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Disconnected Health Data 'Beyond Absurd,' Says Innovator and Patient

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, August 6, 2013

"All of that is very relevant information for what I need to do in terms of my day-to-day, hour-by-hour treatment of type 1 diabetes," McCollister-Slipp says. "But none of the data can be collected and integrated into one place. So you've got all of this critical data just at the patient level. It would be very helpful as I determine what insulin I need to take, how I need to adjust my medication to stay healthy. But I can't do it unless I sit down with or manually enter it into a spreadsheet and do Excel stuff."

So, McCollister-Slipp is not terribly impressed by mere talk of empowering people's chronic disease care for themselves. "The technology and the people who have control of the technology from the device manufacturers to the current way that we regulate things at FDA, it's just not making it possible for that to happen," she says.

"It's a nice thing to say from a podium when you're a physician or a public health person who's talking about the need to manage chronic disease, but nobody is really pushing for this to change. And that's one of the things that's motivated me to get involved in this stuff."

Recently, McCollister-Slipp found a receptive audience at the national level. This spring, ONC's Health IT Policy Committee formed a Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup specifically to look into ways to get mobile medical applications to work together with the rest of the healthcare system. And they had the good sense to appoint McCollister-Slipp to that workgroup.

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4 comments on "Disconnected Health Data 'Beyond Absurd,' Says Innovator and Patient"


Manny Hernandez @DiabetesHF (8/13/2013 at 10:17 PM)
Connected health is important to every patient, but for people with diabetes, whose lives are filled with numbers all over the place (blood glucose data, insulin pump data, A1c data, etc. etc.) it is of the essence! I commend Anna for taking on this much needed issue and advocating on behalf of people touched by diabetes and all patients at large.

Harvey (8/8/2013 at 8:21 AM)
Same old same old where the belief is that the commercial sector will do the right thing. As long as there is tax payers dollars funding EMR's there has to be a demand placed on the manufactures for cheap and easy interoperability. With the cost providers are asked to pay for conductivity with ancillary devices (when in the few situations it's even possible)in many cases it becomes cost prohibitive. AS an example it cost from some EMR vendors between $350-$500 just to connect a scale. The dream of a connected medical world is decades away unless our politicians realize that getting elected is not their primary job but doing the right thing is

Carol Miller (8/7/2013 at 9:59 PM)
Great article, and thank you Anna for taking on such a complex and important cause to so many who live daily with and manage chronic diseases.