Health IT tools lack proof of effectiveness

There are myriad apps, tools and technologies entering the healthcare marketplace--but most lack proof that they are helping consumers battle disease and stay healthy, according to an article in Fortune. To that end, hospitals must be very careful when adopting health IT, according to Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation officer at Ochsner Health System.

"You want to be comfortable that the technology you're utilizing is reliable and accurate," Milani tells Fortune. "That's a genuine concern. If you have some scientific data or peer-reviewed data to back it up, that certainly makes it a little easier."

Outside the hospital, the potential of too many apps invading the marketplace, with many going unvetted, also is a concern that demands attention, according to an article published at the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In fact, due to the dearth of evidence from health IT manufacturers on the effectiveness of their products, startup Evidation Health is setting its sights on the problem, according to the article.

Evidation, backed by GE Ventures and Stanford, is studying marketing claims of health IT companies and seeing if they pan out.

"I wouldn't couch it in the context of, 'these companies are making claims they can't back up,'" CEO Deborah Kilpatrick tells Fortune. "They just haven't [proven them]. Whether or not they can remains to be seen."

She adds that the healthcare sector is still trying to figure out how to prove effectiveness, especially with the high costs of clinical trials and the need to partner with a hospital to reach patients and get access to resources. In addition, hospitals often are wary of partnering with companies that don't already have evidence of the effectiveness of their products, she says.

Even high-risk medical devices are lacking proper verification of effectiveness and safety, according to another research article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Premarket Approval pathway allows high-risk medical devices on the market with only one study to prove they work. According to the research, in which 28 devices were examined, five had no postmarket studies, and 13 others had three or fewer postmarket studies. In addition, half of the studies did not compare a new device to an existing one, according to the research.

To learn more:
- here's the Fortune article

Suggested Articles

We take a look back at health insurers' financial performance, including soaring profits, in Q2.

Blue Shield of California is teaming up with Cricket Health to offer coordinated care to members with late-stage and end-stage renal disease.

Here's why analysts and industry leaders think the Teladoc-Livongo deal could significantly change the virtual care market and healthcare delivery.