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

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , January 8, 2013

"We believe, and we have evidence to support the notion, that as a profession we way under-appreciate what patients can do for themselves. We don't give them enough to do, we don't feel comfortable delegating to them; we're far more paternalistic than we need to be."

By and large, Kvedar says patients are ahead of providers in the tech curve and, once given a little bit of coaching, most are willing partners in managing their care. He points to success at one of the Center's programs where patients monitor their blood pressure from home.

"Their blood pressure data is fed into a website wirelessly so they can watch their trends, and their provider can watch their trends. We also give that particular group of patients algorithms so they can make changes to their own medications based on their blood pressure trends."

Kvedar's use of technology, all its data points, and nifty gadgets might seem to be the center of his research, but what really drives his work is patients: getting them healthier, faster. It just so happens that he also may have found a way to do it cheaper.

Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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