This session was presented by Susannah Fox who was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We have real opportunities for breakthrough in the next 5 years by developing deeper levels of collaboration between health and technology. The source of so much suffering and cost in our health care system stem from two sources:
- Medication Adherence – Taking the prescription, getting it filled and taking the medication. This is a real challenge for many people, particularly if it involves injections.
- Diabetes – HB1C is a snapshot of how you are managing your blood sugar. We know that peer to peer advice and support can dramatically improve the outcomes for sufferers of diabetes. Connecting with someone who takes the same medication or has the same condition, or a community where you can share information is empowering people to better manage their condition.
Another take away is that with hurricanes, regular people helped before the lights and sirens arrived. It was called the Cajun Navy. After seeing how fellow citizens were able to react in a crisis, FEMA came up with a whole community response plan. Our neighbors are now an integral part of the response team. Think about when you had an illness. Who responded first? Likely it was a friend or family member. What was interesting to me is that whether we realize it or not, we are all supported by communities. Rather than looking exclusively at health care providers for guidance and support, there is a much wider community available for help.
One other idea I’d like to pass along that could be a lifesaver is an app called iBlueButton. Our medical information still resides in silos. If you are traveling and require medical attention, how will first responders or medical professionals access your data? What if a hospital system’s computers are temporarily down? This app allows you to download your medical information on to your smartphone. For Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, iBlueButton lets you automatically login into your account at MyMedicare.gov and retrieve the last four years of your medical history automatically translating on your phone or tablet your Medicare claim financial information into an organized medical history and all of its useful details. iBlueButton organizes all your information – with lists of medications, conditions, immunizations and allergies – as well as a detailed medical history for you to review, research, annotate, share and print. You can easily find and review all your physician visits, hospitalizations, imaging studies, tests and get contact information for all your providers.