On the 9th Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Dr. Gidi Stein and MedAware.
Tell us about MedAware’s consumer focused efforts. How are they complimentary to what you’d doing in the provider space?
The physician-patient relationship is evolving, with new technologies putting consumers in the driver’s seat of their medical journeys. MedAware is adapting to this new reality by developing a consumer app, based on Apple’s Health Kit technology, that allows patients to access their updated personal health record data onto their personal iPhones in a standard format. The app will synchronize and gather data from multiple providers and device sensors to continuously monitor patient health for the early identification of adverse drug effects. This is complimentary to our provider offering as the merged data between physician and patient will allow us to not only keep patients safe in health facilities, but also in the home, extending the care environment and MedAware’s protection beyond the hospital walls.
In what ways will AI based software help empower patients?
Although patients are gaining more access to their personal health records and sensor data, it is still challenging to make actionable sense from this pile of data. This is where AI is helpful in analyzing heaps of data, with the ability to identify patterns and provide actionable insights to the consumer and caregiver, such as early identification of emerging risks and adverse drug effects (ADEs). Putting these insights into the hands of patients empowers them to seek medical attention before significant harm is done, and also arms caregivers with the medical context required to effectively treat the patient.
Furthermore, the ability to directly probe patients regarding symptoms that hint at ADEs not measured by lab results or vital signs, based on both their health records as well as crowd sourced data from millions of similar patients, further enables early identification of emerging risks and provides the ability to address them before harm is done
What are the benefits you see from patients taking more control of their health data and their care?
Arming patients and caregivers with AI-derived actionable insights, puts them in the driving seat of their own health and the health of their loved ones. The goal is of course, improved health outcomes. As we know, early identification of risk, and the ability to act early to reduce those risks means less patient harm. Moreover, with early identification of risk, patients and their physicians can gain a better understanding if a therapy is working and achieving the desired outcome – and if it isn’t, patients will engage with their physicians earlier to change the course of treatment.
Why do you think many patients haven’t taken control of their data or their care in the past?
Until recently, obtaining one’s health data was a major challenge, and this created a significant challenge in providing patients with the ability to control their health. Access to personal health records through patient portals and other means was a significant step, but still, in most cases, patients had no clue how to digest the data and make any sense out of it. Google search and websites such as WebMD helped in deciphering some of the data, but did not provide the consumer with a personal understanding of his/her health status and the needed actions. Now, with the power of AI, millions of health records can be analyzed, and physicians’ practice data can be crowd-sourced, providing patients and care givers with personal actionable insights to improve their own health and the health of their loved ones.
What does it mean for provider organizations that patients will have new health IT and AI based healthcare tools at their fingertips?
Now that provider organizations are being measured by the quality of care and outcomes they deliver, engaging and empowering patients and caregivers into this process is the next logical step. The more patients are engaged, the better the care delivered, and improved outcomes soon follow. Provider organizations are beginning to realize that giving patients prescriptions is not enough. Until providers ensure that patients are actually taking their meds, are not suffering from ADEs and that the medication is in fact helping the patient – they have not done their job to the fullest. AI-based healthcare tools can facilitate the latter.
What can the Healthcare IT community do to help MedAware?
Healthcare vendors need to follow Apple’s lead and enable personal access to medical records on a larger scale. In doing so, all patients will be able to access their full clinical records in standard formats (i.e. Google, Amazon etc.). Additionally, smartphone applications that convert gestures and other sensor related data to structured behaviors must innovate to identify changes in mood, stamina, breathing and other health indicators. The combination of standardized medical record access and smartphone sensor innovation will allow MedAware to correlate and identify emerging adverse drug effects more easily, improving care and patient safety both in and outside of the care setting.
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