The Weekly Roundup: Data-Driven Care (10.18.18)

October 19, 2018 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Last month, the FDA green-lighted the EKG app, slated for release with the Apple Watch Series 4. The watch has a fall detector that alerts emergency services if the user falls and does not respond to a pop-up alert within one minute. The new technology may represent patient-centric (and patient-specific) medicine at its best. At a conference earlier this year, I listened as a proponent of digital and bio-digital health products relayed an anecdote about a patient diagnosing himself while waiting for emergency responders to arrive. In the mostly healthcare-provider audience, the story earned a couple of harrumphs and then uncomfortable silence. 

There is no doubt, however, that the increase of digital health data from wearable devices, electronic health records, and clinical trials are impacting the industry as a whole, but it’s hard not to be cautious with ghosts of failures like this lurking in the background. How does a care provider counsel a patient when their conclusions are based on correlations in data that they can’t really explain? Still, there’s no going back. Thus, the question of how to capture and use data and ultimately how to make better clinical decisions based upon it is not going away. We’re interested in hearing from you. Have you noticed trends in the adoption of wearable technology among your patients? Are you using app-based systems to help your patients improve adherence and manage diseases? Drop us a note describing your experience, and we’ll share your stories with other independents.  

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest: 

  • Registries to the rescue. A five-state project hopes to improve vaccination rates among low-income families. 
  • Small but mighty? A 25-person clinical trial of PARP inhibitors may signal help for men with prostate cancer. 
  • If you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen. Check out these tips for super-charging your pharmacy’s profits. 
  • Want to encourage flu shots among your patient population? Here’s a story to share on your social feeds and in your next customer email campaign. 
  • ‘Tis the season. Here are some tips and scripts to help you counsel patients during open enrollment. 

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So, we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at



Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors. 

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