Patients don’t fit into a rheumatoid arthritis box or osteoarthritis box, and with the hundreds of nuanced, distinct diagnoses available, one treatment plan doesn’t fit all, says one of the presenters at a Tuesday session sponsored by the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR).
“Matching the right treatment plan with the individual patient is an art and a science,” said Seth D. Ginsberg, Co-Founder and President of the Global Healthy Living Foundation. “Technology has the promise to help us communicate better and more efficiently with each other.”
Ginsberg, who was diagnosed with spondylarthritis in 1994, was one of the pioneers behind the world’s first online patient community five years later, when he was 18 years old. That community, CreakyJoints, today offers patient education, community- and web-based support, advocacy initiatives, and patient-centered research. Global Healthy Living, founded in 2007, is the non-profit parent organization for CreakyJoints and other related advocacy campaigns.
He will present “Delivering Care for Rheumatic Patients in the XXI Century” as part of ILAR Session: Innovative Solutions to Deliver Care at 2:30 pm Tuesday in room 143A. ILAR Executive Committee Member and PANLAR President-Elect Carlos V. Caballero-Uribe, MD, will moderate the session, which is part of this year’s new TechMed sub-track. The session will identify new technologies from around the world used to improve patient care.
The 21st-century patient is an informed and connected patient, Ginsberg said. He will talk about tools such as ArthritisPower, a patient-powered research network mobile app developed by CreakyJoints. ArthritisPower collects patient-reported outcomes in a longitudinal, patient-friendly manner that allows doctors to understand the impact that disease activity and treatment protocol have on patients in the real world.
“Quality-of-life measures as well as medication administration methods may affect treatment choice or treatment adherence, and properly integrated new technology like ArthritisPower will provide that insight to both the doctor and patient,” he said.
Surgeon and healthcare futurist Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS, will cover ways that intelligent use of technology can disrupt current paradigms in healthcare, medical education, and global access to care.
During “A Look to Innovative Ideas to Deliver Care in Medicine in the XXI Century,” Dr. Grossmann, the first doctor to use Google Glass during live surgery, will explain how common technologies designed for non-medical “play” applications can redefine how medicine is taught and practiced. He will examine the concept of “Digital Health,” showing examples of how to use virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality to redefine how people connect and communicate.
His presentation includes live demonstrations of some of the gadgets and devices that can impact medicine and education.
“Technology used in a clever way, can lead us to better healthcare and medical education,” said Grossmann, who also shares his ideas on Twitter (@ZGJR) and at RafaelGrossmann.com. “In order to innovate, our imagination and creativity are the main hurdles that we face.”
Irwin Lim, MD, Rheumatologist and Director of BJC Health in Australia, will present “Telerheumatology: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” He will talk about how the Australian Medicare system provided incentives to help introduce video consultations for those who live in remote communities that lack access to specialty care.
Dr. Lim said that programs such as video consultations are particulary relevant in rheumatology because of the lack of rheumatologists in many areas.
“Telehealth is an important tool to improve access to care, to provide convenience, and to potentially reduce cost of care,” he said. “There are issues and difficulties to consider but these should be surmountable.”
CLINICAL PRACTICE TRACK
ILAR Session: Innovative Solutions to Deliver Care
2:30 – 4:00 pm Tuesday • Room 143A