New alliance aims to get specialty care to underserved patients
- Seven leading medical societies, boards and institutions have banded together with the Human Diagnosis Project to tackle gaps in access to specialty care for underserved patients.
- Over the next five years, the HumanDxAlliance will scale up the online Human Dx system, which uses collective intelligence and machine learning to help doctors provide the best care for their patients. Small and remote practices can use the system to get specialist opinions and help in diagnosing patients.
- The goal is to close the specialty care gap for 30 million uninsured and underinsured Americans and then expand the alliance globally.
“Millions in this country and more than a billion people worldwide lack access to the health care they need, so they choose between paying for it themselves and being forced into poverty, or not getting it and becoming sicker or dying as a result,” Jayanth Komameni, founder and chair of Human Dx, said in a press release. “By contributing to Human Dx, doctors will expand access to help people get the care they need, beginning with the underserved: first here in America, and ultimately worldwide.”
The alliance is in line with the dual trends toward population health and machine learning. For example, a group of hospitals in the San Francisco Bay area is using a data-sharing platform developed by Collective Medical Technologies to improve care coordination for frequent users of emergency department care.
Advanced analytics are also helping doctors fine tune treatments for patients. IBM Watson Health recently reported a 96% match with tumor board treatment recommendations in lung cancer cases, cutting clinical trial screening times by 78%. As of June, 55 organizations in 15 countries had signed onto Watson’s oncology offerings, which also include prostate cancer.
Another trend that is gaining ground in the quest to expand and improve care is microhospitals, which operate in urban and suburban areas where there aren’t enough hospitals to meet demand. Most are equipped with inpatient beds, emergency room, pharmacy, laboratory and imaging services. Some also offer ancillary services such as primary care and labor and delivery.
Members of the HumanDxAlliance include the American Medical Association, American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation, American Board of Medical Specialties, Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, National Association of Community Health Centers and Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.