Tandem use of health care technology, communication provides benefits
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Physicians and patients who communicate by utilizing health care–related technology both benefit, according to a panel discussion here at the OCTANe Medical Technology Innovation Forum.
Information exchanges allow physicians with patients whose health care data is strewn across multiple physical locations to ensure “we are not duplicating tests and we can provide the best care to the patient,” Justin Zaghi, MD, medical director of the home health care company Heal, said.
Jenna Mons, CEO of the concierge health care provider AccessElite Inc., stated that even if the patient’s health is copacetic, physicians should still consider using apps, wearable devices and telemedicine to glean information from their patients.
“This can be as simple as every time the patient puts a data point in, he or she gets information back,” she said.
“For example, once the patient registers a response to a question you asked electronically, respond that 60% of people like you feel this way as well. Even something as simple as looking at the patients’ numbers and messaging them that ‘you had a great day today,’ can keep your patients motivated and engaged,” she continued.
Two-way communication that utilizes health technology is critical, agreed Robert Allison, founder of the venture capital and consulting firm Innovate Partners.
Patients will see messages like the one Mons described and “say to themselves ‘I did this to get better. I can take one more step [to get better],’” he said.
The panel provided several other ways that physicians can communicate with their patients via health care technology:
- asking the patient what his or her goals are;
- working on those goals one at a time; and
- ensuring the patient knows the data is being watched for potential medical “red flags,” such as high BP.
Though Mons said she felt health care-related technology was important, there are several important things to remember when utilizing it.
“[Health care-related technology] is only as good as the data going in,” she said. “We think it is smart and sophisticated but if the data going in isn’t very good, or of high enough quality, you will not get outputs that are usable.”
“Information exchanges miss some very key components,” Mons continued. “Most of these exchanges don’t look at a patient’s well-being, they don’t look at what a patient is eating, if he or she is exercising.”
She added that although physicians who allow patients to “own their data,” can help restore some of the information exchanges’ effectiveness, it comes with a caveat.
“When a consumer owns their information, it becomes much more complex [for physicians] but it can also become very empowering,” Mons said. – by Janel Miller
Reference: Achtsam J, et al. “Heathcare-on-the-go.” Presented at: OCTANe Medical Technology Innovation Forum; Oct. 28-29, 2019; Newport Beach, Calif.
Disclosures: Healio Primary Care was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.