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Social Network for Patients, Doctors and Caregivers Begins Clinical Trials at 3 San Diego Hospitals, Prescribed by MDs for Outpa

Posted Sep 01 2011 3:36am

This is different in the fact that a social network is going through a “clinical trial” to see if the extended care and offerings helps reduce re-admission to the hospital.  All security standards and HIPAA compliance entities are in place and the patient’s records would be coordinated with those at the hospital.  The doctor sets up the plan for the patient, and it looks pretty straight forward and is all about image communication and records with being able to use both the patient and clinical input. 

Patients would be able to upload their information for review so remote monitoring would be possible.  Messages sent to medical teams would all be encrypted.  With knowing the diagnostic codes the clinicians can build the plan consisting of learning, monitoring and support.  Nurses, caseworkers and health coaches could also be involved with adding support.  This looks a bit different than what I have seen thus far with actually using the patient information.  The difference here from what I have covered about other systems that are out there is the involvement of the physician after leaving the hospital with the patient not feeling they have not been the baton being passed to the next person.  In addition having the ability to communicate with a “peer” patient is a plus too as that has been a missing puzzle piece that has lead patients to the internet and if you have someone in a group with a similar or same issue who is also local, it could be a good thing.  If one is not available though, the internet is still there as well.  BD 

A social network that doctors can prescribe to their patients: that's the idea behind a new San Diego startup called Wellaho . The company creates software to manage and support patients after they leave the hospital by bringing together different parts of a patient's support system. Doctors, family, and friends could all be part of the network, which can be customized for individual patients. The system will begin clinical trials in three large San Diego hospitals next month, with a larger rollout planned for 2012.

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Other patient-based networks, including PatientsLikeMe, HealthCentral, Inspire, CureTogether, and CaringBridge, are gaining popularity with the chronically ill. But this one is different, says Wellaho's founder, Naser Partovi. "It's prescribed by a doctor, and it involves clinicians as well as friends and family. It's much more controlled."

Social networking is only one aspect of the system, says Partovi. It also gives each patient access to information about treatment options and clinical trials, and a place to record and monitor ongoing health progress in addition to communicating with doctors or caretakers. "All three of those parts—learning, monitoring, and supporting—are personalized for each patient," says Partovi. "We know their diagnosis and treatment codes, and we can build a special system around each diagnostic code."


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