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Can Mobile Money Enhance Access To Healthcare?

Can Mobile Money Enhance Access To Healthcare? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Mobile health (mHealth) deployments have grown dramatically in recent years, particularly in emerging markets, where base-of-the pyramid populations often lack access to basic health services, but possess a mobile phone. However, despite the proliferation of mHealth platforms, many remain limited in scale and are poorly integrated into existing healthcare systems. Introducing mobile financial services (MFS) within these platforms may offer a way to drive reduced costs and enhanced efficiency – resulting in more affordable, inclusive healthcare systems. 


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Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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89% of US physicians would recommend a health app to a patient

89% of US physicians would recommend a health app to a patient | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

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Dave Burianek's comment, May 15, 8:45 AM
I think this is interesting.. and as we think about the whole integrated care delivery model, this data and information will play a critical part. Of those practices that Humana will own or be part of in a significant way, I believe we can make this happen. For those docs with small practices, we would need to find the right motivation to have them leverage this info. Do we offer it to them? such as ipads for usage during an office visit? we have to make it simple yet provide the best information so they could provide the best quality of care.
Scott Normandin's comment, May 16, 10:24 PM
the question begs: is/are applications that make access to health care the domain of the younger generation, or as some would content, are applications an additional level of complication to our senior population. Personal experience from the lens of my parents is that "absent" a vetted and universally adopted application that supports a universal view for all, this may by perceived as the "new best new toy" and fade with time. Our seniors; albeit are digital immigrants, working their way into the development of new technologies clumsily, whereas Gen X/Y find the technology adaptable, available and importantly expendable when the next best thing comes available. What defines consumerization: speed of development and release, or the ability to support end users?
Scott Normandin's comment, May 16, 10:24 PM
the question begs: is/are applications that make access to health care the domain of the younger generation, or as some would content, are applications an additional level of complication to our senior population. Personal experience from the lens of my parents is that "absent" a vetted and universally adopted application that supports a universal view for all, this may by perceived as the "new best new toy" and fade with time. Our seniors; albeit are digital immigrants, working their way into the development of new technologies clumsily, whereas Gen X/Y find the technology adaptable, available and importantly expendable when the next best thing comes available. What defines consumerization: speed of development and release, or the ability to support end users?
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Making patient engagement meaningful (to the doctor) | mHealthNews

Making patient engagement meaningful (to the doctor) | mHealthNews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
he popular theory these days is that consumers with chronic health conditions want to take more control over their healthcare, and they'll be using mHealth tools to do just that.

Glen Tullman disagrees.

"They don't want to be engaged," the mHealth venture capitalist and former Allscripts CEO says. "They want to be able to live their lives. … The last thing that people with any kind of chronic condition need is one more thing to do."

Tullman has launched a new mHealth company to back up his words, and he's targeting the fast-growing diabetes market that's now dominated by the likes of Glooko and Telcare. His company, Livongo (LIve ON the GO) Health, debuted its FDA-cleared interactive blood-glucose monitor and corresponding cloud-based analytics platform at TechCrunch DISRUPT earlier this month in San Francisco.

Tullman, serving as the company's CEO, has a personal stake in the industry – a college-aged son who's a type 1 diabetic. He sees today's mHealth landscape heading in the wrong direction in treating people with chronic conditions. They don’t want to be asked to do more to manage their healthcare, he says – they want mHealth solutions that will manage their health for them. He calls it "rethinking the way we currently manage diabetes."

"We don't want them to do more – we want them to do less," he said. "What we can do is empower them."

Livongo's product consists of a touchscreen device that serves as a blood glucose monitor, pedometer and two-way link to the cloud-based platform, which offers analytics and real-time monitoring and support. A user need only test his or her blood sugar, and the device and cloud will do the rest. The user can share information with a select group of caregivers, from doctors to parents to friends, and ask for and receive advice as often or as infrequently as necessary. The analytics platform, meanwhile, processes blood sugar readings, diet and exercise to chart the user's health, issue alerts when there's a concern and provide useful tips on health management.

Tullman says the Livongo platform is ideal for healthcare providers "who don't want to be data geeks." It pulls them into the consumer's orbit only when necessary – when the consumer has a question or the data indicates an intervention is needed – and that's it.

This targets one of the enduring challenges in today's healthcare landscape: patient engagement. Tullman doesn't like the phrase, because it connotes more intervention by a provider than might be needed. The idea is to enable someone with a chronic condition to live as normal of a life as possible, with minimum interventions, and to give doctors the freedom to provide health management only when necessary. This adds value to the provider's time, and reduces waste.

The company, which received financial backing from 7wire Ventures (the Chicago-based venture capital firm run by Tullman and longtime collaborator Lee Shapiro) and General Catalyst Partners, has been beta testing its platform at the University of Massachusetts and the University of South Florida, and is partnering with HealthCare Partners, one of the country's larger managed care networks.

According to Tullman, three-quarters of the patients who have used Livongo in the beta tests said they'd pay to keep it after the project concluded.

Calling Livongo "a promising new technology," David Harlan, MD, director of the Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Medical Center, said in in a press release that the product was "well received by our patients with diabetes and also provided more data and information than our clinicians have ever had before."

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Topics: Innovation, Clinical, Consumer
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Ginny Dillon's curator insight, September 17, 1:36 PM

Livingo founder says patients with diabetes don't want to do more, they want to do less so they can live their lives. For doctors. The question remains, will the app empower diabetics, help them control blood sugar and result in less need to contact their physician or healthcare provider?

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Most mHealth Apps Lack Privacy Policies - Pharmacy Times

Most mHealth Apps Lack Privacy Policies - Pharmacy Times | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The majority of mobile health care (mHealth) apps do not have privacy policies, and those that do tend to publish policies that are long and hard to understand, recent research suggests.
 
The results of a study published online in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association showed that only 183 of the 600 most commonly used mHealth apps that are available for iOS and Android devices have a privacy policy. Those policies, however, are 1755 words in length, on average, and require a college-level education to understand. Furthermore,  the policies do not address the app specifically, the researchers found.
 
“The privacy policies that are available do not make information privacy practices transparent to users, require college-level literacy, and are often not focused on the app itself,” the authors concluded.
 
In response to their findings, the researchers recommended conducting further studies to determine why privacy policies for mHealth apps are absent, opaque, or irrelevant.
 
An FDA rule issued on September 25, 2013, regulates mobile apps that function as medical devices, including those that provide medical readings or diagnostic examinations. The guidance, however, does not cover medical apps that record blood pressure or blood glucose levels, nor does it regulate medication adherence apps.
 
In a study published in the March/April 2013 edition of Journal of the American Pharmacists Association and covered by Pharmacy Times, a team of University of Arkansas researchers determined that mobile apps have the potential to improve patient health, particularly in the area of medication adherence. Their analysis showed a multitude of apps for smartphones, but found none that actively incorporated the pharmacist.
 
Despite this, the researchers concluded that mHealth apps have the potential to fill gaps between health care provider visits, though they should not be viewed as a solution for every case. - See more at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/Most-mHealth-Apps-Lack-Privacy-Policies#sthash.Wh0pbWCK.dpuf


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#mhealth : Vital Signs is the new website and app to help #NHS staff stay fit, healthy and informed.

#mhealth : Vital Signs is the new website and app to help #NHS staff stay fit, healthy and informed. | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Home
VitalSigns is the new website and app to help NHS staff stay fit, healthy and informed. 

Packed with healthy features, this website offers tips,advice and information to
keep you on track with health, work and play. Use the 'health tools' and 'work  
tools' tabs above to access a range of features for a healthy lifestyle and to keep
you in the know around the Trust.

You can access VitalSigns from wherever you are by downloading the VitalSigns

app to your mobile device using the links on the left or searching your app store

using the search term: VitalSigns. 

Check you VitalSigns for health, work and play.


http://t.co/xj43IRLOR4

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Report: Nearly 100M Mobile Health Devices To Ship in Next Five Years

Nearly 100 million wearable health monitoring devices are expected to be sold over the next five years, according to a new ABI Research report, FierceMobileHealthcare reports (Mottl, FierceMobileHealthcare, 9/8).

Report Findings

According to the report, the growth in remote patient monitoring is driven by several factors, including:

Apple, Google and Samsung entering the mobile health market (Perna, Healthcare Informatics, 9/5);An increasing ability to collect health care data through various devices and share that data with health care providers and payers; andConsumers' growing interest in and awareness of how mobile health devices can improve patient care and bolster health-related activities.

ABI Principal Analyst Jonathan Collins said that data have "traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves." However, he said, "New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties, including patients, health care providers and payers, will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market" (Fierce Mobile Healthcare, 9/8).


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Text Reminders Improve Cervical Cancer Screening

Text Reminders Improve Cervical Cancer Screening | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

A new study has demonstrated that SMS based screening intervention in Korean American women significantly increased their knowledge of cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening as well as encouraged them to obtain pap test. Korean American women have one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in the United States and the lowest Pap test screening rates.

The study leveraged BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model to create three sequential elements in this SMS intervention – identify barriers, develop motivators, and provide triggers to effect a behavior change.

The researchers at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis conducted this study among 30 Korean American women aged 21 to 29 years who had not received a Pap test. The researchers used 7-day text message-based mScreening intervention, which covered topics such as – information about cervix and cervical cancer, including cervical cancer incidence and mortality; introduction to Pap test to prevent cervical cancer; introduction of cultural barriers; availability of local clinics and cost of Pap test; testimony of a Korean American woman who had gone through the Pap test experience; testimony of Korean American cervical cancer survivor who found cervical cancer at later stage and had no previous receipt of a Pap test

Messages were also customized to the strengths and weaknesses of individual participants. For example, participants with weaknesses on culture-based health beliefs on cervical cancer screening at baseline, were sent additional messages designed to reduce cultural barriers – messages such as “We understand it is a bit embarrassing to get it done. But do it for you! Your happy cervix will appreciate it!”

After 7-day mScreening intervention, the researchers observed significant improvements in women’s general knowledge about cervical cancer, Pap test, beliefs about and attitudes toward the Pap test, knowledge about risk factors of cervical cancer and its screening as well as significant reduction in socio-cultural barriers to cervical cancer screening. Most impressively one woman reported receiving the Pap test within 1 week after completing the mScreening program and 6 women reported receiving the Pap test by the 3-month follow-up visit.

Despite the fact that the study has multiple limitations – small sample size, lack of design to investigate optimum length of mhealth intervention or SMS vs other messaging channels and privacy of data, the study provides promising data that mobile technology can improve cervical cancer screening in a vulnerable population.


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Patient engagement: 'We don't want to be managed, we want to be supported'

Patient engagement: 'We don't want to be managed, we want to be supported' | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Healthcare providers need to better incorporate the patient into a new care team model that makes them, not the physician or the specialist, the focal point, especially for patients with chronic illnesses (Patient engagement: 'We don't want to be ...

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Keith McGuinness's curator insight, September 13, 2:01 PM

Notice the term "patient behavior" and the words "outcomes" and "engagement" in the same paragraph. (I added the bold.) This is a breakthrough.  Now, if we can help app developers (that target behavior change) to measure the "engagement" relative to the "outcomes" (health outcomes that is) it will be important progress.

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Weekly text message could encourage healthier food choices, new study shows

Weekly text message could encourage healthier food choices, new study shows | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Many people are unaware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's mandated nutrition labels are based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, but a simple weekly text message reminder can greatly improve that awareness, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

While not an outright recommendation, the 2,000-calorie benchmark is what the FDA considers a reasonable daily calorie intake for many adults. More importantly, nutrition labels on food products sold in the U.S. are based on it.

The key to translating nutrition labels and using them to make healthy food choices, researchers say, may be an understanding of this basic fact.

The study, published online in Health Promotion Practice, surveyed 246 participants dining in the Johns Hopkins Hospital cafeteria to assess their initial knowledge of the 2,000-calorie value. The cafeteria included calorie labels for food choices but no information on the daily context.

Participants were then randomly assigned to receive either a weekly text message reminder, a weekly email reminder, or no weekly reminder about the 2,000-calorie value. Participants received the reminder messages each Monday for four weeks; after the four weeks, their knowledge of the 2,000-calorie value was assessed with a follow-up survey.

Prior to receiving the weekly reminders, 58 percent of participants could not correctly identify the 2,000-calorie value, even those with college or graduate degrees. After the study period, those receiving the weekly text messages were twice as likely to correctly identify the 2,000-calorie value as compared to those who received no weekly reminder.

"While daily energy needs vary, the 2,000-calorie value provides a general frame of reference that can make menu and product nutrition labels more meaningful," says study leader Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "When people know their calorie 'budget' for the day, they have context for making healthier meal and snack choices."

The FDA has proposed new menu-labeling regulations, which will soon require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list calories on menus, menu boards, and drive-through displays. Cheskin says that those calorie counts are not helpful tools for making good food choices if people don't understand roughly how many calories they should consume each day.

"Given the low level of calorie literacy, simply posting calorie counts on menu boards is not sufficient," Cheskin says.

The weekly text and email reminders were based on The Monday Campaigns' model for health communications, which leverages the idea that Monday provides a weekly opportunity to start fresh and commit to new healthy habits, such as exercise regimens, healthy eating plans or smoking cessation. The Monday Campaigns is a nonprofit organization that started in 2003 with research support from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"There are many simple ways to convey calorie information to consumers, including point of sale communication, text messages, emails and even smart phone apps," Cheskin notes. "Ideally, these could work together, with calories posted on menus, restaurant signage and food labels along with personal reminders delivered through the latest technology. Our data indicate that weekly text messages are one element in this mix that can be effective."

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Connected Health Devices Used by 27% of US Households, another 13% to Join in Within the Next Year

Connected Health Devices Used by 27% of US Households, another 13% to Join in Within the Next Year | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Based on the research findings by Parks Associates, 27% of U.S. broadband households currently own and use at least one connected health device. Parks Associates shared the results at the Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers, held earlier this month in San Diego. The data is collected via a survey of more than 5000 US broadband households.

According to Parks, the research also showed that another 13% of these households share the intention to purchase a connected health device in the next 12 months. Park cited an earlier research it conducted, which expects more than 32 million U.S. consumers to actively track their personal health and fitness online or via mobile by 2016. The connected health devices covered in the research include the exercise equipments with built-in app support, digital pedometers or fitness/activity trackers, blood pressure cuff,s digital weight scales, GPS watches, sports watches with built-in heart-rate monitor, sleep-quality monitors, smart pill boxes and glucometers. The study found that the exercise equipment with built-in app support and the digital pedometer or fitness/activity tracker are the most commonly used connected health devices among these households with an adoption rate of close to 14% and 7% respectively. The blood pressure cuff followed closely with an adoption rate of slightly more than 6%.

"The most popular connected health devices are treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals. These devices come with built-in support for mobile health apps, which effectively merges the demands of mobile and healthcare consumers. Wearables are another developing area for digital health, and this market is getting increasingly competitive, with Apple scheduled to announce its iWatch next week to compete with big brands like Motorola, Samsung, and LG. To be successful in connected health, all form factors will need to leverage mobile connections in order to keep users engaged."

-        Harry Wang, Director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates


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Myth vs Reality: Online Patient Services | Patient.co.uk

Myth vs Reality: Online Patient Services | Patient.co.uk | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
The same info as provided by GPs to patients during consultations,health/disease leaflets,patient support orgs,all about medicines,book GP appts online,interactive patient experience forum

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mHealth Story Strategy: Does It Connect to Your WHY?

mHealth Story Strategy: Does It Connect to Your WHY? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

What’s your Story?

What’s your Story Strategy?

What’s your WHY?

Imagine you’re across the table from a Venture Capital firm…

And the first three questions they fire at you are these.

Can you answer them?

No Story. No Strategy?

Chances are if your mHealth firm lacks a sound Story, a clear business Strategy is also missing.

“Companies that don’t have a clearly articulated story don’t have a clear and well thought-out strategy,” says Ben Horowitz. author of the best-selling The Hard Thing About Hard Things. The company story is the company strategy .”

So how do you uncover your Story?

It’s all in your WHY.

Here at Modallic, we’ve been preaching the power of Story as your branding and positioning strategy.

I’ve told you about the importance of WHY. As Simon Sinek explains, it ALL Starts with WHY.

Can you Answer WHY?

In the Forbes article Horowitz explains the WHY questions to ask… and answer.

“Why are we doing this?

Why does the problem need to be solved?

Why should you join this company?

Why should you invest in this company?

Why should you buy a product from this company? 

“The answer to “why” is the company’s story.”

Horowitz explains that a business leader’s fundamental task is the ability to articulate a clear, compelling vision… and tell the Story around the WHY.

It’s the CEO’s responsibility to nail down the company’s Story.

It’s the most important thing an mHealth firm founder must do.

So where do you start?

mHealth Story Strategy Is Connection

To serve your clients, you must answer three questions:

What challenges are you facing now?

What trouble is that causing you?

What do you think needs to get done to solve this problem?

The answers to these questions must be the context of a Story to connect with the potential client.

Content has been labeled as King.

Well…

CONTEXT Is Queen.

And CONTEXT Rules.

Crafting Your mHealth Story

In addition to answering the WHY questions, these four steps help you uncover and tell a client-building Story.

1. Experience Inventory- Take an inventory of the firm’s Story telling assets.

TestimonialsQualificationsPersonalityTrack RecordCase History3rd Party ProofProcess, Graphics, SidebarsMedia AppearancesCelebrity EndorsementsCool Stuff- Office, Trips, EventsFeatures of Where You’re LocatedRelevant Family ExperienceSports/HobbiesTrial and TribulationsPrivacy to SecretsPrevious Jobs/Companies Founded

Go through all these items, both at a Company level and the key employee’s experiences. Get everything down in writing. Think of it as an Experience brainstorm.

2. Your Industry Niche- Clearly define who is the target market you want as clients. Is it physician groups? Regional hospitals? Insurance companies? End patients with a specific health issue?

3. Link 1 and 2 above. What are the Experiences that are relevant to your niche? Dig for the things that aren’t immediately obvious.

For instance, perhaps your career as a major league baseball player was crushed when you torn up your knee. Your knee required three surgeries and extensive rehab and physical therapy. This provided you with the insights of how orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists work together.

This experience gave you the insights to develop IT products and service to help orthopedic surgeons and PT’s communicate better about patient care. 

4. Weave a Credible Short Story- The goal is to keep refining the core of your Story into a short, hard-hitting Elevator Pitch you can use and adapt in a variety of sales and marketing situations.

Your Elevator Pitch captures the essence of your WHY and connects to the three questions you must answer to help your potential clients. It’s positions your character and personality. It proves you are qualified to help solve the prospect’s problem.

All your Marketing Assets revolve around this core Story.

Consider your blog posts, Social Media content, podcasts, white papers, webinars as the props you use to tell your Story.

Like all investments, some will have better rates of return than others. Think of your Marketing Assets, your Content, as a Story Portfolio. Over time, you build a Portfolio of Marketing Assets that delivers an increasingly predictable stream of income.

Yes, Story is a simple concept. But for many business leaders, it’s a foreign concept.

Get help and direction in telling your Story.




(NOTE: This post was updated on July 13, 2014)


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The Internet of Things and transformative change for health care - A view from the Center | Deloitte Center for Health Solutions Blog

The Internet of Things and transformative change for health care - A view from the Center | Deloitte Center for Health Solutions Blog | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

by Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. Technology, Media & Telecommunications leader, Deloitte LLP

A shopper walks through a suburban mall, returning to his car after visiting several stores. Nearing the drug store just before the exit, a text alert pops up on his phone. It’s the pharmacy calling. His prescription is expiring; shouldn’t he stop in and refill it before heading home? 

With a quick text message, a forgotten task is completed. At the same time, the pharmacy dispatches a companion message to the doctor’s office, negating the need for physician follow-up with the patient. Everyone with an interest in the patient’s well-being and in maintaining his meds – doctor, pharmacist, patient -- is now up to date and on the same page.

It’s as though the pharmacy literally reached through the door with an important reminder about something vital to personal health care that was being neglected. 

That’s just one sign of things likely to come in health care through the Internet of Things (IoT). Using information stored in the cloud and made accessible to patients and providers alike through a massive network of machine and device connections, IoT has the potential to transform the health care industry. 

The ways that can happen are many, but here are a few prospects:

Patients can capture, analyze, and share personal health data through wearable technology.Health and wellness providers can offer more personalized treatments based on the available data.Individual health care consumers can connect with a diverse ecosystem of wellness providers, potentially leading to greater value and insight.The role of the traditional health care provider could change dramatically.

A comprehensive, intelligent monitoring system could enable a full range of health care services and treatments – wellness hubs and next-generation smart health dashboards among them.

It’s a sign of the direction various stakeholders in the health care industry are heading as providers, insurers, and patients collaborate on and consolidate issues of quality and affordability.

Projections on the overall growth of IoT place the level of interconnection in the stratosphere. According to one Gartner study, 26 billion devices could be communicating with one another by 2020, with an estimated global economic value-add of $1.9 trillion.

There is wide interest among business executives in making investments in IoT. In one recent survey, 75 percent of executives (across all sectors, not just health care) said their companies are considering or are already moving ahead with IoT. Proponents view it as an exciting new strategic course and a worthwhile financial investment.

Health care offers unique opportunities for comprehensive IoT implementation. Health care treatments, cost, and availability affect all of us striving for longer, healthier lives. IoT is an enabler to achieve improved care for patients and providers. It could drive better asset utilization, new revenues, and reduced costs. In addition, it has the potential to change how health care is delivered.

Future advantages can be projected across all aspects of health care. For providers, you can start with the local hospital. The use of intelligent equipment powered by new medical sensors that allow real-time monitoring of a patient’s vital signs – regardless of whether that patient is down the street or located on the other side of the country – will be an extraordinary benefit.

For the patient, think of that visit to the mall, the ‘conversation’ between pharmacy computer and the consumer’s smart phone. Or the rise of telehealth linking provider and patient remotely, an element of medical care we’re seeing with greater frequency. That surface has barely been scratched.

A patient at home with access to a smart phone or computer and concerned about a medical episode can send health information to hospital nurses through a continually active wireless network. It’s an early-warning system that can tell a nurse or doctor whether the patient is suffering an attack or about to go into duress, and to enable a rapid and perhaps life-saving response.

The potential benefits of IoT in health care are myriad, but there are still concerns and issues facing stakeholders that need to be addressed and resolved.

Developing standards, building interoperability

How to achieve open standards and interoperability, and overcoming proprietary restrictions, are two critical issues that need to be addressed.

There are no simple roadmaps to navigate proprietary systems and technology. The question of how to blend and connect all industries is, to me, the most challenging and interesting. Influential groups such as the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) – an association in which Deloitte is a member - is composed of more than 70 of the most provocative and engaging companies involved in IoT, and is examining how to break down siloes, integrate systems, and find ways to interconnect proprietary networks.

The IIC, however, isn’t necessarily fixed on establishing hard and fast standards – indeed it is not a standards organization. It is more involved in how they are shaped, their interoperability and, ultimately, what makes the most sense.

Sharing best practices and applicable case studies from early participants is one way of crafting a working template. What works and what doesn’t can offer an essential guideline in moving forward. Facilitating open forums to share ideas and insights, as the IIC is championing, is another.

Ultimately, learning from experience and developing the boldness and confidence needed to advance IoT will enhance the networks in terms of viability, efficiency, and building a more secure framework.

Privacy and security safeguards

A critical consideration for all participants is this: How do we manage to keep this fast-growing network and the nearly incalculable amount of data moving continually safe and secure?

There are two sides of that equation. Clearly, personally identifiable information remains a concern, and it always will. The notion of cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys, that’s a notion embedded deep within our culture, and will be that way as our communications through the Internet and the cloud continue to grow, deepen, and expand.

We can say with some certainty that encryption will get better, become more sophisticated over time. We can also say that the bad guys are pretty smart, adaptive, and continually hunting for ways to exploit the system. For health care organizations a razor focus on developing supple, comprehensive cyber security programs is imperative. 

The cost of privacy has two important variables. One is fundamental:  What does it cost the health care enterprise to safeguard your data, or the cloud service provider to ensure the cloud is impenetrable (or as close to that ideal as possible)? What does it cost your doctor, or your local hospital, to ensure the safety of vital personal information?

The flip side of the coin is the balance of potential loss against the opportunity IoT offers. Many of us are willing to take a risk with privacy if we feel the return is worth more than the risk assumed. Where that line stops will determine how willing patients are to push IoT in terms of health care data delivery to the limit.

Certainly there are barriers yet to clear in order for IoT to succeed – technology issues, proprietary matters, cost considerations, and regulatory questions.  But those who participate in the IoT ecosystem must work together to create solutions that help unlock industry value, company value, and – on a more personal level – value to the consumer.

To learn more about strategies ‒ for both enterprise adopters and Internet of Things providers ‒ to unlock the business value of connected devices, download The internet of things ecosystem: Unlocking the business value of connected devices.

 

Eric Openshaw has more than 30 years of experience in assisting clients with enterprise transformation, business process reengineering, manufacturing/distribution strategy, technology strategy, M&A analysis and post-acquisition consolidation, order fulfillment, supply chain, information systems strategic planning, technology evaluation, and design-development and implementation of software primarily for discrete and process manufacturing distribution retail and retail distribution.  

Posted by Deloitte US at 09:41:37 AM in Health IT, mHealth, Security and Privacy


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ABI: 100M remote patient monitoring wearables to ship in next 5 years | mobihealthnews

ABI: 100M remote patient monitoring wearables to ship in next 5 years | mobihealthnews | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Over the next five years, ABI Research expects 100 million wearable remote patient monitoring devices to ship.

This growth, ABI said, is in part a result of providers who are more aware of the benefits remote patient monitoring wearable devices can provide to patients outside of the hospital. ABI adds that because of the growing interest in these devices, there’s a bigger opportunity for platforms that collect data from several devices and apps, for example Apple’s HealthKit.

While HealthKit hasn’t officially launched for the public yet, Apple has secured partnerships with many healthcare companies. The company announced its partnership with EHR vendor Epic Systems when it unveiled the product, but since then, there have been rumors that Apple is also in talks with Allscripts, and various providers including Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai, and the Cleveland Clinic.

“Data has traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves,” ABI Research Principal Analyst Jonathan Collins said in a statement. “New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers, and payers will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market.”

In February, ABI reported that health and fitness wearable computing devices will be a main driver of the 90 million wearable devices that are expected to ship in 2014. Shipment estimates for healthcare wearables were approximately 13 million in 2013, but will reach 22 million in 2014, and 34 million in 2015. Health and fitness wearable shipments were 32 million in 2013, but will be 42 million in 2014, and 57 million in 2015.

This year, another research firm, Berg Insight, predicted 19.1 million patients around the world would be using connected home medical monitoring devices by 2018, up from three million in 2013. The firm also said remote patient monitoring revenues reached $5.8 billion (4.3 billion euros) in 2013 and are expected to grow to $26.4 billion (19.4 billion euros) by 2018.

 


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Online social networking linked to use of web for health info - Medical Xpress

Online social networking linked to use of web for health info - Medical Xpress | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The use of social networking sites may have implications for accessing online health information, finds a new longitudinal study from the Journal of Health Communication.

"Socioeconomic and demographic factors that lead to the disparities in social networking sites could also contribute to disparities in seeking health information online," said the study's lead author, Yang Feng, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of communication studies at the University of Virginia's College at Wise.

"People who are active users of social networking sites may tend to be active online health information seekers. With the growth of social networking, the relationship between their use and people's likelihood to seek health information online was more obvious in 2010 than in 2008 and 2006."

Researchers analyzed data collected from phone interviews of 2,928 adults who took part in the Health Tracking Surveys from the Pew Internet & American Life Project during 2006, 2008 and 2010. The surveys asked participants whether they used the Internet; used social networking sites such as Facebook; whether they searched for health information online, including information about a specific disease, medical treatment or doctors; and whether or not they or someone close to them had a chronic disease.

The researchers found significant disparities in use of social networking sites and the tendency to search for health information online. In all three years of the survey, age was the most significant factor in social networking site use, with younger people more likely to use them than older people. In 2010, women and people with higher incomes were more likely than men and people with lower incomes to use social networking sites.

Additionally, in 2008 and 2010, having a chronic disease and use of online social networking predicted people's likelihood of seeking information about a specific disease or medical condition online. In 2010, after controlling for demographic factors, people who used social networking sites were 131 percent more likely to seek information about a specific disease or medical problem online than people who did not use social media.

Older people were less likely to search for information about a specific treatment or doctor online. Non-Whites were less likely to search online for disease or treatment information. As expected, people with a chronic disease or a person close to them with a chronic disease were more likely to look for disease-specific information online but no more likely to search for information on doctors or hospitals.

"Even though social networking sites have grown over the years, some social groups, such as older men with low incomes and minorities, are not fully engaged with social networking and are less likely to obtain health information through these sites. Yet, we may still lack customized health education programs to target these people. This study helps to identify those social groups who are not making good use of social networking sites throughout the years," noted Feng.

Ajay Sethi, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, agreed with the study's findings but noted, "Whenever a new technology or intervention is introduced to a population, the early adopters are typically distinct from the late or never adopters."

The volume of information on diseases and conditions on the Internet is huge compared to the number of websites that review doctors and hospitals and those websites. "Those sites, pertaining to providers tends to be buried," said Sethi. "A Google search of a hospital name, for example, will bring up lots of links, and if you add 'review' you'll probably pull up mostly anonymous individuals."

He suggested healthcare providers ought to ask their patients, in a non-accusatory way where they get their information. "That can spark a discussion as to what is credible and what may not be. Many health care systems offer links to health websites through their own site or provide informational pages for patients."

Explore further:Which couples who meet on social networking sites are most likely to marry?

More information: Yang Feng & Wenjing Xie (2014): Digital Divide 2.0: "The Role of Social Networking Sites in Seeking Health Information Online From a Longitudinal Perspective," Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2014.906522

Journal reference:Journal of Health Communication

Provided by Health Behavior News Service


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Health developers, doctors want to see more from Apple's watch

Health developers, doctors want to see more from Apple's watch | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when Apple Inc launched its Apple Watch. But healthcare professionals and fitness junkies were left wanting to see more.

Observers say there is little evidence for now that the device's fitness capabilities surpass the competition. Others, hoping for groundbreaking health features from a company whose Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook spoke of how sensors are "set to explode," were left wondering what's in store for the product.

Two people familiar with Apple's plans told Reuters the company is planning to unveil richer health features and additional sensors in later versions, the first iteration not hitting the market until early 2015.

The sources could not be identified because Apple's plans for the watch are private.

The Apple Watch, unveiled on Thursday, is designed to be used alongside the iPhone. Independently of a mobile device, the watch can track activity: it uses an accelerometer to measure your movement as well as heart rate. Runners can also listen to music through a bluetooth headphone. Many connected wristbands already on the market, such as Jawbone's UP or the Fitbit, can do all that and more.

At this point, it's unclear whether the watch will appeal to the two consumer groups most in need of health data: Self-professed "quantified selfers" who regularly track their own body metrics such as food intake and sleep, and those battling chronic medical conditions and their care providers.

"I'd need to see data that it's useful before buying the watch or recommending it to colleagues," said Joshua Landy, a Toronto, Canada-based critical care specialist and the chief medical officer for Figure 1, a health startup.

Landy said he would look at patients' data from the watch, but would be equally interested in data collected in a notebook.

Danielle Levitas, a technology analyst for IDC, described the health and fitness aspects so far as "table stakes."

"I was expecting there to be some true healthcare applications that would take it a step further beyond wellness," she said. Levitas noted that the watch did not track sleep, like Jawbone's UP wrist band, but said she did not expect this would be a deal breaker for most consumers. Her primary frustration with the watch was the decision to offload GPS and Wi-FI to the phone, presumably to keep the price tag at a modest $349, she said.

Apple declined to comment on future health offerings for its watch.

INTELLIGENT POSITIONING

Apple may have longer-term plans for the watch as it moves into the nascent but highly fertile field of mobile health. Unlike, say, an iPhone, a wrist-worn device can pick up on far more body signals, and in real time.

Policy experts say that Apple may have deliberately avoided mentioning medical use-cases for the watch for now to avoid attracting attention from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In its current form, the watch would not pose a threat to makers of mobile medical devices used by patients with chronic conditions.

"Apple probably is very intelligently positioning its products for use to maintain good health generally, which is a perfectly appropriate way to avoid FDA regulation," said Bradley Merill Thompson, a Washington D.C.-based FDA specialist with the law firm Epstein Becker Green.

"There are thousands of unregulated wellness applications on the market, so in a way Apple is joining a crowded field."

Health-focused iOS developers say they are already brainstorming new watch applications. Despite the lack of health advancements, there is hope the watch will appeal to a mainstream market. Mike Lee, chief executive officer of MyFitnessPal, said the sensors in the Apple Watch weren't "revolutionary" but conceded it was better-designed than most wearable devices.

Lee said Apple may have prioritized making the device sleek, slim and wearable, rather than packing it to the brim with sensors in its first iteration.

Nate Gross, a physician and cofounder of Doximity, a mobile and web service that helps physicians communicate, praised Apple for making the most of "cheap and consumer-friendly sensors."

Some doctors said they would be more likely to recommend the watch, once developers build new medical applications.

Mango Health, maker of a mobile application that uses games to solve complex medical problems, is already considering sending medication alerts to patients via the watch.

"We'll see dozens of medical use cases over time," said Mango Health chief executive Jason Oberfest, who works closely with Apple. "This is just the beginning."

(Editing by Edwin Chan and Bernard Orr)


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mHealth: Are You Ready for Sensors in Healthcare?

mHealth: Are You Ready for Sensors in Healthcare? | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The market for wearable sensors is increasing dramatically. Devices are being designed to help people manage chronic conditions, recover more quickly from injuries, analyze physical and environmental abnormalities that may lead to more serious health issues and detect unhealthy habits before they cause problems, according to Pathfinder Software. A new infographic from Pathfinder Software takes a look at the types of wearables available, how they are used, their wireless capability and other details on this technology. Thank you to Pathfinder Software for an educational Infographic. Also, thank you to the Healthcare Intelligence Network for having this Infographic on their site.


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ChemaCepeda's curator insight, September 17, 5:02 AM

Parece que los wearables (dispositivos vestibles), es la tecnología de moda ¿cómo chocará esta tecnología con la salud clásica?

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Mobile Healthcare Market (mHealth) to see 40% CAGR Globally for Next 6 Years

Mobile Healthcare Market (mHealth) to see 40% CAGR Globally for Next 6 Years | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

DALLAS, Sep 12, 2014 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) -- DALLAS, September 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

ReportsnReports.com adds The Mobile Healthcare (mHealth) Bible: 2015 - 2020 [http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/297797-the-mobile-healthcare-mhealth-bible-2015-2020.html ] market research report of 392 pages, to its store. mHealth revenue is forecast to reach $15 billion in 2015 as per this report. This report presents an in-depth assessment of the global mHealth market. In addition to covering key market drivers, challenges, future roadmap, value chain analysis, deployment case studies, service/product strategies and strategic recommendations, the report also presents comprehensive forecasts for the mHealth market from 2014 till 2020. Historical revenue figures for 2010, 2012 and 2013 are also presented. The forecasts and historical revenue figures are individually segmented for 5 individual submarkets, 29 use case categories, 5 ecosystem player categories, 6 geographical regions and 34 countries.

The Mobile Healthcare (mHealth) Bible: 2015 - 2020 market report comes with an associated Excel datasheet covering quantitative data from all figures presented within the report. In-depth analysis for 5 individual submarkets and their associated mHealth application use cases are provided for Pharmaceutical Applications, Medical Information & Healthcare Management, Healthcare & Fitness, Remote Consultation/Diagnostic Services, M2M, Wearable Technology, Sensor & Monitoring Applications and Historical revenue figures and forecasts till 2020.

mHealth has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of healthcare operations, while improving the quality of healthcare. This mobile health market research estimates that by the end of 2015, mHealth could represent up to $290 Billion in annual healthcare cost savings worldwide. The cost saving potential of mHealth comes from a variety of application areas. For example, remote monitoring technologies built upon mHealth platforms can enable patients to be monitored on an ambulatory basis when they previously may have needed to be monitored as inpatients. The mHealth value chain encompasses 7 major segments which work in conjunction to deliver mHealth services to healthcare organizations and patients; mobile/mHealth device, chipset & infrastructure OEMs, mobile network operators, healthcare professionals & service providers, insurers & government health systems, application developers & integrators, pharmaceutical organizations and patients. While most vertical segments still view wearable devices with hesitation, the healthcare sector has embraced them, with applications ranging from consumer healthcare/fitness monitoring to assisted patient examination, and even healthcare cost reduction.

700+ companies are covered in The Mobile Healthcare (mHealth) Bible: 2015 - 2020 industry research report, which is available for purchase at http://www.reportsnreports.com/Purchase.aspx?name=297797, (starting US$2500 for a single user PDF) and has the following key findings:

- Driven by the thriving ecosystem, this research estimates that mHealth market will account for over $13 Billion in 2015 alone - Despite barriers relating to regulation, patient acceptance and privacy concerns, this report estimates further growth at a CAGR of nearly 40% over the next 6 years - The research estimates that mHealth centric wearable devices will account for over 150 Million unit shipments by the end of 2020 - The widespread availability of high speed connectivity has opened up considerable opportunities for advanced mHealth applications such as remote video consultation - Besides video applications, mobile network operators are also eyeing on other latency & bandwidth sensitive mHealth applications to capitalize on their recent LTE infrastructure upgrades. For example London's Air Ambulance uses EE's LTE network for navigational support - mHealth offers a multitude to opportunities to the pharmaceutical industry ranging from R&D activities to securing the supply chain and, in the battle against counterfeit drugs - mHealth has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of healthcare operations, while improving the quality of healthcare. The report estimates that by the end of 2015, mHealth could represent up to $290 Billion in annual healthcare cost savings worldwide

Market forecasts and historical revenue figures are provided for each of the following 5 submarkets and their 23 use case categories:

Pharmaceutical Applications: Safety Data Collection, Consumer Education, Medical Education, Post-Market Monitoring, Drug Authentication, Social Media and Patient Compliance & Retention: Clinical Trial.

Information & Healthcare Management: Electronic Health/Medical Records & Tracking Tools, Diagnostic Tools & Medical Reference, Continuing Medical Education, Awareness Through Alerts and Logistical & Payment Support.

Healthcare & Fitness: Medical Compliance, Fitness & Nutrition Apps, Clinical Decision Support Systems and Prescribable Mobile Apps.

Remote Consultation/Diagnostic Services: Mobile Video Consultations, Collaboration & Surgery, Non-Video Consultations & Collaboration and Remote Collaboration in Emergency Situations.

M2M, Wearable Technology, Sensor & Monitoring Applications: Health and Wellness Monitoring, Disease Surveillance/Remote Monitoring, Diagnostic Tools and Technical Logistics.

Revenue is also split by ecosystem player: Ecosystem Player, Mobile Network Operators/Connectivity Providers, Mobile & mHealth Device OEMs, Content & Application Providers, Healthcare Service Providers and Pharmaceutical Industry.

Explore more reports on the healthcare market at http://www.reportsnreports.com/market-research/healthcare .

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ReportsnReports.com is an online market research reports library of 450,000+ in-depth studies of over 5000 micro markets. Our database includes reports by leading publishers from across the globe. We provide 24/7 online and offline support service to our customers.

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Why doctors want the FDA to regulate health and fitness apps

Why doctors want the FDA to regulate health and fitness apps | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Technology is shaping the future of healthcare, and while technology has brought a number of innovative healthcare solutions, healthcare professionals are worried about the impact of unregulated health and fitness apps.

There are a number of healthcare apps that are helpful to users, but there is a growing number of apps that are untested and unregulated by the FDA. Wired spoke to Iltifat Husain, an ER doctor who points out the dangers of health and fitness apps. He offers the example of an app called Instant Blood Pressure, which claims to take a user’s blood pressure without a cuff and deliver the results via an iOS device. Instant Blood Pressure is one of the top paid Health and Fitness apps in the Apple App Store and the developers affiliate the app with John Hopkins University, but when questioned about the app, the university had never heard of it.

Instant Blood Pressure holds no scientific basis, claiming its technology is under wraps due to competition, and the app doesn’t overtly alert users to the fact that the data could potentially be false. There is a warning, but it’s buried deep down in a menu where most people never take time to look. Therefore, it could mean that many people are taking apps like Instant Blood Pressure at face value and inherently trusting the data.

The danger doesn’t come from using the app itself; it’s how users interpret the data. If false data causes keeps someone from going to the doctors, health issues could grow into a larger problem that could have been fixed with early detection. Doctor Husain has written an entire blog post about the app, and the dangers of a number of other applications lurking within the Health and Fitness categories of the Apple App Store and Google Play. But he also profiles the benefits of technology in healthcare, supporting the idea that there is a positive and productive side to health IT.

The FDA has responded as more doctors and health professionals begin to raise serious questions about the legitimacy of health and fitness apps. In a press release by the FDA, Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological health, Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., states, “Some mobile apps carry minimal risks to consumer or patients, but others can carry significant risks if they do not operate correctly. The FDA’s tailored policy protects patients while encouraging innovation.” 

But the FDA has released guidelines for monitoring healthcare apps, and notes that it plans to focus on apps that are “intended to be used as an accessory to a regulated medical device,” and “transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device,” according to a press release.

Since releasing that statement less than a year ago, an entire list of the types of apps the FDA intends to monitor can be found on its website. The list includes, but is not limited to, apps that diagnose psychiatric disorders, give information about drugs and herbs, diagnose based off symptoms, allow users to track diet and exercise, act as a replacement to an approved medical device, and many more.

Even with the promise of regulation from the FDA, the number of apps that enter the market every day is overwhelming and PBS points out that the FDA doesn’t plan to evaluate every single app that falls under the Health & Fitness. In fact, PBS states that as of early July, the FDA had evaluated some 100 apps, while about the same amount find their way into the Apple App Store and Google Play store each month.

While the FDA may be keeping an eye on as many apps as it can, it also released federal regulations that essentially allow developers to continue creating heath and fitness apps. These guidelines separate Health IT and medical devices, freeing up confusion for developers, and even letting apps that “straddle the line” slide.

The bottom line is: downloader beware. Everyone should take the time to consider the science behind an app, and dig into it a little deeper. And its important to remember that although there are a number of apps that are unregulated and questionable at best, there are also a host of apps that can help users maintain a healthy lifestyle. Apps like HeathTap, Couch-to-5K, MapMyRun, and MyFitnessPal let users have access to healthcare professionals, train to run a 5K, GPS map a workout, and track calories and exercise, which can all lead to a healthier lifestyle. But when it comes to apps like Instant Blood Pressure, which offer an “easy” solution for serious health conditions, users should take a closer look at the fine print. Users should also remember to consult a physician before starting out on any journey to better health, and then use the apps as motivation to track their success.


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Andrew Spong's curator insight, August 6, 7:43 AM

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.

Joel Finkle's curator insight, August 7, 9:52 AM

Sensible - doctors don't want apps that are inaccurate leading to poor choices on patients' part.

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Five Expectations For Patients About The Future of Medicine

Five Expectations For Patients About The Future of Medicine | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Five Expectations For Patients About The Future of Medicineby Bertalan Meskó (MD, PhD) on September 11, 2014

The waves of technological changes coming towards us will generate new possibilities as well as serious threats to medicine and healthcare. Every stakeholder must prepare for these changes in order to reach a balance between using disruptive technologies in medicine and keeping the human touch. I remain confident that it is still possible to establish that balance and there are reasons for patients to look forward to the next few years in medicine. Here are 5 of them.

1) Health management: The vast majority of people only deal with their health when they get sick. It is due to the fact that it has been really difficult to obtain useful data about our health. Now, the wearable revolution produces a lot of devices that bring health data measurements to our homes. So far, only physicians and hospitals could measure parameters, but today anyone can. Whether it is ECG, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, EEG or sleep, devices which we can order online provide us with the chance of changing lifestyle based on informed decisions.

Such devices will eventually get smaller and cheaper, and we will hopefully only use them when it is of help.

AliveCor measures ECG with a smartphone.

2) Partnership: Medicine is a paternalistic system with the doctor being on the top making decisions about the patients. The digital revolution has changed it dramatically as now information, devices and even studies became widely available to anyone with an internet connection. This newly formed partnership makes it possible to be equal with the caregiver and play an equal role in making decisions. This will create an ecosystem in which patients get more possibilities to take care of themselves, while physicians will get help from their own patients. Jackpot. Although, a very old system has to be deconstructed for this.

3) Communities: Social media is not famous for connecting patients, but several stories proved its potential power in connecting patients with like-minded others. We have done discussed our health concerns with our neighbors before. Now we do the same online without limitations and physical boundaries. Blogs, community sites, forums, Youtube and Twitter channels focus on patients and let them have their voices heard. As Kerri Morrone Sparling said, her doctor is an expert but can only understand what she goes through every single day if he/she is diabetic, otherwise he/she can only guess.

4) Access to data: The Blue Button movement and E-Patient Dave’s talks encourage people to understand how important it is to own your own health data. It is not only unbelievable but actually outrageous that many hospitals and practices cannot communicate online with each other. Moreover, in others, patients who want to get their own X-Ray image must provide an empty CD disk to get it in the era of digital revolution. As it is not rocket science, we can expect to see major steps forward in this area. Without proper health data, informed medical decisions cannot be made.

5) Prediction and prevention: Never in the history of medicine patients have had that many opportunities to predict and actually prevent diseases. Anyone can order genetic tests that tell them what rare conditions and mutations they carry and what drugs they are genetically sensitive for. We are not far away from doing a blood test or sequencing genes at home. In this sea of opportunities, the activity and participation of patients are very much needed, In a few years’ time, we will have to deal with the problem of too many choices regarding wearable devices. What is required for making good decisions is knowledge about where we are heading; and skills to make our own assumptions.

If changes happen as expected, patients will benefit the most of a newly constructed and entirely better healthcare system.

My new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, includes more details and an actual guide about how to prepare properly for the technological changes.

 


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Is the average patient ready for telehealth? (Infographic)

Is the average patient ready for telehealth? (Infographic) | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
iTriage infographic presents new research on people's awareness and use of telehealth and telemedicine services.

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Mayo Clinic partners with IBM's Watson to optimise pairing of patients with clinical trials

Mayo Clinic partners with IBM's Watson to optimise pairing of patients with clinical trials | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
Dive Brief:IBM is in the process of designing a version of Watson, its computer technology that processes information like a human, to match patients with clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic. By automating the process currently performed by people, Mayo Clinic hopes to speed up the clinical trial timeline. "With shorter times from initiation to completion of trials, our research teams will have the capacity for deeper, more complete investigations," said Nicholas LaRusso, MD, Mayo's project lead for the collaboration. "Coupled with increased accuracy, we will be able to develop, refine and improve new and better techniques in medicine at a higher level."Allowing a computer to match patients with clinical trials should also increase the number of individuals taking part. About 3% of patients nationally take part in trials; at Mayo, the number is 5%. The provider would like to use Watson to increase that to 10%.Dive Insight:

Currently, the project is in the proof-of-concept phase, with Mayo and IBM working to increase the cognitive computer's "knowledge" of clinical trials at Mayo and in public databases; and deepen its understanding of Mayo's trial matching process.

This isn't the first time that Watson has been used to improve efficiency in healthcare. Physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and medical students at Cleveland Clinic have used the program to aid in decision-making. According to Tech Republic, IBM executives expect Watson will be able to assist providers with diagnosis and treatment; map patterns and conditions based upon physicians' input; assist with diagnosis; and perform research on conditions.

Recommended Reading

Becker's Hospital Review: Mayo Clinic, IBM partner on new plans for Watson


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Can mHealth Ease The Ebola Crisis? - Health IT Outcomes (press release)

Can mHealth Ease The Ebola Crisis? - Health IT Outcomes (press release) | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Employing mobile health solutions could speed the response to a global health crisis.

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Congo raises the question of whether mobile health can play a role in easing this type of health crisis. Information Week makes the case that mHealth could be tapped into to offer a way to trace the disease’s spread and help diagnose it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Ebola an international public health emergency on August 8, 2014, and the number of cases of Ebola continues to rise in West Africa. As of August 22, there have been over 2,600 cases and nearly 1,500 deaths reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. According to WHO, there is some evidence that these numbers may be vastly underestimated. (For the latest numbers, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa web page.)

“Practical on-the-ground intelligence is the backbone of a coordinated response. WHO is mapping the outbreak, in great detail, to pinpoint areas of ongoing transmission and locate treatment facilities and supplies," says WHO. "CDC is equipping the hardest-hit countries with computer hardware and software that will soon allow real-time reporting of cases and analysis of trends. This also strengthens the framework for a scaled-up response."

So how can mobile health tools help in combatting the spread of the epidemic?

Access To Mobile Technology Is Growing Fast

One advantage for the potential of mobile health in African countries is that Africa has had a rapidly growing number of mobile subscribers in the past decade. Mobile phone users are expected to reach one billion by 2015.

Traceability

Geo-referenced, real-time maps of infected patients could be key to tracking and controlling the spread of the virus. By providing epidemiologists data on positive diagnoses, confirmed vectors, they could serve as especially useful planning tools.

Smartphone diagnostic devices

This technology would be an enormous help in this public health emergency. After all, providing greater access to medical testing for underserved communities is why many healthcare startups like Biomeme got started in the first place.

Availability of mHealth apps

Although access to mobile technology is spreading in sub-Saharan Africa, the technology must be at hand, the applications affordable or free, and importantly, connectivity must be available. With Africa boasting the fastest growth in mobile subscribers in the past decade – predicted to reach one billion by 2015 – technology requirements shouldn't be a restriction. In addition, many leading mobile and service providers are offering low-cost smartphones and broadband to encourage usage.

GSMA, the trade body representing mobile operators, has recently appeared in the press touting its Mobile for Development mHealth program, which aims to help African countries reach many of the United Nation's millennium development goals. This program is a shining example of how mobile applications and smart technology are being used today to facilitate, track, and share healthcare information in resource-poor areas.

What needs to happen is that these technologies should be fast-tracked to assist in the Ebola outbreak. A handful of applications already exist that allow users, aid workers, and other medical practitioners to test and share results for illnesses such as HIV, malaria, and flu using only a smartphone. They could also be used to test and track Ebola. Geo-referenced, real-time maps of infected patients could be key to tracking and controlling the spread of the virus. In a potential global crisis such as this, the World Health Organization has already called on governments to use exceptional measures, and the US FDA has bypassed its normally rigorous approval processes to fast-track military technology for civilian use.


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BioGlass: Physiological Parameter Estimation Using a Head-mounted Wearable Device (MIT Research)

What if you could see what calms you down or increases your stress as you go through your day? .


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Olivier Janin's curator insight, September 8, 9:03 AM

An Glass app called BioGlass, developed by researchers at Georgia Tech and MIT, uses the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and front-facing camera on Google's wearable device to measure your heart rate, breathing, and tiny movements.

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10 technologies changing the future of healthcare

10 technologies changing the future of healthcare | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

 

From digital networks to wearables, the health care industry is undergoing massive technological changes. Here are 10 types of innovations changing its future.

The health care industry will see a 21% increase in IT jobs by 2020, according to research by the University of Chicago. Across all health care sectors, there is a demand for creative, thoughtful uses of health informatics, mobile technology, cloud systems, and digital diagnostics.

Many of these new inventions have yet to be approved by the FDA, a process that can take up to 10 years. But that's not stopping the research and development of new technologies. Here are 10 types of tech that are changing the course of health care.

1. Digital diagnostics

Making health care more accessible includes providing digital diagnostics options for people who need it, especially those who can't get to a doctor's office. This is one of the main themes of digital health. One example of digital diagnostics is Neurotrack, a software-based Alzheimer's diagnostic test that can detect impairments on the hippocampus (the first area of the brain to be affected by the disease) by evaluating eye movement.

2. The cloud

According to recent research by Skyhigh Networks, more than 13% of cloud services in health care are considered high-risk for security breaches, and 77% of them are medium-risk. Cloud services provide a lot of benefits for medical providers, especially in under-developed or rural areas, but there is definite risk involved. The research showed that there are 944 cloud services in use across healthcare providers, and 53% of employees use at least three devices at work.

3. Ultra-fast scans

GE showcased its breakthrough ultra-fast CT scanner earlier this year, which can capture a still image of a heart in one beat. The company said that according to research, about 60% of patients have heart rates of higher than 60 beats per minute and are turned away from scans because their heart beats too fast to scan. With this Revolution CT, doctors can see specific areas of the heart that they could not before.

4. Wearables

Wearable technology is going to play a huge role in health care in years to come. The Consumer Electronics Association reports that sales of fitness trackers and smart watches will reach $1 billion this year. But monitoring fitness is only the beginning. For instance, Intel teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to use wearables to find certain characteristics of Parkinson's disease.

5. Health informatics

More than half of US hospitals use some type of electronic records system, but only 6% meet all the federal mandates, according to a recent study out of the University of Michigan. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, 50% of health care dollars are wasted on inefficient record keeping processes. Electronic records have been shown to save large hospitals anywhere between $37 and $59 million. It streamlines the medical care process and lowers malpractice claims, and increases coordination between providers. The federal government set a mandate to have some electronic system in place by this year.

6. Digital therapy

Digital therapy is important for patients who need at-home care, can't afford to travel to a clinic, or have no way to get to a clinic for therapy. Wellframe is a platform that combines mobile technology with artificial intelligence to provide patients with care after they've returned home from the hospital or doctor's office. It's been described as a "GPS navigation system for patients." There is a daily to-do list for the patient and a tracker for diet and exercise, but an advanced algorithm adapts the content based on the information from patient and healthcare provider. The company has performed trials with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and mental health patients.

7. Concierge medical services

Startups are making it easier to pay out-of-pocket for on-demand health care services. For example, GoodRX allows you to compare prices for drugs at different pharmacies and save up to 80%. One Medical Group was created by doctors to build a better system for doctor's visits. In certain cities, you can search for an office based on your needs, find same-day appointments, email access, online scheduling, and trained primary doctors.

8. Networks and coaching

With mobile technology, it's easier than ever to have a customized diet or health plan. ThriveOn is personalized coaching for mental health, offering plans by assessing your sleep, mood, stress, anxiety, and body image. Retrofit offers coaching and expert advice for weight loss and weight management.

9. Self-insurance

With the onset of Affordable Care Act, more consumers have had to manage their own data and health future. Several startups are using this as an opportunity to offer insurance, benefits, and solutions services. Health solutions platforms such as Jiff, which connects employee behaviors to company benefits and incentives, are becoming more common.

10. Hackathons

Hacking is becoming an increasingly popular tool to solving real world problems, especially in the health care industry. Health care, which usually evolves slowly, is being revitalized with software developments, hardware inventions, cloud systems, apps, and wearables, and many of these ideas are born out of hackathons. MIT held a hackathon earlier this year that drew 450 people from various backgrounds such as engineering, journalism, medicine, and IT to tackle global health, diabetes, and hospital IT.

Also see:
Health care tech: 10 new devices, apps, and inventions to watchWhen our wearables talk with our doctors (ZDNet)Wearable tech: Why health and fitness will dominate way beyond the smartwatch (ZDNet)Wearables and patient-centric startups evolve in health data ecosystem
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Telehealth and Health IT Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders | ML Strategies

Telehealth  and Health IT Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders | ML Strategies | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

ML Strategies Alert

Telehealth and Health IT Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders

09.04.2014

By Alexander Hecht, Andrew Shin, and Abby Matousek

In recent months, as the conversation about reforming the health care system has shifted to achieving greater delivery system efficiencies, cost containment, and patient satisfaction, the role of health care technology—specifically, telehealth and health information technology (health IT or HIT), is becoming an ever more prevalent discussion topic among health policy stakeholders.

In recent weeks, there has been a proliferation of media reporting on telehealth and health IT, as lawmakers and industry alike have recognized the cost, quality, and accessibility benefits of telehealth and momentum for implementation of telehealth is growing. For example, in the current Congress, at least 46 bills that relate to telehealth have been introduced. Representative Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has embarked on a “21st Century Cures Initiative,” and has convened a series of hearings and roundtables with the ultimate goal of developing legislation to reflect, harness, and promote innovation in the health care space. As discussed in this update, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is actively seeking comments and ideas on policy priorities for advancing health care technology—and so stakeholders may want to proactively engage to help shape future legislation.

The health care and life sciences team at ML Strategies has been very active in the telehealth policy space and works closely with Congress and the Administration. Given the amount of activity taking place, we have put together this alert to highlight current opportunities for stakeholders to consider. We are available to discuss the contents of this alert further and to answer any questions.

Telehealth: Rising Momentum

The progress telehealth has made in recent years is perhaps best demonstrated by a recent report finding that the number of patients worldwide using telehealth services is expected to grow from 350,000 patients in 2013 to approximately 7 million by 2018.1 Moreover, three-fourths of the 100 million eVisits expected to occur in 2014 will occur in North America.2

The growing demand for telehealth reflects the important role telemedicine plays in reducing costs while also increasing quality, access, and satisfaction. A June 2014 American Medical Association (AMA) report notes that telehealth is being used to “improve access to care, care coordination and quality, as well as reduce the rate of growth in health spending.”3 For example, it is estimated that telehealth could deliver more than $6 billion a year in healthcare savings to U.S. companies4 and yields an 87 percent satisfaction rate.5

Regulatory Landscape and Barriers to Telehealth Proliferation

While telehealth has a proven track record to address some of the most challenging problems in the U.S. health system, there are still significant barriers to deployment.

Reimbursement

Current federal law is extremely restrictive on how telehealth is paid for—resulting in a disincentive to provider adoption. For example, Social Security Act Section 1834(m) defines the conditions for payment for telehealth services under Medicare. The statute requires that a patient must present at a rural, clinical originating site in order to receive care via telehealth. Thus, Medicare reimbursement for telehealth is only available at clinical sites in rural areas and patients seeking care in metropolitan areas are unable to access these services. These restrictions have led to extremely low Medicare reimbursement for telehealth encounters, with only a reported $11.8 million for CY 2013.6 Modernizing the regulatory framework for Medicare telehealth reimbursement in a way that is mindful of reducing and not increasing the overall cost of Medicare, will almost certainly be a primary focus of upcoming Congressional action.

While almost every state has a Medicaid plan that covers at least some sort of telehealth services, coverage across states varies greatly and many states follow Section 1834(m) in its restrictive language. Still, states are moving toward greater adoption of telehealth services. For example, according to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), in 2014 fifteen states7 proposed legislation mandating private coverage for telehealth while 11 states8 proposed legislation mandating Medicaid coverage for telehealth.

In addition, CMS updates telehealth payment policies in its yearly physician payment rule. In its recent proposed CY 2015 rule, CMS included new billing codes for telemedicine services for which providers can bill Medicare. These new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes include telemedicine reimbursement for psychoanalysis, family psychotherapy, and annual wellness visit exams.

Finally, the 2014 CMS Physician Fee Schedule Rule established a policy to make separate payment for non-face-to-face chronic care management (CCM) services for Medicare beneficiaries who have multiple and significant chronic conditions (two or more). For CY 2015, CMS recently proposed to:

Set a payment rate of $41.92 for the CCM code. This code may only be billed once per month.Allow more flexibility in the supervision of clinical staff providing CCM services.Not establish separate standards for these services, as proposed last year.Suggest standards for electronic health records and whether additional standards are needed.

 

The change in supervision requirements means that physicians and other practitioners would be able to employ clinical staff either directly or under contract, and could provide general supervision at all times, not just after hours. What benefits telehealth here, is that there are no additional standards required to provide CCM and also a payment rate is now established. In essence, CCM and now the reimbursement amount associated with it, represent another service offering that could utilize telehealth services, and it would include another opportunity for physicians to utilize telehealth services, where possible, by creating another service offering.

The CCM section of the CY 2015 proposed rule can be found here. The full rulemaking is available here.

Clinical Permissibility – Defining Telehealth

Currently, there is no federal standard of clinical guidelines for telehealth; medical boards and state regulatory boards across the country are each responsible for setting the standards for the appropriate practice of medicine via telehealth in their state. This has resulted in a patchwork of state laws that inhibit the proliferation of telehealth solutions in both the public and private sectors.

As of June 2013, 40 out of 50 states have introduced legislation addressing telehealth policy. There is wide variation in how telehealth is defined and treated—leading to ambiguity and uncertainty on such key questions as whether a treatment relationship between a health care provider and patient may be established online; what the standard of care for online encounters should be; the conditions for ensuring safe online prescribing through telehealth; and ensuring privacy and the security of patient records.

Efforts in Congress to modernize the regulatory treatment for telehealth will likely address the issue of how to actually define telehealth. One option under consideration might be for Congress to defer this authority to the Administration to create a definition through a public, multi-stakeholder process – for instance, either a notice and comment rulemaking or a sub-regulatory guidance document. Republicans, however, given their distrust of the current Administration, might not be inclined to provide HHS this authority. Other alternatives for a telehealth definition could include:

Existing Public Health Service Act (PHSA) Definition. The PHSA defines the term “telehealth” as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.”9 Some stakeholders believe this definition is broad and technologically neutral, while others have issues with terms like “long distance” and believe that it is ambiguous and not specific enough fully capture all telehealth use cases.Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) Definition of Telemedicine. In April 2014, the FSMB finalized a new Model Policy for the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine Technologies in the Practice of Medicine. The new model policy defined “telemedicine” as “the practice of medicine using electronic communications, information technology or other means between a licensee in one location, and a patient in another location with or without an intervening healthcare provider. Generally, telemedicine is not an audio-only, telephone conversation, e-mail/instant messaging conversation, or fax. It typically involves the application of secure videoconferencing or store and forward technology to provide or support healthcare delivery by replicating the interaction of a traditional, encounter in person between provider and a patient.”

This FSMB model policy should be influential as medical boards across the country look to modernize their regulatory definitions for acceptable telemedicine. Some stakeholders have expressed concerns by what they perceive to be a bias in the definition against telemedicine conducted by telephone, and are concerned that the FSMB’s definition may suppress future innovation.Telehealth Modernization Act (H.R. 3750) Definition. Another potential definition for telehealth is contained in the Telehealth Modernization Act, which has been introduced this Congress by Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH). This bipartisan measure defines telehealth as “health care that a health care professional is authorized to deliver to an individual in person under State law, such health care delivered by such health care professional to such individual not in person, from any location to any other location, and by means of real-time video, secure chat or secure email, or integrated telephony.” The Telehealth Modernization Act is supported by a wide range of telehealth technology providers and health industry stakeholders, including Health IT Now, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

Licensure

As with clinical permissibility, licensure is set on a state-by-state basis by state medical boards – and a provider typically must be licensed in the state in which a patient is located when receiving the treatment. With the advent of telehealth, licensing of health providers must be updated to reflect the flexibility provided by telehealth—allowing health care experts to bring their expertise virtually to where it is needed, even across state borders.

There have been several solutions floated to address the problem of licensure. For example, the FSMB is also attempting to tackle licensure, with its Interstate Licensure Compact. FSMB released a draft of this document in 2014.10 The compact, which is still in draft form for discussion, is intended to “develop a comprehensive process that complements the existing licensing and regulatory authority of state medical boards, ensures the safety of patients, and enhances the portability of a medical license, providing a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states.” The FSMB hopes to finalize a draft in the coming months.

As with other aspects of telehealth policy, legislation has already been introduced in Congress to address the issue of licensure. For example, H.R. 3077, the Telemedicine for Medicare (TELE-MED) Act, discussed further below, would allow treatment under Medicare via telehealth across state lines. There is significant support for the measure, demonstrated by an industry letter with 66 stakeholder signatories; however, concerns remain regarding professional accountability and cross-state practices.

Recent Telehealth Policy Advancements

As discussed above, 46 bills have been introduced that deal with telehealth. An ML Strategies spreadsheet detailing these bills can be found here. Moreover, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's 21st Century Cures Initiative is exploring how Congress can facilitate telehealth innovation and adoption. To date, the Committee has held nine hearings and roundtables and floated four white papers to support this initiative. Over the Congressional recess, Members of the Health Subcommittee also held field hearings in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as part of the initiative.

As part of this effort, the Committee is planning to develop legislation to reflect, harness, and promote innovation occurring in the health care space. The Committee is actively seeking comments and ideas on this initiative and on legislation. This could be a timely moment for telehealth providers to make their voice heard in Congress and develop policies that will allow the broader deployment of telemedicine.

In addition to the Committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative, several key pieces of legislation have been introduced that address some of the most pressing aspects of telehealth policy, including clinical permissibility, licensure, and reimbursement.

In addition to the bills discussed above, Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and Peter Welch (D-VT) recently introduced H.R. 5380, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2014. The bill would expand specific telehealth services under Medicare in two-year increments over three phases, including to the home. This proposal represents a more incremental, phased in approach to expansion of Medicare reimbursement for telemedicine encounters – designed to keep the overall cost of the bill down. In particular, the Thompson bill would provide new opportunities for reimbursement telehealth and remote monitoring technologies under Medicare. This bill will likely be included in the mix of proposals that the House Energy and Commerce Committee considers as it crafts the health care technology component of the 21st Century Cures Initiative.

In addition to Congressional advancements, outside stakeholders have laid out best practices for telehealth policy initiatives.

In June 2014, the AMA approved a report, Coverage of and Payment for Telehealth, which provides an overview of telemedicine and establishes AMA policy toward telehealth. The report includes principles, such as: a valid patient-physician relationship can be established face-to-face through the use of real time audio and video technology. It also provides that patients seeking care via telemedicine must have a choice of provider; both the patient and physician should be clearly identified in advance; and telehealth encounters should be properly documented, abide by laws addressing the privacy and security of patients’ medical information, and be delivered in a transparent manner.11

The FSMB has also sought to provide guidance in this space. Ratified in April of 2014, FSMB’s Model Policy for the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine Technologies in the Practice of Medicine12 was developed over the course of a year includes a workable definition of telemedicine. This definition states that telemedicine is “practice of medicine using electronic communications, information technology or other means between a licensee in one location, and a patient in another location with or without an intervening healthcare provider. Generally, telemedicine is not an audio-only, telephone conversation, e-mail/instant messaging conversation, or fax. It typically involves the application of secure videoconferencing or store and forward technology to provide or support healthcare delivery by replicating the interaction of a traditional, encounter in person between a provider and a patient.”

As discussed above, the FSMB policy also establishes that treatment made in an on-line setting should be held to the same standard of appropriate practice as those in traditional settings; clarifies that a treatment relationship can be established online; creates online prescribing safeguards; and ensures telehealth encounters are HIPAA compliant and include informed consent, the generation of a medical record, and support continuity of care.

Health IT

Since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, the proliferation of the health information technology (HIT) industry and regulations governing it have exploded. Policies have spanned from federal mandates such as those setting up the meaningful use incentive program (“meaningful use”) to state and regional regulations with regard to health information exchange. In some cases, like the much anticipated switchover to the new ICD-10 coding system, stakeholders and regulators were left waiting for at least another year as Congressional lawmakers quietly inserted a delay during negotiations around Medicare physician payment. In another circumstance, the Obama Administration signaled its forward-looking objective in the coming months to devise a roadmap for the future of interoperability.

As stakeholders await finalization of the Meaningful Use 2 guidelines in addition to regulation over mHealth devices and clinical decision support applications, there is still a great deal of activity anticipated through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the lead office in the Obama Administration for HIT matters, and also the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) among other agencies and offices outside the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

What’s Ahead for HIT?

ICD-10: Although many stakeholders were surprised by the one-year delay embedded in the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate patch bill also known as the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” most health policy experts believe the cost for ICD-10 adopters would grow too high if lawmakers instituted an additional delay. On July 31, 2014, HHS released a rule finalizing October 1, 2015 as the new compliance date for health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses to transition to ICD-10. To take advantage of the delay, HHS is administering a series of training opportunities to be fully prepared for the new transition date, which could offer stakeholders ample opportunities to engage policymakers as problems arise.

FDA Oversight: Many HIT vendors and app developers have feared a possible overreach from federal regulators from even before passage of the HITECH Act in 2009. After a series of ambiguous and expansive statements, regulators from multiple agencies issued their clearest guidance to date on April 3, 2014 via a report entitled, Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework. The report proposed a strategy and recommendations for regulation of health IT that identifies and distinguishes between three types of health IT: (i) administrative health IT; (ii) health management health IT and (iii) medical device health IT. The distinction between these three categories represented policymakers’ intent to focus on the functionality of a particular product – rather than the platform– as a means for determining the relative risks and determining the appropriate recommendations. Following a public meeting and comment period, stakeholders are hoping that regulators finalize the rule, along with additional clarification and also explicit exemptions from the regulatory framework.

Already, the FDA issued a notice on August 1, 2014, that exempted dozens of mHealth medical devices from regulatory oversight. The FDA proposed eliminating the need for premarket submission requirements from certain Class I and II medical devices under the reserved criteria of section 501(I) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 2012. Stakeholders are now awaiting for further guidance in other categories ranging from distinguishing wellness versus clinical tools and the treatment of certain clinical decision support apps.

Meaningful Use: Recent data has indicated that while a majority of hospitals in the United States have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, less than six percent of them would be able to meet all the requirements in the original Meaningful Use 2 regulation. On August 29, 2014, CMS released a proposed rule that would offer more flexibility for adopters by using the 2011 edition of certification criteria in 2014 and also formalizing the intent to extend Stage 2 to 2016 and to begin Stage 3 in 2017. In addition, stakeholders are anticipating further efforts from CMS to align reporting and submission requirements between the Medicare meaningful use and the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program.

Interoperability: The seamless exchange of health care information has been a goal and pervasive struggle from the onset of the health information era. The efforts from industry stakeholders and policymakers alike to identify and remove barriers to interoperability while aligning regulatory frameworks have been exacerbated as the adoption of HIT increases. ONC has been underway over the past year on a multi-stakeholder listening tour of sorts to create a consensus-based framework that is achievable and effective.

Independent Federal Advisory Committees like the JASON Taskforce and Interoperability and Health Information Exchange – Governance Subgroup, have held a series of meetings and issued multiple reports on challenges to achieving interoperability. Additionally, ONC itself released two reports over the past year (Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure and HHS Principles and Strategy for Accelerating Health Information Exchange) in addition to hosting its own, interactive community. All this feedback will be integrated into a report that is expected to be published in early 2015. Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the head of the ONC, has indicated that the report would be the first version of a nationwide interoperability roadmap and a plan for achieving three, six, and ten year interoperability milestones. The ONC Health IT Policy and Standards Committee is meeting on October 15th to discuss the IMC interoperability roadmap and JASON Taskforce recommendations for EHR interoperability.

Data Security: Data breaches cost the health care system at least $5.6 million per year and account for almost half of all major breaches according to industry experts. However, with the acceleration of digitizing data as well as improving data accessibility through the exchange of electronic health records, data security has quickly become one of the top issues facing policymakers this year. Additionally, the volume of data points collected and stored continues to increase as various payment systems demand providers report more patient data through various initiatives such as the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

Adding to the complex environment is the estimated 90 million wearable data devices (WDD) that will be shipped to customers in 2014. A Mintz Levin alert on WDDs can be found here. Aside from possible FDA safety and effectiveness oversight, these devices will further expose consumers and even employers to the threat of data breaches and privacy concerns among other issues. Experts and policymakers alike have increased calls for legislative action ranging from more FTC authority to impose safety standards and consumer notification rules to calls to update the landmark privacy law, HIPAA, to account for current technologies and uses of health care data.

The health care and life sciences team at ML Strategies continues to be active in this dynamic health care space and maintains strong relationships with the major players in the health care technology field. We are available to discuss the contents of this alert further and to answer any questions.

* * *

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Drive mHealth Sales with Social Media

Drive mHealth Sales with Social Media | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Does Social Media truly drive  mHealth sales?

There seems to be differing opinions about the ROI effectiveness of Social Media.

Email Still Rules and Trumps Social Media?

Consider this shocking fact: Email… when done right… delivers a 4300% ROI when compared with Social Media.

The problem with email is most businesses are now dismissing it, or their approach to Email Marketing is completely wrong. 

Knowing your Market. Segmenting your email lists. Using effective subject lines. Formatting email messages. Tracking key email KPI such as delivery, open , and click through rates without obsession and freaking out over the details. Telling the right story at the right time.

All of these factors help spell email success.

Email is a relationship builder. Unfortunately, all too many businesses use email to blast out and broadcast their offers and blog post updates.

The article cited in the link above does confirm that Social Media does have value. For instance, Facebook delivers the most traffic. Twitter can serve as an effective “real-time” engagement channel to connect… if you’re prepared to respond fast.

The Bright, Shiny Glow of Social Media?

A study of the infographic below leads you to believe that Social Media is Marketing Nirvana.

It’s heavy on citing the shear volume of user numbers and time spent on Social Media.

But the question is: Do the large numbers and time people spend on Social Media translate into MORE Sales?

Increased website visits? Yes, Social Media can deliver more visits to your website.

Increased leads?

Here the math and reality gets a little trickier.

People aren’t spending time on Social Media to buy stuff or even research buying options. They are on Social Media to connect.

If your lead generation can provide a valuable connection the user desires, yes, Social Media can generate leads.

But, when it comes down to closing the deal, Social Media isn’t the place to sell.

 Email and your website sales funnel does the heavy lifting here.


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