SPOTLIGHT: Telemed, remote monitoring, robotics and social media for health reform

In a commentary for Hospitals & Health Networks, Dr. Charles J. Shanley, associate CMO for Beaumont Hospitals in Michigan, and David Ellis, corporate director of planning and future studies at the Detroit Medical Center, tout telemedicine, remote monitoring and robotics as means of managing patients at home, potentially cutting down on expensive ER visits and rehospitalizations, and "sociomedical networking" on sites like PatientsLikeMe, 23andMe and SixUntilMe to help improve access to care. "These innovations will dramatically expand the role of the individual patient in the healthcare delivery system of the future. They will require dramatic workflow and structural changes to be efficient," Shanley and Ellis write. These forms of "postmodern medicine" help empower patients, they say, but won't take hold until policymakers and healthcare executives are willing to make drastic changes. "Instead of gloom and doom, successful health leaders will see progress and opportunity. Instead of 'draconian cuts,' they will see 'intelligent investments.'" FierceHealthIT

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