The quiet revolution in health care

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Hidden in all the news about Mhealth and new electronic health records is the fact that patients are slowly taking control of THEIR health care .  If this trend continues, and it will, I expect HCP’s, insurers and pharma to start paying the price for overcomplicating health care. 

Apple’s health records is going to be a huge success because it finally puts patient records under their control . There is nothing more frustrating than having to call doctors to get an alignment on health records.  Patients feel that their health records belong to them not to any one doctor or practice.

In addition to Apple’s health records we are now starting to see some health apps that can be used to control some chronic conditions from ADHD, diabetes and sleep problems. While we are still blazing new trails in the mHealth arena the future looks bright and means that patients can finally become active participants in their health and have other options besides prescription medications which can be costly and have nasty side effects.

So far we haven’t heard a lot from insurers or pharma on the subject of mHealth except the replication of insurers’ sites. Doctors are all in if mHealth can convince them that mHealth leads to better patient outcomes and that patients will actually use them “as directed”.  The other issue that scares HCP’s is that some patients will use mHealth as a substitute for going to the doctor rather than a tool to help them manage their health. However, I believe physicians are going to be won over by mHealth if the jungle of app can first be cleared of bad apps.

So where is pharma?  Well, when I have talked to clients there has been a combination of being frightened that some mHealth interventions could replace Rx’s along with “how do we get into mHealth?”.  Frankly, their organizations are not designed for the development of ANY mHealth interventions.  Sure, some are dabbling in mHealth, but they don’t understand the commitment needed to support mHealth.

It’s a quiet revolution, but it’s one in which patients could be a huge winner and frankly, it’s about time they started to win.

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