or advanced care planning applications, Rao finds. Other tools that have found success so far – from standalone mobile tools to interactive inpatient platforms, "do not represent complete, end-to-end solutions," according to Chilmark.

That suggests an emerging best-of-breed approach, the report argues, where providers will pick and choose multiple vendors in an effort to meet the diverse clinical and business needs across different departments and patient populations: "No one technology vendor has shown an ability to do it all."

The Chilmark report profiles 14 vendors of clinical patient engagement solutions, rating them on both the completeness and sophistication of their product offering as well as their performance in serving the provider segment of the healthcare industry. Most of them "fared poorly in creating longitudinal records" and offering the mobility most consumers expect.

"While the patient portal reigns as the default engagement platform, we are seeing a blossoming industry full of novel techniques, innovative technologies and even some fresh ideas for how to keep patients involved in their care," writes Rao in the report.

"These typically involve a far greater degree of collaboration between clinicians and patients, and often result in the production of patient-generated health data that can serve as a valuable piece of patients' overall longitudinal record," he adds. "A complete record, with patients' data stored alongside clinical notes, lab values and so forth is able to serve as both a "single source of truth" on a patient across multiple care settings, as well as a medical "home base for their ongoing care journey."

Nonetheless, while these newer approaches "are being piloted in dozens of pockets around the country," Rao writes, "entering 2015, more comprehensive deployments remain elusive."

Anna Dunmeyer's curator insight, February 18, 2015 11:10 AM

According to a new report, vendors are doing the 'bare minimum' regarding patient engagement and many are leaning heavily on their technology providers to help drive their patient outreach projects. This could be a great chance for the EHR providers to move things forward.!

Why Doctors need an All-rounder Healthcare Solution?

Why Doctors need an All-rounder Healthcare Solution? | Healthcare and Technology news |

Every person loves technology just because it makes your life easy. Each day a new problem is discovered, a solution is also researched for. This is how the tech world is growing each day. Just like the synapses connecting neurons in the human body, every doctor would like an interface which connects his entire clinical workflow. It’s a common requisite that a single solution meets many problems simultaneously.


A doctor’s time table has a tight schedule where he would be meeting many patients a day and some days would have unexpected numbers too. As a doctor you have to be more service minded and attend patients whenever there is a need. The doctor would be desirous to have a system which can save his time as well as take a good record of his complete clinical workflow.


Any doctor would find it helpful if he finds a flexible system which is cost effective and easy to use. The doctor would be comfortable to control activities from patient scheduling to the inventory management on his own rather than depending on the admin alone. A doctor needs an all-rounder healthcare solution as it is tough to handle when there is a large volume of data. An organized connection will allow a smooth work flow which will reduce chaos and makes it easy for doctors as well as the patient. A doctor would want an all-rounder healthcare solution.


  • To keep a record of patient data and record of the day-to-day activities
  • To have a single ‘touch point’ for data access
  • To have a seamless control over the entire continuum of care
  • To be cost effective by using a single set up rather than purchasing many and connecting them
  • To be able to access data from any point of the world and also for easy sharing
  • To have an efficient space management


There is no wonder why doctors are shifting towards using EHS(Electronic Health Solution),Patient portals, etc. as they have found advantages in such systems which can an efficient interface connecting them with the patients. The advantages of using the internet connection and the cloud in the medical sector have helped them trust HITaaS which they have already accepted to be a part of their profession. The future will see doctors using more of systems like BlueEHS and completely move from their conventional methods so that their professional life becomes more easy and flexible.

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Experts: Tech is changing health care, but with caveats - Nashville Business Journal

Experts: Tech is changing health care, but with caveats - Nashville Business Journal | Healthcare and Technology news |

Everyone has examples of the way technology could transform health care (and in many cases, how it already has).

A Nashville Business Journal panel Tuesday morning focused on digitally connecting with health care consumers, and a handful of local experts shared some of their favorites.

Through use of a bedside tablet, patients and their families could have more control over non-clinical aspects of a hospital stay, like food service or room temperature, said Julie Groos Van Tassel of Microsoft. Or, others suggested, physicians can use advanced communication tools to share information with their patients after they leave the office, or quickly access information they need to answer a patient query in the middle of the night.

But all these transformations come with some caveats, the panelists said. Many technological transformations in the industry, like the switch to electronic health records, are being driven by government mandates. But those mandates haven't always taken into account the need for functional workflow and interoperability, said Keri Cullity, managing director of health care advisory for KPMG.

Plus, patient portals, one of the primary patient-facing aspects of EHRs, don't cultivate the engagement the panelists want to see from patients.

"From my perspective a portal is not engagement," said Robert Taylor, chief medical officer of RoundingWell and a practicing partner at Nephrology Associates in Nashville, because patients simply access information, they aren't "activated" to make changes in their health.

Overall though, providers and health care observers are optimistic about the potential of technology to change patient and physicians lives. But when moderator Michael Beaty of KPMG asked what the return on investment is for digital connection tools, the answer was not a whole lot — for now.

"The big barrier … is the fact that we haven't pulled the band-aid off of fee-for-service," said Groos Van Tassel.

Jeff Patton, CEO of Nashville-based Tennessee Oncology, agreed. A great patient experience is a plus for patients visiting his practice group, but that's not the marketing edge that's going to increase volume. And in a fee-for-service world, there aren't many financial rewards for using those tools to improve the outcomes of a patient's visit.

"Once we're value-based you'll see these tools take off. … But for now it's not in the black, it's in the red," Patton said.

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