Ida Sim, MD
Datica Podcast

Ida Sim, MD: Physician, Researcher, and Entrepreneur

October 26, 2016   Leadership

Travis Good, MD pulls up a virtual chair with Dr. Ida Sim in this podcast. Listeners get a clinician’s view of the value of patient-generated data, sensor brands, and where all this deluge of data is going. As a primary care doctor, informatics research and entrepreneur, Dr. Sim provides a take on data that no one else can. She explains datasets and what doctors need better than most, so it’s a rare opportunity to interview her and a treat for listeners who want that inside view of the industry from a clinician’s eye. Catalyze supports the Open mHealth organization and its mission. After listening to this interview learn more by checking the organization out.

On chronic disease and who is in control: “Chronic disease is going to be improved and managed by people themselves; it is not the healthcare system that’s going to help people manage their chronic disease or prevent them. It is people themselves.”

“Data that gives us a view into people’s daily lives and how they are living their lives and how they can manage their chronic disease – those are the datasets that are going to be incredibly important. That’s a very new dataset for healthcare. We haven’t had that kind of data before.”

On Open mHealth: “Open mHealth is aimed to build the kinds of standards and the sort of middleware infrastructure that allows data to flow freely and in a well-described manner that supports an open system for innovation and mobile health that yet maintains very clean and careful description of the data.”

On why doctors don’t want your patient-generated data yet: “Doctors are rightfully skeptical in getting all your Fitbit data or your AliveCor Data** or whatnot, because it doesn’t fit the way we generally use data.”

On prescribing data collection: “I have this notion for data prescription where the patient and the doctor should really get together and do the same thing we always do — talk about what we are trying to achieve together. Talk about what data we need. Come up with a data plan.”

On what a doctor might think of your brand of sensor: “I don’t want to know what company or what the onboarding mechanism is or how my patient is going to get authorized. I don’t want to deal with any of that. So for mobile health, for example, if I want to know your step count, I just want to order a step count. I don’t want to know if it is a Fitbit or a Jawbone or a Misfit or whatever. It just needs to come back as steps.”

On vetting of digital health apps: “Obviously as a system, we need to think about which are the right apps and which are the best sensors and how accurate they are and how validated they are and that’s something we need to do as an industry. But for the ordering physician who has very few minutes in front of the patient, we should just order the data, not the sensor and not the app.”

On sensor data in the EHR: “I think one way to think about the EHR … is that the EHR is two main components. One is the database, and the other is the workflow tool. Certainly, because I’m seeing patients with an EHR, the workflow component of the EHR is absolutely critical. The data from the Fitbit, or whatever does need to come back through the EHR workflow. It needs to show up on my screen, but whether it needs to be in the EHRs database is a separate question entirely.”

“Why shove all that data in there and then spend billions of dollars pulling it back out when it started outside of the EHR?”

Today's Guest

Ida Sim, MD
Ida Sim, MD

Physician, Researcher, and Entrepreneur

Ida Sim, MD, PhD is a primary care physician, informatics researcher, and entrepreneur.

She is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she co-directs Biomedical Informatics at UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Her current research focuses on the use of mobile apps and sensors to improve health and manage disease for populations and individuals, and to make clinical research faster and less expensive. She is a co-founder of Open mHealth, a non-profit organization that is breaking down barriers to mobile health app and data integration through an open software architecture. Dr. Sim is also a co-investigator and Consortium Core Lead with the Mobile Data to Knowledge NIH Center of Excellence.

Our Interviewer

Travis Good, MD

Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer

As CTO, Travis leads Datica’s engineering team. His background in compliance, security, and cloud infrastructure gives him technical expertise that, when paired with his experiences as an MD, allows for a unique view on the challenges of healthcare.