I’ve been learning everything I can about what AI will do to help healthcare achieve its potential, and especially how it will help e-patients be stronger contributors. The game’s not over (this game will never be over) but so far, this is the book! The AI Revolution in Medicine: GPT-4 and Beyond.[Read more…]
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I’m burning my way through this book, which was just released last week. It’s a compilation of first-person essays and advice from twenty Long COVID patients and experts. Curated by long-hauler Fiona Lowenstein, The Long COVID Survival Guide strikes me as street-level gut-punch practical. I don’t think any of us – patient, family, clinician or government – can feel we understand this condition without reading these essays.
I was hooked when I discovered, in the first patient story, that hives can be a result of Long COVID … which explains the weird, unexplained hives my wife had 4-6 weeks after COVID. Nothing like some front-line patient reality!
That’s a strong example of a big shift that’s happening in medicine: shifting away from expecting doctors to know everything important, and toward doctors actively partnering with the sick people. And by “partnering” I don’t mean asking patients’ opinions: I mean actually sharing the work, acknowledging the value of patients’ work, and sharing decision making – not just on individual cases but on development of remedies and priorities for research.[Read more…]
It’s been twelve years(!) since my first healthcare keynote speech, September 2009, at Gunther Eysenbach’s “Medicine 2.0” conference in Toronto, which was the genesis of the battle cry “Gimme my damn data!” Reflecting on how that all started – it was just a series of blog posts expressing curiosity about how to improve healthcare – I decided to publish them at no charge as a compilation e-book, for convenient reference. The book’s page is here.[Read more…]
This book is a compilation of 12 essays (blog posts) that unfolded over two years, starting my odyssey as an advocate for patient access to their medical records.
The original articles are all available online for free, but it’s compiled here for convenience, and I hope it will be of use to future students of health IT policy, because it tells how one patient trying to improve healthcare stumbled on a subject that others had struggled with.
Patients – including you – have a fundamental right to know what’s in their medical record, but for all of recorded history, archaic attitudes have too often kept your data out of your hands. For decades hundreds of people have worked to give us access, and in 2021 the US Cures Act Final Rule has finally made it Federal policy that your data will be available via API (software interface), so you can pull it into health apps of your choosing, or share it with other doctors (or anyone you want!) or do anything you want with it. Because it’s yours.
Why publish this compilation?
Lately a wave of health IT newcomers have been asking how I got into it, especially my 2009 demand “Just gimme my damn data!” that unwittingly became a rallying cry that spread virally and even became a rock video by the great Ross Martin MD and his garage band “Sons of Artemis.”
Importantly, the book shows that the motivation for my journey was for patients to be able to take responsibility for their health and (when necessary) their care. And that in turn was motivated by the realization that the US health system, while it’s full of brilliant people, as a system is a gigantic Gordian knot of financial incentives that keep it fixated on its own interests, not yours, not mine, nor your doctors’ and nurses’ interests. The system itself – not the workers in it – is a problem that impedes good care.
A full decade later those forces have played out with predictable results: the industry is far more expensive than it was then, patient satisfaction has not improved, nor have patient outcomes.
The remedy, I continue to believe, is to build a new ecosystem of health tools enabled by access to our data. I hope this book will convey the roots of this motivation, how vehemently parts of the system have objected, and the value and importance of patients’ access to their medical information.
For context, I’ve added a page of comments from people wiser than me who were involved in the work before this story, during the story, and have continued the work.