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THE INSTITUTE FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE MULTIPLIES PRACTITIONER EFFICIENCY THROUGH NEW COLLABORATION WITH LIVINGMATRIX

Federal Way, WA, Tuesday, May 26 — The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) announced today its collaboration with the Richmond, VA-based health information technology firm, LivingMatrix, to create a web application that will automate the formerly paper-based process of new patient intake and the creation of the Functional Medicine Timeline and Matrix.

Working to find the root cause of chronic disease requires Functional Medicine practitioners to gather and organize a lot more information about their patients than other providers do. Once gathered, the model relies on two powerful information organization tools, the Functional Medicine Timeline and Matrix, that enable practitioners to decipher the clues provided by patient symptoms, health histories, and biomarkers.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of a remarkable application that helps integrate core IFM tools such as the Timeline and Matrix into the Functional Medicine Operating System in a unique and user-friendly way. The LivingMatrix application exemplifies how creative innovators who understand both Functional Medicine and the needs of today’s practitioners can build something exciting to engage patients in telling a complete and clear story of their health history,” says IFM CEO Laurie Hofmann, MPH. She adds “Designed to assist with the intake process and to improve the organization and interpretation of patient data, the LivingMatrix is the kind of tool that can help to streamline clinical practice and advance the adoption of Functional Medicine throughout the healthcare community.”

Using the LivingMatrix application, Functional Medicine practitioners may now invite patients to access the library of IFM intake forms online and can follow each patient’s progress in completing the forms through the application’s provider dashboard.

Once completed, the LivingMatrix automatically applies the logic devised by IFM to map each patient’s information into the Functional Medicine Timeline and Matrix. This mapping process is expected to save practitioners hours of valuable time each month. The tool also fills a significant void left by conventional electronic health records by allowing practitioners to edit and add information to each patient’s health narrative over time within the Functional Medicine context supported by LivingMatrix.

The LivingMatrix tool will be unveiled to practitioners at IFM’s Annual International Conference in Austin, Texas, being held on May 28-30, 2015.

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For More Information: www.functionalmedicine.org

Contact: emilycarlyle@fxmed.com

Phone: 253.661.3011

About The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM): IFM is the global leader in Functional Medicine. The mission of IFM is to serve the highest expression of individual health through the widespread adoption of Functional Medicine as the standard of care.

LivingMatrix is a Richmond, Virginia-based health information technology firm dedicated to broadening access to Functional Medicine by enhancing the operating efficiency of practitioners. For additional information, please visit www.LivingMatrix.com.

Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease. The primary drivers of the chronic disease epidemic are the daily interactions among an individual’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. Functional Medicine addresses these underlying causes of disease and equips healthcare practitioners to help their patients manage this complex, interconnected web. For more information about IFM, please visit www.functionalmedicine.org.

THE DIGITAL FUTURE OF THE FUNCTIONAL-MEDICINE TIMELINE AND MATRIX

Functional-medicine practitioners have described the timeline and matrix as “invaluable” for developing individualized treatment plans. At a glance, these documents enable a physician to see how a patient’s disparate symptoms connect, how they reflect issues within broader physiological systems, and how two patients with the same diagnosis might be served by entirely different treatments.

Meanwhile, managing patient paperwork is time consuming for physicians who are already pressed for time. This motivated a company called LivingMatrix (www.livingmatrix.com) to partner with the Institute for Functional Medicine to develop digital versions of the functional timeline and matrix, designed to “streamline and automate the paper intake process.”

This is how it works: Before their first appointment with a functional-medicine practitioner, patients receive an invitation to fill out an online health questionnaire. The cloud-based software then automatically maps the information into the timeline and matrix. This enables the doctor to review the patient’s answers and meet him at the first appointment with the beginnings of fully populated documents in hand, prepared to dive deeper into his health issues and discuss individualized treatment approaches.

Priya Kamani, MD, is the CEO and founder of LivingMatrix. She was motivated to make the tools more widely available to other physicians after her first encounters with functional medicine as a patient.

“I have had my own fairly significant health issues and, in spite of being a physician myself, was resigned to suffer through them — until I started working with functional-medicine practitioners,” she explains.

“Seeing the amazing results led me to learn more about functional medicine. During the IFM training I was able to appreciate the power of the tools and was inspired to help take them to the next level. By digitizing them, practitioners are able to save time and help more patients.”

The digital version of the functional-medicine matrix won’t replace the initial interview — the physician will still need to ask follow-up questions to get a full picture of the factors playing into the patient’s health struggles — but it will allow doctor and patient to hit the ground running rather than starting cold at their first appointment. And if more patients with health struggles are being treated as whole persons by functional practitioners, rather than being reduced to their symptoms and diagnoses, that could make a lot of people feel a whole lot better.

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