Pilot Program Studies How to Share Patient-Generated Health Data

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Validic and Sutter Health announced collaboration on a federal pilot project to determine how patient-generated health data (PGHD) can best be delivered to care teams and researchers to improve the care and outcomes of their patients. The results of this work will inform government policy and help determine how the industry implements remotely-collected patient health data across the nation.

In healthcare today, many mobile applications, wearables and clinical in-home devices can collect patient data remotely. These devices help patients live with and manage chronic diseases. For instance, by monitoring daily blood sugar and blood pressure levels, care teams have the potential to identify alarming readings in real time, enabling them to take immediate action with patients.

However, a proven method is needed to deliver PGHD into the electronic health record (EHR) or clinical dashboard so care teams can use this information effectively. Such a connection can tighten the bond between care teams and patients, leading to fewer emergency department visits or hospitalizations.

The joint pilot demonstration began targeting Sutter Health patients with Type II diabetes in September. Participating patients receive Sutter’s Mpower (Motivating Patients Online with Enhanced Resources) app on their smartphone. Using Validic’s digital health platform for data connectivity, the Mpower app has the capability to securely connect to various devices that measure blood glucose, blood pressure, level of activity and weight—all important in caring for patients with diabetes. The system then interprets the information and provides visual feedback and motivational incentives to keep patients on track with their care program, while also alerting care teams when attention is required.

The Mpower program is also using Validic’s VitalSnap™, which enables patients to capture and share information from analog in-home medical devices that are not easily connected to care teams. VitalSnap lets users capture readings via a smartphone camera. Digital versions of these readings are sent to the Validic cloud, which can be accessed by Sutter providers and researchers.

The federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) contracted with Accenture Federal Services (AFS), which selected Sutter Health and Validic to guide one of two pilot demonstrations. Results from the study will help Accenture to develop a research paper that identifies barriers to wider use of patient-generated data in clinical care and recommend how these barriers can be removed.

The pilot demonstration is part of a project titled “Conceptualizing a Data Infrastructure for the Capture, Use, and Sharing of Patient-Generated Health Data in Care Delivery and Research through 2024” funded by ONC, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. This project is part of a suite of ONC projects focused on nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information to improve patient care.

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