Why Passivity is Key to the Healthcare Internet of Things

The healthcare Internet of Things may have to learn how to fade into the background if patients and providers are to benefit from patient-generated health data.

Passivity might seem like the very opposite of what providers want to see in an engaged patient, but when it comes to the healthcare Internet of Things, the best thing patients can do for themselves is to do nothing at all.

Healthcare Internet of Things and patient-generated health data

Automating the collection, reporting, and analytics of patient-generated health data will help to reduce barriers to action, improve data integrity, and allow providers to integrate results more seamlessly into their workflow, says Gerard Nussbaum, Director of Technology Services at management consulting firm Kurt Salmon.

“Any time you remove a barrier, you make things easier,” Nussbaum said to HealthITAnalytics.com, echoing the sentiment that has underpinned the majority of current approaches to healthcare reform.  “When it comes to the ability to get data out of patients, clearly it’s going to be easier to automate a process than to require a concerted effort from them every day.”

Words like “seamless” and “streamlined” are often used to describe the desired outcomes of reducing obstacles for both patients and providers, whether they are roadblocks to care access, patient engagement, health information exchange, medication adherence, or education.

Stakeholders are hoping that the complex process of retooling workflows and relationships to extract the maximum value from a minimum of effort will result in greater efficiencies, lower costs, and better patient outcomes.

Health IT tools, including EHRs, clinical decision support modules, population health management software, patient portals, and HIE networks have played a significant part in improving safety and managing patients.  As vendors and developers begin to heed industry calls to focus more intently on usability and interoperability, these foundational systems are requiring users to do less while delivering more actionable insights.

Now, with the rapidly growing interest in consumer-facing monitoring and engagement technologies, the Internet of Things is hoping to prove its own value by becoming the primary way patients and providers stay connection between office visits – and making their services so simple to use that patients don’t even have to think about them.

Designing systems that are both engaging enough to hold a patient’s attention but passive enough not to frustrate users into leaving their wearables at home each morning or deleting their mHealth apps is no easy task, however click here for info.

How can developers strike the right balance between engagement and passivity?  Can the healthcare Internet of Things become forgettable in all the right ways?

Article by Jennifer Bresnick, HealthITAnalytics, April 21. 2016.   Read full article here