Digital health in NYC

Last week I attended the NYeHealth (http://nyehealth.org) Digital Health Conference. What a phenomenal conglomeration of smart people and great ideas. I left feeling so inspired and full of ideas about how to leverage data and technology to drive better care.

George Halvorsen of Kaiser Permanente gave the keynote address on Day 1 (https://speakerdeck.com/nyec/keynote-address-george-halvorson) . His take home on how we improve the healthcare system? "Make the right thing easy to do". Jim Messina headlined on the second day with juicy details of the Obama re-election but more importantly, insights into the way that data fundamentally informed the success of the campaign. His message: we need a similar rigor in designing the healthcare system of the future.

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There were elegant apps from medical entrepreneurs like Virgil Wong (http://medicalavatar.com) which uses a "ghost of Christmas future approach to show smokers what will happen to their bodies if they don't quit. It actually works! (http://virgilwong.com/research/).

 Dr Heather Evans, a trauma surgeon, shared her experience using Googleglass including connecting to her colleague doing a live hernia repair. The possibilities around documenting the care process and education are really exciting.

 I was really delighted to attend a session targeted to connecting socioeconomically challenged populations with health IT (https://speakerdeck.com/nyec/promoting-the-utility-of-patient-portals-for-safety-net-populations-with-low-literacy).

I've blogged before about my work at St Barnabas in the Bronx (http://drgeraldinemcginty.com/blog/2013/10/28/good-fundamentals). While I know that the innovations I saw at the conference could be really influential in improving population health I also know there are significant hurdles to be overcome before they can be made available to people living in poverty and facing complex health issues.

 My main takeaway was that there is a vibrant start up health IT community in NYC. I feel fortunate to be practicing here.