How digital health tools can help transform healthcare – Joseph Doyle and Sarah Reimer

Joseph Doyle, Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management and Applied Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management

From Health Data Management

A coming wave of digital health tools has the potential to transform how and where healthcare is provided.

Using information from a patient’s medical record—including lab results, provider notes and images, such as CT scans—along with genomic data, prior insurance claims and environmental information, machine learning algorithms can substantially improve diagnostic testing. They can also support decision-making tools for providers to improve guideline adherence.

The tools’ success is not a given, however. They must first gain the trust of patients, providers and payers. In addition, the tools must not prompt alert fatigue. If providers are flooded with warnings and advice, they may become desensitized and tune out the information.

This coming wave provides a golden opportunity to overcome both hurdles—smart piloting of the new tools. By systematically introducing these digital health tools, we learn what works and what doesn’t. Randomized trials do not need to be limited to pharmaceuticals and medical devices; they can inform healthcare delivery designs as well.

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Why hospital choice matters — Joseph Doyle

MIT Sloan Assoc. Prof. Joseph Doyle

From Huffington Post

As our healthcare system moves from compensating providers on the basis of quantity of care to quality of care, it’s very important to measure hospital performance.  But a key limitation for that measurement is patient selection.

A large body of research suggests that it doesn’t matter where patients go for treatment. Teaching hospitals, for example, have been found to achieve modestly better health outcomes. Unfortunately, patients in worse health tend to choose or are referred to hospitals based on the facilities’ capabilities. So hospitals with higher levels of treatment intensity – meaning teaching hospitals or hospitals that perform the latest procedures – could appear to have poorer grades on healthcare report cards because they are treating the sickest patients.

See the full post and video at Huff Post Healthy Living

Joseph Doyle is the Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Applied Economics