Recently I had the delightful privilege to be asked to speak at the annual conference of the American Academy of Health Behavior. Unlike many conferences I attend, it was intimate, allowed plenty of time to network and relax, and was at a wonderful place – the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas. Planning was done by my long-time colleague Herb Severson, investigator at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, and Elaine Borawski, AAHB President and investigator at Case Western.
The March meeting theme, Applications of Technology in Health Behavior Change Research, brought outstanding presentations, discussions and a hands-on tech demo session. It was fun to catch up with health IT leaders including David Ahern, advisor for RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality and Project Health Design, the NCI’s Brad Hesse, Kevin Patrick at UCSD and the Center for Wireless & Population Health Systems, and Audie Atienza, HHS Technology Advisor and leader for mobile health, David Abrams at the Legacy Foundation, Paul Estabrooks at Virginia Tech, and Hope Lab’s Ellen LaPointe.
It was a huge treat to meet BJ Fogg and hear him talk about persuasive technologies. Even better, to hear examples of taking small steps that make a big difference in engaging people in change. If he’d ever entertain a Boot Camp for VA leaders and innovators, we’d be swimming in a Perfect Storm…
I talked about leveraging technology to Let Patients Contribute. I see a ‘journey’ toward participatory design. Some years back (not long ago!) innovators promoted information therapy – providing patients “information prescriptions.” This was followed by patient centered medical homes, or team-based proactive care, with primary care on steroids and all other care that’s coordinated. Participatory medicine — our current destination — is about shared decision making, engaged and empowered patients and families, and liberal use of electronic tools used by patients/consumers. The ideal destiny, however, is participatory design, where patients and families are an integral part of development and improvement…in an ongoing and continuous manner. Some are moving toward this, but it’s still the exception, not the rule.
What will it take? How do we increase consumer demand for participation and contribution? Will we know a tipping point when we’re in the middle of it?
All my slides are available at the AAHB website, here. The last few slides are some findings from open notes/shared clinic notes at the VA. More to come, very soon, on this truly exciting study! Let Patients Contribute!