Taking a hint from on-demand car service Uber, several US companies have developed smartphone apps that bring physicians directly to patients—often for less that it would cost to receive treatment elsewhere.
1. A practical digital health fellowship for providers and post-graduates
2. True interoperability
3. More women in leadership positions
4. A more robust representation of people involved in healthcare
5. A Hippocratic oath for the digital age
Andrew Spong's insight:
All sound enough observations.
Would any of them have made your top five?
Right now, mine would include:
1. A primary focus on patient outcomes as the driver of innovation
2. A secondary focus on reducing the personal and economic burden of care
3. A strong emphasis on design and the promotion of user uptake, utilisation, and retention
4. Interoperability (my definition includes not just connected systems, but also integrated workflows, and assumes a commitment to promoting open, anonymised data)
5. Dialogue: by which I do not mean ceaseless pronouncements about the seductive distractions of novelty, but rather the nurturing of ongoing, iterative, analytic discussions between designers, healthcare systems, clinicians, and users regarding objectives and outcomes (as well as the UX and UI) at every stage of the developmental process -- before, during, and after initiation
When asked whether users would like to see a more direct connection between the CME they take and patient outcomes, eighty-one percent of HCPs surveyed responded affirmatively.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents said "yes" when asked whether CME delivered at the point of care (in the form of decision support) could lend valuable insights into the management of patients.
The survey also found that less than one percent of respondents currently consume CME through an EHR system, demonstrating a significant unmet need in the marketplace for new approaches to CME delivery.
Among the many instruments your doctor uses — stethoscope, thermometer, scale — the most valuable one may be in her pocket: a smartphone. Due to increasingly compressed office visits, patients are becoming more active participants in managing their healthcare, and a new generation of Internet-savvy physicians is using social media to improve the way they run their practices. Currently, 67 percent of physicians use social media — sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest — for professional purposes, according to a recent report released by the Federation of State Medical Boards. One Yahoo Facebook user reported that her nurse practitioner gives advice over the social networking site, while another said sharing photos and videos can even save her a trip to the office. “Social media is changing the way people give and receive information and, as a result, the medical profession is changing, too,” Lee Aase, social media director at the Mayo Clinic, tells Yahoo Health.
A survey (n=2,239) of smartphone users across geographies found that:
* 71% of smartphone users are open to offers of relevant health care services from businesses
* 80% of patients would like the option to use their smartphones to interact with health care providers
* 56% of people worldwide trust health care organisations with personal data and indicated that while e-health records have yet to take off in many countries, innovations around mobile alerts and information services are helping build trust
Dr. Matthew Katz (@subatomicdoc) describes how he uses social media to learn more about patient perceptions of cancer, how to decide which social media to use, and drawbacks to using social media in a professional capacity.
Andrew Spong's insight:
One of my long-time, trusted clinical voices in oncology shares his insights in this video.
Apple debuted HealthKit at its Worldwide Developers Conference and Google followed a few weeks later with GoogleFit at its I/O conference.
It is clear that Apple and Google see health apps as a major feature for future iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Where this gets interesting is how the two companies will vie for supremacy and where they identify their best marketplace opportunities...
Eighty percent of smartphone users are interested in using their smartphones to interact with health care providers, according to a FICO survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users from the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.
The survey analyzed how consumers prefer to interact with health care providers on mobile devices, online and in-person.
The mental health field is perhaps uniquely suited to transition from face-to-face meetings to online appointments. Despite hurdles related to insurance reimbursement and concerns about whether an interpersonal connection can survive in the virtual world, proponents say that online therapy is an effective solution to bring mental health care to those who might not otherwise get it.
Technology is shaping the future of healthcare, and while technology has brought a number of innovative healthcare solutions, some are worried about the growing impact and potential danger of unregulated health IT apps. Plenty of health and fitness apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play range from harmless to helpful, but doctors are worried about untested and unregulated apps that claim to replace medical devices or diagnose illnesses. Doctors are now asking the FDA to take notice and are warning the public to evaluate these apps with a critical eye.
Andrew Spong's insight:
This. Will. Never. Happen...
...for reasons of resourcing alone.
However, once they're settled their first class action against a health app, I can still see Apple and Google hiring massive clinical faculties to assure the quality of apps in house.
For health app makers, the era of low-to-no scrutiny will soon be over.
As a healthcare provider without diabetes, I will never fully understand what it is like to live with diabetes. I do however try my best to understand the day-to-day challenges as best as I can. I have tested my own blood sugars, worn all the insulin pumps and CGM devices, taken saline injections, etc.; I also engage in the DOC (diabetes online community).
To try to encourage other healthcare providers to gain better perspective on diabetes, I worked with members of the DOC to set-up a fakebetes challenge. Whitney, a new nursing graduate, and Kim Vlasnik both volunteered to be first to take this challenge, and were paired together.
In this fakebetes challenge, Kim text Whitney fake insulin doses, including a carb ratio and correction factor; and blood sugar readings from her own glucometer. Whitney was encouraged to check her own blood sugars and count carbohydrates, but take saline injections according to the blood sugars Kim had text text her. In this way there would be some blood sugar readings in different ranges to think about and respond to.
Andrew Spong's insight:
I'd be really interested to hear what the DOC thought of this initiative.
I'm conflicted, to be honest. On the one hand, I very much admire the commitment of the healthcare professionals involved to immerse themselves as fully as possible in the experience of living with diabetes.
However, in the last instance that does not extend beyond the routines involved with optimal management.
Also, for fear of stating the obvious, it can never take the provider inside the body and mind of a person living with diabetes to afford them first-hand experience of the multi-factorial inconveniences, physical discomforts and pain, and mental challenges of the disease.
Most significantly, their pancreas is still working. PWD don't have the option to stop being diabetic.
If this sounds more anti than pro, I don't mean it to -- there is simply a weight of things to say regarding the former.
Perhaps for people with diabetes, the gestural demonstration of wanting to understand what living with the disease is like to the best of the RN's ability is what they may consider most important.
I'd like to hear more, so please share any responses to this study that you may have seen from the DOC. Thanks!
MIT researchers developed an app, Ginger.io, that collects data about its users behaviors, locations, health conditions and habits and then notes inconsistencies that may predict the onset of problems such as depression. The app alerts health care providers for intervention.
Electronic consultation systems use the Internet to deliver health services to people all around the world and has been shown to reduce unnecessary visits to specialists, with a meaningful percentage of cases being resolved without a face-to-face visit. As a result, wait times are less for those who really do need to see a specialist. Skype is one method that is popular among health-care providers today.
When it comes to social media, the top sites that doctors do seem to use for work are LinkedIn, online physician communities, and Facebook (see chart below). The specialities that reported the most use of online physician communities were ophthalmology, geriatrics, psychiatry, otolaryngology, and oncology.
Bioprinting continues to make significant strides towards a process that will involve dispensing cells onto biocompatible scaffolding using successive layers to generate tissue-like 3D structures and organs.
Along the way, however, there will be a number of interim steps that can also benefit the healthcare community. An excellent example of this is highlighted in a new study Physical Models of Renal Malignancies Using Standard Cross-Sectional Imaging and 3-Dimensional Printers: A Pilot Study.
The authors of the study, who work in theDepartment of Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine; were looking for a method of providing 3-dimensional models of patient’s kidneys based on cross-sectional imaging. According to Jonathan Silberstein, Assistant Professor of Urology, providing such a model “may aid patients, trainees, and clinicians in their comprehension, characterization, localization, and extirpation of suspicious renal masses.”
Frederic Llordachs is what is called a health care and well being entrepreneur. He recognized the potential of the Internet in his field right away, and he admits that many colleagues didn’t take his initiative seriously at first. Currently, Doctoralia, of which Llordach is a founding partner, has more than 2 million users monthly and has a network of more than 73,000 medical professionals. Does the health care system as we know it have an expiration date?
Mobile phone technologies have evolved to handle increasingly complex tasks. While the majority of apps are designed for simple tasks, some of the more sophisticated ones can handle high resolution imaging, real-time monitoring and other advanced functions.
Based on functional complexity, vision care apps lead the market, followed by medical sensors and specialised apps for patients with psoriasis, cardiovascular conditions, cancer support, apps for medical reference, baby care and others.