Last week, we attended the eHealth 2013: Accelerating Change conference. It has been a very insightful month for me and the Health team at Xtreme Labs, especially having attended HealthBeat and Apps for Health in the past few weeks. Below are our key takeaways from the conference.
The Consumerization of eHealth
Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, Hélène Campbell, and Dr. Michael Evans gave diverse presentations on the consumerization of eHealth. The themes covered how design, social media, education, mobile, and other technologies are changing the way patients and healthcare professionals interact with each other and with the health system.
While we have shared Dr. Cafazzo’s leadership previously, his focus on “Empathy in Design” was very impactful in the context of other key stakeholders in the healthcare environment – a practising primary care physician, Dr. Evans, and a patient with a remarkable story, Helene Campbell.
Campbell shared her touching personal story where she required a double lung transplant and turned to the web for financial support and possible lung donors. She quickly received additional support from the likes of Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. When asked how she got so much traction and reach, she said she used the tools that were available and focused on “authenticity.” She is now a huge proponent of raising awareness about organ donation registration and reinforces the importance of giving blood.
Much like how Campbell reached millions with her message, Dr. Michael Evans’ “Med School for the Public” Channel has reached over 7.2M views at the time of writing. Social media continues to change how information is shared and consumed by patients and consumers alike. A memorable quote from Dr. Evans was that “technology makes patient-clinician relationships more powerful.”
Quality and Transformation
Another practical example of an eHealth shift is taking place at The Ottawa Hospital. This is where Dale Potter, Senior VP of Strategy and Transformation, decided to lead the change by purchasing thousands of mobile devices and equipping doctors, nurses, and hospital staff with mobile technology.
Faced with challenges such as growing occupancy rates and an increase in the complexity of patient conditions, Potter and the hospital needed to improve the medical diagnostic equipment, while tapping into evidence-based practices in medicine. The complexity of patient care from multiple experts and sources requires coordination across different departments. Potter purchased 2,800 iPads to ensure that the infrastructure was in place to handle these evolving challenges, which immediately triggered a change in behaviours, expectation and care.
Potter’s work has been covered in The Globe & Mail.
Our Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, Aron Levitz, presented with KPMG’s Aaron Berk about mHealth strategy. Titled “A Conventional Strategy in a Mobile World,” this presentation was designed to stimulate ideas to help healthcare executives and IT leaders respond to key opportunities in mHealth, especially given a historical reliance on traditional information systems and strategies.
They started the presentation with a focus on key trends and developments in mHealth and some of the key challenges and barriers to mHealth adoption. They talked about assessing mHealth Readiness and offered a framework for discovery and a roadmap to ultimately reach a desired solution.
They concluded the presentation with four actionable mHealth prescriptions for the leadership teams at hospitals and healthcare institutions. These include:
- Identify the key business drivers for mHealth adoption
- Assess the mobile readiness of your service delivery partners, including vendors and service providers
- Simplify your mHealth Journey by avoiding big builds
- Create a vehicle to endorse and integrate with select apps
It was exciting to contribute to the future of health and to the dialogue of eHealth in Canada. There is a lot at stake when it comes to healthcare infrastructure and the way we approach treatment and solutions. We are excited to see how mobile technology can accelerate and improve the quality and delivery of healthcare.
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