Data Independence Day Series

my dataOur posts this week will all focus on health data and individuals right to access it in honor of “Data Independence Day”. Data Independence Day initiated by Former National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari (you will hear more from him later this week) is a movement that will come to a head on July 4 when the Get My Health Data effort launches. The movement is focused on consumers demanding electronic access to their health information. It began when patient advocates responded to the recently loosened rules governing the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program. In April, CMS announced it was changing the provision that requires eligible providers to prove that five percent of EHR users have viewed, downloaded, or transmitted information contained in their patient portal. The change, eligible providers now only need to prove that “equal to or greater than 1” patient has interacted with their record. You can see why patient advocates were outraged. (more…)

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Women’s Heart Health: What We Don’t Know

Phyllis Greenberger

The post below original ran here on HUFFPOST Healthy Living on June 9.

Women’s Heart Month has come and gone but heart attacks have not. While it is a positive sign that cardiovascular disease in women is finally being recognized — there are successful campaigns educating women about the prevalence of heart disease and its varying symptoms – fewer than one in five healthcare providers – including cardiologists — recognizes women’s hearts as differing from men’s. Many outstanding questions remain about diagnosing and treating women with heart disease.

Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease each year. While women tend to have heart attacks later in life, there are women who experience them in their twenties and thirties. These women are often healthy, in good physical shape, and have no symptoms. Despite this large number of women affected by cardiovascular disease, women and minorities are underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials. Only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trials report sex-specific results, making it ever more difficult for researchers and clinicians to know how a particular drug or device will affect women. [1] (more…)

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Everybody Pees

The National Kidney Foundation recently launched their new campaign, Everybody Pees. Peeing is important and actually saves lives, since it’s the best way to find out if your kidneys are healthy. Kidney disease is a life threatening condition with 1 in 3 people at risk, and most have no idea they’re in danger. A simple urine test from your doctor only takes a little pee and can determine the health of your kidneys. For more information on Everybody Pees and to watch an informative and cute video click here. Make sure your kidneys are healthy!

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Bipartisan Policy Center Unveils “A Prevention Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care in America”

Tim_HeadshotAccording to Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, Director of the Preventive and Population Health Models Group of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, we’re all living one long episode of the Bachelor, at least, as the show relates to how we pay for medical care in the United States.

The premise of the Bachelor, he said, during a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) panel discussion last Thursday, isn’t about cultivating durable, fruitful marriages, even though that would be a reasonable long-term endpoint of the show. Instead, the popular reality program thrives on dramatic narratives that attract as many weeknight viewers as possible. Similarly, within medical care, he said, we want to prevent acute or chronic medical conditions, like heart attacks. But the system also incentivizes volume, box checking and short-term wins, and loses focus on the endpoint.

This issue of payment as a barrier to integrating prevention into health care was one of many points of focus during the discussion, which examined a BPC Prevention Task Force’s report, “A Prevention Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care in America.” (more…)

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#OwnYourHealth: Health is everywhere, even underground

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

jane 5 1The following first ran yesterday on Health Populi, to see the original post click here.

Living my mantra of Health is Everywhere, where we live, work, play, pray, and shop, I am always on the lookout for signs of health in my daily life. Today I’m in Washington, DC,  speaking on a webinar led by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), discussing the findings in a survey of U.S. adults on self-care health care – my shorthand for healthcareDIY. And the hashtag for the webinar also speaks volumes: #OwnYourHealth.

Here’s the link to the survey resources.

On my walk from Farragut North Metro station to a nearby office where the meeting will take place, I came upon this poster in the underground, sponsored by UnitedHealth Group, the health insurance company: “Our reasons to be optimistic about the future of health care.” (more…)

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“What If 1 Million Americans Asked for Medical Records on the Same Day?”

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

farzadThe following post ran yesterday on Health Populi, see the original post here.

This was not a theoretical question Dr. Farzad Mostashari, former head of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT in the Department of Health and Human Services, asked yesterday at the closing keynote of Day 1 of the Patient Engagement Forum.

Dr. Mostashari issued a challenged to the community of mischief-makers in health/tech patient advocacy: tell everyone you know to contact their doctors — by phone, email, patient portal, or in-person, on one designated day which he called a “Day of Action.”

Health IT journalist Neil Versel (disclosure: also a long-time friend in the field) covered this news story here in MedCity News.

In the meantime, here is my (abridged) transcript of Dr. M’s talk, thanks to my note-taking skills. My own words are between carrots <> to provide additional context. (more…)

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Glimpse of 12th Annual World Health Care Congress

kymThank you, Disruptive Women in Health Care, for the opportunity to attend the 12th Annual World Health Care Congress and Exhibition (WHCC) held in Washington, DC on March 22nd-March 25th.

Despite thirty-two years of repetitive engagement with the healthcare system to manage my four unique cancer diagnoses, my fifteen-year marriage to an MD informatician, my two years as a Patient Opinion Leader and my role as founding Co-chair of the Patient Experience Council, I had vague knowledge of the business of healthcare prior to attending WHCC.

As a real world, experienced Patient Opinion Leader, I carry balanced messages forward to inform industry leaders of patient-centric issues and opportunities, as well as messages about healthcare system challenges and innovations back out to patients to convey the vital role they each play in transforming care. Healthcare conferences provide a prime opportunity for this pivotal exchange of information and building of shared empathy to occur. (more…)

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Why Your Healthcare Organization Can — and Should — Adopt New Tech

Asha SaxenaIn a fast-paced, high-stakes hospital setting, delivering premium patient care is everyone’s top priority.

Naturally, as new tech enters the scene, you diligently work to implement it into your hospital. But when those changes interfere with your staff’s immediate focus on patient care, your push for efficiency might face some resistance. And without employee adoption, you can’t reap the benefits of new tech.

Say you’re rolling out a new payment method for HR, for example. Updating your system might be breezy, but integrating it into employees’ daily lives poses bigger challenges. While you might be able to force staff to use the new program, nurturing an environment that embraces innovation will take the pain out of tech adoption and allow your entire organization to enjoy the benefits. (more…)

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The Affordable Care Act As New-Business Creator

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

The following post ran yesterday, March 19 on Health Populi.

While there’s little evidence that the short-term impact of the Affordable Care Act has limited job growth or driven most employers to drop health insurance plans, the ACA has spawned a “cottage industry” of health companies since 2010, according to PwC.

PwC-Cottage-Industry-due-to-ACA-300x226As the ACA turned five years of age, the PwC Health Research Institute led by Ceci Connolly identified at least 90 newcos addressing opportunities inspired by the ACA:

  • Supporting telehealth platforms between patients and providers, such as Vivre Health
  • Educating consumers, such as the transparency provider HealthSparq does
  • Streamlining operations to enhance efficiency, the business of Cureate among others
  • Connecting patients and physicians, like SmartPatients and Doximity do
  • Offering health and wellness benefits that complement health plans on the marketplaces, like the novel health plan Oscar does
  • Developing new payment and care delivery models, including Iora Health
  • Performing big data analytics, such as Human API does. (more…)


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A Call to Consumers to Lead the Shift in Healthcare

Sharon TerryRecently Sharon Terry a Disruptive Woman and CEO of the Genetic Alliance joined Mendelspod to kick off their new series, Personalized Medicine and the Consumerization of Healthcare. Over the last twenty years Sharon has worked tirelessly as a patient advocate, advocating for the sharing of patient data long before others were doing so.

Here what Sharon had to say on the topic here.

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Digital health love – older people who use tech like health-tech, too

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

The following post ran on March 4th on Health Populi.

As people take on self-service across all aspects of daily living, self-care in health is growing beyond the use of vitamins/minerals/supplements, over-the-counter meds, and trying out the blood-pressure cuff in the pharmacy waiting for a prescription to be filled. Today, health consumers the world over have begun to engage in self-care using digital technologies. And this isn’t just a phenomenon among people in the Millennial generationMost seniors who regularly use technology (e.g., using computers and mobile phones) are also active in digitally tracking their weight, for example, learned in a survey by Accenture.Seniors18

Older people who use technology in daily living (say, for entertainment or financial management) are keen to use tech for health, too. Specifically, illustrated in the infographic, Accenture found that:

  • 2 in 3 older people want to use self-care technology to manage their health
  • 3 in 5 older people are willing to track vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure via a digital device (more…)


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Disruptive Woman Launches a Breakthrough in Parenting

One of the original Disruptive Women contributors, Glenna Crooks recently launched a new business. Last week the Syracuse New Times published an interview with her. Read the interview here and learn more about Sage My Life.

sage

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The phone is a gateway drug to health: what MyFitnessPal knows, and what Under Armour gets

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

The following post first ran on Health Populi.

65 million people know that food journaling works for losing weight, that it’s engaging to do on a well-designed app, and that health is social. MyFitnessPal (MFP) has the distinction of being a top health app used longer by more people and more effectively than probably any other mobile health tool.

MFP-acquired-by-Under-Armour-Connected-Health-Feb-15Under Armour, the athletic goods company, now has MFP under its corporate umbrella, along with Endomondo, another very popular motivating mobile health tool.

You may know Under Armour as a company that manufactures and markets functional workout gear. But this deal is so not about the wearable.

It’s about building a health data ecosystem, the kind my smart colleague Carol Torgan terms an Electronic Fitness Record (EFR). Carol riffs off of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) concept, which is taking off in the health care system: in doctors’ offices and in hospitals, motivated by financial incentives afforded through the HITECH Act which was bundled into the Stimulus Bill (aka ARRA, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That’s the digital locus for patients’ personal health care information generated during visits to doctors, clinics, clinical labs, imaging centers, pharmacies, and other touchpoints in the health care system. (more…)

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When Size Affects Your Odds

durkin_helenOncologists are on board in the fight against obesity. And they’ve made it official by issuing their first-ever Position Statement on Obesity and Cancer through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

That’s especially great news for women—who are twice as likely as men to be affected by the nearly half a million new cases of obesity-related cancers worldwide each year. Not surprisingly, the greatest proportion of them are in North America. (http://ow.ly/FacZg http://ow.ly/Fadcm)

Despite the fact that more American men than women are overweight or obese, U.S. women are disproportionately affected by the obesity-cancer link. Obesity not only puts a woman at greater risk of cancer—especially post-menopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer—but it worsens her odds for surviving it as well. (http://ow.ly/FacZg http://ow.ly/Fadcm http://ow.ly/H8C3C) (more…)

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Who is perfect? Advocacy ads for real people.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

What is the nature of disability? What is the nature of beauty? What is perfection? Who among us is perfect?

These questions are at the heart (literally and figuratively) of a project undertaken by Pro Infirmis, a Switzerland-based advocacy organization raising awareness of people with disabilities, promoting the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2013.

Pro-Infirmis-Mannequins-and-People-300x188Mannequins in fashionable shops on Zurich’s tony street the Bahnhofstrasse were replaced by new ones, artfully, painstakingly and lovingly created, as shown in the video.

Pro Infirmis’s website tells us “who” we are looking at in human and 3-D life-size mannequin form: Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner; radio presenter and film critic Alex Oberholzer; track and field athlete Urs Kolly; blogger Nadja Schmid; and, actor Erwin Aljukic.

In Pro Infirmis’s words: Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. (more…)

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