Wikipedia says "Participatory medicine is a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and providers encourage and value them as full partners.”
That movement gets a big boost in credibility today: the Chief Residents at the Mayo Clinic have invited SPM co-chair Dave deBronkart, a.k.a. “e-Patient Dave” to be their Visiting Professor in Internal Medicine next March.
The announcement is being made today, during the patient panel at Mayo’s sixth annual social media summit.
The generation that practically invented Youth ™ will be able to effortlessly track -- and possibly better manage than anyone in history -- our getting old.
Andrew Spong's insight:
I'm not sure *what* I think of this article, to be honest.
Is this generation (and for the record, I'm on its cusp) providing us all with a blueprint for effective health self-management, or is it merely further evidence of boomers failing to recognise their position as a generation who've held future generations' prospects hostage at the expense of their own?
"The digital health revolution has failed... so far. The industry that has grown up around it -- to cheer it on and promote its potential -- is thriving. But while those who organize conferences, found coalitions and work as consultants gain acclaim, write books and give TED talks, patients and physicians wait for the promise of the digital health revolution to become a reality.
We're tired of waiting.
For those of us with chronic disease, a digital health revolution is the best chance we have. We need it to succeed. We're desperate for innovation that works. We have experienced tremendous developments and intuitively grasp the potential, but when we peruse the app store and download a few, their usefulness rates as "meh" at best."
Andrew Spong's insight:
I have a great deal of sympathy with Anna's position.
At present, digital health is more hype than help for patients.
Of interest here is not the speculation about a beta Google service that is a trial, and seemingly only available within google.com searches, but the insight into how short a distance the participatory medicine movement has travelled, and how much work there is to do.
Encouraging legacy media to reconsider what a definition of 'real medicine' might contain is certainly one educational need disclosed.
The definition of how healthcare is designed and delivered that is implicit within this WIRED article is resolutely dictated and monological, rather than participatory and dialogic
It bears little resemblance to the ongoing conversations around every facet of health and healthcare that take place across geographies in multiple languages that the Internet and social web supports.
This is not a real description of 'real medicine' by any reasonable standards.
It's early days and we should expect HealthKit -- or rather, the integrations that third party developers are creating for it -- to improve.
What I found interesting is that whilst the article -- entertaining though it is -- is a one-sided polemic, it's noteworthy that the comments to date have not elicited the sort of stalwart defence of Apple that pieces with such eye-catchingly inflammatory titles usually attract.
Most observers seems a little downbeat about HealthKit now that they've seen it, it appears.
There is a subtle form of power-politics implied in just about every deployment of ‘patient engagement’ you’re likely to encounter that serves to deprive the patient of authority rather than promote the autonomy of the patient.
Fitbit isn't eager to team up with Apple, because many popular apps -- including MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun, Walgreen's Balance Rewards, and Microsoft's HealthVault -- already pull data from its trackers. Fitbit's main app is a full-featured dashboard for tracking daily activity and connecting with friends.
In other words, the company has already constructed a mobile health ecosystem on its own, which would fall apart if HealthKit lures away those allies. Fitbit's app would also seem redundant if all of its health data appeared on Apple's Health app. If that happens, Fitbit could be reduced to a single fitness tracker without a mobile health ecosystem. Moreover, it would fragment its user base among iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users, since HealthKit only runs on iOS 8.
Apple has said that it will remove the ability to manually enter and view glucose values in its Health app, while the company comes up with a fix to allow HealthKit to handle the milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) measurement of blood glucose levels used in the United States, as well as the standard millimoles per litre (mmol/L) used throughout the rest of the world
Discussion points from the ENGAGE 'Innovation in Patient Engagement' Conference
Andrew Spong's insight:
Some of these suggestions have utility, some of them don't ring true to me.
Principally, anything that describes itself as 'patient engagement' is seemingly predestined not to be.
Actually, I've come to really loathe the term 'patient engagement'.
It makes people sound like unknowing participants in a social experiment, and is deployed in pitches, articles, and conversation with no clear idea as to what it actually means.
Trying to define what 'patient engagement' means to you is more than likely going to give you the uneasy feeling that if you described your observations to the very patients you're hoping to support, they wouldn't recognise themselves in your account as the people they are.
Your plan is in pieces before you've even developed it.
How can you overcome this?
By adapting, responding, and reiterating on a day-by-day basis.
This poses another problem: is your company capable of doing this?
Probably not -- and you're not alone in this regard
You may have seen a sketchy news item on the feeds this morning about facebook’s possible plan to make something approximating to a structured intervention into the millions of healthcare discussions that take place on its platform every day.
Currently, the social behemoth is very much on the outside of these discussions.
However, it would appear that facebook would like to turn this state of affairs around and become an active participant in the innumerable, vibrant interactions addressing every aspect of health in diverse languages across geographies on its platform.
On the basis of what we know so far, it isn't going to work.