Partners Looks to Integrate mHealth Data Into the Clinical Record

Partners Connected Health is expanding its mHealth platform to integrate data from consumer-facing devices and wearables, giving healthcare providers new pathways to remote monitoring and care coordination.

The Massachusetts-based organization, a digital health offshoot of Partners HealthCare (, announced at last week’s Connected Health Conference in Boston that it would be making patient-generated health data ( available through care plans and the electronic health record. Through a partnership with Validic, and beginning in 2018, more than 420 consumer and clinical home health devices will be hooked up to the Partners ecosystem.

“This collaboration will allow patients to share personal health data with their care team seamlessly and securely using their own consumer devices,” Kelly Santomas, MS, RN, Partners Connected Health’s Senior Director of Connected Health Solutions, said in a press release ( data-patient-care/) issued at the start of the conference.

Access to patient-generated data was a key topic of conversation during the two-day conference, a combination of Partners’ Connected Health Symposium and the Personal Connected Health Alliance’s former mHealth Summit/Connected Health Conference that drew roughly 2,000 people.

Much of the talk focused in pushing care coordination and management out of the hospital or clinic and into the home, with platforms and devices that could give consumers an instant connection to health and wellness opportunities that improve healthy outcomes and prevent medical emergencies.

Adrienne Boissy, MD, MHS, MA, Chief Experience Officer for the Cleveland Clinic Health System, said during a first-day keynote that too much of today’s healthcare system is disconnected, delayed and non-transparent, leaving patients frustrated and providers stressed out.

Healthcare needs to move toward “seamless, cohesive care” that captures health and wellness data in real time and allows consumer and provider to collaborate on care, she said.

With its partnership with Validic, a North Carolina-based developer of data connectivity solutions primarily from the home to the health system, Partners executives said they want to bring patient data – from wearables, wireless devices like blood pressure cuffs and blood glucose meters, and smart devices like weight scales – into the clinical record.

“This new data platform enables our clinicians to quickly and securely access patient-generated data via our EHR system in a format that is standardized, actionable and HIPAA-compliant,” Roger Pasinski, MD, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Revere HealthCare Center, which is monitoring patients’ blood pressure on the platform in a pilot project, said in the release.

“Our patients and providers are eager to leverage personal health technologies to enhance care coordination, patient engagement and better collaboration between patients and providers to improve care delivery and clinical outcomes,” he added.

The challenge lies in making sure patient-generated data is integrated with the medical record ( in such a way that it’s both useful to clinicians and accurate enough to be trusted by them.

“Providers must interact with this data inside their clinical workflow,” noted Drew Schiller, Validic’s CEO, during a separate press event at the conference. Once they’ve learned how to use this data in their care plans, he said, it becomes “part of their standard of care.”

The Partners-Validic partnership might also make use of Validic’s new data connectivity platform, also unveiled at the Connected Health Conference. Called Inform, the platform enables clinicians to access streaming data from devices in near real-time and set configurable rules for determining which data needs immediate attention.

The traditional API for mHealth devices ( actionable) “is a little inefficient,” Schiller said, adding that the new platform works “like a Twitter feed” for digital health data.

Partners executives pointed out that it will take a while to figure out how patient-generated health data can be integrated into the clinical system in such a way that it helps providers rather than swamping them with unneeded or unverified information. A blood glucose monitor, for instance, requires different rules than a weight scale or a wristband that tracks heart rate.

They’re not alone. Carla Kriwet, PhD, Chief Business Leader for Philips Connected Care and Health Informatics, rated the US healthcare system’s connectivity as a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 during her first-day keynote.

“We have linkages,” she said. ”We try to build bridges, but it doesn’t work.”
In connecting data to clinicians and giving them a platform on which to use that data to improve healthcare, she said., “we have a ways to go.” 

Written by: Eric Wicklund

Published in: mHealthIntelligence