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Connected Health Advocate Seeks Wider Audience

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, February 19, 2013

It seems like every other physician I meet these days has a tech-powered start-up in the works, or an idea for one.

Take Joseph Kvedar, MD, profiled in our December 2012 issue as one of the HealthLeaders 20. Founder and director of the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare in Boston, no sooner did that honor fall on his shoulders than he launched his start-up, Wellocracy. It's a side project while he continues as director of the Partners Healthcare nexus for all things connected health.

"For some time, I've felt like our ability to really get connected health adopted has been limited by our view of it through the lens of patient care," Kvedar told me at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. "I had really thought with great interest about a way to reach consumers, so that was always in my head. And then another observation over the years was that patients, although we sometimes had to coax them to participate in telemonitoring programs, once they get on they didn't want to come off. Patients find it very comforting. They've connected in. They feel cared for."

Since October 2012, the Center for Connected Health has provided connectivity between patients' home monitoring devices and Partners' electronic health record. Patients can now view their home monitoring data in Partners' patient portal. To my knowledge, this is a first in U.S. healthcare.

"Now we're getting to the point where we can sense, collect, monitor almost anything about you, and lots and lots of people are doing it. So if I want to get in the business of tracking my own activity, I pity the person who doesn't have a guide to help them," Kvedar says.

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