John Keyes, blood disease patient who created BloodNumbers, a simple app to track his ongoing test results.
Two months ago I wrote that for the first time, the semi-annual DevDays conference would include a Patient Innovator Track. Four finalists were chosen, and funding was provided (sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Health) to help them attend. Last Wednesday they presented to a packed room, and in his closing plenary on Friday Grahame Grieve (“the father of FHIR”) announced the winner: John Keyes, a blood disease patient who has created a little app called BloodNumbers:
We loved how what John has done with BloodNumbers exemplifies all four of our criteria:
– Direct impact on the patient’s health or treatment – designed from the ground up to be USEFUL
– Empowerment of the patient to take control – which he has done
– Possible relevance for other patients – because there’s no reason it can’t track other things as easily
– Proven usage in daily life – which is why he’s here in the first place.
Empowerment through a useful view of his personal data – and he did it all by himself!
Which illustrates our belief, in the #FHIR community, that when patients have control of their data, health can improve. Well done, John!
He created BloodNumbers for his personal use – it’s not even in the App Store yet – but who knows what might be done with it now??
I was one of the judges, and it wasn’t easy – the four finalists were very different, each pointing to a distinctively different way that data can improve care. Hallelujah – that’s what we hoped for! But in the end, we were unanimous.
We can’t overstate the importance of this: when data gets liberated so the person who has the problem can do with it what they want, all kinds of solutions will evolve naturally – some with investor backing and big dreams, some just for one person’s needs. If you don’t believe it, have a look at Patient-Innovation.com to see what patients are doing, some with data, some not. (Including data will be a lot easier when it flows better with FHIR!)
This is what FHIR is about
As I’ve said repeatedly, one thing to love about the FHIR community is that they really, truly are committed to being useful to patients – and not as “maybe someday, if we can fit it in,” but now. FHIR’s parent organization, HL7, puts it right in the vision statement on their About page:
“A world in which everyone can securely access and use the right health data when and where they need it.”
John says he never imagined his little app might have bigger potential. But it could obviously be modified to run on Android (at present it’s just iOS) and to track any numbers. Everyone who saw it liked how easy it was to look at the test results from a single lab run and then click through to see how that number has been trending.
People with ideas can contact him at john (at) bloodnumbers (dot) com.