The Top 5 Ways Tablets are Influencing Healthcare

Tablets in Healthcare

Image Source: http://bitsofit.com/service/medical-practice-support/

Byline article by Jessica Oaks

When it comes to embracing new technological solutions, healthcare tends to lead the way. [counter point] New tools mean better diagnosis and better treatment, which ultimately leads to healthier patients. Of course, in an industry that is for-profit, the latest tools also provide hospitals with competitive advantages over rivals. However you choose to interpret the underlying motivations, there’s no denying that healthcare and technology go together.

One of the latest tools to be embraced by healthcare workers is the tablet. Portable, powerful, intuitive, and – when taken in the context of what medical technology typically costs – incredibly affordable, the tablet computer is influencing and molding the healthcare industry in many ways. Here are five of the top changes that tablets like the Apple iPad are helping make possible. Read More …

How can we make healthcare more productive?

How can we make healthcare more productive? was the topic of a LinkedIn discussion started by Joe Flower, author of the book, “Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing It Right For Half The Cost.” It generated some lively discussion and prompted me to respond as well.

My response to How can we make healthcare more productive?

MotivationCHANGE THE TERMINOLOGY – America has excellent MEDICAL Care, if you can afford it, but we have a horrible HEALTH Care system and desperately need to focus more on health & wellness. We spend twice as much as other nations but still live sicker and die younger, per the WHO. That means we “should” be able to cut costs in half at least while simultaneously improving care quality, patient satisfaction, worker productivity, and GDP.

START WITH EDUCATION – We now teach new doctors how to diagnose and treat illness & injury, not how to prevent it, and that feeds into our fee-for-service SICK Care system that profits from doing more – more tests, more procedures, more drugs. Little time is spent teaching medical students about public health and the pillars of health (exercise, nutrition & sleep), because that doesn’t fit into our for-profit business models. Read More …

When your medical care hurts, do you Yelp?

SurgeonsHealth consumers want more transparency, so rating systems like Yelp, Angie’s List, the Surgeon Scorecard, or any other tool that helps the market better understand health care cost, quality and value will play an important role in evaluating providers.

Those on the top of the healthcare mountain and slowest to adapt may be most at risk from disruptive change. After all, 429 of the original Fortune 500 [1955] are no longer in business or anywhere near the top, and that’s a scary thought for those who are not yet seeking & embracing such change but are instead hiding from it.

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Patient Attitudes About Doctors and Healthcare

American Health Care is Snake BitPatients don’t like their doctors.
Why is that?

That was the topic of a recent article by Peter Ubel at KevinMD.com that mentioned a New England Journal of Medicine article and included the table below. Ubel explored patient attitudes about doctors and healthcare and the reasons why Americans rate their own doctors high (ranked 3rd worldwide) and rate our healthcare system low (tied for 24th, just ahead of Chili, Bulgaria, Russia & Poland). I responded with this comment…

Yes, consumers see most doctors as compassionate and hard-working, with their hearts in the right place. After all, they got into medicine to help people. But the “system” they work in is preventing them from doing that. Read More …

Remote Patient Monitoring Platforms Emerge

ABI Research LogoClose to 100 million wearable remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices will ship over the next 5 years, according to ABI Research. This growth is boosted by the growing interest in moving healthcare away from the hospital and into patients’ homes. A key part of that trend is the ability to collect data from consumer devices and share it securely with patients, healthcare providers, and payers. The last six months alone have seen Apple (HealthKit), Google (Fit), and Samsung (S Health) all announced RPM platform plans.

RPM offers patients greater flexibility and care while bringing efficiency and cost savings to health service providers. While this trend is an opportunity for some, it’s a threat to others. And adoption has been stymied by a range of factors that include device availability, regulation, inertia and a high barrier to entry for new players in the space.
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101 MiniTrends in Health Care

Watch for Trends Ahead

This image is from MiniTrends, a book by John Vanston that I strongly endorse. I’ve known John for years and did consulting work for his company, Technology Futures. His book inspired the vision of Modern Health Talk, because it helped me see unfulfilled opportunity at the intersection of trends. (Click image to see book)

“What the Hell is happening to health care?”

“And is it an Opportunity or a Threat?”

Insights by Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk.

An awful lot has changed in just the last few years and even more will change in the near future, with the aim of reducing (or at least containing) our health care costs. What’s behind these MiniTrends, and what is their implication for providers, payers and consumers? That’s the $1.5 trillion question. Here I talk about many, many MiniTrends–surely you can find 101 of them if you look! 

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

That quote is important, because 429 of the original Fortune 500 companies [1955] are no longer in business today. That’s a scary thought for those sitting at the top of the healthcare mountain, because they know they must adapt to the megatrend of health reform and Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) or die. And they are looking down with fear at the hungry competitors who are already exploiting the many related minitrends, because for them these are times of great opportunity.

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How to Live Long and Healthy

90+

Helen Weil, 92, and Henry Tornell, 94 (CBS NEWS from 60 Minutes segment on “Living to 90 and Beyond”)

Until recently, very little was known about what it takes to live well into our 90s. That’s because there weren’t many people that old to study, and because records were sparse about their diet and lifestyle. But today men and women above the age of 90 have become the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and there’s new research that helps explain why. 

What can we do now to live long and healthy?

Finding out was the goal of a new research study known as “90+,” which was the subject of a 60 Minutes segment on Living to 90 and Beyond.   Read More …

Why Health Care Costs are Obscenely Expensive (Infographic)

Health Care Spending

 

Americans spend more on health care
but live sicker and die younger. Why?

 

We’ve published dozens of articles addressing that issue and have accumulated thousands of statistics in hundreds of Infographics. But today we include an important infographic that combines 12 charts created by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post. Afterwards is a video description, a counter-point argument, and my own view of how Obamacare will address some of the issues.

 

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Doctors Don’t Want Patients to Access EHR Info

Most U.S. Doctors Believe Patients Should Update Electronic Health Record, but Not Have Full Access to It, According to Accenture Eight-Country Survey

EHR survey shows most doctors don't want patients to have full accessMarch 4, 2013 – A new Accenture survey shows that most U.S. doctors surveyed (82%) want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records. However, only a third of physicians (31%) believe a patient should have full access to his or her own record, 65% believe patients should have limited access and 4 percent say they should have no access (See Figure 1). These findings were consistent among 3,700 doctors surveyed by Accenture in eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

Patients Access to Records

While nearly half of U.S. doctors (47%) surveyed believe patients should not be able to update their lab test results, the vast majority believe patients should be able to update some or all of the standard information in their health records, including demographics (95%), family medical history (88%), medications (87%) and allergies (85%). And, the majority of doctors (81%) believe patients should even be able to add such clinical updates to their records as new symptoms or self-measured metrics, including blood pressure and glucose levels. Read More …

Restyling Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records (EMR) can be extremely useful tools to help improve patient care and reduce costs — if designed and used properly. But unfortunately, good design is hard to come by in this market. The lack of Health IT data standards, privacy laws, and impenetrable health systems complicate an already challenging design process and usually lead to lackluster products. So, the White House sponsored a contest to restyle the Blue Button, a medical record that was first implemented by Department of Veteran Affairs as a text-only record. Read More …

Medical students invent app that checks your symptoms

Craig Monsen and David Do show off Symcat

Craig Monsen and David Do show off their diagnostic tool for consumers.

Craig Monsen and David Do are fourth-year medical students at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine students. According to this article, they recently created a smartphone compatible website that uses big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to analyze your symptoms and help determine the cause.

Using Symcat (symptoms-based, computer-assisted triage), you enter various ailments (fever, rash, cough, swelling etc.) and receive a diagnosis, prioritizing potential causes by likelihood and color-coding them by urgency. As you’ll see in the video demo below, entering and refining the symptoms and medical history is an iterative process, and the results are quite impressive. At some point, if you decide to see a doctor, the system also recommends local practitioners based on their specific specialty and experience.

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How Tech Makes Life Better for Boomers, Seniors

Technology ‘Saved My Life’: Making Life Better for Boomers, Seniors

From improving fitness and aging in place to ending isolation and engaging
more easily with family and friends, technology solutions help baby boomers
and seniors successfully address many of the issues associated with aging.

Orlando Estrada

Orlando Estrada, 77, uses Microsoft HealthVault to manage his health information online at the St. Barnabas Senior Center in Los Angeles.

REDMOND, Wash. – July 9, 2012Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them.

“It saved my life,” says Greidinger, a former buyer for Korvette’s department store, in assessing the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”

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Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media

A new PwC market research study shows that Consumers use Social Media far more than Health Companies.

Patients are turning to the Internet and Social Media to find solutions to health problems when their doctors don’t know the answers. While some docs are overwhelmed with new literature about medical advancements and resent patients who question their advice, others welcome the self-educated patient who has found treatment alternatives online and wants to discuss them. If you’re one of those e-patients and have used social media to connect with others like you to exchange stories and knowledge, I want to hear how you did it.

mHealthTalk Positioning - at the intersection of important trends and between Support Groups and Technology PagesDid you use an online support group like e-Patients.netPatientsLikeMe.com, and WebMD.com? Did you stumble upon a technology solution by landing on a website for a specific product or service? Did you use a smartphone app? Toni Bernhard uses Facebook Groups for this. Do you?

Why I ask… Modern Health Talk is positioned between these extremes, at the intersection of several important trends, including rising costs, aging baby boomers, wireless Internet access, telemedicine, and increased interest in social media, digital sensors, telepresence, and smartphones & tablets. BUT… We’ve found that the good online support groups focus on a single medical condition and NOT the combination of conditions and limitations associated with aging. We so far have been unable to build a vibrant community that engages the elderly in discussions of tech solutions for aging and want to learn from the success of others, potentially partnering with them. So please share your experience by email or a comment below.

e-Patient Katherine Leon

Below, NPR reports on patients with rare diseases who are finding each other online and promoting new research. The story features Katherine Leon, a woman with an extremely rare heart condition who managed to do what many hospitals couldn’t. She set up a virtual patient registry, allowed patients from all over the world to submit their medical records and scans online, and then used the data to convince researchers at the Mayo Clinic to run clinical trials where there was no interest before. Her story became national news. Read More …

Friends from Beyond, and your Digital Will

Friends from Beyond is shown as an Internet cloud hosting email, social media and other websites.

By Wayne Caswell, retired IBM technologist, market strategist, and founder of Modern Health Talk

Friends from Beyond explores the role of social media and digital assets after death, and the need to think about this ahead of time, even creating a digital will to say who acts as executor and who takes ownership of the accounts, which ones get deleted, as well as if any should be preserved for perpetuity.

The article extends the thinking of last week’s post, The Legacy of a Digital Generation, which asked, What will be your legacy?

Will future generations remember you, what you did, and what you valued? Where will they go to reflect on your life? Will it be a grave site, a virtual memorial setup as a perpetual website, or your social media accounts? Read More …

Telemedicine becoming the new house call

 

Travis Proctor logged onto his computer, turned on his new webcam and clicked his mouse. Within seconds, the 42-year-old father of three was face to face with Dr. Kelvin Burton, his primary care physician.

Just months ago, Proctor would have had to drive for nearly an hour round-trip from his home in Powder Springs to Burton’s Douglasville family care practice just for a checkup. Not anymore. (Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

The referenced article by Gracie Bonds Staples prompted a Linkedin discussion where I couldn’t help but respond. Here’s what I said:

Telemedicine includes video calls with patients, video consultations among specialists, remote monitoring of sensor devices, and more, all aimed at increasing service, improving outcomes, and lowering costs.

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e-Patient Dave says, “Gimme My DaM Data!”

I watched his TEDx talk several months ago and can’t believe it took me so long to post the video and a link to his blog (in Resources/Blogs). What follows is directly from the TEDx website.

When Dave deBronkart learned he had a rare and terminal cancer, he turned to a group of fellow patients online — and found the medical treatment that saved his life. Now he calls on all patients to talk with one another and know their own health data. Dave deBronkart wants to help patients help themselves — by owning their medical data, connecting to fellow patients and making medical care better.

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Medical Records in the hands of Patients

Various types of Medical Alerts are shown. Click to read a related article about Maintaining Personal Health RecordsEach time you go to the doctor’s office, they start by scanning through your medical record for notes entered last time, as well as vital signs (including pulse & blood pressure), past test results, medications & vaccines,  etc. If it’s your first visit, the doctor begins by looking over any medical history and health records or narrative of symptoms you provide.

That information doesn’t automatically follow you as you see multiple healthcare providers. Your primary care physician may be a general practitioner, but you may also see an allergist, cardiologist, dentist, dermatologist, gynecologist, radiologist, urologist, and more. Because each office or medical facility maintains its own records and doctor’s notes, you likely have to give nearly the same information again and again each you visit someone new.

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How Safe is your Personal Health Information?

HackerGoogle

By Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk

People worry about the security of their identity, financial and medical information when they hear stories of hacker attacks on large commercial and government websites, including AOL, Hotmail, Microsoft, MySpace, NASA, Sony, Stratfor, USBank, VeriSign, VISA, Xbox, Yahoo, and many others. They also worry when they read about Target, Google, Facebook, and Twitter pushing privacy boundaries and taking liberties with their collected customer data. Both types of stories dilute trust.

It doesn’t much help if a company that overreaches and gets caught simply promises to do better, and then if public outrage prompts potential legislation, they join industry initiatives to propose new plans for self-regulation, such as the publication of privacy policies that users seldom read.

This article addresses the question, “How Safe is your Personal Health Information?” It examines the benefits and security risks of storing your personal health information online, based on my own personal experiences and decades of IT experience. But I’d like to hear of your experiences in the comments section too.

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A Totally New Healthcare System

KingOfTheWorldFive months ago I posted a challenge on Linkedin titled, “Innovative Ideas for a Totally New Healthcare System?” and it generated a discussion that’s been active for 5 months now with over 900 responses from different perspectives worldwide.

As a fun exercise to stimulate creative, out-of-box thinking, pretend you have all been appointed to the new World Health Commission by the new King of the World (or whatever title you prefer). You have absolute power to determine health strategy, for the whole world. Think like a child, and forget the constraints you’re used to dealing with as adults. There are no financial hurdles, no political worries, no cultural barriers, no legacy to contend with, no managers looking over your shoulders, and no imposed time frames. What is it that patients, providers and society seek from healthcare? Why can’t they get that now? Starting with a completely blank canvas, what would be the objectives of the new System? Imagine potential roadblocks and how we might overcome them.

The discussion has evolved, and most participants have come in and out of it, but Clifford Thornton posted one of the longest and most thoughtful replies and gave me permission to reprint it here.

A Totally New Healthcare System

By Clifford Thornton

Wow sir, a blank sheet; this is a dynamic exercise.

I came into the healthcare field about 9 years ago from a marketing strategy business background in the cable/telecommunication industry. Let me say that I cannot think or even imagine a bigger contrast in terms of quality of service, efficiencies, level of customer satisfaction, duplication of service levels, delivery, and range/availability of services.

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Indiana Health Info Exchange adopts AT&T solution

Serving 10 million patients and more than 19,000 physicians in over 80 facilities, the nation’s largest health information exchange organization, the Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is responsible for an ocean of information.

This week IHIE announced that it will use AT&T Healthcare Community Online to scale and expand its business plans. The AT&T solution is a highly secure, cloud-based health information exchange (HIE) that integrates patient data from various sources into a single patient view. It symbolizes the connected and collaborative future of healthcare – where information is exchanged across states, regions, and eventually the entire nation – according to Randall Porter, Assistant Vice President, AT&T ForHealth.

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