Physician key opinion leaders (KOLs) have been viewed as a valuable resource in the pharmaceutical (heretofore referred to as pharma but included are medical device companies) industry. In one study in which 100 KOLs were surveyed, the most important characteristics of a KOL were, “regularly sought out by their colleagues for opinions or advice, speak often at regional or national conferences have published articles in a major journal during the past ...

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It has been 5 years since the passage of the HITECH Act portion of the Affordable Care Act. The purpose of HITECH was "to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology." While the result of this legislation has been the significant increase in the adoption of EHRs, most of the potential benefits of digital technology have yet to be demonstrated. there are multiple reasons for this lack of proof. The ...

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Few would argue that today digital technology represents a critical part of marketing in any business sector.  Though all health care stakeholders are usually late to the technology table, market and customer pressure are rapidly accelerating this adoption. It needs to be emphasized that technologies are not solutions. They must be incorporated into human workflow processes. To do so in health care, culture must change, specifically with regards to patient participation, ...

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There is growing healthy skepticism about the past promises of mobile technologies.  Issues concerning safety after the release of the FDA guidance of mobile medical appsprivacy and security, and efficacy. Followers of the sector are poised for the rubber finally meeting the road in health care. While most mobile health tools used today are reference apps for health care providers and patients, there  are ways in which ...

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The technology industry has been buzzing of late because of the big players entering the wearable sensor market. We are very familiar with Misfit and Nike’s Fitbit for some time. Others investing into the sector include Intel, Microsoft,  Apple and Samsung. There is no doubt that the inertia for fitness trackers is undergoing modulation. This is a result of both a dampening of the initial "wow" factor by consumers and a maturation of the market. Recalls of Nike Fitbits ...

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I always pay attention to the reaction I receive from an audience at a talk or individual I encounter when I discuss the difference between a tool and a solution. Marketing a technology as a solution before it has been trialed, integrated into clinical workflow or even an EHR can even be met with legitimized skepticism by an educated purchaser. I offer a few thoughts on the subject which are critical ...

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There are over 58 million references to "patient engagement" if one conducts a Google search. The term has been diluted and changed in the past couple of years and has become a buzz phrase, used more from a business than clinical benefit perspective. The Center for Advancing Health defines patient engagement as “actions individuals must take to obtain the greatest benefit from the health care services available to them.” This implies ...

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Before the adoption of new technologies which will undoubtedly improve health care (as it has the retail and finance sectors), it must be introduced in ways which are digestible, scalable, and subject to rapid iteration. Is mobile technology different from the adoption of any other change in health care delivery? I think not. The culture of care certainly requires change as care models are changing. The point of care is shifting to the home, professionals ...

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It is no secret that one of the best ways towards better health management is a good physician-patient relationship. There needs to be buy in from both participants to shared decision-making. One might object to the title of this post, stating that it puts the biggest burden on the patient, however when examining how this is achieved, you will, I hope, feel differently. 1. Establish a relationship. This might sound trite, but the first few ...

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The fundamentals of healthcare itself are similar in most developed countries. Evidence based guidelines are shared by international professional societies. Digital technologies have transcended cultural and geographical divides. Once someone is brought to the attention of a healthcare provider, it is the start of a rocky road, not all downhill by any means. Navigating the healthcare landscape as a patient and caregiver has never been more difficult, even for an "insider" ...

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