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I’ll be at #HIMSS15 in Chicago this week and am preparing for the onslaught of the term “patient engagement”. It’s both overused and ill-defined which means it’s almost meaningless as a category of technology or approaches. It’s also multi-faceted which means a definition is not going to be forthcoming soon; so, I’m not going to try. As I go through the educational sessions and exhibits looking at patient engagement solutions, I’m going to be trying to figure out how to categorize them. My initial thoughts about how to do are shown below.

The most important facets I’ll be looking at are:

  • Personal vs. Institutional – is the engagement being initiated on behalf of the patient (personal) or on behalf of the institution? If it’s institutional are the patients’ goals and desires being appropriately accommodated?
  • Institutional vs. Enterprise – will a single institution manage the engagement on their own or will one or more institutions work together to as a group to manage it?
  • Active vs. Passive – active means the patient supposed to be doing the engagement by taking some action or doing some interaction with a device or tool. Passive means they can be using wearables or their data is used in other ways to behind the scenes to ensure engagement. It’s best to be passive but sometimes active is necessary so how will the solution accommodate both?
  • Demography – will patient gender, age, and other demographics be taken into account to ensure the right level of engagement functionality is present?
  • Geography – will geographic engagement based on targeted localization be available as part of the engagement? Can local retail pharmacies and similar organizations be integrated into the engagement?
  • Conditions – will the engagement be disease- or patient-condition specific? Will the solutions know that a patient has been recently diagnosed with some ailment or that they are managing a chronic condition?
  • Procedures and Therapies – will the engagement tools understand whether a patient is being treated for specific conditions or that some therapies have been prescribed (medication or otherwise)?

What are the facets you’ll be looking for in patient engagement (PE) solutions?

I’ll be discussing these topics and more at the following #HIMSS15 events and would love to talk in person. I’ll be speaking about PE at the Medecision, SAP, and iPatientCare booths because all three of these companies are doing some serious and insightful thinking about patient engagement from different angles. They’re going beyond the trends and high level BS and diving deep into what really causes patients to engage in their own care. Here are the times and locations: