I was able to attend this session of Informatics in Action yesterday, at the National Institutes of Health Campus, as it focused on consumer health information technology. The cast was truly all-star, including Bern Shen, MD, from Intel Digital Health, Adam Bosworth, from Keas, and Bill Crounse, MD, from Microsoft (and also from the home team in Redmond, Washington). The session was moderated by Steve Taplin, MD, from the National Cancer Institute. A videocast may be available on the NIH site.
I think the group as a whole did a very nice job of talking about the needs today, along with directions for the future. I jotted down a few quotes on my iPhone from Adam:
It would be better in general if the system worked more like Kaiser.
Consumers don’t want PHRs. They want help and advice.
Adam also discussed three priorities, which include consumers being able to control their health data “in computible form,” empowering health professionals, and providing an easy way for researchers to implement protocols.
On the computible form issue, I have definitely seen the impact of not having things in computible form, for example, in trying to reconcile medication lists, where there are a plethora of medication products and non-standard codes.
Bill talked about 5 significant trends in health care, and he has an experience that includes a lot of work with international organizations, as well a long connection with the practice of medicine, which makes him well suited to put things in perspective. He introduced some of the concepts of HealthVault, a platform for PHRs, rather than a PHR itself. I am a regular reader of Bill’s HealthBlog, where it’s quite likely you’ll see a writeup of this event there as well.
In my work so far, I am seeing evidence that health care and non-health care professionals alike are working to make things happen in patient-centered health information technology, whether they call it that or not, and it is good to see.