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By Sarah C. Threnhauser

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We’ve had an exciting first day here at the 2011 OPEN MINDS Institute for Behavioral Health Informatics. For those of you who made it to Baltimore, I hope you have found today to be as informative as I have.

We’ve been talking a lot over the past couple weeks about the “new normal” in health care – the idea that we already know many of the fundamental changes that are occurring in the market, regardless of the specific scenarios that emerge. And I think we all can recognize that technology is playing a large role in shaping this new market. But today has given us a lot of specific context for what this “new normal” looks like.

Today’s sessions have covered countless fascinating topics, from the adoption of smarthome technologies and the increasing use of smartphone apps, to the ways that health information exchanges and web-based tools are shaping service delivery. (To check out all of today’s presentations, click here.)

This morning, we kicked off the institute with an opening keynote presentation, Expanding Our Thinking About Virtual Care: How mhealth & Telehealth Can Shape The Behavioral Health & Social Services Landscape, by Managing Principal of Verizon Healthcare, Nancy Green. Nancy gave a fabulous overview of the emerging “virtual care” market that is changing the way health and human service provider organizations do business every day. What I found to be most fascinating about Nancy’s presentation was her framing of the new service delivery model as – “any professional, any program, any device, anywhere.” Meaning that new technologies (telehealth, smartphone apps, remote monitoring software, etc.) have enabled consumers and providers to interact in ways that we haven’t seen before.

For those institute attendees from service provider organizations, I hope that all of the information presented today has provided a clear picture of where the market is headed – and can help you to reposition your organization to maintain the competitive advantage. As one of our speaker said this afternoon, “With all that is going on in the market today, I hope you are a group that has learned to embrace change.”

If you were unable to make it to the institute, be sure to check out our live coverage of the event on Twitter @monicaoss, and catch the institute “buzz tracker” at


Sarah C. Threnhauser
Executive Vice President, OPEN MINDS

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