Challenges in Integrating Patient Generated Health Data into Clinical Workflow

von Iheanyi Samuel Nwankwo

Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD), that is, data captured outside traditional healthcare settings has been attracting a lot of attention lately. Although not a new phenomenon, in the past, many patients have recorded and shared their health information with their care providers, however, the proliferation of smart phones, remote monitoring devices, downloadable apps and ubiquitous networks are enabling massive growth of PGHD. Few days ago at its annual conference for software developers, Apple announced that it will roll out a new HealthKit platform that is intended to bring a lot of third-party apps into one place, so that a blood-pressure reading from one app, might trigger an alert and prompt a call from the doctor. A similar instance in the past has shown the likely saving of a patient with chronic heart failure when clinical staff responded immediately to data from an electronic scale in the patient’s home alerting them to her potentially dangerous overnight weight increase. Remote monitoring has shown to be valuable in the treatment of diabetic and heart failure in a number of cases. This is really a way of empowering the patients: a tremendous shift from the paternalistic healthcare model where only the physician is responsible for sickness diagnosis, treatment prescription, as well as compliance assurance that treatment is carried out as prescribed. With the increase smart devices, including wearable devices that monitor vital signs, there seems to be a conscious and active engagement of the patients in this new regime.

This approach to patient empowerment centres on the believes that patients are in charge of their own daily care and could be seen as their own de facto health care providers, and as such should be viewed as autonomous and equal members of the healthcare team, whose special expertise (knowledge of self) is central to the efficient management of their health ...

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