Last year I joined an unparalleled group of domain experts to help author the HIMSS-produced book Blockchain in Healthcare: Innovations that Empower Patients, Connect Professionals and Improve Care. I was honored to be invited to contribute the chapter on blockchain and pharmacy alongside my colleague Beth Breeden from Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in Nashville, TN. The print edition of the book debuted at the HIMSS19 conference in Orlando, FL, and the e-version has since been released on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books.
We divided our chapter into four subsections:
- Healthcare Financials (which is where many of the earliest wins are coming in the space using Hyperledger builds)
- Pharmaceutical Supply Chain (which we started exploring in 2015, and still holds great promise – as does the broader health supply chain and emerging cannabis market)
- Clinical Trials (which was a conversation that we began during a Precision Medicine Workshop at the White House in 2016), and
- Social Good (which features some of the projects I am most excited about sharing including Solaster and RemediChain)
This chapter also details a few use cases including an interesting, albeit early, proposed approach by ConsenSys on using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for combating a few elements of the opioid crisis.
If you are interested in the intersection of of healthcare and blockchain/DLT, I can’t think of a better place to start than this text!
Distributed:Health 2016 was the first ever healthcare-focused blockchain conference in the world. It was held in the healthcare capital of the United States – Nashville, TN. It was a terrific event and helped birth ideas, collaborations, and companies. In 2017, Distributed:Health was back in Nashville with conversations about much more mature efforts in the space. By the end of the 2017 conference, a common refrain was: last year people asked what blockchain was, but this year people are talking about what they are doing. I was fortunate to be part of one of those main stage conversations centered around the use of blockchain for clinical research organizations (CROs) and data sharing. I was joined by the luminaries listed on the title slide below, which represented a spectrum ranging from evangelists to skeptics.
Over the past few years my exploration of blockchain for healthcare has been an interesting journey. As has everyone I would imagine, I have received a lot of questions about blockchain – particularly in the last 12 months. They range from generalist inquiries to consulting requests. Often it is about how I became involved. To that end, I have added a brief timeline of my roles and work in in this arena, which can be found here.
On a recent trip to Indianapolis I was able to take part in the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and share a bit about the digital health space as it relates to the role of diabetes educators and patient care.
A summary of my presentation published in The American Journal of Managed Care Evidence-Based Diabetes Management, written by Mary Caffrey as part of her coverage of AADE appears below and can be accessed in full here.
AADE 2017 was an extremely well-organized conference that made great strides in the digital health arena this year, highlighted by Chris Bergstrom’s session “Let’s Get Digital”.
Over the last two years I have been fortunate to work with some real leaders in pharmacy informatics education. One of the most accomplished pioneers in this realm is Dr. Beth Breeden, who is the Director of the Master of Health Care Informatics (MHCI) program at the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Nashville, TN. Pharmacy students at our University have a rare set of opportunities in informatics education, including a dual pharmacy-informatics program that is the second of its kind in the country. Pharmacy students can choose to concurrently complete a dual PharmD+MHCI or PharmD+Certificate in HCI. We also offer both summer internships and a specialty residency in partnership with Vanderbilt University focused on pharmacy informatics as well as related experiential and research opportunities to our students. It doesn’t hurt that Nashville has evolved into the health care capital of the country. But creating these types of health care informatics opportunities for pharmacy students is a challenge nationally for pharmacy and other health care educators, which is why the article described below was written. Hopefully the framework presented and specific examples described help educators working in even the most resource-challenged environs develop informatics opportunities for their students.
Development and implementation of a multitiered health informatics curriculum in a college of pharmacy.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2016 Apr 27. pii: ocw023. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocw023.
Breeden EA, Clauson KA.
Standards requiring education in informatics in pharmacy curricula were introduced in the last 10 years by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Mirroring difficulties faced by other health professions educators, implementation of these requirements remains fragmented and somewhat limited across colleges of pharmacy in the US. Clinical practice and workforce metrics underline a pronounced need for clinicians with varying competencies in health informatics. In response to these challenges, a multitiered health informatics curriculum was developed and implemented at a college of pharmacy in the Southeast. The multitiered approach is structured to ensure that graduating pharmacists possess core competencies in health informatics, while providing specialized and advanced training opportunities for pharmacy students, health professions students, and working professionals interested in a career path in informatics. The approach described herein offers institutions, administrators, faculty, residents, and students an adaptable model for selected or comprehensive adoption and integration of a multitiered health informatics curriculum.
While not quite Fantasy Island, I recently enjoyed a trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where I stayed…at a Marriott. Turns out the island is named after Captain William Hilton. No relation to the Marriott International, Inc (formerly Hot Shoppes!) folks. I was there for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists to speak about the emerging area of wearable technology in pharmacy. It was a nice, tightly run conference with good speakers and active attendees.
Recently I was invited to participate on an article by some of the fine folks at iMedicalApps. While I had done some things with them in the past dating back to a guest post in 2011, including providing early coverage of Medicine 2.0 @ Stanford, I had never collaborated with them on a conventional journal article. In this case, the effort was led by fellow pharmacist Timothy Aungst, PharmD as part of his efforts to bring a stronger eye of assessment to the unsettled world of medical apps. This particular effort yielded the article, “How to identify, assess and utilise mobile medical applications in clinical practice”, which was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice. The aim of the article is basically outlined in the title. This was to be a practical paper for a clinician audience highlighting key aspects of the steps for: 1) identifying, 2) assessing, and 3) using medical apps. I believe a good paper came out of this collaboration and it certainly sparked the most creatively titled editorial comment (Battle for the Planet of the Apps).
Source: Aungst TD, Clauson KA, Misra S, Lewis TL, Husain I. How to identify, assess and utilise mobile medical applications in clinical practice. Int J Clin Pract. 2014;68(2):155-62. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12375.