To counterbalance the foreseeable explosion of healthcare costs, reducing the length of hospitalisation – whilst minimising the risk of readmission – and incentivising prevention are seen as suitable measures to deliver care that is at the same time more cost efficient, improves patient outcomes and ensure a greater self-determination of the individual. Both concepts expand the radius of care to places outside the walls of the traditional medical institutions into the world of consumers. Monitoring is seen as a potentially very suitable/powerful means to address those challenges; it can take the form of remote patient monitoring and, increasingly so, of consumer self-tracking. However, a major challenge associated with this has been to determine how the collected personal data generated by a large variety of sources including apps and clinical home devices, be transferred securely into EHRs or clinical dashboards so that the information is available for care-givers? Only when this can be achieved, can the date generated by patients and consumers be leveraged to improve patient outcomes and also research.
As this is a pressing matter, there are many attempts and initiatives on industry and government side to resolve this. In the US, the Office of the National Coordination for Health Information Technology (ONC) has commissioned Accenture to help creating a framework for collecting health data generated by patients that then can be used for clinical care and research purposes. As part of this brief, Accenture involved Sutter Health, a 24-hospital-chain in California, and Validic – developer of a digital health platform – to identify the impediments to the wider use of personal health data in healthcare and research. These two companies just announced their collaboration on 19 October 2016. They will team up to enable patients with type 2 diabetes to collect data compiled from different non-connected devices and transfer it in real-time to EHRs and other health information systems. For this, patients use Sutter’s app in conjunction with Validic’s digital health platform. It will be interesting to learn, which impediments they will come across and how they will tackle them and which lessons can be learned. (See http://info.validic.com/DGp00010LHr00w02tF280b2).