Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving

IMS is a highly trusted source of news and data for the entire healthcare industry. But often the focus is on Biopharma — and in this one specific instance — a new update on their tracking the evolution of health apps for patients and doctors.

They report that as of end of 2015, there were over 165,000 health-related apps in the market. In this report, IMS analyzed over 26,000 of these apps. While improvement has occurred from earlier reports (which had the abysmal stats of 75% of all health apps abandoned after 3 months!) there is still much work to do.

But this new report is a mixed bag or encouraging progress and what is still left to do to truly make a health app data-safe, integrates better User Experience customer-centric and relevant over time. Let’s look he highlights…because I have a much more in-depth post coming on cutting edge apps for mental illness.

As the leader of the report, Murray Aitken puts it very succinctly: “While much progress has been made over the past two years, mHealth apps are still far from being a fully integrated component of healthcare delivery,” said Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. “Healthcare providers are actively addressing the remaining barriers. These include developing and adopting trusted platforms for ongoing apps curation and evaluation, creating practical reimbursement models and ensuring true interoperability within and across healthcare systems.”

The IMS report source: https://goo.gl/jT5zJP

The highlights:

  • App connectivity becomes a major focus for developers
  • Overwhelming choice without guidance limits usefulness of healthcare apps; over half of all health app downloads come form just 96 apps. That sure speaks to a lot of wasted money and time.
  • A growing movement is underway to build evidence supporting the value of mHealth apps.
  • Providers agree that the value mHealth apps can deliver is high, but barriers to full adoption remain.

The industry is at an important stage of evolution — the old lackluster, brand-centric approach to app development is giving way to greater focus on passive data collection and relevance.

Stay tuned for more on mHealth apps…lots of change, lots to say!

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Biopharma listened! IMS reports on health apps improving was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Surprise! EHR’s are hurting not helping the doctor /patient relationship.

Summary: A healthy Patient-Doctor relationship is the core of all healthcare.  This reports on a JAMA* study as well as one brilliant doctors’ personal view on the impact of EHR’s on that hallowed relationship.

When JAMA publishes a study, everyone pays attention. But this was not a clinical study; this was research into the impact of EHR’s (Electronic Health Records) on the patient-doctor relationship. They videotaped numerous consults and them interviewed the patient afterward.

Guess what, the news is not good. (Especially for those Biopharma marketers looking at EHR’s as a new promotion channel: do you really want to annoy the doctor more by interrupting their work with a savings card?)

With the healthcare system was heading towards the abyss of being too costly, the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be the game-changer for nearly every aspect of the entire trillion dollar industry.  One mandate was for all patient records to become digital (and accessible). Incentives and punishments were created requiring doctors and hospitals to have Electronic Health Records as a means to more efficiently serve patient care, lower costs  and create Connected Health with inter-operable systems…a glorious vision of a healthcare system that is efficient and patient-centric.

Well, maybe not so patient-centric as the architects of the ACA believed. The collapse of the independent practice, the turnover of EHR’s, the bad User Experience, are all well known shortcomings.

JAMA looked at the reality of what “efficiency” really means to patient-centricity:

  • The researchers used data from encounters between 47 patients and 39 doctors at a public hospital between 2011 and 2013.
  • Doctors who entered data into computerized health records during patients’ appointments did less positive communicating, and patients rated their care excellent less often, in a recent study.
  • Doctors who used the computer more also spent more time correcting or disagreeing with patients.
  • Private practices, due to ACA, EHR and other burdens, have collapsed and been acquired in droves by large hospital networks (estimated under 30% remain private); in doing so, doctor’s are in the thrall of hospital guidelines and procedures…and no real influence on choice of EHR’s!

No wonder patients are unhappy! So are doctors! Doctors are trained to observe a patient, literally watch them closely as they speak and use their experience and observations to help in every part of their patient care. But EHR’s force them to break their training habits– type in their laptop, look up-and-down, asking the usual questions and perhaps miss the visual cues they were trained to catch.

The famous ZDoggMD  created a YouTube video just asking: “Let doctors be doctors!”  This is a witty and worthy  commentary from a doctor who is trying to bring a doctor-centric view of fixing medicine. PLEASE watch his video.

Clearly, the ACA/EHR boulder is rolling downhill at it’s own speed and regulatory-demands. Perhaps once all EHR’s are voice-activated (my ENT has one but I wonder if it catches his off-color jokes), and UX is more point-of-care centric, this mess will turn a more positive corner.

*SOURCE: bit.ly/1NiCTWw JAMA Internal Medicine, online November 30, 2015

Surprise! EHR’s are hurting not helping the doctor /patient relationship. was originally published on Harbinger Associates