Datapalooza Showcases Tools for the Autonomous Patient
Through an entertaining skit during the demo of applications for consumers, the team at Humetrix walked the audience through all the features of their iBlueButton technology. It’s a set of smart-phone and tablet based applications for patients and physicians. Designed to work together, they allow secure, real-time two-way communication and exchange of health information. Originally developed and implemented in the veteran population, this technology has now been adapted for general consumers. The applications and the reports generated are personal, portable and user-friendly. I also have to give a nod to their other product, U-BeWell. Also portable, this USB-based mobile solution for health information exchange is the size of your ATM card. It allows access to and downloading of web-based health summaries including ICE, in case of emergency contacts and an advance directive.
Later during the Business Roundtable breakout session, Abir Sen, CEO of Bloom Health explained the difficulty of securing funding for a new and better way of doing an old process. This is no longer an issue because early last fall WellPoint and two other nonprofit insurers purchased a majority share of his company. A strong indication Bloom Health might be on to something. The technology that drives this service creates a private health exchange platform. The employer uses a defined contribution model to manage its expenditure of healthcare dollars. Here’s the reason this solution stood out to me. Bloom Health truly simplifies the process of selecting a health benefit plan. Employees see the set contribution from their employer, they answer a conversational questionnaire and after searching the exchange, it recommends compatible health plans. Employers can also make wellness programs and additional benefits available to employees through this system. Is it truly possible for employer, employee, and health plan to reach consensus? When it comes to the use of Bloom Health to manage benefits, I think so.
On the second day of Datapalooza, I saw the last two applications I’d like to quickly highlight. They are The Eatery by Massive Health and Outside by 100Plus. I group them together because they share a lot of the same qualities, although one application focuses on diet while the other on physical activity as their names each suggest. Both have a simple and beautiful user interface, they have built-in rewards systems and they seamlessly integrate your social networks. These characteristics all increase the likelihood of adoption and continued use by any consumer. These applications are available, so look for them. They might just change the way you manage your health.