A Different Way of Thinking About Health Information

Date: 05.15.2013 | Zach Urbina">Zach Urbina

On August 13, 2012, the Alliance for Health Reform partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to present a briefing on technology and patient-generated health information titled “A Different Way of Thinking About Health Information.”

As Americans grow more and more comfortable with technology in daily life – at work, at home and at play – one wonders why personal technology isn’t more widely used in health care. Patients are frustrated that they can’t access many of their providers through email; that they have to fill out paper forms multiple times, even in the same office; and that they must endure an office visit to their provider to have their progress monitored when they can visit their relatives across the ocean through Skype.

The panel addressed policy considerations and challenges associated with consumer-generated health information, including:

  • the potential need for regulation of mobile apps that transfer health information
  • dealing with the complexities of integrating patient-generated information into the electronic health record
  • melding these advances with “meaningful use” requirements to qualify for federal payments
  • addressing privacy and security issues, including HIPAA compliance concerns

Panelists discussed innovative Project HealthDesign apps for smartphones using patient-generated health data, presented findings from smartphone app field testing, identified legal and policy issues faced by Project HealthDesign grantees, and emphasized patient-centered data initiatives.

Following panelist presentations, the audience was given the opportunity for questions. Audience members asked about many topics surrounding technology and patient-generated health information, including clinician workflow, reimbursement, utilization, FDA regulation of apps, data aggregation and new models of care coordination.  For more information and access to briefing presentations and materials, please visit: http://www.allhealth.org/briefing_detail.asp?bi=257.

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