Last Blog at Health and Preventive Medicine.

This will be my last post on this blog, as I have left U.S. Preventive Medicine and formed a new company, Accountable Health, with a new Blog. The last few years writing this blog have been a great experience and I look forward to continuing that at my new site.

Accountable Health, is based upon my belief that the health system, and note I say ‘health” not “healthcare” system, needs two critical pieces for success,

  1. Accountability – all portions of the broader health system need to be accountable from the individual to the providers, communities to payers, device manufacturers to mHealth providers; each has a role to play, but that role must be held to account and focus on:
  2. Health – the system must become one whose main goal is the maintenance and improvement in health at an individual and population level.

Through the new blog I hope to share with you ideas, successes, failures and thoughts on how we can create a better system built upon Accountable Health.

Please continue to follow me at Thanks.

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Leveraging the Tools of Technology with the Power of Prevention – Presentation by Dr. Ron Loeppke

This year at The Forum12, the annual conference of the Care Continuum Alliance, there was a new approach to the presentations.  For each of the five tracks,

there would be a peer-reviewed juried award which would select one winner in each track. The judges were an outstanding group, and there were excellent presentations to be heard in each track.

 Dr Loeppke, Vice Chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine gave a presentation in the Advancing Wellness track entitled “Leveraging the Tools of Technology with the Power of Prevention.” This presentation was selected as the CCA Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award in its track. and is worth reviewing.

To hear excellent presentations from experts in the area of population health management you should plan to come to next years conference which will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona October 23 -25, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

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The QualcommLife 2net Platform and Macaw – How the Platform Helps Patients

U.S Preventive Medicine has been working closely with QualcommLife in the development of our mobile app, Macaw™.  As QualcommLife has continued to develop their 2net™ platform and Macaw™ has continued to develop along with it, it has become more exciting to see what we can and will be doing with the capabilities.  Here is a short video produced by QualcommLife in which some of the vendor partners discuss the 2net™ platform.  It features our CEO, Chris Fey:

Qualcomm Video

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November is American Diabetes Month

Here is an interesting slide that packs in a lot of data and clearly indicates the severity of the issue we face.

We have a lot of work to do to identify the pre-diabetics in order to prevent them from developing the disease, as well as identifying and better treating those who already have the disease.  The potential costs of the status quo from a quality of life, medical claims and workforce productivity standpoint are enormous.

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Great Presentations at The Forum12

The Care Continuum Alliance held their annual Forum12 in Atlanta last week. It was an excellent event with a long list of top notch presentations, vendor booths and great opportunities to network. Informative and engaging presentations were given by many including Jaan Sidorov, MD, who opened and discussed the history of our industry, and Mary McNaughton Collins, MD, a primary care physician who gave a hilarious view of the physician perspective and real world issues that occurred with the implementation of their Electronic Medical records system.

There were two other presentations that I found very interesting.

The first by Joseph Coughlin, PhD, the Director of the AgeLab at MIT was entitled “Care or Confusion? A Consumer’s Perspective of the Healthcare Delivery System”. Thanks to Healthways for sponsoring this one; here are some highlights from his presentation:

  • Half of the people in the rich world will live to be 100.
  • Many people are approaching the aging individuals with the concept that giving them more data is the solution. It isn’t.
  • What can health care professionals do to engage people – make them smarter.
  • The top reason the elderly want to stay healthy is so they can continue to work.
  • There are $30 to $50 billion lost in productivity to the “caregiver” of an ill person.
  • Looking for solutions, not data is the important thing to provide, helping customers get things done, help them manage complexity.
  • American’s do not trust large institutions such as hospitals or insurers, they trust their doctor, and 73% trust online communities.
  • 1/3 of those age 65 and older are using social media (Pew Trust).
  • Patients want a straight simple talker.
  • Distributed Trust, how far can you push trust out, will healthcare enabled by technology become transactional like the banks and no longer have “relationships” with their customers?
  • In terms of technology, people don’t want widgets, they want help.

Dr. Coughlin gave an interesting example of technology, behavior change and the elderly. He discussed the well-known issue of poor adherence with taking ones medications and how impactful this can be on the elderly in terms of their health and the subsequent costs to the system for non-adherence.

The AgeLab developed an adherence program that including a pill monitoring device that was connected to a robotic toy pet. So naturally I was thinking that somehow the elderly patient had the pet, but no,

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mHealth: My Mobile Wish List. Fourth in a series…

Health care is both broad and deep, and while there is extensive expertise and many smart thinkers in the fields of medicine and management, the sector has definitely been behind the curve when it comes to incorporating the power of new innovations other than medical innovations into its core.  While hospitals and providers offer the latest scanners, testing devices, drugs and procedures to their patients, the management of the system is still in many instances paper based and the interactions with the patient are for the most part old school.  There are clearly exceptions and there has been a lot of talk of movement to a more integrated operational system utilizing Health Information Exchanges, Electronic Medical Records and other tools.

At the same time, consumers/patients have been taking to the new world by storm.  The growth in social sharing sites like Facebook, which has crossed the billion users threshold, and twitter, rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets, and the proliferation of apps to do just about anything have clearly demonstrated what the consumer is looking for.

So how does one meld these two worlds

My mobile wish list would include the following:

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mHealth – Paul Jacobs CEO of Qualcomm… A slight diversion in the Series

In rather fortuitous timing as I have been working on this series on mHealth, Paul Jacobs,the CEO of Qualcomm discussed the future of digital health with CNBC.  You can read the full interview here.  Qualcomm the world leader in next generation mobile technologies and their subsidiary QualcommLife are doing some really innovative things in the world of mobile, wireless and health. 

I’ve decided to post some choice tidbits from Paul’s interview…

Between sensors that monitor activity in a home and sensors that monitor an individual’s vital signs, we can now remotely track things like overall health, medication compliance and physical activity. Having that technology and capability is changing the way we view aging. And it’s enabling the elderly to stay in their homes and live independently longer.

QualcommLifes 2Net platform is putting together the world’s largest ecosystem of medical devices and services. The ability to leverage all of this information for an individual, a provider or other health care service company is enormous. Again from Paul Jacobs…

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The Fall Season, The Great Outdoors and Some Volunteer Fun

Well its that time of year again and if you have read some of my older blogs, you know I like to get outdoors and camp, hike, backpack etc.  The days are getting shorter and more importantly here in Florida cooler, although honestly not by much yet, but it still makes being outside a lot nicer.  So this past week I joined a work hike by the North Florida Trail Blazers. This group not only gets together to do a lot of fun activities, but they are also responsible for maintaining a section of The Florida National Scenic Trail.  While you may have heard of the Appalachian Trail, the first of the great trails, or possibly the Continental Divide Trail, or Pacific Crest Trail, we too here in the flatlands of Florida have a great trail. The trail is 1,400 miles long stretching from the Everglades in the South to the Florida Panhandle in Pensacola. 

At the volunteer work hike there were about 10 of us and we blazed trees, mowed and trimmed back the trail to create a more passable section near Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in advance of the expected fall/winter hikers. 

The group started at about 9:30 and by the time I left at at 3:00, I had hiked about 6 miles while trimming trees or mowing a section of the trail.  It was great exercise, with a nice group of people and I was able to see a lot of nature including  including deer, a gopher tortoise, a Bald Eagle, lizards, numerous butterflies and other insects and some amazing flowers.

As you look to get more exercise for yourself or your kids, now that fall is here, get outdoors where you can also have the opportunity to meet other great people, see nature and just plain have fun. If so inclined consider joining a group like the North Florida Trail Blazers or just get out on your own and enjoy the great activities and trails near you. The Meetup site is a great place to start, and you can find out about Federal Parks here..

Its good for your health and your soul.

Below are some pictures from the hike.

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The Forum 12 – Hope to see you there October 18 & 19

Are you involved in wellness or disease management or maybe your organization is working on setting up an accountable care organization or a patient centered medical home model? It might be that you work for a health plan or an employer looking to lower health care costs or improve the health of their workforce. Whichever of these, you are really in the business of managing health risks at a population level. And if you want to learn more about this, how to set up these types of programs, measure results, hear the latest research, meet with companies and expert individuals, or share your expertise with others, you need to come to the Forum 12 put on by the Care Continuum Alliance..

There are great Keynote speakers at the Plenary sessions.

Five program tracks addressing:
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mHealth – Can Mobile Technology Change Health Behavior. Third in a series..

So most people have one, a mobile phone or a smart phone or they are moving rapidly to get them, but can they impact an individual in regards to their health?

Interesting to think about, is that as I noted in my first post on this topic Will mHealth Revolutionize Health Care? – First in a Series.. , the average person looks at their phone 30 times per day, sounds like in many ways behavior change has already occurred.  Additionally a mobile or smart phone is one of the few things besides your wallet or your keys that you will go back inside to get when you leave your home and we now have the makings of a new psychological disorder, nomophobia,  the fear of losing ones mobile phone. So yes I believe mobile phones have already demonstrated the ability to change behavior, but how about health behavior.

Clinical psychiatrist Margaret Morris of Intel has listed 7 tips for motivating health behavior change via mobile . One of her quotes is:

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