More than 50 people in the health industry accepted our public invitation for breakfast in our “Lateral Learn About” series. This time we were at the beautiful Matilda Bay Restaurant and the topic was wearable technology and mobile health, also referred to mHealth or Digital Health.
We teamed up with Amazon Web Services who covered the aspect of security, thanks to James Bromberger our guest speaker.
Our Mobile Expert Richard started with a definition of mHealth; according to the WHO (World Health Organisation), it refers to “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices,… and other wireless devices.”
Richard demonstrated live two tracking devices he had been using over the last weeks: The iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor as well as the Withing Pulse O2, capturing his physiological parameters such as blood pressure, sleep, blood oxygen levels and heart rate. Both devices have companion apps as well as websites where users can follow their data over time, utilising a visual representation.
The demonstrations showed what is already available in the consumer market; asking throughout his talk “are you ready?”, Richard initiated a thought process; we are in a state of flux, where, a provider controlled environment is being displaced for a more consumer/patient driven one. These changes are pushing healthcare organisations to look beyond their accustomed world of physical infrastructure, paperwork & forms, and established administrative procedures.
He didn’t stop there; what if health care providers would use the patient’s data for a better patient outcome? Benefits would include
- Improve One to One Communications
- Drug & Diagnosis Information
- More Complete Patient Data Records
- More Efficient While Cutting Costs
- Improve Clinical Decision Making
The answer could be a health care provider’s custom mobile app. Mobile apps are at the heart of the mHealth world. Apps will be the gateway for patients to receive personalized care through accessing drug & diagnosis information, appointment scheduling, virtual video e-visits, and one-to-one practitioner communication. mHealth’s possibilities are virtually limitless with the largest benefits of enabling patients to take an active role in monitoring their own health.
Richard continued with a live demonstration of a mobile app he built as part of a fictional practice management software system. The app integrated the data he tracked over time with an appointment setting functionality and a one-to-one communication capability just as an example of what functionalities mobiles apps can have.
After a small break, James from Amazon Web Services (AWS) continued addressing a topic that is often a concern when it comes to personal health data: security in the cloud. He explained that the organisation using the cloud service retains ownership of the data and controls what level of encryption is used, where in the world the content is stored (Amazon Web Services has a facility in Sydney) and who holds the encryption keys. He explained the physical and logical environment and gave some examples of organisations using AWS’s services, including Emergency Medicine Business Intelligence
(EMBI) and the Salt Lake City Police.
In the following Q&A session, questions ranged from the quality of data collection and regulation approval. We also spoke about Lateral’s offering of custom software solutions solving our client’s specific business problems on an operational level.
One recent example is a workflow-improving mobile app we have built for a Perth-based Fertility Centre, eliminating paper and saving them 50% of their time. Read a case study about it here. Another example is a unified diary, increasing internal transparency and productivity, see this case study.
Last but not least, the door prize was drawn, a Fitbit Flex. Congratulations to Rebecca Newton from WA Department of Health!
The slide decks from Richard and James as well as further examples including clinic-grade wearables can be seen here.
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