Earlier on this blog we had profiled a bunch of innovative health care solutions that associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, and collaboration on the World Wide Web.We had even cutely called it Health 2.0.
But now we think there is another quantum leap in technology and hence we decided to take the lead and coin the term Health 3.0.
Want an example of a Health 3.0 product? Try Smart pills. U.S.-based Proteus Biomedical is working to create “smart pills” that can transmit data from inside the body to monitor patients’ vital signs and check they have taken medicines as prescribed.
We think in the not so distant future, your nurse or doctor might not be asking you if you took your pills(although your mom might). Instead they are most likely to be looking up data on their mobile phones, tablets or desktops.
Stay tuned for more on our Health 3.0 series.
When Steve Jobs got on stage Wednesday, to release Apple’s latest creation the iPad, he described the iPad as a magical and revolutionary device. Whether it is truly revolutionary from a technology standpoint or not, is a debate best reserved for the tech pundits like Endgadget. But we are are more interested how it can revolutionize health care. So here is how we think the iPad can do this.
1. Accelerate electronic medical records adoption in hospitals- eMR and eHR have been talked about for a while but there is still a lot of resistance and inertia in the healthcare community. We think the popularity of the iPad can help change that in a way tablet pcs never could.
2. Apps for health care- There’s an app for that. Imagine what web 2.0 did to the airline and restaurant business. Reviews, reservations, social networking. We think iPad will serve as a platform for all those innovative app developers (App developers are you reading this ?).
Everything from scheduling a doctor’s visit to viewing your x-ray (yes on that gorgeous AMOLED 9.7 inch screen ).
3. Paperless for real – Remove clutter and Free up space in Emergency departments and urgent care clinics- There is no need for a registration desk with a big clunky desktop. No paper work to deal with for Reg and insurance staff.
4. More time at bedside and with the patient – If you have ever been to an Emergency department or urgent care, the word waiting has new meaning for you. We think that the iPad adoption in hospitals can reduce the time doctors and nurses spend walking to a nurse’s station or desk to wait for results or write orders and spend more time at bed side. Which means that they can focus more on taking care of you working on the iPad. Research has shown that this can improve outcomes and improve quality of care.
5. Improve communication and entertainment options – Remember the last time you were at your Dentist or Doctor’s office. What did you do in the waiting room? Now imagine reading that Cosmopolitan, the Healthcare Management blog or whatever else you like to read. And while you are reading that your screen flashes with an update on your wait time, test result or even a prompt with some information on your illness. Same if you are in the waiting room of a surgery center eager to hear about your loved one. The possibilities are endless.
Magical or not, the more popular the iPad gets we believe it can revolutionize health care delivery and, without the tedious debates on Capitol Hill.
Sermo, the largest online physician social networking site founded by Dr. Daniel Palestrant, recently launched FluMonitor to help track the spread of Influenza in the US. FluMonitor(see pic above) lets physicians submit flu cases they might encounter with a few clicks.
HealthCare Management spoke with Sermo’s chief medical officer Adam Sharp. According to Dr. Sharp, the FluMonitor provides near real-time access to physicians on the spread of influenza across the United States.
This is definitely the first of its kind in tracking the spread of disease in real time exclusively through an online social networking platform for physicians. FluMonitor can give doctors the ability to track and predict outbreaks and, share notes on treatment and trends. Specifically, it can provide granular details such as, Patient breakdown for vaccinated vs. not vaccinated Age distribution- which age is most affected Symptom breakdown- which symptoms are presenting more than others voracity of outbreak- how many per day/week/month, etc.
If doctors know the flu is coming, it helps them to know that flu likelihood is much higher so they can be confident to base a diagnosis solely on observations in patients vs. having to use a Rapid Flu test- which is quite expensive. This will also help them avoid taking other, expensive, tests in order to rule out other ailments/diseases because they know it’s likely to be the flu.
In a previous post we talked about electronic health records, and how hospitals and providers are embracing it to improve patient safety. With the introduction of the new iPhone3G, electronic health records are now going beyond the computer and into the iPhones. Hand held devices are always popular with physicians (tablet pcs and pdas). Now, consumers and providers can access health records on their phones.
Some current applications available at the online apple store
Medfile – Developed by Kaplan design lets users create and manage their personal medical records. Information such as blood type, allergies and emergency contact etc can be stored and retrieved.
ADAM – An application that lets the users identify health symptoms.From a simple sprain to fever, and upset stomact, ADAM gives users access to up-to-date medical information that is expert-reviewed. The tool also provides information on what the symptoms mean and when to seek professional medical attention.
These applications are fairly new, and are surely going to generate debate amongst medical professionals within and outside the blogosphere. Also, it remains to be seen, how popular these applications get with consumers.
We at HealthCare Management will keep a tab on this. So keep watching this space.
There has been a lot of activity in the Health 2.0 world recently. There are already two major Health 2.0 related conferences. Atleast a dozen new health 2.0 applications in the first half of this year and the launch of Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault. As usual, we at Healthcare Management will help you keep upto date with what is going on. But like with our previous articles, we intend do our research before we publish. Soon we will be talking with Google Health development team and folks at Aetna to get an understanding of what their Health 2.0 plans are. But before, we get too far ahead let us examine the basics.
What is Health 2.0 ?
Health 2.0 aka Medicine 2.0 aka eHealth, can be broadly defined as ” applications, services and tools are Web-based services for health care consumers, caregivers, patients, health professionals, and biomedical researchers, that use Web 2.0 technologies as well as semantic web and virtual reality tools, to enable and facilitate specifically social networking, participation, apomediation, collaboration, and openness within and between these user groups.
The idea is simple. Health 2.0 is about interactive Web services,that, will arm individuals with information, tools and supportive online communities so they can take charge of their own medical care — and in turn transform the U.S. and other healthcare systems by demanding better service and lowering costs.
Watch this space in the future as we profile some emerging health 2.0 applications and services.