The Future of the Connected Healthcare System

HIMSS organizers, in preparation of the annual conference and trade show, and as a way to rally attendees around several trending topics for the coming event, are once again asking the healthcare community how it feels about several key issues that are likely to resonate. As is often the case with this ongoing experiment, the folks in my position — those with a venue to voice their opinions who tell the rest of us what they think — pontificate on the potential impact of these trends.

Certainly, some of my fellow journalists are far better qualified than I to answer the questions posed by HIMSS with any level of authority. Therefore, I’ve given my small microphone to readers of this site so they can voice their opinions of the topics that conference goers are likely to hear about dozens of time while in Chicago.

This year HIMSS is asking what we feel will be the future of: the connected healthcare system, big data, security, innovation and patient engagement. Today, here, we focus on the future of the connected healthcare system, and what several insiders believe that future to be.

With that, enjoy and let me know if you agree with the following thoughts. If not, why; what’s missing?

Tom Bizzaro, vice president of health policy, First Databank

Tom Bizzaro

We’re hoping that the electronic health records (EHR) interoperability movement follows a trajectory similar to that of e-prescribing. To start, as an industry, we have to universally acknowledge the value of interoperability within healthcare IT systems. Indeed, sharing data across systems can help to improve care quality and efficiency in the country’s health system and lead to success of value-based reimbursement models. However, all players – providers, payers, patients and vendors alike – need to truly embrace the value EHR interoperability, putting it above any proprietary concerns.

Then, we need to get to work. We must continue to develop and implement a wide range of standards and vocabularies. Through these, we will ensure that our data is in synch and that systems will always be speaking the same language. Perhaps most important, we need a National Patient Identifier, which will make it possible to match information to specific patients as they traverse the health system. And, while it might seem like doing all this work will take a long time, if we roll up our sleeves and do what’s required, the EHR interoperability story will be on its way to its own happy ending soon enough.

Jonathan Isaacs, executive vice president and general manager, surgery solutions, SourceMedical

Jonathan Isaacs
Jonathan Issacs

It’s 3:00 a.m. and you wake up with an acute pain in your side that won’t go away — you head to the ER. The CT scan shows nothing — you head to the GI specialist. The doctor says to get an endoscopy — you head to the ASC. The endoscopy says you have a chronic condition that will need to be managed by you, your PCP, and even more specialists. Where does all that data live? Everywhere!

It’s a changing world out there. From cancer centers to freestanding Emergency Departments, healthcare organizations must deliver quality care at lower prices. But information collected at different points can fall through the cracks, putting the patient at risk. That’s why data interoperability is a critical issue.

The solution is not to put every entity in the healthcare value chain on the same closed, monolithic EHR that tries to do everything.  We have seen time and again what happens when innovation is stifled and vendors become “too big to fail.” But by embracing connectivity standards, providers and patients alike can leverage best-in-class tools purposely built for specific treatments and outcomes. The easier it is, the higher the likelihood of success. And isn’t that the whole point?

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Health IT Startup: Twine Health

It’s called healthcare for a reason. Technology is a powerful tool, but people are the solution. The Twine Health Collaborative Care Platform allows for the co-creation and tracking of personalized care plans that serve as common ground for continuous collaboration between patients, coaches and their clinicians. Patients get support from their care team, on their terms whenever, wherever they are: so they reach their health goals faster and focus on living.

Healthcare has lost its way. In recent years the “care” has fallen by the wayside — victim of flawed automation efforts, perverse payment models and the constant pressure to reduce costs. Technology is a powerful tool. However, if not used properly it’s impersonal and the human connections, which are critically important to caregiving, get lost. People are the solution to better healthcare.

People are the most underutilized resource in health. Twine Health changes the game by empowering them to take an active role in their care, learning along the way, and overtime building self-efficacy. Twine Health surfaces patients who need help at just the right time, allowing them to remain effective even as panel sizes grow. Coaches provide the ongoing support and expertise that is key to successful behavioral change. This also allows clinicians the time and focus to practice at the top of their license, interacting directly with patients when challenging medical conditions arise.

Elevator Pitch

The Twine Collaborative Care Platform is a new class of digital health technology that helps patients build self-efficacy via continuous support from coaches and their clinicians. Spun out of research performed at the MIT Media Lab, and proven cost effective via clinical trials and commercial pilots, Twine delivers results that cannot be ignored – 90 percent of patients reach their health goals (e.g., blood pressure < 140/90) within 3 months at 1/3 the cost of the standard of care.

Founder’s Story

John O Moore MD, PhD
John O Moore MD, PhD

John Moore, MD, PhD, is the co-founder and CEO of Twine Health. Moore’s passion for a better healthcare system started during his medical training where he was frustrated to learn that the best diagnostic and treatment capabilities did not result in healthier and engaged people. To be successful, Moore realized patients had to be in control of their own care, but also recognized the clear need for expert support. Moore came up with the idea for Twine Health during six years at the MIT Media Lab where he studied the healthcare delivery model and created a revolutionary approach to care: technology-supported apprenticeship. Bringing together advances in health psychology, learning science and human-computer interaction, Twine is designed to become the primary tool for teamwork between patients and clinicians. Before attending medical school, Moore received a BS in Biomedical engineering, and was a Fulbright Scholar.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Patients, coaches and clinicians are looking for a better way to provide and receive care – a way to make health care healthier. Twine Health provides clinicians, and the health organizations (HCOs) they work for, an effective and scalable chronic care platform that improves outcomes, reduces costs and increases patient and clinician satisfaction. The results speak for themselves:

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