In this episode we address the role of digital health in managing antimicrobial resistance. We hear about antibiotic resistance in the mainstream media. It pops up on the news now and then, people talk about it and then things go back to the way they were. Patients still demand their antibiotics, hospitals and clinicians lack the solutions to have effective oversight to make changes, and the problem grows.
Today, resistant bacteria causes about 50,000 deaths per year in Europe and the US. To address this urgent problem, various bodies have put together standards and programs to improve the use of medications. For example, in the US, the Joint Commission has implemented an Antimicrobial Stewardship Standard which just came into effect on January 1, 2017. But no matter where you are, people and protocols alone can’t fully address this problem: We need tools to collect and compare data and provide actionable information on the use of antimicrobials.
Here to talk to us about this massive problem is Dr. Brandon Palermo, he’s the chief medical officer of ILÚM Health Solutions. ILÚM Health Solutions was recently launched by Merck’s Healthcare Services & Solutions (HSS). It is an enterprise-wide infectious disease management service, which enables improved outcomes by delivering real-time information from across the health system. That information helps providers in their patient management decisions and supports program improvement.
Brandon believes that a key contributor to this issue is the lack of timely and actionable clinical information at the point of care, and he tells us how technology can help.
- Factors that are contributing to the increase in antimicrobial resistance
- The role of digital health in improving and optimizing the use of antimicrobials
- How digital interventions can improve the way antibiotics are deployed in health systems
- The role of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs
- How patients and clinicians can address the overuse of antibiotics
Links and Resources Mentioned
Lightning Round Answers
1- What is a saying, quote or phrase that motivates you?
“There are no limits, there are only plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee
2- What advice do you have for others working to innovate in healthcare?
“Try to limit the buzz speak – don’t get intoxicated with all the blue sky vision. What I’ve seen is that there are a lot of people saying a lot of things around how healthcare is going to be innovated with digital solutions, but really, show me the evidence. Show me that you’re actually implementing the innovation and learn from it. Ask the right questions and don’t get intoxicated by all the buzz.”
4- What’s the best tech that makes your life better and easier?
5- If I gave you a check for $5 million for you to invest in health technology today, how would you invest it?
I'd invest in Natural Language Processing. We need to evolve Natural Language Processing and the ability to understand free text. There’s so much information in the notes and if we can harness that in a scalable way, there will be much more digital innovation in the future.
6- We make a contribution to a charity in appreciation of your time on the show – what charity have you selected and can you tell us a little about what they do?
Sepsis Alliance – Sepsis has been named as the most expensive in-patient cost in American hospitals in 2014 at nearly $24 billion each year. Forty percent of patients diagnosed with severe sepsis do not survive. Up to 50% of survivors suffer from post-sepsis syndrome. Until a cure for sepsis is found, early detection is the surest hope for survival and limiting disability for survivors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Kendall studied engineering and found his passion in building businesses. His career in sales, marketing and product development has spanned two continents, and he works with clients around the world to overcome barriers and solve healthcare’s problems. Feel free to message him here and follow him on Twitter.