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!
Well, I was surprised on this one but I’m probably not the one “in the know” on deals such as this – but Cerner & Siemens $1.3 billion merger occurred last week. And I know that everyone from employees to users of the separate companies’ products to the whole HIT world are waiting to see what happens next. The article interviews John Glaser of Siemens and surprised me by noting that the merger has been a bit on the brains of the executives for quite some time – since 2010. Could this bring the two companies together and put them back in a powerhouse position? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But honestly, with IT products, unless they have been working on programming since 2010, they don’t move that quickly.
Any thoughts from the audience?
Just read an article which discussed the challenges that wearables, or the wearable vendors, face in actually helping the individual. Though very interesting on the discussion I am not sure I completely agree with the expert that the author interviewed. Part of me wonders if the expert really understands what the wearables purpose truly is and has kept up with the expected functions of the wearables – since some of them that they specifically point out have not even hit the market yet and speculation is varied on what they will include. I wrote a blog for my company that talks about wearables in case you want to check that out here.
Wearables are on the market and currently target specific areas such as walking steps and diabetes information. We are anxiously awaiting what the new Apple app is going to do. From what I have read the app has a lot of functions and most are tied to devices that integrate with the app. (That is the short story but if you want more check out the link above.)
The expert interviewed by the author in the first article I pointed out makes some good observations or points on what the mainstream individuals may want from wearables or even mHealth apps. He states that they want some kind of reward or motivation to keep the individual using the wearable or app. One that caught my attention was the use of personal goals. Devising the wearables to produce data or to help the individual achieve goals set by the individual. That is a great idea and one that is currently used in several fitness apps today. Another that made me go “wow!!” is a financial incentive such as insurance discounts. My first question is how are they going to know at the insurance company that I’ve used my wearable to achieve a goal in order to give me the discount? This is going back to the data and Big Brother that I did an earlier blog on. While I would really like to have those monetary incentives I have many concerns on who would have access to my data and be using it specifically for me. I’m really not so concerned with what we in the industry call “scrubbed data” or data that has the personal identifiers removed. There is that big thing called HIPAA act that I kinda like a lot.
What I really disagree with the expert about is that the users will become bored with the wearables or the apps. But I do admit that if an app requires too much daily work for me, as I experienced with the food tracking on MyFitnessPal, I don’t think I would keep up with it – I didn’t on the app I mentioned. If an app or wearable is providing usable information that is easy for the user/wearer to use then I think our culture of individuals that are trying to make their lives more healthy, for whatever reason, will be using it. If it is popular or fashionable with the public then there is even more reason for its use.
What do you think? Would you use a wearable? What would you want from the wearable or app to make it a long-term use?
The FDA has been adding some statements about mobile apps since the release of its report back in late March. Specifically, on 6/11/14 it released more clarification on what would fall under enforcement discretion – or those that it will leave up to other entities to enforce. According to mHealth they pretty much described Apple’s health app:
“Mobile apps that allows a user to collect, log, track and trend data such as blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, weight or other data from a device to eventually share with a health care provider, or upload it to an online (cloud) database, personal or electronic health record.”
So what does the Apple health app have included? Well, again according to mHealth, they have several diagnostic functions, including number of times fallen, galvanic skin response, and body heat flux. They have weight and activity related metrics – the ability to track body fat percentage, steps taken, calories burned. Then the nifty basal calories burned – those pesky calories burned while you sit and do nothing. And just in case you need it – the blood alcohol content results. Along with the expected medications functions – reminders, alerts to interactions, etc. Nutrition, sleep, and vital signs seem to be included.
What really interests me about the app is that is appears to be designed to work with other products more than as a stand-alone. That makes sense as it really isn’t a medical device and where else could it get most of the medical data if it did not interact? So in my mind this puts the app out there as more of a medical record for me. Then I circle back around to where does the data go?
If you are just waiting on this fall for the release of the app you might want to do some research beforehand and order your extra device for that blood alcohol content monitor, Breathometer (as seen on Shark Tank), or your Nike+ fuel monitors.
Have you tried the Google Glass yet? Wear a Fitbit? In a recent post for the Pivot Point Consulting blog, I talk about wearables, those devices that you wear which capture data as you wear them about your or your health, and how they fit into healthcare technology today. I also talk about what the future might look like with the upcoming Apple & Google innovations. What will the market look like to the consumer? What does the market and the financial feasibility look like for the companies developing the wearables? And most importantly, what do we do with all that data that is or will be collected?
Take a peek and let me know how wearables can or will affect your world!
In a recent blog post for Pivot Point Consulting I share information and thoughts on the use of smartphones in the health setting. We use a lot of health apps as we have become a society that is much more aware of our health over the last 10 years. We use fitness app, those with health/diseases use apps to monitor their disease state and the healthcare providers use apps to provide at the hand information. So what do you use your smartphone for related to your health?
Take a look at my blog contribution on the OpenNotes project!
If you haven’t heard about it, OpenNotes is a project that initiated in 2010 to see how patients and care providers would react to the patient having access their visit note after they saw the provider. If you want to find out what the patients thought of the experience check out the blog. Did they like having the access and information? How did they use the information after they saw it? And what did the care providers think of the experience?