PBS NewsHour full episode Dec. 5, 2018
DIGITAL HEALTH BRIEFING: Patient-generated health data opens door to greater engagement
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CONSUMERS, PHYSICIANS ARE EXCITED ABOUT PATIENT-GENERATED HEALTH DATA OPPORTUNITIES:Growing volumes of patient-generated health data (PGHD) — data collected through consumer wearables, sensors, and mobile apps — is creating new opportunities for health systems to better engage and treat patients. And consumers and physicians alike are excited about digital technology's potential to improve doctor-patient interactions, according to a new Ernst and Young survey.
For physicians, patient-generated health data could vastly improve the healthcare system, including care delivery and ballooning costs.Over four-fifths of US physicians say that PGHD from phone apps and sensor devices, including fitness trackers and smartwatches, will support care coordination across providers and lead to more personalized care plans. Having more insight into patients' well-being outside of a clinical setting can give providers the ability to intervene before more critical — and costly — care is needed.
Meanwhile, consumers are excited about having more control over their health data and participating in health care.Around a third of consumers are interested in using smartphone connected devices to send information to their doctors, and 21% are interested in video consultations. This demonstrates solid demand for health tech and the potential for getting more patients to engage with PGHD devices.
When it comes to incentives for sharing, consumers are partial to quality of care and convenience over monetary benefits.Seventy-four percent of consumers surveyed would be open to sharing lifestyle information if it would help physicians treat them more comprehensively. And just under two-thirds of participants said they'd share health data for reduced waiting times, compared to 55% looking for cost savings.
This optimistic outlook for PGHD is one of the driving forces behind the industry-wide move to cloud computing.Many healthcare institutions lack the infrastructure and data management systems to properly handle and pull actionable insights from the massive amounts of data generated by consumers, according to Accenture. However, companies like Microsoft, Google, Cerner, and Epic, have made announcements around cloud technology that could empower hospitals and clinics to leverage PGHD by providing the server scale and intelligent computing power needed to derive actionable insights from the massive buckets of data.
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GLOOKO'S 6-MONTH TRIAL SHOWS DIABETES APP IMPROVES PATIENT ENGAGEMENT:Glooko's type-2 diabetes management app can improve patient engagement and lead to better control over blood-glucose levels, according to results from a 6-month pilot program conducted by Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. The study, conducted during April to October 2019, followed 50 patients with type-2 diabetes, tracking things like patient engagement, and a range of other diabetes measures — called diabetes Advanced Perfect Care. During the program, participants' blood glucose levels improved by 10% on average, and testing frequency increased from less than once per day on average to around 1.8 times. The Glooko app automatically syncs with diabetes measuring tools, such as blood-glucose meters, insulin pumps, and fitness and activity trackers, which gives users and healthcare providers a more holistic picture of the patient's health and condition. The study is further evidence of how mHealth solutions can be used to keep patients focused on monitoring their health outcome and give caregivers better information to treat them.
TEXAS SURGEONS FIRST TO USE AR FOR SINUS SURGERY:Surgeons at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center have performed the first sinus surgery using augmented reality (AR), MobiHealthNews reports. Surgeons took a scan of the patient's sinuses using Stryker's Scopis Target Guided Surgery technology to plan a pathway and view critical structures. These scans were then overlaid on the surgical area via Microsoft HoloLens AR glasses, giving the surgeons the ability to be more precise with the surgery. This is just the latest instance of AR being used in surgery, as healthcare organizations and tech companies seek ways to implement the technology. In January 2019, a team from London used AR during reconstructive leg surgery, allowing physicians to see the patient's bone structure and vital blood vessels during the surgery.
NEW TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM AIMS TO IMPROVE INTEROPERABILITY BETWEEN PROVIDERS:Cloud services company, DXC Technology launched Open Health Connect, a cloud-based platform that links up healthcare IT systems to make it easier for providers to share health data, according to Digital Health. DXC's offering allows providers to integrate various sets of data across their network, by providing firms with a digital toolkit that includes an analytics module, an interoperability module, and a set of APIs for launching new apps and services. Interoperability is one of the biggest issues plaguing healthcare systems and was a hot topic of discussion at the HIMSS18 conference. US government officials, as well as tech companies such as Google, addressed the issue during the meeting. The problem can arise for many reasons — for example, separate departments within the same hospital often have differing IT solutions that make it difficult to share electronic health records (EHR) when patients are transferred between wards or even to another hospital or clinic. Not having access to patient data can lead to gaps in knowledge, in turn leading to unnecessary procedures, which is costly for patients, payers, and providers.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Samsung, Travelers Insurance, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Bayer, and Applied VRhave partnered to explore using virtual reality (VR) for pain management, MobiHealthNews reports. The fellowship completed a randomized study that showed how therapeutic VR can help reduce pain by 52%. These alternative pain management treatments can serve as an alternative to highly addictive medications, such as opioids, and could help speed up recovery.
- Emory and Northwestern University researchershave developed AI that uses images of tissue biopsies to predict the survival of patients diagnosed with glioma — a form of brain tumor, according to Health Data Management. That's important because glioma is diagnosed via microscope examination, result of which can vary depending on the pathologist. The AI will provide a more standardized and impartial diagnosis.
- MedTech Europe and the COCIRare campaigning to align regulations and get better funding for European healthcare systems in the upcoming multi-year budget proposal, Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society reports. The firms argue that elements of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be critical to the growth of digital health in Europe. The European Commission is preparing to set the budget by early May 2019.
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