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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A support group has many potential benefits, some of which include improving coping skills, reducing anxiety, depression, isolation, ignorance about the condition and others.  Online patient communities (OPCs) are a recent phenomenon.  Some are open (with respect to type of member or fee) and some are more focused and closed.  Irrespective of the type, OPCs have blossomed. It is a major indication of social media’s penetration into healthcare (or vice versa) and 
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Both World War II and the race to the moon were events which pushed commercial development of technologies.  I would submit that the ACA and HITECH have had the same effect on the development of many sectors of the digital health technology industry. I will cite five such areas. Government mandates usually have unintended consequences and they certainly exist in healthcare. The rapid proliferation of some of these technologies has itself ...

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Music as a healing mechanism has been accepted for over 50 years. Music is a source of primal memory similar to that of smell. It has been used in brain injury patient management, as well as to promote wellness, manage stress alleviate pain, promote physical rehabilitation, and enhance memory in Alzheimer’s Disease patients. I have appreciated the power of music my whole life and as a ...

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If one searches for "online patient communities" over 19 million Internet sites are found.  Online patient communities (OPCs) may exist as subgroups of social media sites, non-profit organizations, and increasingly as part of websites of healthcare organizations and stand alone sites. Online communities are now becoming a rich source of information gleaned from their discussions.  This information will be increasingly used for both clinical and commercial purposes. I will touch on ...

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I would like now to delve into what I consider critical elements of patient-centric care. They all involve technology to various extents. 1. There must be buy-in from providers. I am including payers, healthcare systems as well as clinical providers in this category.  While I realize that much of healthcare is devoted to satisfying legal and regulatory mandates, there is great opportunity to improve the care experience (and dare I say ...

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