NeHC: Engaging Consumers is Critical to Healthcare’s Future

The future of healthcare must include consumer engagement in eHealth according to Healthcare Informatics which cites  a new survey of stakeholders by the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) and its partner HealthCAWS, a healthcare services company.

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) is a public-private partnership that accelerates effective use of health IT to create a more patient and family centered healthcare system with better outcomes and greater value. NeHC works closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in the U.S.  Continue reading

Cigna and Socialwellth to Unveil Marketplace for Health Apps

Global health service company Cigna  and digital health social engagement company SocialWellth™ are co-creating a selective and curated Go You Cigna Marketplace™ that cuts through the clutter of mobile health apps.   Cigna customers looking to improve their health and well-being will have easy access to balanced living apps that are certified as being effective and most engaging.

Go You Cigna Marketplace health apps are certified to help ensure consumers find effective, high quality apps with the appropriate clinical content.  SocialWellth’s certification process leverages behavioral psychologists, information architects and other internal and external subject matter experts. Using quick-polls, the marketplace initiates a digital dialog with consumers to gain insights that will ultimately drive a hyper-personalized experience.

See the full story at SocialWellth.com

 

Why Qualcomm Is Betting on Wireless Health

Qualcomm Life, launched two years ago as a division of the San Diego–based telecommunications giant Qualcomm, is building software and protocols that could bring some order to the chaos of health data. Its first product, called the 2Net Platform, is a system for getting wireless data off those devices and onto the Internet servers of clients, like health device makers or hospitals.

About half of American adults have some kind of chronic condition, including obesity, arthritis, or diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wireless devices could let more of their health care happen at home. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report this year estimated that mobile health technology could help save developed countries $400 billion by 2017.

See the full story at Technology Review.com

Sprint Forms Mobile Health Care Business Accelerator

Sprint Corp. has launched a business startup program in Kansas City with Techstars, the same partner that Microsoft brought to Seattle and Nike to Portland, Ore.

Techstars, based in Boulder, Colo., has worked with more than 300 young companies through 11 business accelerator programs like the one Sprint announced Tuesday.

Together, they hope to tap into and expand the Kansas City area’s entrepreneurial surge and expertise in life sciences through the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator.
See the full story at KansasCity.com

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of North Carolina Works With Inovalon to Identify and Close Gaps in Clinical Outcomes

BOWIE, Md. – September 24, 2013 – Inovalon, Inc., a leading provider of data-driven healthcare solutions, today announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), a leader in delivering innovative healthcare products, services, and information to more than 3.7 million members, has selected Inovalon’s Prospective Advantage® and INDICES™ solutions in a multi-year engagement, providing an integrated solution for identifying and closing gaps in care, quality, assessment, and documentation.

Inovalon’s integrated solutions will aid BCBSNC in identifying gaps between current and desired states of clinical and quality outcomes, risk score accuracy, and care management. Leveraging insight from more than 6.5 billion medical events residing within Inovalon’s Medical Outcomes Research for Effectiveness and Economics (MORE2) Registry® data warehouse, the integrated platform identifies which gaps hold promise and undertakes highly patient-specific and provider-specific interventions to achieve meaningful benefits in a predictable and valuable fashion.

See the full story at Inovalon.com

 

TrueVault Launches Complete Backend Solution for HIPAA Compliance

Everyone who handles protected health information (PHI) must be HIPAA compliant by Monday, September 23rd. TrueVault’s beta launch on Wednesday, September 18th, provides a complete backend solution for HIPAA compliance. This launch is good news for ecommerce sites that collect PHI, makers of wearable health tech devices, and healthcare app developers struggling with HIPAA compliance requirements.

TrueVault can help existing healthcare sites and apps become HIPAA compliant without going through a costly rebuild of their technology stack.

See the full story at PRWeb.com

More than Forty Percent of U.S. Consumers Willing to Switch Physicians to Gain Online Access to Electronic Medical Records

ARLINGTON, Va; Sept. 16, 2013 – Supporting the growing trend toward patient engagement, a recent Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey found that many U.S. consumers (41 percent) would be willing to switch doctors to gain online access to their own electronic medical records (EMR). The survey, of more than 9,000 people in nine countries, shows that only about a third of U.S. consumers (36 percent) currently have full access to their EMR, but more than half (57 percent) have taken ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information, including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent), such as blood pressure and weight.

See the full story at Newsroom.Accenture.com

UHC Launches Pilot of Automated Data Intake Program with NYU Langone Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — UHC has partnered with Meddius to offer the new Automated Data Intake (ADI) Program, which will automatically extract data from UHC members’ information technology systems, seamlessly transfer the data to UHC, and translate data from disparate systems so that it can be compared. Developed for hospitals to easily submit and access both administrative and clinical data, the ADI Program will initially be deployed at two leading healthcare Information Technology centers – NYU Langone Medical Center in New York and Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

The ADI Program is expected to save valuable labor time at UHC member organizations by eliminating the manual transfer of data and granting more timely access to much more accurate patient outcome benchmarks. In addition, instant access to their customized data warehouses will allow senior-level executives to analyze trends and more efficiently guide operational and clinical decisions.

See the full story at PRNewswire.com

 

 

Aetna Brings New iTriage Employer Technology to Mid-Sized Businesses

HARTFORD, Conn. & DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--August 20, 2013--

Aetna (NYSE: AET) and iTriage(R), one of the market leaders in consumer healthcare technology, today jointly announced the launch of a customizable employer enhancement to the iTriage consumer health app. Nearly 4,000 Aetna mid-sized employer clients can now offer their employees a company-specific, enhanced version of the iTriage app. The iTriage employer-customized app:

   -- Customizes information for consumers based on their specific health
      benefits plan; 

   -- Helps employees understand how using an in-network health care provider
      can be more affordable, which can also create cost savings for employers;
      and 

   -- Reduces administrative work for health care providers, who will benefit
      from informed patients who have selected the right physician, facility
      and level of care based on their individual needs.

“The launch of the iTriage employer-customized app solution to Aetna’s mid-sized employer clients supports our shared vision of creating a better health care experience for our customers and their employees,” said Vibha Jha, vice president and head of Key Accounts for Aetna. “For the first time, employees and their families are able to use all of the unique features of iTriage with information based on their specific benefits plan.”

Founded in 2008, iTriage’s free consumer health care app has been downloaded nearly 10 million times, with 50 million uses each year, helping connect consumers with answers to “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for care?” With the launch of the new customizable app, employers can also now guide their employees who are looking for care within their network.

“iTriage is using innovation to change the health care delivery landscape,” said Dr. Peter Hudson, CEO and co-founder, iTriage. “We believe consumers and their employers are uniquely positioned to sculpt the next horizon of health care, and our products are focused on accelerating that change. Working with such a large group of employers and members is a huge milestone that underscores our mission to help consumers make better health care decisions.”

Helping Employees, Employers and Providers

With millions of Americans using smartphones to access health care information, the iTriage(R) app educates members about health conditions and where they can be treated — about two people every second. The employer-customized version of the iTriage app then encourages employees to consider in-network, clinically appropriate, lower-cost care through information about health care costs and care alternatives. Pop-ups alert members if they’ve chosen an out-of-network health care provider.

Employers can help engage their employees and their families at the time of their health care decision through the customized app. Through increased use of in-network health care providers and reduced cases of avoidable ER visits, employers can see an overall reduction in health care costs.

The employer-customized version of the iTriage app will also help health care providers by providing a platform to reach potential patients at a time of need. In certain locations, once a patient identifies a health care provider in their network, they can book an appointment conveniently through the iTriage app.

For more information, visit http://about.iTriageHealth.com.

 

Consumers Are Ready to Adopt Mobile Health Faster than the Health Industry is Prepared to Adapt;

NEW YORK, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Widespread adoption of mobile technology in healthcare, or mHealth, is now viewed as inevitable in both developed and emerging markets around the world, but the pace of adoption will likely be led by emerging markets and lag consumer demand, according to a new global study conducted for PwC Global Healthcare by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The ground breaking study, Emerging mHealth: paths for growth, found that consumers have high expectations for mHealth, particularly in developing economies as mobile cellular subscriptions there become ubiquitous. In emerging markets, consumers perceive mHealth as a way to increase access to healthcare while patients in developed markets see it as a way to improve the convenience, cost and quality of healthcare.

According to the report, if the promise of mHealth is realized by consumers, the impact on healthcare delivery could be significant and fundamentally alter traditional relationships within the healthcare industry.  The use of mHealth and speed of adoption will be determined in each country by stakeholders’ response to mHealth as a disruptive innovation to overcome structural impediments and align interests around patients’ needs and expectations.

“Despite demand and the obvious potential benefits of mHealth, rapid adoption is not yet occurring. The main barriers are not the technology but rather systemic to healthcare and inherent resistance to change,” said David Levy, MD, global healthcare leader, PwC.  “Though many people think mobile health will be ancillary or bolted on to the healthcare industry, we look at it differently:  mHealth is the future of healthcare, deeply integrated into delivery that will be better, faster, less expensive and far more customer-focused.”

In the report, the EIU examines the current state and potential of mHealth (defined as the provision of healthcare or health-related information through the use of mobile devices) and the barriers to adoption and opportunities for companies seeking growth in the mHealth market.  The report includes findings of two surveys conducted by the EIU:  one of consumers and one of physicians and government and private payers in 10 markets, including Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, India, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US.

The consumer survey found:

  • Roughly one-half of consumers predict that within the next three years, mHealth will improve the convenience (46 percent), cost (52 percent) and quality (48 percent) of their healthcare.
  • Fifty-nine percent of emerging market patients use at least one mHealth application or service, compared with 35 percent in the developed world. Nearly half of consumers said they expect mHealth will change the way they manage chronic conditions (48 percent), their medication (48 percent) and their overall health (49 percent).  Six in ten consumers (59 percent) expect mHealth to change the way they seek information on health issues and 48 percent expect it to change the way they communicate with physicians.
  • Among consumers who already are using mHealth services, 59 percent said they have replaced some visits to doctors or nurses.
  • The top three reasons consumers want to use mHealth is to have more convenient access to their doctor or healthcare provider (46 percent), to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs (43 percent) and to take greater control over their health (32 percent).
  • Sixty percent of consumers said they believe doctors are not as interested in mHealth as patients and technology companies are.

The study found that physicians and payers are more cautious than consumers in their outlook for mHealth. Specifically:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of doctors and payers said that mHealth offers exciting possibilities but there are too few proven business models.  In addition, the effectiveness of mHealth changing patient behaviour is evolving.  For example, more than two-thirds of consumer respondents who have used mHealth wellness or fitness applications with manual data entry discontinued it after the first six months.
  • Only 27 percent of physicians encourage patients to use mHealth applications to become more active in managing their health, and 13 percent of physicians actually discourage it.
  • Forty-two percent of doctors surveyed worry that mHealth will make patients too independent.
  • Payers appear to be far more supportive of mHealth than physicians. Forty percent of payers compared to 25 percent of physicians encourage patients to let doctors monitor their health and activities using mHealth services and devices.
  • Payers and providers both cited multiple barriers to the adoption of mHealth, notably the complexity and scope of change associated with mHealth. Public sector doctors and payers cited lack of existing technology as the biggest barrier to greater use of mHealth adoption.  Sixty-three percent of physicians in the private sector versus only 40 percent in the public sector have access to wireless connectivity at work.
  • Forty-five percent of doctors and payers said that the application of inappropriate regulations originally developed for earlier technologies is slowing the adoption of mHealth.
  • More than one quarter – 27 percent of doctors and 26 percent of payers – cite an inherently conservative culture as a leading barrier to the adoption of mHealth.

“The adoption of mobile health in emerging markets versus developed markets is a paradox,” said Christopher Wasden, EdD, global healthcare innovation Leader, PwC. “In developed markets, mHealth is perceived as disrupting the status quo, whereas in emerging countries it is seen as creating a new market, full of opportunity and growth potential.  In younger, developing economies, healthcare is less constrained by healthcare infrastructure and entrenched interests. Consumers are more likely to use mobile devices and mHealth applications, and more payers are willing to cover the cost of mHealth services.”

According to PwC, innovators seeking opportunities in mHealth, including telecommunications and technology companies, must work to overcome the barriers slowing widespread adoption of mHealth.   They can help to alleviate healthcare’s resistance to change by focusing less on the technology and more on effective, customer-focused solutions that add value for health organizations and patient quality of life.

In its analysis, PwC identifies strategic considerations for companies active in the mHealth arena. In addition, PwC will publish a series of insights over the next several months on the evolving mHealth landscape with perspective on what it means for stakeholders, including government and regulators, pharmaceutical and life science companies, payers and providers.

A full copy of the EIU report is available for download at www.pwc.com/mhealth.

About PwC’s Health Industries Group

PwC’s Health Industries Group (www.pwc.com/us/healthindustries) is a leading advisor to public and private organizations across the health industries, including healthcare providers, pharmaceuticals, health and life sciences, payers, employers, academic institutions and non-health organizations with significant presence in the health market. Follow PwC Health Industries at http://twitter.com/PwCHealth.

About the PwC network

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SOURCE PwC

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1dxBQ)