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Patient Engagement Will Be Key to Personalized Medicine and Healthcare Analytics

Posted on February 16, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When I wrote about personalized medicine solutions that are available today, I mostly covered the data aspects of personalized medicine. It’s a logical place to start since the basis of personalized medicine is data. In that post I highlighted the SAP Foundation for Health and the SAP Hana platform along with the work of ASCO and their CancerLinQ project. No doubt there are hundreds of other examples around health care where data is being used to personalize the care that’s provided.

It makes a lot of sense for a company like SAP to take on the data aspects of personalized medicine. SAP is known for doing massive data from complex data sets. They’re great at sorting through a wide variety of data from multiple sources and they’re even working on new innovations where they can analyze your data quickly and effectively without having to export every single piece of data to some massive (Translation: Expensive) enterprise data warehouse. Plus, in many cases they’re doing all of this health data analytics in the cloud so you can be sure that your healthcare analytics solution can scale. While this is a huge step forward, it is just the start.

As I look at the discussion around personalized medicine, what seems to be missing is a focus on creating a connection with the patient. Far too often, analytics vendors in healthcare just want to worry about the data analysis and don’t build out the tools required to engage with the patient directly. This leads to poor patient engagement in two ways: improving patient communication and collecting patient data.

Improving Patient Communication
As we look into the future of reimbursement in healthcare, it’s easy to see how crucial it will be to leverage the right data to identify the right patients. However, you can’t stop there. Once you’ve identified the right patients, you have to have a seamless and effective way to regularly communicate with that patient. As value based reimbursement becomes a reality, no healthcare analytics solution will be complete without the functionality to truly engage with the patient and improve their health.

Patient engagement platforms will require the following three fundamentals to start improving care: interaction between patient and caregiver, privacy, and security. No doubt we’re already starting to see a wide variety of approaches to how you’ll communicate with and engage the patient. However, if you don’t get these three fundamentals down then all of the rest doesn’t really matter. The basis of improved patient communication is going to be efficient communication between patient and caregiver in a secure and private manner.

Collecting Patient Data
Too many analytics platforms only focus on the data that comes from the healthcare providers like the EHR. As the health sensor market matures, more and more clinically relevant data is going to be generated by the patient and the devices they use at home. In fact, in some areas like diabetes this is already happening. Over the next 5 years we’re going to start seeing this type of patient generated data spread across every disease state.

Health analytics platforms of the future are going to have to be able to handle all of this patient generated health data. The key first step is to make it easy for the patient to connect their health devices to your platform. The second step is to convert this wave of patient generated health data into something that can easily be consumed by the healthcare provider. Both steps will be necessary for personalized medicine to become a reality in health care.

As we head into HIMSS 2016 in a couple weeks, I’ll be looking at which vendors are taking analytics to the next level by including patient engagement. While there’s a lot of value in processing healthcare provider data, the future of personalized medicine will have to include the patient in both how we communicate with them and how we incorporate the data they collect the 99% of their lives spent outside of the hospital.

SAP is uniquely positioned to help advance personalized medicine. The SAP Foundation for Health is built on the SAP Hana platform which provides scalable cloud analytics solutions across the spectrum of healthcare. SAP is a sponsor of Influential Networks of which Healthcare Scene is a member. You can learn more about SAP’s healthcare solutions during #HIMSS16 at Booth #5828.

ASCO Launches Cancer.Net Mobile, a New App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Posted on May 7, 2011 I Written By

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional organization representing cancer physicians, today released Cancer.Net Mobile for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – a free app designed by oncologists to help people with cancer and their caregivers plan and manage cancer treatment and care. The app includes comprehensive, doctor-approved information on more than 120 cancer types, together with a package of interactive tools for patients. Cancer.Net Mobile is available for download in Apple’s App Store and is the mobile companion to ASCO’s award-winning Cancer.Net website (www.Cancer.Net).

Cancer.Net Mobile puts up-to-date, accurate cancer information and interactive tools at the fingertips of people living with cancer and their families and caregivers, wherever they are,” said ASCO CEO Allen S. Lichter, MD. “Cancer.Net Mobile was developed by leading cancer doctors with patients and their caregivers in mind, to help them take charge of their cancer care and get the most out of doctor’s visits.”

In addition to its comprehensive cancer guides covering more than 120 common and rare types of cancer, Cancer.Net Mobile includes interactive tools for patients and caregivers to:

  • Keep track of questions to ask their doctors, record voice answers, and choose from frequently-asked questions suggested by Cancer.Net experts
  • Save important information about prescribed medications, including photos of medicine labels and bottles (on camera-enabled devices)
  • Track the time and severity of symptoms and side effects during treatment, to aid in reporting them during doctor’s visits
  • Learn about new cancer care topics through weekly podcast and video interviews with ASCO member physicians

Cancer.Net Mobile offers a portable version of the extensive cancer information library available on the Cancer.Net website, with expert information about treating cancer, managing side effects, managing the cost of care, and coping with a cancer diagnosis. All Cancer.Net content is reviewed for accuracy and completeness by an editorial board composed of more than 150 medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncologists; oncology nurses; social workers; and patient advocates. This ensures that the cancer information provided reflects the latest advances in cancer science and clinical practice. Cancer.Net is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO.

Cancer.Net Mobile is available for download in Apple’s App Store at (iTunes required). It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices running iOS version 3.2 or later. Cancer.Net Mobile is a free tool provided by ASCO. Cancer.Net Mobile app updates will be issued regularly as the cancer guide content is updated.

About ASCO
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs, and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at

About the Conquer Cancer Foundation
The Conquer Cancer Foundation is working to create a world free from the fear of cancer by funding breakthrough research, by sharing knowledge with physicians and patients worldwide, and by supporting initiatives to ensure that all people have access to high-quality cancer care. Working in close collaboration with a global network of top scientists and clinicians, as well as leading advocacy and research organizations, the Foundation draws on the passion and expertise of the nearly 30,000 oncology professionals who are members of its partner organization, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). For more information, visit

I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it would be to manage cancer treatments, but I can imagine that any kind of help is a good thing.  I like how they added a voice feature for those people that find it hard to type on small keyboards.  One of the great things about this app is how it applies to so many different types of cancer.  It has to be helpful to doctors as well knowing that their patients can get reliable information even when they can’t personally give it to the patient.  With all the information out there it is essential that patients receive the accurate stuff because their lives truly are on the line.  I would also think it would improve treatment for doctors to get more accurate information regarding the symptoms and side effects their patients are having.