Are You Ready for the Rise of Patient Empowerment?


We saw glimpses of the rise in patient empowerment last year at HIMSS15 in Chicago. More fitness tracker watches and apps were visible and many attendees wanted to know how this trend was going to impact the healthcare technology landscape.

During HIMSS16, you should expect to see more conversations around how the patient, and their user generated data, plays into healthcare going forward.

At Intel, we’re approaching HIMSS16 with a critical eye on three areas that we feel are focal points for CMIOs and CIOs: precision medicine, health IT and medical devices, and consumer health. All are patient-focused.

Precision medicine signals more personalized data is coming.
Last year, the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group formed under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) made a very bold announcement that could change the future of medicine. A cohort of one million or more Americans will volunteer to have their various healthcare data incorporated into a precision medicine platform that will accelerate research across many areas of health and disease. Researchers will now have a huge pool of diverse data to help them discover and quantify factors that contribute to illness, and then test approaches that can preserve health and treat disease.

Health IT devices that seamlessly connect patients, clinicians and data for holistic proactive care across settings is the way of the future.
Patients are empowered with tools, devices and information to proactively manage their own health the way that really makes sense, outside the hospital. We are embracing a more connected vision of healthcare. Simple forms of home monitoring have existed for years; however, today, there is a big disruption in the market due to new form factors of clinical wearables and connectivity solutions, which are easier to use and have a greater ability to transfer and provide access to patient data. Smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of people’s lives and can serve as a tool for telehealth, as well as hub for clinical patient information. This makes the implementation of virtual care much easier, allowing patients to have options to cost-effective solutions and allow them to manage their health more proactively.

Consumer health will mean patients will be partners in healthcare with physicians.
We talk a lot about scaling patient engagement, but what does that mean and what are the benefits? It’s simple. An engaged and informed patient is more likely to own their health and proactively work with their doctor and various care teams. Two-way collaboration gives clinicians greater access to more actionable patient-generated data, making collaborative care possible while increasing the quality and accuracy of patient electronic health records (EHRs). Combining patient, clinical, diagnostic and ‘omic’ data will give us a more diversified data set, changing the way we view health data and potential treatments. At the end of the day, all healthcare technology should be about improving patient care. We anticipate this trend being prevalent at HIMSS16 and look forward to continuing the conversation during the event.

What are you most looking forward to seeing at HIMSS16? Tweet us @IntelHealth and visit the Intel Health & Life Sciences Community to see more blogs and videos on healthcare technology innovation.