NYeC Digital Health Conference (NYC)–next week

NYeC Digital Health Conference, 6-7 December 2016 | New World Stages, New York, NY
The New York eHealth Collaborative’s Digital Health Conference brings together 500 senior-level healthcare industry leaders to learn about new innovations and to foster dynamic conversation addressing how healthcare is being redefined through technology. It is well on track to fill completely, so if you’ve been delaying your booking, now is the time. And our readers enjoy a 10 percent discount.

Updated and expanded agenda here.

Keynote speakers:
• Robert Wachter, MD, Professor and Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, author of “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age” [TTA 16 Apr 15]. (To this Editor, this is a must-see keynote!)
• Steven Johnson, PBS Host and Bestselling Author, “How We Got To Now” and “Where Good Ideas Come From”

Some other speakers: Carol Raphael, the former CEO of Visiting Nurse Service of NY; Kristopher Smith of Northwell Health; James Mault of Qualcomm Life and Aron Gupta of Quartet Health. This year a who’s who of New York’s healthcare and health tech community will gather for two days of networking, lively intellectual exchange, and exploration to see what’s new, what’s cutting edge and what will shape the future of healthcare.

It’s worth taking the trip to NYC for this right before the holidays! For more information, click here for the website.

Telehealth & Telecare Aware Readers receive a 10% registration discount. Click on this link or the sidebar advert. Important–use code TTA when registering. For updates, @NYeHealth. TTA is a conference partner/media partner of the NYeC DHC.

Silicon Valley’s betting on ‘citizen doctors’, ‘citizen science’ and useful data

A fascinating and slightly cynical overview of Silicon Valley’s ideological view of health tech that will fix our ‘deeply flawed healthcare system’ and what is getting funded (or not) is in next month’s San Francisco magazine. It profiles the ‘citizen doctor’ founders of vital signs ‘tricorder’ Scanadu (Sam–who’s not often mentioned–and Walter De Brouwer), bacteria tracker uBiome, ‘personal data recorder’ and experience charter We Are Curious (founded by Linda Avey, a long-departed co-founder of 23andme) and touches on the Theranos debacle. While these stories are bracing and in the instance of the De Brouwers, courageous, the notion of ‘citizen science’ (defined as direct-to-consumer health data) and its companion, Dr Eric Topol’s patient-centered/controlled medicine, has its drawbacks, viewed through the slightly gimlety ‘digital doctor’ eye of UC San Francisco’s Dr Robert Wachter. “The overarching message—not just from Theranos but from other companies struggling to get a toehold—is that, ultimately, the laws of economic gravity hold. The companies will have to produce products that add real value, either to patients or to payers. If they don’t, the market—or the regulators—won’t treat them kindly.” Flatly, there aren’t enough Quantified Selfers right now to support these companies. And Mr Market is a hard master. 23andme is back in the good graces of the FDA after a two-year scuffle and back doing direct response TV here in the US. Scanadu’s two products, Vitals (formerly Scout) and Urine are still not through the long slog of FDA clearance. The jury’s out on Theranos. And all these companies, including ‘unicorn’ Theranos, are bleeding cash and nowhere near turning a profit. ModernLuxury. Hat tip to Dr Topol via Twitter, who had a patient-centered conversation with Dr Wachter that we covered back in September.  Another recent podcast with Dr Wachter is here (Community Health Center radio).

Update: ‘Citizen science’ is nothing new, as revealed by the Science Museum (London)–it’s over 300 years old. While it entered the OED in 2014, ‘in 1715, Edmund Halley used Philosophical Transactions to ask colleagues to help him observe a total solar eclipse, prompting observers from all over the country to respond.’ Other examples are from Benjamin Robins in the same publication in 1749 on fireworks, Charles Darwin and evolution, to the present day. The difference is the flow–similar to what we now call crowdsourcing versus the individual using the data to affect their care.

 

Is Theranos’ ‘blood testing for all’ a responsible selling proposition?

Theranos’ recent troubles on their blood testing (Walgreens halting expansion, FDA halting nanotainers as ‘uncleared medical devices’ and last week chain grocery/drugstore Safeway dropping their $350 million deal for 800 locations) have been well covered in media both here and elsewhere. But what if their Unique Selling Proposition–that people should have the ‘basic human right’ to order up their own inexpensive blood tests and then be responsible for their own interpretation–is counter-productive for many patients? After all, it’s what Theranos has been organized and raised $400 million+ on. Dr Robert Wachter of UCSF, who is no top-down Ezekiel-esque ‘nanny stater’, lends a caution: “There are a lot of companies, including Theranos, that have an interest in making you believe that more data will magically make you healthier. It won’t, at least not in the short-term.” When is ’empowerment’ confusing without recourse to interpretation? Some results are easier to read than others. Does having the data make the average person healthier for real? Personally, this Editor would welcome the ability to walk into her local Walgreens and order up a few to see what’s up–but then again she can do her own research and ask a doctor or nurse to help. Who can (inexpensively) close the interpretation gap? Theranos is wrapped in scandal but goes hard to change laws to its advantage (Mashable)

When disruptive healthcare tech disrupts the wrong things, including safety

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Thomas.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Last week’s Health 2.0 conference was (of course) a three-ring circus of new technology and its corollary, a lot of hype. An astute writer new to this Editor, Michael Millenson, draws together the key points of two prominent, but not hyped speakers there: Robert Wachter, MD and Michael Blum, MD, both practicing in University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) medical center. Dr Wachter, chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine, has been profiled in these pages earlier this year in a review of an excerpt from his book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age. There he wrote about the example of Pablo Garcia, nearly dying from over-prescribed doses of an antibiotic that a chain of errors in their EHR started. Dr Blum is Director of UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation. But their points are on the same track: “the danger of disruptive technology that disrupts the wrong things: upsets checks and balances that keep patients safe, makes working conditions more stressful and simply doesn’t play well with others.” His conclusions are on the money: #1, it’s not the technology but the adaptive change that front and back line clinicians will need to make; #2, entrepreneurs with whiz-bang tech that zips data to the clinician without fitting it into a care process are doomed to fail; #3 some kind of curation is needed. But whether that will be Care Innovations’ Validation Institute or Social Wellth (which purchased the late Happtique from GNYHA) is another story. Key for Health IT Entrepreneurs: Don’t Disrupt the Wrong Thing (Forbes)

Weekend Must Read: WSJ’s experts sketch out future healthcare

Fortunately not paywalled on the Wall Street Journal‘s site is The Future of Health Care: Hacking, Hospitals, Technology and More, a view of Healthcare and Us out to about 2030. Most of these ten short essays give cause for optimism, except for that first one–hacking. If you thought PHI breaches were bad, DNA hacking will make that look benign. ‘The Experts’ include Robert Wachter, MD [TTA 16 April, author of ‘The Overdose’], Dr John Sotos who was medical adviser on ‘House’, David Blumenthal of the Commonwealth Fund, Marc Agronin of Miami Jewish Health System and Dr Drew Harris of Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health.

Here’s the topic list:

* How Future Hackers Will Target Your DNA
“In the future, DNA hackers won’t sneak viruses into your laptop and crash websites. Instead, they’ll sneak viruses into your body and crash you, and maybe billions of other people, too.”
* What Health Care Will Look Like in 2030. Maybe.
” Computerized algorithms will empower individuals to make rapid, sound decisions about their own health and health care.”
* The Nursing Home of the Future Will Be in Our Homes
“The future solution, however, will be wholly home-based, with regular visits from a variety of different professional and volunteer caregivers providing assistance in every shape and form…Ultimately, much of the care provided by nursing-home or assisted-living staff today will be condensed into a mobile robot (or screen presence)…” (more…)