Establishing the Evidence

BOSTON– April 2, 2015: Payer+Provider helps organizations assess the value that healthcare innovations deliver by relying upon published researched findings. While assisting clients in evaluating the value delivered by wellness applications, it was noticed that there was often little evidence to support value. To explore the strength of evidence behind mHealth apps with more rigor, John B. Torous, MD, and Adam C. Powell, Ph.D., performed a comprehensive review of the evidence base on apps for managing depression and bipolar disorder. They found that there was a paucity of papers examining either type of intervention. To read their findings, see

Lecture on Valuing Information

BOSTON– March 3, 2015: Adam C. Powell, Ph.D., President of Payer+Provider Syndicate and Adjunct of Health Informatics at Northeastern University, will speak at the annual meeting of the American College of Radiology on May 20th in order to discuss the value of information. Building upon a recent talk at the Radiological Society of North America conference, Dr. Powell’s speech, Valuing Information: A Perspective from Behavioral Economics, will demonstrate how organizations  can assess the financial value of the information that diagnostics produce. He will be presenting alongside Drs. Saurabh Jha and Richard Abramson. In 2014, Drs. Jha and Powell co-authored, A (Gentle) Introduction to Behavioral Economics, an article introducing the subject to radiologists.

Powell to Discuss mHealth Quality & Security

BOSTON– July 17, 2014: Adam C. Powell, Ph.D., President of Payer+Provider Syndicate, has been invited to speak at mHealth + Telehealth World 2014. He will participate on a panel titled Overcome Security and Privacy Issues and Understand Mobile Device and Mobile Application Regulations, which will be led by Adam Landman, MD, Chief Medical Innovation Officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He will speak alongside Kevin Littlefield, CISSP, Information Security Officer for Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization. During the panel, the discussants will discuss how the government is currently regulating the quality, security, and privacy of mHealth apps, in addition to steps that can be taken to improve the quality of apps.

Organized by World Congress, mHealth+Telehealth World is being held in Boston from July 22nd through 24th. The mission of the conference is to increase efficiency, encourage engagement, and ensure the sustainability of connected health programs. Keynote speakers at the conference include Wen Dombrowski, Srinivas Merugu, John Mattison, Sarah Sossong, David Balch, and Joseph Kvedar.

Dr. Powell’s participation in mHealth + Telehealth World follows two recent, related events. In May 2014, Dr. Powell spoke at the 16th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology and the Pharmaceutical Industry (Shanghai BIO-FORUM). His lecture, Are most mHealth apps useless?: A discussion of potential solutions to common problems, outlined critical factors in the success and failure of mHealth apps. Earlier that month, JAMA printed a Viewpoint article on the review and certification of mHealth apps which Dr. Powell had coauthored with Dr. Landman and David Bates.

JAMA Features Our Thoughts on mHealth

BOSTON– March 24, 2014: While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released guidelines for the regulation of mobile health (mHealth) apps that act as medical devices or as accessories to medical devices, the vast majority of mHealth apps remain unregulated and unevaluated. In a Viewpoint article, “In Search of a Few Good Apps“, published in JAMA on March 24, 214, co-authors, Adam Powell, PhD, president of Payer+Provider Syndicate, along with David Bates, MD and Adam Landman, MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), call for the creation of mHealth (mobile health) app review and certification organizations to evaluate apps that are not regulated by the government.

“This article gives health care providers, patients, policymakers and mHealth app developers a perspective on how the issue of determining which apps are most useful might be addressed,” said Bates, who is Chief Quality Officer at BWH and chaired the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup that made recommendations to the government about regulation of HIT and mobile apps. “Establishing an unbiased review and certification process is a key step in helping mHealth apps achieve their potential.”

The concept for this Viewpoint article was conceived by Landman and Powell after discussing their mutual concern about the lack of oversight over the accuracy, quality, and security of mHealth apps at the BWH Hackathon, an event sponsored by BWH’s Innovation Hub (iHub).

“Dr. Powell and I examined numerous mHealth apps and it was difficult to assess app credibility,” said Landman, Chief Medical Information Officer for Health Information Innovation and Integration and an emergency medicine physician at BWH. “The currently available reviews of mHealth apps have largely focused on personal impressions, rather than evidence-based, unbiased assessments of clinical performance and data security. With more rigorous certification criteria and unbiased accrediting bodies, both clinicians and consumers could be more confident in their selection and use of mHealth apps.”

In the article, authors describe the potential for multiple organizations to be created that could review and objectively certify mHealth apps for quality, accuracy, security and safety, similar to the role that Health On the Net Foundation (HON), a non-profit, non-governmental organization, plays in evaluating the quality of online medical content.

“People are increasingly turning to their smartphones for assistance in improving their health, but are having difficulty determining which apps are the securest and most effective. We hope that our article will instigate action that will enable clinicians and patients to make more effective use of mHealth apps,” said Powell, lead author of the article. “We foresee a potential future in which physicians will be able to confidently prescribe apps to their patient, and will have the tools that they need to interpret the resulting data. The establishment of an unbiased app certification and review process will play a key role in getting us there.”

The article was subsequently summarized and commented upon by numerous healthcare journalists:

Summaries of Speeches on mHealth, ROI Analysis, and Pharma Alliances Now Available

BOSTON– December 16, 2013: Summaries of three of Dr. Adam Powell’s recent speeches are now available online. Over the past three months, Dr. Powell gave speeches on the current challenges that mHealth apps face, the role that design plays in determining the return on investment of mHealth apps and behavioral change efforts, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on pharmaceutical company alliance managers. Two of the three speeches were subsequently documented by members of the press.

On October 2nd, Adam Powell, President of Payer+Provider Syndicate, and John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discussed the impact that mobile healthcare technologies are having on consumers and healthcare providers as part of the Open Classroom lecture series at Northeastern University. The lecture examined why apps are currently driving change, how the regulatory environment is changing, and how smartphones and Google Glass are impacting physicians. WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, summarized the two lectures in an article and posted a video recording of the lecture on its website.

DesignAndROI Summaries of Speeches on mHealth, ROI Analysis, and Pharma Alliances Now Available

Slide from the speech at THE MEME delivered by Adam C. Powell, Ph.D.

On December 12th, THE MEME, a Cambridge-based design firm, invited Powell to speak on a panel titled “Design, Technology and Behavioral Change”. The discussion was moderated by Kris Nybakken, General Manager at THE MEME, and also featured Robert Reimann, Principal Interaction Designer at PatientsLikeMe, and Juhan Sonin, Creative Director at Involution Studios. During the event Powell spoke about how Payer+Provider assesses the return on investment (ROI) of behavioral interventions, using the impact of Fitbit on employers as an example. In the speech, he highlighted the powerful role that small design decisions can play in determining the impact of innovations. A copy of Dr. Powell’s presentation on the impact of design on the ROI of tools for behavioral change is available for download.

On November 22nd, Powell shared the stage with Nathaniel Welch, Senior Manager at the Center for Applied Research (CFAR), to discuss how the Affordable Care Act is impacting the pharmaceutical industry and creating new opportunities for alliance managers. The speech was the finale of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals BioPharma Conference, and was attended by pharmaceutical alliance managers from around the world. The perspectives in the speech were developed through nine months of research and stakeholder interviews conducted jointly by Payer+Provider Syndicate and CFAR. The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals summarized the speech in an article that it posted on its website.