HL20: Joseph Kvedar, MD—'Tech'-ing Better Care of Patients

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , December 13, 2012

Kvedar aimed his enthusiasm for technology at the healthcare industry nearly 20 years ago when he founded the Center for Connected Health. He says, his "aha" moment occurred when, as a dermatologist, he was involved in a research study that questioned whether a set of still, digital images could be a substitute for a dermatologic exam.

"The person who came in to be one of the blinded observers in the study sat down and did 30 cases in two hours. That was the turning point," he says.

Knowing there was no way to see that many patients in that short period of time led Kvedar to examine the traditional doctor-patient relationship.

"I hadn't really thought... you might be able to substitute images but you also might be able to be more efficient by asking the question whether the doctor and the patient always need to be in the same place at the same time. All these light bulbs went off, and I never looked back after that."

Kvedar's research predates the terms ACO and mHealth, but his findings solve contemporary problems, particularly in chronic disease management. For example, what began 10 years ago as a telemonitoring pilot program of congestive heart failure patients continues to show a 50% drop in the readmission rates.

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