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mHealth Platforms can Help Diabetes Patients Improve Care, Research Finds

November 28, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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New research has revealed that mobile health (mHealth) tools can potentially help diabetes patients modify their behaviors, better manage their care, and achieve improved health outcomes.

The study, from NYU Stern Professor Anindya Ghose, Ph.D., and co-authors, Beibei Li, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University and Xitong Guo, Ph.D., of the Harbin Institute of Technology, combined data from a major mHealth firm in China that provides one of the largest mobile health app platforms in Asia, as well as the Office of Chronic Disease Management in China to evaluate the potential value of technologies such as mobile health apps and mobile-enabled EHRs (electronic health records) as well as the importance of mHealth platform design in achieving better healthcare outcomes.

The study’s authors designed and implemented a randomized field experiment based on more than 9,000 unique responses from over 1,000 diabetes patients over the course of a 15-month period. Their main findings show that adoption of the mHealth platform by users has a statistically significant impact on reducing blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels, hospital visits, and medical expenses of diabetes patients over time.

In conjunction with patient self-management through the mHealth platform, they also found heterogeneous effects between personalized and non-personalized messages. Non-personalized mobile messages with general diabetes-care guidance demonstrate a stronger impact on patient health improvement, the research found.

More specifically, according to a press release announcing the study’s findings:

  • Patients who adopt the mHealth platform see over 2000 percent reduction, on average, in glucose levels over time. They also show an average 327 percent reduction in hospital visits and 799 percent reduction in medical expenses, suggesting a significant economic effect for healthcare providers, insurance carriers, and individual patients.
  • Mobility is key to patients’ self-management success. The mHealth platform has more than 20 percent greater impact on patients’ health outcomes as the web-based option, although both versions provide the same functionality.
  • Platform design is critical to achieving better health outcomes. Non-personalized SMS messages with generalized guidance about diabetes care are 18 percent more effective than personalized messages at reducing glucose levels over time. However, personalized SMS messages are more effective in reducing hospital visits and medical costs. Knowing when to employ each, in combination with other functionality, is vital for patient empowerment.

“By assisting patients with behavior modification and disease self-management, mHealth platforms have tremendous potential for improving health outcomes and reducing medical costs,” Professor Ghose explained in the release. “With this research, companies have an opportunity to better understand patients’ interaction with mHealth technology and design elements that will be most effective for patient adoption and engagement.”

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/news-item/mobile/labcorp-joins-apple-health-records-project

LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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