Haven’t checked out Tech Tonics, the Podcast? You should!

Tech TonicsA couple of months ago Disruptive Woman to Watch Lisa Suennen and her colleague David Shaywitz launched  Tech Tonics, the Podcast, building on the success of Tech Tonics, the bookTech Tonics, the Podcast occurs twice a month and is focused on the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health. Drawing from their experience in business, medicine, and health IT Lisa and David hope to bring the people in their field to life. They engage intriguing guests in discussions that enable listeners to appreciate the stories behind the startups and the people.

The most recent podcast is with David Goodman an inventor, entrepreneur and doctor. You can listen to it here. You can find the other podcasts here or on iTunes by clicking here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Jobs of the Future: Not Only for Robots

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on June 14.

There is always talk, sometimes tongue-in-cheek but mostly sort of serious, that a lot of jobs will be replaced by robots or computers. Maybe that new iPhone I just bought will replace me by year end. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla thinks that the most doctors’ current functions will be replaced by algorithms; many believe that lots of white collar jobs, such as lawyers, accountants, and bankers will be replaced by machines with warmer personalities. Venture capitalists have already been “supplemented” with algorithms and, no doubt, there are plenty of people who would like to see us replaced by nearly anything metal—spatula, can opener–if they had their way. In Iron Man we see a world of robot-based soldiers going to war and in real life the echo of that is not so far off.

Army prototypes

So if those jobs are going away and machines run the world of money and more, where are the opportunities for our kids and those now looking for their next career? Well, the good news is that there will still be a need for people in the future (whew!), and service jobs of all kinds will be high demand. While there is not yet a big call for valets to care for our robot overlords, it does appear that demand for medical workers will continue to drive job growth for a long while to come and thus the healthcare system will be largely free from total robot takeover.

Of the nearly 3 million new jobs added in 2014, about 10% of them came from the healthcare sector. That’s a pretty big number and actually is a bit worrisome when one thinks about how closely our economic health as a nation is tied to growing healthcare labor costs. If we are too successful in our national quest to cut healthcare costs, we may find ourselves killing new job growth and tanking the economy. Irony is a bitch. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • June 1st, 2015 Building a Health App? Welcome to Our World
    By Glenna Crooks
  • A Look at the Impact of IT in Nursing

    The infographic below was created by Adventist University of Health Sciences. It outlines how technology is being used to raise efficacy in nursing and health industries. As more hospitals implement IT nurses will be able to synchronize information between practices and pharmacies, transferring life-saving prescriptions and data in a matter of seconds. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

    Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

    “In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Can Social Media & Healthcare Work Together?

    Does the privacy of health and openness of social media work?

    Social media has many uses, from the basics of being able to stay abreast of what your friends and colleagues are doing, to a way for companies to communicate with their customers.

    It is a way of sharing the big or small moments in your life, but it can be so much more than that.

    This is especially true in healthcare, where despite the clear confidentially restrictions put on how people can communicate, it is making a big difference – as will be discussed by Dennis Jolley, Chief Marketing Officer from Gillette Children’s Specialty, at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Founder Robin Strongin helps Women in MedTech Group Launch at MassMEDIC Forum

    The article below originally ran on April 9 in MedTech Boston and can be accessed here. Many thanks to Disruptive Woman Randel Richner who invited Disruptive Women Founder Robin Strongin to participate in this launch. Can’t wait to hear more from this group!

    StronginThe first-ever Women in MedTech event launched last week in Waltham, MA as 125 women gathered for a MassMEDIC-sponsored forum titled “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine.” Its founders frame their goal: “To unite New England medical device executive women by providing an inspirational and educational leadership forum.” The message: “You will hear us now.”

    Randel Richner, President of Richner Consultants, opened the forum. “Today is a dream of mine, to have all of you in this room,” she said. Two powerful influences have guided her life: her dad, who said, “You will always work,” and Robin Morgan’s 1969 book, Sisterhood is Powerful. Richner started her career as a dialysis nurse on a bus, but has taken her work many places since. She has been called incendiary – inflammable and provocative – and effective, and she believes deeply in an Alibaba quote: “To be more successful, bring in more women.” (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

  • March 30th, 2015 The Digital Health Age Needs a Good Yawn
    By Glenna Crooks
  • 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…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    TBT: All I Want for Christmas Is Customer Service at My Doctor’s Office

    Casey Quinlan

    Although several years old now several of Casey’s thoughts in the post below sadly still ring true today.

    I have this dream. It’s about how, when I make an appointment to see my doctor – my primary care physician – the process is easy, honors my time as much as it does my doctor’s, and winds up running smoothly for both parties.

    The dream starts this way: I realize it’s time for my annual physical, or any other usual-suspects periodic visit to my PCP. I open up my browser, point it to my doctor’s website, and log in to the secure patient portal. The one where I can see all my prescriptions, my personal health record, make an appointment (using the handy calendar function), request a prescription refill, ask the nurse or doctor a question via email, or download a PDF of my health record.

    In my dream, using the handy scheduling function in the portal, I select a date and time for my appointment. The portal auto-populates that date and time with my name and insurance/contact information, since I logged in and it knows who I am. The system asks me if any information has changed. I click “no”. If I click “yes,” the next screen asks me to make the changes, and “submit”. (more…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    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…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    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…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Documenting To Death: Are EMRs Eroding The Soul Of Medicine?

    Val Jones, MD

    The following post originally ran on Better Health.

    Electronic medical record systems (EMRs) have become a part of the work flow for more than half of all physicians in the U.S. and incentives are in place to bring that number up to 100% as soon as possible. Some hail this as a giant leap forward for healthcare, and in theory that is true. Unfortunately, EMRs have not yet achieved their potential in practice – as I have discussed in my recent blog posts about “how an EMR gave my patient syphillis,” in the provocative “EMRs are ground zero for the deterioration of patient care,” and in my explanation of how hospital pharmacists are often the last layer of protection against medical errors of EPIC proportions. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    HIMSS or Bust

    Regina Holliday

    Last year I had the opportunity to do an amazing interview with Tim from HIStalk.  It was a wide-ranging discussion that covered a great deal of the HIT (health information technology) landscape.   Toward the end of our conversation, Tim and I began to talk about the challenges patients face attending HIMSS.  Many patients would like to go this enormous conference with its thousands of attendees, great educational sessions and access to numerous health care venders; but cannot afford to pay for hotel lodging, airfare and an attendee pass.  We talked about the possibility of working together to create patient travel scholarships.

    regina 1.26

    So today we would like to jointly announce the HIS-talking Gallery Patient Scholarship for travel to HIMSS 2015, April 12-16, in Chicago! (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter