We do a lot of monitoring of and writing in the healthcare and patient empowerment space here on the Mozzaz blog; so, when we came across an article detailing how customer service in 2015 is going to be the best year for consumers, ever, we couldn’t ignore it.
The article, which details five ways customer service is set to ‘explode’ in 2015, talks about how customers are no longer going to wait on brands to give them the information they need. Rather, people are looking for ways to rapidly acquire the information they want from their favourite brands by using channels of communication available through their smartphone.
What does this mean for healthcare? Well, it’s not a stretch to imagine that people with chronic conditions are still doing everyday things like shopping – so it’s also safe to assume that these people are using their devices to seek empowerment.
If brands are ramping up to give customers the tools they need to make informed decisions then healthcare better take notice; people know what they deserve and they’re willing to go to your competitors to get it.
In a recent mind-blowing slideshow produced by Sparks and Honey, all the ways healthcare is evolving were beautifully highlighted in such a way that is – and should be – read(able) by everyone.
Among the many fascinating insights into technology and healthcare’s hybridization is the fact that the cost of sequencing a human genome in 2001 was $100m USD, and today, a mere 14 years later, is $1,000 USD. This shows just how far we’ve come with modern technology.
Another compelling trend highlighted is the need for individuals to be empowered. This is happening through what Sparks and Honey refers to as ‘The Mobile Hospital;’ which is when a care recipient uses technology to stay informed and to also keep the healthcare provider informed from a mobile location outside of the hospital, such as their home.
With 70% of all organizations adopting consumer-facing mobile apps, wearables, and remote health monitoring tech, the time to take control of your own health is now.
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and is enabling patients to be empowered like never before. We’re excited to see that more organizations are starting to recognize that tech-empowered patients means a more efficient circle of care and healthcare system.
That’s exactly what we do at Mozzaz – we give everyone involved in the care circle the tools they need to be empowered.
Managing a chronic health condition is an ongoing struggle, as anyone who has one—or has a family member who suffers from one—can tell you. For too long people with complex healthcare needs have been treated on an appointment basis: you enter the room, tell your M.D. what symptoms happen to be the worst that day, and then voila! You’re fixed!
But that’s not the reality of living with a chronic condition, is it?
The stark truth means weeks, even months, of suffering while waiting for your doctor to see you. Often, the appointment covers the surface of what you’re facing but doesn’t get into your daily struggles or challenges you face just going about your day-to-day routines.
But the future is bright.
“We need to do a better job of managing everybody on a continuum, which is the reality of the way people experience their disease and conditions,” says Martin Entwhistle, director of the Druker Center for Health Innovation Systems. When things aren’t working, he’s the person who figures out why, and then actively pushes to improve existing conditions for healthcare professionals and care recipients.
In a recent interview, he talks about using modern mobile technology to create a lifestyle solution for managing chronic healthcare conditions. Instead of touching base with your physician on an appointment-by-appointment basis, you can now track your everyday happenings.
“Our original focus was more on disease management, with the recognition that we needed to help individuals drive toward better goals and outcomes, but at the same time manage a wider population that may have chronic diseases like hypertension or diabetes,” he continues discussing why clinicians originally pushed for data collection on patients.
We think he is right on the money: people’s lives exist on a continuum, not inside the constraints of a 20 minute physician’s appointment. So why not treat the condition in a way that reflects the individual’s lifestyle?
Luckily, thanks to new legislation, and people like Martin Entwhistle, the path forward is clearly curving towards healthcare on a continuum—not a 20 minute box.
19 percent—56.7 million—of Americans live with one or more disabilities. Of that number, 7.6 million people have a hearing impairment. Living with a chronic condition such as hearing loss is a reality most of us will not experience, but that doesn’t mean it is hard to envision what life would be like.
Take a moment and imagine your daily interactions with other people. Now imagine them again, but as a person who is deaf. How many people would you be able to communicate with easily—if at all? Do any of your coworkers understand sign language?
For most of us, the idea of going through life as a person who is deaf seems overwhelming. The type of thing that might hold you back. For Leah Katz-Hernandez, however, being deaf has not been a deterrent to success but rather a reason to work harder.
|Holding impressive titles such as Executive Director of Deaf USA, Press Assistant/Research Associate for Michelle Obama, and now, as the Secretary for the West Wing of the White House. Yes, a deaf lady greets, meets, and interacts with powerful world leaders as well as ordinary citizens with purpose on a daily basis—all in sign or through an interpreter.|
She is a strong advocate for accessibility, and the fact that she is now SOTUS (Capitol Hill slang for Secretary Of The United States) means she can continue to be a beacon for those who live life with a hearing impairment.Citing her parents as her primary sources of inspiration, she has a long list of relevant experiences and believes in giving back as much as she can.
True equality means everyone has access to the same standards, same opportunities, and same treatment. We think having someone as capable and experienced as Leah Katz-Hernandez as Secretary for the White House is a magnificent idea—disability or not.
There is an old paradox that asks, “What happens when an irresistible force meets an unmovable object?” also known as the ‘Spear and the Shield.’
When it comes to healthcare, we have expeditiously advancing technology, an aging population, and unsustainable consumption of resources as the ‘Spear.’ On the other hand, we have the healthcare system as it exists today: slow moving procedures; a lack of accountability; and healthcare initiatives and teams that are massively divided and far from patient-centric. This is the seemingly unmovable object, or the “Shield.”
A recent article by HP proposes this very thought, and also theorizes there are going to be six major disruptions to the current healthcare system by 2020.
What if there was a way to ensure that things not only continued to function properly, but could be given tools which enabled the current state of healthcare to operate more efficiently and in a way that puts the patient first?
The change Mozzaz seeks to propagate is exactly that: sustainable and patient-centric care. We created—and continue to improve on—our complex care solutions in order to assist healthcare providers and organizations to reduce the strain that the existing state of fragmented care plans produces.
Why does this matter?
The current circle of care includes a feedback loop that involves doctors, therapists, and other clinicians, that will eventually dictate their version of the best care plan to the patient. This often leaves family members wanting more for their loved ones—but the healthcare organizations can’t produce better results because they lack the resources. With modern technology being affordable and accessible by any segment of the population, we can now empower the patient more than ever before.
This change reduces costs on all parties involved.
As we move closer to 2020 and its “inevitable” healthcare disruptions, it is our hope that we can work together to enable patients, clinicians, and organizations alike to empower one another in a way that ensures a significant boost to accountability, quality, and standards of care while reducing financial burdens and resource strains.
In a recent interview with healthitoutcomes.com, Debbie Welle-Powell, vice president for accountable health and payer strategies at SCL Health, highlighted how technology and legislation is causing a shift from the old per-month, per-member (PMPM) pay cycle to a more incentivized system that enables reduced costs to healthcare organizations (and patients) as well as raising the overall standard of care.
“We know the migration from volume to value is essential to delivering care that is accountable and affordable,” she said. The entire tone of the interview is about driving patient-centric care that is not just accountable and affordable, but also improving on relationships between care providers and patients. There are more news items every day that indicate a push towards accountable and outcome driven healthcare systems all across the globe. This is partly because of legislation such as ‘Obamacare’ also partly because organizations and patients alike are recognizing a need for greater accountability and reduced costs in their care plans.
|The current system is not sustainable. The current system is lacking. The current system needs better tools to handle an aging population and a rise in chronic condition diagnoses.|
She closed the interview by driving home the point, “It’s not just about lowering the expense; it’s really about improving care or understanding.”
Debbie Welle-Powell and the SLC Health team are clearly adapting well to the push for more patient-centric solutions that empower care recipients and organizations to improve their current level of care.
This is one trend that isn’t going anywhere but up, and we look forward to seeing more organizations like SLC Health drive the change that we all need.
2014 was a huge year for healthcare reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or, “Obamacare,” continued its rollout, placing emphasis on Meaningful Use—the term placed on the requirement that healthcare organizations prove that technology they adopt benefits all parties in a purposeful way; while patients continued to seek new ways to raise the standards of care. Social media engagement, increased data tracking, and patient empowerment are on the rise.
Trends for 2015 are centered on the ever-increasing importance of technology in healthcare. According to several experts the big trends to watch out for are: ‘Care without boundaries;’ customized personal health analytics; and tech-enabled patient engagement.
‘Care Without Boundaries’
It’s a relatively new term that involves an individual’s wish to maintain health and wellness, particularly during an episode of care. If you are suffering a chronic condition you may and likely will have to coordinate your care with several clinicians including specialists and general health practitioners. Keeping many appointments, tracking the effectiveness of your care plan, and managing your medications can be a massive stressor. Thankfully, technology now allows this data to empower patients more than ever before with a seamless flow from patient to clinician.
Personal Health Analytics
Using customized personal health analytics, such as data tracking applications and solutions, can enable a care giver or patient to receive a quality of care higher than ever before.
“The use of mobile and personalized analytics in healthcare is what’s next to improve healthcare delivery with integrated, assistive, and augmentative technology,” says Judy Murphy, CNO and Director of IBM Healthcare Global. This means that patients will experience more patient-centric care while clinicians can easily track complex care plans.
Technology Enabling Patient Engagement
Tech-enabled patient engagement means a consistent flow of information between patients and their healthcare providers. Rather than the traditional episodic touch points that have us stuck in the mid-1900s, patients and doctors can now collaborate and communicate effortlessly in order to steadily adjust and improve a personalized care plan that makes sense for the individual. This reduces financial costs and time constraints for the patients and the clinicians.
Some good news for ALS patients, families and supportive lawmakers who pushed the government hard to reverse its decision on blocking Medicare reimbursement for speech generating devices and communication tools that would have taken effect December 1, 2014. ALS patients had aggressive support from Congress on the question of speech generating devices. Some 200 members signed a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter in September, asking CMS to respond to patients’ concerns. On Tuesday, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., sent the agency another letter.
Speech generation equipment is critically important to patients with ALS and similar neurodegenerative disorders – conditions that limit their capacity for movement and speech. At Mozzaz, we have seen some positive results as ALS patients start to lose their ability to speak and communicate effectively.
CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said the agency “is committed to beneficiaries’ access to needed technologies to improve their quality of life, including the coverage of speech-generating devices for individuals with a severe speech impairment.” He added that CMS is assessing the evolution of that technology since 2001.
Let’s hope CMS and funding agencies can keep up to speed with technology and all of its innovation.
It’s encouraging to see a focus on research in special education and learning disabilities aligned to a Federal strategy. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) submitted comments to the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education on the future work of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). NCSER solicited input from researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders as they determine what issues need specific attention and how best to communicate the results of research to practitioners. With the strong emphasis on evidence-based practices, LDA and NCLD felt it was of critical importance that IES and NCSER hear from families and practitioners with expertise in learning disabilities. Respondents were also asked what new topics NCSER should prioritize for future research. NCLD and LDA addressed the following:
- Systems issues that directly impact student outcomes, such as the impact of budget cuts and eligible services, reasons for the decreasing number of children identified as having a disability, impact of early intervention on educational outcomes, collaborative teaching models, knowledge translation to reach the classroom level, the role of specialized instructional support personnel and their impact on student achievement, and the impact of various education reform efforts (i.e., college and career ready standards and assessments) on students with disabilities.
- Elements that support success for students with learning disabilities, prioritizing research that provides a better understanding of the factors and interventions that support positive learning outcomes.
- Research to support accurate identification of specific learning disabilities, including more research on processes such as multi-tiered systems of support and other approaches as part of a comprehensive evaluation.
- Effectiveness of multi-tiered systems of services and supports on distinguishing students with specific learning disabilities from struggling learners.
- Examination of interventions addressing specific learning disabilities and co-occurring disabilities.
- Reinforcing the important role of cultural competency through the IES grant process by emphasizing diversity in the grant applications.
- Closer investigation of research questions that will assist both general and special educators to provide a high-quality education to students with learning disabilities.
- Research on improving educator preparation, including general and special education teachers and specialized instructional support personnel, to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities.
These are fantastic research topics that will hopefully result in positive programs and outcomes. As a parent and stakeholder, I would encourage active participation with these groups and initiatives and help make a real difference.
Mozzaz Corporation is pleased to announce that it has won a 3 year contract with one of the largest Centers for Autism Research in the Middle East.
With Mozzaz’s TalkingTiles application, the Center's caregivers will be able to define a care plan for each patient, and share it with parents or other caregivers. Additionally, the execution of the care plans as well as the patients’ progress will be captured to the cloud, where meaningful reports can be generated and shared with other stakeholders. This implementation will be done in both English and Arabic.
This Center for Autism Research was established in 2011, and is one of the largest in the region, focusing on research, diagnostic, intervention, training and dissemination of knowledge. The Center's main focus is to improve the quality of life of individuals with Autism and integrate them into the society.
Additionally, the Center is in collaboration with a number of national, regional, and international entities, such as: Autism Speaks, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, MIND Institute, University of California - Davis, University of Nevada - Reno, and the LENA foundation, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins.
In the coming few weeks, Mozzaz’s technical team will be on its way to the Middle East to implement the TalkingTiles application, and provide training for the parents and the Center’s staff.