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Intel Health & Life Sciences

6 Posts authored by: jlemieux


Consumer health was one of the big trends that came out of HIMSS 2016. Patients using wearable technology and smartphone apps to collect and send data to physicians is making a dramatic impact on how healthcare research is performed.


One area where this model is already moving forward is in Parkinson’s disease research. Patients battling this disease usually see their physicians every six to 12 months. By utilizing technology, patients can regularly collect data on their movements, send the information to the cloud for analysis, and be better prepared for their next appointment. This process provides more value for each interaction with the doctor and from what we see, the patients are excited to be able to contribute data and help researchers combat this disease.


In the above video clip, Chen Admati, advanced analytics manager at Intel, explains how consumer health platforms such as wearable technology are helping in Parkinson’s disease and shows how Intel is working to develop new algorithms to analyze important information. The hope is to take the value from this research model and translate it to other disease platforms to combat some of the most prevalent health challenges facing us today.


Watch the video and let us know what questions you have about wearables and consumer health.

This week at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas, the Intel Health & Life Science team displays many new and exciting ways to make health more personal through technology. In the booth, we will share the You 24x7 Cardiovascular Wellness Study – a Big Data approach to clinical research.


What’s unique about the You 24x7 Cardiovascular Wellness Study is researchers are using a big data analytics platform to bring together a wide range of data – from daily life plus clinical data – to get a more complete picture of the participants’ wellness. Hundreds of volunteers wore an activity tracker 24x7 for six-months and contributed their EHR, clinical lab reports and remote patient monitoring data, including weight and blood pressure, for a team of cardiologists and sleep experts to analyze at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).


Find out more: OHSU Wearables Big Data Analytics Paper


Study Details:

A Basis Peak watch provided minute-by-minute data on activities, sleep stages, pulse, calorie burn, perspiration and skin temperature. Participants told the investigators that having their own dashboard to view their information — on the watch itself, on a smart phone app, as well as in a web browser — helped them understand their lifestyle choices, quantifying their sleep quality and exercise levels, for example.


Some of the participants also had weight scales and blood pressure monitors in their home. Every time they take a reading, the data streams wirelessly to an Intel-powered remote patient monitoring gateway, and the gateway uses the 3G network to send the information securely to a cloud environment.


The Basis Peak watch, scale, blood pressure cuff, clinical data and EHR all contributed to a robust data set and this is definitely Big Data — a half-billion data points over the course of the trial.


Exploring expanded data sets:

A team of cardiologists, sleep experts and biostatisticians at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute are now drilling into all that 24x7 data using the Trusted Analytics Platform to explore associations between daily life and clinical findings.


It’s a new, big data approach to discovery, taking advantage of wearable devices, home monitoring devices and gateways, and a Big Data analytics platform. It allows scientists to shed light into blind spots like sleep quality to test associations and patterns in data never before available. We think information about the actual daily lives of patients is an untapped resource for a wide range of healthcare stakeholders, including patients themselves.


When we look back on 2016, my hope is that the year will be a milestone in the progress toward patients owning their health. Over the years, technology has allowed consumers to own their banking, travel arrangements and cable television subscriptions. Now, it’s healthcare’s turn. Healthcare technology such as wearable devices and electronic health records (EHRs) is, for the first time, putting the patient in the driver’s seat to take control of their physical care.


Own Your Health will be a rallying cry in 2016 that works on several levels:

At the patient level, Own Your Health means understanding one’s physical well-being and taking steps to improve it. This can be done with information – doctor visit summaries, medications, medical imaging, diagnosis codes, clinical notes and laboratory results — that is available today through a wide range of wearable devices, smartphones, and sensors. These technologies enable a deeper level of participation in one’s health, and a much richer set of data so that patients understand that what they do affects their bodies.


At a broader level, owning your health contributes to insights and discoveries in populations of people. In 2016, Intel will be reporting on a clinical trial in which people volunteered to let research scientists analyze their deidentified biometric data from the Basis Peak fitness tracker combined with data captured in clinics, laboratories and in homes. I mention this example because it reflects a clear industry trend toward using consumer-grade wearables in population health, wellness monitoring and drug discovery efforts. Intel’s work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation using wearables to measure tremor events in Parkinson’s patients is another great example, enabling analysis of how various types of patients respond to specific doses of medication.


For the fast-growing consumer healthcare marketplace, Own Your Health will be a call-to-action. Intel is working with a wide variety of partners to develop this ecosystem and break new ground with devices and biosensing, data interoperability and integration, affordable and scalable storage, and predictive analytics, all delivered with an acceptable level of security and trust. Our goal is to make consumer health analytics easier on Intel® architecture.

Overall, Own Your Health is about gaining value from biometric information that has been untapped for too long. And it is based on the power of individuals to learn about and improve their health, and contribute to the well-being of others at the same time.

Where do you see consumer health technology heading this year?

There’s essentially a 1-in-5 chance that a Medicare patient will be readmitted within 30 days of being discharged from a hospital.


The U.S. government estimates $17 billion USD a year could be saved by preventing unnecessary readmissions through better care coordination, not to mention the improved quality of life and lowered infection risk for patients who don’t have to go back to the hospital.


Under new federal rules, hospitals with readmission rates considered too high now carry risk of having portions their Medicare reimbursements withheld.


The hospital discharge summary is an important document to aid communication that can prevent unnecessary returns to the hospital. If incorporated into an effective workflow, it helps open a window of opportunity for patients and their normal care teams to get on the same page with the hospital on next steps, such as making follow-up appointments, monitoring to prevent complications, managing a new medication regimen, etc.


So, if each hospital creates a better discharge process, we will tackle the readmission problem, right?


Not entirely.


The problem, especially in metropolitan areas, is that patients go to several providers, and a few different hospitals. Therefore, the needed care coordination cannot be confined to one hospital alone. It needs to be spread across the community, including the patient, the patient’s primary care provider, specialists, and in some cases, non-traditional health workers. And to do that efficiently, communities need to standardize the discharge document as well as some targeted post-discharge interventions.


That’s the fundamental premise behind an important project that a small Intel team joined in the metropolitan area of Portland, Ore.  We were honored to work with a team led by Melinda Muller, MD, of Legacy Health, who directs a pilot to standardize the discharge summary and process.


We describe the project and its initial lessons in a new whitepaper: Developing Community-Based, Standardized Hospital-Discharge Summaries.


There are other efforts all over the world to improve the discharge summary process. We’re interested in your thoughts.


What’s happening in your community?

It’s vividly educational to pitch in on the front lines of a grand challenge like the Oregon Experiment, sometimes described as “ACOs on steroids.”


• How do you take a financially strapped program (i.e., Medicaid), nearly double its size, control its per capita cost growth, and deliver better care and service to its patients?


• How do you create more cost-effective clinical workflows across organizational boundaries among traditional competitors?


• And how do you use IT to support the program’s lofty goals?


Observers of the movement toward accountable care organizations (ACOs) will look to Oregon for evidence of success or failure. To be fair, it will take a few years to defensibly answer these fundamental questions.


What we can say definitively now is that the journey is as necessary as it is fascinating. We describe it in a new white paper, ACOs on Steroids: Why the Oregon Experiment Matters.


Health Share of Oregon is a lean startup organization that administers a Medicaid transformation project involving several healthcare providers and public agencies in metropolitan Portland.  Health Share of Oregon’s broad ambitions, as well as its birthing pains, demonstrate the opportunities and barriers to healthcare transformation efforts that go beyond tinkering at the edges.


I’d like to recognize the great work of Intel colleagues Stephanie Wilson and Prashant Shah, who dug in with Health Share of Oregon’s IT team for about nine months to help get the project started under very tight deadlines. We learned a lot and felt honored to work together with the Portland area health IT community.


In healthcare, it’s the long haul that matters. Although the startup phase may perhaps be the most exciting, the ultimate success of the project will be determined through the ongoing hard work to continuously improve. It will take the whole community of Medicaid providers, IT professionals and health data experts to answer the grand questions of the Oregon Experiment.


Our thanks go out to the whole Health Share of Oregon community for their efforts to create a safer, higher-quality and financially sustainable system for people with lower incomes and barriers to healthcare access.


Because of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the federal-state program is in need of healthcare leaders and IT professionals willing to innovate.


Do you see innovations happening in your community? What’s working and what’s not working?

To provoke some thinking about what the future holds for healthcare IT professionals—as well as all of us as individuals—there’s  a new TED talk I highly recommend.


Intel fellow Eric Dishman, GM for healthcare at Intel, distills his difficult and confusing journey through the healthcare system – and how technology can improve such journeys for future patients. You can see the video here.


This talk is inspiring on at least two different levels. It’s inspiring to see how computing innovation can help solve big problems, and make our lives safer and more convenient. And it’s an inspiring story of how human compassion from a stranger saved Eric’s life, giving him the kidney that he needed.


In the presentation, Eric demonstrates an example of how patients will be more involved in their own care, something that he has worked on for more than a decade at Intel. He conducts a live online conversation with his nephrologist while, using a handheld device, projecting a live ultrasound image of his newly transplanted kidney for the audience.


The talk weaves together three themes of “personal health” aided by new technology and emerging models of care:


Care anywhere – the infusion of mobile devices and communications technologies that let clinicians and patients stay on track – beyond wires and organizational walls.


Care networking – the shift from solo-based practice to true team-based care. He says, “We have got to go beyond this paradigm of isolated specialists doing parts care to multi-disciplinary teams doing person care.” Eric contrasts the efficient and comprehensive care he received from the kidney transplant team with the scattered and unconnected care he received for many years when no one knew precisely how to treat him.


“The sacred and somewhat over-romanticized doctor-patient 1-on-1 is a relic of the past. The future of healthcare is smart teams – and you better be on that team for yourself,” he says.


Care customization – the development of a care plan for the individual, taking into account everything from one’s needs and personal wishes to one’s unique genomic variations. He tells the audience how he is living proof that we are living at the cusp of a revolution in personalized medicine. He challenges the medical research community to “experiment on my avatar in software, not my body in suffering,” he says.


But he saves the best for last. You need to see how his 15-minute TED talk ties it all together at the end. It’s a tribute to people who make a difference, and an inspiring call to action.


What questions do you have?