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Report: By 2020, Patient-Generated Health Data Use Expected to Soar

March 3, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The U.S. could reach a “critical mass” of physicians using patient-generated data from devices such as wearables by 2020, according to new research released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The report, “Wearable Health and Fitness Technology in U.S. Medical Care,” lays out the opportunities, challenges, regulatory drivers and industry initiatives that will drive the broad use of patient-generated health data in clinical settings in the next three years.

Indeed, the report draws from secondary research and a series of interviews with key U.S. healthcare industry stakeholders including physicians, insurance industry executives, clinical informaticists, and digital health technology experts. The key findings in the report point to opportunities for patient-generated data in healthcare:

·       Physicians report that patients like using wearables as part of their care because the technology feels less prescriptive than medications.

·       In recent years, the use of wearables in clinical trials has become an emerging part of the research toolkit.

·       Insurers are offering free wearables and cash incentives to subscribers who meet certain health goals.

As such, according to CTA projections, driven by the popularity of fitness activity trackers, the total wearables market in 2017 in the U.S.—including other health and fitness devices, hearables and smartwatches—is expected to generate shipments of 48 million unit sales (14 percent increase over 2016) and earn $5.5 billion in revenue (three percent year-over-year increase).

Nonetheless, challenges to rapid acceptance remain within the medical community remain, including the lack of integration with EHR (electronic health record) systems and concerns about standards and efficacy of the health and fitness trackers on the market today. In October 2016, CTA addressed the latter issue with the release of two new standards for wearable health and fitness trackers—defining terms and functionality for step counting wearables and sleep measuring devices.

“A range of technological and social forces are converging that will make patient-generated health data an important part of the clinical landscape by 2020,” James Mault, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life and chairman of CTA’s Health and Fitness Technology Division, said in a statement. “As health insurers and employers begin to use technology to incentivize subscribers to improve their health, consumers will take a more active role in their own healthcare. This enables the medical professional community to deliver patient-specific precision medicine, and move from episodic care to a continuous care model based on real-time health data.”

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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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