In May I had the opportunity to present to the AZTechCouncil MedTech Group. We had a lively discussion about the benefits and pitfalls of involving physicians in the entrepreneurship process. Really looking forward to working with this group again!
What Artificial Intelligence should do:
What artificial intelligence should not do:
One of the more popular posts here has been on Healthcare podcasts. You can read the original here.
There are two more podcasts that I have been listening to that you may enjoy. The
#HCBiz Show and Well/Connected with Dr Joe Kvedar are definitely worth the download.
Both podcasts discuss a broad range of healthcare topics but have the there of Digital and Connected Health running through them. Dr Kvedar’s podcast is quite new, with only 6 episodes so far but I have enjoyed them all and am looking forward to more.
I would definitely recommend episode 66 of #HCBiz. It is a “cross-over” episode with #HCBiz Show host Don Lee and Relentless Health Value host Stacey Richter. If you subscribe to Relentless Health Value it is episode 192.
As always, I would love to hear if you like any of these podcasts and what podcasts you enjoy.
What it is: A mobile app that shows up to date air quality data around the world
What devices: Apple and Android Devices
Who should use it: Patients with chronic respiratory or cardiac conditions, anyone wanting to know more about air quality, Physicians and Advanced Practitioners
Why use it: There is significant medical evidence that poor air quality can worsen and exacerbate chronic medical conditions. This leads to increased healthcare utilization and higher costs when patients are exposed to periods of poor air quality. One way of preventing these health issues is to avoid exposure to such poor quality air. No matter where you are, you can use AirVisual to provide current air quality levels.
Not the typical Connected Health App discussed on this site, AirVisual can be quite important to making good health decisions in the dog days of summer. It has been quite hot here in the Southwest and those hot days are often associated with poor air quality. In places like northern California right now, the wildfires contribute greatly to poor air quality. AirVisual can empower anyone to avoid poor quality, unhealthy air.
AirVisual uses the Air Quality Index (AQI) to rate the overall level of concern in regards to health. The lower the AQI value, the the better the air quality. The higher the AQI value, the worse the air quality is and subsequently the higher potential impact on a persons health. AirVisual will also show changes in AQI value throughout the day. People who may be more sensitive to the health affects of poor air quality can limit their exposure by seeing when the AQI is high and staying indoors. Then when the AQI value is lower and in a less detrimental range people can be more comfortable venturing out.
As discussed in prior posts, each Connected Health App should be viewed through the lenses of being Accessible, Affordable, Reliable and Relational.
Accessible: The Accessibility of AirVisual is high as it is a mobile app that can be accessed anywhere at any time. The only limitation is the need to be able to access a suitable WIFI or cellular connection.
Affordable: The app is free to use, requiring only that the user has a suitable smartphone or tablet.
Reliable: AirVisual uses data gathered from satellite data, weather data, government air quality data as well volunteers who monitor air quality at a local level.
Relational: Increases opportunities to focus on ones relationship with the environment around where one lives, works and travels.
When I was at that the American Telemedicine Association Conference #ATA18 earlier this year one of the speakers was taking about the lenses to use to help us make decisions. She felt the if we looked at healthcare, specifically technology in healthcare, through the a specific 4 part prism we would find better solutions. Those 4 point were whether or not something was Accessible, Affordable, Reliable and Relational. If a new product, service or piece of technology couldn’t compete on those four pillars than it likely was bring no value to patients, physicians or the healthcare system as whole.
Accessible, Affordable, Reliable and Relational have become a mantra for me. I try to apply it to any decision now within healthcare. If I am involved in creating a new policy, I want to ask myself, how will this policy affect a patients ability to Access care? Will it it improve it? If it doesn’t then it might not be the right decision. Can patients afford it or can the healthcare system afford to provide it? Is it an unfunded requirement of physicians and advanced practitioners who may be required to do more work without any compensation? Does it strengthen the bond between a patient and their doctor?
What lenses are conspicuously absent for this set of 4? The insurance company and other payors. They do not factor much in this and they tend to dissuade Access with narrow networks, the prevailing sentiment among patients and physicians alike is that insurance is neither affordable or reliable. And who feels like they have a good relationship with their insurance company? In addition, the Direct to Consumer healthcare market will continue to grow and that is the population of people who would be most interested in the topics I write about.
In future posts, especially Health App of the Month, there will be an addition to every article. The ability of an app or service to be Accessible, Affordable, Reliable and Relational will be evaluated. Would love to hear any feedback on this from my readers.
If you have ever had a negative experience with technology in a medical office, ever felt so upset at the intellectual speed bumps of an EMR, frazzled by the dozens of mouse clicks required for even the simplest task or felt isolated as a patient when your doctor spends your whole appointment looking at their computer, you may be wondering “how did we get here?” What happened that caused medicine to value the input of data more than any other aspect of a medical encounter? To find those answers and many more, I recommend reading “The Digital Doctor” by Dr Robert Wachter.
I just recently finished reading this book and can’t stop thinking about it. This book is not the love letter to healthcare technology that I thought it would be. Originally published in 2015 with the latest edition published in 2017, “The Digital Doctor” tells the story of healthcare technology, with specific focus on electronic medical records, has taken over modern American Medicine. Dr Wachter interviewed 100 individuals and weaves their personal stories of the impact of changing healthcare policy on how patients receive and physicians provide care.
While technology and electronic medical records have the potential for improving medical care, Dr Wachter paints the picture that too much dependence on technology that is not quite good enough is a recipe for disaster. Several chapters of the book are explains, from numerous points of view, how a long patient could receive a dose of medicine that was 39 times too high. How could the electronic medical record have led a physician to the wrong dose calculation, how could the pharmacist not realize the error and how could the nurse give a patient 39 tablets when one was what was required? The story is fascinating and the subtle role that technology played in this mistake at every single phase is almost terrifying.
Dr Wachter goes into a lot of detail about other components of healthcare technology like Personal Health Records, Patient Portals, Open Notes and Social Connectivity. For anyone out there who uses EPIC for their EMR, like I do, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the behemoth Wisconsin company. If nothing else, you will appreciate the story of Charm the horse and probably think of nothing else the next time you log into EPIC.
You can find the book on Amazon here and you will not be disappointed. I do not participate in any affiliate marketing, this is just my opinion. I do feel that any one who wants to change the future must understand the past. For those like me who want to impact positively our digital and connected healthcare future, The Digital Doctor is a must read.