Next Monday I’ll be participating in the Public Health & Technology (PHAT) Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health, an event by and large organized by Harvard’s Public Health grad students. I feel honored to be moderating the afternoon panel that will address “Patient Empowerment Through HIT.” Last I heard, there were still a few openings left so if you are in the area, encourage you to attend this event.
Organizers have put together a top notch panel that includes:
Esther Dyson, well known in consumer health IT circles and now on the Advisory Panel of the new e-Journal, the Journal for Participatory Medicine.
Fred Smith, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he leads the interactive media team within CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing.
George Willock, CEO and co-founder of the employee health & wellness service HealthString. Had the pleasure to be briefed by George at their offices in Chicago, which was quite uplifting after a pretty depressing visit to the HIMSS annual conference.
While I have not prepared any specific questions for the panelists, yet, I have broken down my ideas into three thematic areas (Note: as roughly 50% of the audience will be grad students, I have tried to target thoughts and questions towards exposing and reflecting on what the future may hold and less on yesterday and today):
Innovation: An ever increasing array of consumer-facing, healthcare apps, devices and services are entering the market enabling a citizen to take on more direct responsibility for managing their health and/or the health of a loved one. Such innovation empowers the citizen and making them less dependent on a healthcare provider. How will this change the role of healthcare providers in the future?
ARRA, Meaningful Use & Digital Records: The federal government is investing some $36B+ into digitizing the healthcare sector. Unfortunately, virtually all of this is going directly to hospitals and healthcare providers and little has been discussed or earmarked directly towards citizens, with the exception of “meaningful use,” and even that remains fuzzy. What will the impact be to care, citizen empowerment, and more broadly healthcare reform through the digitization and distribution of medical records? What are the risks and are we adequately prepared to meet them? In five years time will we see a much deeper engagement between citizens and clinicians as a result of this investment?
Provider-centric vs. Patient/Citizen-centric Care: As citizens are being asked to take on an ever increasing responsibility for their care (insurance co-pays, health incentives, disease mgmt, etc.) and are given the tools (HIT) for greater empowerment, we ill see a shift from a provider-centric care model (and IT architecture that goes with it) to one that is patient/citizen-centric. What does this shift mean to current HIT architectural models? How will this shift impact future care delivery models?