A recent “lunch and learn” presentation for the Twistle team featured James Peacock, MD, MS, an Electrophysiologist at White Plains Hospital and long time friend of Twistle. He shared some of what he’s learned over his exceptional career as a physician, and researcher and also his predictions for the future of healthcare.
The Need for Better Data
During Dr. Peacock’s time at the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University over 10 years ago, he was already thinking about how to better understand patients where they spend 99% of their time – at home. His organization was the first to name and define “white coat” hypertension and “masked” hypertension and they knew there would be significant value in collecting data between patient visits to gain an accurate diagnosis and improve care.
He also saw as healthcare became more specialized and siloed, it has become more complex. You can no longer base operational decisions on anecdotal evidence from the care team – it’s essential to have data to make informed decisions to improve healthcare outcomes.
The Potential Impact of Consumer Health Devices
With the explosion of consumer devices, a lot of care that’s currently provided in the clinic setting can now be much more efficiently provided remotely. Dr. Peacock shared the example of a patient with atrial fibrillation who has to come in for an EKG. The patient may spend several hours in transit, miss work, and waste time on administrative tasks only to find out he’s just fine. Likewise, the physician is spending time with a patient who does not need anything except a routine EKG.
With the progression of sophisticated consumer devices that are available at relatively low prices, that same patient could simply record the results from an at home device like AliveCor, send it to his doctor, and avoid the office visit altogether. The physician would then also have more time to spend on patients who really need in-person care.
Prediction for the Future
Some clinicians may want to stick with the old model and they may assume patients don’t want to be responsible for their own care, but Dr. Peacock has seen that patients want to be engaged. When they are given some education or training using an at home monitoring device, he has seen patients go on to use the device successfully for years. With access to regular health data, patients are also more aware of their condition and engaged in their health journey.
It may require some cultural change, but as devices like smartphones and iWatches become more ubiquitous each year, more care can be done remotely. The next important step is to use the data these devices capture to provide actionable insights. For instance, instead of trying to take an arbitrary number of steps each day to complete a goal your Fitbit has set, really understanding the right amount of exercise for you and acting on that will be more meaningful for a person’s health.
Twistle has seen the power of creating a digital connection between patients and their care team to understand what’s happening beyond the clinic and providing them with personalized guidance, and we’ll be excited to see what Dr. Peacock has to share next time!
Chronic Care Management with Digital Tools
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Twistle offers flexible, configurable care pathways to help patients meet their goals, eliminate manual busy work for your care team, and help patients experience the best outcomes possible. If you need help optimizing and personalizing patient care pathways, contact Twistle at firstname.lastname@example.org.