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As his TEDMED profile says, Dr. Isaac (Zak) Kohane, MD, PhD, co-directs the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He’s a long-time believer in the power of well managed information to help create well managed care.

Many members of SPM got into it by being managers of someone else’s care – a “family caregiver,” as it’s called in the US, “carer” in the UK, etc. Last Friday he posted this story on CommonHealth about his 90 year old mom’s weight and fluid balance. He combined a FitBit wifi scale (so he could do remote monitoring), adding a bit of doctor logic and practical experience, all while keeping in communication with her own physician. (Participatory medicine!)

Read this to see how it worked out – especially how as time went on she increasingly took on part of the routine.

What have you done in your family that resembles this? How has it worked out?

This story is at the “micro” level (one individual) of using data to improve health. Zak’s talk at TEDMED 2013 is about his work at the other end of the scale – learning from data collected at many clinics.


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