Tag: e-patients

An international perspective on Medicine 2.0

I’m here at the Medicine 2.0 Congress, a very international meeting put on by Dr. Gunther Eysenbach of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, a project of the University Health Network and the University of Toronto.

The meeting is in a place called the MaRS Centre, in the heart of what’s being called the Discovery District. It’s at the corner of College and University, right around the corner from several major hospitals, including Toronto General, Princess Margaret Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital The conference even has its own blog so I shall try to come up with something original.

Eysenbach opened the proceedings Thursday morning with a discussion about what health 2.0 and medicine 2.0 really mean. I’ll just link to an article that appeared in Eysenbach’s Journal of Medical Internet Research earlier this year.

Don’t believe the hype? Peter Murray, the International Medical Informatics Association‘s VP for strategic planning, just put up a slide of this graphic:


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Adam Bosworth speaks about Google Health, Keas and everything

Adam_bosworthAfter a long period of time I’ve finally wrestled Adam Bosworth to the floor and forced
the microphone to his mouth. Adam of course is the software guru (he’s one of the originators of XML) who went to Google to start Google Health, and spent much of 2007 talking about how he hoped Google Health would change health care. He then left Google Health (several months before it launched in March 2008) and at the very end of 2007 founded Keas. Adam will be at the Health 2.0 Conference and while Keas is in stealth mode at the moment, he may just be ready to show us all a bit of Keas’ technology by then.

But he also has very strong views on health technology, data, PHRs. HealthVault & Google Health, and much much more. Listen to the interview.

Keep tabs on your digital footprint

Is it "disordered" behavior to Google your doctor? An article in JAMA suggests that doctors should be on their guard.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published an article about how doctors should be aware of how they are portrayed online and consider taking steps to manage their digital identities.

It is an article that, for the most part, could have been written about any profession with its warnings about “slanderous information published about someone with the same name” or “by a vengeful…colleague or ex-lover.” And the advice given is also familiar: create your own Web page to be sure correct information is available about you and use appropriate privacy settings on social network sites.

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Hello Health open for business

Hello Health, the clinic that Jay Parkinson has been promoting for a while, is open for business. If all the patients are as happy as the first patient, success is assured!

The deal is that they’ve gone with mid-range concierge fee ($35 a month—around the cost of a low cost cell phone plan or high-end Netflix?) for patients to get access/membership and then have fixed charges thereafter. That amount is about three times what I pay for very basic low-end concierge services (basically email) at Tom Lee’s Metropolitan Medical Group in San Francisco, but way less than the typical $150–200 a month fee for high-end concierge practices.Hellohealth

What remains to me the tricky factor in their vision is how they’ll make this work with the bureaucracy & accounting behind high deductible plans (without taking on a ton of staff). But however that piece works out, someone needs to shake up primary care. Jay and his 2 colleagues are young entrepreneurial docs giving it a shake.

Health 2.0 had a film crew there with David Kibbe acting as roving reporter at the launch party. Much more on both these topics to come, but remember that Hello Health is also working with MyCa on a very interesting new interface to the EMR and much more.

Yes, you’ll see much more about the Health 2.0 Across America video starring David Kibbe and the MyCa interface at the Health 2.0 Conference.

Who’d be a pollster, eh

HSC says that the number of Americans going online for healthcare goes way up:

In 2007, 56 percent of American adults—more than 122 million people—sought information about a personal health concern from a source other than their doctor, up from 38 percent, or 72 million people, in 2001, according to a national study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Harris Interactive says it’s gone down ;

Ten years ago, in 1998, the Harris Poll began measuring the number of people going online for health care information. At that time we reported that 54 million people had done so at least once. Since then the number of those people, whom we labeled “cyberchondriacs,” have increased almost every year, reaching 110 million in 2002, and 160 million in 2007.

This year, the Harris Poll finds only 150 million who claim to have gone online to obtain health care information. Of course, 150 million is still a huge number and includes 66 percent of all adults and 81 percent of those who are online.

Extra points if you can spot the flaw in my reasoning. (Yes, it’s easy but I’ve been up late watching the Olympics….even though I said I wouldn’t)

Personal genetic companies back in service

Two direct-to-consumer genetic testing firms, 23andMe and Navigenics gained approvalDna from California regulators this week to continue providing clients access to and interpretations of their personal DNA.

The NY Times reports this morning that, "The licenses, granted to Navigenics and 23andMe, should help defuse a
controversy that began in June when the California Department of Public
Health sent “cease and desist” letters to the two companies and 11
others that offer genetic testing directly to consumers."

The news sparked a heated summer debate over whether consumers should have unbridled access to their DNA or whether a doctor should lead the process.

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Health IT policy: the fur is flying

Some fur is flying in the rarefied world of health IT policy geeks this morning. Health Affairs has three articles. The first from Markle’s Carol Diamond, writing with Here Comes Everybody author and Internet guru Clay Shirky, more or less says that obsessive attention to rigid standards is not helping and actually may be hindering the IT adoption process. And yes, in case you were wondering they do mean CCHIT and ONCHIT’s current policies and agenda which has been going for four years and which they’re accusing of “magical thinking.” Instead, we need new policies which target desired outcomes measured in improved patient care, instead of assuming that creating new technology standards will get us there. And by policies I think they mean money, and its redirection by current payers. After all, if putting in a RHIO costs hospitals operating revenue in reducing admissions and tests, why would they do it?

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Viagra prescribed more safely online than in regular practice?

Really? Can this be true? Well so says a bunch of academics writing in the Mayo Clinic’s journal.

They looked at records of questionnaires taken and prescribing decisions made by a licensed, regulated online pharmacy called KwikMed — that is trying very hard to establish itself as ethically and legally different from those fly by night guys whose spam comments will rapidly attach to this post! They looked at the various outcomes and end points including safety and level of counseling and found that the online system produced results as good as or better as those found from a big records review in an unnamed (not surprisingly!) large multi-specialty clinic in Salt Lake City, UT.

Now obviously the ability to create an online questionnaire for specific conditions with clear inclusion/exclusion criteria (like ED or hair loss) means that as clear a picture can be gained in most cases from a good history taken online–and probably the history will be given more honestly by the patient. Plus the rigor of the history is probably better than one taken in a rushed office visit. And then it gets reviewed by a doctor who may recommend another approach but most times agrees and sends the Rx on to be filled.

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Three-quarters of Internet users seek health info

The Pew Internet Project released the latest estimate for the e-patient population: 75 percent of internet users. Here are some details from the survey.Epatients

My colleagues recently updated our top three trend charts: Who’s Online, Internet Activities, and Daily Internet Activities.

Two of the new data points relate to health and health care. The October-December 2007 national phone survey shows that 75 percent of internet users answered yes to the single-line question, "Do you ever use the internet to look for health or medical information?"

Ten percent of internet users say they searched for health information "yesterday," which in a tracking survey like this one yields a picture of the "typical day" online. Health has moved up in the "typical day" list (from 7 percent in 2006 to the current 10 percent of internet users), but for most people the average day includes lots of emails (60 percent of internet users), general searches (49 percent), and news reading (39 percent) if they are online at all (30 percent of internet users are offline on a typical day).

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CollabRX aims to make drug development faster and cheaper with power of Internet

Harnessing the collective power of patients needing new treatments and therapies to speed up and lessen the cost of the development process drives a new venture called CollabRX.Callobrx

Jay M. Tenenbaum, Collab RX founder, learned he had melanoma in 1998 and had a recurrence five years ago. He found many patient advocacy groups working to raise awareness of the deadly skin cancer and to raise money for research, but felt they lacked collaboration.

Tenenbaum saw a business opportunity in that lack of collaboration and founded CollabRX with $2 million of his own money.

The Wall Street Journal profiled Tenenbaum and his new company this week. An excerpt from the Journal:

CollabRx aims to expand patient-funded research
further by connecting individuals or small numbers of patients with the
tools and services they need. Each CollabRx client is assigned a
project manager, a specialist who works with patients to devise a
research strategy, interpret the results and later steer any promising
prospects toward development of possible treatments.

CollabRx calls such integrated projects virtual
biotechs because they aim to replicate many of the steps typically
taken as part of a pharmaceutical or biotech company’s search for a new
drug. As the number of private labs available to do sophisticated
research grows, many parts of the drug-development process can now be
contracted separately. Researchers in various locations can share
information and material by means of a Web-based network created by
CollabRx software engineers.


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