Other tidbits: Pushing the liability off providers, letting patients take their own healthcare data

Panelists at the Health:Refactored provided more thoughts on current trends that will make apps & websites successful in healthcare. One prominent theme is the trend towards data sharing.

Ryan Panchadsaram, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, advocated empowering patients to take ownership of their information and reduce liability on healthcare providers: “If there are consumer-facing apps needing health data from electronic health records (EHR), the liability isn’t any more on the provider or the EHR, but it’s in the consumer and the company they’ve decided to work with.”

Panchadsaram cites the Department of Veterans Affairs’s Blue Button initiative as one such EHR project that allows patients to export & download all of their health data. “One of the hacks or ways the system is changing is that consumers are taking on the risk for having health data instead of the providers. Blue Button’s version 1 disclaimer is that the data is in their hands. Version 2 now allows consumers to ‘trust’ particular apps like Fitbit, so the risk relationship is now between them and not where the data was originally created.”

The future, Panchadsaram notes, will force the industry to provide data to consumers and doctors much more readily than the current method of onerous restrictions. “Change will happen. Over the past 7 years, great healthcare ideas have [been stymied by data-sharing problems], stopped and said, ‘Oh, yeah, I have to get the data from the doctor’s to my app, or from one office to another.’ This [will improve] in the next three to twelve months. It’s not going to happen in the next far-off future. Healthcare doesn’t happen in just one room anymore.”

Allscripts CIO Stanley Crane also concurred, stating that groups will be incentivized to share data. “It can’t not change. An organization is not just purely a fee-for-service organization. I love the ACO model…[it’s] a way to align incentives, and technology is an enabler but not the answer. It’s partially, ‘how do we get paid for e-visits? virtual visits?’ and realign the incentives.”

Jess Jacobs, a fellow at the FDA, said one of the final pieces is further education for providers: “We have to go out there and educate providers on what they can do with HIPAA, because otherwise they will just say ‘You can’t do that’ with data.”

The trend towards making data and app development more efficient is clear. And multiple parties — patients, physicians, other providers, and industry–want data to be shared, interoperable, and usable. Both government officials and industry executives are keenly optimistic that this will happen in the very short-term future.

The Health: Refactored 2-day conference in Silicon Valley — by the Health 2.0 organization — brought together designers, developers, and health/technology professionals to discuss the economics and governmental factors influencing health tech, the latest user experience paradigms, as well as API and data sources.

We previously covered other sessions of the conference in these articles:

Steven Chan is a volunteer co-founder for Health 2.0 Sacramento, a local chapter associated with the Health 2.0 organization. He received no support from Health 2.0 for this article.

Steven Chan, M.D., M.B.A., is a resident physician at the University of California, Davis Health System, researching mobile technology, psychiatry & human behavior. Steve previously worked as a software and web engineer as well as creative designer at Microsoft & UC Berkeley. Visit him at www.stevenchanMD.com and @StevenChanMD.