Friday, January 14, 2011

The Digital Health Summit recap

Author: Thuc Huynh, MD

I attended the Digital Health Summit last friday and had a great time. The room was completely packed with avid listeners. It was standing room only in the back. It was that popular.

And for good reason. The Summit covered trending topics like mobile health, remote monitoring, and patient empowerment.

Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Chief Medical Officer for Walgreens, spoke to the audience about their plans for improving medication management ranging from e-prescribing, drug interaction, and telephone support. Those aren't new or innovative ways of changing the medication management space but they are helpful additional resources for a large population of patients. The most interesting new thing Walgreens is developing is a mobile app that utilizes barcode scanning. Patients will be able to scan a barcode at any time and have their medications refilled at a Walgreens of their choice. That's pretty convenient.

By far my favorite moment of the Digital Health Summit were Dr. Harry Greenspun's analogies:

Why is that when we visit a doctors' office, we feel like we’re in an episode of the Flintstones? Why can't we have the same quality service that our cats and dogs have? Why is it that you can order a Chipotle Burrito on your iPhone app, have it paid and waiting for you, but if you get hit by a bus, good luck trying to find an orthopedist who will accept your insurance?!

The take-away message I learned from the summit is that Digital Health is here to stay and there's going to be interesting new processes coming our way that will hopefully improve patient care, increase workflow, and increase patient compliance. I'm all for it.

About the author:

Dr. Thuc Huynh is CEO of ScrubdIN, a startup company that aims to help health professionals choose their next medical app. Her main interest lies around how medicine can play a role with web 2.0 and social media. Dr. Huynh is currently Chief Resident at her Family Medicine Residency in Rapid City, SD and received her B.S. and M.D. at the Medical University of the Americas.

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