Joseph Kvedar: Healthcare industry needs to double down on patient engagement

Patients' ability to track their health is easier than ever--but that doesn't mean they'll stay engaged with the wearable, app or device.

"If we're going to make connected health a widespread reality in the lives of consumers and patients, we have to double down on engagement," Joseph Kvedar, M.D., vice president of connected health at Boston-based Partners HealthCare, writes in a blog post.

The Internet of Things allows for access to data "in what seems like the blink of an eye," Kvedar says.

It's a paradox, he adds, that despite it being easier than ever for patients to take charge of their own health, many abandon their health device after only a few months.

To that end, a recent Accenture Consulting report found that healthcare providers are "woefully inadequate" in offering consumers mobile apps, with hospitals engaging fewer than 2 percent of patients with such tools.

Healthcare needs a wider variety of professionals involved in connected health, Kvedar says.

"We need to bring together first-class designers, motivational psychologists, marketing scientists, behavioral economists and all others who understand how to build sticky apps and services. We owe it to our patients to create well-designed, engaging apps," Kvedar writes.

In addition, providers themselves need to wade into the connected health waters, according to an insights report from Chilmark Research. The industry must overcome barriers including education of staff about the goals digital health can achieve, empowerment of department execs in use of the tools and determining the value of such programs.

To learn more:
- here's the blog post

Read more on