ROBOTS, TABLETS & SOCIAL MEDIA:THE IMPACT OF CONSUMERTECHNOLOGY ON HEALTHCAREResearch PaperJune 2013
2ContentsIntroduction .......................................................................................................
3TabletsThe day you have been dreading all week is finally here. You nervously shift in your seat trying desperately notto...
4Integrating iPads into Practicing MedicineMany doctors are integrating iPads into practicing medicine. St. Mary’s Health ...
5Patient Security and ConfidentialityFirstly, there is the issue of storing unencrypted patient health information on the ...
6ComplicationsThe growth of mobile devices may be making individuals’ lives easier - but it is causing all sorts of otherc...
7Social MediaSocial media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer a mix of challenges and opportunities. According to the...
8Online ProfessionalismThis isn’t the only dilemma social media presentsdoctors with. What about taking care of thedoctor’...
9Physician-only Social Networks the Answer?With the plethora of problems that comes with using social media to engage with...
10ConclusionFrom the use of social media to the use of apps to make health diagnoses; there is no doubt that consumertechn...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Healthcare Report: Robots, Tablets & Social Media

629
-1

Published on

IDG Connect has released a new report on how consumer devices are dramatically changing healthcare. It examines the numerous benefits it offers, such as the integration of iPads into practicing medicine, and the use of apps that can track patient health. It also questions the impact of these devices on the patient-doctor relationship. Are these devices actually improving patient care – or are they contributing to destroying the heart of healthcare – the traditional patient-doctor relationship?

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
629
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Healthcare Report: Robots, Tablets & Social Media

  1. 1. ROBOTS, TABLETS & SOCIAL MEDIA:THE IMPACT OF CONSUMERTECHNOLOGY ON HEALTHCAREResearch PaperJune 2013
  2. 2. 2ContentsIntroduction ..........................................................................................................3Tablets .................................................................................................................... 3Redefining the Patient-Doctor Relationship ........................................ 3Integrating iPads into Practicing Medicine ......................................... 4Patient Security and Confidentiality .................................................... 5Loss of a Ritual .......................................................................................... 5Growth of Apps .......................................................................................... 5Complications ............................................................................................ 6New Opportunities, New Dangers ....................................................... 6Are Patients Even Using These Health Apps? ................................... 6Social Media ......................................................................................................... 7Online Professionalism ............................................................................. 8Patient Privacy ..............................................................................................8Physician-only Social Networks the Answer? ...................................... 9Robots - The Future of Healthcare? .............................................................. 9Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 10
  3. 3. 3TabletsThe day you have been dreading all week is finally here. You nervously shift in your seat trying desperately notto panic. The door opens and time seems to slow down as you gaze into cold metallic eyes staring back at you.Your eyes search its face for clues but there is no movement. It opens its mouth to speak: “I’m afraid I havesome bad news…”If this scene paints a scary picture, a robot delivering news to a patient may not be as far-fetched as itsounds. Doctors have been relying on information technology to make decisions about patients for a verylong time. But now a robot has been developed that could be a game changer. Watson, created by IBM, candigest information and make recommendations much more quickly, and more intelligently, than perhapsany machine before it – processing up to 60 million pages of text per second. It is so advanced, that it isquite plausible to imagine this robot making serious medical recommendations and delivering test results topatients in real-time just like the scenario given above.However, robots arent the only new, potentially threatening thing patients and healthcare practitionershave to deal with. Now the meteoric rise of consumer technology is taking the industry by storm. Fast tabletadoption, the explosion of new apps and an increased prevalence of social media is blurring the boundariesbetween people and data. This is having a marked effect on the doctor-patient relationship, increasing privacyconcerns and is fundamentally changing the way we are communicating about our health.This report examines how consumer technology is radically transforming healthcare. It looks at the numerousbenefits and opportunities it offers, as well as the unease surrounding its place in healthcare. Finally, itevaluates the consequences of technology for the patient-doctor relationship.The new iPad mini has physicians buzzing with excitement. According to a poll of doctors by Epocrates, one inthree physicians planned to buy the iPad Mini even when its existence was just a rumor. And for good reason.The smaller-size means they can carry it to exam rooms and easily slide it into their lab coats. The physiciansalso get the best of both worlds; the familiar functionality of the first generation iPad with the added benefitof portability. Nonetheless, many healthcare IT leaders are concerned. There is an air of unease around theuse of iPads and related mobile technologies in as sensitive an area as healthcare.It is not hard to see the attraction behind tablets. They change the way information is accumulated and stored,solve bad handwriting and unlike laptops, are considered less intrusive in physician-patient interactions.Recent surveys have indicated roughly 80% of doctors use mobile devices, and between 40% and 50% areusing tablets.Redefining the Patient-Doctor RelationshipThe proliferation of gadgets has given clinicians - especially young ones – new ways of diagnosing symptomsand treating patients. More importantly, it has redefined the relationship between doctor and patient. It mightbe thought that using an iPad creates a distance between doctor and patient. Not so, according to LennoxHoyte, MD, director of obstetrics and gynecology. Lennox says using the iPad means he’s actually ‘seeing’ hispatients, rather than talking to them over his shoulder as he tries to type information into a desktop computer.In other words, it can be argued that using a tablet device, such as the iPad actually increases patientsatisfaction rather than decreasing it.Introduction
  4. 4. 4Integrating iPads into Practicing MedicineMany doctors are integrating iPads into practicing medicine. St. Mary’s Health Care System is collaboratingwith the University of Georgia’s College of Education on a year-long study to see how iPads can be used inmedical settings on a daily basis. Initial research results show that the majority of iPad users — both physiciansand students — have embraced the use of iPads, and that patients have liked being able to see their ownx-rays and lab results at their bedside.Patient education is one reason physicians prefer to use smartphones or the iPad in the exam room. The morethe patient understands their disease, the more they’re going to be invested in getting better because theyunderstand why it’s happening to them.John Cox, CEO of Visible Health, notes that “somewhere around the order of 80% of all informationcommunicated between a physician and a patient is lost when a patient walks out of the room.” With specialsoftware, physicians can create personalized diagrams to explain tumors and other injuries without needing totake out a sketch pad and pencil. The diagram can be printed or emailed afterward, or added to the patient’smedical record, ensuring that the patient can retain the information and its context.It could be argued that the positives of using consumer devices like the iPad in healthcare far outweigh thenegatives. Our survey of 111 US IT professionals shows that a whopping 97% believe devices like the iPad havea positive impact on medical practices. Yet there is a caveat, and an important one at that, as 58% still seethese devices as a substantial security threat. So why are these devices seen as a threat?believe devices like the iPad have apositive impact on medical practicesstill see these devices as a substantialsecurity threat58%97%Source: IDG ConnectiPads in Healthcare
  5. 5. 5Patient Security and ConfidentialityFirstly, there is the issue of storing unencrypted patient health information on the device. What happens ifthe tablet gets stolen? In a report conducted by BizTechReports, Panasonic challenges the iPad’s suitabilityfor healthcare, citing security, durability and compliance with Electronic Health Records (EHR) as top-of-mindissues for many of the 100 executives and IT professionals in the healthcare field who participated in thesurvey.Then of course there is patient confidentiality. The Medical Protection Society is concerned that doctors areaccessing patient information in public places with insufficient security. Visibility of screens is risky in publicplaces where any passerby could see patient data. And what about family members sharing the personaltablet device at home? Insufficient password protection or no encryption poses major security concerns.Finally, how is all this technology impacting, what some might argue, to be the heart of the issue? Thetraditional relationship between doctor and patient. No matter how much efficiency technology brings us, itcannot substitute for intuition and compassion. With the advent of all this technology, could the core humanconnection between doctor and patient be lost?Loss of a RitualWhat happens if the doctor gets distracted by his screen and forgets to check one vital thing: his patient?Physician and Writer Abraham Verghese says that if we shortcut the physical exam and go straight to testsinstead of talking to and examining the patient – we are not only overlooking simple diagnoses that can bediagnosed at an early treatable stage – we are losing much more than that. We are losing a ritual. The powersof the human hand to touch, comfort, treat and diagnose.Growth of AppsPatients’ not taking their medication is a huge problem in healthcare. According to the National Instituteof Health, one in five patients fail to fill in new prescriptions, and half of those being treated for chronicconditions stop their medications after six months. These lapses are resulting in additional treatments andhospital stays that cost as much as $289 billion a year, according to NEHI, a Cambridge (Mass.) health policygroup. On top of the expense, missed doses cost an estimated 125,000 U.S. lives a year.There are lots of reasons patients don’t follow doctors’ orders: The medicine might cost too much or haveunpleasant side effects, or patients might not understand why it was prescribed. Some simply forget.But now the proliferation of mobile apps has made it convenient for doctors to check in on their patients,review vital data, and even prescribe smart phone applications. “The apps will not just help the doctors knowwhat their patient is doing on a daily basis, but they should empower the patient to do something to improvetheir lives,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the executive director for Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care.
  6. 6. 6ComplicationsThe growth of mobile devices may be making individuals’ lives easier - but it is causing all sorts of othercomplications for healthcare organizations. A major concern is about the security, privacy and manageabilityrisks they pose. Doctors are also conflicted between their desire to use their mobile devices and managing thehospital management worries about security.The influence of mobile devices will only grow more pervasive in coming years. Nick Adams, co-founder andCOO of Providence, R.I.-based Care Thread, estimates that there will be 6 billion mHealth devices by 2016,while PriceWaterhouseCoopers projects 10.5 billion by 2017.New Opportunities, New DangersThe growth of these healthcare apps opens up new opportunities for medicine. Patients that suffer fromchronic medical conditions like depression or diabetes often draw inward. Doctors do not see them until itis too late and the patient ends up in the emergency room. But now there are apps available that can trackhow often the patient sends text messages or makes calls and how often they move. If their general pattern ofbehavior deviates from the norm – their doctor can reach out to them.However, the use of these apps is also marked with concern. Hundreds of new health-related apps areuploaded to the internet daily – and regulators are struggling to keep up with it all. Can healthcare providerstrust the accuracy of the data provided by these apps? Many healthcare apps now provide functionalities forpatients to monitor their health metrics. They can monitor anything from blood pressure to calories burned.Mobile devices and apps will make that self-monitoring easier.This puts medical providers in a tricky position. On the one hand, the data’s accuracy and provenance are bothunknown, so acting on it could be risky. On the other hand, not acting on it could be a form of negligence.Furthermore, bringing such data into the formal medical record makes it permanent -- health records may notbe deleted -- so any bad data could be perpetuated.One solution that has been suggested is to treat such data informally - like patients’ self-reported conditionsand readings. If the patient decides to share the information taken from the mobile app with their doctor – itwould be at the doctor’s discretion to decide whether formal tests are needed to confirm the results of thedata given by the app.“The trick will be to keep patients educated about the limitations of their self-monitoring while notdiscouraging it, says Justin Steinbman, vice president of marketing at GE Health: “After all, it facilitates betterconversations.”Are Patients Even Using These Health Apps?The number of apps available to help patients live healthy lifestyles has grown considerably over the lastfew years. But how many patients actually use these health monitoring apps? Not as many as you mightthink. According to some recent stats, only 7% of patients use mobile technology to monitor their health. Butaccording to Michael Esquivel, a health and information technology attorney, this is not that surprising.“People are buying these things, and they are using them. But unless that data is actionable and meaningfuland it actually helps improve your health in some manner … then the mere collection of data is a novelty thatwill wear off,” he said. “Theres growing recognition among developers that the apps must do more to keeppatients engaged, and the apps are starting to evolve as a result.”
  7. 7. 7Social MediaSocial media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer a mix of challenges and opportunities. According to thePfizer survey of 485 doctors, one quarter of doctors said they use social media in a professional capacity everyday, including searching for medical information. 61% of doctors surveyed said they turn to social media tosearch for medical information at least once a week, and 46% share medical information via social media on aweekly basis. What about their attitudes towards social media in general? 58% said social media is a good wayto get current information, 58% stated that social media enabled them to care for patients more effectively,and 60% said it helped them deliver a higher quality of care to patients.Social media use: Attitudes towards social media:of doctors surveyed said they turnto social media to search for medicalinformation at least once a weekshare medical information via socialmedia on a weekly basissaid social media is a good way toget current informationstated that social media enabled themto care for patients more effectivelysaid it helped them deliver a higherquality of care to patients61%46%58%60%58%A B C D ECABDEOf course, being able to share medical information and engage with patients offers many advantages. Theupdates are in real-time and patients also find it easier to communicate with their doctors this way, as mostuse some form of social media to communicate with their circle of friends anyway.But the problem starts when trying to protect patient privacy and maintaining appropriate boundariesbetween professional and social relationships. For instance, what if your patient tries to ‘friend’ you onFacebook? In an article posted by the Guardian, it was found that increasing numbers of patients are makingamorous advances to doctors through Facebook, Twitter and text messages in order to strike up a relationship.Patients are increasingly using social media rather than letters or flowers to make their feelings clear, such asfollowing a doctor on Twitter, "poking" them on Facebook or flirting with them online. In guidance issued inJuly on use of social media, the BMA advised doctors and medical students not to accept Facebook requestsfrom current or ex-patients because of the “difficult ethical issues” and also to adopt “conservative privacysettings” on their Facebook pages.Source: Pfizer
  8. 8. 8Online ProfessionalismThis isn’t the only dilemma social media presentsdoctors with. What about taking care of thedoctor’s ‘image’? Doctors clearly have to representa professional image to their patients at all times.But they are also only human with regular sociallives like the rest of us. Is it really so wrong of themto post a few pictures of them acting silly with theirfriends?But here is where it gets very tricky. For instance,is it ok to come across a picture of your doctordrinking at an office party? Maybe this could countas acceptable. After all, a doctor after a hard day’swork is allowed to have some down-time too.But wait a minute. What if your doctor is wearingscrubs in that photo. Would that make you thinkhe’s drinking on the job? More crucially, would itmake you reassess your opinion of the doctor alltogether?So what pictures are appropriate and whataren’t? It might be fair to say that a good degreeof common sense should be involved; however alot of people want specifics. A survey publishedrecently, makes it clear that some things postedonline will almost always get doctors in trouble.More than 80% of the boards that responded saida doctor posting a clearly misleading claim on hiswebsite - something like ‘I can cure your cancer –guaranteed!’ – would be cause for an investigation.Perhaps it is fair to say that doctors will not bejudged for what they do in their personal life solong as they are careful about what they decide toshare on a social media site. Perhaps in seeing aninappropriate photo it is not the doctor’s capabilitythat will be called into question but the doctor’scommon sense for creating the post to begin with.Recommendations from The American College ofPhysicians and the Federation of State MedicalBoards on the usage of social media in healthcare,April 2013:• Physicians should keep their professional andpersonal personas separate. Physicians should not“friend” or contact patients through personal socialmedia• Physicians should not use text messaging formedical interactions even with an established patientexcept with extreme caution and consent by thepatient• Email or other electronic communications shouldonly be used by physicians within an establishedpatient-physician relationship and with patient consent• Situations in which a physician is approachedthrough electronic means for clinical advice in theabsence of a patient-physician relationship shouldbe handled with judgment and usually should beaddressed with encouragement that the individualschedule an office visit or, in the case of an urgentmatter, go to the nearest emergency department• Establishing a professional profile so that it“appears” first during a search, instead of a physicianranking site, can provide some measure of control thatthe information read by patients prior to the initialencounter or thereafter is accurate• Many trainees may inadvertently harm their futurecareers by not responsibly posting material or activelypolicing their online content. Educational programsstressing a proactive approach to digital image (onlinereputation) are good forums to introduce thesepotential repercussionsPatient PrivacyDoctors and other healthcare professionals not only have to worry about ‘protecting their own image’ butalso ensuring that their posts online are not traceable back to the patient. This is the very issue that onedoctor faced when she complained about a patient on her Facebook page. The post talked about a patientthat continually showed up late to her scheduled appointments. A screenshot was taken of the doctor’sstatus and many commentators were outraged with the doctor’s post – despite the fact that the hospital laterdetermined that no patient privacy laws were broken. Although no privacy laws were actually broken – it wasmaintained that an ethical professional line had been breached.
  9. 9. 9Physician-only Social Networks the Answer?With the plethora of problems that comes with using social media to engage with patients, perhaps doctorsare better off avoiding social media all together? The waters are too murky; what one person thinks isappropriate might be completely inappropriate to another. But there could be a middle-ground. In recenttimes, there has been a proliferation of physician-only networks which provide a secure platform for physiciansto share and engage with physicians. Doximity, an online social network for physicians has been dubbed as‘a secure Facebook for doctors’. The site gives a chance for physicians to collaborate, share lab reports and‘securely communicate about things that matter’. The goal is helping doctors provide better health care.There is no doubt that the use of social networks in healthcare offers many advantages. But as with mostthings, a degree of caution is required, particularly when dealing with sensitive data. Maybe Dr. Alex Blauhas the right idea when he says, “The general wisdom is dont say anything you wouldnt say in a crowdedelevator.”Robots - The Future of Healthcare?Robot Watson may have appeared on the popular game show Jeopardy, famously beating two humancontestants. But this robot created by IBM has a purpose much bigger than that. The goal is for Watson to helptrain physicians – so that one day it can be deployed to hospitals to help doctors with diagnoses. Sounds likegreat potential seeing as about one-third of doctor errors appear to be products of misdiagnosis. As humanswe are prone to ‘anchoring bias’ – but Watson is here to change all that. According to reports, it can digestinformation and make recommendations more quickly, and more intelligently than any machine before it.About 80% of all information is “unstructured.” In medicine, this consists of physician’s notes, researchpublished in peer-reviewed medical and science journals, and even comment threads from onlinecommunities. Watson can make sense of all this information – and learn over time. The more Watson spendstime sitting in on patient examinations, the better it will become at figuring out medical problems andhelping with diagnoses. If all goes according to IBM’s plan, Watson could be a game-changer – a technologicalbreakthrough for healthcare that has long seen the deadly effects of mistakes made by doctors in patientdiagnoses.But the question remains the same – does a robot have a place in healthcare? Yes it can help with patientdiagnoses and faster decision-making. It can fill in for the gaps where we as humans fall short. But as mostdoctors will tell you, healthcare is more than just making cold, calculated diagnoses based on algorithms.Healthcare professionals don’t just simply treat the patient. They build up trust and rapport with the patient. Itmight not be appropriate for a robot to deal with a cancer patient.There is no doubt that Watson could prove to be a clever companion for doctors – and if it will improvethe quality of patient diagnoses – than that can only be a good thing. But it still raises some uncomfortablequestions. For instance, how will Watson compete with a doctor that has 20/30 years of medical experience?Will the doctor have to bow down simply because Watson has greater analytical skills? It is entirely possible,that eventually Watson will be able to override and challenge the very thoughts and practices of physicianswho helped shape Watson in the first place.
  10. 10. 10ConclusionFrom the use of social media to the use of apps to make health diagnoses; there is no doubt that consumertechnology is cementing its position within healthcare. Doctors can now communicate with their patientsthrough social media, collaborate with each other, and find new ways of diagnosing patients. Through thedevelopment of robot Watson, it might even be possible for doctors to consult robots on medical treatments.Overall, the aim of these technological advancements is to improve the quality of patient care – but has thisbeen achieved with what we have seen so far? Technology offers significant opportunities to improve medicalprocesses but it is no substitute for human compassion. Furthermore, the impact of these gadgets 20 yearsdown the track is difficult to ascertain. Gadgets aside, the healthcare profession is driven by real people withreal health problems… and that is something no robot can understand.About IDG ConnectIDG Connect, a division of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s largest technology media company,produces, publishes and distributes local IT and business information on behalf of a truly global client base.Established in 2005, we have a fully nurtured audience of 2.6 million professional decision-makers from 130countries, and an extended reach of 38 million names. This lets us conduct research, create independentanalysis and opinion articles, and drive long-term engagement between professionals and B2B marketersworldwide. For more information visit www.idgconnect.com

×