"All of that is very relevant information for what I need to do in terms of my day-to-day, hour-by-hour treatment of type 1 diabetes," McCollister-Slipp says. "But none of the data can be collected and integrated into one place. So you've got all of this critical data just at the patient level. It would be very helpful as I determine what insulin I need to take, how I need to adjust my medication to stay healthy. But I can't do it unless I sit down with or manually enter it into a spreadsheet and do Excel stuff."
So, McCollister-Slipp is not terribly impressed by mere talk of empowering people's chronic disease care for themselves. "The technology and the people who have control of the technology from the device manufacturers to the current way that we regulate things at FDA, it's just not making it possible for that to happen," she says.
"It's a nice thing to say from a podium when you're a physician or a public health person who's talking about the need to manage chronic disease, but nobody is really pushing for this to change. And that's one of the things that's motivated me to get involved in this stuff."
Recently, McCollister-Slipp found a receptive audience at the national level. This spring, ONC's Health IT Policy Committee formed a Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup specifically to look into ways to get mobile medical applications to work together with the rest of the healthcare system. And they had the good sense to appoint McCollister-Slipp to that workgroup.