Wisconsin’s Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin medical network is trying to address healthcare challenges in part by building healthcare information technology and healthcare services around people. and their lives, expanding digital health initiatives beyond the Epic EHR, and delving into app-embedded digital therapy.
For a well-informed look at this strategy, we interviewed Dr. Bradley Crotty, director of digital interactions and internist at Froedtert, and medical director of Inception Health, a subsidiary of Froedtert’s center for digital innovation. We also interviewed Dr. Melek Somai, chief technology officer at Inception Health.
H. You believe and feel passionately that health care services should be built around people and their lives, and use technology to make care affordable more and more health is achieved. Please elaborate on how you are doing this today.
Damned: In the United States, advanced technology has moved care to hospitals, doctors’ offices, or more advanced facilities. This has created many bottlenecks – access can be limited and waiting times are long for many doctors, and frankly, there aren’t even enough primary care providers.
Furthermore, we have distribution issues where many of these clinics may not be accessible to many in need.
Our mentor, Warner Slack, will note that the patient or prospective patient (and family) is the least-used resource in healthcare. And we find this to be true to this day.
Unfortunately, patients must advocate for themselves (and their families), and should not be this way. We believe we are at a tipping point when technology can help disrupt what previously only happened in the doctor’s office and give everyone access to affordable and accessible guidance.
In light of the experience we’re building, we aim to focus on patient/family self-service, with safeguards when transitioning to professional support. We regularly use apps and digital therapies to help with this. But this is an inversion of the current model of care, where expensive and scarce specialists are at the heart of most care.
H. You are building a cloud-based platform and tools to support care and incremental services beyond Epic EHR. Why did you choose this path and what is the technology doing?
Somai: Health systems have invested heavily in EHR platforms and IT infrastructure, but these resources are limited to clinical operations and patient record management.
To redesign care in a way that focuses on people as they live their lives, a new culture and technology platform is needed that combines a cloud-based architecture, a flexible approach, and a new technology. operational, product-driven development, continuous developer and delivery/continuous deployment.
This shift transforms health systems from end users to technology builders, allowing real-time patient engagement and personalized care experiences, while maintaining privacy and security. data.
Q. You continue to focus on digital therapy – drugs to change biology, devices to change physiology, applications to change behavior – and have integrated the first digital therapy ( focus on mental health) into your mobile app. Why is this your priority and how will patients use it when you launch it soon?
Damned: We need to make mental health a first-class citizen in primary care, and support for mental health needs to be accessible to everyone at the point of need, not the point of care. We’ve shown significant benefits from digital therapy support for mental health, supported by our coaching model, and are making that service more widely available to people.
We will incorporate depression screening into our app experience, with an invitation to our DTx programs where appropriate, and have programs available to browse in case people find that it is can help meet other needs, such as insomnia, anxiety, stress, grief, or alcohol abuse.
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