…will keep the doctors informed.
So maybe you haven’t been in the hospital ever or in years or even this year (we’re only a quarter-ish into the new year)… but now you just might see how an Apple might be just what the doctor ordered.
If you are already wearing that Apple Watch and happen to make it into the patient bed at Cedars-Sinai then you can synch all your info with the hospital issued iPad and your Apple Watch. That makes for a more complete record of your health and keeps the info where it can be accessed for other care providers or, in the worst of situations, where emergency responders can see it.
Back in early 2015, we heard of the hospitals piloting Apple’s HealthKit – and the big name electronic health record providers jumped in with them. John Hopkins (specifically for epilepsy) and Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans have worked with Epic, an electronic health record company, to integrate with the Apple Watch. Ochsner is making the use of the Apple product line to make their innovationOschner (iO) program a stellar role model for the rest of the electronic world of healthcare. I’m, personally, impressed with their program and how they seem to be making it a part of their strategic vision not just for the company but for their patients. Check out this post from last year on Oschner’s program!
Yet, in the field we are all aware of the regulations around electronic health records and those devices that work with them are one of the grey areas – one that we, in the healthcare technology field hopes will stay grey!
What have your experiences been with your Apple products and your healthcare providers?
Here is a great interview article with a patient at Cedars Sinai – and it speaks to the market that Apple is now wading into…
In previous blogs I’ve talked about using technology to improve your health, such as this one on apps. Most apps today are still focused on general health and wellness. Even though that is the case those apps can help people with chronic conditions monitor those conditions. For instance, the Fitbit can monitor your pulse/heart rate. This is great if you have a heart condition.
Now picture yourself faced with a decision, large or small, about treatment for your health decision. Do you solely rely on the doctor’s advice? Do you have a discussion with the doctor weighing the options and the pros and cons? Do you Google it? What if there were an app to help you review your issues/symptoms? What if it could help you to evaluate the risks? I think most people would like to have that assistance – especially with the “big” decisions – surgery, cancer, etc.
Then add to it that your can possibly review your own health records (check out my blog post on OpenNotes). This can help you understand your health as a whole. There are also decision aids that help translate the medical talk – you don’t have to go to a medical terminology class now to understand those words!
“There are many health conditions where there are multiple good options for treatment, and not a clear best option,” says Angie Fagerlin, chair of the department of population health sciences at the University of Utah, a research scientist at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and president of the Society for Medical Decision Making. “Shared decision making allows patients to engage in a deliberative, communicative process with their clinicians, and be active participants in their care.”
Take a peek at the article in the Wall Street Journal’s article on getting patients to take more control of their medical decisions.
Have you used apps or decision aids in making decisions about your healthcare?
Do you use health apps in your everyday life? Who directed you to the apps you use? Your doctor? Friend? Co-worker? Well, if you got yours from the App Store or Google Play then you are in the majority. That wasn’t the case 5 years ago:
This marks a shift from the firm’s 2010 survey, when more than 65 percent of healthcare practitioners said they’d be the ones to recommend mHealth apps to their patients. Five years later, that percentage has dropped to 48 percent of physicians and 46 percent of hospitals. (link to article)
Back in the late 2000s the apps were mostly driven by the health providers such as physician practices and hospitals. They were also many that were related to specific disease states or information that was gathered from the patient at the specific hospital or physician practice. Now we are seeing a trend, one that has been growing for a couple of years, of apps targeted toward exercise and diet. You may have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, use My Fitness Pal or other apps to track what you do, what you eat, what your pulse is and how long you exercised.
But a lot of the apps fail to satisfy the users need. They may be too complicated to use, take more effort to input information or just simply don’t do what the app advertises. For instance, I have a Fitbit and originally wanted it to track my sleep. But it is not consistent so I just can’t rely on the information. A lot of the apps that you might have on your phone, iPad or such you have to either read the label and input the information about that chocolate chip cookie or glass of almond milk that you just consumed. Some are sophisticated enough to scan the barcode of the product and take the information from there into the app.
So what has your experience been with apps for your health? Did you healthcare provider point you to helpful ones? Do you use apps that are specific to your disease state – as in the case of diabetic monitors? Or have you just seen others using these apps on Facebook and thought that might work for you?
Tell me about it!
I’ve been following the “ownership” of patient health care data for probably over 12 years – since I started full-fledged into healthcare IT – that’s at least how long those in the industry have been talking it over – and over, and over, and over. So it was much to my surprise to come across an article that laid out who owns the health data – you or the provider or the healthcare company.
I was even more shocked to find that there are states that will not release your own health data from your physician/healthcare system without a court order!!! Wowser!! Won’t see me moving to South Carolina or New Jersey or visiting a doctor there unless I’m in a life or death situation!
But you are in luck if you live in New Hampshire – you own your data according to “Revised Statutes of the State of New Hampshire 151:21” So yup, I would definitely be comfortable their having MY health data.
If I counted right, then 27 states have no laws on ownership, so its a toss up…
And then my own state of Texas – to my shock and horror and almost pissed-off-ness –
Medical records may be owned by a physician’s employer, including include group practices, professional associations, and non-profit health organizations.
That word of “may” tricks me up…does that mean they “may” give me a copy without that court order like South Carolina wants or they “may” decide they don’t want to give them to me? Clarity, folks, clarity!!
So here is the infographic/map if you want a quick look… but thought you might find this a little interesting. What do you think of your state’s laws or lack of?
Courtesy of this great article!
According to an article in Reuters, your information from a healthcare hack can sell for $20 or more on the black market. Why, you ask? Because that information is much easier to use to paint a whole picture of a person and their identity than the previously targeted financial data. They can use the healthcare data to receive medical care, obtain prescriptions, and use your social security number and date of birth to obtain credit in your name. With the financial sector locking down their information in response to the many hacks of late years the healthcare industry is an easier target as they have not been previously worried about hacking.
In a recent Washington Examiner article, it was reported that:
Hackings of data from healthcare firms and doctors jumped over 1,800 percent from 2008-2013…
Reviewing Health and Human Services reports of data breaches where more than 500 patients were exposed, the Brookings Institution found that the number went from just 13 in 2008 to 256 in 2013, impacting 9 million in 2014.
Healthcare systems that are hacked and have the weak security can/will be fined up to $1.5 million dollars – which should serve as incentive to tighten up that security.
What does this mean to you? It means you should keep an eye on your credit, listen to the news for reports of hacking, and you might even ask your health care provider and other healthcare entities if their security is appropriate. Of course, most of those clinical providers on the front end (those doctors & nurses) probably can’t answer the question as it lies deeper in the organization or operations, such as the information technology department, so don’t be too upset if they can’t tell ya about it.
Did you know that we are already using big data (extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions) to help with Parkinson’s disease (Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research) and to help the first responders to arrive on the scene earlier than previously experienced (Jersey City’s Medical EMS)? It’s true. (reference here)
I’ve also talked about big data in previous posts:
Data & Big Brother in Healthcare
How Well Will Wearables and mHealth apps Work with the Individual
So what is happening with our data? It is being evaluated to determine the care level of the patient. Or, in other words, we are analyzing the data from both clinical and claims systems to identify patient health status, compliance with physician orders and gaps in care that may be needed proactively for the patient.
This collection of data is being used by insurers and clinicians for the purpose of making the care of the patient more effective, efficient and comprehensive. It is also being used by the more commercial side of the healthcare business, such as pharmaceutical companies evaluating the use of their drugs with claims data on prescriptions filled, but with this use the patient information is not part of the package that the commercial side provides.
What does this mean for the general public? Well, a couple of things. For the individual it helps them to manage their health and diseases and to proactively ensure that they are progressing in a positive direction for a healthy life. For the public it means that we now have the ability to see what the community might need to make it healthier and to identify the potential for commonalities of disease in the community.
We are moving toward an industry that can have the tools to make us healthier as individuals and a community. This quote from David Richards (in the first article link above) sums it up:
…future breakthroughs may have less to do with chance discovery than the systematic analyses of existing data. And while these are the early days of data-driven hospitals, the writing is on the wall for healthcare as we know it.
Take the HIMSS mobile IT survey here!
Completing the survey qualifies you to participate in a drawing, the winner of which will be given the choice of a Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone 6 or iPad Mini, and $500 either in the form of a Visa gift card or donation to the charity of your choosing.
And you’ll have the satisfaction of participating and having an impact in the world!