Center for Connected Health awarded grant for cancer pain management program

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Updated 1 November: Announced undoubtedly at last week’s Connected Health Symposium, the McKesson Foundation last week awarded a grant to the Center for Connected Health for development of text messaging (SMS) and interactive voice response (IVR) to help cancer patients improve pain management. According to HealthcareITNews, this may be a ‘first’ in research; “Researchers will randomly assign 122 lung cancer patients with moderate to severe cancer pain to receive either mobile-based interventions or the standard practice of care. These participants will be followed (for) four months, and interventions will be tailored to the individual patients’ needs as determined by their ratings of pain intensity, interference in daily life, type and stage of cancer and type of pain therapy.” Center for Connected Health gets McKesson grant for mobile cancer program

Extra: A quick pre-overview on the Symposium from Dr. Joseph Kvedar on the cHealth Blog and see the tweetstream at #chealth12.

Update: mHIMSS weighs in with Symposium’s lesson? Patients, providers need to be more connected. If the topline of the article is any indication, providers and payers want to push health advice and programs down to their patients and members via smartphone and mobile tools (e.g. tablets.). This was not only dismaying to the author (read carefully) but also to Editor Donna in that 1) many patients still don’t have smartphones and aren’t running out to get one because of a program unless there’s an incentive and 2) empowerment does not necessarily equate to meaningful or ‘sticky’ responsibility (disagreeing with Esther Dyson here.) It fundamentally implies that implies that healthcare providers and payers (as well as some eHealth developers) are missing a basic understanding of their users’ motivations, proving the old marketing maxim, ‘people do things for their reasons, not yours.’

Editor Donna’s note: if you were able to attend, be grateful that it was last week and not this week with Hurricane Sandy shutting down everything from New England to the Mid-Atlantic for the next few days. Right now I’m warily eyeing the water coming over the East River seawall and up the promenade this evening…seeing my lights flicker…and I’m not in an evacuation area.

Update 30 Oct – 1 Nov: Thank you to all the readers who have emailed and inquired through LinkedIn…All OK here in NY and the storm is very much over except for some further damp and wind. Many parts of NYC (Zone A) were evacuated, like Financial District, Battery Park City and huge chunks of waterfront Queens. Plenty of subway flooding and we still do not have transit; most roads are restricted. Editor D. was bunkered in a ‘Zone B area’ which was not evacuated but is low-lying; fortunately the most that happened was two-three feet of dirty East River water over the wall and up the lawn. It did not reach the apartment buildings which are further “inland” and elevated. No power loss here but in buildings on the North End, yes. This was truly an unprecedented event in at least the past 70 years. Concern and prayers for those in beach areas of New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut; here in NYC huge flooding and power loss below 34th Street and Battery Park areas, in the boroughs, and in especially hard-hit (and usually ignored) Staten Island.