Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is gearing up to get data from patients’ consumer devices like Fitbit, Jawbone UP, or Withings weight scale into their EHR, according to CIO and emergency room physician Dr. John Halamka. Halamka says a number of factors make now the time for patient-generated data: devices have reached the maturity and ease of use needed to be a part of people’s care regimen; changing payment models are incentivizing the shift; and the emergence of middleware like Apple’s HealthKit will present hospitals with the piece that’s hitherto been missing in the patient generated data puzzle.
“In Massachusetts, it turns out fee for service is dying fast and being replaced with alternative quality contracts,” Halamka told MobiHealthNews. “Blue Cross pays you for wellness, not sickness. The idea of ordering five MRIs doesn’t get reimbursed; it’s ‘Here’s a fixed dollar amount to keep you healthy.’ And so hospitals and ACOs are now looking at continuous wellness, as opposed to more procedures, more hospitalizations, and more ED visits. It’s great that Withings or Jawbone or whatever is collecting this data on their website, but what I, as a CIO, need to do is gather the data on your medical record, inpatient, outpatient, devices in your home, and understand what I can do to keep you well.”
Halamka offered up his own Withings Pulse O2 tracker and weight scale as an example of what’s possible now from low-cost consumer trackers.
“You can look at my iPhone and say, ‘Oh, over the last week I walked 80,000 steps, my weight’s 170, my percentage of body fat is 8 percent. I’m sleeping 4 hours a night which is deep sleep followed by punctuated light sleep, followed by getting up once,’” he said. “I now have from a $100 device a complete understanding of activity of daily living and my basic functions as a human. That’s a maturity of technology and consumerization and ease of use that just didn’t exist until recent history.” Keep reading>>