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When Will Digital Health Concepts Reach the Doctor?

The always insightful Joseph Kvedar, MD, has a great post up where Joe gets a wake-up call from one of his advisors:

“Joe, when are we going to take all of these digital health concepts from the 30,000 foot level and get them into that 10 minute window that the doctor has with the patient?” It is not hyperbole to say that this put the last 20+ years of my career in a whole different perspective.

This is a good wake-up call for all of us in the space. Pushing digital health solutions down to the 10 min window a doctor has with a patient is the nirvana of what we’re doing and is incredibly challenging.

Dr. Kvedar suggested that we’ve already started to do this when he shared an example of how his PCP offered an eVisit option for follow-up to his in-person visit. I think that is a good example, but his insights into the 2nd phase offered a great look into where all of this is headed [emphasis added]:

Phase two will be the integration of tools like remote monitoring of diabetes and blood pressure. This is more tricky. The front-end work of monitoring remotely-derived values is done by either a non-physician clinician or, in some cases, a software algorithm. The doctor gets involved only when there is a complex medical judgment required. When deployed at scale, this approach extends the doctor across many more patients due to the one-to-many nature of the intervention.

Taking the recent interaction with my PCP as an example, remote monitoring would be considered a whole new channel of work, which doesn’t easily fit in to his workflow like an evisit does. It is hard to estimate its value, hard to predict how much impact it will have and hard to envision how to integrate it into clinical practice.

There are some real gems in this quote. My favorite is “The doctor gets involved only when there is a complex medical judgment required.” The future of healthcare IT is going to be built on this concept. When does a doctor need to get involved and when can another staff member or software algorithm address the situation? It will take us at least a decade or more to figure out this balance. Not to mention the workflow that will make sense.

May 10, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Eating is So Personal

The always insightful Dr. Kvedar has a great post up on the cHealth blog. The full post is worth a read, but I was struck by his analysis and experience tracking the food he ate. I’ve seen so many apps that are working on ways for you to track your eating habits. It’s amazing how sophisticated many of them have become at trying to simplify the entry of the food you eat.

However, Dr. Kvedar points out a major problem with tracking the food you eat. We all have a very personal and emotional connection to food. Food is so much apart of every culture and much of our lives revolves around food. It stirs up so many emotions. The idea of tracking the food we eat can really impact us in a way that’s not so good. It’s like we’re being judged on what we eat every time we enter the info into the app. Who wants to be judged all the time? Especially when it comes to something as personal as food?

My wife used one of these apps for a little while and then just stopped using it. This is a problem for those app makers. My wife described how the app was good, because it helped her know what she was eating and the impact it would have on her weight loss efforts. However, once she’d learned those things, she wasn’t getting the same value out of the app.

Personally, I just don’t see myself ever using one. I’d hate to be judged every time I was eating. Plus, I try to make up for bad eating with extra exercise. We’ll see when that finally catches up to me. Either way, I’ll be surprised if I ever start tracking my eating habits. Maybe once the tracking just happens automatically.

April 10, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Addictive mHealth Apps

I first fell in love with the Center for Connected Health when I attended their Connected Health Sympoisum a few years back. The organization is run by Joseph Kvedar who is one of my favorite thought leaders when it comes to mobile health. He’s optimistic, but pragmatic in his approach to mobile health. Plus, he’s not afraid to be transparent in his thoughts and approach to using technology to improve health. A great example of this was his recent blog post titled “Could Mobile Health Become Addictive?

The answer to his question is yes, but there’s so much more to the article. I particularly love his changing view of the value of mobile health applications versus something like a simple text message. No doubt there has been some “irrational exuberance” around mobile health applications. While the energy has no doubt outpaced the results, that shouldn’t discount the potential of mobile health applications.

Joseph Kvedar points out in his article that “those of us who own smart phones check them obsessively (by some counts 150 times/day).” No doubt many cell phone users are addicted to their cell phones. I’m not sure all the neuro chemical responses that we get from cell phone usage, but I’ve felt the endorphins kick in when you have a new message on your cell phone. This addiction probably also explains phantom vibration or phantom ringing.

The real question is how can we apply this type of addictive response to healthcare apps? Plus, how can we make sure that it becomes a healthy addiction. We’ve all heard of the person who’s too addicted to fitness or too addicted to self monitoring that it becomes unhealthy. There’s definitely a balance, but I’m sure that the day will come that mobile health apps are as addictive as a text message. I’ve started to see glimpses of it in the current mobile health offerings, but we’re not there on a widespread scale yet.

What mobile health applications or types of applications do you see that are headed down this path?

August 26, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

5 Types of Medical Apps to Avoid

We’re obviously big proponents of the use of mobile apps in healthcare. For example, we recently listed the top medical apps, and we’ve even written about insurance companies reimbursing medical apps. These are all important trends in mobile health and we’re going to see more and more of it in the future.

The problem is that along with all of the good mobile health applications out there, there are also plenty of scammers making false claims about the medical value of their application. These should be avoided.

Mashable worked together with Joseph Kvedar from the Center of Connected Health to create a list of apps you should avoid:

1. Apps That Use Your Phone’s Light
2. Spot-Checkers
3. Cures From Sound
4. Insulin Dose Calculators
5. Treatment Testers

It’s sad for me to think that people somehow think the light on their phone or the sound on their phone has medical value. It’s amazing what will fool some people. Plus, I have little doubt that we’ll see even more pernicious and difficult to detect mobile health app scams.

A quote from Dr. Misra from iMedicalApps sums up the issue well, “Any app that claims to treat a disease of any kind should raise red flags upfront.” Consult your doctor if you’re not sure.

July 12, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.