Harvard, IBM Watson, and GenieMD Launch Pilot App for Patients

Paul Cerrato |February 16, 2016

IBM Watson app for patientsHarvard Health Info is a medical app that’s part of a pilot program between GenieMD, Harvard Medical School, IBM, and Anthem Blue Cross.

The medical app offers patients a symptom checker, medical reminder, ability to ask IBM’s Watson health questions, and more.

The GenieMD mobile platform includes several pillars for patients to tap into: A care team, personal health records (PHRs), medication adherence, vital sign tracking by means of smart devices, the IBM Watson computing engine to answer common health questions, and the aforementioned symptom checker. The care team component fosters care coordination by allowing family and health professionals to manage a patient’s medical needs.

The GenieMD web site further explains that “In addition to having access to the care recipient’s health information, a care recipient or caretaker can also send requests to other team members as well as being able to more easily communicate with a care team by using the moments option.”

The PHRs let patients keep track of their medications, allergies, disorders, family history, vital signs, and exercise. In-depth educational materials are provided through licensed content from Up-To-Date, the well-respected clinical decision support tool used by many clinicians. With access to the IBM computer, patients can ask their smartphone questions and get answers to questions like “What are the symptoms of a stroke?”


More Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth Coming in 2016

More direct-to-consumer telehealth coming in 2016, says Wen Dombrowski

February 09, 2016 | Tom Sullivan – Executive Editor, HIMSS Media

Dr. Wen Dombrowski, MD
Dr. Wen Dombrowski, MD

Wen Dombrowki, MD, has been in the field of clinical informatics since the 1990’s. Back then, her work involved building diabetes databases for community health centers.

Today, she’s a geriatrics physician executive at Resonate Health, a role that sees her combining technology, social media, and business solutions to help patients with complex conditions.

Dombrowski is also one of only a fistful of social media influencers to sit in the top slot of the #HIT100 list.

We reached out to Dombrowski ahead of HIMSS16 to discuss what she’s hoping to find at this year’s conference, what trends she expects to see taking hold in 2016, and what she sees as the untold benefit of social media for healthcare.

Q: What’s something about you that even your devout followers likely don’t know?
A: My early days in Clinical Informatics were in the 1990’s building diabetes registry Access databases for community health centers in inner-city of Chicago. As part of an IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) Diabetes Learning Collaborative, I learned to track key clinical measures and use the data to identify and reach out to patients with gaps in care.

Q: One health IT prediction for 2016?
A: In 2016 we will see more direct-to-consumer telemedicine and other digital health services. Mainly because consumers are increasingly demanding easy-access user experience of healthcare, and also because technologies are maturing while state and federal payment policies are starting to cover telehealth. I really like this recent quote: “The digital strategy of a healthcare organization must be aligned with everyday consumer experiences in other industries,” from @dchou1107.


Do Team Based Health Apps Improve Compliance & Impact?

1. What was the motivation behind your study?
The motivation of our study was to explore and characterize the individuals’ engagement with and use of new team-based mHealth application to promote healthy eating and exercise behaviors in individuals.

team-based health apps
There’s no “I (phone)” in TEAM

2. Describe your study.
In this study, we specifically aimed to study the effect of team-based use of the app on adherence and completion of health goals compared to that of solo use of the app.

Grounded in social cognitive theory, we hypothesized that individuals receiving team-based intervention would show higher compliance with healthy behaviors promoted by the app. In addition, in order to control for the effect of the mode of delivery of the health behavioral intervention content, we studied participants who received the same intervention as the mobile app in the form of ePaper documents.

3. What were the results of the study?
Participants in the team-based mhealth intervention group showed greater engagement and compliance to the health behavior change goals for healthy eating and exercise. However, participants did not show any changes in behavioral outcomes such as eating behavioral patterns, and overall physical activity levels post-intervention as compared to pre-intervention. We believe this was due to the short 8-week duration of the health behavioral intervention that was studied in this initial feasibility study.

4. What is the main point that readers should take away from this study?
Participants in the team-based mhealth intervention group showed greater engagement and compliance to the health behavior change goals for healthy eating and exercise.

5. What was the most surprising finding from your study?
When we probed participants to compare the differences in compliance self-report between participants in the ePaper and mobile app conditions, we found that participants in the mobile app group indicated greater accuracy and confidence in self-reporting, along with self-reports in greater temporal proximity to actual health goal completion. It suggests that mobile diaries may prove to be a better tool for individuals to self-monitor and track their health behaviors more accurately over longer periods of time.


CA DWC Posts the Proposed Guidelines for Mental Illness & Stress

San Francisco, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) –

California Department of Workers' Comp logoThe Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) posts the proposed Mental Illness & Stress Guideline to update the current Stress Related Conditions Guideline of the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule set forth in section 9792.23.8 to its online forum.

Members of the public may review and comment on the proposals until February 16, 2016. The proposed amendment to the regulations incorporate by reference the March 25, 2015 version of the Official Disability Guideline’s “Mental Illness & Stress Guideline” which the DWC has adopted with permission from the publisher.

As previously announced, the DWC will be updating all of the clinical topic medical treatment guidelines of the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule set forth in section 9792.23 et seq. This online forum follows the October 2015 online forum which posted two new additional guidelines, the proposed Occupational Interstitial Lung Disease Guideline and the Occupational/Work Related Asthma Guideline. Once the online forums have been completed for each specific clinical topic, the DWC will combine all of the proposed regulatory updates and additions to section 9792.23 et seq. into one rulemaking package.

The MTUS Mental Illness & Stress Guideline is set forth in the proposed amended section 9792.23.8 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations and can be found in DWC’s website.


Train ALL Your Employees To Understand Safety

January 19, 2016 by Michael B. Stack

Training Ahead highway signThe best workers’ compensation claim is the claim that never happens.  How trained are you and your employees when it comes to workplace safety?

Training ALL your employees to understand injury procedures prior to a work-related injury occurs – just as you would rehearse a fire drill – is critical in limiting your company’s workers compensation costs.

Six Training Implementations

Among the workplace safety guidelines you should incorporate into your business model:

• Implement a training seminar, lasting 60 minutes, to unveil and reinforce injury management program concepts to your management and to hand out new workers comp materials. The goal is to inform management of workers comp concepts and how workers comp expenses are impacting the business.

• Put in place an in-service training session for supervisors to train them in proper post-injury responses should there be a work-related injury.

• Such as the case with fire drills, when a work-related injury takes place, every supervisor and employee must be able to show they can do what is necessary, where to go, and how to receive assistance.

• Put together small-group employee training sessions to go over post-injury response training and integrate new roles and responsibilities into the workplace system.

• Training includes showing workers on who to alert when a work-related injury takes place and what their responsibilities are if they see a work-related injury.

• Have workers sign an in-service acknowledgement indicating they have obtained post-injury response training.