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Will Any Health App Ever Really Succeed?

Will Any Health App Ever Really Succeed? | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it

There are wildly successful apps for mapping, sending e-mail, and catapulting birds. Why aren’t there any for health care?

 

Geoffrey Clapp thinks a mobile app can make health care better—so much so, in fact, that his upcoming app is called just that: Better.

 

The app is being tested at the Mayo Clinic, which is an investor in Clapp’s startup, and is slated to launch in October. It aims to let people use a smartphone to reach a doctor, find a diagnosis, or keep track of their medical records. Storing personal medical data and using health-tracking features will be free, but users will be charged monthly fees for instant access to nurses and health coaches.

 

Better, also the name of the company, is among a slew of health and fitness companies concentrating on the mobile Internet market. So far, however, health apps have failed to take off. To the disappointment of “e-health” advocates who hope to see such apps transform the medical landscape, the number of Americans using technology to track their health or fitness didn’t change between 2010 and early 2013, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

 
Via nrip
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

not until they realise its not about cool apps but good health, and that is a personal behavioral change!

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Ken Nelson's curator insight, September 26, 2013 12:21 PM

What a great idea, not before time something like this could be a life saver,and how many times do you get asked the same questions about your  health & what you are alergy to, would be great to store all this info on your phone securely of course.

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Fitness Tracker Fatigue? How to Make Wearable Tech Useful

Fitness Tracker Fatigue? How to Make Wearable Tech Useful | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
The popularity of fitness trackers has exploded, yet few people keep using these devices after a few months. Now, researchers are looking at what key features would it would take to make trackers better.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

Been wearing mine for 2 years, but yeah agree with the statement - "lots of data, no analysis"!

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Wearable Technology And Digital Healthcare Strategies Should Shift Focus To Chronic Medical Illness

Wearable Technology And Digital Healthcare Strategies Should Shift Focus To Chronic Medical Illness | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it

As we marvel at the gadgets that companies such as Nike, Fitbit, Jawbone and Apple have recently produced and brought to market–gadgets that can record our heart rate, calories expended, and steps taken—one can only think of how this technology could likely be used on a greater scale to help those who truly need it the most: people with chronic medical illnesses such as emphysema, diabetes, or congestive heart failure.

 

A recent article by J.C Herz in Wired Magazine provides an excellent beginning point to do just that: recognizing how we, as a society, have yet to harness such powerful and innovative technology to help millions with chronic medical illnesses.

As things currently stand, which Herz eloquently outlines in her essay, existing companies’ technology in wearables has for the most part been utilized by tech aficionados and athletes who marvel in tracking personal health data—but not ultimately benefiting society at large.

In her article, Herz makes clear references to multiple regulatory stumbling blocks, adding not only cost but logistical nightmares to pushing forward–including HIPAA and the FDA, to mention two big ones. She points out that so many of these nifty and innovative gadgets are often put away, gather dust, and may not outlast the novelty of a 6-month period.

In fact, a report last month by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Initiative (HRI) evaluating the state of wearable digital technology and devices further supports our current dilemma: Less than half of people who own a wearable use it on a daily basis.

The report, which surveyed over 1,000 consumers, is sobering to say the least. Based on the report, 21% of people in the US have purchased such a device, with 52% of those persons neglecting to use it on a daily basis. Tucked into this 52% of persons are 10% who have stopped using their device altogether.

As a follow-up, HRI released a more recent report just days ago evaluating how the future paradigm of healthcare needs to catch up to other sectors of our economy to improve not only efficiency but quality of care. Entitled Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge the gap of time and distance between clinicians and consumers, the report provides a compelling argument for a change in how we monitor patients with chronic medical issues in the home setting, along with how patients communicate with their healthcare providers and the healthcare system as a whole.

The take-home of this report is that there is a growing acceptance among physicians, with a more open attitude toward adopting digital technology for their medical practices, with clear suggestions for insurers, healthcare companies, physicians and other stakeholders to explore and develop such technologies to help patients who suffer from chronic illness.

“Digitally enabled care is no longer nice to have, it’s fundamental for delivering high quality care,” said Daniel Garrett, Health Information Technology Practice Leader, PwC US.  “Just as the banking and retail sectors today use data and technology to improve efficiency, raise quality, and expand services, healthcare must either do the same or lose patients to their competitors who do so.”

The HRI survey spoke with over 1,000 industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants.

The findings of the report:

1. Put diagnostic testing of basic conditions into the hands of patients:  Close to 42% of physicians are comfortable relying on at-home test results to prescribe medication.

2. Increase patient-clinician interaction:  Half of physicians said that e-visits could replace more than 10% of in-office patient visits, and nearly as many consumers indicated they would communicate with caregivers online.

3. Promote self-management of chronic disease using health apps: 28% of consumers said they have a healthcare, wellness, or medical app on their mobile device, up from 16% last year.  Nearly 66% of physicians would prescribe an app to help patients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.

4. Help caregivers work more as a team: 79% of physicians and close to 50% of consumers believe using mobile devices can help physicians better coordinate care.

“The adoption and integration of digital technology with existing healthcare processes has not yet fulfilled its potential to transform care and value for patients,” said Simon Samaha, MD, Principal, PwC. “The next five years will be critical, with leaders emerging from those who use digital technology to innovate and revamp the interactions between consumers, providers and payers.”

It’s clear from HRI’s report that major stakeholders in the healthcare industry including hospitals, insurers and the pharmaceutical industry all believe that major changes will occur in how healthcare is delivered. However, several barriers exist in preventing the implementation of this new paradigm of healthcare. These include issues of security, privacy, consumer consent, data-sharing, fragmented workflows and digital buy-in.

HRI’s recommendations for healthcare stakeholders:

1. Generating actionable insights through analytics to yield better outcomes: Analytics allow healthcare providers to tailor unique care plans for patients while also managing care plans and improving patient health. Additional goals of treatment are to identify high-risk populations for focused care.

2. Using increasing amounts of data to rethink the workforce and workflows: Using technology to adjust the workforce, which can reduce costs and improve quality. The end result is to adjust staffing based on advances in technology. Digital technology can be used to ensure physicians are practicing at the top of their licenses and leverage care extenders, such as nurse practitioners, when appropriate.

3. Targeting digital interventions for where they make the most sense: Health systems need to figure out how and where digital technology may replace or augment traditional office visits based on a patient’s medical condition.

Sean MacLeod, President of Seattle-based Stratos, an incubator of healthcare technology for new product innovation takes a similar position with PwC’s report, urging the healthcare industry to make a greater commitment toward caring for an important segment of our population— aging baby boomers and those with chronic medical illness.

“On the wearable side, our market position here [at Stratos] is that this technology is great–Fitbits, mobile EKGs, pedometers, but ‘so what’–the only difference between this and technology 20 years ago is that connectivity and the cloud computing power that’s behind it. You are not getting any other actionable data than you could have acquired as a first user or early adopter from the late 1990s,” said MacLeod.

“We have always taken the approach that these are great enabling technologies and the adoption factor really points that the market is ready for this—but the market space that they are being applied to is somewhat arbitrary,” added MacLeod.

MacLeod asks the question: “Is there actionable data that really affects the healthcare system and the costs that are associated with it?”

“What about the diabetics, what about people with epilepsy, what about those with chronic mental illness? And those without resources that get trapped within the health care reimbursement cycle and don’t get predictive and preventable care on a regular basis that helps them through avoiding a worsening of a chronic disease, but also to allow them to manage the disease with their healthcare professional.”

“The big promise here,” explains MacLeod, “is that by implementing these devices in a meaningful way to truly address chronic or preventative medicine—that will be the way you will likely have a large impact on the cost structures of the system.”

“The way that the system is set up right know, it’s very hard to do an ROI calculation that is meaningful across the board, and as a country and you probably won’t get there unless you end up in a single-payer type of environment,” adds MacLeod.

In his view, “The system still hasn’t broken out of an acute-care type of engagement. As a typical healthcare consumer you see your doc for 15 minutes a year. There isn’t a viable or sustainable paradigm for monitoring and tracking the chronicity of care.”

So, the issue is whether we can implement wearable technology to make a meaningful change in how we approach caring for patients.

“There has been a paradigm shift in the marketplace currently from this acute-care setting to more of a chronic-care setting—but it hasn’t shifted yet to address the continuum of wellness. The ISB (Institute for Systems Biology) program in Seattle takes it further to do predictive medicine in such a way that evaluates leading indicators of decreasing wellness. It enables a physician, stakeholder or individual to take proactive measures to not only address a decrease it wellness, but to course-correct it back to a state of wellness,” said MacLeod.

Most medical technology companies today are also attempting to engage in chronic health management, so as part of that, they are pulling wellness apps and wearable technologies into their portfolios, as their “companion products” to their core business. (This could include a pharmaceutical, pacemaker, or healthcare customer relationship management system.)

“These companies are coming up to speed as how to apply the technologies—but they are not educated in the consumer market so they are bit uncomfortable with the “consumerization of their core competency,” believes MacLeod.

“It’s a slow-moving market, so until the consumers of these actionable data devices actually demand it, there is little likelihood that the system will change because of the lack of momentum due to inertia of payers, reimbursement systems and the cost structure that currently exist.”

There is a movement for comparative data that has been growing and this may be addressed by placing technology that is accessible to patients and medical providers in the home setting.

Readmissions of patients through the emergency department cost the healthcare system billions of dollars per year, so developing technology to monitor variations in parameters of chronic disease states may help reduce US healthcare expenditures. Monitoring blood glucose and changes in oxygen saturation, as well as changes in blood pressure, are simple things which can not only improve outcomes but help to reduce costs.

According to Rich Able, CMO and Founder of X2bio, a company dedicated to sensors for monitoring head injuries, “effectively utilizing wearable technology is the key to helping advance our healthcare system to reach the next level—detection and correction of course-based data, predicated on real-time  evaluation.”

Apple and Google, according to Able and MacLeod, serve as channels to the consumer side, but the innovation he feels needs to come from the medical technology space for long term chronic care or wellness paradigms to be successful, with reimbursement paradigms following close behind.


Helius is an example of a unique technology incubated and refined by Stratos for Proteus Digital Health, based in Redwood City, California. The technology connects patients with their medical providers using novel ingestible sensors powered by the body’s natural compounds. A specialized wearable sensor attached to the body and then connected by Bluetooth technology to a smartphone or tablet can then provide real-time feedback relative to the effects of specific medications (heart rate, activity level). Helius received European regulatory approval (CE Mark) in August of 2010, and FDA market clearance as a medical device for co-ingested applications in July of 2012.

“Proteus has revolutionized a platform that completely digitizes the pharmacological response and compliance schedules in a living being, said MacLeod.  “It foresees the future of healthcare where clinicians, caregivers, and family members are connected to a patients’ well being.”

The end result is that “Proteus brings a positive paradigm shift to the notion of personalized medicine and the ‘Connected Human,’” added MacLeod.

Baby boomers driving a changing healthcare approach

Many believe that encouraging the use of connected devices, such as Proteus, may help decrease re-admissions rates, especially with an aging demographic. The new paradigms for health care of our aging population will have to involve the home-care setting.

Able stresses that “75 million baby boomers taxing on the healthcare system” will make treatment in the home using wireless and wearable technologies imperative.

So what will be the driver that will finally push technology into the home, making other approaches suboptimal?

“It’s a realization that the cost structures of today will ultimately bankrupt us as families, or us as a community, or us as a country,” according to MacLeod. “How many years in a row can you put up with double digit increases in your healthcare costs?”

If cities could embrace such technology, potentially in pilot programs to actually demonstrate economic advantages to an integrated system using wearables in a “connected home”, which then translate into improvements in prosperity, reduced cost of living, improved lifestyle and wellness, it is feasible that insurers and other stakeholders would take notice.

A National Initiative to Change How We Manage Chronic Disease?

An initiative from the White House might be the best way to approach integrating wearable technology and digital health to make the connected home the new paradigm to manage people in the outpatient setting.

Just as the electronic health record (EHR) became a national priority, so too should mobile and wearable technology invested in chronic medical care in the home setting become a top priority on the nation’s agenda.

“This is a point of national pride that we should do this,” urges MacLeod. “Lets create a brand new industry and own it.”

MacLeod sums it up another way: “This is the new moonshot for 2016. We will not only will put a man on the moon, but we will bring him back.”

 

 


Via Technical Dr. Inc.
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Why Digital Marketing Has Become the Health-Care Industry's Rx for Revenue

Why Digital Marketing Has Become the Health-Care Industry's Rx for Revenue | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
As profit-pinched hospitals look for cost-effective means to draw in business, they are marketing where the patients are -- online and on mobile devices.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

Search is key and healthcare is social! Thats the truth - deal with it.

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Discover Your Spark: The evolution of organisational performance and workplace wellness interventions

Discover Your Spark: The evolution of organisational performance and workplace wellness interventions | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
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What the future of wearables could mean for health data:

What the future of wearables could mean for health data: | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
While the skepticism over Google Glass continues to rise in the media, the notion of “smart glasses” is gaining traction in many different professional and clinical settings.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

If all it achieves in the short term is more personal responsibility, the win is worth it. The "TCOY" mantra needs to be chanted. Take care of yourself; for no one else will

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Harnessing Market Forces to Fight Fake Drugs | Innovations for Poverty Action

Harnessing Market Forces to Fight Fake Drugs | Innovations for Poverty Action | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it

"The prevalence of counterfeit drugs is a global public health concern, with evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia indicating that 35% of medicines in public and private outlets are fake...high quality products, priced competitively, can drive out bad ones even when quality is not directly observable, but the mechanism appears weaker when consumers are less able to infer quality."


It's hard to believe that this problem has been going on for a while now, and nobody has been able to trace the origin of these drugs other than "from China." It's infuriating.


Via tongtiffany
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

... and is this not a drug menace of equal magnitude when compared with narcotics? #mhealth solutions to address this exist - a simple sms can authenticate and save lives.

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PHR technologies emerging from all angles | Medical Practice Insider

PHR technologies emerging from all angles | Medical Practice Insider | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
There’s little questioning the promise of personal health technologies to better engage patients — and in turn improve care for individuals and populations at reduced costs.
“We can’t do any of the triple aim stuff without engaging the patient. We can't move the needle on cost or outcomes unless we get people involved,” Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a health economist at THINK-Health, said Tuesday at the Government Health IT Conference and Exhibition. “A more engaged patient costs less to the health plan. The more activated, the lower cost.”
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

The holy trifecta os better healthcare delivery systems - improved outcomes, reduces costs and engaged patients. Is there any way one can do that without eventual mass adoption of PHRs?

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A Guide to Patient Portals for Medical Practices | Medical Practice Insider

A Guide to Patient Portals for Medical Practices | Medical Practice Insider | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Patient portal technology enables patients to use a web-based connection to communicate with their healthcare provider. Forty percent of U.S. office-based physicians currently have a portal through their electronic health record or practice management system, according to research released by Frost and Sullivan in September 2013.
Although the technology can be utilized in a variety of ways, practices generally set up a portal to give patients the following capabilities:
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

The logical and oh so needed bridge between right care through EHRs and patient engagement through PHRs is a patient portal. But does it need to stay in the HCP realm?

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Mobile health apps will reduce burden on hospitals: expert

Mobile health apps will reduce burden on hospitals: expert | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
UAE authorities focus on delivering services through smartphones
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

Chronic disease management is not always the reason people are in hospitals, but then every little bit helps.

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Colliers International reveals new report on Dubai¹s Healthcare Industry at Hospital Build & Infrastructure 2014

Colliers International reveals new report on Dubai¹s Healthcare Industry at Hospital Build & Infrastructure 2014 | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Despite the global financial crisis, the Dubai healthcare sector continues to witness rapid growth and continues to attract international healthcare players into the market. Colliers International ...
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Population demands, chronic diseases and mandatory insurance driving growth!

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Microsoft-backed startup ZiDi to tackle maternal, child healthcare

Microsoft-backed startup ZiDi to tackle maternal, child healthcare | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Kenyan mobile health management system startup ZiDi is seeking to tackle the issue of maternal and child healthcare by facilitating the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases.
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mHealth Apps: Say Hello to the Whatsapp Doctor - Dignited

mHealth Apps: Say Hello to the Whatsapp Doctor - Dignited | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
The The Medical Concierge Group has innovated mhealth apps that will see mobile users access medical services through Whatsapp (mHealth Apps: Say Hello to the Whatsapp Doctor
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Can technology improve patient safety?

Can technology improve patient safety? | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
The advantage of technology is that it obeys instructions and behaves consistentlySince 2000, following a report by the chief medical officer, An organisation with memory, a safer NHS has been a key priority.
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Tom Rath: How Small Changes Make All The Difference In Your Life

Tom Rath: How Small Changes Make All The Difference In Your Life | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it

To find out more about wellness at work and how to live a healthy lifestyle, I spoke to Tom Rath, who is the author of the new  book "Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes."


Via Barb Jemmott
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

The 3 pillars of good living remain intact - eat and sleep well and get active.

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8 hospital actions for stronger patient engagement

8 hospital actions for stronger patient engagement | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
As healthcare shifts toward value-based care, patient engagement, experience and satisfaction are more important than ever as consumers seek to become a bigger part of their own care.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

Get the patient and his family involved. They want to anyway, dont shut them out because they wont understand. Instead bring them in and use them best!

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Teleconsultations

Teleconsultations | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
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Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

And Telemedicine makes it presence felt in the UAE, and that too supported by the largest payor. Great news

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FDA plan a 'huge' boost for mHealth | Healthcare IT News

FDA plan a 'huge' boost for mHealth | Healthcare IT News | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
In a move that's being lauded by mobile health innovators, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released dozens of mHealth medical devices from the requirements of added regulation.
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Free Free, set them free!

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Digital Health Tools Are a Growing Part of Workplace Wellness Programs - iHealthBeat

Digital Health Tools Are a Growing Part of Workplace Wellness Programs - iHealthBeat | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Digital devices and smartphone applications increasingly are being incorporated into workplace wellness programs to engage employees. Although digital tools can create efficiencies, some experts caution that they do not guarantee the health outcomes employers want.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

"They create efficiencies, but do not guarantee health outcomes.." agreed - after all it is behavioural change that is needed!

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Communication 101: 4 Simple Tips for Caregivers + Health Care Providers

Communication 101: 4 Simple Tips for Caregivers + Health Care Providers | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Effective communication in health care is critical and important. It can make a difference - preventing an emergency room visit or avoiding going to the hospital/
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Ina  world where effective communication of complex calls to action is a lost cause sometimes... 

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Personal health information key to reducing care costs | Government Health IT

Personal health information key to reducing care costs | Government Health IT | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Emerging care and reimbursement models will only go so far in the effort to overhaul American healthcare. Personal health information will be the deciding factor, according to two industry experts. “Providers and patients must continue to partner together to improve the health status and overall population health in the U.S.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

When the patient becomes the co-producer of his own health information we have an opportunity to deliver meaningful healthcare. All investments and strategic initiatives need to recognise and drive this.

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Great employee wellness practices in UAE

Great employee wellness practices in UAE | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Companies are introducing programmes to engage their staff
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Employee morale and productivity are no longer the only drivers for these initiatives. There are big bucks to be saved - payors know that and hence encourage it.

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Payers invest in mHealth: 7 mobile health and wellness apps

Payers invest in mHealth: 7  mobile health and wellness apps | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Payers have a real financial stake in keeping members healthy as the industry shifts from a fee-for-service to outcomes-based reimbursement models. More and more health plans are turning to mobile apps to achieve that goal, by engaging patients in their own care with an eye toward lowering costs and improving health outcomes.
Connected Digital Health & Life's insight:

There is money to be saved and made! and better outcomes to tote!

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Gemalto M2M Solution Enables Next-Generation mHealth

Developed by MedMinder and wirelessly enabled by Gemalto, the advanced mHealth device for convenient patient use tracks medication intake, sends medical alerts, orders refills and improves prescription compliance.
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GPs should be ashamed of patients' waits for appointments

GPs should be ashamed of patients' waits for appointments | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Family doctors whose patients have to wait a week or more should learn from the better-performing practicesDoctors' leaders are always moaning that the profession is overstretched and underpaid, is at the end of its tether, and is about to...
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Healthcare: Why moving beyond EHR is needed?

Healthcare: Why moving beyond EHR is needed? | mHealth & Digital Health | Scoop.it
Electronic Health Records are critical to succeed in healthcare service, but they are not enough.From a healthcare provider’s perspective, after spending a lot of money and time on EHR, reluctance to evaluate other solutions for population health...
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