ONC Decides Against Adopting 2015 ‘Voluntary’ EHR Certification Criteria
The ONC decided against adopting the 2015 voluntary edition of the EHR certification criteria. Instead they folded some of the proposed voluntary criteria into the new, more flexible final rule for the 2014 edition certification, which is now being called “2014 Edition Release 2.”
The ONC holds that these revisions “provide flexibility, clarity, and enhance health information exchange.” One amended criteria of particular interest is the view/download/transmit criterion which was revised to provide more optionality in transport methods. However, vendors are not required to recertify or upgrade in order to meet the new standards.
Source: FierceHealthIT, 9/10/14
Connected Health Devices Gain Traction with Success Tied to Design Quality, User Experience
Speaking of connected devices, a new study indicates just how connected Americans really are. According to Parks Associates research, nearly 1/3 of US homes with broadband own and use at least one connected health device. The most popular are treadmills, exercise bikes, and elliptical trainers that come with built-in support for mHealth apps. However, with the advent of fitness tracking devices like Apple’s iWatch, wearables are sure to soon become big players in the world of connected health devices.
The study predicted that by 2016 over 32 million US consumers will regularly monitor their personal health and fitness either online or through a mobile app. But we’re not there yet. Research director Wang claims design quality and user experience are integral to vendors’ success as, “The ability to demonstrate device health and wellness benefits will become a product differentiator and a key factor for sustainable consumer demand.”
Source: FierceMobileHealthcare, 9/7/14
How to Engage Baby Boomers in Healthcare Technology
With the right tools and platform development, technological advancement could decrease the burden on the healthcare industry that is steadily increasing with the aging Baby Boomer generation. A recent study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research examined how willing Baby Boomers (50-64 year olds) are to accept technology for health-related purposes, finding that they are in fact embracing many consumer health technologies.
The study revealed Baby Boomers are more likely to utilize websites (84.5 percent), email (81 percent), call centers (52 percent), video conferencing (49.6 percent) and texting (49.6 percent) than individuals who are 64 years and older. While the research indicated podcasts (38.6 percent), smartphones (34.5 percent), and wikis (21.3 percent) were least likely to be used for health-related purposes.
Emerging technologies have their perks, but this study suggests Baby Boomers are much more likely to use technologies they are already familiar with. Therefore, consumer health technologies should focus on further developing technologies that have already exhibited high adoption rates.
Source: FierceHealthIT, 9/9/14
Study: JMIR, 9/2014
Apple Watch Promotes Patient Generated Health Data
Apple’s new releases are always highly anticipated by the general public, but the company’s latest announcement for the Apple Watch has grabbed the healthcare community’s full attention. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch as the company’s first new product category in four years. Apple is pushing its way into healthcare technology with a new HealthKit app to be launched with Apple’s latest operating system iOS8. Apple has been known for its products’ user friendliness and the Apple Watch should be no different with this new wearable health technology. Read more about our hopes for the Apple Watch on our blog.
Graphic of the Week: Patient Engagement