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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As defined in Wikipedia, remote patient monitoring (RPM) is: “a technology to enable monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings (e.g. in the home), which may increase access to care and decrease healthcare delivery costs.” I was a pioneer adopter of RPM as a beta site for Medtronic’s Carelink wireless system which monitors implantable cardiac rhythm devices (defibrillators and pacemakers). RPM has gained significant attention because of recently mandated penalties ...

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5 reasons why mobile health apps fail There are an estimated 15,000 medical apps presently on the market and is expected to grow 25% per year according to one study. There are issues which are common in the development of these apps and other categories of apps. However, some technical and non-technical issues are unique to the sector. As someone who does not design apps, I will ...

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5 reasons why mobile technology needs clinical trials I have long been a proponent of proven technology in the digital health space.  Probably the most obvious reason is to dispel the generalized notion that these technologies are flimsy.  The HHS Text4HealthTask Force has endorsed clinical studies in its recommendations. There certainly have been studies performed. One interesting one, the final report of The National ...

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Do patient portals increase patient engagement? Wikipedia defines patient portals as "... healthcare-related online applications that allow patients to interact and communicate with their healthcare providers. Some patient portal applications exist as stand-alone websites and sell their services to healthcare providers. Other portal applications are integrated into the existing web site of a healthcare provider. Still others are modules added onto an existing electronic medical record system. What all of these services ...

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Mobile health technology adoption depends on insurers Insurers will also play a pivotal role in the development and adoption of patient-focused mobile health (mHealth) technology adoption for wellness as well as for the management of chronic diseases. 1. Payers hold the purse strings.  Insurers will be the ones paying for the use of mHealth for chronic disease management for the vast majority of patients.  They have a vested interest ...

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