Although there are many complexities wrapped around our healthcare system, Stanford University’s 2016 Medicine X Conference starts finding solutions to improving patient care by focusing on increasing patient engagement and transforming how patients are treated in the system.
Wellpepper CTO Mike Van Snellenberg, who spoke at MedX in September with digital health entrepreneur and physician Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, addressed several important aspects of big data collection.
“Collecting big data is like planting trees. You need to plant the seed of the process or tooling,” says Van Snelleberg. “Over time, this matures and produces data.”
Mr. Van Snellenberg, who has collected and analyzed patient data at Wellpepper, discovered several key aspects of data collection that could improve care continuity for both patient and providers. He shared this to his MedX audience.
“Wellpepper has already uncovered new understandings about which patients are most adherent as well as indicators of readmissions,” says Van Snellenberg. “That’s very valuable information.”
“We’ve discovered that, as you collect patient-generated data, these types of insights as well indications about the effectiveness of certain clinical protocols will be available to you. This will help allow for providers to encourage positive patient behavior,” he stated.
Mr. Van Snellenberg spoke further at an interview in October about collecting and using patient-generated data.
Question: What groups can benefit off the collecting of big data?
Snellenberg: Collecting patient-generated data can ultimately produce better outcomes and patient care for hospital and clinics as well as the patients themselves. The more in quantity and detail, the better it is to help produce good results. Data collection has tremendous value that can allow hospitals and clinics to learn more about their patients in between hospital visits, thereby filling in missing gaps in patient information. We also realized that collecting big data can potentially prevent complications or readmissions by identifying warning flags before the patient needs to return to the clinic.
And as mentioned, analyzing big data has provided us insights about which patients are most adherent. For example, we have found that patients with 5-7 tasks are adherent while patients with 8-10 tasks are not.
Q: What are some things you have discovered using patient-generated data?
MS: We were able to make observations on the patterns. We also discovered a strong linear correlation between the level of pain and difficulty of patients.
Traditionally, patient data remained in the hospital. This often left big gaps in knowledge about the patient in between hospital visits. By collecting and data in between visits to the hospital, you can discover important correlations that would not have been discoverable without data.
Q: What are some possible methods to collect patient data?
MS: Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, who worked in digital health, suggested several programs such as Storyvine and AugMedix.
Usually, data is collected by patients recording symptoms and experiences on a daily basis in a consistent manner and then managed afterwards. For example, patients themselves tend to keep track of their progress in diaries or using the FitBit to record the number of steps and heart rate.
Q: What are some of the most unique aspects about this year’s MedX?
MS: One unique aspect about the MedX Conference is that it provided more opportunities for diverse voices to be heard in addition to health professionals – including a mix of health patients, providers, and educators.
The mindset was also encouraged to change. Some of the convention’s most progressive talks on stage happened when phrases such as “How might we…” and “Everybody included” are brought up in the discussion.
The term “Everyone included” came up most often, pushing for more perspectives outside of JUST the physicians. MedX’s solution-oriented focus proves to be heading down a successful route to improving patient care in the healthcare system as well as acting as the initiative to open doors for new voices to be heard.