New video series from Portland clinic tackles childhood eating disorders

A partnership between two Portland health groups could play a broad role in improving patient care for children with eating disorders.

The Kartini Clinic, the only pediatric eating disorder clinic in Oregon, has joined with ReelDx, a Portland technology startup, to create a series of online videos on childhood eating disorders that can be shared with doctors worldwide.

“The reason I got excited and took this deal to our physicians is it’s an unusual way to be able to talk to other treatment providers using a technology that’s HIPAA compliant,” said Kartini CEO Morgan O’Toole.

The secure HIPAA-compliant Web videos provide a means for doctors and other healthcare professionals to discuss patient treatment and outcomes. Providers can also use the videos to learn more about rare diseases that they don’t see often, like anorexia nervosa, O’Toole said.

“Anorexia is maybe seen in a half a percentage or 1 percent of the general population,” O’Toole said. “And it’s the psychiatric illness with the largest mortality rate over time. So right now with these videos, we’re in teaching mode.”

The clinic so far has made two videos, and would like to finish about 20 of them by the end of the year.

ReelDx tracks statistics on the videos, which can tell the clinic what treatment areas are of the greatest interest.

“We are a world-recognized treatment facility, and this helps us spread the word,” O’Toole said. “Folks come here from all over the world. It will be very interesting to see what (of our work) has been of the most interest to the global community.”

Eventually the clinic would like to have an extensive library of resources about pediatric eating disorders available on the service, said John McIsaac, a spokesman for Kartini.

“The whole point of this is to keep the information stored in case anybody needs it, but also to keep it private,” McIsaac said.

Patients must sign a waiver if they’re used in the videos.

For now, Kartini is using the service to push information out to other providers. Eventually, though, the clinic may also use it as a means for doctors and patients to communicate.

“One of the things I’m convinced of is the power of this platform to get people talking to each other about the things they’ve learned or experienced,” O’Toole said. “This could really make an impact on people’s lives.”