Raise Your Voice — Letters

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Connecting the Dots: The Big Picture in Connected Health While the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) is enormously important — and a robust connected health vision depends on EMR — it is only one aspect of connected health as it exists today and as we envision it for tomorrow. — Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D. Enormous Potential I was delighted to see Kim Ribbink’s article “Connected Health, the Push for Electronic Medical Records,” in the April issue, which chronicles the vast potential and challenges of implementing a national electronic medical records system (EMR). But Ms. Ribbink tells only part of the story. While the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) is enormously important — and a robust connected health vision depends on EMR — it is only one aspect of connected health as it exists today and as we envision it for tomorrow. In our view, the term “connected health” reflects the range of opportunities for technology-enabled care programs and the potential for new strategies in healthcare delivery. Simply put, connected health uses available consumer technology to deliver quality patient care, where the patient is, when the patient needs it. Using online resources such as the Internet, cell phones, digital cameras, and sensors, we are helping to connect leading medical specialists with patients — in their homes, offices, and around the world — to better manage and monitor patient health, offer expert second opinions, improve adherence, and provide convenient, personalized medical care. At the Center for Connected Health, we are already helping our doctors and patients manage chronic disease, such as high-blood pressure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, through the novel applications of available technologies. We also are implementing employee wellness programs and e-visits for dermatology patients. A number of other innovative programs are also on the drawing board for the future. A national EMR system has enormous potential: to ease coordination of care, reduce medical errors, improve our knowledge about the health of individual patients and target populations, and enhance our capability to monitor infectious disease. And, along with personal health records, it is a key catalyst in the connected health movement. But EMR is far from encompassing the full potential, or concept, of connected healthcare. Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D. Director, Center for Connected Health Partners HealthCare System Inc. Vice Chair, Dermatology Harvard Medical School

Pardon us … In the April 2007 issue of PharmaVOICE, we incorrectly identified the company for Connie Moreadith. Ms. Moreadith is Senior Director of Clinical Project Strategy and Start Up, North American Clinical Operations, AAIPharma. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

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