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How are You Approaching Patient-Generated Health Data?

One in two consumers believe wearables can improve healthcare management, according to a recent study conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab.

The report, which included an online survey of 4,500 mobile health users, also revealed that 60 percent of consumers feel devices like fitness trackers, smart watches and health apps will lead to a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, more than 60 percent of consumers are ready to use wearable devices as a preventive measure for identifying health abnormalities and countering chronic conditions, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

PGHD’s Powerful Potential
From tracking food intake and counting steps to measuring blood pressure and monitoring blood glucose levels, smart phone apps, wearables and other connected devices are enabling individuals to collect an unprecedented volume and variety of health data.

This patient-generated health data (PGHD) has the potential to empower people to take greater control of their health, become more engaged in their healthcare, and make more informed decisions and positive behavior changes.

When shared with healthcare providers, PGHD can help improve care delivery by “supplementing existing clinical data, filling in gaps in information and providing a more comprehensive picture of ongoing patient health,” states the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

PGHD can enable providers to gather and assess valuable patient information on a continuous basis, rather than just during office visits. By providing real-time insights into patient health, it can lead to more timely, targeted interventions. This can be especially helpful for patients with chronic conditions, who benefit from ongoing monitoring and support.

“Patient-generated health data, whether collected via wearables and remote-monitoring devices or patient interviews and quality-of-life evaluation surveys, help create a more holistic, comprehensive health profile of individuals and populations by augmenting other data sources,” says Jennie Echols, PhD, MSN, RN, Director of Clinical Solution Development at Carenet Healthcare Services. “When used effectively, this data can lead to improvements in care quality, care coordination, patient safety, and clinical and financial outcomes.”

Personalized, Collaborative Approach Key
Before PGHD’s immense potential can be fully realized, there are numerous obstacles to overcome. Device reliability; data accuracy and validity; patient expectations; lack of standards, policies and best practices; privacy, security and liability concerns; economic disparities; and providers already overwhelmed with data are just some of the complex challenges that need to be addressed.

For PGHD to have a measurable impact on outcomes, personal support from an individual’s healthcare team is key. Often, data alone isn’t enough to drive a high level of engagement, compliance with recommended health measures, long-lasting behavior change, or informed decision-making.

A personalized, collaborative approach that includes data sharing, mutual goal setting, shared decision-making, barrier resolution, ongoing accountability, and more is necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

“Wearables are encouraging many people to become more engaged in their day-to-day health, yet despite the tremendous innovations in digital health technology, the need for human interactions in healthcare is not going away,” say Echols. “While PGHD can provide individuals with a wealth of interesting information, effectively putting these insights into action often requires the knowledge, support and influence of a skilled team of healthcare professionals.”

Carenet Can Help
Carenet’s Strategic Engagement Solution is designed to proactively help healthcare consumers make more informed healthcare decisions based on multiple data sources. We then help them follow through on their decisions by overcoming care obstacles and simplifying care coordination. To learn more, click here to request a Discovery Session.

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