Interconnectivity in Healthcare: Patients, Providers, Technology, Research

The future of healthcare involves patients and providers working with business to develop tools and processes contributing to better health for all. The recent Medicine X 2014 conference at Stanford University is an example of this type of collaboration. Medicine X and Doctors 2.0 (an international conference that takes place in Paris in June) are two medical conferences where patients are not just “invited” but are an integral part of the program.

Attended by more than 650 people and watched via webcast by thousands more, Medicine X was created by Dr. Larry Chu and his team of healthcare professionals and empowered patients. The conference focuses on social media, mHealth, health information technology and how they can improve the provider/patient relationship. An excellent review of the conference summarized the key sessions.

Patients” and technology’s influence on the new pharma

Discouraged by the lack of transparency in clinical trial results, Matthew Charron, a patient panelist asked pharma to be more cooperative, helpful, engaged and transparent..

Chronic illness and depression

Patients and caregivers relayed their fear and anxiety in dealing with challenges. Resources are available. How can technology help connect people with these resources?


How can self-tracking help the patient with a chronic illness? And can self-tracking be counter-productive? Patients questioned the use of self-tracking and clinicians mentioned the challenges of reviewing and analyzing the large amounts of data that people track and bring to visits. The challenge here is to make the resource more empathetic and to make the data be more easily organized.

Technology and socioeconomics

Underserved populations have a low level of health literacy and a high level of depression. Outreach needs to be easy and affordable and available in different languages. How can technology best reach these groups?

Big data

How can we best use data to help people find a doctor or rate a provider? And how do we best teach patients how to use the data they have? Patient satisfaction is important, but how best to report it and use it is just as important.

The future

The future is positive for change and improvement. Patient involvement and collaboration with providers and business will result in improved healthcare delivery through technology. Ongoing discussions and learning opportunities are necessary and available through many patient advocacy groups and organizations such as The Society for Participatory Medicine and Stanford MedicineX’s new  online academy for ongoing learning.