Ridesharing Services Help mHealth Programs Improve Care Coordination

I am all for this idea, plus when the outside money stops flowing into Uber and Lyft and the business model changes to a real cost system which will price most people (including myself) out of the system, this can take up the slack and be available and friendlier than the taxis that are currently used (speaking for my area only).

mHealthIntelligence graphic

Addressing care coordination and transportation access – a major social determinant of health – is becoming possible with the use of ridesharing services as part of mHealth programs.

The concept of providing transportation to and from medical appointments isn’t new. Medicaid programs have long offered reimbursement for non-emergency medical transportation, and many hospitals and health plans offer vouchers for public transportation or cab fare.

But there’s a difference between offering reimbursement for transportation and actually helping people get the rides they need…

With evidence building that these factors are affecting the health of individuals and populations, providers are looking for ways to address them in the medical record…

Source: Ridesharing Services Help mHealth Programs Improve Care Coordination

Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

A telehealth company that offers online eye tests has filed a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s ban on the use of telemedicine for eye exams.


Source: Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

In the story, I should point out that this statement as screenshotted:


is not totally accurate. The representative in question is actually from Washington State, not South Carolina.

The company mentioned in the article has the ability to conduct eye exams in selected states that include North Carolina and charges $35 to do so. This is one of those infrequent occasions where something is valid in North Carolina and not in South Carolina; the states tend to enable similar laws, for good or bad.

Now HIPAA-Compatible, Amazon’s Alexa Opens Up to mHealth Uses

Alexa, please make my health records available RIGHT NOW! One of the best parts of this trial is my primary healthcare system is also participating.

Amazon has invited six healthcare providers to develop mHealth platform for Alexa, now that the company’s smart speaker is HIPAA-compliant.

Along with Boston Children’s and Livongo, others involved in the program are Cigna, Express Scripts, Providence St. Joseph Health’s Swedish Health Connect and Atrium Health.


Source: Now HIPAA-Compatible, Amazon’s Alexa Opens Up to mHealth Uses

Telehealth, mHealth Make Nurses Pivotal Presence in Healthcare

TeleHealth & mHealth

mHealthIntelligence Photo via ThinkStock

I have been an advocate of Telehealth and mHealth for a while now, despite my financial limitations and getting Medicare to pay for these services. The healthcare market will be forced to address this cost containment initiative and technology advancement; smart agencies get in front of this. Not every event needs a Doctor to diagnose and treat, especially with Nurse Practitioners receiving advanced training beyond the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become a true professional and more than just an attending nurse. A Master’s degree or equivalent is a starting point, then experience in a chosen specialty, and state licensures over above the nursing exam (“How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner?,” 2016).

Source: Telehealth, mHealth Make Nurses Pivotal Presence in Healthcare

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How Does HIPAA Apply to Wearable Health Technology?

How Does HIPAA Apply to Wearable Health Technology?

I have posted information on this topic before here and here among other places on this blog. My rule of thumb is that if it touches your body and records information about it, it is subject to HIPAA regulations. Knowing that this does not fit the narrative presented by limited government advocates; that is where we are. Until Medicare and Medicaid are brought on board with coverage for wearables, this health benefit will remain a niche product and service.

For additional guidance on creating effective disclosures, check out the FTC’s .com Disclosures report. If you have a health app, don’t forget to consult the mobile health apps interactive tool, the FTC’s best practices guidance for mobile health app developers and the OCR developer portal. And when you’re telling consumers about how you share consumer health information, always remember the FTC Act as well as HIPAA (“Sharing Consumer Health Information?” 2016).

How do HIPAA security and privacy protections apply to wearable health technology and the health data it collects and stores?

Source: How Does HIPAA Apply to Wearable Health Technology? Continue reading

Technology and Healthcare, an Intersection

I need to make known that I am not a huge fan of obvious advertorial content, in other words, sponsored content (“Tablets could ease healthcare workflows,” n.d.). Since the concept is not going away and is part of the fuel that drives the “free” as in cost web, my preference for it to be labeled as such. This linked story meets that requirement.

Having said this, I found this article to be fascinating as well as a “duh” moment for me is why is this not widespread. Whenever technology is introduced in a collaborative way to any field not friendly to it, there is lag, blowback, disdain, et cetera. I consider myself having a practical understanding of technology, albeit on a limited income. It has made my lifestyle for the better part of the last two decades and enabled my graduate studies and ePortfolio, linked elsewhere on this blog. Since tablets, slates, two-in-one devices are the modern Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), they can carry much more usefulness and information that can be hardened, accessible, monitored, and placed in the hands of medical professionals to remove some of the more mundane aspects of their jobs while letting the focus is patient care and medical decision-making (“Our Solutions — Greenway Medical Technologies,” n.d.). As a health consumer, the ability to communicate with the healthcare team in matters that are near real-time or quickly via e-mail is a shrewd operating state that allows for better diagnosis. It also allows less time going over the same thing at each doctor visit, thus saving the patient time and money, while maximizing the practitioner’s time by getting to the point of the visit. The article is one vendor’s vision to educate its market on their product and service offerings for this field. I am not actively in the field, so one can only guess how effective their pitch is, but it is a market too large to ignore, and will become more important over time as health care transitions to a single-payer model. IMHO, it is not if it will happen but when. The only reason it hasn’t happened to this point is partisan politics. Economics and demographics will force this shift among us, if not civil disobedience.

The barriers to deployment are less technical and more choice-based. The secure Electronic Health Records (EHR) marketplace is available, albeit not at an initial reasonable cost or an “open” system. One of the companies mentioned in the article just so happens to support an Auburn man on the PGA Tour, so the company can’t be all bad and headquartered near my old stomping grounds in Carrollton, GA [~85 mi from where I grew up and about the same distance from my undergraduate education]. The Hippocratic Oath that medical doctors historically swear by has tenets that cover topics like this:

  • To hold him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents…
  • I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.
  • In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art…
  • Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick…

The list continues (North, 2002).

Anything that enables a particular Greek historical admonishment, and can be interpreted in modern software and digital transmissions is a good thing in the end. A local hospital group, the “Purple” team, is running ads based on the ability to telemedicine your doctor with Skype™ style technology from anywhere or anytime. A utopia based vision, for sure, but one that can and must happen in order for health outcomes to match the rest of the developed world.


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