Personal Health Data and the Doctor-Patient Relationship: Are We Missing Something?

Bandwidth - Jason Cross

Blog post by Joe Babaian

In 2014, the #hcldr tag was used over 148K times with an average of 17 tweets every hour, of every day, all year – ultimately reaching – potentially – 825M views (Data Here). What does this data mean to you? Well it certainly gives an overview of what #hcldr is doing, what it looks like, and, perhaps, its general health. What it doesn’t do is show nuances of the details that make #hcldr so important to many of us. It doesn’t show the impact #hcldr has on participants or where #hcldr needs to improve.

In this active world of #DigitalHealth, we have access to almost unlimited personal health statistics and consider our own health data a valuable, useful resource to both ourselves and our healthcare providers. This month Amy Standen (@amystanden) wrote “Sure You Can Track Your Health Data, But Can Your Doctor Use It?” for NPR.  She highlights the fast growth of the wearables market – estimated at $3 billion to $5 billion and we consider all this new data being collected!

When it comes to analyzing pages and pages of personally-collected health data, Amy hears from Dr. Paul Abramson (@paulabramsonmd):

Going through it and trying to analyze and extract meaning from it was not really feasible. I get Information from watching people’s body language, tics and tone of voice. Subtleties you just can’t get from a Fitbit or some kind of health app.

This can belie the true value collecting health data – just take a look at the collaboration between the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel for Parkinson’s monitoring and treatment. The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel Join Forces to Improve Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring and Treatment through Advanced Technologies

With the competition for time and effective communication between doctor and patient, where does the collection of health data fit into the total picture? What is #quantifiedhealth? How much is too much? How do people know what to collect and when? What role do physicians play in the analysis of the data and educating on what’s useful and what’s just noise? Who needs to be educating healthcare providers and patients?

On #hcldr let’s work to answer these questions together and put the solutions into practice!

Join us Tuesday January 20th at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) for the #hcldr tweetchat.

  • T1 What is the most valuable aspect of the explosion of wearables/#quantifedhealth for patients & clinicians?
  • T2 What should we be concerned about when it comes to patients collecting health data and the patient-physician relationship?
  • T3 How can physicians & patients put these #digitalhealth & #quantifiedhealth tools to the best use? Examples?
  • T4 What would you like to see happen with the #quantifiedhealth arena when it comes to effective use, education, too much “noise,” and access?


“The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel Join Forces to Improve Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring and Treatment through Advanced Technologies”, Intel Newsroom, August 13 2014,, accessed January 19 2015

“Sure You Can Track Your Health Data, But Can Your Doctor Use It?”, Amy Standen, NPR, January 19 2015,, accessed January 19 2015

#HCLDR 2014 Analytics, Symplur,, accessed January 19 2015

“Credit Suisse  – The Next Big Thing – Wearables Are In Fashion”, Pitzer et al, Credit Suisse, May 17 2013,, accessed January 19 2015

“The Quantified Self – Counting Every Moment”, The Economist, May 3 2012,, accessed January 19 2015

“Fitbit Data Being Used in Personal Injury Case”, Anne Zieger, EMR & EHR, December 8 2014,, accessed January 19 2015

Image Credit

Jason Cross – Bandwidth


One comment

  1. Reblogged this on HealthcareVistas – by Joseph Babaian and commented:

    I hope you have time to read the #hcldr blog this week and join us Tues 830p E for our weekly tweetchat! Looking forward to see you there!

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