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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Oct 2 2011   9:46PM GMT

Improving the population’s health with technology

Posted by: RedaChouffani

As healthcare in the US continues its transformation form a fee base health system to a outcome measure model clinicians will begin requiring frequent visits with to the doctor, collection of more information and finding creative ways to reduce costs and improve efficiently to offset the shrinking reimbursements.

While there reforms to help transform our health care, patients with chronic disease have been increasing at an alarming rate. Some of the numbers released by the Center for managing chronic disease show:

·7.0 million (9.4%) U.S. children have asthma

·2.4 million – 4.5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease

·10% of adults 20 years+ have diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed)

·67% of adults age 20 years+ are overweight or obese

·26.6 million (12%) adults have heart disease in the United States

These were the result of the national Health interview survey in 2008. What these numbers are telling us is that the task of helping patients with Chronic disease will be a critical step to improving the population’s health. It would be critical to ensure that the transformation of our healthcare will be able to improve the health of the population.

But many physicians are concerned about the current health of the population and increase number of patients with chronic diseases. While in the past there has not been significant adoption of consumer-based technologies to help manage chronic conditions, physicians now are discovering there may be some promising innovations that will change the way physicians care for their patients.

Ease access to Information:

With many of the current EHR system integrations available through interfaces with hospitals, radiology groups, lab companies and Surescripts for Rx, access to a patient comprehensive health records help physicians better care for their patients.

Improved communication:

As more patients use web portals, secure email, and SMS to communicate with their care providers, these methods are making it easier for them to efficiently and immediately communicate without having to leave voicemails and wait for a call back.

Efficient and near real-time Collection of health data (such as vitals, glucose levels):

As we continue to see more innovation in the mobile world such as: wireless vitals data capture, smaller and connected glucose devices, and heart monitors that communicate with smart phones, these medical devices are allowing physicians to have near real time to critical data and be able to react to any early signs.

There are several additional technological and scientific advancements that are providing support to physicians in help improving population’s health. Many of these require adoption from both patients and healthcare professionals.

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