Feds, bankroll connected health before EMRs

By Brian Dolan
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Dr. Joseph Kvedar, Center for Connected HealthAfter spending the last few days at The Connected Health Symposium, which was put together by Partners HealthCare's Center for Connected Health and its affiliates, it's worth revisiting a contributed column that the Center's Director Joseph Kvedar penned for Healthspottr: "The Reason Why: Cheap & Easy Connected Health Tools Should Come Before EMRs." Rather controversial position to take within the context of the broader health reform discussion, however, it's one we hear all the time from those in the connected health and wireless health industry. Here's an excerpt:

The very good news is that doctors can use these “connected health” alternatives to achieve “meaningful use”, the administration’s new standards for measuring quality improvements from electronic tools. Criteria for meaningful use include such things as ‘percent of diabetics with HbA1c under control’ and ‘percent hypertensive patients under control’. Better still, as physicians focus on performing to “meaningful use” standards, they inch closer to a framework where they are being paid for outcomes, rather than volume of procedures.

It’s time to begin investing in patient self-management tools, to give some responsibility for improving health and lowering costs to our citizens. This would offer some balance, at least, to the administrations $36 billion investment in EMRs.

Be sure to read Kvedar's full column over at Healthspottr