Report: Patient-Generated Data Will Help Shape Future of Medicine

July 11, 2014 in News

Patient-generated data will play a critical role in the future of medicine and will help shape the evidence base that physicians, patients and policymakers use to improve the quality of care, according to an analysis published in Health Affairs, Modern Healthcare‘s “Vital Signs” reports (Conn, “Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 7/9).

Report Details

For the analysis, Duke University researchers examined the effect of collecting real-world data directly from patients as opposed to gathering such data through randomized controlled trials (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 7/10).

The authors defined patient-generated data as patient-reported outcomes.

Report Findings

The report found that patient-generated data will be “critical to developing the evidence base that informs decisions made by patients, providers and policymakers in pursuit of high-value medical care.”

Specifically, the researchers wrote that the “key to high-quality, patient-generated data is to have immediate and actionable data” that allows patients to realize the importance of the data for research, as well as their personal care.

They added, “The easier it is for patients and clinicians to navigate [personal data], the more relevant that information will be to patient care, the more invested patients and clinics will be in contributing high-quality data, and the better the data in the big-data ecosystem will be”  (“Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 7/9).

The researchers noted that physicians are increasingly using data captured directly from patients to help understand patients’ health outcomes. They added that the ability to capture such data is growing in part because of the widespread adoption and use of electronic health records and monitoring devices.

However, they noted that full EHR implementation and interoperability have yet to be achieved (FierceHealthIT, 7/10).

In the meantime, the researchers recommended that physicians take simple steps to better familiarize patients the data collection efforts, such as by physicians telling a patient that they have seen their “symptom report” (“Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 7/9).

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