New ONC pilots to focus on use of patient-generated health data

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A pair of recently launched pilot programs spearheaded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Accenture Federal Services focus on the use of patient-generated health data (PGHD) by providers and researchers.

In one pilot, Northern California-based Sutter Health and Validic will examine how best to move PGHD from disparate devices into electronic health records or clinical dashboards. Sutter patients with Type II diabetes last month began receiving the health system’s Mpower (Motivating Patients Online with Enhanced Resources) app on their smartphones. The app, via Validic’s digital health platform, can connect securely to medical devices that measure blood glucose, blood pressure, activity levels and weight.

Martin Entwistle, executive director of personal healthcare programs at Sutter, told FierceHealthIT via email that the pilot will be conducted in two phases: The first phase, which is already underway and consists of five patients, and Phase 2, which will last from November through February 2017, will involve another 30 patients. The pilot, he said, is designed to provide “rapid insight” for improving the use of the information that patients with diabetes collect about their health.

“We are using ethnography, which observes, questions and examines how knowledge, beliefs, processes and behaviors impact the care we deliver to help gain deep insights into how we can make improvements,” Entwistle said. “The approach enables much to be learned with smaller patient numbers than traditional clinical studies.”

For the second pilot, Chicago-based provider AMITA Health and vendor TapCloud are working together to identify how patients feel and then incorporating that information into the workflow of physicians. The initiative will span several medical conditions, a TapCloud spokesperson told FierceHealthIT via email, ranging from orthopedic surgery to behavioral health to stroke. The project already has 300 patients lined up to participate, with 500 to 600 expected overall. Results are expected to be reported by next spring.

Based on the results of the pilots, Accenture will develop a research paper for ONC that outlines barriers to and offers recommendations for the use of PGHD in clinical care.