Health Informatics
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Should Doctors and Nurses Check Patients' Social Media?

Should Doctors and Nurses Check Patients' Social Media? | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
Here’s an interesting ethical question: let’s say a patient is working with a medical team to manage his diabetes. The patient swears he is following the doctor’s dietary recommendations, but his body does not appear to be responding in the way the doctor expects. Later, the nurse assigned to the patient does some social network snooping. She finds one Facebook status update after another indicating that the patient is not, in fact, following the recommended diet at all.Is what the nurse did ethical? What if the patient had chosen to make his Facebook profile public? What if she was able to use the information she found on Facebook to give the patient better treatment and create a more workable diet plan?Although there are very few doctors or nurses who are busily snooping into patients’ social media profiles after hours, the question of whether it is appropriate to scan a patient’s social media records is likely to become a significant ethical question in the next three to five years. After all, it’s already become ethically acceptable for potential employers tosearch social media profiles for clues about a job candidate’s personal life and commitment to a career; it’s assumed that in the case of job hunting, all social network information is fair game.Why not in healthcare as well?The truth is that you can get a lot of data from social network postings. You can tell when a patient goes to sleep and when that patient wakes up. You can often tell what that patient eats for dinner, how frequently the patient exercises, and how often the patient enjoys activities with friends or family members. Advertising companies use social media to figure out whether a patient is pregnant, even if the patient hasn’t announced the pregnancy; why can’t doctors and nurses do the same?Right now, one of the biggest roadblocks to searching patients’ social media profiles for medical clues isn’t a lack of interest; it’s a lack of time. It’s no secret that medical professionals work long hours; adding Facebook-sleuthing duties to their workload will take time away from other, more important duties.However, it’s also very easy to imagine a start-up company who wants to take this responsibility out of doctors’ hands. Imagine signing on with a data aggregator that spits out a slip of paper every time you see a new patient. The paper contains the following details, scraped from social media:
  • Sleep and wake times
  • Dietary habits
  • Recorded exercise
  • Recorded alcohol consumption
  • Social outings
  • Statements describing mood
  • Statements describing physical conditionWouldn’t that be an amazing tool?Here are a few problems: first, people often exaggerate their lives on social media, or leave out important details. They take pictures of the chocolate cake they’re eating, but not the steamed broccoli. Likewise, it is incredibly easy to hack social media. Identity theft is rampant these days, underscoring the need for iOS and Android smartphone security on mobile devices. But hacks of mobile Facebook profiles are still extremely common, and a data aggregator won’t be able to tell when a patient’s profile has been hacked.Lastly, people will probably start censoring their profiles once they know Big Hospital is watching, the same way they make specific social media choices when they’re looking for jobs.It’s clear that social media holds a lot of potential data that could be helpful to doctors, nurses, and their patients. What isn’t clear is how to use that data effectively or ethically. This is likely to be one of the big questions facing healthcare in the next few years, as social media companies collect more data on individuals and other companies jump in to redistribute and sell that data. Will doctors and nurses take a peek? Only time will tell.

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How health information exchange helps integrate health IT - EHRIntelligence.com

How health information exchange helps integrate health IT - EHRIntelligence.com | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
“ How health information exchange helps integrate health IT EHRIntelligence.com Health information exchange (HIE) is primarily about access to data by providers and patients, but secondarily it has the potential to bridge information gaps in an...”
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Internet made interactions between doctors & patients challenging: Survey

Internet made interactions between doctors & patients challenging: Survey | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
Easy access to online medical information has made interactions between doctors and patients challenging, according to the Physician Digital Outlook 2014 survey, jointly commissioned by Ipsos Healthcare and Ruder Finn.According to the Physician Digital Outlook 2014 survey, close to 50 per cent of Indian physicians believe that with increased availability of medical information to patients, through online media, they face huge difficulty in consulting their patients. With a robust sample of 650 physicians across metros, tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India, the report investigated physicians' online behaviour, use of digital and social media channels in the digital and mobile age.The surveyed physicians believe that 44 per cent of their patients are overloaded with medical information, 37 per cent patients perceive themselves as experts and 38 per cent are misinformed about their symptoms and disease.While face to face interactions with patients is still the most prominent method of consultation, phone calls and SMSes are now emerging as the more preferred options for doctors to communicate with their patients. Though, 93-98 per cent doctors use this mode to interact with their patients, 78 per cent of doctors connect over emails.The sample group for the survey covered general physicians, consulting physicians, paediatricians, dermatologists, diabetologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, gynaecologists, radiologists, general surgeons, oncologists, nephrologists and intensivists.The study explores how emerging modes of information and communications have impacted the doctor-patient relationship,” said Mai Tran, executive vice president, Health & Wellness, Ruder Finn Asia.Dr. Bharat Shah, director, Global Hospital, Mumbai said that due to the widespread reach and usage of internet, there has been a truly phenomenal increase in easy availability of information. While it’s good to have access to internet for updating knowledge, most of the times a non-medical person is likely to get confused by it. It is not simple for patients to derive a correct interpretation of their health problems by simply reading viewing information on the internet.”“Patients access information about health conditions which they self-diagnose and then bring it up to their consulting physicians, have led the latter to spend additional time trying to correct the misinformation that the patients accumulate over time, said Dr. A.K. Jhingan, chairman, Delhi Diabetic Research Center.Monica Gangwani, executive director, Ipsos Healthcare, India, said that there is empowered patient and caregiver who want to seek clarity from the physicians regarding treatment.Physician Digital Outlook 2014 survey also revealed that Physicians from tier 1 cities are becoming internet savvy, and access it for 6 hours a day compared to other town classes while physicians from tier 2 cities have a slightly low usage of 3 hours per day, in comparison to their counterparts in metros
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Pharma Companies and Social Media: A Lost Opportunity

Pharma Companies and Social Media: A Lost Opportunity | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
It is no secret that social media is highly regulated in the pharmaceutical industry. With the January 2014 release of the FDA’s “Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics,” pharmaceutical companies are required to submit any messaging that appears in blogs, microblogs, social networking sites, online communities and live podcasts that the company “owns, finances, or influences.”The Importance of Engaging Patients through Social MediaDespite these regulatory demands, it is imperative that pharmaceutical companies utilize social media efficiently in order to actively engage consumers. Ignoring to do so would certainly be a huge opportunity missed for more reasons than one. Consumers are engaging online about everything—including their health. With 24/7 access to information, the way that consumers are thinking and behaving is changing. More patients are turning to online resources to seek feedback to questions through the use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. By accepting social media, pharmaceutical companies can have a positive impact on their reputation and build corporate brand value, while simultaneously engaging with patients.Big Pharma Lags in Social Media UseA new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that only about half of the top 50 global pharmaceutical companies have some level of healthcare-related social media engagement. Of the 23 companies who do use social media in some aspect, only 10 companies used all three leading social media platforms—Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The overall level of engagement between pharmaceutical companies and patients has increased in the past year, however, the pharmaceutical industry still lags substantially behind other industries in terms of social media engagement.Recruit and Retain Clinical Trial ParticipantsAdditionally, only 11 percent of clinical trials utilize social media as a tool for patient recruitment. This percentage alone shows the missed opportunities to increase clinical trial awareness and improve patient recruitment and retention. As an increasing number of patients are seeking health guidance through social media, doesn’t it make sense to promote clinical trial awareness on these same channels?Interested in learning more about how your company can increase patient engagement through social media? Contact the ClinEdge marketing and patient recruitment team to see how you can increase your presence and, in turn, meet and exceed your recruitment goals.
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Will Mobile-to-Mobile Health Delivery Disrupt the Telehealth Market—and the Health System?

Will Mobile-to-Mobile Health Delivery Disrupt the Telehealth Market—and the Health System? | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
Will Mobile-to-Mobile Health Delivery Disrupt the Telehealth Market—and the Health System? Source: mHealth by William. C. Thornbury, Jr., MD April 24, 2014 At HIMSS13 in New Orleans, I presented data from two years’ experience with a mobile-to-mobile (M2M) delivery model, and said, “The culture that shops and banks online will conduct some aspect of their healthcare online. The question is, ‘With whom will they conduct it?’” The story goes something like this: As online care matures, patients and providers will become mobile. When the M2M care encounter can be documented in less than five minutes, telehealth becomes efficient enough not to disrupt the clinic or family life of physicians. I further explored the implications of an M2M online delivery model in a chapter of mHealth Innovation: Best Practices from the Mobile Frontier (HIMSS Books, 2014). Online care that is efficient is profitable; and, this new source of revenue will move primary care providers to compete in the telehealth arena for their own, and well-established patients. As primary care providers and specialists enter telehealth, the established care relationship provides the clinical mechanism to address chronic-disease care online (something traditional telehealth vendors are compromised in providing, as there is no brick-and-mortar for follow-up, lab monitoring, or complications of an amended treatment plan). Health systems that manage these physicians will desire to compete against traditional telehealth vendors for their community’s easiest and most profitable cases; and, just like Willie Sutton, they will go where the money is—industry partners. Industry will be enticed because health systems are local, can provide a large palate of bundled clinical services, as well as, the ability to offer a broader array of telehealth services (chronic disease)—and, to industry, each online encounter is at least a half-day of absenteeism avoided. Health systems will also seek to find other uses for this delivery model that exploits the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). They will translate uncompensated ED care online, as well as, promote online follow-up between primary care and hospital discharges to reduce readmissions—both major cost-drivers. Eventually, health systems will come to learn that the efficiencies of M2M can allow them to make Medicaid and Medicare services profitable—and, this is the hallmark of a disruptive innovation. In essence, M2M will become the driver of a sustainable ACO business model. It is simply requires fewer resources to provide care online. The effects of M2M health delivery will cascade through every part of the health system; and, arguably, it gives each stakeholder a value proposition. It certainly fulfills the government’s mandate to provide more care to more people using fewer resources. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when M2M allows a choice in online care, will patients be more likely to select the app of their own physician, or that of a telehealth company? And, once an app is on a mobile platform and solving a patient’s problems, will they be likely to delete it? William. C. Thornbury, Jr., MD, is the founder of Me-Visit Technologies, a company pledged to pioneer solutions to improve healthcare delivery and lower costs. Dr. Thornbury is an actively practicing physician, and has been named by his peers as the Citizen Doctor of the Year in Kentucky. He contributed the chapter “Implications of a Mobile-to-Mobile Online Delivery Model: A Case Study” in mHealth Innovation: Best Practices from the Mobile Frontier (HIMSS Books, 2014). The book is available in print, eBook and Kindle editions. Related Links: Listen to Dr. Thornbury’s HIMSS13 course at the HIMSS eLearning Academy. (AC13-MH-048: Mobile E-Visits—Disruptive Distribution to Bend the Healthcare Cost Curve).View the April webinar from the HIMSS Innovation Community, “Telehealth Innovation: Challenges, Lessons, and Opportunities.”Read an excerpt of mHealth Innovation: Best Practices from the Mobile FrontierPurchase mHealth Innovation: Best Practices from the Mobile Frontier in print, eBook or Kindle formats.Watch a HIMSS14 interview with Rick Krohn, MA, MAS, on his new book mHealth Innovation: Best Practices from the Mobile Frontier
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Rare Diseases Get A Chance At A Cure Thanks To The Internet

Rare Diseases Get A Chance At A Cure Thanks To The Internet | Health Informatics | Scoop.it
Social media is doing more than simply keeping us in touch with our friends and family. Scientists studying orphan diseases have found that the Internet can help put them in touch with patients suffering from rare disorders. Viral videos and campaigns are helping unite people who share the same unique disease, while also making it easier for scientists to find clinical trial patients. These disorders will be able to receive more funding and will ultimately be one step closer to a cure once they are able to find clinical trial patients. A new study on social media has revealed that researchers found 84 percent of all patients for two pediatric rare disease trials through social media outlets.The study aimed to accomplish two goals; find out whether patients who had rare disease would participate in online research, and explore the response patterns of participation compared with other referral modalities. Researchers developed an internet-based survey asking questions about two rare pediatric diseases, and placed it on Facebook for one year. Results showed that the majority of clinical patients for the two trials were found through the social media pages.Despite rapid advances in medical genetics and genetic testing, many diseases remain difficult or impossible to diagnose. Often, patients have had prior genetic testing that has yielded unclear or inconclusive results. This is particularly true for many rare diseases, orphan diseases, diseases with early and childhood onset, and those with unknown causes, according to the Mayo Clinic.According to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, people diagnosed with rare diseases and their caregivers often turn to the Internet when seeking health information and peer support. Researchers are now using this method to their advantage in the hopes of recruiting patients for rare disease studies. A remarkable story that highlights the success in finding support for rare diseases is that of Eliza O’Neill. The 4-year-old’s viral video raised awareness for Sanfilippo syndrome. A gene therapy trial is scheduled for late 2014 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, which most likely will result in a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome; however the hospital lacks the funds ($2.5 million) to complete the trial. Since their social media campaign began last year, it has managed to raise nearly $400,000. If you are interested in hearing more about Eliza’s story and perhaps donating to her cause, you can find out more here.
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