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A Health Data Revolution? For Entrepreneurs It Has Just Begun.

on February 16, 2013

A Health Data Revolution? For Entrepreneurs It Has Just Begun.

At the FutureMed conference at Singularity University in the Silicon Valley this month, innovators from throughout the health field gathered for sessions on the future of medicine. A session on data-driven health provided insights into fascinating healthcare innovations centered on the use of health data. And it offered ideas for entrepreneurs looking to join the data revolution.

Dr. John Mattison, chief medical information officer at Kaiser Permanente, said innovators should find ways to make technology less of an impediment to the caring aspect of healthcare. (Instead of gripping an iPad, the doctor should be touching the patient.) And with 50,000 mobile health apps already on the market, Mattison added, we need a mobile ecosystem to express diversity.

Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, where 40 percent of the beds are for intensive care patients, saw a 20 percent risk-adjusted drop in mortality by finding smart ways to use data, said Dr. Christopher Longhurst, chief medical information officer. While most electronic medical record systems are considered data rich, but information poor, the staff at Packard sought to use information to the patients’ advantage. In an effort to prevent errors, such as a missing decimal point on a prescription order, the hospital converted to an electronic system. The system also alerts doctors to medical studies and outcomes, he said, helping them make data-driven decisions. This electronic version of an Atul Gawande checklist, Longhurst said, has resulted in the hospital improving care for one in three patients.

Lark, a behavior change company in the California Bay Area, seeks to make it easier for users to stay on track with their goals, such as losing a few pounds or getting in better shape, said founder and CEO Julia Hu. The company quickly discovered that it wasn’t data users needed. Instead, it was trusted recommendations at the right moments that would lead to behavioral changes. The more personalized the application, Hu said, the higher the user engagement.

Released a few weeks ago in Apple stores, the company’s Lark Life product coaches users on diet, sleep, exercise and productivity. While tracking sleep, movement and more, it pings users with recommendations based on expert advice. When Hu was having a particularly stressful day recently, she received a ping from Lark Life around 8 p.m. While reminding her that she hadn’t slept well and had an erratic day, the app suggested Hu recharge by talking to a friend. After scouting out the only other person left in Lark’s office, Hu had a conversation that left her feeling better.

Category:  Creation  Tags:  FutureMed, technology, digital health, event

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