Thursday, September 25, 2014

WLSA Digital Health Panel: It's Getting Personal

A report on Digital Health Panel: It’s Getting Personal, held at Janssen Labs Research Center in La Jolla, CA, U.S.A., September 18th, 2014.

Meeting Report
Food, friends, and healthcare enthusiasts (plus a dash of humor from Steven Steinhubl, M.D. (Scripps Health, U.S.A.) - these were just some of the components of Janssen Labs’ event “Digital Health Panel: It’s Getting Personal.” Kicking off the event was a warm welcome from Robert McCray, J.D. (Wireless Life Sciences Alliance, U.S.A.) on how the digital health community was going to help the world utilize healthcare less.

Company Demonstration Segment
MD Revolution showed a platform that helps log workouts, steps taken, blood pressure, glucose, and provides actionable coaching to patients.
Tel MedEx showed the audience a camera that could be used to give online medical examinations.
Cognuse showed the Janssen Labs audience how it manufactures systems and devices specifically for cognitive rehabilitation.

Steven Steinhubl, M.D. (Scripps Health, U.S.A.) made a comment about the efficacy of diet tracking mobile apps. Only 0.3% of the U.S. population changes their diet habits due to data gained from said apps. On the Apple-Epic-Mayo partnership, he said there was a lot of trust in the medical environment. One or two bad experiences will ruin ease of innovation for the entire digital health community. Regarding the efficacy of FitBit, he analogized it to the efficacy of an in-home treadmill. Also, big data may hurt patients with mental health disorders. Unfortunately, Dr. Steinhubl claimed that 80% of physicians view mHealth negatively.
Mark Oswald (Janssen Healthcare Innovation, U.S.A.), as the token computer programmer of the panel brought light to the controversies surrounding research in social media. He used Facebook as an example on the potential dangers of social science experiments.
Lucian Iancovici, M.D. (Qualcomm Life, U.S.A.) shared his experience working with 17 Qualcomm-funded start-ups. He gave a quick point on the importance of passive data collection from ePatients. Moreover, he envisioned a world wear insurance companies would use this data to justify paying patients to go the gym. He supported this vision with an important fact: “People will pay $150 for physical activity trackers.” Surprisingly, Dr. Iancovici claimed that technology development was not the major hindrance to bringing forth the future.
Lucila Ohno-Machado, M.D., Ph.D. (UCSD, U.S.A.) started her contribution to the panel with a perspective on who she was serving -- 21 million patients throughout the VA medical system and five University of California Medical Centers. She continued with a statement on HIPAA being a major barrier to innovation in the informatics industry because creating secure programs was easier said than done. Commenting on a question about recent Apple-Epic-Mayo Clinic partnership, she did not think Apple would create more interoperability efficiency. Moreover, Dr. Ohno-Machado did not believe Epic had great competitors.
She advocated for a blue button that allowed patients to see their data when in the hospital. Finally, she closed with a “contrary to popular belief statement,” technology was actually bridging the patient-provider communication gap rather than widening it.

With a crowd of about 70 digital health enthusiasts, an open microphone for questions, and a gorgeous La Jolla evening, Janssen Labs held another successful networking event. The panel, today, came to an agreement on there being more activity in Big Data collection. All were hopeful that insurance companies would one day reimburse patients and providers for the use of technologies similar to the ones discussed today.

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