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Technology to ‘save’ primary care

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An article in NEJM Catalyst discusses how to use technology to “save primary care”. Among the authors’ remarks:

“{T}he provider would make the determination as to whether the patient could be treated virtually, would need to be evaluated face-to-face in an acute care environment (e.g., an urgent care center or emergency department), or could wait for a scheduled appointment with a generalist or specialist. …

“When we consider the current system, in which robust evidence and clinical decision support have been embedded into provider workflows, we can see that guideline compliance has increased dramatically, resource utilization and costs have decreased substantially, and, most importantly, patient outcomes have improved significantly.

“If we can take it a few steps further by (1) employing wearables and other devices (e.g., FitBit, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo) to passively collect waveform vital sign data; (2) allowing data science, machine learning, and prescriptive intelligence to monitor patients for physiologic distress well before it is symptomatic and even manage a portion of primary care; and (3) using providers sparingly and respectfully when human judgment or specialty or procedural care is needed, we will have done what every other industry has — we will have used technology to make our product better, faster, and cheaper. ”

To read the piece, please hit this link.

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