Treating body + mind with tech

I've been a little absent from this space lately, but it's not because I haven't been writing. I've actually been writing a lot, and it's keeping me very busy! The major project I'm working on right now is a feature about health care investment. This is exciting for me because it's an opportunity to put together two of the things I'm most interested in and passionate about: health and how we pay for it.

I'm digging into it head-first now, but I've really been reporting this feature since I started here almost a year ago. That work has already yielded a couple of stories, including this one about potential new Alzheimer's drug Axovant. But there are so many other little things that pop up and are of interest, but might not be enough to make it into the feature or their own story. So I'm going to start writing about more of those things here.

Today in my research I came across this Tech Crunch post about the connection between physical and mental health, and how technology is making it easier to recognize and treat those overlaps. One of the amazing things about the health care world in 2015 is that the technology available to health care providers and patients is exponentially better than it was just a few years ago. Coupling the fact that an increasing number of U.S. patients have health insurance with growing access to "democratized" technology, such as apps that can connect you with a behavioral health specialist via video while you're in the ER instead of having to wait hours to see one, means recognizing and treating a combination of mental and physical problems is becoming easier. Not only is this awesome for patients, it saves everyone money.

One important piece of this is electronic medical records, which have slowly been taking hold for decades but have only recently been exploited for the efficiency they can really provide. One company that's really taking advantage of this is athenahealth, which Arun Gupta mentions in the Tech Crunch piece. I had the opportunity to meet and interview Jonathan Bush, co-founder and CEO of athenahealth, last week, and his excitement about what the company is doing is palpable. The goal is essentially to create "the health care Internet," and he's done that by putting patient and provider data in the cloud, something no other health care company has done.

I won't say much more now because I'll be writing about athenahealth over at II pretty soon, but stay tuned for that, and for more bits of exciting health care news as I continue my research!