Did You Have Too Much Bacon Today? HIMSS Activity Turns Focus to Wellness


For many years business leaders described the restructuring and refocusing of a big company as the equivalent of turning around a battleship. I haven't found data on how long it actually took to turn a battleship, but at 800-feet-plus and some 50,000 tons, I'm sure it didn't respond like a runabout on the lake.

The biggest battleship on today's business scene -- and in our personal lives -- is the healthcare system, which encompasses not just patients, doctors, and hospitals, but insurers, government, and employers. Listen to the many critics of that healthcare system and you will understand why it needed to turn around.

There are some signs coming out of the HIMSS 2015 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Chicago that there's progress with the turnaround, particularly with the use of analytics to make better use of patient data, optimize treatment, encourage healthy living, and reduce problems such as hospital re-admissions.

The discussions and announcements at the health IT event have been centered on using data to improve wellness, perhaps more than any other theme.

In one announcement, healthcare technology supplier Geneia and SAS (sponsor of this site) announced a collaboration to use patient data to change how healthcare is administered in the US. That agreement focuses on the accountable care organizations (ACOs) that serve Medicare patients.

“We know that treatment plans for patients with orthopedic, heart failure, pneumonia and other conditions have high variability in terms of cost, quality and outcomes,” said Mark Caron, CEO of Geneia in a press release. “By integrating SAS predictive and episode analytics into our platform, Geneia is bringing a flexible, cost-effective, and transparent solution to the increasing number of physicians and hospitals in ACOs and other risk arrangements, and enabling them to identify, analyze and improve the episodes of care provided to these patients.”

In a recent phone interview with All Analytics, Geneia president Heather Lavoie said her company's offerings represent a bridge between two traditional types of healthcare focused analytics systems. She noted that there were well-established clinical solutions available to healthcare providers and there were claims solutions. "We understood that there wasn't a single solution that could provide support across both of those," said Lavoie.

Geneia's Heather Lavoie
Geneia's Heather Lavoie

Geneia's Theon analytics platform draws data from applications that support physician practices, hospitals, employers, and insurers. The company also supports remote monitoring of in-home medical devices, tracking factors such as patient blood pressure, pulse oxygen, respiration, weight, blood glucose, heart rate, and activity level. That data can be fed directly into patient records -- saving doctors and nurses from having to enter it manually -- and can be drawn on by analytics applications to identify cause and effect relationships and best treatment options.

Lavoie cited the example of a patient who thinks they are doing fine but don't realize how high their blood pressure is and how that raises the risk of stroke. "They can be shown that their salty foods, the sausage and bologna, might cause an issue."

Right now, Geneia's remote patient monitoring is focused on conditions such as congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and pneumonia, but Lavoie said there is a growing thirst for using healthcare analytics in new ways. "We're taking one step at a time, focusing on the most critical things first. It has taken some time for the market to mature," said Lavoie.

— James Connolly Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Greater health to all!
  • 5/18/2015 10:42:47 AM
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I wonder why more iniform treatment and costs are not yet with us. As "treatment plans for patients with orthopedic, heart failure, pneumonia and other conditions have high variability in terms of cost, quality and outcomes," why have our highly intelligent medical practitioners, researchers, and educators not found ways to solve the high variability?

Greater health to all!
  • 4/21/2015 5:34:19 PM
NO RATINGS

Great solution to save lives and improve quality of life. Unifying records and information and coupling it with consistent monitoring could avoid so many health issues.

Building bridges
  • 4/19/2015 10:23:54 AM
NO RATINGS

Wow... anything that creates bridges between insurance claims and medical clinics is deserving of support and funding. I hope legislators and public health officials are paying attention.

Re: Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/18/2015 9:55:23 AM
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@Lyndon I really like the concept of IoN. We already have net nanny applications to prevent children from accessing unwanted content on the Internet. So why not take it to a whole new level to prevent adults from doing things that are unhealthy?

Re: Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/17/2015 12:01:11 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Phoenix writes


I really like the idea of a scale being able to take some action. I suppose when all else fails the scale might need to take drastic action to keep these people healthy specially if their condition is life threatening.


 

I've got it! Emerging new concept!

IoN — the Internet of Nannies!

 

Re: Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/17/2015 11:42:53 AM
NO RATINGS

@Lyndon I really like the idea of a scale being able to take some action. I suppose when all else fails the scale might need to take drastic action to keep these people healthy specially if their condition is life threatening. However, they will still need to be fed even when access to a refrigerator is cut off. I wonder whether a new machine that serves you with food portions depending on the doctors orders could be invented?

Re: Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/16/2015 4:10:27 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Jim writes


That's one scale that needs to have its battery pulled.


 

And while we're at it, let's pull the plug on that conniving refrigerator!

Oh, wait ... maybe that's not such a good idea...

 

Re: Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/16/2015 9:34:44 AM
NO RATINGS

@Lyndon. That's one scale that needs to have its battery pulled.

Very helpful health monitoring
  • 4/16/2015 7:20:38 AM
NO RATINGS

..

Jim writes:


Geneia's Theon analytics platform draws data from applications that support physician practices, hospitals, employers, and insurers. The company also supports remote monitoring of in-home medical devices, tracking factors such as patient blood pressure, pulse oxygen, respiration, weight, blood glucose, heart rate, and activity level. 


 

This brought to mind this (perhaps somewhat fanciful) suggestion of where all this, plus IoT, could be taking us...


 

 

 

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