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ONC Pilot Projects Focus on Using, Sharing Patient-Generated Health Data

October 19, 2016
by Heather Landi
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Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has announced two pilot demonstrations with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to determine how patient-generated health data can be used by care teams and researchers.

Patient-generated health data (PGHD) includes a person’s health and treatment history, biometric data, symptoms and lifestyle choices. It can be captured in a variety of ways, such as from health devices, wearables and questionnaires. ONC identified the capture, use, and sharing of PGHD as an important issue for advancing patient engagement in health care delivery and research.

The first pilot, conducted by Validic and Sutter Health, a Sacramento, Calif.-based health system, will use patient-generated data to inform diabetes care while assessing the infrastructure and workflows needed to implement and scale such initiatives. T

Results from the study will help Accenture to develop a research paper that identifies barriers to wider use of patient-generated data in clinical care and recommend how these barriers can be removed. The study results also will inform government policy and help determine how the industry implements remotely-collected patient health data across the nation.

The joint pilot demonstration began targeting Sutter Health patients with Type II diabetes in September. Participating patients receive Sutter's Mpower (Motivating Patients Online with Enhanced Resources) app on their smartphone. Using Validic's digital health platform for data connectivity, the Mpower app has the capability to securely connect to various devices that measure blood glucose, blood pressure, level of activity and weight—all important in caring for patients with diabetes. The system then interprets the information and provides visual feedback and motivational incentives to keep patients on track with their care program, while also alerting care teams when attention is required. 

The Mpower program is also using Validic's VitalSnap which enables patients to capture and share information from analog in-home medical devices that are not easily connected to care teams. VitalSnap lets users capture readings via a smartphone camera. Digital versions of these readings are sent to the Validic cloud, which can be accessed by Sutter providers and researchers.

The second pilot, conducted by Tapcloud and AMITA Health, an integrated health system serving suburban Chicago communities, will connect patients and clinicians outside the care setting with the goal of identifying how patients feel. The focus will be across several medical areas: e.g., orthopedic surgery, stroke, behavioral health and kidney transplant.

The pilot demonstrations are part of a project titled “Conceptualizing a Data Infrastructure for the Capture, Use, and Sharing of Patient-Generated Health Data in Care Delivery and Research through 2024” funded by ONC.

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