Tag: trends

Future at the Top of the Pyramid: Enabling connected personal healthcare

Using technology to manage personal health care is not new, as most of us have pedometers, weighing scales etc., to regularly or occasionally check our progress.

For people with certain type of diseases there are variety of devices in the market to monitor glucose to blood pressure and what have you, to monitor the progress or digress from the recommended care plan.

What’s missing though, is that these devices are not connected to anyone – for example a care provider, a family member, care team – who are interested in the patient’s well being and care progress.

That’s where Continue Health Alliance , an alliance of more than 200 companies,  comes in – as stated in their mission – to enable an eco-system of interoperable personal health systems for that empower people & organizations to better manage their health and wellness.

Here is a video from Continua that shows the outcomes of a connected personal health care.

If it sounds like the StarTrek of personal healthcare, here is where Continua sees the opportunity in the cream of the pyramid (western world)

  • 1 billion adults overweight
  • 860 million chronic disease patients
  • 600 million elders age 60 or older
  • 75-85% of healthcare spending is on chronic disease management

And there are already few devices that are Continua certified which can connect to personal health record softwares like Microsoft’s HealthVault or ICW’s Life Sensor

More to come on the technology behind Continua certified products…

healthcare…once upon a time!

“Once upon a time, going to your doctor was simple. You knew his first name, or perhaps just called him “Doc.” He lived just down the street and made house calls. And if you were sick, you would see him that day, because, well, you were sick” … that’s how the story starts for Hello Health! (founded by an American and Canadian in NY)

Hello Health attempts to make healthcare simple and accessible to patients and promises  to taking medicine to its basics.  With Hello Health, you can interact with your doc in your favourite means of technology.  If you have query and you would like to just e-mail, you just e-mail and its Free!  You make your appointments online and access your records as well.

At the primary care level, as the first point of contact for the patients, accessibility and responsive care is crucial for patients and especially for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and COPD.

So is Hello Health disruptive ? Absolutely in private healthcare market like US, its bringing the medicine back to basics and attacks the complex payer/physician centric model.  In market economics, as the value propositions of the consumers change, new players emerge to provide the missing value and this is often called as invisible hand and works in most cases. It remains to be seen whether it will work in healthcare.

Can a service like Hello Health, work in a single payer system like Canada ? Of course, it can, provided it meets the regulatory requirements of the government and the docs adopt the government certified EMR

Hello Health!
Hello Health!

(Electronic Medical Record), of course with lots of incentives.

Accessing a primary case physician is  relatively easy (caveat: if you have a family physician) in the Canadian Healthcare system and every one is aware of the improvement needed in terms of technology adoption.

In US, the question remains whether the proposed mandatory legislation by Obama administration can hinder a service like this. Boston Globe has a good coverage on this. http://bit.ly/WE67p

Also this type of pay for use service only serves the basic healthcare needs and Can it fix the completely ailing US healthcare system, where complex care consumes most of the resources in the system ?

It remains to be seen and the quest for solving the healthcare puzzle continues.

Proceedings from Ontario HIMSS meeting

Switching gears to information technology in healthcare, I attended the annual general meeting of Ontario chapter of HIMSS. It was great to meet friends and see some familiar faces in the industry and listen to interesting education sessions from the status of Electronic Medical Record(EMR) adoption in healthcare provider settings to a pilot chronic disease management project in Barrie, Ontario

The meeting was held in the lovely Sunnybrook Estates, which always enthralls me as I am a big fan of historic places and buildings.

Sunnybrook Estates
Sunnybrook Estates

Coming back to the sessions, most of the session was webcast and archived and you can find the webcast in the links below.

  • John Hoyt, Vice President Healthcare Organizational Services, HIMSS, who gave us the FIRST view of HIMSS Analytic results specific to Ontario


  • Trina Noonan, North Simcoe Muskoka Community Care Access Centre, who presented on an exciting project CHRIS-Procura Integration Project, she hopes to present a first year update at our AGM 2010


  • Lee Miller, Director IT North Simcoe Muskoka CCAC and Florann Shaw, We Care, gave us a glimpse of the technology used to monitor patients’ health status remotely


  • Shelley Cameron, Barrie and Community Family Health Team who presented on a very successful Telehomecare chronic disease management pilot project with great potential.

I am going to elaborate on two specific sessions, especially the following sessions.

  1. John Hoyt, VP at HIMSS, who showed, for the first time, the status of EMR adoption in Ontario hospitals
  2. Shelley Cameron on telehomecare chronic disease management pilot project, which had very successful outcomes and has huge implications for chronic disease management in Ontario

Next time, I hope to see you at the Sunnybrook Estates and stay tuned for further posts on the two above.

Why SAAS or Cloud Computing may not be the way for some enterprises?

I am not the first one to say and lots of industry leaders and enterprise CIOs have been pointing it out that there might be cases where SAAS or Cloud Computing may not be right answer for some enterprises.

In a recent article at IT World Canada, titled “Why SAAS isn’t always the answer”, looks into one specific case, where Manitoba Insurace stayed away from SAAS model largely due to USA Patriot Act.

Yes for businesses in Canada or other countries, its very key to look into the legal aspects and security concerns before signing up with a US based SAAS or Cloud Computing vendor who only has a US data center.

Even for US businesses in the small to medium enterprise segment, from my recent discussion with a CEO, it was very clear, that “Security” is a key factor that may hinder businesses from adopting SAAS or cloud computing.

I am not rushing and concluding about the longer term viability of the business models of the SAAS or Cloud Computing vendors.  My inferences lead me to believe that both on-Demand (SAAS, Cloud etc.,) and on-Premise way of delivering software solution will continue to co-exist and the split between the two may vary on FAD of the month or the year.

If you have more time in your hand, this article at CIO.com is a worthy read


Unlocking trends

A friend of mine forwarded me this link to a great presentation by Jeremy Gutsche of Trend Hunter.  This is becoming more and more relevant to the projects I am currently working on.  To name a few,

  • Spotting technology trends in Indian Healthcare IT
  • Enterprise Records Management for organizations to meet compliance and regulatory requirements in an efficient way with the optimum TCO

At the end of the day, one message clearly stands out from this presentation that success breeds complacency and complacency leads to extinction.

Have a great Victoria Day long weekend!
View more presentations from trendhunter.

Healthcare a brewing crisis for a long time!

In most parts of the world one thing that’s common across the board for every country is that they always have a health care crisis.

My definition of crisis comes from Wikipedia’s definition of crisis and tend to take the meaning of “testing time”.

From the view, East or west, first world or third world,  almost all the countries are facing some sort of health care crisis and governments, businesses,  Not-for-profit organizations, individuals are all involved in working on a solution.

For example, to name a few crisis’ in brewing in coutries, here is a breif list.

  • In America – 46 million(about 1/6th) of the population is uninsured, with the highest spending in health-care as % of GDP(see image) and poor adoption of IT in health care.

Healthcare Spending as % of economy, Source:The Economist

  • In Canada (where I live), where its public health care, though most of the population thinks that we have the best health care the crisis is in supply of capacity and demand, efficiency of patient care, which results in a some unacceptable level of wait times for care
  • In India, where I grew up, the crisis is totally different as Health Insurance is not prevalent, affordable health care for Indian population is an oxymoron, big gap in health care infrastructure and the list goes on
  • In UK and other European nations, I would presume they are dealing with capacity and efficiency issues and its a learning curve that I have to take to understand more in detail on the health care crisis in Europe

In this blog I attempt to look at various solutions that are being proposed or worked at either by government, not-for-profit organizations or private enterprises towards continuous improvement in health care delivery across the world.

Stay tuned for more!