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Knowing And Acting On How Patients Think Will Improve Health and Healthcare

“In the developed world, patient disengagement has become the new killer disease — not the lack of diagnostic devices, trained physicians or efficacious treatment options,” argues Andrea LaFountain, PhD, in her book, How Patients Think. Disbanding prescription drugs in advance of doctors’ instructions, postponing lab and diagnostic tests, and avoiding daily blood glucose testing when managing diabetes are just some examples of “how patients think” about health care and the many tasks involved in caring for oneself and the health of loved ones. But better understanding how patients think — technically speaking, the cognitive neuropsychology underneath the thinking — can

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The Promise of the Platform Economy for Health

There’s a lot of talk about the growing platform economy. If well-designed platforms get adopted in healthcare, they may help our ailing healthcare systems get better. The quality, safety, and convenience of healthcare in America suffer from a lack of patients’ personal health data being essentially locked in data siloes. The diagnosis is lack of data “liquidity:” the ability for our health information generated in various touch points in the healthcare system and in our personal lives each day to move outside of the locations where the bits and bytes were first created: to our clinicians, researchers, health providers, and to

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Beauty Meets Pharma in Retail Health – At Coin in Florence

All over the world, people define their health and wellness across many dimensions…physical, mental, financial, and appearance. In Florence, Italy, I happened upon a riff on this last component on “look good, feel good” at the Coin Department store located on Via Del Calzaiuoli in central Firenze. Welcome to Coin’s Health&Beauty Store. The two photos tell a story about health, where we live, work, play, and shop, the mantra for public health focused on the social determinants of health beyond healthcare. Here at Coin, adjacent to the holistic brands of Clarins and other luxury labels, is a pharmacy along with

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Social Networking Is The New Normal, Pew Finds

Two-thirds of all internet users, and 65% of all adults over 18 years of age, use social networking sites. Social Media Usage: 2005-2015, the latest report from the Pew Research Center, finds social networking is the new normal for people up to 65 years of age. One-third of people over 65 use social networking sites. Peoples’ use of social media impacts every aspect of daily living beyond sharing social updates, from home keeping and political discussions to work, parenting, and managing stress, the Pew research found. Key findings in the report are that: Seniors’ use of social networks rose from

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Dr. Watson comes to retail health

IBM’s Watson joins CVS Health to bring Big Data to people managing chronic conditions through the retail pharmacy channel. Welcome to the mainstreaming of predictive analytics for health in the community. Or, as PC magazine put it, “CVS, IBM’s Watson Wants to Prevent You From Getting Sick.” The core of the program would, in the words of CVS’s press release, “enable health care practitioners to quickly and easily gain insights from an unprecedented mix of health information sources such as medical health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and fitness devices to help individuals stay on track with

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Collaboration in health/care drives value – in & beyond bio/pharma

“Tomorrow [drug makers] may not get paid for the molecule, they may only get paid for the outcome,” expects Brian Niznik of Qualcomm Life. He’s quoted in a report from PwC’s Health Research Institute, 21st Century Pharmaceutical Collaboration: The Value Convergence. What Brian’s comment recognizes is the growing value-based environment for healthcare, which couples purchasers driving down drug costs via discounts and stringent formulary (approved drug list) contracts, and growing patient responsibility for paying for prescription drugs — especially financially costly for specialty drugs that are new-new molecules. But as Brian points out, if the high-cost molecule doesn’t perform as

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The 3 tectonic forces shaping patients – it’s BIO week

Patients in the U.S. are transforming into health care consumers, and in 2015 there are 3 underlying forces shaping that new consumer. This week kicks off the annual BIO conference in Philadelphia, and today Klick Health, the digital communications firm, convenes a group of thought leaders in healthcare to brainstorm markets, financing, and the state of pharmaceutical and life science innovation. An underlying theme throughout this meet-up is patient’s role in health/care. Patients are people, consumers, caregivers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, community members, taxpayers, all. We’re old, we’re young, we’re mobile and not-so-much, we’re amputees, we’re migraneurs, we’re cancer

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Telehealth goes retail

In the past couple of weeks, a grocery store launched a telemedicine pilot, a pharmacy chain expanded telehealth to patients in 25 states, and several new virtual healthcare entrants received $millions in investments. On a parallel track, the AMA postponed dealing with medical ethics issues regarding telemedicine, the Texas Medical Association got stopped in its tracks in a case versus Teladoc, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program that falls short of allowing Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to take full advantage of telehealth services. These events beg the

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Doctors who write right: Gawande, Topol and Wachter put people at the center of health/care

There’s a trifecta of books written by three brilliant doctors that, together, provide a roadmap for the 21st century continuum of health care: The Patient Will See You Now by Eric Topol, MD; The Digital Doctor from Robert Wachter, MD; and, Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Each book’s take provides a lens, through the eyes of a hands-on healthcare provider, on healthcare delivery today (the good, the warts and all) and solutions based on their unique points-of-view. This triple-review will move, purposefully, from the digitally, technology optimistic “Gutenberg moment” for democratizing medicine per Dr. Topol, to the end-game importance of

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Specialty pharmaceuticals’ costs in the health economic bulls-eye

This past weekend, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl asked John Castellani, the president of PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry’s advocacy (lobby) organization, why the cost of Gleevec, from Novartis, dramatically increased over the 13 years it’s been in the market, while other more expensive competitors have been launched in the period. (Here is the FDA’s announcement of the Gleevec approval from 2001). Mr. Castellani said he couldn’t respond to specific drug company’s pricing strategies, but in general, these products are “worth it.” Here is the entire transcript of the 60 Minutes’ piece. Today, Health Affairs, the policy journal, is hosting a discussion

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Dr Eric Topol on the digital democratization of health care

Moore’s Law is coming to medicine. And it will look and feel a lot like Uber: with rich technology underpinning,  consumer-service oriented and friendly, and shaking up the professionals at the front line of the business (from taxi drivers to physicians). Eric Topol, physician and editor-in-chief at Medscape, told a standing-room-only audience at the kickoff of the 8th annual Health 2.0 Conference that the democratization of health care is coming based on consumers’ use of eight drivers: sensors, labs, imaging, physical exams, access to medical records, transparency of costs, and digital pills. Dr. Topol referred to the cover ot TIME

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Self-care – the role of OTCs for personal health financial management

Make-over your medicine cabinet. That’s a key headline for International Self-Care Day (ISD) on July 24, 2014, an initiative promoting the opportunity for people to take a greater role in their own health care and wellness. Sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), consumer products companies, health advocacy organizations, and legislators including John Barrow (D-GA), a co-sponsor of H.R. 2835 (aka the Restoring Access to Medications Act), the Day talked about the $102 billion savings opportunity generated through people in the U.S. taking on more self-care through using over-the-counter medicines. After the 2008 Recession hit the U.S. economy, industry analysts

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Big Data Come to Health Care…With Big Challenges – Health Affairs July 2014

“For Big Data, Big Questions Remain,” an article by Dawn Falk in the July 2014 issue of Health Affairs, captures the theme of the entire journal this month. That’s because, for every opportunity described in each expert’s view, there are also obstacles, challenges, and wild cards that impede the universal scaling of Big Data in the current U.S. healthcare and policy landscape. What is Big Data, anyway? It’s a moving target, Falk says: computing power is getting increasingly powerful (a la Moore’s Law), simpler and cheaper. At the same time, the amount of information applicable to health and health care

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Health care in a multiscreen world

In 2014, we are digital omnivores. Most people “consume” information and entertainment on more than one screen: 7 hours’ worth over a 5-hour period. You read that right: most people who watch TV, use a laptop or PC, smartphone or tablet are multitasking use of these devices in parallel. And above all, people are using smartphones as their primary screen. The AdReaction: Marketing in a multiscreen world report from Millward Brown paints a picture of global consumers who are cobbling together multiscreen experiences. The smartphone has become the “do it all” device if you don’t carry a laptop or tablet around, especially favored

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Pharma warming up to the cloud to drive efficiencies and support analytics

Over the next few years, large global pharma companies will need to wring out an additional $35 billion worth of efficiencies in order to drive profitability. While the industry has most of the patent cliff challenge behind it, companies face price constraints with respect to health reform, static national economies, and access demands. As the pharmaceutical industry enters the value-based health care era, the industry must catch up with other vertical markets in adopting information technology. In particular, pharma has been slower to migrate to the cloud than other businesses, with concerns about security and health care particular needs. Today, the

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Health data data everywhere – let’s human-scale it / Report from #SXSW #SXSH

Health data is everywhere, but not much useful to drink. Is #bigdata in health care at the top of the Hype Cycle? And how do we humanize it, make it relevant and useful for our everyday life? In other words, can this data help us hack our lives and health for the better? That question has been on my mind for the past couple of years since the convergence of big data and data analytics and health has emerged. Yesterday at the 2014 South-by-Southwest happening, I attended a panel discussion called Hacking Your Life For Better Health (#hacklife on Twitter).

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Where’s TripAdvisor for health care? JAMA on physician ratings sites

As more U.S. health citizens enroll in high-deductible health plans – now representing about 30% of health-insured people in America – health plan members are being called on to play the role of consumer. Among the most important choices the health consumer makes is for a physician. Ratings sites and health care report cards ranking doctors by various characteristics have been in the market for over a decade. However, little has been known on the public’s knowledge about the availability of these information sources, nor of peoples’ use of physician rating sites. This question is addressed in Public Awareness, Perception, and

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Managing cost and utilization are top goals for specialty pharmacy buyers

While the prescription drug bill makes up about 10% of U.S. national health spending, the fastest-growing component of pharmacy spending is specialty medications. These are categorized as “specialty” drugs because they rarely have generic equivalents, and treat serious or life-threatening diseases (such as cancer, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis). They are also “special” because specialty pharmaceuticals average $3,000 per patient per month and can surpass $100,000 a year for certain products. As a result, the top two goals for managing specialty medications among employers are #1, to reduce inappropriate utilization, and #2, to reduce drug acquisition costs, based on a survey

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mHealth will join the health ecosystem – prelude to the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show

The rise of digital health at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show signals the hockey-stick growth of consumer-facing health devices for fitness and, increasingly, more medical applications in the hands of people, patients, and caregivers. This year at #CES2014, while the 40% growth of the CES digital health footprint will get the headlines, the underlying story will go beyond wristbands and step-tracking generating data from an N of 1 to tools that generate data to bolster shared-decision making between people and the health system, and eventually support population health. For example: – Aetna is partnering with J&J to deploy their Care4Today

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23andme & Me

23andme received word from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on November 22, 2013, that they must cease and desist selling the company’s Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS). FDA explained in their Warning Letter, “Most of the intended uses for PGS listed on your website, a list that has grown over time, are medical device uses under section 201(h) of the FD&C Act. Most of these uses have not been classified and thus require premarket approval or de novo classification, as FDA has explained to you on numerous occasions. “Some of the uses for which PGS is intended are

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Delaying aging to bend the cost-curve: balancing individual life with societal costs

Can we age more slowly? And if so, what impact would senescence — delaying aging — have on health care costs on the U.S. economy? In addition to reclaiming $7.1 trillion over 50 years, we’d add an additional 2.2 years to life expectancy (with good quality of life). This is the calculation derived in Substantial Health And Economic Returns From Delayed Aging May Warrant A New Focus For Medical Research, published in the October 2013 issue of Health Affairs. The chart graphs changes in Medicare and Medicaid spending in 3 scenarios modeled in the study: when aging is delayed, more people qualify

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People not up-close-and-personal about personalized medicine…yet

Only 1 in 4 U.S. adults over 30 know what “personalized medicine” (PM) really is, and only 8% of people feel very knowledgeable about the concept based on Consumer Perspectives on Personalized Medicine from GfK, published online in August 2013. GfK surveyed 602 online adults 30 years and over between February and March 2013 drawn from the company’s KnowledgePanel sample of U.S. adults. Only 4% of people who have heard of personalized medicine describe it accurately as “medicine based on genome/genetic make up.” About one-half of people (52%) defined PM as medical care, treatment, or medicine geared toward individual needs. The poll

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The health care automat – Help Yourself to healthcare via online marketplaces

Imagine walking into a storefront where you can shop for an arthroscopy procedure, mammogram, or appointment with a primary care doctor based on price, availability, quality, and other consumers’ opinions? Welcome to the “health care automat,” the online healthcare marketplace. This is a separate concept from the new Health Insurance Marketplace, or Exchange. This emerging way to shop for and access health care services is explored in my latest paper for the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), Help Yourself: The Rise of Online Healthcare Marketplaces. What’s driving this new wrinkle in retail health care are: U.S. health citizens morphing into consumers,

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Losing your eyebrows, finding health and beauty

My friend Rachel leads education at Sephora in the King of Prussia Mall in suburban Philadelphia, PA. I’ve come to consider Rachel as my personal guress on all matters related to skin care. She’s a trusted member of my personal health ecosystem. I met with Rachel last week to consult on what lipsticks contain SPFs that could prevent my lips from burning in the sun for my vacation week on Lakes George and Placid. She informed me that very few cosmetic lip products have sufficient sun protection ingredients to protect my lips-on-the-Lakes. We accomplished our consult for my very small

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Urgent care centers: if we build them, will all patients come?

Urgent care centers are growing across the United States in response to emergency rooms that are standing-room-only for many patients trying to access them. But can urgent care centers play a cost-effective, high quality part in stemming health care costs and inappropriate use of ERs for primary care. That’s a question asked and answered by The Surge in Urgent Care Centers: Emergency Department Alternative or Costly Convenience? from the Center for Studying Health System Change by Tracy Yee  et. al. The Research Brief defines urgent care centers (UCCs) as sites that provide care on a walk-in basis, typically during regular

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Let patients help: the BMJ covers an American ePatient’s learnings

In this week’s BMJ (British Medical Journal), an American patient tells his story about being equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged — the many “e’s” making up the prefix of “ePatient.”  This definition comes out of the work of Dr. Tom Ferguson, who worked with the e-Patient Scholars Working Group in 2007, to publish the first white paper about the phenomenon, e-Patients: how they can help us heal health care. ePatient Dave is the patient-author of the BMJ piece, making the case for shared decision-making and patient involvement in health care decisions. He writes in the conclusion, “The value delivered by skilled

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The value of big data in health care = $450 billion

  Exploiting Big Data in industry is Big News these days, and nowhere is the potential for leveraging the concept greater than in health care. McKinsey & Company estimates that harnessing big data across five dimensions of health care could yield nearly one-half trillion dollars’ worth of value in The ‘big data’ revolution in healthcare. The chart summarizes McKinsey’s calculations on the value of Big Data in health care at its maximum. Before digging into the value potential, just what is Big Data in health care? Statistics and information are generated in the health care system about patients: say, during visits

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The Not-So-Affordable Care Act? Cost-squeezed Americans still confused and need to know more

While health care cost growth has slowed nationally, most Americans feel they’re going up faster than usual. 1 in 3 people believe their own health costs have gone up faster than usual, and 1 in 4 feel they’re going out about “the same amount” as usual. For only one-third, health costs feel like they’re staying even. As the second quarter of 2013 begins and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “health reform” and “Obamacare”) looms nearer, most Americans still don’t understand how the ACA will impact them. Most Americans (57%) believe the law will create a government-run health plan,

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Bill Clinton’s public health, cost-bending message thrills health IT folks at HIMSS

In 2010, the folks who supported health care reform were massacred by the polls, Bill Clinton told a rapt audience of thousands at HIMSS13 yesterday. In 2012, the folks who were against health care reform were similarly rejected. President Clinton gave the keynote speech at the annual HIMSS conference on March 6, 2013, and by the spillover, standing-room-only crowd in the largest hall at the New Orleans Convention Center, Clinton was a rock star. Proof: with still nearly an hour to go before his 1 pm speech, the auditorium was already full with only a few seats left in the

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Managing the abundance of mHealth apps in the urban flea market

The proliferation of mobile health (mHealth) apps appears to be an abundant cornucopia of “lite” tools that look simple to access and easy to use. But this growing menu of a la carte choices that promise to keep us healthy, track our numbers, and access useful health information can also, in the words of three Dutch health researchers, “drive us crazy.” Why mobile health app overload drives us crazy, and how to restore the sanity, by Lex van Velsen and colleagues, makes the case that the plethora of mHealth apps available in online app stores is a fragmented, disorganized marketplace

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The connected home as consumer medical home

Consumers are looking for electronic devices that do many things, don’t care much about what platforms they use, like the convenience that cloud computing enables, and are bringing their own devices to the workplace for productivity, conference calls, and communication. Accenture has studied the wired consumer and developed this infographic, which illustrates these four key findings. Accenture says it’s “an open playing field” when it comes to consumer technology: there are many suppliers who can develop products and sell into this market, where consumers seem pretty agnostic relative to operating systems and even brands — as long as the devices

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We are all health deputies in the #digitalhealth era: live from the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show

Reed Tuckson of UnitedHealthGroup was the first panelist to speak at the kickoff of the Digital Health Summit, the fastest-growing aspct of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (#2013CES). Tuckson implored the spillover audience to all, “self-deputize as national service agents in health,” recognizing that technology developers in the room at this show that’s focused on developers building Shiny New Digital Things have much to bring to health. As Andrew Thompson of Proteus Medical (the “invisible pill” company) said, “we can’t bend the health care cost curve; we have to break it.” This pioneering panel was all about offering new-new technologies

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Consumers want digital communications from providers, from payment reminders to patient care via email

85% of U.S. health consumers say that emails, text messages, and voicemails are at least as helpful as in-person or phone conversations with health providers, according to the TeleVox Healthy World study, Technology Beyond the Exam Room. The study was based on surveys conducted with over 2,200 health providers across specialties, and 1,015 U.S. adults over 18. Furthermore, one in 3 consumers admit to being more honest when talking about medical needs via automated voice response systems, emails or texts than face-to-face with a health provider. And 3 in 10 consumers believe that receiving digital health communications from providers such

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Wired health: living by numbers – a review of the event

Wired magazine, longtime evangelist for all-things-tech, has played a growing role in serving up health-tech content over the past several years, especially through the work of Thomas Goetz. This month, Wired featured an informative section on living by numbers — the theme of a new Wired conference held 15-16 October 2012 in New York City. This feels like the week of digital health on the east coast of the U.S.: several major meetings have convened that highlight the role of technology — especially, the Internet, mobile platforms, and Big Data — on health. Among the meetings were the NYeC Digital Health conference, Digital

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In sickness and in health: consumers expect doctors to be wellness coaches, too

4 in 5 health consumers expect doctors not only to treat them when they’re sick, but to keep them healthy. “In sickness and in health” now morphs over to the doctor-patient relationship, beyond the marriage vow. Better Health through Better Patient Communications, a survey from Varolii, finds that people are looking for health, beyond health care, from their physicians. Varolii is a customer interaction company that claims to have interacted with 1 in 3 Americans through some sort of company communication: they work with major Fortune 1000 companies, including banks, airlines, retail, and, yes, health care. They recently attracted  a

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From fragmentation and sensors to health care in your pocket – Health 2.0, Day 1

The first day of the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco kicked off with a video illustrating the global reach of the Health 2.0 concept, from NY and Boston to Mumbai, Madrid, London, Tokyo and other points abroad. Technology is making the health world flatter and smarter…and sometimes, increasing problematic fragmentation, which is a theme that kept pinching me through the first day’s discussions and demonstrations. Joe Flowers, health futurist, offered a cogent, crisp forecast in the morning, noting that health care is changing, undergoing fundamental economic changes that change everything about it. These are driving us to what may

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What Jerry the Bear means for Health 2.0

A teddy bear in the arms of a child with diabetes can change health care. At least, Jerry the Bear can. Yesterday kicked off the sixth autumn mega-version of the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Co-founded by Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya, a long-time health analyst and physician, respectively, this meeting features new-new tools, apps and devices aimed at improving individual and population health, as well as health processes and workflows for physicians, hospitals, pharma, and other stakeholders in the health care ecosystem – even health lawyers, who met on October 7 to discuss up-to-the-minute  e-health law issues. Yesterday was

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In this Age of the Healthcare Consumer, most people want online access to doctors and health records

Just as people go online for travel planning. photo development. and financial transactions. they’re looking for health engagement with their doctors and health records online, too. Harris Interactive heralds this as The Age of the Healthcare Consumer. Harris Interactive polled U.S. adults and found that people are interested in a range of technologies for engaging in their health, arrayed in the chart: when asked which would be important for health providers to implement, consumers said (NET = very important + important): – Online medical record access to visits, Rx, test results, and history, 65%. 17% of consumers said their doctor

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Lab tests and knowing our numbers can inspire patient engagement

One-half of the members of Kaiser Permanente use the plans’ personal health record system, MyHealthManager. The most-used function of MyHealthManager is accessing lab results, according to KP. Now that Quest, the lab and health information company, has launched the mobile phone app, Gazelle, more health citizens will have access to lab test results. This could be a health-activating opportunity inspiring patient engagement. While Gazelle is a fully functional personal health record (PHR), it’s the connection to lab test results that’s the lightbulb moment. PHRs have been available to health consumers for over a decade. There are millions of users of

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Consumer trust in health care: online information trumps health plans

Trust is a precursor to health engagement. Trust impacts health outcomes such as a patient’s willingness to follow a doctor’s or health plan’s instructions. Two new studies point out that U.S. consumers don’t trust every touchpoint in the health system. Online medical information has become a trusted channel. Health plans? Not so much. Wolters Kluwer’s Health Q1 Poll on Self-Diagnosis found that consumers trust online health information to inform themselves — even for self-diagnosis. 57% of U.S. adults turn to the Internet to find answers to medical information; 25% “never” do, and 18% rarely do. Two-thirds of people say they trust

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Improving health care through Big Data: a meeting of the minds at SAS

Some 500 data analytics gurus representing the health care ecosystem including hospitals, physician practices, life science companies, academia and consulting came together on the lush campus of SAS in Cary, North Carolina, this week to discuss how Big Data could solve health care’s Triple Aim, as coined by keynote speaker Dr. Donald Berwick: improve the care experience, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs. Before Dr. Berwick, appointed as President Obama’s first head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School, godfather of the theory of disruptive innovation in business, spokee about his journey

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Patients want to collaborate with physicians, but are reluctant to do so

“Knowing they may need to return at some later time, patients felt they were vulnerable and dependent on the good will of their physicians. Thus, deference to authority instead of genuine partnership appeared to be the participants’ mode of working,” asserts a study into physician-patient relationships published this week in Health Affairs. The study’s title captures the top-line research finding Authoritarian Physicians and Patients’ Fear of Being Labeled ‘Difficult’ Among Key Obstacles To Shared Decision Making.  Researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute analyzed data on patients participating in focus grooups, from the age of forty and over, from

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Wellness Ignited! Edelman panel talks about how to build a health culture in the U.S.

Dr. Andrew Weil, the iconic guru of all-things-health, was joined by a panel of health stakeholders at this morning’s Edelman salon discussing Wellness Ignited – Now and Next. Representatives from the American Heart Association, Columbia University, Walgreens, Google, Harvard Business School, and urban media mavens Quincy Jones III and Shawn Ullman, who lead Feel Rich, a health media organization, were joined by Nancy Turett, Edelman’s Chief Strategist of Health & Society, in the mix. Each participant offered a statement about what they do related to health and wellness, encapsulating a trend identified by Jennifer Pfahler, EVP of Edelman. Trend 1: Integrative

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Happy birthday, dear Watson: what the 1st anniversary means for health care today, and in future

IBM is celebrating the first birthday of Watson this week. I had the opportunity to brainstorm some of the short- and long-term meanings of Watson in health care this week at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas. When most people think of Watson, an image of the Jeopardy! game featuring the technology versus the legendary player Ken Jennings comes to mind. However, Watson has the potential to play a transformational role in health care, globally – for population health, and for the patient N=1. Watson is a supercomputer’s supercomputer: underneath the formidable hood are dozens of programs that enable Watson to

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Trust in doctors breeds trust in health IT – context-setting for patient engagement, HIMSS 2012

While the vast majority of people find value in electronic health records (EHRs) — both those whose doctors currently use them and those patients whose personal health information still resides in paper-based systems — most remain concerned about their patient rights, privacy and security of that data.  Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT, a report based on a survey from the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF) published in February 2012, weaves the story of an American public, keen to have their PHI digitized, but deeply concerned about their rights to access and protect that

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The digital future in focus, according to comScore: health grew fastest in 2011

comScore has issued its annual report on the state of the American digital consumer in U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2012 and the topline is that mobile and Facebook are redefining communication in both the digital and physical worlds. This disruptive phenomenon has transformational implications for health and health care. comScore’s macro observations are that: – Social networking, and especially Facebook, is capturing a growing proportion of online users’ time, thus redefining how brands and organizations must interact with customers offline and on-. – Google remains the search leader but Bing has grown, surpassing Yahoo! as #2 in 2011. –

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Moving from operational efficiency to personalized healthcare value – IBM on redefining success in healthcare

A health system that’s built to last: this is the latest sound-bite echoing through health policy circles. The theme of sustainability is permeating all matters of policy, from education and business to health care. Enter IBM, with a rigorous approach to Redefining Value and Success in Healthcare: Charting the path to the future, from the group’s Healthcare and Life Sciences thinkers. What’s inspiring about this report is the team’s integrative thinking, bridging the relationship between operational effectiveness built on a robust information infrastructure that enables team-based care (the “collaboration” aspect in the middle of the pyramid), which then drive personalized healthcare

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Connected Health and obesity – will mObesity be able to mitigate the epidemic?

It’s January and the #1 most popular post-New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, get fit, and live well. The signs of this are manifested in ads featuring Janet Jackson promoting Nutrisystem, Jennifer Hudson dueting with her then-and-now selves pitching Weight Watchers, as well as the new Weight Watchers for Men promotion starring Charles Barkley. But there are new signs that losing weight and getting fit are going beyond “diets” and food plans: research shows that moving around and getting exercise can help people sustain hard-earned weight loss more than just changing food intake and “dieting.” So the Apple store

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Make 2012 the year of living health-fully

When I would meet up with clients and friends during the latter half of 2011, people whom I hadn’t seen for months would do a double-take when they saw me. “What have you done?” they have asked. In this first post of 2012, I will share with Health Populi readers my story of 2011 — a year of living health-fully for me. One of the blessings of my work-life is that I have access to some of the great minds in health and health care. But not until I began to personally harness their wisdom, intentionally incorporating what they’ve learned into my own life-flow and

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Patients feel out of the Rx drug development process: why participatory health in pharma is important

“Value” in prescription drugs is first and foremost about outcomes, in the eyes of physicians and biopharma. For managed care, “value” is first about safety, then patient outcomes. However, although one-third of patients managing a chronic condition cannot define “value” in health care, 9 in 10 say that prescription drugs are “valuable” to their health and wellbeing. In fact, 80% say that the money they spend on prescription medications is “worth it.” Yet patients feel largely out of the prescription drug development process. These findings come from Quintiles research report, The 2011 New Health Report, subtitled: exploring perceptions of value and collaborative relationships among

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Health care where we live, play, work and pray: how Ford & Toyota’s mhealth pilots fit into Whole Health

In an interview in March 2011 with the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Regina Benjamin, the U.S. Surgeon General, said, “We can’t look at health in isolation. It’s not just in the doctor’s office. It’s got to be where we live, we work, we play, we pray. If you have a healthy community, you have a healthy individual.” Ford’s announcement last week that the automaker would team up with WellDoc to incorporate mobile health sensors into the company’s SYNC connectivity system  follows Toyota’s mhealth concept, the RiN, launched in 2007. Among various applications envisioned at this preliminary stage: Glucose monitors, from Medtronic, will

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Patient perspectives should be part of evidence-based medicine, Dr. Weil et al say

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been the rational cornerstone of medical decision making for decades. RCTs demonstrate a drug or therapeutic course’s efficacy – that is, the extent to which a specific intervention, procedure, or regimen produces a beneficial result under ideal conditions. Of course, how a particular therapy works in an individual is highly personalized based not only on a body’s biochemistry, but personal preferences, perceptions, and personality. That’s why Dr. Andrew Weil and his colleagues, Dr. Scott Shannon and Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, say that medical decision making should take into account the patient perspective. In Medical Decision Making in

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Brand “Health:” where is it in the Top 100 most valuable brands?

Apple has supplanted Google as the world’s #1 most valuable brand, worth more brand-wise than Microsoft and Coca-Cola combined (#5 and #6). the other most valuable global brands are IBM, McDonalds, AT&T, Marlboro, China Mobile, and GE. Technology brands have significantly grown in value with consumers allocating more personal disposable income to products like tablet computers and smartphones, even in the face of recessionary economics the world over. Technology companies are now 1/3 of the top 100 brands. Millward Brown, the brand consultancy that is part of WPP, the global communications firm, has conducted the BrandZ top 100 most valuable

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ePrescribing continues to challenge physicians – but can be a link for patient engagement

  About 1.3 million people in the U.S. experience a medication error each year, which are preventable events that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or harm a patient, any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Two very common causes of medication errors are illegible handwriting by prescribers and misplaced decimal points on prescription forms. Twenty percent of adverse drug events lead to life-threatening circumstances, according to The Leapfrog Group.  The costs of medication errors has been

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Are health innovation and cost-reduction mutually exclusive? Insights from West Wireless’s Health Care Innovation Day DC

Representatives from eight U.S. Federal government agencies, including the FDA and Veterans Administration, among others; health financiers (VCs, angels); health tech start-ups; providers, life science companies, and analysts, attended the Health Care Innovation Day DC sponsored by West Wireless Health Institute on April 28, 2011. The meeting had the tagline, A Discussion with the FDA, setting the stage for a day-long consideration of the role of regulation vis-a-vis health innovation. The $2.5+ trillion question (annual spending on health care in the U.S.) is: can innovation drive making health care “cheaper?” This was the underlying theme of the panel on which I sat

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Patients can handle the truth, and are looking for it: peer-to-peer health care

Most health consumers in the U.S. use the internet to seek health information, socialization and empowerment. Dig deeper, and you’ll find a growing cadre of people who go online to find people with the same conditions they have; 1 in 4 people (23%) among those living with chronic conditions have gone online to ID others like them, including people with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, lung conditions, cancer, and other chronic health issues. The percentage of people looking for “people like me” drops to 15% of internet users with no chronic conditions seeking health-peers online. However, peers-in-health aren’t always seen as the ideal source

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When with the “Future of Health” happen?

It’s year-end, so the forecasts abound whether we’re talking about trends in technologies, products and services. Gartner says cloud and mobile computing are hot, but managing customer expectations will require heavy lifting  On the food front, Epicurious predicts that food halls will be all the rage (think Harrods in London or Takashimaya in Tokyo), Korean cuisine in demand, and sweet potatoes crowned the vegetable of 2011. For colors, Pantone is Queen and they see that honeysuckle (a salmon-pink) is the new black. In health technology, there’s no better list to read than CSC’s The Future of Healthcare: It’s Health, Then Care, which offers up top 10 technologies

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Be Thankful: Engage With Grace

Now that the turkey, champagne, stuffing and other glorious carbs have been consumed. the real dessert is whipped cream on the pumpkin pie: the gift of a conversation about Life and Grace. We each have our stories about how a loved one’s life has ended. If we’re lucky, that beloved person had a good death: in sleep, perhaps, or of simply old age with no hospital events or trauma. Then there are the Rest-of-Us who have the stories of long and painful endings. When you’re already in the situation of making tough health decisions, it’s tough, it’s emotional, it’s irrational,

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The biggest consumers of prescription drugs, seniors, need patient-centered medical homes, too

“The use of medications in older patients is arguably the single most important health care intervention in the industrialized world,” Dr. Jerry Avorn asserts in a concise analysis called Medication Use in Older Patients in the October 13, 2010, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Since the population over 65 is the biggest consumer of health care services (and thus, driver of costs), and continues to grow, the segment commands the attention of health system stakeholders: policymakers, payers, medical schools, and pharmaceutical drug researchers. Medicare Part D, which covers payment for seniors’ drug costs, put the Federal government in the

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What prescription drug plans and health reform mean for personalized medicine

Prescription drug formularies are getting more complex to drive cost-savings as well as promote adherence to drug regimens, as told by the data in the 2010-2011 Prescription Drug Benefit Cost and Plan Design Report, sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals NA. The average rate of drug cost increases is 6.3%, compared to 4.4% in the 2009-2010 survey — the lowest rate of increase since this survey was launched. A key part of the story of the new value-based benefit design is told by the co-payment differentials for Rx drugs, shown in the chart. Health consumers who have three-tiered prescription drug insurance face an

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Health is a growing business for Nestlé

Their website now talks about it being the “Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company.” Most of us still think of it as the biggest food company in the world. It’s spending one-half billion dollars to expand in health. Nestlé, which brings baby food, bottled water, bars of chocolate and breakfast cereal to kitchen tables is now bringing us Health. The new group will be known as Nestlé Health Science. The company’s existing health business is already valued at about $1.6 billion.  “The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing health care systems, which focus on treating

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Personalized medicine: the consumer lens

Health care delivered in today’s model can be thought of as a mass market product. There’s not much customization, even though to each of us, our health is extremely personal to us.   Welcome to the emerging era of personalized medicine: “the right treatment for the right person at the right time.” This is just-in-time, customized, measure-twice-cut-once care bespoke for the individual.   Read more about this transformational market in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report, The new science of personalized medicine: Translating the promise into practice.   Personalized medicine includes several segments: Personalized medical care, such as telemedicine, health information technology and disease

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Health, the New Status Symbol

We’d rather be healthy than wealthy, according to a new survey from Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L), the PR firm that’s part of the global communications company, Publicis. MS&L polled Americans’ beliefs on health and self-esteem. Three-quarters (72%) of Americans say that being physically healthy is a symbol of personal success. 91% of Americans said they’d rather be described ads “healthy” than “wealthy.” 71% said they’d rather be seen as someone who “looks really healthy” vs. someone who’s nicely “put together or well-dressed.” These will be glad tidings for MS&L’s client base. MS&L serves a global health clientele which includes

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Health, the new green: Toyota’s RiN

While health has blurred into a score of consumer product categories, here’s the latest crossover from Toyota: the first car to engineer health and wellness into its design, recently unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. The Toyota RiN is a concept car based on comfort and what Toyota’s PR calls, “serene, healthy living.” The RiN was one of 21 cars Toyota showed under the theme, “Harmonious Drive — a New Tomorrow for People and the Planet.” This isn’t high performance; it’s high-minded health by way of Dr. Weil, wrapped up in a golf cart-cum-Popemobile. Toyota’s press says the car’s

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