United States: Patient Empowerment Through Technology Is Focus Of ENGAGE Conference

This follows the blog article posted November 28, "Connection and Innovation Take Center Stage at the Patient ENGAGE Conference" and is the second feature regarding the MedCity ENGAGE conference Nov. 6-7 in San Diego. Here, we focus on the aspects of the conference that explored the impact of technology on patient engagement, from wearables to DNA sequencing, to apps used by insureds to quit smoking while reducing insurance premiums in the process.

Leveraging Wearables for Increased Engagement

Wearable technology presents new and innovative tools for improving health and increasing patient engagement. Speakers from HonorHealth, Spry Health, and Withings Healthcare discussed the increasing prevalence of wearables in healthcare, including use in clinical trials and in the course of medical treatment. While the use of wearables has been more common among affluent and healthy individuals in the past, adoption of wearable technology is undergoing a paradigm shift to address the needs of the chronically ill. Providers are using wearables to assist in managing chronic diseases by allowing for individuals to track fitness indicators (heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, etc.) as well as monitor adherence to a doctor's orders and even assist in the detection of diseases. FDA regulations that govern the approval process for technology involved in diagnosing health conditions have not kept pace with the evolution of wearable technology. The regulations have had a narrow focus on the aspect of the technology that track certain health metrics, without taking into account the robust data analytics component of wearables.

Further research will need to be conducted regarding the use of wearables to facilitate medical treatment in order for clinicians to feel comfortable using them for that purpose. Wearables currently used for health-related purposes, such as Apple Watch or FitBit, are consumer products, and to maximize adoption of wearables for use in treatment, wearables will need to qualify as medical-grade devices. Wearable technology will also need to become more user friendly and less conspicuous when worn, in order to become an integral part of care management and patient monitoring in the future.

From Genealogy Tests to the Genetics App Store

Helix is a personal genomics company spun out of Illumina that empowers individuals to seek medical treatment based on an analysis of their personal genetic make-up. Justin Kao, co-founder and senior vice president for business development and partnerships at Helix reported that 4-5% of people have an indicator in their genome that can be acted on now; for example, a person with FH (familial hypercholesterolemia) can start taking statins to reduce cholesterol levels. Nutrigenomics can facilitate weight loss because certain genes make their holders more likely to tie BMI to sugary beverages or saturated fat, which influences dietary choices. Helix is of the view that population health management initiatives can benefit substantially from conducting genome sequencing of large population groups, and that individuals are open to participating in initiatives when incentivized to do so. For example, Helix partnered with Renown Health, a not-for-profit healthcare network in Reno Nevada, to invite individuals to participate in a study that would involve sequencing their genome and pairing it with their EMR, and 10,000 individuals signed up in the first 4 days, with a free genealogy report as an incentive for participating.

Helix is currently only a cash-pay business and has not looked at the payor market yet, but health systems are not waiting for insurance coverage to incorporate genome analysis into care: Geisinger, Mt. Sinai, and the Mayo Clinic have launched various programs to perform carrier screenings and assess genetic factors in connection with designing patient treatment plans. It costs $1,000 – 2,000 to conduct a full genetic test, and $700 to limit the results to the protein-coding genes. Helix provides a genetic counselor and offers a user-friendly genetics portal; primary care physicians would generally be able to make use of this data as part of routine patient care. Will the curious be penalized in the insurance market? The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA") prohibits the information from being used to charge higher healthcare premiums, but it does not apply to life insurance. It may be best to buy the policy before laying bare your genome...

Where Do Patient-Reported Outcomes Fit in Value-based Care?

Patient-Reported Outcomes are a key component of advancing patient engagement. A panel comprised of the Director of Specialty Care and Clinical Innovation, for LAC+USC Medical Center, the Founder of Epharmix, the Chief Commercial Officer of Click Therapeutics, and the Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) discussed the benefits of monitoring and improving patient health through patient-reported outcomes ("PROs"), and the challenges of motivating patients to consistently engage and interact with a PRO program. In one compelling example of a reimbursement model incorporating PROs, a company might encourage its employees to engage with a PRO-driven app to treat patient conditions that directly impact insurance premiums (e.g., a smoking cessation program), and the company would share cost savings for successful outcomes (e.g., lowered premiums for patients who quit smoking) with the provider of the PRO-driven app. One could imagine applying this novel reimbursement paradigm to a wide range of treatment programs. The panel was inspiring, and we will be tracking further developments in this space.

Next-Generation Healthcare Technology Companies

The MedCity conference concluded with the "Pitch Perfect" contest, a series of brief presentations by ten start-ups describing their innovations and approach to boosting patient engagement. The new ideas, products, and services were intriguing and well-designed. For example, the Medumo application guides patients by directing them on their medication regime, providing reminders in relation to their rehabilitation after surgery, and following up on scheduled doctor visits, via a user-friendly telephone reminder system—coined as a "turn-by-turn care navigation and instructional support to help . . . patients successfully complete and recover from their care." Another similar smartphone-type application was Litesprite, which provides a game to help improve mental health by promoting, for example, meditation and relaxation in an effort to combat anxiety and depression. OcuMedic presented on a state of the art bandage lens, which provides a timed delivery of drugs to the eyes to help healing from cataract and LASIK surgery, as a replacement for eye drops. Another precision product was presented by GenXys, which offers precision prescribing software for the management of an individual's conditions. GenXys uses computer algorithms to tailor medication options based on an individual's unique genetic makeup and personal information.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
6 Aug 2019, Seminar, Los Angeles, United States

The semi-annual seminar addressing changes and developments in state and federal wage and hour laws is a unique one-day program and hundreds of California employers, personnel managers, controllers, attorneys, payroll managers, and supervisors attend each year.

10 Sep 2019, Other, New York, United States

This unique one-day program addresses the New York and federal wage and hour laws, including changes and developments in the field.

17 Sep 2019, Other, San Francisco, United States


Learn everything you need to know about Digital Identity! #digitalidentity

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions