Patient Narrative and Asynchronous Video

The good folks at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have invited ReelDx to participate in a design workshop on “Narrative in Healthcare” in Providence, RI the first week of February.

Narrative Based Medicine (as described, for example, in this piece in the Permanente Journal) is a way of approaching patient care that values and takes into account the story surrounding the patient’s experience, the doctor-patient encounter, the physician’s narrative, and the “meta narrative” made of of the collection of individual narratives. Narratives “are now seen as a useful resource for understanding the individual, patient-specific meaning of an illness” according to the authors of the Permanente Journal piece.

In describing our work at ReelDx to one of the moderators of this event in a preliminary call yesterday, it struck me how powerful asynchronous video can be as a tool of capturing and conveying these narratives. Patients, empowered with a simple app that allows them to describe their experience in video, can review and revise this artifact until they are satisfied with it. This allows them the opportunity to think about and most effectively convey their narrative. Doctors receiving these videos can view and review this narrative as many times as they like. Instead of conveying a case to a referral colleague with the fields of an EHR encounter record, or a paraphrased textual explanation, providers can now supplement the facts and figures with a powerful narrative that will help any provider who encounters the patient understand that patient’s narrative more deeply. The patient themselves can review past videos to see how their narrative has changed.

Example of a ReelDx real patient video

Example of a ReelDx real patient video

We don’t pretend to know all of the power that asynchronous video can deliver to healthcare providers and their patients. That’s the main reason we chose a platform with APIs as our way of delivering this value to the market. We are excited to see how developers, pharma companies, research organizations, hospital systems, and others make use of the ability to securely and simply create, store, and share medical video.

We’re working on some amazing applications, but we’re even more excited to see what creative uses of this technology look like in the hands of focused and talented developers.

I’ll tweet and blog from the Providence, RI workshop. And in the meantime, I invite you to join our Open API beta program at


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